Deer Regulations in your Area.

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Deadeye, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    County treasurer gets $1 per doe tag to sell them, the Game Commission gets the rest of the $6.90 It's an archaic and somewhat complicated system, newbie's usually get some little nitpicking detail wrong on the pink two part envelope and application, whereupon the application goes in a dead letter file and they get no tag.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  2. X-farmerdan

    X-farmerdan Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia, USDA Zone 7b
    Just because you can doesn’t mean you will! Virginia has some numbers on the distribution. I’ll see if I can find them. For most hunters, one is a lucky occurance. Two bolts of luck in one year is rare!
     
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  3. buckhunter10

    buckhunter10 Well-Known Member

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    Yea I get that- I’d be interested in seeing that data.

    In Ohio during our one week gun season we kill the same number of deer in that one week, that are killed in the entire bow season. IF we had unlimited Doe tags or deer a day tag. Whoa! Our numbers would be low!
     
  4. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Member

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    Location:
    erwin,nc
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    Yeah that just became statewide this year for NC.. previously the eastern district could shoot 6 bucks total. Also did away with the unlimited bonus doe tags as well,except for urban archery. So a lot of hunters in the western part of the state would shoot their 2 bucks, then come east & shoot the rest.


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  5. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Member

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    Location:
    erwin,nc
    Hardiness Zone:
    8A
    1 thing to keep in mind- in the South there are large tracts of timber land.Southern habitat has created large populations, I think on average they are dropping, resulting in the state agency’s trying to balance hunters demands for quantity, with need for quality with the changing landscape.


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  6. buckhunter10

    buckhunter10 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve always wondered about this as well. In Ohio there are some large tracts of timber as well, some spots of state are mostly farms. Just depends on area of state. However our winters are far more harsh than say NC or SC. I wonder how much winter kill has effect on overall population from one year to the next. Resulting in the need for liberal bag limits to reduce herd numbers in a state like SC.

    I’m asking as I don’t have a clue but it is interesting to me!
     
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  7. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Member

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    Location:
    erwin,nc
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    I would say winter kill here is very slim-to none..


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  8. X-farmerdan

    X-farmerdan Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia, USDA Zone 7b
    I'm just working from the very top of my head - observations only. My perspective on the north-south issue is limited to Pennsylvania (mostly northern counties like Potter and Tioga) and upstate New York (Steuben and Allegany) north of the Mason - Dixon and Virginia in the south (multiple counties on the coastal plain and in the Piedmont).

    As I see it, the biggest difference is habitat quality. Timber harvests up north in the areas I mentioned above were rare and infrequent. Here in Virginia (again in the areas with which I am familiar) we hardly let a tree get big enough to harvest, but there it goes anyhow. The result is a lot of ideal whitetail habitat. So, it is weather, but it's effect is to create a lot of area that can support high deer densities.

    As long as we are talking about land, the other issue is the inability of the average Virginia hunter to find land to hunt. The best areas are privately held and access is almost nonexistent. I'm sure it's the same up north, but my experience is there's a lot more public land available for hunting. So, here in Virginia, a few hunters have a great opportunity to kill many deer while many other hunters have little opportunity to harvest a single deer.
     
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  9. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Member

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    Location:
    erwin,nc
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    I believe NC has more public land available than Va does, but it has gotten pressured in the last few years unless you hike in.. which seems to be the same for any public land. Still have a lot of guys killing deer there & some are nice deer for the area.


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  10. buckhunter10

    buckhunter10 Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting! I am familiar with Potter county, my grandpap was a coal miner in Cambria county - PA, interestingly enough the number of deer in those areas used to be tremendous (not sure what its like today)! Even with subpar habitat, I believe they had far to many deer for many years - huge timber, limited timber harvests, lots of public ground in PA, and still had large numbers of deer.

    I have pondered on this for many years and I just have yet to hear a really strong reason as to how/why deer numbers in some areas seem to increase, whereas other areas decrease so quickly.

    Take Michigan for example - harsh winters, very high hunting pressure, some areas of large timber, decent AG, etc. You would think that with the number of hunters and smaller tracts of land, that deer numbers would be low. Nope, just the opposite - many Michigan hunters will mention how many deer they have, but are frustrated with the quality of bucks - thats another convo for another day.

    You brought up access, that is a great point. Ohio (my home state) has a good amount of public land. I wish they had more but overall, there is good land, with many opportunities for deer. When I lived in Texas, I think about 98% of the state was privately owned, needless to say, I didnt get to hunt when I lived there!
     
