Tight Spot Quivers
NM unit 2 hunts ruined
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
JSW 14-Feb-19
HDE 14-Feb-19
yooper89 14-Feb-19
Buglmin 14-Feb-19
JSW 14-Feb-19
Bow Hunter 14-Feb-19
Trial153 14-Feb-19
BOHNTR 14-Feb-19
JohnMC 14-Feb-19
Get it done 14-Feb-19
Finey 14-Feb-19
mountainman 14-Feb-19
Finey 14-Feb-19
Buglmin 14-Feb-19
HDE 14-Feb-19
Brotsky 14-Feb-19
Scoot 14-Feb-19
Get it done 14-Feb-19
Get it done 14-Feb-19
JSW 14-Feb-19
Trial153 14-Feb-19
Thornton 14-Feb-19
swampokie 14-Feb-19
HDE 14-Feb-19
David A. 15-Feb-19
TrapperKayak 15-Feb-19
Catscratch 15-Feb-19
TrapperKayak 15-Feb-19
HDE 15-Feb-19
Catscratch 15-Feb-19
320 bull 15-Feb-19
APauls 15-Feb-19
Junior 15-Feb-19
smarba 15-Feb-19
APauls 15-Feb-19
Trial153 15-Feb-19
JSW 15-Feb-19
nmarchr 15-Feb-19
swampokie 15-Feb-19
HDE 15-Feb-19
David A. 15-Feb-19
Ron Niziolek 15-Feb-19
JusPassin 15-Feb-19
Trial153 15-Feb-19
Catscratch 15-Feb-19
JohnMC 15-Feb-19
swampokie 15-Feb-19
JSW 15-Feb-19
jjs 15-Feb-19
swampokie 15-Feb-19
butcherboy 16-Feb-19
JSW 16-Feb-19
HDE 16-Feb-19
David A. 16-Feb-19
JSW 16-Feb-19
butcherboy 16-Feb-19
butcherboy 16-Feb-19
David A. 16-Feb-19
bowonly 16-Feb-19
Barrera 19-Feb-19
BOHNTR 19-Feb-19
pav 19-Feb-19
Get it done 19-Feb-19
trophyhill 19-Feb-19
From: JSW
14-Feb-19
Before you plan to hunt New Mexico mule deer in Unit 2A or 2B you need to be aware of what our Game and Fish has done. This year they are giving a bunch of tags to the youth hunters during the rut. For example in 2B there will be 150 youth tags from November 23 to December 1. There will be 40 tags in 2A for the same time frame. That means that just about every mature buck in that unit will be killed before you get a chance to hunt in January. Having a rifle hunt for mule deer during the rut is idiotic. It would be reasonable if it were limited to 5 or 10 tags but 150 is just stupid.

In my opinion, it's a complete waste of time to plan a January hunt in either of these 2 units. The vast majority of big bucks will be wiped out. It was a fun hunt while it lasted.

From: HDE
14-Feb-19
Respectfully, I disagree. A lot of deer hunted in Jan in unit 2A and 2B are migratory from CO. I do agree that there may be too many tags offered.

Some years are better than others. I doubt all the mature bucks get killed on these hunts, a lot of dads and uncles will force youth hunters to go home empty handed unless they find a 175" or better. My comments about this on the NM forum is that keeping youth hunters interested in hunting will allow us older guys the opportunity to hunt in 10 and 15 years. The Oct youth hunt is the stupid hunt dates. We hunted pretty hard last year and saw 30 does and one little two point with no shot opportunity.

What it will allow is my 14 year old to actually have a better chance at shooting their first deer, if they draw, and may be the only chance to ever get their first deer before they grow up and move away whether it is a big fork horn, nice 3 point, or decent 4 point.

Of course, maybe there are more mature deer in unit 2 than we think - bowhunters don't kill a large amount of them in Jan...

From: yooper89
14-Feb-19
There goes those damned youth getting preferential treatment again.

