Summit Treestands
IS IT TIME TO END BAITING IN CT ?
Connecticut
Contributors to this thread:
airrow 24-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 24-Jan-17
SILVERADO 24-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 24-Jan-17
SILVERADO 24-Jan-17
SILVERADO 24-Jan-17
SILVERADO 24-Jan-17
jdrdeerslayer 24-Jan-17
ROBZ7 24-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 24-Jan-17
steve 24-Jan-17
notme 24-Jan-17
BigHurt 24-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 24-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 24-Jan-17
SILVERADO 24-Jan-17
BigHurt 24-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 24-Jan-17
BigHurt 24-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 24-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 25-Jan-17
airrow 25-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 25-Jan-17
Toonces 25-Jan-17
shawn_in_MA 25-Jan-17
Richm444 25-Jan-17
>>---CTCrow---> 25-Jan-17
>>---CTCrow---> 25-Jan-17
airrow 25-Jan-17
>>---CTCrow---> 25-Jan-17
Richm444 25-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 25-Jan-17
steve 25-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 25-Jan-17
SILVERADO 25-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 25-Jan-17
NEV 25-Jan-17
BigHurt 25-Jan-17
BigHurt 25-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 25-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 25-Jan-17
Buckiller 25-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 25-Jan-17
GF 25-Jan-17
steve 26-Jan-17
steve 26-Jan-17
airrow 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-17
Wild Bill 26-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
notme 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
longbeard 26-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
Toonces 26-Jan-17
airrow 26-Jan-17
notme 26-Jan-17
Will 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
Bloodtrail 26-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-17
Richm444 26-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
bb 26-Jan-17
spike78 26-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-17
bb 26-Jan-17
soapdish 26-Jan-17
bb 26-Jan-17
soapdish 26-Jan-17
jdrdeerslayer 26-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-17
Will 26-Jan-17
airrow 26-Jan-17
bb 26-Jan-17
longbeard 26-Jan-17
bb 26-Jan-17
notme 27-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 27-Jan-17
soapdish 27-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 27-Jan-17
Richm444 27-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 27-Jan-17
tobywon 27-Jan-17
Will 27-Jan-17
airrow 27-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 27-Jan-17
notme 27-Jan-17
shawn_in_MA 27-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 27-Jan-17
notme 27-Jan-17
Toonces 27-Jan-17
bb 27-Jan-17
bb 27-Jan-17
Toonces 27-Jan-17
bb 27-Jan-17
airrow 27-Jan-17
Toonces 27-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 27-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 27-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 27-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 27-Jan-17
airrow 27-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 27-Jan-17
notme 27-Jan-17
notme 27-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 27-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 27-Jan-17
Mike in CT 27-Jan-17
notme 27-Jan-17
bb 27-Jan-17
notme 27-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 28-Jan-17
notme 28-Jan-17
notme 28-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 28-Jan-17
airrow 28-Jan-17
Mike in CT 28-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 28-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 28-Jan-17
>>---CTCrow---> 29-Jan-17
notme 29-Jan-17
>>---CTCrow---> 29-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 29-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 29-Jan-17
notme 29-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 29-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 29-Jan-17
airrow 29-Jan-17
Wild Bill 29-Jan-17
tompolaris 29-Jan-17
>>---CTCrow---> 29-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 29-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 29-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 29-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 29-Jan-17
notme 30-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 30-Jan-17
bleydon 30-Jan-17
Dr. Williams 30-Jan-17
hoytman 30-Jan-17
hoytman 30-Jan-17
shawnm 30-Jan-17
Mike in CT 30-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 30-Jan-17
notme 30-Jan-17
bigbuckbob 30-Jan-17
From: airrow
24-Jan-17
Is it time to end baiting deer in Connecticut ? Let's start by examining the reasons baiting was instituted in 2003:

1. High populations of deer in Zones 11 & 12

2. Lack of access for hunters to private property

As we wrapped up the 2016 hunting season it has become apparent to some that neither of those reasons may be applicable today. Deer populations have been decreasing over the past 10 years and when you examine the difference in deer harvested per square mile in Zones 11 & 12 as compared to the other 10 zones the increased take is negligible. Zones 11&12 makeup 24.1% of Connecticut, the other hunting zones (1-10) makeup the remaining 75.9%. Only zones 11&12 allow baiting of deer and have done so for the past 14 years. In 2016 zones 1-10 harvested approximately 7,659 deer or (2.08) deer per square mile, zones 11&12 harvested approximately 2,666 deer or (2.29) deer per square mile. If we only look at zone 12 the numbers are (2.13) deer per square mile. Lack of access is not a problem; between landowners opening up property and large blocks of private land being opened up by Aquarion and other entities hunters have the access to get to the deer. It can be argued that the increase in access has become detrimental to the health of the herd as former "reserve" areas have been drastically thinned out over the past few years.

Are there other reasons to consider ending baiting ?

1. Baiting has been linked to chronic wasting disease (CWD)

2. A 10 year downward trend in harvest numbers along with the negligible harvest per square mile increase in Zones 11 & 12 suggests that baiting has run its course and no longer facilitates sound management.

3. Hunting is about fair chase; baiting does not promote this concept.

4. Hunters who place bait on the boundaries of properties not open to hunting are increasing and in addition to the legal/ethical aspect of this practice are further depleting reserve areas.

From: bigbuckbob
24-Jan-17
airrow - I have to agree that baiting is not something I would consider to be fair chase, it's an unfair advantage in my book. It may come closer to trapping where bait is used to lure an animal to it's death then hunting (seeking out your prey by definition). Just my opinion.

I love the fact that certain hunters in this state take control of managing the deer herd by having these kinds of conversations. It's been said before on this site, we can control how many deer we take, and therefore how many deer are left.

From: SILVERADO
24-Jan-17
I'm on the fence with this discussion as I bait, however not always and depending on spot. If local high quality browse is available and the tract is large enough to manipulate my stand to utilize the natural browse as an attractant, then there is no need to bait. From my accounts deer that come to natural browse are usually. More relaxed and if the property is large enough come in on a more regular schedule. Many of you who do not hunt in zones 11 & 12 you may not understand but if you only have access to hunt a 2 acre parcel and there is nothing on the property to attract the deer what do you do? Can't move your stand... neighbors are unwilling to grant permission for additional property, and the landowner is at a loss since deer are destroying there landscape and property.Corn is an effective management tool. Baiting, with the use of cameras allows hunters to be more selective in which deer they harvest and it gives them a better idea of the overall herd health and abundance. Hunting with the use of feeders allows the hunter time to take his/her shot with at a predetermined distance.

From: bigbuckbob
24-Jan-17
Silverado - I have -0- experience on the small plot hunting you mention and I would agree that if your landowner wants the deer gone, you need to find a way to get it done and baiting becomes the tool for the job.

Each of us hunt for different reasons. I love big woods, always have and always will. I like the idea of being further away from houses and others hunters, more than I like being into lots of deer. I use the chase as means of experiencing nature, so every day in the woods is my adventure. I can't get that on a 2 acre lot or someone's backyard. And hunting elk in the vast, open spaces out west is my dream. I love walking for miles and looking over the next ridge, anticipating I'll find that big bull bedded down.

From: SILVERADO
24-Jan-17

SILVERADO's embedded Photo
SILVERADO's embedded Photo
Bbb I hear you with the larger tracts. They are much more enjoyable. Although in my neck of the woods, properties of any size are hard to come by, as property values are insane. The larger properties that I hunt watershed etc, are more peaceful although usually lack the deer sightings compared to private. With a twist, my largest buck trail cam pics were from deep on public land, they were just all nocturnal. Hopefully next season we have some cooler weather and I'm able to connect on one.

