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Things are looking up Wisconsin. Sorry about your luck Pennsylvania

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by George, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Dan

    Dan One Year Old Already!

    Timwilly, I dont know what part of PA you live in or take in deer from, but I can guarantee you that your shop not taking in bigger bucks since AR was put into play is the exception, not the rule.

    Hunters in NW PA are now harvesting deer that you (I) never would have dreamed of 10 years ago. Do a historical search of the buck contests throughout the state and I am willing to bet my unfilled doe license that the bucks are, on average, bigger and better since AR.

    Some guys want to harvest, some guys are willing to hunt.
  2. franchi612

    franchi612 New Member

    That's a new one to me George. In spring before does give birth they kick their buck fawns away. We had a doe here, we simply called big doe, and her buck fawn piglet. Piglet would have stayed with mom forever if he could have. They spent all winter together and into late spring. Just the other night I saw a buck fawn with two does. The doe I have been seeing all season has a buck fawn and is still with her. And didn't I say the does kick fawns away when they go into heat? Open your eyes man. They usually reunite by late Nov/Dec and spend the winter together. Most buck fawns will leave on their own and take up with a bachelor group in spring. This is one of the problems with killing lots of does. The fawns will stick together and bro and sis breed. Too much inbreeding = small bucks and weak deer. There are areas in this state where the genetic pool for whitetails is getting so limited it will eventually endanger sustaining the population. There is a limit to how low the population can go before deer will only breed their own offspring or will not be able to recruit new genetics from far enough away. Everyone thinks it is so awesome to have big bucks. But the point is to have a balanced age and sex structure in the herd, not one that is weighted so heavily to older bucks. Nature makes more males than females. I know we have a buck factory here. If our does have one fawn, it is a buck fawn. People think that is so great, but it isn't for hunting. Once the one or two does in our area are bred, the bucks leave. Why would they stay? We shot a 6 1/2 and 5 1/2 yo bucks this year. They were ran ragged. I'm pretty sure the one would have died if we had a hard winter. Bucks will literally run themselves to death, and having no does and alot of bucks, especially older bucks, stresses them even more.

  3. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    I will attest that indeed we have been killing more trophy bucks, at least those who are willing to hunt hard for them or that have a honeyhole. As for numbers though, as I said before, they are seriously down in the Norther Tier. The days of deer camp are over for many people and the business that they generated for the local economy. Since AR, we have killed our biggest bucks at camp, and I am talking bucks like those you see on TV hunting shows. Real trophies! These last few years it is getting harder every year to even see a deer track. Things have gone too far IMO. We needed the end of concurrent seasons and that is what we got this year. I can hunt as hard as I want to to get a buck. I am OK with that. always have been. It is the tradition of deer camp though that has been killed for many. Try to keep a kid interested in going to hunting camp when you hunt hard for two whole days and do not see hardly a track let alone a single deer. We need higher numbers than what Alt's program brought us. I never thought that seeing 40 does and fawns in a day was good for the resource, but there could be a better compromise. The timber companies wanted the deer exterminated and Alt delivered. He is a very smart man and can accomplish anything. What are the objectives of those that pay him? That is the deciding factor. He delivered for my family the biggest bucks of our lives, but at a very high cost to others. We can strike a better balance for all variety of hunters.
  4. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Greg, I agree with some of your points, but IMO it wasn't JUST the deer number that hurt the camp towns.. I know in our case we used to have 10-15 guys every year.. They started hunting around their homes because the buck were bigger. This trend started BEFORE Alt. We we killing spikes and fork horns, they were staying home, saving $100 and killing 8 and 10 pts. Now our group is down to 3-5 people.. To see deer in the mountains you need people to move them around. Less hunters, less sightings, there is just too much land. There are good numbers near us, but seeing them is a work out.