From: Buglmin
14-Feb-19
Agree with HDE. A lot of unit 2b don't get hunted cause roads are closed and private property off limits to drive through to access blm or national forest. A lot of hunters that hunt 2b are road hunters. 2a, that is hugely private property and not easily accessed along the river, were a lot of the mature bucks stay hardly ever gets hunted. The big mature bucks you're talking about get hunted by the Southern Utes before they ever reach 2a and 2b. And with the Utes now owning some of the biggest ranches where the deer spend most of November and December, these get hunted very hard. And unless Arboles and Trujillo get the deep snow, these big bucks never reach New Mexico.

From: JSW
14-Feb-19
I'm all for giving the youth more opportunities. I'm absolutely against rifle hunting mule deer during the rut. 2B has been going downhill for a while. Now it's just over. If you've driven around out there during the rut, all of the big bucks are hanging out right off the roads with the big groups of does. This will be one great big road hunt and what few mature bucks that were left out there will be gone. I'm just saying, if you were planning on a good hunt in January, don't bother.

From: Bow Hunter
14-Feb-19
Support for a rifle hunt on Bowsite doesn't surprise me, my experience is that rifle hunters are more prevalent here than Bow Hunters.

From: Trial153
14-Feb-19
Have to agree with with Jim. This seems ill conceived

From: BOHNTR
14-Feb-19
I also agree with Jim on this.....why would you allow a rifle hunt during the peak of the rut and potentially remove your best bucks from the unit. For the record there are also a lot of CO bucks that migrate early just for the rut.....not solely from weather. I’m also all for youth hunts, but that should not always equate to trophy of a lifetime type hunts, either.

From: JohnMC
14-Feb-19
I am not familiar with NM units. But having a 16 year old daughter that has hunted with me since I first took her turkey hunting at age 6. It is tough in the West were there is a lot of draw to find a place for a kid to hunt and have a decent chance at a mature animal without several points. JSW no offence and I been there before too, but you come off as Not in My Backyard. As for support for rifle hunters on bowsite that is a stupid post. I'd say most of started hunting with a rifle and as a kid. I did and I have not killed a big game animal with a rifle in probably 10 years.

If I miss drawing the occasional tag or find a few less animals when I do. I am ok with that if it means a kid got to go on a good quality hunt.

From: Get it done
14-Feb-19
Most breeder bucks will be killed 150 tags is way to many . These bucks are dumb that time of year.on the January bowhunt they were still with the does but had there senses back.Like stated a lot of these bucks are from CO .did NM consult with them that they were gonna wipe out there deer?

From: Finey
14-Feb-19
I sure hope my son is one of those 150 youth tags.

From: mountainman
14-Feb-19
"It is tough in the West were there is a lot of draw to find a place for a kid to hunt and have a decent chance at a mature animal without several points"

I am all for youth opportunity, but why does it have to be "mature animal" opportunity. Most young kids are just as happy with a basket 8 as a big 8. The only way they would think different is if their mentor pushed that idea on them.

Give them good opportunities for filling tags, not killing huge animals. They would appreciate the huge animals much more once they had hunted awhile. Just my humble opinion.

From: Finey
14-Feb-19
I sure hope my son is one of those 150 youth tags.

From: Buglmin
14-Feb-19
If you were so interested in all the breeding bucks being killed, then you'd be more worried and concerned about the number and size of the bucks the Southern Ute kill. And they hunt from October through January and kill up to five per tribal member. And they are allowed to hunt off the reservation. I guarantee they kill more then 150 big mature bucks.

Let's talk about all the big breeding bucks in unit 2. I used to run bow hunters in unit 2 private land. You'd be surprised the low number of big mature bucks you see. If I was you, I'd be more concerned over the bill they are trying to pass, like sb 76 and gun siezure bill. With one of the bills, the government could stop all hunting and fishing. It's being talked about on Facebook.

From: HDE
14-Feb-19
Didn't know NM needed CO permission to manage game in NM. By that logic, the Jic Apache should be called on the carpet for killing CO's elk as well during the tribal slaughter hunts. CO has deer hunts later than NM does.

