Summit Treestands
Grade your 2017 Whitetail Season
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine 27-Dec-17
Brotsky 27-Dec-17
Pat Lefemine 27-Dec-17
spike78 27-Dec-17
ahunter55 27-Dec-17
JTV 27-Dec-17
buckhammer 27-Dec-17
Bill Obeid 27-Dec-17
spike78 27-Dec-17
Pat Lefemine 28-Dec-17
Hawkeye 28-Dec-17
TREESTANDWOLF 28-Dec-17
EmbryOklahoma 28-Dec-17
XMan 28-Dec-17
Pat Lefemine 28-Dec-17
Bake 28-Dec-17
XMan 28-Dec-17
t-roy 28-Dec-17
mtoomey 28-Dec-17
Shiras 28-Dec-17
CAS_HNTR 28-Dec-17
Heritage 28-Dec-17
WV Mountaineer 28-Dec-17
ROUGHCOUNTRY 28-Dec-17
Canuck 28-Dec-17
Pat Lefemine 29-Dec-17
EmbryOklahoma 29-Dec-17
Sage Buffalo 29-Dec-17
Pat Lefemine 29-Dec-17
PushCoArcher 29-Dec-17
Jack Harris 29-Dec-17
patdel 29-Dec-17
spike78 29-Dec-17
spike78 29-Dec-17
PushCoArcher 31-Dec-17
greenmountain 31-Dec-17
elkmo 01-Jan-18
Charlie Rehor 01-Jan-18
Scrappy 03-Jan-18
Rock 03-Jan-18
Jack Harris 03-Jan-18
bdfrd24v 04-Jan-18
elk yinzer 04-Jan-18
bdfrd24v 04-Jan-18
From: Pat Lefemine
27-Dec-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Grade your 2017 Deer Season and see how your grade matches up with everyone else.
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Grade your 2017 Deer Season and see how your grade matches up with everyone else.

Pat Lefemine's Link
Hit the link to grade your 2017 whitetail deer season. This includes both your state, and any other state you happened to hunt this year. Lots of game officials visit Bowsite so this is your chance to lend some valuable feedback both positive and negative.

This is broken down by state, and also provides a letter grade based on resident and non-resident hunter status. Very interesting results!

From: Brotsky
27-Dec-17
This should be interesting Pat. You're going to get a lot of variance based upon certain hunter's subjective expectations as opposed to objective reality.

From: Pat Lefemine
27-Dec-17
Brotsky, agree. But it will definitely be interesting to hear everyone's opinions and to identify trends. For example, I imagine the NR grades will be far higher than the resident grades, and I am particularly interested to see how people grade their Deer Management programs.

From: spike78
27-Dec-17
Pat, I ran out of typing room quick bad mouthing my state. Need more room so I can really tell them how I feel.

From: ahunter55
27-Dec-17
I posted for N.E. Ia (my area) & sons N.W. Ill.. Not great.

From: JTV
27-Dec-17
the only good thing Indiana has done in many years is go to the One Buck Rule ... they still kill waaaay to many Does... this season will be the lowest kill numbers in about 14 years ..

From: buckhammer
27-Dec-17
Great thread. The problem is going to be is if anybody in the state game agencies is listening....or cares.

I have voiced my opinions numerous times in the past and the only feed back I got was that I am a "bar stool biologist". That would be great if I sat at a bar and drank. But I don't. I guess the 57 bucks and 23 does I have taken in the last 39 years here in Michigan makes me uninformed of the issues.

From: Bill Obeid
27-Dec-17
Great idea Pat... should be some entertaining reading

From: spike78
27-Dec-17
Buckhammer if I shot that many deer in this crappy state I don’t think I’d have an opinion to give lol.

From: Pat Lefemine
28-Dec-17
So far there is a big discrepancy between how residents grade their season vs nonresident.

Please fill out the survey. It takes literally 30 seconds and it’s not limited to registered visitors.