  11. Zeek

    Zeek New Member

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    I went on my first out of state hunt to Coudersport Pa in the famous Potter county. It was unbelievable! Mud deer trails everywhere. And spotlighting at night was jaw dropping. That was in 1992. One deer, buck or doe. 1993 enter the antlerless permits. 94 was the last year we went. The good times were gone. There was no need driving 8 hours to see the same amount of deer at home. And that's bad coming from someone in Vermont.
     
  12. Deadeye

    Deadeye Member

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    Location:
    Central Florida with Hunting Lease in NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
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    Pa went through a complete mind change in the 1980’s and 90’s.

    When I was a kid and first started hunting there, you got a Buck Tag with your license. You had to apply for a Doe license and if you were lucky enough to get one and you shot a Buck, you couldn’t use it. You had to use the Buck Tag with your Doe License to take a Doe.

    True story: it was nothing to see herds of 20-30 deer. The Most I ever saw was during a deer drive and we hadn’t seen much all day. We drove this one last piece and I was the only one that was willing to walk all the way to the last ridge to watch the bottom. Once the deer started to filter through that bottom it looked like a John Wayne Cattle Drive.

    I’m not kidding when I say there had to be over 100 Deer that filled that bottom. I only had an open sight 30.30 with binos and although I spotted many Bucks with the binos by the time I dropped them and raised the gun they were lost in the crowd of deer.

    No one believed me until my cousin who was the driver on the bottom confirmed that it was the largest herd of deer he had ever seen.

    When the change happened Gary Alt, who had made the Bear Hunt it’s best, took over the Deer Hunt. The first thing he did was put a Tag onto each Doe License. Then he added Bonus Tags so you could take up to 3 Doe.

    We all thought it was great to be able to shoot 3 Doe, with no one really thinking what would happen. The size of the herd plummeted.

    Within a few years kids had no interest in hunting. They didn’t want to sit in the woods all day and maybe see 1-2 deer.

    Next came APRs with either a 3-Side or 4-Side depending on the management area.

    Today there are more and bigger Bucks and the overall herd has come back some. Lots of guys buy Doe Tags and never use them to save some deer.

    Is the hunt better? Depends on who you ask. Old timers miss the good ole days with lots of numbers and any buck was legal. You saw horns and shot then went to see what you got.

    Younger or newer hunters only know it like it is and they are happy.

    Owners or larger tracts of land can manage their deer to a status that makes them happy. Public Land Hunters for the most part shoot the first legal buck they see.
     
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  13. X-farmerdan

    X-farmerdan Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia, USDA Zone 7b
    Same experience with me. And this is a good case study of what happens when habitat changes. In the early 1930's my grandfather and some of his friends established a camp on state forest land in Potter County, Pennsylvania off of Route 144 close to Ole Bull State Park. The old timers would tell stories of the difficulties getting in to the place and not just the last five miles. What takes an hour today took 8 - 10 hours across deep, muddy roads in Model A's and T's. The point here is it was a very difficult place to access; hence, few hunters, many deer and prime woodland habitat filled with abundant browse.

    As a kid in the 1960's I spent many summer weeks at the camp. My time there was filled with fascination and wonder at the seeming immenseness of the place. The family would eat breakfast, hop in the car around 10 am and drive the state forest dirt roads looking for deer. It was nothing to see upwards of a hundred in those two hours -- midmorning. It got even bigger in the evening hours. There were a few hunters. Then, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, and a couple other hunting and fishing magazines that were my daily devotional reads featured the area and the race was on! As I became old enough to hunt at the age of 12 in 1965 I experienced opening mornings more like rush hour in the metro area where I now live. It sounded like a war for the first four hours of the morning. If it was brown and looked like it had antlers it was down.

    Somehow, it continued for several years. I remember, after one particularly hard winter, driving to camp in the spring, the air was filled with the smell of death. A hard winter complete with deep snow had nearly wiped the herd from the public lands of Potter County. At the same time, the understory started to disappear due to many factors too common to our conversations here. Over browsing, lack of sunlight, and disease. The taller trees provided no benefit. While there were oaks, acorns were rare because of the spring freeze - thaw patterns. With no incentive to harvest mature trees Mother Nature provided adjustments and any local economies dependent on deer hunters flopped.

    Blame some of it on the Pennsylvania Game Commission which was only interested in law enforcement and easy administration. The Pennsylvania Department of Forestry bears some responsibility, too. But, in their defense, the trees that should have been harvested probably had no takers as the land is steep and markets far away.

    Don't blame Gary Alt. He saw and understood all the problems and knew what had to be done, but the Pennsylvania stakeholders wanted it to go back to the way it was, but the way it was, well, it was a once in a lifetime event never to be seen again - fortunately, I say, because the unmanaged deer populations we so loved decimated a massive forested area. But, maybe the real blame rests at the feet of the timber barons who clear cut the area in the 1880's in search of massive profits

    I guess there's a moral to the story - if you can see it.
     