So, if a kid just needs to kill just any deer, when would that timeframe be? Early to mid Oct? Wrong - they do that now and kids don't get to kill just any deer.

A youth staying interested will allow you the opportunity in the future, it won't won't be a bunch of old guys.

Finey - I hope my daughter is one of those youth's as well. She only has 3 more years as a youth hunter and may never get a chance to shoot a decent deer since NM has the most fair draw system out there and only adults should be allowed quality hunts in the first place...

From: Brotsky
14-Feb-19
You should try living in a state that lets everyone who draws a tag rifle hunt everything during the peak of the rut. Good times.

From: Scoot
14-Feb-19
Brotsky, I do! It sure sucks!!!

From: Get it done
14-Feb-19
I have been worried about Southern Ute hunting them big bucks also the brunot agreement. That’s one of the main downfalls of 2b . So to answer your ? Who said I wasn’t interested?

From: Get it done
14-Feb-19
Colorado’s 4th season.is one week later than the late hunt in 2b.takes a over 5 points to draw give 90 tags and its for 3 units.77/78/771.

From: JSW
14-Feb-19
This has nothing to do with it being in my back yard. I would be opposed to this anywhere. I'm opposed to Nebraska having their rifle deer hunt in the middle of the rut. That is the only reason Kansas and Iowa are considered great deer hunting states and Nebraska and Minnesota are not. Idiotic management practices. I'm opposed to any management decision that is short sighted and would potentially devastate future opportunities. I've not drawn the 2B late archery hunt for 16 years so it's not likely to make a lot of difference to me.

The bucks will go where the does are during the rut regardless of the amount of snow. In late November there are a lot of big bucks being really stupid out in 2B. Too many of them will not survive this year.

Remember, this is a bowhunting site where bowhunters go for information. I'm just sending out a warning. If I were a non resident planning to apply for the January hunt, I would not bother. It was already going down hill. Now it will hit bottom very quickly. I have to say I'm a little surprised at the amount of hunters who support this plan.

From: Trial153
14-Feb-19
Late rifle, during especially in country like that, with that many tags is lunacy. There are some Units that still haven’t bounced back from when they started allowing bow tags to be used early and late in the same unit, the influx of tags during the rut put a hurting on areas. You’d think they would have learned their lesson. Apparently not.

From: Thornton
14-Feb-19
Too much emphasis on youth seasons IMO. I had to start out at the age of 14 and hunt with the grown ups with a full sized rifle. The last two early seasons have been ruined at my farm by the neighbors kid crippling or running off the bucks I was after

From: swampokie
14-Feb-19
All I can say is get the kids in this year cause 2b and 77/78/771 are GOIN DOWN IN A BLAZE OF GLORY! Good luck to your youngsters in the draw for I feel it will be a tuff ticket.

From: HDE
14-Feb-19
What's the point to having a hunt in Jan for deer in the first place? You'd think it would be better to let the post rut bucks have a chance to recoup to get through the rest of the winter.

The best years in the past Jan bowhunting were the years with big snows in CO. Deer caught and fitted with a radio collar in Eul showed up in South Fork in late May. A large part of deer in 2B in later months are migratory.

From: David A.
15-Feb-19
Mule deer are on a downward cycle almost everywhere, it makes more sense to be overly conservative with tags than overly liberal...MAGA!

From: TrapperKayak
15-Feb-19
"It was a fun hunt while it lasted." Yeah, unless you are a youth. Put yourself in their place if you are able to muster that kind of enthusiasm. It is too many tags, however, I do agree with that. Maybe 50...

From: Catscratch
15-Feb-19
I'm with Thorton on this... I see no reason kids can't wait until they are old enough to hunt with the grownups during the regular season. It doesn't seem to make good management sense to alter seasons to appease a subgroup of the population.

From: TrapperKayak
15-Feb-19
The attitude toward rifle hunting during the rut is a bit disturbing. Some people chose to hunt with more than one type of weapon. The opportunities should be there for everyone. I bow hunt, and rifle hunt, and I want to have a choice, during the whole season. There are plenty of deer out there for everyone. If all you care about is antler size, by all means, complain.