From: SILVERADO
24-Jan-17

SILVERADO's embedded Photo
SILVERADO's embedded Photo

From: SILVERADO
24-Jan-17

SILVERADO's embedded Photo
SILVERADO's embedded Photo

24-Jan-17
I agree with Silverado....baiting in zn 11 is no slam dunk.....if we were to go back I'd rather see them get rid of earn a buck . Probally never happen as they still want deer populations lower. As 99% of zn 11 is still alot higher deer population than most other areas in new England

From: ROBZ7
24-Jan-17
I think Silverado nailed it pretty much . I don't like baiting but use it where I have to . Anyone that hunts ffld county knows that to kill a mature buck over bait is no easy task and deer are very skittish around bait. I hunt Ohio, Kansas, Nebraska and deer are much more calm in their "natural" environment . Majority of properties are small and it's all bow hunting so using the "competitive" advantage "not hunting" theory then how can any hunter justify using a rifle/muzzleloader and even gun these days where you can shoot an animal 200-300 yards away across an open field where he has no idea you're there. I rather see less tags as well.

From: Dr. Williams
24-Jan-17
I'll play along and let Bob bury the Bobcat thread. Not sure why... I'd agree with both Silverado and JDR. Baiting is not a slam dunk and can quickly negatively condition deer and make them nocturnal if done incorrectly. Just as Silverado points out, the purpose of permitting it is to pull deer onto smaller parcels where they can be harvested legally and safely in areas of higher human density, like zones 11 and 12. However, Zone 12 now extends a few towns up the Connecticut River and into more rural towns like East Haddam that had the highest town take so far in 2016. These towns and some Shoreline towns still have somewhat rural areas with larger property acreage remaining. If the purpose of baiting is to pull deer onto smaller yet huntable acreages, why not put a restriction on baiting to properties of a certain size like is done with rifle usage? Say baiting is legal on properties of 15 acres or less, or 10 acres. Whatever. Or with this new gamebird stamp, maybe baiting turkeys should be legalized....

From: steve
24-Jan-17
Turkeys are to stupid to. Bait they have no clue your there and come in like clock work There wouldn't be one left

From: notme
24-Jan-17
Also agree with the baiters..also I think a lot of kids that go out with their elders will be more interested in hunting because of baiting..

From: BigHurt
24-Jan-17
2003 the deer population out of control. Hunting primarily zone 11, spots are hard to come by and certainly can be tight. Some probably be waste of time without baiting. I agree, baiting not as easy as some might think. Some just better than others. If you are not adapting to the deer, you might as well just stay on the bench. The constant whining BS about no deer is getting old.

From: bigbuckbob
24-Jan-17
Big, no whining on this site and no one is saying there's no deer. The comments I see say less deer, and the data tends to agree. I know it's a fact where I hunt since even the deep agrees.

From: Dr. Williams
24-Jan-17
Welcome Big! You must be from up north originally. Baiting turkeys would be interesting. I guess with this new game bird stamp we can take 5 total from state or private land combined. There must be tons of birds to support additional harvest like that.

From: SILVERADO
24-Jan-17
Without a doubt Less deer than 2003. There are still deer, just no where near the #'s. Can't argue with the data that supports it. The #'s don't lie.

From: BigHurt
24-Jan-17
2003 you could shoot them with your eyes closed. Couldn't go out the house without seeing the varmints somewhere along the way. Seems better to me now. Not crazy numbers like back then but more sustainable and some better quality. Depends on the spot. Predators certainly not helping and I wouldn't be opposed to no replacement tags. But to give something back like baiting is crazy whether you agree with it or not. The left is constantly taking from the outdoorsman, hunters, shooting enthusiest, gun owners, etc. This state the worst. They giving us a tool, be foolish to give it back, just need to use it wisely.

From: bigbuckbob
24-Jan-17
Big, not sure the state is taking things away from hunters. Xbows, Sunday hunting, long bow season, replacement tags, baiting, and there may be others that don't come to mind. I would welcome fewer tags for some of the areas I hunt.

From: BigHurt
24-Jan-17
They sure take enough of my money and try and take a dump on the 2nd amendment constantly. It is good they give us more freedoms to hunt how and when we want. Yes, I grew up in Western, MA.

From: Dr. Williams
24-Jan-17
Yup. I knew it. CT guys don't know how spoiled they are with deer. MA guns laws are crazy. CT was amazingly lax pre-Newtown. Now no one knows what is happening with the knee jerk legislation. But I agree. Why would CT hunters give back baiting?

From: bigbuckbob
25-Jan-17
Bighurt - when comes to our money you're 100% correct, they take way too much and provide way too little in return. If it weren't for our grandson we'd be moving to the Carolina's where the politicians don't think we all work to give them our money. Trump is already setting the tone in Washington, let's see how far it goes.

From: airrow
25-Jan-17

airrow's Link

From: bigbuckbob
25-Jan-17
airrow - very interesting article and I find it hard to argue with the logic behind it. I wonder if there are opposing articles out there to support baiting? I couldn't find any.

From: Toonces
25-Jan-17
I don't hunt in baiting zones, so I don't have a dog in the fight.

I am curious about the logic behind its justification though. Landowners of small parcels want the deer off their property. Hunters use bait to bring the deer on their property. Doesn't seem consistent. If the deer are already a nuisance on the property, why the need for bait?

From: shawn_in_MA
25-Jan-17
I would have no problem if they ended baiting and got rid of the extra buck tags. We are fortunate to have access to both small and large parcels of land. Some of the guys love shooting deer over a feeder on 2ac piece. It's just not my thing. You will find me on one of the bigger properties most of the time.

From: Richm444
25-Jan-17
I am on the border of 11 and 6 and our deer populations is still out of control. One evening I counted 18 in a field a short distance from my house.

I don't know the population data or biologist reports but I am all ears.

25-Jan-17
There is TWO reasons I bate.

1.- I hunt a lot of small parcels of land. Some as small as 2 acres. These small parcels back to other parcels I have no access to. I can not move my stand 100 yards where the deer are traveling and need them to come to me.

2.- some times, I need the deer to stand in a safe direction so I don't shoot towards homes, sheds or anything I wouldn't want to shoot. I know I'm shooting on a downward angle but you can never be to safe + I always tell land owners I will never shoot towards their home.

I forgot... cuz I can and it is legal.

25-Jan-17
There are

From: airrow
25-Jan-17
Richm444 -

Zone 6, approximately 283.47 square miles had a deer harvest (2016) of 550 deer or 1.94 deer per square mile; just under zones 1-10 average of 2.08 dpsm. Seeing 18 deer in a field would not necessarily equal an out of control deer population; deer often congregate from several square miles of area to feed in fields.

25-Jan-17
I just saw over 2 sqms worth of deer all grouped up in one little lot.

From: Richm444
25-Jan-17
I am at the very bottom of zone 6- at the corner of Brookfield, Newtown (both 11) and Bridgewater.(6)

When my wife kills more deer with her car than I do when I am hunting then the population is too high.

From: Dr. Williams
25-Jan-17
Richm444. If you are seeing 18 deer in a field, you have a lot of deer. Guaranteed to have at least 18 deer/square mile in your area, assuming that you are looking at every deer in that square mile, which is completely unlikely. To suggest that “deer often congregate from several square miles of area to feed in fields” is not accurate as there is nothing so desirable in a CT hayfield in late January to pull deer those incredible distances, and neither is somehow equating zonal density of deer harvested to live deer density on the ground. Basically, you have a lot of deer in your area.