    I don't know much about the CWD issue, but you would think the best way to combat it would be to reduce the herd ? I think that would give those NOT infected a greater chance to avoid contact with those that ARE infected. Fewer Deer = Bigger Isolation Zones. You may actually be hurting the effort and prolonging the infection by NOT shooting more deer.. Just a thought.. From what I have observed near our camp, Deer numbers can rebound pretty quickly.
  5. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    True...if there is a CWD problem, the best way to save the deer is to kill off the majority. Higher density will spread more disease. That is a fact.

    I know what you mean about fewer hunters means that the deer are hard to move around. What bothers me is that there can be a day or two old snowfall and you can search your tail off and nary see a track. If the logic of your fewer hunters held water completely, then numbers would skyrocket in a few short years. This is not happening despite next to no hunting pressure. The numbers went too low and now the wolfoteys and bears are keeping them down.
  6. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    Greg.....if the habitat is not there nothing in the world will make the deer come back. The old growth forests of the northern tier counties are simply NOT good deer habitat. I have friends and clients who hunt in the areas you're talking about and the only place they find deer is around clear cuts and farms. In those areas there are plenty of deer.

    And EA is spot on about the trend toward the death of the traditional hunting camp. Today's schedules (work and school) are simply too busy to allow for a "week at camp". Couple that with "While you were at camp we had two giant bucks in the backyard" from the wives and you can see why no one travels to camp anymore.

    FWIW.....we stopped going to our camp in 1977---simply because we were leaving the best deer hunting in the state to go chase "Bambi's youngest child" in Elk Co.
  7. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Paul, the habitat was horrendous during the highest deer density years. I remember it well. You could walk all over and never have your clothing touch a single twig of understory. But yet, there were groups of 30 bald headed deer running around everywhere. I grew to hate that. It was aggravating to see that many deer in a day and never see a decent buck. It was obvious to any sensible person that things were not right. I still think AR was the greatest thing to happen to PA. The herd reduction that resulted was not called for. The area I speak of has been logged all over in the last decade and is prime habitat, and yet the deer are disturbingly sparse. It was far from a perfect plan as far as the hunter was concerned. I blame the concurrent season idea that went on too long. At first it may have been needed but should have been scaled back way sooner. We were passing on small bucks before AR ever started, so we all were on the AR bandwagon and still are. We all hunt archery at home and go to camp for rifle opener and come back home to finish the season where the big numbers are and chase the big bucks. It will not prevent us from hunting at camp. We know there are a few big bucks there if we are willing to go the distance and the weather cooperates. The deer that remain up there will congregate around the private farms and food sources. That makes it seem like there are many deer, but there are also huge areas that are devoid. You definately have to do your homework if you put all your chips on hunting the Northern Tier.
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Hudson, dammit, "sentence" has an "E" and not an "A" in it. QDMA NEVER subscribes to that "shoot a doe first". You'd damned well better hope these 3 guys hammer that idea in their report. That's a STATE issue you're talking about.

    I guess deer have different habits. We seldom see button bucks back in doe family groups (we don't have yarding here either). Once buck fawns are kicked out, they tend to form small bachelor groups here. We often see them with spikes and fork horns in the winter.

    As far as the CWD, mass eradication isn't the answer. We now know that the prions live in the soil and can take up to 7 years to manifest itself as fatal in herds. That means that if you killed ALL the deer in your state, you'd have to kill every new one that showed up as well. Sounded almost as comical as what I heard in Vietnam: "In order to save the village, we had to destroy it." Sounds just as dumb today as it did then.