From: HDE
15-Feb-19
Catscratch, in NM there are upwards of 200,000 applications each year and with no rhyme to reason on predicting draw outcomes means you may never have a chance to hunt in NM in an entire lifetime for prime units and hunts already established. Ever.

You cannot compare yesterday to today. Things were different back then and the mindset of the general public on how they viewed hunting. Back then, who'd have thought you would be fighting for your right to hunt each legislative session. The threat didn't exist in the late 70's and early 80's to lose the opportunity to hunt the way it does now.

Like I've said, youth hunters staying interested in hunting is the only thing that will allow us to continue to do so in the next couple of decades. It will not be you, I, or anyone else on this forum. Us "grown-ups" had more opportunity to hunt than youth hunters today do.

I think what most everyone agrees on, however, is the number of tags that were allocated for this hunt. They should've allocated tags to mirror another youth deer hunt that has been around for quite some time at the same time frame and hunting local or resident deer. That would put tags for this hunt in 2B at around 85 tags max. The harvest reports in the next couple of years will be the tattle tail of this change.

From: Catscratch
15-Feb-19
Good point HDE! I have no clue what it's like where you are at. We have no shortage of tags where I live. They are cheap and easy to get. Our limiting factor for kids getting into hunting is finding ground that isn't leased already. I suspect we have very different realities when it comes to hunting and culture. I still think it's a slippery slope to manage hunters instead of wildlife.

From: 320 bull
15-Feb-19
Regardless of deer #'s and tag #'s its a great way to make more snowflakes at everyone else's expense. Makes me sick how the youth is coddled now days. In these parts the kids get to go out and shoot up the deer in Sept in the youth hunt on the hay fields and most never hunt after they are to old to participate because its to hard. Think that an easy chance to get something that should be worked for creates hunters? I think not. I think it makes snowflakes that think they are entitled to success. Take a kid hunting with you. Let them learn and experience what hunting is and when they finally grow up enough to get a chance you can bet they will work for success. It should not be a guarantee and should not be made easy. Just my opinion.

From: APauls
15-Feb-19
Any kid (or adult mind you) I've ever seen that was taught right about hunting and taught that shooting any animal is a great success is just as happy to pound a fawn as anything with antlers. There is no need to hand a first timer or newer hunter the opportunity of a lifetime.

I take a lot of new hunters out. I enjoy it. But every single one of them knows (because I tell them) that if the animal of a lifetime comes out, the opportunity is mine. They don't care. They're just there to kill a deer. They don't even know what a big buck means to a hunter. They are just happy to get out. I also don't think it is selfish in the least. When we go out there with my permission, to my spot using my gear, armed by my knowledge of the area that was built by investments of my time, my scouting and my effort I honestly would feel completely fine and great to say, "oh hold up, I'm gonna take this one." It's a conversation I always have. I know it's personal opinion but a part of me always shakes my head when I see magazine articles with a 10 year old and a 200" deer that their dad let them shoot or whatever. And then that kid hunts two more times, never hunts again, and the dad pays for it to get mounted and looks at it every day lol. It's important for kids to see their parents have success too. The street isn't just one way. When my dad took me hunting I always knew that if a huge buck walked out he'd take the gun. There wasn't even the slightest part of me that was upset about it. I was going hunting by his good graces and thankful to be there.

From: Junior
15-Feb-19
I've been on a few NM hunts. What is most disturbing we've witnessed is the late night gun shots. Coyotes in 2b must be everywhere? Same goes for some of the 16 elk units. Maybe the coyotes are thinned out now? Makes me wonder how many guys will be toting rifles with the kid down the street.

From: smarba
15-Feb-19
Well said APauls. Every time I try to say the same thing I get blasted but I stick by it. Beginners are happy with ANY animal: doe/ewe/cow/spike/fork etc. And they should be. I don't believe that setting aside "trophy" tags for youth is the way to get them interested in hunting and becoming a hunter for life.