Thanks

From: Hawkeye
28-Dec-17
Done:)

28-Dec-17
For some reason , when I load the page it says " error" contact website admin. Anyone else?

28-Dec-17
Pat... Night/Day discrepancies beteeen resident/NR hunters. Funny stuff.

From: XMan
28-Dec-17
yeah same here treestandwolf, I get an error on any device I use, PC, smartphone, or ipad.

From: Pat Lefemine
28-Dec-17
PM me the error please.

From: Bake
28-Dec-17
There was one I really enjoyed. . . someone upset because they couldn't hunt for a week and expect a booner. . . well. . . . duh

From: XMan
28-Dec-17
it is now working properly

From: t-roy
28-Dec-17
What about the guys who grade on a curve?

From: mtoomey
28-Dec-17
I think at least one more category is needed, "private land owner stewardship." While I ranked my own state high in the existing categories, I would absolutely fail North Dakota private landowners when it comes to management of land. There are a few bright spots, but fewer and fewer. Mike

From: Shiras
28-Dec-17
mtoomey, would agree 100% if Pat does this next year that would be interesting to add. If I ever want a good cry I can just do the historical view on Google Earth to remind of what the bulldozer has done on my spots. ha!

From: CAS_HNTR
28-Dec-17
I think the discrepancy is what can be expected.......most people are going to states with "better" hunting.....their perspective is that the hunting is likely better than their home state.

For residents comparing he good old days......it may be tough to find many that say it has improved in the traditional "good" states.

From: Heritage
28-Dec-17
A couple thoughts from reading the reviews. "The good old days" are always better in our memories than they actually were, and the grass is always greener on the other side.

28-Dec-17
It’s a question about your state’s deer hunting and management. Not a question about what a private landowner does on his own property.

Private property rights are private. Not meant to be open for public approval.

From: ROUGHCOUNTRY
28-Dec-17
Very surprising, North Dakota has the only "A" grade so far.........Iowa has a very good grade and comments......Kansas not so much right now......hmmm

From: Canuck
28-Dec-17
Hey Pat, Harold Hergott AKA Canuck here from Ontario Canada. For some reason every time I try to activate the link and give my feedback it comes up with an error message to contact administrator.

From: Pat Lefemine
29-Dec-17
Getting a good sampling now. If you haven’t participated yet please take a moment to do so. It’s very simple and you don’t need to be registered.

One interesting note is there’s a lot of guys that rate quantity and quality as A’s then give the deer management program an F. Seems that if you are that happy with the two factors the program would have something to do with that.

29-Dec-17
In the three states I looked through (Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa), NR hunters gave a much more favorable grade than resident hunters. Maybe that has to do with the NR hunters are hunting private land that gets hunted lightly or that they come from a state where the hunting isn't that good.

From: Sage Buffalo
29-Dec-17
Embry-

My experience of OK is skewed because I hunt 2,400 private acres of heaven. Only family hunts it and I am one of the few friends who do. Deer every where and a true shot at seeing a Booner. Plus hogs, ducks, turkeys, etc.

So my experience with OK is different than the public land guy.

I will say residents are always more jaded about their situation. I was shocked to see the MA guys so upbeat about their state. I had some sweet land to hunt but also hunted some public land - it's not easy. Most guys count their sightings on their hands.

Love this and as a data guy would love a few more questions for next year.

From: Pat Lefemine
29-Dec-17
We’ll evaluate the questions for 2018. We kept it easy and simple to encourage participation. I’m only two days in so I’m happy with the results so far.

From: PushCoArcher
29-Dec-17
Even among residents the results vary widely in the state I checked out (Oklahoma).

From: Jack Harris
29-Dec-17
NJ gets D+ for quality of bucks simply because there is no care or concern. If they would only separate revenue from management from quality, things would improve quickly. Most bucks are shot by age 1.5 - period. Allowing 6 bucks a year is stupid and can't even begin to approach the word "quality". Unlimited antlerless is also very careless in terms of management. This is my proposal, and I have been preaching it for years.

