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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » Hunting Legislation & Policies » FYI Deer Hunting Ohio (Page 2)

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Author Topic: FYI Deer Hunting Ohio
BuckeyeGuy
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Charles, this will be interesting to hear how this comes about. I've got family just north of Bucyrus and I'm sure I'll hear Dad talking about this one.
Posts: 467 | From: Macedonia OH | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TRAP
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We have a doe season in Missouri and I've always argued if you have to have a doe season why not hold it prior to the rut? It seems foolish to waste the energy of a rut on does that are going to be killed later.

That being said, the real question for Game and Fish Departments is, "do we really need a special and separate doe season?"

I know these seasons are put in place to provide extra opportunity and to address high deer density issues but I believe if you told a group of hunters, "here's your week and that's all you get", the results would be the same.

Trap

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Posts: 4368 | From: MO | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
buckeye_hunter
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We have never had a doe only season in Ohio. There is honestly no need for it on public land. Public land numbers are well in check for most areas with a couple exceptions.

I can see the point of having doe season early, if you are going to have it at all. We really don't need it though.

The real issue is private land in Ohio. ODNR needs to find a way to encourage land owners to allow hunting. So many people are against it that the numbers of deer are honestly rediculous is some places. For instance, I can go to work and easily see a dozen deer in the field by the school every morning. There is no hunting allowed in that area and the deer are everywhere. Vegetation is completely destroyed and there are always deer at the bird feeders.

Posts: 3196 | From: Galion, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike Gerardi
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Keep us up to date Charles. If it aint broke.........
Posts: 2305 | From: Ohio | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Boester19
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Charlie, is it also proposed that they are doing away with the "bonus" shotgun weekend if they add the doe only muzzleloader weekend? I heard something about it the other day, just curious if it's true...I would be happy about that if they ditch the shotgun weekend! [archer]

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Posts: 78 | From: Ohio | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Longbowlogan
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That's the plan if everything passes.

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Posts: 1054 | From: Ohio | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mojostick
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A few things to consider...

Antlerless only seasons accomplish more when held early. You want to reduce breeding doe numbers BEFORE the rut, not after. You also want a short rut, not a long rut. Fewer breeding females means a shorter rut. Long ruts wear out bucks and they create later dropped fawns the following spring, and when the cycle starts with lots of small fawns going into fall, it's very hard to break that cycle.

Second, archery hunters have not been carrying their weight on antlerless kill. In many states, archery hunters have high buck kill ratio's but low antlerless kill ratio's.

The alternative to more early firearms antlerless seasons are things like antlerless only archery periods, earn a buck in archery or archery hunters must take it upon themselves to kill a lot more antlerless deer.

And if some don't like the idea of early antlerless seasons, in 20 years from now with growing deer herds and falling hunter numbers, there will be no archery season anymore. They'll just be deer seasons that start on Sept.1 and end in January and you choose your weapon and wear blaze orange no matter what weapon you choose.

Frankly, the best longterm answer for most Midwest states over the next 20 years is earn a buck for bow and gun, if we can figure out a way to pay for it and where hunters don't widely cheat.

The Ohio DNR has done a great job with the deer herd. It's a first class deer hunting state. I say let the experts do their job and keep the arm chair biologist talk for deer camp campfires and bar stools. There's many, many valid reasons for nipping the problems in the bud with early antlerless seasons. Just look at what Michigan's longterm problems have been, if you think having overpopulated deer herds is a good thing in any way.

Also look at the vocal armchair biologists on some Michigan hunting sites and you'll realize you don't want statewide deer management dictated by a small, but vocal angry cadre of internet trolls who are less interested in actual deer management and more interested in their notoriety from their small following on a couple websites, which seems to give them some self worth, that they are otherwise lacking in real life.

Up until now, the Ohio DNR has done an incredible job with creating a deer season structure that's the envy of many, I'd suggest letting them keep doing so.

Posts: 2280 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
buckeye_hunter
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I would have zero issue with earn a buck. There is very much a mentality of trophy hunting only in Ohio which is keeping the deer numbers too high in some locations(mostly private land). Earn a buck wouldn't bother me in the least. As a matter of fact, I am very much in favor of it. I can think of 5 "trophy only" hunters off the top of my head. If they, and the other trophy only hunters, were forced to shoot a doe 1st, then that would help significantly. I believe that would have a far greater impact on the doe population than a doe only muzzleloader season in October. Many bowhunters let the "slick heads" walk. If they didn't let does walk, we could increase the early season bowhunting harvest by 50% or so quickly I would imagine. Nothing makes my blood boil much worse than the words "just a doe".