I also agree this thread has gotten off topic. It was intended to warn BOWHUNTERS that the Jan hunt may likely be not so quality because of the timing of this new rifle hunt and number of tags issued.

From: APauls
15-Feb-19
^^^^Ya, sorry guys. If I was looking into this hunt I'd be thankful the OP gave the warning. Thanks JSW!

From: Trial153
15-Feb-19
How many of these tags are being subtracted from insane landowner and outfitter welfare allocation?

From: JSW
15-Feb-19
Many, many good points and since I started this thread, I'm going to continue to respond.

Trail, your question about welfare to landowners if valid but thankfully landowner deer tags are completely different than the ridiculous way they handle landowner elk and antelope tags. Landowner deer tags are only good on private land. You probably weren't going to get to hunt there anyways so it's a minor factor. It does make a difference but not a lot.

Nathan asked "why do we even have a January archery hunt" The simple answer is we bowhunters are greedy bastards. We want as many opportunities to hunt as possible. We also have a very low success rate on this hunt so we can get more people in the field for more days with minimal impact on the population.

The longer answer is two fold. One, we have always had a lower impact on the resource so we have always been allowed more days and better time frames. I shouldn't say always because we had to fight and fight hard to get what we have. Two, many dedicated bowhunters worked their tails off to lobby for and get the preferred seasons we have today and we are not about to give up one day of opportunity. In doing that we are fighting for more opportunity, not less.

Sadly the newer generation of bowhunter doesn't see the need to join the fight to keep what we have and one day he will look up and wonder what the hell happened to all the great opportunities we once had. If you're not fighting to protect bowhunting your helping to destroy it. Consider that my old guy rant for the day.

From: nmarchr
15-Feb-19
I agree with HDE. There are too many tags, but a lot of those bucks aren’t resident bucks. There will be plenty of deer still. Besides, a lot of the youth hunters will shoot the first buck they see. There are too many tags, but it isn’t going to ruin the bow hunt.

From: swampokie
15-Feb-19
Good attitude nm archer. How would new Mexicans feel if Colorado opened up unlimited landowner tags on the dry cimmaron bighorn herd that aren't Colorado "resident " sheep. The dry cimmaron herd spends a lot of time in Colorado too. Same way with killing non resident breeder bucks in 2b that call 77/78/771 home in Colorado. Maybe the utes will kill em all before they get into nm this year

From: HDE
15-Feb-19
Terry, I suggest you research the migration path of the deer and elk that funnel into 2B. The SUIT won't kill them all - if that were the case they would've already. A lot of these deer will hang on private throughout the winter in Arboles, Tiffany, and Allison.

In a meeting with the USFS Jic Ranger District and NM Game and Fish in my former life , we were instructed that deer migrate as far away as Creede, CO into the Carracas, Eul, and Middle Mesa areas. The northern portions of 2B are big game wintering areas for migratory deer and elk, not resident animals. The residents live there already and are not seeking reprieve from winter conditions up north.

People need to ask themselves, just how long is someone going to hunt Thanksgiving week that isn't from the area? Chances are, a lot of 2 and 3 yr old deer will be killed and not 4 and 5 yr olds. The most disappointing thing about this whole topic is the disdain full grown men, aka adults, have toward youth hunters...

From: David A.
15-Feb-19
Hunts should not damage the population sex ratio age ratio objectives. If NMGF really doesn't have said objectives that's irresponsible. Also agree kids don't care that much on their first hunts what they shoot. Makes no sense for them to be taking top tier bucks.

From: Ron Niziolek
15-Feb-19
Thanks for the heads up Jim. I've usually applied for those units and may look elsewhere.

From: JusPassin
15-Feb-19
As a kid in the 50's, it was a right of passage to be old enough/mature enough to accompany my elders deer hunting. We didn't need or ask for a special season. Now we have to make a season for everyone. Just plain stupid.

From: Trial153
15-Feb-19
Disdain for youth. That's rich.

From: Catscratch
15-Feb-19
"The most disappointing thing about this whole topic is the disdain full grown men, aka adults, have toward youth."