Here is my NJF&G "king for a day" proposal (copied from an older post), and it's heavily geared toward separating REVENUE from MANAGEMENT, because the current system sucks at both and is perpetually confusing, convoluted, and overly beaurocratic at best.

The very concept of "permit bow" is stupid.... Just charge more for a bow license, what percentage of bow hunters are NOT doing permit bow? Has to be miniscule. Here is my final proposal: 1) You have to buy a hunting license to hunt "anything" in NJ... NON-REZ needs to be much higher. The license itself, is not weapon specific, it covers all weapons (but based on season, you need to have proof of hunter safety for gun or bow). If they still want to offer "all around" at a discount - fine, but it does not include ability shoot any deer unless permit process is followed as below:

2) DEER PERMIT EITHER SEX (up to two flexible tags to be used at hunters discretion.) If you want two - you have to buy them both "together". Price is TBD - perhaps $40 each for rez, $120 for non-rez? These permits are not zone-specific but each zone will have its own bag limits.

3) DEER PERMIT ANTLERLESS. Much lower in price - lets say $5 rez, $25 non-rez. These are not zone specific, but each DMZ will set it's own limits. If you want to shoot multiple antlerless in one day, and not burn your 'either sex' tag, you must have pre-purchased 2 or more antlerless tags. Based on DMZ limits, you would pre-purchase accordingly as to your plans and needs.

4) Bow season starts late September / Early October based on how the weekend hits, and ends last Sunday in January. (some prefer early September for chance to get velvet buck - I am ok with that as well)

5) Bag limits are set as per DMZ based on sound "management" principals. With the permit system is place - all confusion is gone, and it's very easy to figure out and bag limits span ALL SEASONS. Since there is a maximum of two "either sex" allowed, bag limits really will just need to govern "antlerless" quotas per DMZ. There should never be the worlds "unlimited" ever written into any bag limit language again.

6) Shotgun season stays as is for the "traditional" week. As stated, antlerless bag limits will be set as per DMZ. Some may allow antlerless to be taken concurrent to 6-day, some DMZs may not. Some DMZs may allow an additional 2 days of shotgun the following Friday/Saturday after 6-day ends and that is ALL for shotgun. Put the guns away after this.

7) Muzzeloader season opens Monday after Thanksgiving, as it has traditionally and runs the usual 2 days. Some DMZs may allow up to an additional 7 days of muzzy, ending 12/31. (nothing in January).

This system has something for everyone, and it greatly simplifies the process and if properly priced could maintain current revenue stream, and would not impede the hunter that "needs" to put 12 deer in their freezer every season but would limit that rare breed that needs to kill 6 bucks... And hey - if it were even remotely possible or enforceable, button bucks would require an "either sex" tag and not an antlerless, but I doubt that would pass because it would probably result in too many untagged buttons or left to rot in woods for all those "mistakes" made by those that for whatever reason, either refuse to look and study before they shoot or have no clue how to tell the difference...

I firmly believe this system is the perfect compromise of quality/quantity if properly executed and managed.

The biggest farce in current limits on antlerless that went from "unlimited" down to 9, or 5, is that it resets with the next season or permit season. That easily allows someone to still shoot well over 30 antlerless. My proposal just limits your individual quota per zone and covers all seasons. The F&G Database could be easily designed to track each hunters quotas per DMZ.

IN SUMMARY - antlerless quotas are PER SEASON and completely removed from permit to permit to permit. Seasons are indeed devised for revenue, but quotas span all seasons combined. 2 Flexible buck tags (defined as either sex, like Ohio) - that's all you get - use them as you wish. (including youth - start demonstrating some restraint while they are young, and what youngster would not be ecstatic with 2 bucks in one year anyway?)

