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#3651856 - 04/21/14 09:37 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: redblood]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 973
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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I think a lot of us think more people hunt because there is less available land to hunt, therefore hunters are concentrated.

What is the harvest reporting methods for these states with a decline?

In WY you do not "check" your deer in, they randomly mail you a survey. Three of us went last fall and all killed bucks, none of us received a survey so therefore our 3 deer were never recorded. I think this is a major issue and poor management on the state agency. Its really not that hard or expensive (make the hunter pay for it) to have a mail in survey attached to your tag for states with one buck limits and those that require individual tags for bonus deer.
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#3652116 - 04/22/14 08:18 AM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: redblood]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: redblood
 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: BHC
I tend to agree with the analysis of those on here, but disagree with the hunting population. I tend to believe there are more people hunting to than ever before.. I agree a much lower percentage of ppl hunt today than in the past, but I believe there are likely more deer hunters/ land managers than there ever has been..


Actual number of hunters had been on a steady decline since the 1980s. However, the last big survey done found a small uptick. But we do not have as many hunters now as we did 20-30 years ago.



i agree. but do we have less deer hunters.


Yes, less deer hunters too (except for the last survey, which showed a slight uptick).

I think the perceived increase in deer hunters is driven, as someone earlier posted, by the loss of areas to hunt, forcing fewer deer hunters into even less land. In addition, I think the shift in emphasis towards hunting older deer has produced a perceived need for more acres per hunter. We hunters now feel "crowded" at hunter densities that would have been perfectly acceptable 20 years ago. Then throw in the growing trend towards deer hunting being seen as a competition between hunters rather than a competition with Nature.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3652473 - 04/22/14 02:23 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: BSK]
Jaahspike
4 Point


Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 282
Loc: Wilson/Crockett

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I absolutely hate that competition between hunters is going on!!! It is one thing to have a friendly competition where no feelings are hurt, but to say things that disrespect the hunter, the animal, and our great sport is just wrong.
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#3652481 - 04/22/14 02:40 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: Jaahspike]
pass-thru
10 Point


Registered: 10/10/04
Posts: 3628
Loc: va beach

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Less deer hunters, but probably a lot more that hunt obsessivley and kill high numbers of deer....as opposed to the vast quantities that used to pay $20 for a license and go once or twice.

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#3652889 - 04/22/14 09:25 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: pass-thru]
TX300mag
Pea Picker
14 Point


Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 8967
Loc: Crosby, TX

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In Texas a lot of people are getting frustrated and throwing in the towel, so I would say hunter numbers are dwindling. Factors I've noticed:

1. Lease prices
2. Lack of available land
3. Unrealistic expectations resulting in dissatisfaction

All of these (IMO) are a direct result of obsession with trophy sized antlers. People are no longer satisfied with joining an inexpensive camp, lease, or hunting public ground and killing deer. Hunting shows and trophy hunters condition many to feel like a successful hunt has to be a mature animal with large antlers.

I REALLY hope I don't see TN going down that same path.

The one exception, and I think it just might potentially be a game changer, is the locavore/natural/back to basics group that is hunting for the opportunity to harvest fresh, natural meat as a food source.
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#3652925 - 04/22/14 09:57 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: TX300mag]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
12 Point


Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 6636
Loc: Nashville

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In my opinion I believe there's a much simpler answer. First off. in regards to hunter success. Easy...they are choosier and not pulling the trigger at the first deer they see.

In regards to declining deer numbers, I believe deer and turkey hunters need to realize, we don't and will not return anytime soon to the days of deer and turkey everywhere. What I mean is their "peak" numbers.

Here is a graph of how "restored" wildlife populations respond:



As you can see, there is a peak, followed by a decline, followed by settling out on K (carrying capacity). I believe deer and turkey numbers are now coming off their peaks and are seen in decline...that's NORMAL. Almost all of Tennessee's deer and turkey data shows this exact trend. We as a wildlife agency need to educate our hunters that the days of peak populations simply aren't sustainable.
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#3652929 - 04/22/14 10:00 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: TX300mag]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
12 Point


Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 6636
Loc: Nashville

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 Originally Posted By: TX300mag
In Texas a lot of people are getting frustrated and throwing in the towel, so I would say hunter numbers are dwindling. Factors I've noticed:

1. Lease prices
2. Lack of available land
3. Unrealistic expectations resulting in dissatisfaction

All of these (IMO) are a direct result of obsession with trophy sized antlers. People are no longer satisfied with joining an inexpensive camp, lease, or hunting public ground and killing deer. Hunting shows and trophy hunters condition many to feel like a successful hunt has to be a mature animal with large antlers.