If you feel that disagreeing with a special youth season constitutes a disdain for youth then you are sorely mistaken. I do a lot to help youth get into the outdoors, much of it at the sacrifice of my own personal time afield (which I'll gladly give up to help a kid out). I personally feel that GIVING a child the best of everything actually can be detrimental. Having something to work for and look forward to achieving is rewarding. Success is important, but it doesn't have to happen on the first try every time.

From: JohnMC
15-Feb-19
JSW you said"Sadly the newer generation of bowhunter doesn't see the need to join the fight to keep what we have and one day he will look up and wonder what the hell happened to all the great opportunities we once had. If you're not fighting to protect bowhunting your helping to destroy it. Consider that my old guy rant for the day."

I agree with you on this except I think the point you are missing is that most of our future bowhunter start off as 12-14 year old rifle hunters. I am all for being greedy on tag allocations between bow hunters and general rifle hunters. I can't speak to NM but in CO it is very hard to find a place to take a kid deer hunting. If I did not get lucky finding a nice private ranch my daughter can hunt in a unit with almost no quality public hunting. It would have been very hard to take her on a hunt where she would have had opportunity (does not always have to be success) and want to continue hunting. I definitely want to fight to protect bowhunting but the bigger picture is hunting in general. If we don't cultivate the youth that is going to get harder to do.

JusPassin - Things are very different than the 50's or even the 80's when I started hunting. Also they are very different in the west than they were in Oklahoma where I started hunt or as I expect in Iowa.

From: swampokie
15-Feb-19
Nate, I think its a great opportunity for youth I will even put my son in. I just really feel like 150 is way too many especially with all the other tags already issued in the unit. We shall c what impact it has in future seasons but I mite not be using my points to hunt 78 anymore

From: JSW
15-Feb-19
I forgot to address one of the questions directed at me.

Trapper stated "The attitude toward rifle hunting during the rut is a bit disturbing"

Thanks for lobbing that one in there. Very few species can withstand rifle hunting during the rut while in contrast, many species that are bowhunted during the rut, do just fine. Two examples I always site. Kansas and Iowa are both considered primo deer hunting states. Nebraska and Minnesota are not. What's the difference. It's the same deer, similar habitat. Why does Kansas have 3 times as many record entries as Nebraska and Iowa have over twice as many as Minnesota? Very simple, Nebraska and Minnesota allow rifle hunting in the peak of the rut. Kansas and Iowa do not. (Notice the P&Y guy extolling the importance of the record books)

I would be opposed to allowing bowhunting mule deer in the rut in Unit 2. There just aren't enough deer to justify it. If the population was being over run, I would be all for it but still not for rifle hunting when they are that vulnerable. Rifle hunters have a much higher impact on the upper age class than bowhunters. It's not sustainable.

From: jjs
15-Feb-19
Hey, why not a special hunt for the seniors over 65. A quality hunt is getting less with each year and the bones are weaker also. Kids at 10 will have 50+ yrs of hunting, can't beat youth but age will beat one down, there are exceptions to the rule. Let the artificial joints old goggers have their time with a bow in hand and the kids can gut & drag it out for them., that does sound like a simpler solution.

From: swampokie
15-Feb-19
TAG NUMBERS ARE THE WILDCARD HERE

From: butcherboy
16-Feb-19
I was going to stay out of this one but i guess i just can't anymore. First off, I'm glad the youth hunt was finally moved to a better date than early October. I'm not happy about the number of tags. Why aren't we complaining about the youth hunt in the Rio Chama? It's a rifle hunt in the rut. Probably because there are only 5 tags available. There are youth rifle hunts across the entire state during the rut, some with a lot more tags than 2b. It has nothing to do with kids shooting "trophy" bucks. It's about providing the opportunity to see and hunt more bucks that otherwise may or may not be in the area in early October. It doesn't mean that there are "trophy" bucks around every corner but there will be more "quality" bucks out roaming around. A lot of those kids will still shoot the first buck they see and some will hold out for something bigger because that's what their dad wants them to do. I don't see anything wrong with having a few special youth seasons. a lot of these kids can't compete with the number of adults out there slinging lead at 500, 600, 700 yards and further. To say that they need to wait until they are older to hunt with the adults is a little crazy itself. I do think the number of tags during that hunt is crazy.

