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#3654366 - Today at 04:12 PM A Contradictory Thought On Deer Hunting
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 17684
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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Sort of a Catch 22 thought here....

I've read many posts on here over the years advocating introducing people into the sport of deer hunting; young or old. Fact is, no one wants to be sitting on stand and have hunters walk in on them. With more hunters in the woods it has the potential for happening more often; particularly on public land. Fact is, hunting acreage dwindles more every year. Fact is, the more hunters involved the more marketable available hunting land becomes and the higher the lease prices are driven. Fact is the more hunters involved the fewer deer there are to go around. Fact is the decline in deer hunters will one day silence the voice of reason supporting deer hunting and hunting will fall by the wayside. Fact is, even if hunter involvement increases deer hunting as we know it will still take a nosedive because of the reasons listed above. Not trying to sound pessimistic but any thoughts....?
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#3654405 - Today at 04:43 PM Re: A Contradictory Thought On Deer Hunting [Re: Mike Belt]
cecil30-30
16 Point


Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 13993
Loc: Morgan Co

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We are living the good old days of deer hunting right now. With habitat loss and human population growth I really dont see hunting getting much better than it is now.
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#3654481 - Today at 06:15 PM Re: A Contradictory Thought On Deer Hunting [Re: Mike Belt]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 18694
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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Mike, at least in TN, we have several mitigating factors off-setting many of your otherwise legitimate concerns, especially if you want to go back 15-plus years.

The biggest single factor has been the expansion of the deer herd into areas that simply had few if any deer over 20 years ago. While much land has been lost to development, much more land that previously had no deer hunting now has good deer hunting. There's lots of exceptions, and I'd bet near your home area is one of them, perhaps the biggest one in and near Shelby County.

In the coming years, I suspect we'll see a huge increase in "urban" deer hunting, but much of this will be because it's "convenient" more than an issue of there not being more classic deer hunting opportunities within an hour or two's drive of those "urban" hunters. IMO, most of the large WMA's in TN have fewer deer hunters on them than they did during the 1980's and early 90's, and most have a better quality deer herd now as well.

There are vast areas of both West & East TN that had relatively few deer during the 80's and 90's that now have good deer densities, including my home county of Obion. And many of the West TN and East TN hunters who used to travel to Middle TN for deer hunting are simply now finding acceptable deer hunting closer to their homes.

At the same time, "today's" deer hunter is generally not as tolerant of being crowded with other hunters as they had to be back in the 80's. Not to mention, most of us are not heading afield just to see how many bucks we can kill in a season, as we're also interested in being "hunter-managers" and the overall quality of the experience. It was once much more about just shooting every buck that had antlers over 3" long.

And to those who think that "kill every buck" mentality brought in more hunters, I totally disagree. Back then, people got into hunting, and they mainly hunted things other than deer. Most were hooked on hunting before they ever went deer hunting. Today, it seems to me the people most likely to never get hooked on hunting are those whose first hunting experience is deer hunting, while those who are hooked on a variety of small game and/or waterfowl hunting are more likely to become lifetime hunters.

If anyone wants a true wilderness deer hunting experience, it may be the Cherokee National Forest has never had so few deer hunters. Fewer deer, too, than in times past, but there are much fewer hunters competing for them. I'd say right now is the good ole days of deer hunting in TN, and I don't think it will change much during the next few years.

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