The link to that baiting article is more for places like Texas and down south where they bait deer using huge volumes and you wait and pick out which deer you want to shoot. Baiting here in CT is used as a management tool to pull deer onto smaller acreages to safely harvest deer as Silverado, JDR, and Crow have mentioned usually using small volumes of bait.

SWK. Where are you in CT that has 6 deer/square mile?

From: steve
25-Jan-17
I still have towns that we have seen between 15 and 30 deer on a sit Wilton and Redding are not one of them they have both been hit hard imho

From: Dr. Williams
25-Jan-17
Redding deer have been pounded with bait. The smartest deer in all of CT live in Redding. A great example of how baiting can backfire and make deer come in when hunters aren't there, a half hour after sundown. They're there, just smart as hell. Right? (I hope Bob doesn't call me a liar and tell us that Redding deer are really dumb.)

From: SILVERADO
25-Jan-17
I don't even get nocturnal trail cam pics of deer in Redding. Over a feeder, a run, or acorn loaded ridge. Herd has been decimated there. The smartest of all deer still haven't learned to become invisible.

From: Dr. Williams
25-Jan-17

Dr. Williams's Link
Wow. And yet it was #3 in Zone 11 and #18 statewide for overall take in 2016? And #6 in 2016 archery take statewide? I'd say someone is killing deer there....

From: NEV
25-Jan-17

NEV's embedded Photo
NEV's embedded Photo
Baiting isn't as great as one might think. Definitely makes them more nocturnal. I have been out in Redding every weekend and the 2 holidays this month. Did get a deer on the 2nd. We put bait on 3 spots. Between 2 hunters have seen a group of 6, a group of 4 and 2 small bucks. Properties are a couple miles apart so not likely the same groups. Shoot 1 of a group over the bait and probably will not see the rest in daylight again. That's the experience I have noticed. Had this one come by me Sunday but didn't know if the non-January tags were valid in January. I had used the January either sex already.

From: BigHurt
25-Jan-17

From: BigHurt
25-Jan-17
Feeding and baiting 2 seperate things. Bait is a tool you need to use wisely. Certain times of year you can manipate them and have them on a string. You can educate them quickly also. Got to be smart, scent control paramount and switch camo late season.

From: Dr. Williams
25-Jan-17
Swk. Do you have a source for that 6 deer/square mile figure because it is complete garbage. If you look at the take from 2016 in the link I provided again, Ashford's take was 157. With the town's land area of 38.8 square miles (http://www.ct.gov/ecd/cwp/view.asp?a=1106&q=250664), that's over 4 deer/square mile harvested so far in 2016. Does that mean there are 2 deer/square mile remaining in town? I think not. Hunters could not fathom densities and efficiency like that. Not possible.

From: Dr. Williams
25-Jan-17
Those Encon officers don't know what they are talking about. Ashford had the 7th highest harvest overall in 2016. That would be impossible to accomplish with densities you are suggesting. I could venture a guess based on harvest stats but will refrain from doing so. Ah what the heck, lets go with 44 deer/square mile. Has to be high to support such a high hunter harvest.

From: Buckiller
25-Jan-17
I have hunted over bait about 2 dozen times in the last 4 years and I have never once shot a deer. It's not as easy as people think

From: Dr. Williams
25-Jan-17
Admittedly, my estimate is probably high for a rural town like that. Revising to 38 deer/square mile.

From: GF
25-Jan-17
I'm not a fan, just on principle. But I did attempt to hunt a 2-acre parcel once.. If there's a house there, you're down to 1.25 acres, unless the owner is OK with you hanging out on their deck (and some people are!).

Does NOT leave you with a lot of options, and if that parcel is strictly a travel corridor, then you have to at least get them to shift their primary trail to someplace where you can shoot safely and be as sure as possible that they won't make it off the property on a death run. I can see how that might limit you to an area about the size of a pool table....

Down here, we have a lot of water company property that's not yet open, as well as some parks (and a cemetery, for that matter) where the deer are overrunning the place... If the DEEP could get those areas opened up - and maybe the wooded right-of-way along the Merritt... Then I think we'd be getting somewhere...

From: steve
26-Jan-17
GF were is down here ,and Doc You forgot all the deer WB KILLED in Redding .

From: steve
26-Jan-17
Nev you have 3 buck tags, in Jan you have 2 Jan tags 1 buck 1 doe or 2 does but you can use your other 2 buck tags too, but come Sept you won't have any left .Steve .

From: airrow
26-Jan-17
Ethics and Baiting

Ethical concerns dominate debates among hunters. Pre-baiting an area and excluding other hunters on public land didn’t seem fair. Attracting deer onto private land where they were not accessible by other hunters seemed unethical. Hunters who claimed that bait was necessary to position deer for a “clean shot” seemed to lack patience to wait for an appropriate shot. Some bait users were tempted to exceed quantity limits, while others illegally shot over lighted baits at night. Some justified baiting by saying simply that it was legal. Many non-hunters questioned the practice as being unfair to deer. But, all of these arguments paled in comparison to the biological and ecological issues that were largely overlooked by those favoring baiting and feeding.

Disease Transmission

The repeated placement of food to a location, as occurs during baiting and feeding, distinguishes these practices from any other natural foraging by deer. These sites become progressively contaminated with feces, urine, saliva, nasal droppings, and pathogens. There are about a dozen communicable diseases of deer and we should not foster conditions favorable for the transmission of any of them.

Ecological Impacts

If 200 archers and 200 gunhunters bait, imagine the quantity of bait placed in the deer woods. This can easily be tons of artificial energy being dumped into the natural system. Add to that the quantities of food placed by recreational and supplemental feeding. This energy changes productivity, survival, distribution and behavior of deer. Carrying capacity is artificially elevated causing undesirable impacts on plants. Deer are attracted into or near residential clusters or onto private land where firearm discharge is unwelcome or access is restricted. Deer distribution becomes increasingly uneven. Highly productive herds require special hunting seasons (e.g., earn-a-buck, unlimited doe replacement tags, Sundays, extended seasons and implements used to contain herd growth. All of this greatly complicates proper harvest management of the public’s deer.

Confounding Issues

Some think that baiting and feeding are a private landowner’s right. They forget that wild deer (all wildlife) are a public trust to be managed by the States for the benefit of all citizens. To the extent that landowners post their lands against hunting, they de facto privatize any deer that might be present. Baiting and feeding (and foodplots) may exacerbate this by attracting, concentrating and holding public deer in a privatized situation. Other hunters do not have access to these deer. Hunting opportunity suffers and very often community-established deer population goals are unattainable or are ignored by the hunter. Deer distribution becomes increasingly patchy (boom or bust). Yet, we selfishly chose not to ban baiting and feeding of deer, despite disease transmission risks. Some hunters seem addicted to baiting, plus there is an industry that has grown to support baiting and feeding practices.

Important Problem Remains

There are only a few known actions that can be taken to proactively combat the establishment and spread of CWD. A bait-feed ban was a primary part of those actions. Controlling the movement of carcasses from infected areas is another necessary action in containing and eradicating CWD?