Here's another idea. why not decrease the number of adult tags and add some youth tags during the same time as the adult hunts? We all know that the number of adult tags in 2b is insane. The deer numbers are down no doubt about that. The kids still hunt the same time as the adults but are only competing for those youth tags with other kids during the draw. Then, have a special hunt for a small handful of kids that draw it just like the Rio Chama.

Here's another thought on rut hunts but with elk. Ever hunt or been out in the woods when the NM muzzleloader is going on? Talk about one heck of a rut hunt! Even the first rifle hunt can have some great action. We as bowhunters don't really hunt the deep rut for elk. We hunt the pre-rut and the very beginning of the rut and then the bow hunt closes.

I think it's great to get the kids out hunting and provide some good opportunities for them to keep them excited about hunting in the future. However, some limits need to be put in place. I haven't drawn a 2b tag in 18 years! this will be my 19th if I don't draw again. Imagine a youth hunter that has been putting in since he/she was 10 years old and hasn't drawn in 19 years. I keep putting in because I will draw it someday and I remember the good ol' days when i bought an OTC tag every year and picked which season I wanted to hunt.

One more thought. Why not allow the youth to have an either sex tag for deer? Or, have a special hunt for does only? There was a special hunt for does one time in unit 2 for youth only. My two brothers and I went on it once and killed three does and we were all excited and happy to do it.

From: JSW
16-Feb-19
Unit 2 used to be a pretty good trophy hunt and even though the success was very low, most hunters who really got after it at least saw a big buck during the hunt. I posted this because a lot of bowsiters regularly apply for this hunt. I was sending out a warning that you might not want to blow a couple weeks vacation on this hunt. To be honest, I haven't even looked at the number of tags in other units. The 2 units have historically been about the only trophy units left in the state with the exception of some big ranches. These units have been going down hill and it will only get worse.

From: HDE
16-Feb-19
Jim, as you say, unit 2 has been going downhill for quite some time. There is obviously a different management practice employed, higher predation and drought conditions are probably the two highest factors. A mature mountain lion will take down far more mature deer than 150 youth tags ever could.

Trial153 - disdain, yes. Lots of grown ups here sure seem pissed about a kids advanced opportunity and not them. It could've been 20 tags and the same would bitch and moan about it. Your snarky responses are always the same. Just like a broken record or Charlie Brown's school teacher, I don't know which...

From: David A.
16-Feb-19
"Hey, why not a special hunt for the seniors over 65. A quality hunt is getting less with each year and the bones are weaker also. Kids at 10 will have 50+ yrs of hunting, can't beat youth but age will beat one down, there are exceptions to the rule. Let the artificial joints old goggers have their time with a bow in hand and the kids can gut & drag it out for them., that does sound like a simpler solution." Good idea but I suggest raising the age to 70 or even 75. Just my .02.

From: JSW
16-Feb-19
I'm going to try to make a point without getting snarky and pissing people off. Here goes.

I think this will be bad for kids. The vast majority of people will just make this a road hunt. They'll drive around until they see a buck they want to shoot, step out of the truck and shoot it. Many will either ignore the 30' off the road rule or they don't even know about it. Why is this bad for kids? It's too easy. They will likely be able to fill a tag on the first day with out much effort. Then next year when they draw a lessor tag and actually have to get out and hunt, they'll be pissed off that they didn't get a big buck on the first day.

I think what many of the snarkers are saying is that we shouldn't make it too easy for kids. It's not a good way to get them hooked. The reward is directly related to the amount of effort put forth. Driving out and shooting a big buck on the first day and then getting them back home to play fortnight before the day's over is not what we want to accomplish. If they don't have to work for it, it won't mean much in the end.

