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by John Hageman 7:00am Tuesday, February 07, 2017 The ODNR, Division of Wildlife (DOW) has formed a Deer Management Stakeholder Organization that will be tasked with helping them develop Ohio’s 10-year deer management plan. The list of organizations includes many of the most interested parties that are able to provide meaningful input regarding Ohio deer management recommendations. A series of 5 quarterly meetings, taking place from May, 2017 until May, 2018 will take the place of the poorly-attended deer summits that were offered over the past 3 years. One representative will be supplied from each group, which currently includes (in alphabetical order): Buckeye Big Buck Club, Buckeye Firearms Association, League of Ohio Sportsmen, Ohio Bowhunters Association, Ohio Conservation Federation, Ohio Dept. of Agriculture, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Farmers Union, Ohio Forestry Association, Ohio Senate, Ohio Wildlife Council, Quality Deer Management Association, Social Media, The Nature Conservancy (Ohio), The Ohio State University Extension, The Outdoor Writers of Ohio, The Whitetail Deer Farmers of Ohio and Whitetails Unlimited. Dr. Doug Dessette, an applied decision research specialist from The Ohio State University’s School of Environmental and Natural Resources will moderate the sessions. DOW biologists and administrators will play a technical role in the background to provide expertise when called upon by the committee to do so. Planned topics of discussion will include timing of seasons, deer population goals with respect to their own historical perspectives, interests, but by maintaining a solid foundation of science-based management. Sportsmen can still make their opinions and preferences known about Ohio’s fish and wildlife management, including our deer population and hunting seasons by attending the annual open houses, offered at each of the DOW District offices on Saturday March 4, 2017. This article originally appreared in Ohio Outdoor News. Republished with permission
I have been selected to represent the social media component on this group, right now I don't know much more than what you can see in the release. Any questions feel free to post here or PM me.
I believe we are all interested in a healthy wildlife population.
Will the establishment of this organization / committee diminish the input / opinion's of the general hunting public ?
Will political influence of a or certain member (s) be the determining factor of new rules or regulations ?
Will this committee have influence over our public lands ? (release or sale of)
What will be the recourse for the hunting or fishing public if our best interests are not truly represented ?
Perhaps the ODNR, DOW, would better understand this if some of their meeting were held on more dates than the March 4, 2017 and at more locations within each district.
Brent, I'll give a few opinions...8^)
Hope they don't blow it up after they finally got a lot right since they cut back the doe permits... That was the biggest issue, overkilling does causing the overall population decline, heck at one point a single hunter could legally kill up to 18 deer in the state of Ohio... Now the max is 6 (top right, page 7 of 2016-2017 Hunting Regs, "Statewide bag limit is six deer")... I personally believe 6 is still too many, how much venison a family need in the freezer... Doe permit reduction was the smartest correction they've made in a while, but even killing 4 deer in one county is just wrong...
Am fine with the season dates, although firearms in January stresses deer with muzzleloaders at a critical time of year... Personally liked it a few years ago when muzzleloader was just after Christmas...
Extending bowseason earlier in September to give bowhunters a chance at a velvet buck would be nice...
Get rid of the kill permits, but we all know the farm bureau ain't gonna allow that happen... Heck most those organitaions I'm at odds with and won't even go into the xgun issue...8^)
That's my two cents...8^) Thanks for listening...
Zbone if you remember the Muzzleloaders season was originally in January, the first weekend, till about 15-18 years ago or so. That was when they took it to between Christmas and New Years. The idea then was to try to get kids/familes more involved with Muzzleloading and to give those who were in College a chance to hunt over Christmas break. Of coarse back then they didn't have the amount of high tech Inlines as they do today. Personally I would like to see the Muzzleloader season go back to Traditional Sidelocks, flint or cap, or at least make it so ALL Muzzleloaders had to use open sights (no scopes) during the ML season, but that is just me. If I want to hunt with one of my scoped guns, I have General Firearm Season. DANNY
Yeah why I liked that holiday week, kids on break, folks on vacation, etc... January firearms is tough and stressful on the deer at that coldest time of year and hard on hunters too...