Conclusion

The repeated replacement of foods to a location distinguishes baiting and feeding from any other foraging by wild deer. A small quantity is all that is necessary to habituate deer to return to a site. Two gallons is plenty enough to attract multiple family groups of deer, especially where other bait-feed piles might be nearby. Feed-bait sites become incubators for disease transmission as they become progressively contaminated. Hunters and fisherman have a history of enforcing ethics on themselves for the sake of the resource (bag limits, catch-and-release) and their own well being (gun safety). It is time for a new ethic in hunting to emerge. Hunters and citizens should ostracize those that continue to bait and feed. I’m convinced that baiting and feeding remains a problem primarily because hunters, especially, have not gotten themselves informed. Thus, baiting and feeding remains a problem because hunters have allowed it to remain a problem.

Keith R. McCaffery

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
Doc - no it's not the deer that are stupid, it's,........never mind. I say without having factual deer numbers as the Encon officers said, for that matter even the DEEP can't provide factual herd numbers, maybe we just have some GREAT hunters in CT that can harvest whatever deer are left in the state? Maybe the low herd numbers some of the guys are throwing out are more accurate than the numbers others on this site are suggesting. The argument over deer herd density is all about opinion and assumptions, so one person's guess based upon first hand knowledge of the areas they hunt is just as good as someone else's guess based upon harvest numbers or some formula developed in a classroom.

To me baiting does not improve the success rate over time, based upon the information I've read. It's something I would never use because the chase is more important to me than the kill, and I would rather walk into the big woods and FIND the deer.

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-17
If you wanted to know about law enforcement, you wouldn't ask me, you'd ask an Encon officer. If you want to know about wildlife biology, ask a wildlife biologist. Single digit deer densities in CT is virtually impossible aside for urban centers. Steve, I didn't forget about deer WB took in Redding. They haven't been there for two years, Feb 2015 when they took 11 deer. Regardless, guys are finding deer in Redding. I know hunters didn't kill 122 invisible deer so far in 2016. If you guys aren't seeing anything, I'd suggest you guys rest your Redding spots and focus on the areas where you are seeing what 10-18 deer per sit. No lack of deer at those spots!

From: Wild Bill
26-Jan-17

Wild Bill's embedded Photo
Wild Bill's embedded Photo

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-17
At least we are talking about impossible deer density in the opposite corner of the state. Here is more proof that there are more than 6 deer/square mile in Ashford. We know that the town is 38.8 square miles. So that equals a supposed 233 deer in town (38.8 square miles x 6 deer/square mile). The number we know is 157 deer were taken by hunters in 2016. Hunting is not the only source of deer mortality, in fact, a Wisconsin study estimated that around 50% of deer mortality annually is caused by hunting and poaching, and vehicles and other factors combine for the remaining 50% (http://archive.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/study-sheds-light-on-top-causes-of-deer-mortality-b99190938z1-241992741.html). So if we double the known take in Ashford to account for those other sources of mortality, that comes to 314 deer that died in town in 2016, which exceeds the Encon population estimate by 81 deer. So how can Ashford have 6 deer/square mile if 8 deer/square mile (314 dead deer/38.8 square miles) died in 2016?

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
We know because we use estimates??? And this is how we establish facts,.... or guesses? This is science, or opinion and conjecture? But when hunters walk the woods for months, year after year, and see less deer sign and even fewer deer YOY, this is discounted as BS and whining, even though we're using previous data points (deer seen last year, deer sign YOY and deer taken) to come to our own conclusions about the herd. Interesting approach. I never knew that having a degree in biology allowed you to know exactly how many deer there are in CT. I always thought that biology was: "1.the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behavior, origin, and distribution." Don't see "Being able to count deer" in there, sorry.

Until someone can provide factual info concerning the exact number of deer in CT, all of this discussion is just food for fodder. As hunters, our concerns are around a simple premise "Are we seeing more or less deer than last season?" Is the herd increasing or decreasing in the areas we hunt?" DPSM are guesses and mean little when you come right down to it. DPHA = Deer Per Hunting Area,.......that's what matters when hunting.

BTW - cops know the law, but ask them if crime is up or down in their areas and I'll bet you they have a firm answer.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
Wild Bill - keep that stick handy, looks like the horse is still breathing :) The only baiting I believe in is baiting Doc. And just like a deer, he keeps coming back for more :)

From: notme
26-Jan-17
It might work great in Wisconsin where there are 7cars per sq mile...why is it a study from another state that sets the gold standard of studies.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
notme - it's all guesses and estimates, that's all studies are. They call it science until someone discovers contradictory information, then we have new science. Pluto is planet, no, wait, it's part of the Kuiper belt of 70,000 objects (for now). And it's the scientists (biologist) on their high horse that's getting beaten in WB's picture!!

Saying there must be lots of deer because 157 were killed in a town is the same as saying - most hunters are seeing less deer, therefore there are less deer this season than last. Same process, same guesses, not factual. At least the hunters are the ones actually in the woods trying to find deer and not using conjecture and assumptions. Less deer in my area = less deer in my area. Unless they learned how to fly and not leave tracks in the snow, then all bets are off.

Seems like we go in circle on this site at times,... and I know I'm one of the people pushing the merry-go-around :)

From: longbeard
26-Jan-17
GF there is no place down here that the deer are "over running the place"...20 yrs ago maybe, but please don't put that picture in any body's head...in my opinion IF they were going to do anything they should first cut back on the number of tags available. So much emphasis today is on hunter recruitment and the all mighty dollar. Number of tags is not a recruiting tool nor does it bring in $$ the way baiting is being used

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-17
SWK said he heard from ENCON officers about the 6 deer/square mile figure and I am disputing that because it is so obviously erroneous. I will take Notme’s suggestion into account. Ok, you are right that CT is not WI and I never said it was the “gold standard”, I just referenced a study. Anyway, let’s assume then, for argument’s sake, that in CT, 25% of deer are killed by hunters and 75% by other sources of mortality because we have a lot more vehicles than WI as you mentioned. So given the Ashford example, if 157 deer were killed by hunters, and that represents 25% of deer mortality, then that would mean that an additional 471 deer were killed by other sources of mortality (157 / 0.25 = 628, 628 – 157 = 471). So now in a town with a supposed live deer density of 6 deer/square mile, you would have had over 16 deer/square mile dead in 2016 (628 dead deer / 38.8 square miles = 16.2 dead deer/square mile). So in reality, there has to be a heck of a lot of deer in Ashford as you cannot have negative 10 live deer/square mile at the end of the season.

Bob, if you are killing 157 deer in a town, there are a lot of deer in that town. In 2015 in Minnesota, where the deer hunting tradition is alive and well and there is a lot of room for hunting to take place, an estimated 15% of the herd was harvested by hunters (https://www.minnpost.com/data/2015/11/how-many-deer-do-minnesota-hunters-harvest-each-year-and-where-do-they-find-them). Here in urban CT, the hunting tradition is not as prevalent as it is in MN and human population density is higher, and there is not a lot of room to hunt, let’s say that hunters harvest 11% of the deer herd annually. Fair? Let’s apply that figure to Ashford for 2016. If 157 deer taken by hunters represents 11% of Ashford’s deer population, that means 100% of Ashford’s deer population is 1,427 (157 / 0.11 = 1427). And if there were a 1,427 deer in Ashford before September 15, 2016, that equates to 37 deer/square mile (1427 deer / 38.8 square miles = 36.8 deer/square mile). Much more believable than 6.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
Doc, I guess that makes sense ;)

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
Doc - use your deer math on this example then. In 1975 when I started hunting at MDC Colebrook River Lake I was seeing 15-20 from my stand every time out, not counting the deer I would jump on the walk in. At the time, the DEP was estimating the herd to be around 20,000. So if I'm seeing 15-20 deer every time out, how could there be just 20k deer in the state. If I apply your math it would over a million!! It's been guesses and still is. Where I hunt, there are less today than 20 years ago,.....period!

