Deer Management in PA

gizz

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
1,395
Reaction score
0
Oops! Guess this is supposed to be for California only. Still would like some input from some unbiased outsiders if you don't mind.
Here in PA the Game Commission is trying to pass a 13 day doe season rather than the usual 3 day doe season. They claim that by slaughtering the "herd" more food will be available for the remaining deer and we'll have a healthier herd. There's alot more to it and I'm kinda on the fence about the whole thing. They claim if we don't do something soon we'll have severe, unreversable problems with deer starvation and forest vegetation.
My question is this, Why don't these "problems" occur in places like, say, Saskatchewan, CANADA? I realize that the forests are much more vast there than here but given time shouldn't they also be experiencing these so called deer/vegetation problems. I've been there once on a hunting trip and saw almost an equal amount of doe vs. buck. Here in PA almost all does with "some" bucks. I attribute this mainly to the PA mentality of shoot anything that has an antler at least 3" stickin out of the head. Comments??

(Edited by gizz at 8:59 pm on Mar. 13, 2001)
 

ToddP

Banned
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
Messages
2,202
Reaction score
0
Gizz,

Me and you can hash this out.  There's more to the 13 day season then just reducing the number.  Right now with the 3 day season we are in a rush to shoot a deer.  We don't consider whether it's a mature doe or not, and hence we shoot the first thing that's brown and double hence end up shooting alot of button bucks.  With the 13 day anterless season we can now take our time and pick a mature doe to shoot, passing up yearlings.  This in turn will increase the number of bucks for the following year.

Todd
 

gizz

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
1,395
Reaction score
0
Oh good, someone replies
Todd, I agree with the "idea" but really don't think most of the people will wait. I really think the 13 day season compared to the normal 3 will only accomplish one thing - reduce the herd proportionally. More button bucks and more does will be killed. Unfortunatly I believe alot of PA hunters, save you and I, couldn't tell the difference between a button buck, young doe, and if that deer is all alone or with another young deer they wouldn't be able to judge the size. Antler restrictions and females only would accomplish a better buck to doe ratio than an all out slaughter. I sure hope I'm wrong about all this but I think this plan has a lot of flaws. The original plan with antler restrictions and smaller management units along with a longer doe season "in certain areas" was a much better idea. Dr Alt has stripped the smaller management units and Antler restrictions from the current plan leaving only an antlerless season over 300% longer than it currently is. As much as I hate to admit the "brown its down" philosophy in this state is still going strong and I don't think this idea of waiting will work.
Just my FREINDLY opinion. I've been taken to task in other places by stating my thoughts about this. As much as I'd like to believe in the PGC, I just don't have much faith anymore, afterall if they knew what they were doing we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

(Edited by gizz at 8:20 pm on Mar. 25, 2001)
 

ToddP

Banned
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
Messages
2,202
Reaction score
0
"If they knew what they were doing..."  I don't think they ever did.  That's why they brought Dr. Alt in.  From what I've seen/heard, he is making his decisions for seasons based on information he has gathered, not from a board room full of people who THINK they know what is going on in PA's woods.  I believe the first thing he wants to do is get the herd in check before it crashes in the south like it has in the northern tier.  Thus the need for the large harvest.  Then I'm sure antler restrictions will be put in place.  At Dr. Alt's presentation in York Co. he said he didn't want to propose antler restrictions then find out PA's hunters do not want it.  He will be sending our questioners in the next year and this will be one of the questions.  If 2/3 of the hunters want antler restrictions then it will be proposed.

He needs to make his decisions based on sound data.  There will be court battles and he can't make proposals based on what we think is going on out there.

Yes, there are areas that there are fewer deer and areas where there alot of deer, and you can never manage private land.  Sometime in the future I believe they will need to go to smaller DMUs.  

We all get taken to task over our opinions.  If everybody didn't have an opinion it would be a boring place.  I agree,  this is my FRIENDLY opinion also.

Todd
 

gizz

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
1,395
Reaction score
0
Todd - You mention the part about antler restrictions beine "wanted/not wanted" by hunters and then you say he needs to make his decision based upon facts. A survey is what someone "want's" not "needs". If antler restrictions need to be put in place to increase the buck to doe ratio - so that we don't have late bred does - then it needs to be done based upon that reason, not someone's "wants". You can't implement a plan based upon the facts and then give people what they want. Did I make any sense here?
As much as people would complain, I'd like to see a mandatory check station every other year or so to get some real numbers. People would complain but who cares? We need real numbers not estimates. I'd bet the estimated numbers are extremely wrong. This kind of info would be so valuable (age, health, kill numbers, area killed). I don't see how you can manage the deer if you don't have factual numbers.
The PGC would be overwhelmed by volunteers if they asked for them so I don't think the costs would be as great as everyone thinks. Who cares about the costs anyways? If every other year they need to charge a couple dollars extra per license to implement this then so be it.
As for the Dr's plan, I'll support it but I'll also keep a watchful eye on things. They need to progress not regress.
 

ToddP

Banned
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
Messages
2,202
Reaction score
0
Good point on the antler restiction issue but here is how I see it.   A survey would be a poll of what people want but it would be a fact that the people do or do not want the antler restrictions depending on how the poll would go.  Do we, as PA hunters, want a buck in every pot or to be able to harvest big, mature bucks??  This is what the survey would ask of the people.  Alt didn't want to propose antler restrictions this year and then find out the hunters of PA did not want antler restrictions, only to go back next year and try and get it removed.

I've hunted MD and checkstations there were a bit of a pain in the keester but I do see their role.  Not being from the area I had trouble locating them and it didn't seem like there were many of them close by.  We should just use existing butcher shops as check stations.  Have volunteers or who ever take the information from there.  I've even thought about doing this for the upcoming year.  I know the shop I go to was absolutely flooded with deer this past year.  At one point they stopped accepting deer.  That's another issue.

The PGC is also checking to make sure butcher shops can handle a large number of deer for the upcoming year.  The last thing they want it to have deer wasting away because a shop stops accepting them because they are over capacity.  

I say we see what happens with Dr. Alt and his proposals.  Deer rebound quickly, if something goes wrong they will recover.  We will never kill them all off.

Todd

~maybe we just need to start doing counts using the number of deer we take pictures of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

gizz

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
1,395
Reaction score
0
Todd - Take this over to the Hunt.net bbs under the Northeast section. Pretty good thread going on over there about this. Not much bashing yet but who knows
 

ToddP

Banned
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
Messages
2,202
Reaction score
0
I saw you were stirring up trouble over there this morning.  
 


Top Bottom