Still waiting on Kevin Dill to comment how there is too many deer around this place and there needs population balance to satisfy auto insurance companies, the farm bureau, etc...8^)
I imagine the reason the state is NOW doing this gathering is drop in permit sales (likely too late)... I personally brought this population decline up here years ago, but most thought me off my rocker... Regardless of what regs they decide in the near future, hunters will be last on the list to big businesses, always have likely always will... Would be surprising if that changes, but always felt it was the priority of game regulators to conserve and manage wildlife then cater to hunters over other outside influences but has yet to happen with the past many regimes... We'll see it that changes, but doubt it...
Good to hear from you Gary, and the others. Like I've stated in my first post at this time I don't have a lot of info on this group. I was asked back in October to consider it and then received a formal invite in January. Social media is a large audience, not sure how many members you have here, but several other sites have thousands of members and one facebook group has 11,000 members. I hope to be receiving more information on what the agenda topics will be for each session, when I have that I'll pass the info on to get opinions from you folks.
Good luck Brent, please keep us informed...
It sounds like Ohio may be taking good steps toward the correct management of our deer herd. It's not about satisfying hunters only and it should never be just that. Any Ohioan who has a stake in the management of our deer should have a voice and an opportunity to use it. I'm sure the 20-30 does in my fields every night are wagging their ears in anticipation.
Deer in Ohio are not managed primarily for hunters. They are managed for Ohioans with all types of interests. The formation of this stakeholder's group proves beyond doubt that Ohio is interested in hearing from the varied groups who have different goals for our deer. There won't be universal agreement and the state already assumes that. It's part of the deal when managing wildlife for many diverse interests.
"It's not about satisfying hunters only and it should never be just that."
"I'm sure the 20-30 does in my fields every night"
Right on queue Kevin...8^) ...."Still waiting on Kevin Dill to comment how there is too many deer around this place and there needs population balance to satisfy auto insurance companies, the farm bureau, etc."
Gary...are you still putting down bait?
Wow Kev, where did that come from... I suppose you don't have any bird feeders around your house huh... I have never ever baited, only feed backyard critters year round and have never ever carried a bag of feed further that 25 yards from my house, and that is the truth...
Oh I'm sorry Gary. I thought you were perceptive enough to understand. I meant were you putting down bait to pull me into your world of negativity here. Lord knows you wouldn't grasp that however.
You seem to enjoy misquoting me and giving me the occasional poke, lol. All in fun right?
I know you'd like to start a bromance with me and I appreciate your infatuation, but you really should find someone you're compatible with. All the same...thanks for always thinking of me. 8^)
Referring back to the origin of this thread: the stakeholder group is a good idea. It gives many interest groups input into the deer management process, and it doesn't allow one interest group to dominate the input. That's a good thing in my mind. I commend the ODNR for the 10 year plan.
Guess I reeled you right in with my bait, it's all in fun bro...8^))) Hard to get the meaning with just letters...
"I commend the ODNR for the 10 year plan.".... As I suggested above, just hope they don't blow it up after finally getting on track,,, such as changing season dates, for example like earlier firearm seasons in October or early November peak rut... Personal opinion all firearms at deer should be between Thanksgiving and New Years... Guns before hose up the bowhunters, guns after stress surviving deer and hose the bowhunters late season up.... This is a bowhunting site and that is the perspective of this bowhunter, thinking of fellow bowhunters, and yes xbows...
" AND YES XBOWS "
Have I read correctly ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Tooo funny...8^))) Guess the point I was trying to make was, if gunners want to hunt outside the Thanksgiving to New Years period, they can legally hunt the entire bowseason with the pseudo gun, xbow...8^)
Sorry to get off topic Brent...