    Good posts Mike - Paul.
  9. franchi612

    franchi612 New Member

    CWD prions stay active in the soill for decades. So you can eliminate all the deer, but unless you keep them all out until the soil is 100% clean, it will always be there. A researcher for the UW found that as much as 4% of deer are genetically resistant. But the DNR quickly discredited the study and keep perpetuating the myth there is no resistance. If there were no resistance, areas like CO where it has been for decades would have no cervids left-they would have all been dead by now from disease. Conversely there is evidence that some deer are genetically more predisposed to the disease. Man interfering by killing as many deer as possible, eliminates genetic resistance. In addition earn a buck favors killing lots of young antlerless deer and fawns which are not infected, and protecting mature bucks which have as high as 30% infection rate. However the real issue is that the DNR refuses to accept any of the new work that is being done in treating soil, and feed to treat the disease, but rather sticks with their killem all management plan that has been widely discredited by many researchers and wildlife agencies. And some landowners are still so bitter over the DNRs refusal to listen to landowners they still do not allow hunting on their property. So the DNR just continues to fail on many levels. This is why we hunters wanted a bigger voice. Many hunters and landowners are better game managers than the DNR, and we are just plain sick of having regs forced down our throat. I like killing bigger bucks, who doesn't. But the area of the stae I am in never had a problem with mature bucks. I shot the biggest buck of my life 20 years ago. I aged deer for years at reg stations, and I saw the caliber of bucks that were coming in even 15 years ago before the whole qdm craze and forced EAB.
  10. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    You said a mouthful George. That is why the buttons get whacked first. They are often running around together with other buttons by the time rifle season starts. There is a reason why they say that a buttonbuck is the dumbest deer in the woods. It is because he isn't getting the benefit of his momma's experience any longer. So you have a bunch of dumb buttons running around the woods together during the opening day of a concurrent rifle season. What do YOU think is gonna happen to them when every hunter out there has an antlerless tag? You said it. That is why we have some reservations about Alt's plan. I did say I supported him and I agree with much of his science. His ouster was caused by his inflexibility. He wanted all or nothing and was not interested in the wishes of the whole hunting public. He simply wouldn't alter his game plan. What really pisses me off however, is that the very people who bitched and filed lawsuits and all that, were the same people that would buy as many tags as they could and kill the only doe they could find in an area. Many of the loudest detractors were talking out of both sides of their mouths.
  11. gohuntn

    gohuntn Member

    The guy that was talking about ten thousand tags left over in his area is in the city. (pittsburgh area) It's restricted to archery and shotgun and very few places to hunt.
    They have zillions of tags left over every year, so they make the quota higher to cover it.

    No the 10,427 left-over doe tags that I am referring to are nowhere near Pittsburgh or any other city. It is zone 5C, mostly in Berks and Lehigh counties which has lots of farmland and woodlots. And it is not bow or shotgun restricted. We have 7 full weeks of RIFLE doe hunting. Last year it was 9 weeks. If you don`t believe me check the regs.
  12. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    gohuntn, I can understand your frustration we want to see deer. Take a look at the stats posted on the Commission Website, specifically the 2011/2012 Antlerless allocation download. It took almost 5 doe tags to get 1 doe in your area. That can mean different things, like no deer or maybe hunters that won't venture too far from their trucks. That fact has been proven recently. They still got 24,000 doe which is 5000 more doe than any other unit. AND the buck harvest in that unit is the highest it has been since 2003 AND almost 2000 buck higher than last year.

    6 sportmans groups helped develop their plan.

    Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmans Clubs
    Unified Sportsman of Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania Deer Association
    United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania
    Quality Deer Management Association
    National Wild Turkey Federation

    Thats 6 more than in the past.

    If you are in a lot of farm country, don't think they don't have a say in it too.There are a few property's that are posted "No Doe Hunting" around here. That is always an option to a landowner.
  13. I think that AR was one of the best ideas that came out of Alt era but I don't agree with the mgt units. Majority of Beaver Co is grouped in with Allegheny Co and we don't have the deer that the private property, city park areas of the city have. Drive thru North Park and see 100 deer and none of them can be touched. I think they should go back to county specific mgt units to better manage the antlerless licences. As many other stated I also believe that there shouldn't be concurrent seasons during rifle season. As for the Northern camp counties there are less deer but no doubt about it they are a healthier herd because there is better browse. Big timber is beautiful but sure doesn't do much to sustain a deer herd. I think that managed clearcutting could also help that cause. Good luck Wisconsin, keep an open mind and give it a chance. We in PA didn't give it a chance to mature to see how it would have have worked out. It wasn't perfect but with some changes it could have come close.
  14. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    If PA has it so figured out why do they come to WI because they have a hard time shooting a buck over a hundred inches in their own state. We have no problem with quality right now. The years of pounding down truck loads of buck fawns from EAB will be felt in the future. It will be years before are deer numbers are back where they should be. 2011 will go down as the best year ever for quality of super large bucks harvested in the state of WI.
  15. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Must be the soil.
  16. timwilly

    timwilly I lost my agenda !!!