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  14. X-farmerdan

    X-farmerdan Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia, USDA Zone 7b
    I think, and it's just my opinion, it's impossible for our states public game management agencies to come close to population goals in whatever geographic units they close to differentiate. In Virginia we have a Whitetail management plan. The logic is sound, the analysis is spot on, the executions plans are solid, but even one of the VDGIF Whitetail managers confided they have never met a target. Too many uncontrollable variables. Things we know can happen and think won't do happen. In places, here in Virginia in 2014 hemorrhagic fever put a hurt on a population thinned by planned "over" harvests of does. it's going to take a while to recover that one!
     
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  15. Zeek

    Zeek New Member

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    93 antlerless permits started. By 94 it was a different place. 26 seasons latter I've seen nothing like i did that magic week.
     
  16. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    It's interesting to read about the differences in regs for different areas. One thing is glaringly certain. You can't please all the deer hunters all of the time, so the best game departments can do is please most of them most of the time. Sometimes I don't think they even do that.
     
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  17. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    SW AR
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    My cousin from NW Missouri came down and hunted my place one time. After a few days of hunting, hs said “if you guys would clear off about 2/3’s of your land and disk it clean, your deer would be a lot easier to find.” I think that is the big difference between hunting a lot of the ground in the south compared to the midwest. I have hunted SD and NE - and find it very easy to find sign - scrapes, rubs, trails, droppings, feeding areas, etc. when 2/3’s of the ground is clean during hunting season, it limits where you look.

    When my cousin was here hunting, we were on a 27,000 acre area - all of it was deer cover - some so thick you could barely walk through it. Flat ground with no trails. I find hunting mid-west deer much easier than hunting southern deer. I think that is why we can sustain 60 day rifle seasons and five month bow seasons.
     
  18. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I agree. Large unbroken tracts of timber, even if you don't own it all, is what we're up against in ETexas, and deer can go anywhere they want to and be relatively hidden.
     
  19. Deadeye

    Deadeye Member

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    Location:
    Central Florida with Hunting Lease in NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
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    There are some MAJOR differences in our experience, Yours was in a Big Woods setting and Mine was in a Smaller Woods with Farming setting.

    Potter County and those like it were, and are for the most part, large tracts of Mature Forest where the deer had eaten the available brose off. In my area of the state, Jefferson County, there were large tracts of woods yet there were also large farm fields of Corn, Alfalfa, Hay, Buckwheat, Oats, and now Soybeans. That makes a HUGE difference in how many deer a certain sized area can sustain.

    There are still large fields of Crops but the Deer Herd is no where close to what it was in the 1970's-80's. Never will be again. And no matter what some believe the Insurance Companies had as much to do with the lowering of the Deer Herd as did any scientific research did. They lobbied the Pa Congress and they are the ones that control what the Game Commission does. Way to many Deer Damage Insurance Claims being filed and the only way to reduce that was to reduce the Deer Herd.

    However Pa has also changed it's Image in the Deer Hunting World. While Ohio was well known for it's Big Bucks, Pa was not. In today's world Pa gets mentioned just as much--- which helps to bring in Dollars into the State's Coffers. When I left Pa my Hunting Licence was around $19.00. Now to come back and Hunt it's over $100.00. The more "out of stater's" that come to Pa to hunt the more money they make.

    I remember guys that came to their Camps in our area for years to hunt from states like Ohio told us they were done coming when the Change happened. They said their reason for coming was to be able to see and shoot a Buck, not to hunt for a Big Buck, they had those back home. And within a few years of the Change they all did disappear. The Local Fire Company did a Pancakes Breakfast that filled the Hall every year and eventually shut it down for lack of customers.

    Life goes on and Change happens. My Brother and those of his era did not want to see the Change that happened. He still says he wishes it would go back to the way it was. While my Uncles were still alive many of them quit hunting because of it. They never accepted the Kill all the Does and Count the Points before you shoot mentality. They were raised on Save the Doe and you Save your Buck for next year line of thinking.

    In any case it was an era that those that were lucky enough to see it will remember it and those that did not will never believe.
     
  20. Deadeye

    Deadeye Member

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    Location:
    Central Florida with Hunting Lease in NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
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    Here in Florida the terrain is completely different from what I hunted "up north". Gone are the Ridges and Valleys and the Fields and Bedding Areas and setting up stands on Travel Corridors.

    Raised in a No Baiting State, I understand why it's done here- Mainly to draw the deer out of the thick woods so you can see them.
    Food Plots are done for two main reasons, improve the Herd and also allow selective harvesting.

    If you can harvest a Buck every year in Florida you are a Hunter.
     
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