I think the plan needs to address habitat improvement on state lands and somehow twist the arm of the state or federal government to take some timber off these large properties. Some of the reason the herd is down is the age of the woods......same goes for lack of grouse, quail, pheasants, etc.
The lack of Grouse you are correct as to why their numbers are down, but I have seen some clear cutting in areas where I hunt in the last few years. Quail and Pheasant on the other hand has to do with change in farming practices back in the 70's of removing fence rows and cover to maximize the property that could be planted. After blizzard of 1978 and those changes in farming practices made it impossible for Quail and Pheasant to come back anyway near the numbers they were previously. Plus the increase in coyotes doesn't help either. DANNY
"Ohio deer season likely to remain largely unchanged in 2017"
Interesting, At least they are trying for a good balance, I think they do a decent job in Ohio, And some of the public lands i hunt, are being cut, or have been cut, making for better habitat.
Thanks for all the comments. As things are beginning to "gel" I'll try to answer a few of your comments. The Ohio Wildlife Council will still be setting season dates and regulations. We will be making recommendations to them based on our discussions at the group meetings that will begin the first week of May. I have not yet received the agenda for the first meeting. The Open Houses are still a part of the process and will continue. As for the public land comments I know we will be discussing public land, and it has been the most talked about aspect on all the forums that I'm communicating with. Some want more, some are interested in the land management, some in the wildlife management, but all in all public land has had the most comments. I don't believe that one or two will control this group, in fact with some of the people that I know are on the group I'd say it will be one man one vote. I may be wrong but I believe if we make a recommendation to the effect," Maximum of one deer harvested on public ground per year per hunter". This would be passed on to the OWC, with a comment of recommended by a vote of 16-4, or 11-9. I would think the OWC would then be more likely to support a 16-4 vote as compared to a 11-9, especially if public input may more strongly favor the 9 votes. Again a lot of this is still supposition on my part. Hopefully I'll be receiving more info in the next few weeks about the make up and the topics for our first session.
On the public hunting grounds I have hunted on over the years. if you want one deer per hunter off of public grounds that is going to be very hard to enforce. First, it is a call in system to register your harvest, that you only need to tell the county of harvest, second there are some public grounds that are close enough that a person could get a deer on one and get one off of another during gun and bow season. How are you going to prove or have them prove they got it off of private or public property. If you are going to make this recommendation you really need to come up with a way of enforcement that is realistic without added cost to the DNR or Division of Wildlife. People complain now about the cost of licenses, with what you are asking you will need a large amount of people to patrol these public areas to do checks, which means more money, money they don't have. There multiple access routes into many public areas are you going to only have one access into each area have licenses checked at a gate? This is PUBLIC property, as hunters we pay to hunt these areas, some are privately own and managed by the DNR, AEP property is an example. These areas are the ONLY land most have to hunt. You do realize with what you are asking it would cut the revenue to the DNR/Division of Wildlife. Why, because why would I as a hunter buy more than one deer tag KNOWING that I would only would be able to take one deer annually hunting Public Property. Many only end up with one deer hunting public property, but they buy 2-3 tags in HOPES of being able to get more than one. Another question to ask you, if this doesn't work, is your next request to restrict the number of hunters being able to hunt Public Property to get deer numbers up? Are you going to ask to restrict large scale deer drives on Public Property to reduce the number of deer taken? Just curious. DANNY
I was using this as an example of a recommendation, I agree it would be a nightmare to enforce.
Just a quick update, meeting went well, all the stakeholders were there. We went over and tried to establish what topics will be covered. There will be a release on the DOW website around the end of June explaining it in more detail.
Here you go....... This is a summary of the first session, pretty wordy but grab a big cup of coffee and go after it! I'll be waiting on your questions and comments! Brent
Second session in the books! I'll be posting some questions and surveys as well as a summary of this session in the near future. For now........What is your definition of "The Tradition of Hunting"? As much as possible gear your thoughts towards deer hunting.