    Well since Paul C called me out I just have to respond. You obviously are/were a friend of alts. Many sportsmen were not.
    He had a set agenda, He would not compromise, as honorable as that may be, it was his downfall.

    I have been in this business for 27 years, I have seen my share of trophy bucks taken in PA. The only difference I see in my
    business is that fathers aren't so prone to get their sons first buck mounted anymore. I'm sure due to the economy.
    As far as big bucks go, I always catered to the upper end clientele, hunters that had large tracks of farmland and the
    big buck were there anyway. I take in about 30 whitetail a year, I mounted 20" 10 points 20 years ago, it's nothing new.

    The mass cull that Gary went for in PA did nothing for our deer herd but decimate it. His reply was "well we had too many deer per square mile to start with" .
    ....and whats wrong with that. He definitely cost the state revenue due to his antics here in PA and he might not be in charge
    in Wisconsin, but you and George should both know that any governmented agency is not going to fix or turn around anything.
    The agenda just isn't there. In theory is sounds great, so does cold water fusion.

    For the record: My son and I took 2 doe and 2 buck this year on public land. I shot the largest buck I had ever harvested.
    We scouted hard and put in the time and it paid off.

    For anyone to think that the deer numbers, hunters, and revenue aren't down in PA since Alts term is just in denial.
    Your not talking to someone who is clueless. I have seen the effects of his plan, and it did not work.

    Theres are 3 counties that have endless opportunities to hunt in PA, 5C is one of them, they offer a zillion tags, and no one hunts those areas. You have to ask yourself why.
    I will check the regs and the harvest report and even bump onto another local website and ask some questions about these 3 counties.

    This thread has shown that there are two sides that will never agree. The biologists working for the money and the sportsman working to put some meat in the freezer.
    I personally do not have the answers, I wouldn't know where to start. I have a feeling Alt knew where to start, he just didn't know were to stop.
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Your next to last paragraph says it all about your knowledge of whitetails.
  18. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Tim, I must disagree with your statement -no one hunts 5c or 2b..
    107,157 people bought doe tags in 5c. They took 24,000 doe last year. Someone is hunting out there. Their 9400 bucks was second in the state to unit 2d (11,500)
    2b sold almost 58,000 tags and 18,000 doe killed.. People are hunting these areas.
  19. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    I think reporting rates are low in those areas. After a guy puts a couple on the ground he tends to neglect reporting the rest. 2B and 5C residents don't need deer statues in their yard. The real thing is standing there. I should know. Those units are a different world than 2F and 2G. Cannot be compared.
  20. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    the one meeting i went to and listened to Dr. Alt, his reasoning for the extended doe seasons including the early muzzleloader and youth seasons was to let the button bucks go.

    we, as hunters are to take our time, check and double check, then shoot a doe. this, over a period of time if done correctly would increase the buck to doe ratio.

    but here in PA with most hunters, subscribe to the mantra..."if its brown....its down" that doesnt help anything.

    for the most part hunters in PA are looking for venison not antlers. i have always took the first legal buck i saw, this year i decided to pass and wait for a big one. i saw 2 bucks during rifle season, one in Erie county and one in crawford county both 4 pointers.

    i saw more in bow season, including 3 "shooters" that disappeared during gun season. why?

    because as they get older they get smarter, we have to adapt. at 52 years of age i can still "get off the road" it just takes me longer to drag them back to the truck :)

    i can find deer, just not any monster buck at least not yet, but that will come.