From: Toonces
26-Jan-17
Doc,

I try to keep a pretty open mind on this, but sometimes the stuff you say is just crazy. I have hunted in several regions of Minnesota for deer, turkey and pheasants. I have lots of friends there, including suburban hunters and farmers. To try to apply any data from MN to CT is complete nonsense. The incredibly diverse habitat, game laws, traditions, etc. are not in any way comparable to CT.

I know avid deer hunters who haven't killed a deer in years in MN due restrictive tags, no doe permits, wolves, etc. In other regions deer are all over the place but those same restrictive tag rules don't allow hunters to shoot any number of them. It is literally a different world.

If you want to extrapolate numbers for CT, at least try to make an apples to apples comparison and use other small states with similar habitat, and game laws (if there are any).

From: airrow
26-Jan-17
Wow.....Doc is really digging a deep hole ! We have gone form Wisconsin to Minnesota and still have no idea how many deer are in Ashford, CT ? In the last 24 hours the numbers have changed 4 times.

Doc - " lets go with 44 deer/square mile, Revising to 38 deer/square mile, (314 dead deer/38.8 square miles) died in 2016?, If 157 deer taken by hunters represents 11% of Ashford’s deer population, that means 100% of Ashford’s deer population is 1,427 (157 / 0.11 = 1427). And if there were a 1,427 deer in Ashford before September 15, 2016, that equates to 37 deer/square mile (1427 deer / 38.8 square miles = 36.8 deer/square mile). "

Maybe we should just divide Docs` last number 1,427 by 2.44 for 585 deer in Ashford, CT or 15 dpsm......and be done.

From: notme
26-Jan-17
Never said you said it was a gold standard..i hate when studies from "let's say" another state are applied here,they have nothing to do with here..and why would you take an over all 11% and apply that to one town,wouldn't that town have been included in the 11%

From: Will
26-Jan-17
Feels to me like Dr Williams was trying to just get some points across that show higher density is more likely than what we all may believe. Definitely seems like there's a lot of animosity on this every time one of these threads come up, but whether you believe he has an agenda or not, the guy know's more on wildlife management science than any of us do.

That said, I think a fundamental flaw in this discussion is forgetting that as hunters, we base our population estimates either on old numbers "the state" gave us, or that we guesstimated some how. So, say 20 years ago in Ashford (I have hunted there relatively recently, enjoy it, and look forward to spending some time on public land there next fall) there were suggested to be say 30 / sq mi. We are framing our POV of what 30 deer per square mile looks like off that estimate. If that estimate was off, then our calibration is off. If our calibration was off, then our view of what deer density "looks like" is probably still off.

Say that 30 number was really 45 or was really 10 - we dont really know for certain... But you can see how our view of what a given population range would look like may change, right.

It totally bias's our view of the numbers.

There is no way to perfectly count every single deer in a given area. All you can do is apply modeling methods which are studied and determined to be valid by a preponderance of the evidence. Science is messy at times. It's not always X + Y = Z. It's ok for it to be messy! It's about learning and developing a greater understanding - and always evolving as the pool of evidence grows - or changes.

I do think there are fewer deer than years ago. For sure. I do think the numbers are solidly lower. At this point though, the more I read these deer pop threads, the less accurate I think any counting method is. Regardless of who did the counting.

As for baiting. It's not my thing. When I day dream about my perfect hunt, I've never seen a bait pile :). But, I can see how in some situations it makes sense. And people I know who are FAR better at deer hunting than I, many on this forum, have experienced it and feel in situations it can work well. Ill take their word for it.

It does seem, from the consistent input from all of you still hunting a lot in those SW zones that the numbers are way lower than 10 years ago... That would make me think that restricting it to very specific situations could make sense. Say areas with the highest human density that hunting is still possible...

It's a good question to ponder for sure. Gets me thinking outside my comfort zone!

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
notme - makes you wonder what kind of math was used to count ticks. I'll bet it was this scientific method - one little, two little, three little Indians, four little, five little,.............

I only use bait when I'm fishing, unless I'm using lures :)

From: Bloodtrail
26-Jan-17
WTF?? What kind of math is that?? 25% of deer killed by hunters (legally reported) and another 75% are killed due "other forms of mortality?? I'd be careful shaking your hand.....because you pulled that out of your (fill in the blank).

So if I see four deer walk by my stand and I kill one of them.......you are assuming that the other three get killed by something else???

"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination."

Look, deer numbers are down. Baiting sucks a$$. Great for trail cams.....but who the F wants to hunt over a pile of corn and sit down at the end of the day, look in the mirror and say, "Yup, I'm the man!"? C'mon.

And don't for a second think baiting is only going on in the legal zones.....it's happening all over the state. Ridiculous.

I can't make my popcorn fast enough to keep up with this entertainment. Munch munch munch.

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-17
Bloodtrail. I used the 50% number from WI and Notme said that it was greater in CT. So I used that. The scenario you present assumes 100% of deer die annually. That's not the case. I'm saying that of all the deer that die annually, hunting accounts for 50% or less in CT.

Toonces. Just did a quick Google search to see what % of the herd hunters harvest annually for comparison. See below for justification.

Gotcha Notme. We, well I, am using hypotheticals here to show how impossible single digit densities are in a town where you are taking 4 deer/sm, the 7th highest take in the state. Can I guess absolutely how many deer are in Ashford from harvest data? Of course not. My point in using mortality data from WI is to show what % of mortality hunting accounts for. Because hunters and poachers kill 50% of deer annually in WI does that mean it’s the same in CT? Of course not, but it puts us in the ballpark. As you pointed out, non-hunting mortality in CT is likely higher than in WI but that only helps to prove my point further. The only absolute number we know for any town is hunter harvest, and if that number accounts for a lesser % of overall mortality, that means lots more deer died and there has to be a boatload remaining to sustain the population. The reason I used the MN number too was to get us in the ballpark of what % of the population of deer are harvested annually. It is 15% in CT too? Probably not but what that number shows me is that it’s on the low end so I used 11% as a statewide average. If we are using 11% as a statewide average, for illustrative purposes, we use that 11% for every town. Is every town harvesting 11% of their population? Of course not, but these are the numbers we are working with. Town harvest could range between 5 and say 20% of the herd harvested, but it ain’t 75% annually is my point.

Will. Thanks. Guys here want to believe the herd is decimated and want 60 deer/SM again. That is not going to happen and while harvest is down from what it used to be, it is still pretty good deer hunting in CT, and a more reasonable number of animals. And yes, estimating deer abundances is messy and we deal in ballpark and not absolute numbers. I have seen densities ranging all over the place and have done density estimations at all different densities so kind of have a feel for it.

From: Richm444
26-Jan-17

Richm444's Link
my back yard a few years ago - countem

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-17
I count 18.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
Will - you're absolutely correct when you say hunters have no way of knowing or estimating the current deer population, it's all a guesses based upon our observations in the woods. But If the state said there were 20,000 deer in 1975 and I was seeing 15-20 a day from my stand, how could the state now say that we have 128K and most guys are saying they see far fewer deer, including me?

The "guessing" scenario holds true for Doc as well. He's a biologist! He's not the DEEP who, by his own words, is responsible for managing the deer herd, they should know how many deer there are, and they were the ones with the 20k in 1975. There's no doubt in mind Doc knows wildlife biology, but that doesn't make him an expert in herd densities, any more than any of us. Both sides are guessing based upon our personal experience and trying correlate that data with what the state says. There is no right or wrong, only personal perception.