I REALLY hope I don't see TN going down that same path.

The one exception, and I think it just might potentially be a game changer, is the locavore/natural/back to basics group that is hunting for the opportunity to harvest fresh, natural meat as a food source.





That is simply one of the best comments I have read. I believe you are spot on with all that you said (especially #3).
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#3652937 - 04/22/14 10:11 PM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: TX300mag]
deerhunter10
10 Point


Registered: 08/21/12
Posts: 3540
Loc: maury county tn

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 Originally Posted By: TX300mag
In Texas a lot of people are getting frustrated and throwing in the towel, so I would say hunter numbers are dwindling. Factors I've noticed:

1. Lease prices
2. Lack of available land
3. Unrealistic expectations resulting in dissatisfaction

All of these (IMO) are a direct result of obsession with trophy sized antlers. People are no longer satisfied with joining an inexpensive camp, lease, or hunting public ground and killing deer. Hunting shows and trophy hunters condition many to feel like a successful hunt has to be a mature animal with large antlers.

I REALLY hope I don't see TN going down that same path.

The one exception, and I think it just might potentially be a game changer, is the locavore/natural/back to basics group that is hunting for the opportunity to harvest fresh, natural meat as a food source.





spot on but it is already happening in Tennessee. is it as bad as other states no but we are already heading that direction.
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#3653082 - 04/23/14 08:00 AM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: pass-thru]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: pass-thru

Less deer hunters, but probably a lot more that hunt obsessivley and kill high numbers of deer....


I do agree that we are seeing a larger number of deer hunters that are truly obsessed. They eat, breath, and sleep deer hunting 365. But I'm not sure they kill more deer. These hunters are highly selective about what they kill. Although I would say these hunters are far more successful at killing older bucks than hunters used to be, which is seen in the harvest data.

 Quote:
...as opposed to the vast quantities that used to pay $20 for a license and go once or twice.


I think we still have plenty of these type of hunters--what I call "opening weekend" hunters; those that only deer hunting opening weekend of gun season, and then again around Thanksgiving. Perhaps BGG has more recent numbers, but the last time the TWRA did a survey asking how many days deer hunters hunted per year, the average was only around 12 days. And remember, that's averaging in all of the hardcore deer hunters that are hunting 40-60+ days per year, so there has to a be a ton of hunters only hunting 4 or less days a year to get an average around 12.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3653098 - 04/23/14 08:26 AM Re: Deer population & hunter success in decline? [Re: TX300mag]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: TX300mag
In Texas a lot of people are getting frustrated and throwing in the towel, so I would say hunter numbers are dwindling. Factors I've noticed:

1. Lease prices
2. Lack of available land
3. Unrealistic expectations resulting in dissatisfaction

All of these (IMO) are a direct result of obsession with trophy sized antlers. People are no longer satisfied with joining an inexpensive camp, lease, or hunting public ground and killing deer. Hunting shows and trophy hunters condition many to feel like a successful hunt has to be a mature animal with large antlers.

I REALLY hope I don't see TN going down that same path.


I agree with deerhunter10; it is happening in TN, just not quite as bad as in TX and some of the Midwestern states.

In my opinion, your 3rd point about "unrealistic expectations" is the real killer. I'm becoming appalled at the rhetoric I see presented on TV hunting shows and even from organizations such as the QDMA. Their ever-increasing standards of what qualifies as a "worthy" deer for harvest is FAR beyond what is realistic for 95% of deer hunters. In fact, if you listen to today's hunting media, anything less than a 5 1/2+ year-old buck is a "young" buck that should be protected. I can promise you that mathematically, if that were the criteria of hunting "success," success rates among hunters would be so low as to drive 95+% of them out of the hunting world forever.

 Quote:
The one exception, and I think it just might potentially be a game changer, is the locavore/natural/back to basics group that is hunting for the opportunity to harvest fresh, natural meat as a food source.


Agreed. In fact, they may be the ones driving the sudden uptick in hunter numbers observed in the last hunting census.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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