I also have no issue with the current deer herd structure on public land in Ohio. There are far fewer deer than there have been in the past on public ground, but I believe that is healthier for the existing deer. Most of the bowhunters I know are reporting seeing about half the deer they are used to on public land. I personally have recorded about a 60% reduction in my deer sightings over the last 2 years according to my notes. That is not due to laziness. I don't want a million deer, but I would like to keep a healthy population.

The ODNR is right that there are too many deer overall, but that isn't a public land problem. That IS a private land issue. While it is fun to see high numbers of deer, I understand that it isn't good for habitat or a really healthy deer herd. This is why I am fine with the lower numbers of deer.

The big issue with over-population is on the private land. Many land owners simply do not allow hunting. The early antlerless season won't change that or help with those deer numbers. It will further decrease the numbers on public land which isn't the issue. They definitely do need to thin out deer numbers on privately held land. This is especially true in the suburbs.

It will all play out how it does and we will see what happens. Who knows? Maybe it can somehow work in a bowhunter's favor?

God Bless,
Charlie

Posts: 3196 | From: Galion, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cory Mattson
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More damage to archery only seasons - it is interesting how ineffective gun and muzzleloader hunters are and because they cannot get the job done and because they will not be held to 'earn a buck' the answer is always to steal archery days. You see it with the new 'take a brat' hunts too - they take some kid and put him in a blind with a gun to blast something but always during bow season.

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Mojostick
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Cory,

The stats are typically the other way around. It's bowhunters, as a whole, who are often the least effective at killing antlerless deer and is why states look for other ways to kill more antlerless deer prior to the rut.

I think a large part is, the deer season is young and hunters are still hoping for a decent buck, so they pass lots of easy kills on does.

If bowhunters don't like early firearms seasons, then the way to fight it is to demand things like antler point restrictions that would make more archery hunters tag antlerless deer, instead of yearling bucks.

It's up to us to try and police ourselves. When you go to camp in early archery season, suggest to all your buddies that they kill an antlerless deer and pass on the small yearling bucks.

Only when archery hunters start carrying their weight on antlerless kill, will the drumbeat of early firearms seasons end.

I think sometimes archery hunters lose sight of the fact that we're deer managers first and can enjoy the majesty of bow season second. If we fail as deer managers, and don't kill enough antlerless deer, state DNR's will find someone else to do it for us. That's the cold reality.

Posts: 2280 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
buckeye_hunter
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How about "Earn A Buck" on private land? I still say it is those deer numbers that are the issue....
Posts: 3196 | From: Galion, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mojostick
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While I'm in favor of EAB, so far, "earn a buck" hasn't worked as well in practice. The key is finding a way to make EAB work.

In Wisconsin, the problem was hunters lying and numberous hunters using the same doe to use so many guys could say they "earned their buck".

But that's using physical check in's.

Perhaps a better idea lies with phone technology. One thought is when you kill a doe, you can call an 800 number, the antlerless tag you just used on the antlerless deer is then "invalid" for any future use (since you just used it), then your buck tag is valid at that point. Or something similar.

Of course, then you need a tag system with private land tags and public land tags, although some states already do so with antlerless deer.

Another option is that you fill an antlerless tag in 2013 in order to buy a buck tag in 2014. Meaning, you have the entire previous season to "earn" the buck tag, as opposed to having to do so the same season.

Either way, changes are always coming. If not now, then they'll be big changes in 10-20 years. If we hunters don't come up with good solutions, others will force changes we don't like, upon us.
The one thing we cannot do is refuse to budge and cross our arms and proclaim "we like things the way they were".

The reality is, deer herds are always changing, deer management knowledge is always changing, deer disease problems are always changing, hunter demographics are always changing, non-hunter demographics are always changing, reasons why we hunt is always changing, time we get to hunt is always changing, regions hunters hunt is always changing, habitat fragmentation is always changing, etc, etc.