And when Doc says "The only absolute number we know for any town is hunter harvest, " that just shows he's not a hunter. If he thinks ALL kills are being reported then my guess is he followed the rabbit down the hole to Wonderland.

Is deer hunting pretty good in CT, hell yeah. But it was better years ago, that's the only point I'm trying to make. So when people say we're whining or spoiled, that's not the case. We're scratching our heads wondering what happened? Why is the state saying the herd is increasing? Why did they tell me the NW corner had plenty of deer only to find out the herd was in trouble?

As for your comment about animosity - I find it difficult to respect or trust a state official who enters into a contract with a personal friend and uses taxpayer's money for his failed study. To me it's unethical and borders on illegal, but that's just way I was taught in the private sector. So anything that comes out of his mouth automatically is scrutinized.

It's dinner time, so I'm going to eat some bait now.

From: bb
26-Jan-17

bb's embedded Photo
bb's embedded Photo
I'm inclined to go along with what the Doc is describing. I have no idea about the deer densities but I do know from anecdotal evidence that there are fewer deer now than there were 10 years ago. But I also know that compared to the 60's and early to mid 70's The deer numbers were anemic by todays estimates, we rarely saw deer or even evidence of Deer. One other observation and I'm not reading anything into this but coincidentally, growing up in the 60's and 70's we were in the woods constantly, we lived in the woods from dawn to dark. We never saw a tick. Ever. I didn't start seeing ticks around until the late 70's. Again, I don't know what that means but it is something I have thought about quite often, even before reading these threads about deer and ticks. I never associated one with the other but it does make you wonder why we have such an abundance of ticks now when 40 or 50 years ago there were virtually none.

Attached is the group of 5 deer that are hanging out my office window in the back yard in East Haddam, They have been out here almost everyday since last summer. 3 does and two button horn fawns

From: spike78
26-Jan-17
I personally think the lack of sightings is due to all the nocturnal pics I got on cam. Easily 95% of the deer where at night. I had plenty of pics but saw a grand total of zero yes zero deer while sitting at least 30 times this past season. I did however jump 7 deer in one herd on the way to my stand.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-17
Bb, where were you in the 60 - 70s? What part of the state?

From: bb
26-Jan-17
Clinton, Killingworth, Deep River areas. Grew up in Clinton, later moved to Deep River. However I will say this, that east of the CT River seemed to have good populations of deer, ( Old Lyme, Lyme, Hadlyme, East Haddam.) But still did not see the ticks.

From: soapdish
26-Jan-17
Bb

Introduction of the Japanese bayberry bush. Ticks love it. Deer don't eat the bush. Increase of ticks, then...Mice run around transmitting these bugers. Creating an epidemic of lyme disease. Never met anyone who was diagnosed with Lyme that said "awesome I got Lyme disease." Im sure there's much more to it but that's why we have the doc to figure it out. As far as deer density. Life cycles. Seen it with fish in the river, fish in the ocean and on a small scale we watched geese this year move almost on a daily basis. A few days in one town then 7 miles away the next. Normally geese would love fresh cut corn, not this year. Grass only. Talking about fish in the ocean, wait till all the charter boats fish em out.

From: bb
26-Jan-17
The Barberry Bush may be a factor where it exists, but I tend to doubt you can blame the explosion on that, it may perpetuate the problem but at the time it wasn't the cause. The areas I'm talking about where I grew up in the 60's didn't have any Barberry and I'm not sure they do to this day. I know there wasn't any when we started seeing a plethora of ticks. In fact it wasn't until I moved to East Haddam in 2002 that I saw the Barberrry , my woods was filled with it, I subsequently killed it all. It seems to be in pockets, My next door neighbors on either side of me have none. I hunt Shelter Island and have hunted it since the 80's, There is no shortage of Ticks there but I have never seen Barberry there. I'm not convinced you can single out one factor, especially a plant that seems to exist in localized pockets rather than widespread plantings regionally. Again, my argument is purely anecdotal, I have no hard evidence of any of this other than what I observe. But I have often thought for years why there were no ticks when I was a kid, I mean none, no one had even heard of a tick.

From: soapdish
26-Jan-17
No single one factor but, I just know that the environment changes, more or less, seems more and and faster lately. Record keeping (relatively new), invasive species (Barbary vs. tumbleweeds), global warming etc.... I believe we are behind the 8 ball in keeping up with it all. Maybe there was a tick problem 100 years ago with no deer problem? Any documentation? Lyme disease or was it marked up to something else? Did Obesity exist? Cancer? Eeeeeeeek time for a not me death rock video lol. As far as baiting..... It's a tool, maybe not the best tool to do the job though

26-Jan-17
Shawn inma hunts with us and like he said we have small and large tracks....we don't bait most large piece because we can move around the natural hunting way....which I prefer but sometimes on those 2-5 acres pieces the deer could be simply 200yds away and nothing you can do but bait and try.... Pre 03 deer population was so high you could be in any tree and kill deer plain and simple...

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-17

Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
This trend from MN look familiar?? Must be CT DEEP's fault....

From: Will
26-Jan-17
BBB what was your bait for dinner... Hoping for salmon or other yummy bait :)

The challenge I was getting at with numbers, was that say in the 60's or 70's... whatever system of estimation was in place, was rougher than what there is now. Hopefully. I'm assuming as research has evolved so has the understanding of how to estimate deer numbers. (most other sciences are more evolved now than say 10, 20, 30 years ago, so I'm assuming wildlife biology is as well) So, while the state may have said 20K. Maybe it was 15... Or maybe it was 40. We have certainly seen in all these threads that even with super modern methods, counting deer is a real rough skill set at this point. Plenty of room for error.

So if you were calibrated by the best information at the time... Meaning your belief is that there were 20K, and you were seeing 15-20, that's not congruous with what you are seeing now, so things don't compute. It's not you, it's the science. it's evolved and improved (assumption I'm making given most other sciences have improved and reflecting on the threads the past couple years here - wow - IR herd counts and what not - WOW!)... So if we could go back and use today's strategies, then, perhaps the calibration you have would be different.

Look, I'm not saying you implying this is only your issue. I do this too! We all do it - not just in hunting, in everything.

I'm in full agreement with you on the numbers - for sure they are lower. And I'm a lover of watching deer, not just shooting and eating them... so I'd be happy with more. Really happy. My broader point was just that I think part of the problem with understanding what density looks like, is that we assume old numbers were accurate in the first place, when it's quite likely they were less accurate than they are now.

That's not a bust on science. It's just a reality - knowledge evolves and grows as new methods are explored and validated, likely at higher levels of accuracy.

On an aside - how's the prep going for the fall? I'm really excited for you to be going west again, and look forward to hear how that elk hunt this year goes!

From: airrow
26-Jan-17
There is TWO reasons I bate.

1.- I hunt a lot of small parcels of land. Some as small as 2 acres. These small parcels back to other parcels I have no access to. I can not move my stand 100 yards where the deer are traveling and need them to come to me.

2.- some times, I need the deer to stand in a safe direction so I don't shoot towards homes, sheds or anything I wouldn't want to shoot. I know I'm shooting on a downward angle but you can never be to safe + I always tell land owners I will never shoot towards their home.

I forgot... cuz I can and it is legal.