I didn't kill a deer until my 3rd year of hunting and I didn't get discouraged, I just got better. If a kid is a hunter he/she will stick it out. I'm afraid that too many of these youth trophy hunts are more about what the dad wants than what the kid wants.

From: butcherboy
16-Feb-19
Jim, I completely understand where you are coming from and I agree about most of the hunters driving around road hunting. I think it will definitely be easier for them to kill a buck in the rut. I’m still fine with them having a hunt for the youth during those dates but they need to drop the tag numbers way down. Maybe something like 20 tags for 2b and 2c combined. I think that the road hunting issue will fall entirely upon their dad and what they teach their child about right, wrong, and the gray area. The only reason I like them moving the hunt from early October is just so the kids get a chance to see more bucks. I see so many youth hunters come in to the shop discouraged about the amount of bucks they saw compared to does. Yes, they killed a buck but barely legal and on the last day or close to it. I’ve known many of their dads for years and they hunt hard and still only find these little bucks. I know there are big resident deer there in October but they can be pretty nocturnal.

Maybe the best option is to give 50 youth tags during each rifle hunt right along with the adults. Have a special doe hunt or allow the youth hunters an either sex tag.

From: butcherboy
16-Feb-19
By the way, what the heck is fortnight?

From: David A.
16-Feb-19
I think it is a Google thing?

From: bowonly
16-Feb-19
I recall a guy I worked with some years ago talking about taking some kids hunting. He and his hunting partner were proud of mentoring a couple of local kids by driving them around on the roads rifle hunting for mule deer. He explained how each of the young hunters had gotten a couple of little bucks apiece. Now, mule deer populations were kind of down and I knew there were no areas where residents could shoot two deer, much less two bucks. I called him on it and was totally floored by his nonchalant explanation. He said they let the kids use the two adult's licenses to tag their second deer! Not only was he openly admitting to state wildlife violations, but he encouraged those novice hunters to violate the law as well. He never batted an eye when he said "well you gotta get the kids into it by starting them out right and keep'um huntin' ". An extreme example maybe, but think about all of what those kids learned on that hunt and the impressions they came away with. There is obviously a wide variety of opinions on starting out young hunters. But as for me, I believe those kids in the story probably came away believing hunting is something way different than me and a lot of other hunters (see above). The second worst thing they learned, right after disrespect for wildlife laws, was the expectation of it being easy and a sense of entitlement. And now I wonder, did those kids keep hunting after the rude awaking it really is and should be hard? Did those guys recruit young hunters or set them up for disappointment later?

From: Barrera
19-Feb-19
2b ruined cause of youth hunt lol. Thats pretty ridiculous. Let's see 2018 adults harvested a total of 662 bucks in 2b on public land. Youth harvested 70 total bucks 46 were on the youth rifle hunt. So youth as of last yr accounted for 9.5% of bucks harvested. Let's say the new youth harvest on the rifle hunt in 2019 has a 100% harvest increase. That will still only put youth at harvesting 116 bucks and being accountable for 14.5% of the total harvested bucks in 2b for 2019. Seems like the youth hunts are not the problem in 2b. It's the grown entitled men that are harvesting 90% of the bucks and crying about the 10%. Sounds about right with our ongoing society of mental entitlement. We should invest in these young kids lives as much as possible. They are our tomorrow and the few hunters that will fight for our future rights to continue. If you believe 2b is going to be ruined, I wander if its still on your 2019 app?? Hmmm

From: BOHNTR
19-Feb-19
What’s the difference in age class of the bucks between the respective hunts? I believe that’s what he’s referring to.

From: pav
19-Feb-19
JSW - "I'm afraid that too many of these youth trophy hunts are more about what the dad wants than what the kid wants."

THIS ! ^^^^^

From: Get it done
19-Feb-19
I used to put it first choice every season . This year it won’t even be my 3rd choice.so to answer your ??? Barrera .No.But on a side note I am putting in my kid for the youth hunt and we are not looking for a forkie.

From: trophyhill
19-Feb-19
Easy fix. Make it doe only.....

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