Think of it, there was a time not too long ago (60 years) that if someone in the Midwest wanted to hunt whitetail deer, they were almost certainly a white man, they likely had to go the UP of Michigan, they took off 2 weeks to travel and hunt, they hunted with an open sight lever action/no bow, they lived thru the Great Depression/WWII and had meat shortages, they had no 4WD, no ATV, no boots worth a damn, no treestands, no bait piles and they could hunt wherever they parked their car.
Deer herds were just rebounding from the entire forest being cut down for timber and from market hunting that nearly wiped out most game species, so the rules to grow the deer herd were super simple, one buck with one antler 3" or longer. The first antler point restriction.

But todays deer hunter is far different. Today we often hunt in an area where we have a deer herd problem of too many deer. Men and women both hunt. The most serious 50% of deer hunters now bowhunt. Many of us have killed so many deer that we forget successful deer hunts ending in a kill, when friends bring them up. We often hunt close to home, hunt solo/alone and on short weekday hunts before or after work. We hunt more for recreation than food, since we typically pass some easy shots at deer (starving people never pass a big doe to look for a buck), we can be dripping with high tech gear and we have forgotten more about deer biology/management than the average deer hunter knew in 1950.

Pretty interesting of how things have changed, when you think of it.

The end result is, we hunters constantly have to stay on top of the changes and it's we, not "them", who need to always be suggesting changes we want vs reacting to changes we don't want.

Posts: 2280 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cory Mattson
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Mojo - I accept your statements as i see you are in MI and I have no reason to doubt what you say.

In NJ, NC, WV, GA, FL, MT we do carry our weight and by huge margins. Me and everybody I hunt with take at least 2 does per buck - some 5 does per buck - and one of us is just coming off a 25 doe harvest. So we walk the walk. No excuses here.

I am still amazed at how ineffective gun hunters during gun seasons. If NO does were taken during bow season I still wouldn't buy into the concept that guns should be able to hunt during archery only seasons.

good hunting <><
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Mojostick
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Cory,

While we all anecdotal stories, the stats are typically far different.

In North Carolina in the 2011-12 season, deer hunters killed roughly 138,000 deer. Bowhunters killed less than 12,000 of that 138,000. And for antlerless kill, bowhunters only killed 7600 out of the 74,000. So, bowhunters are only accounting for roughly 10% of the kill.

In West Virgina in 2012, bowhunters killed only 24,500 out of the 131,000 killed all year. While I don't have the breakdown by sex, let's assume half of those 24,000 were bucks.

In Georgia, roughly 318,000 deer were harvested. Of those, bowhunters took roughly 51,000, or 16%.

In Michigan, bowhunters fare better than most other states, but bowhunters still don't come close to killing the amount of deer as in firearms season. In 2011, 422,000 deer were killed and Michigan bowhunters killed 131,000 of those 422,000. As far as antlerless deer, 209,000 were killed in 2011 and 61,000 of those were killed in bow season, although that number jumped up by nearly 20%, due to all the former firearms only hunters taking up crossbows, which are now considered "archery kills" in Michigan.

So you can see, as far as state game agencies are concerned, when counting dead deer at the end of the season, if they need more deer killed, we bowhunters typically are falling short, despite having much longer seasons.

The end result is, when crop damage, forest habitat overbrowsing, deer/auto accidents or CWD/TB is the concern, state DNR's will turn to those with the record of killing the most antlerless deer.

As I said, it's up to us to be our own advocate. We need to stress to all bowhunters that if we want to keep firearms out of bow seasons, we need to kill more antlerless deer in bow season. Period.

A bigger problem may be, most if not nearly all bowhunters hunt with a gun also. We're duel season hunters. There are a few "bow only-only" hunters, but they are in the 1-2% minority. Most bowhunters still grab their rifle or shotgun or muzzloader, when firearms opener comes around. Even if only for a few days of firearms hunting.

So lots of bowhunters pass easy shots on a doe, to look for a buck, knowing they can kill a doe with a rifle or shotgun in the coming weeks or months.

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buckeye_hunter
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I'm going to throw out what I have said before. I checked the stats for Ohio and bowhunters are definitely getting the job done here.

Bowhunters in Ohio already kill 40% of the deer taken annually. Roughly 60,000 deer as compared to roughly 140,000 deer by various guns. Thats a total of about 210,000 deer killed yearly in Ohio. I think bowhunters are killing enough deer. We don't need an early muzzleloader season.

Posts: 3196 | From: Galion, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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