______________________________

but sometimes on those 2-5 acres pieces the deer could be simply 200yds away and nothing you can do but bait and try.... Pre 03 deer population was so high you could be in any tree and kill deer plain and simple...

______________________________

Here are two examples of why baiting in Connecticut should be stopped. A hunter is using a small parcel of land to hunt a large parcel he is not allowed to hunt. He positions his stand on the edge of the property he does not have permission to hunt, with his stand facing the (reserve, wildlife preserve or land trust, etc.) he hopes by baiting he can draw deer 100-200 yards off the area he is not allowed to hunt. By shooting a deer on the edge of a wildlife preserve the deer will more than likely will die on the preserve were the hunter is not allowed to hunt. The hunter must then contact the managers of the preserve property to legally recover the deer. If the hunter does not get permission to recover the deer he is done; unless he chooses to enter the property illegally to recover the deer. This same scenario is playing out dozens of times a year in zones 11&12 in Connecticut. The situation has become so pervasive, Land Trust organizations in Connecticut are currently lobbying to have both baiting stopped and yardage setbacks for hunting legislated this year.

From: bb
26-Jan-17
I don't think that's a good enough reason to stop baiting. Your talking about killing a fly with a sledge hammer. If hunting near perserves is really that big of a deal, just implement a set back specifically for the preserves.

From: longbeard
26-Jan-17
Agree bb...airrow now your just grasping at straws...there would be many people who wouldn't hunt because they just don't have access to larger tracts of woods if they took baiting away. It has it place as a viable management tool, but its not the biggest culprit. You think there is a lot of hunting pressure on state land now, that would also be a side affect. If your end game is to grow the deer herd back to what you, me and many others here would like it to be, then there are many other ways to do that. Some of you guys are forgetting many of the other variable that may or may not have significantly contributed to this pop explosion and then decline. Especially if you are going to compare todays herd to that of the 60's and early 70's. The explosion factors could be 1.weather change. Remember how hard the winters were back then...nothing like that now on a consistent basis.2.Far less hunters back then then now...especially bow hunters...especially urban bow hunting. The decline , along with the liberal hunting laws in place now, we can start by pointing the finger at sheer numbers of hunters...many of which are new to bowhunting and live in the "I need to kill or fill all my tags" stage. Also take a look at how much big land parcels were avcailable to hunt back then. I can remember when I had a whole piece of land to myself, not today. And even if you couldn't hunt those big parcels, the deer were flourishing on them...not today. Every available piece of undeveloped parcel is being developed. Add to that the vastly larger number of hunters and none of this should surprise anybody

From: bb
26-Jan-17
In my opinion, the far too liberal tag limits are the biggest culprit for the decline. outside of vehicle mortality. Too many people figure because the tags are available the resource is unlimited. I think habitat affects the overall take by lack of access but I doubt it has a lot to do with population. Back in the day, the bag limit was one. I can recall jumping in the car on Friday after work and driving to Vermont to hunt deer. They had a staggering amount of deer. the tables later turned but there was a time, the hunting was much better elsewhere.

Regarding the reserves, what is the criteria that allows the general public to access the reserve? We have several around me and to my knowledge all you have to do to access is to park your car and walk onto the property. If I kill a deer and it runs onto the property and dies, why can't I access the property as everyone else does and remove the deer? If I hit a raccoon with my car and it makes it onto reserve property and dies, I can't walk onto the property that all other people can access and pick up the raccoon and leave? I'm not seeing why I would need to go through the antics to remove a deer. Assuming you're not going onto the property with a weapon. Granted it may not be the smartest thing to sit on the property line to shoot a deer where there is a good chance the animal can die on the property easily. But banning baiting isn't going to change that possibility. If you're hunting that close to a property that you don't want a deer to die on, that's a real possibility regardless of baiting.

From: notme
27-Jan-17

notme's Link
Intermission

From: Dr. Williams
27-Jan-17

From: soapdish
27-Jan-17
Neil's pretty good on them skins

From: bigbuckbob
27-Jan-17
Will - basil pasta salad and a glass of Italian red wine, perfecto!

And I agree with your points about science and it was exactly what I was trying say. The science of today is not absolute, it's dynamic and changing daily! They must use assumptions and extrapolate all of the data to come out with the numbers on the herd size.

My point is hunters do the same thing. Neither set of numbers are correct, but to hunters we know for a fact that the deer we are seeing is either better or worse than previous years.

I don't care if the state says we have 10 deer in the entire state if I'm seeing one or two every time out. That would be exceptional! And if the state says we have a million deer but I'm not seeing any sign of deer anywhere, then I'm saying my season is worse than last year. That's when I research the kill by other towns, talk with hunters about their areas, do a lot scouting, etc. To me, how many deer in the state is a secondary issue to how many deer am I seeing in the areas where I hunt.

From: Richm444
27-Jan-17
Neil is considered among the best

From: Dr. Williams
27-Jan-17
The common misperception by both hunters and DEEP alike was that deer numbers derived by DEEP were meant to be statewide estimates. That is not the case and was never the intention. The point of doing that statewide sampling was to create an index with which to compare one year to the next using the same sampling regimen, never to attempt to survey all deer in the state as that is impossible. You know, “using previous data points (deer seen last year, deer sign YOY and deer taken) to come to our own conclusions about the herd.”

“If he thinks ALL kills are being reported then my guess is he followed the rabbit down the hole to Wonderland.” I know this not to be the case. I will say it again, the only absolute number we know for any town is hunter harvest. Do we know how many deer were not reported? No. Do we know how many deer were poached? No. Do we know how many deer are in that town? No. Do we know how many deer are in CT? No. What we do know is a minimum number of deer harvested and reported. So if we know that a minimum of 157 were killed and reported, then we need to account for poached deer, deer that were killed and not reported. See Bob, you are only helping to further prove my point that there are crapload of live deer remaining. Now Bob is yelling at me that I am not a hunter (funny thing is in the last 18 years, I have killed more than 25 times the number of deer he has and countless ducks, geese, turkeys, grouse, woodcock, and pheasants) and I am not including poached deer and non-reported deer. How many deer are poached and not reported? I don’t know, but I think Bob does. I am basing my 11% annual CT hunter take from the MN article in which is stated “For the 2015 season, the DNR expects a total harvest of between 140,000 and 155,000 deer — which is about 15% of the state’s total estimated white-tail deer population of 1 million.” It is hunter take, it said nothing about poaching.

Glenn your “math” doesn’t make sense. I can and did justify mine. Can you? What is the justification for taking the number of deer I derived for the town of Ashford from 2016 reported harvest and dividing by 2016 statewide harvest density? That is completely nonsensical and only serves to give you a number that you seek. Also your "justification" for stopping baiting is exactly why it exists in 11 and 12 in the first place, to pull deer onto smaller parcels where they can be harvested safely and legally. You really can’t use the purpose of a management tool to justify its removal. That too doesn’t make sense. I'm curious which land trusts are lobbying against this.

From: tobywon
27-Jan-17
I don't bait nor do I have a desire to bait or even hunt 2 acre parcels. I just don't like that type of hunting myself, but what floats anyone else's boat is not my concern. However, I can see baiting being used in the more populated areas as a strict management tool only. But most times as I read here it is not used that way. We hear that the landowner wants deer killed and landscaping is getting destroyed yet multiple deer are getting passed up waiting for the "hit lister". I think baiting is here to stay in the southern zones and I hope it never expands to other areas of the state. That is just me.

From: Will
27-Jan-17
Bob that sounds like a darn tasty dinner!