Here we go! Just back from our last session, I'm going to put a little background into where we are at. First we have 5 fundamental objectives. While they are numbered 1-5 they are each equally important. 1. Minimize landowner dissatisfaction 2. Maximize hunter satisfaction 3. Maintain a healthy deer herd 4. Improve communication (develop relationships) 5. Preserve traditions
With these objectives in mind Thursday was our day to listen and comment on various proposals from the Division Staff on various tools that can help them manage our deer herd. Basically we were considering what would help them build a better tool box of options. Here are the options we considered, once again in no particular order.
1. Deer Management Units (DMU) Pretty much a no brainer, it will allow the biologists to group like areas (habitat and deer densities) together. These units would be divided by physical barriers like roads and rivers and will do away with the county boundaries. This idea was shot down for political reason about three years ago, looks like it will not have any opposition this time. Expected to divide the state into 20+ DMU's.
2. Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) This program would be geared towards landowners who do have problems with deer damage or at least high populations of deer. This could be an area within a DMU, the DMU may limit harvest to one deer, but this may be a property with a lot of deer on it. After consultations and visits with a deer biologist/private lands biologists, the state could issue additional tags to the landowner with some restrictions. Antlerless tags only. Tags would only be good in season, and landowner could allocate tags to whomever he wants, but must keep records on the tags.
3. Antlerless permit allocations This would go hand in hand with the DMU's. This would allow the division to issue a set number of antlerless permits for each DMU. The example we received here was Holmes County, Aerial surveys showed an extremely low deer population in eastern Holmes County, <5 deer/sq mile. western Holmes had some surveys over 25 deer/Sq mile. A few points to remember: Everyone will still have one either sex permit that can be used anywhere. There will be some areas where the antlerless allocations may be oversubscribed, meaning you won't get any extra tags. Couple questions we had, Should people within those areas have first chance at those permits? Area of concern with understanding the areas and needing two or three or even more tags if you hunt several different areas.
4. Landowner Permits Two major concerns with the current system. Number of landowner harvest vs actual landowners in the counties really doesn't match up. And there is no way of knowing just how many landowner hunters we actually have. They can take the overall percent success ratio and work that backwards, but it's still at best a calculated guess. If they want the Antlerless permits to work this would be a big help in determining numbers.
5. Separate Regulations for public land Recent surveys have not been clear on this one. One question was do you want it managed differently that public, about 65% said yes, when asked about the changes less than 50% wanted any changes. Even with that in mind there will be changes coming. Several options to consider: 1) Limit either sex days 2) reduce bag limits 3) Limited or no antlerless permits 4) Season restricions. Additionally there will be differences between public lands, 350 acre Public Hunting area versus larger areas, state forests and the Wayne national forest. And something that was pretty much agreed upon was habitat improvement plans on a lot of the areas.
6. Outfitter Licensing Yes something will be coming on this.
7. Other states strategies Earn a Buck Conditional Seasons Season specific bag limits/licenses Permit Bundles
Each of these were considered, but at best got lukewarm responses. No one seemed to excited about earn a buck, conditional seasons means if we don't kill "X" number of deer, they will extend the season. Season specific would mean you would have to buy separate licenses for each season you participate in....Bow, Gun, Muzzleloader. Permit bundles would allow you to buy all the licenses at once.
That pretty much finished up the Thursday session, or at least the formal session. We continued talking about these topics after dinner until about 8-9 o'clock. When I say "we" I mean everyone. The division staff stays with us and offers to answer any questions that we have.
Enough for now! Fire away, I'll wait and post Fridays Topics in a few days, it was on a different direction than Thursdays.
All good info. Thanks for posting. Need to check this more often
Keep the comments coming especially in regards to public land options, There has been a lot of good give and take in the last week so I'm going to hold off on the day two comments for a few more days. As soon as I post them, all day one issues are forgotten and there's too much important ideas and comments to quit just yet. Question for today.......If you could only make one change on our public land hunting what would it be?
