No Mercy's Link
I'll be the first to admit, I only archery hunt so I don't apply for lottery. But I look at it like this, if bowhunters don't offer solutions, G&F may come up with something I REALLY don't like.
First off- Don't mess the archery season length. I consider this point sacred. A dead deer is a dead deer, whether you kill it on Sept 1 or Dec 31. I think there is a faction of rifle hunters who think bowhunters have too long and they would love to chop us short.
1-During 1st lottery, applicant also applies for archery option. (With additional cost of archery license in app fee)
2-If applicant doesn't draw, the applicant will be issued archery license/tag and you would bowhunt any where in the state, just like you do now.
3-If you are successful in 1st lottery, you are going to receive a single tag with an archery endorsement. You can use the gun license in the unit you drew. You can archery hunt statewide. If you notch your tag with an archery hunt prior to gun season, you are done. No rifle hunt for you. You notch your tag on rifle hunt, you are done for the year. If you still haven't notched your tag after rifle season, you can still bowhunt anywhere in state just like always. If you draw your primo MD buck tag, looks like it will have to be a whopper WT bowhunting in Sept, Oct, or early Nov before you squeeze the release. That is the way it is.
Positives- It would not be that hard G&F to control licenses. If someone with a 1st lottery without an archery endorsement tries to buy an archery license in Aug, the on-line system would flag them and not issue license. (Because system would know who had 1st lottery tags already)
If you don't want to buy an archery license endorsement during lottery process, that is fine. If you haven't drawn, you can still buy one in Aug. If you don't have an archery endorsement and don't notch tag in rifle season, you can still buy an archery license to hunt late season.
Negatives- If you draw 1st lottery with archery endorsement, you will have paid for two licenses. With the cost of gas, I consider license a minor expense.
What do you think? IMHO. Bowhunters have to show some indication they are willing to compromise for the greater good. If we don't, we will be portrayed as stubborn and inflexible. (IE Bowhunters won't like any changes) Flame away. If you do, provide some alternatives vs just bashing. If we don't provide options, someone will. I am trying to stimulate thought so when you attend a meeting, you have something to offer.
I think multiple tags will be done for in 2014. With my proposal, I would also suggest the G&F establishes a two year sunset on rule change, unless reviewed/renewed by G&F with input from NDBA). This allows for adequate time to see if rule change/weather/habitat etc have made a difference in population. But doesn't leave it in effect for perpetuity.
If they want to accomplish this they will need to make filling tags harder and especially filling doe tags more difficult.
Here are my suggestions...
1. Muzzle loader weapons restriction to side-lock only. Patched round balls only. And no doe harvest. (however, I think the no doe harvest would take a law change.) shorten the season.
2. rifle season adjust tags as needed, but in general increase the buck tags and lower the doe tags. shorten the season.
3. Archery. Bucks only.
4. Maximum harvest for the season one buck and one doe. Hunters need to register kills within 12 hours.
5. Antler restrictions on bucks. need to have at least four points on one side.
6. Youth season, bucks only.
When the deer herd rebounds change these back to the current process.