From: patdel
29-Dec-17
I posted for Iowa. I think some of the comments about a poor rut and top end bucks not showing up may be related to a very late harvest this year. At least in the northeast.

There was still an ocean of corn in during the rut. In my experience, when that happens I see a lot less rut activity in the timber. But who knows for sure. Some guys figured it out, cuz there were some giants shot with bows and friend found a 215 inch (gross) typical dead during 2nd shotgun. So they are here.

Also some guy named Jack Mehoff gave a Wisconsin report. You might wanna toss that one Lefemine. ??

From: spike78
29-Dec-17
Sage Buffalo, in regards to MA residents here is the scoop. Western end is big woods with a small deer population and eastern end is more suburban hunting with a good population. In the west end we suffer from mature forests and bad habitat. The state wants very few deer but that has resulted in a very healthy deer herd with some real nice bucks in fact MA I believe leads the northeast in older age class trophy bucks. I’ve hunted quite a few north east states along with VA and it was far easier for me to shoot a deer elsewhere then in MA. The guys that are upbeat are the eastern MA guys. I saw a total of 2 deer on stand. It is tough to get excited by that! I would easily rate almost any other state better as a NR. It cracks me up to read that guys are unhappy with their state even with 20 deer per square mile. Come here to 8-12 dpsm and you will love your state!

From: spike78
29-Dec-17
I forgot to add the one big positive we have after reading other states opinions. Our season is great. Bow from mid October till end of November during rut. Then shotgun the muzzleloader until the end of year. I couldn’t imagine being in a state where gun is during the rut. When shotgun starts all the deer hide.

From: PushCoArcher
31-Dec-17
Might wanna check out Louisiana and Arkansas I noticed multiple reports by the same person.

31-Dec-17
I saw deer in rifle season and muzzle loader season. I didn't6 have luck in bow season but I had a lot of time in the woods and enjoyed the other folks I met after our respective hunts.

From: elkmo
01-Jan-18
""A couple thoughts from reading the reviews. "The good old days" are always better in our memories than they actually were, and the grass is always greener on the other side.""

Not so...my wall, trail cam pics and unfilled tags are proof!

01-Jan-18
-16 right now in Illinois -30 wind chill so I skipped the am hunt:) Deer seem pretty skidish for some reason:)

03-Jan-18
Pat, Don't know if anyone else experienced this, but when I was writing my MO review it stopped letting me type anything after a couple sentences.

Maybe you were sending me a message? ;)

Charlie, in this extreme cold I usually only see deer in the evenings. At least for me they appear to bed before first light when the temps drop a little more.

From: Scrappy
03-Jan-18
It's still game on here in Iowa so I can't give a grade yet.

Gonna be 3 below Friday morning for my next hunt. Creeks froze so I get to ice skate up it to get to the back door of the bedding area.

From: Rock
03-Jan-18
The 2017 WT season for me was F-, first time since I started hunting WT (50 years) I did not hunt them and it was a huge let down for me. Do not plan on letting that happen again.

From: Jack Harris
03-Jan-18
"Creeks froze so I get to ice skate up it to get to the back door of the bedding area. "

Can we please get a pic of you with bow in hand, on ice skates heading up the creek (without a paddle). ???

From: bdfrd24v
04-Jan-18
PA archery Typical record was certified today. Not sure why all the bashing on PA with the "grades" Like Pat said earlier, PA has come a LONG way.

From: elk yinzer
04-Jan-18
There are some absolutely hilarious comments for PA. Seems the one weekend a year hunter crowd that expects to see a deer behind every tree within pissing distance of their camp found the feature. Must be linked from somewhere.

From: bdfrd24v
04-Jan-18
I had a friend show it to me on Facebook as a sponsored post.

PA has come a long way. I see someone posted the new record buck in another thread. I'm thrilled with where PA is going. We won't ever be Iowa but still we are on our way up!

  • Sitka Gear