Eliminate or reduce anterless tags
Eliminate or reduce anterless tags
no additional anterless tags. Major improvement on CRP land on public in Northeast Ohio. Southern Ohio (saltfork wilderness) seem to be ok.
Bucks only on public land.Not for me but for the million of Ohio kids who live in the cities ,who will never get a chance to deer hunt the same as I years ago.
1. Restrict the use of crossbows during the archery season to private land only. 2. In units with low dear populations ( I live in Sandusky Co. , one of the lowest populations in the state) bucks only on public land until the population increases, and MAYBE an antler point restriction in SOME of the units with low deer/buck numbers. ( Missouri has 4 point restriction in some of it's units, and boy have they been producing some great places to bowhunt. OK, now everyone go ahead and start throwing insults at me for my first suggestion, that's ok, I'm use to it, plus I worked in a prison for 20 years, so I'm pretty thick skinned LOL.
Better access to hunt able areas is the problem. In northeast Ohio there is limited public hunting lands. There is Hambden orchard and the Akron properties around Burton which I do hunt occasionally but other than that the rest are small tracts here and there and kind of hard to find. The Akron properties get hit pretty hard I drove around and saw about 20 trucks at them at noon today. The main problem is deer in the urban areas. I can watch 30 does in a parking lot in Euclid or 10 in a yard in Lyndhurst but in Geauga where I used to see 20 a night in a field I'm lucky if i see 2 in a week. At least by me the amount of deer I see in Geauga is way down in the last 5 years. Although I did see a couple tonight and went out with the bow.
Well the first round of gun season is behind us and the comments have pretty much followed the same direction. As promised I want to update you about what went on the second day of the session. We were introduced to the I and E section of the Division. Information and Education. We wanted to hear what they were involved with along the lines of recruitment, reactivation and retention. More on that in a minute. Myself and several others had talked the night before about surveys and how to get more participation in surveys. Most all the division surveys are getting less than a 20% response rate. You can look at that one of several ways, only the people who who are upset are responding, if only 20% are responding the other 80% are happy, or people just won't fill out surveys. Our suggestions were to go to the people. By that we are suggesting they man booths at various major events and shows like the deer and turkey expo, state fair, farm science review, and yes ohio farm bureau convention. My belief and many of the others is that many farm bureau members are hunters and are supportive of our goals rather than the policy board of the farm bureau. We also talked at length about the tradition of deer hunting and how it is incorporated into the three R's (recruitment,reactivation, and retention). Two things that were cussed and discussed over and over were check stations and deer camps. I don't see a change coming in the check stations as things currently exist. Right now the Division gives the licensing agent $1.00 for each license they issue. You can go to any licensing agency and check in a deer. But you are not required to bring the deer with you. They will do basically the same thing you can do at home and give you a sheet of paper with you're harvest number on it. I don't see the division offering any additional money to do this and when you have some stations that might be checking in several hundred deer in a weeks time, as the saying goes time is money and I don't think a lot of our licensing locations want to be a check station. Additionally while I haven't heard it on most sites, a lot of people prefer to be able to check in online or by phone. As far as the deer camp portion of tradition and the three R's once a gain that nasty word TIME rears its ugly head in two ways. first many people don't have the time to spend a week in camp, secondly many people because of time constraints are hunting closer to home. And as a result many deer camps are dying out. And one last topic along those lines, Leasing and Outfitters are also involved in this . Just briefly back to the I and E section, they are responsible for all the information that comes from the division whether on social media, press releases or written form. They have some ideas and programs in the works, but all in all I was not impressed with where they are at right now.......and that's all I'm going to say about that right now.
Lastly.....while we have been making progress on these topics, two days every three months isn't getting things done the way I would like to see them done. I've asked repeatedly for these sessions to be live streamed or set up as a podcast. To date none of this has happened. The sessions we had Friday should have been available for everyone to see. I still believe in the process, but am seeing some ways that improvements can be made and they aren't.