From: airrow
27-Jan-17
After reviewing Ashford, CT during this thread we did a comparison of zone 5 (15 towns in the NE corner of CT) to zones 11&12 (23 towns in the SW corner of CT) which still allow baiting, January take and unlimited doe replacement tags. What we found in 2016, zone 5 had a harvest rate of 2.88 deer per square mile. When compared to zones 11&12, 2.39 dpsm; zone 5 had a higher harvest rate by 20.62%. If we break it down even further the 2016 zone 5 harvest (dpsm) was 9.94% higher than zone 11 and 34.71% higher than zone 12.

Doc - Is that hole you're digging in Wisconsin or Minnesota ?

From: bigbuckbob
27-Jan-17
Anyone who equates being a hunter with how many animals they kill is someone I would never walk into the woods with. The restraint I show while on stand is so much more difficult than taking the life of any doe or young buck that has walked under my stand and has every year for the past 17 yrs. Killing is easy and gains you no respect from me. Targeting one particular buck and hunting him and only him,.........now you're hunting, not just killing. Some on this site have done just that, they are the hunters I respect and applaud when they succeed. Difficult things done well earns respect.

Hunter harvest can't possibly be known when you also agree that not all deer harvested by hunters are reported. The only absolute you know is the number of deer harvested that are reported, not at all the same.

And let's see, I killed one mature buck in 17 years, and passed on countless others, but I know how many are poached? Are you trying to say because I forgot to tag that buck I got in 2014 immediately after the kill I was poaching? You know, the one where I admitted to my mistake openly on this site for all to see? I'm sure you would also mention that I was wrapped up with showing a new hunter how to field dress the deer and my mind was on him at the time,.....but I offer no excuses, still my mistake, but it's certainly not poaching.

BTW - I didn't see any tags on the two deer in your backyard that you shared with us on the site Doc?! Looks like they were there for a while, so were those just rotting away? I think you said they were management kills, so who cares if the meat was wasted, right? Hunter? Really?

Airrow - he's got holes all over the USA it appears, from Redding to Staten Island to WI to MN. This is the guy who claims he's a "Scientist" however his science is to use numbers from other states and apply math to the numbers to develop the deer herd density in CT. What's makes this really crazy? He thinks we should believe him!!

I think we should start calling him "Dartboard"

From: notme
27-Jan-17

notme's Link
All 3 are legendary masters of their craft..my first show was 74-75, 2112 tour at the colusium..been hooked ever since

From: shawn_in_MA
27-Jan-17
Here are two examples of why baiting in Connecticut should be stopped. A hunter is using a small parcel of land to hunt a large parcel he is not allowed to hunt. He positions his stand on the edge of the property he does not have permission to hunt, with his stand facing the (reserve, wildlife preserve or land trust, etc.) he hopes by baiting he can draw deer 100-200 yards off the area he is not allowed to hunt. By shooting a deer on the edge of a wildlife preserve the deer will more than likely will die on the preserve were the hunter is not allowed to hunt.

Glen where exactly did either of those examples say that they had stands on the edge of a wildlife preserve facing into a wildlife preserve???? Grasping at straws.

From: bigbuckbob
27-Jan-17
notme - you keep trying :)

From: notme
27-Jan-17

notme's Link
Ya I'm a persistent bastard

From: Toonces
27-Jan-17
Shawn,

Realistically if your are hunting a two acre parcel (one of the acres being a house and yard) backing up to a nature preserve your options are going to be pretty limited which way the stand faces.

I do agree however that if you shoot deer on private property and it runs onto public property and dies, I don't see anything that would prohibit you from going to get the deer (leaving your bow behind of course).

The whole baiting thing still feels illogical. Baiting is allowed where the deer population is highest and is used by hunters on private land where the land owner wants the deer gone. If the deer are already nuisance on the property there really shouldn't be a need to bait them in. If your hunting on a property where there are no deer to begin with, then they are not a nuisance and you should find somewhere else to hunt.

What am I missing?

From: bb
27-Jan-17
They may be a nuisance at night, baiting may change their pattern. Here's the way I see baiting, if the areas you hunt are so small that deer can be on and off the property in a matter of a few minutes and the best place for you to set up is in the lounge chair next to the pool, then you aren't in it for the deep woods wilderness experience anyway. who cares if you shoot them over a pile of corn or not?

From: bb
27-Jan-17

bb's Link
Not me: did I hear you mention a Clapton concert?

From: Toonces
27-Jan-17
bb,

I agree. I am just trying to understand the utility of it, that is all. The proponents seem pretty adamant that they want to keep it, just trying to understand why it is so important to have.

From: bb
27-Jan-17
I hear you, the way I understand it, corn is the great persuader. It's a benefit to be able to use it to get the deer where you can shoot them. That's about it in a nutshell I believe.

From: airrow
27-Jan-17
EnCon Police EnCon Police is offline Capt. Raul Camejo - DEEP EnCon Police's AvatarJoin Date Dec 2007 Posts 871

If you shoot a deer (or any other game animal) that goes on to an adjoining piece of property, you need permission from the property owner to access their property and retrieve the animal. If the property owner says NO, then you are done. Even if it's a deer and it's dead on the other property, without permission you can not be there.

If you have private property permission, shoot an animal which then goes on to state (DEP owned) land and dies, give our dispatch center a call and an officer can standby or give you permission to retrieve the dead animal.

Connecticut is not like some of the northern New England states...in Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont if the land is not posted you can hunt it....Connecticut does not allow this. You must have permission from the property owner to hunt on their property (or even access their property) even if the property is not posted.

From: Toonces
27-Jan-17
Airrow - I would argue not public property though, I would even argue not on private property that is made open to the public by the property owner (like land trust property unless the land trust makes it clear that the permission to access the property does not include pulling a dead animal off the property).

Notice in his response the DEEP captain did not say it was a crime to do it, only that the hunter should contact the DEEP for "permission" (whatever that means). I assume what he means by "permission" is notice to the DEEP so the hunter is not arrested for a non crime.

From: bigbuckbob
27-Jan-17
Years ago I called the DEP to ask if I could use the blue trail, a publicly used right of way, to access state forest to hunt with my bow if the bow was in a case, just like when I carry it in my car. They could not say if it was legal and told me to try it and see what happens. I'm not sure if there's a difference between having to retrieve your deer from say a town park, or a sanctuary where you may have limited access rights?? No idea but interesting problem.

From: Dr. Williams
27-Jan-17
Glen seriously, Windham County was rocking the harvest numbers in 2016. I am not sure your point with your “analysis”. Using bait, as I have said, is a management tool to pull deer onto huntable property in zones 11 and 12 where there are very limited places to legally hunt in towns like Bridgeport, New London, East Haven, West Haven, Branford, New Haven, Old Saybrook, Stratford, and hunting is illegal in Westport. So including those towns in your harvest density stats is going to dilute the result as only 96 deer were reported in these 9 towns combined. Regardless, Zone 5 accounted for 14%, Zone 11 15%, and Zone 12 10% of statewide harvest. Baiting, January archery, and replacement tags are meant to facilitate harvest in these challenging areas where the majority of CT residents reside and have conflicts with deer.

Bob. Jeez. I am not calling you a poacher. Merely suggesting you might be clairvoyant with numbers that the rest of us can’t know. Touchy are we with your 0.06 deer/year harvest tally the past 17 years? You call me out, I’m going to fire back. A good hunter usually has some meat in the freezer to show for his efforts. No? You going to dispute that too?

From: Dr. Williams
27-Jan-17
I think I am on to something with this 11% hunter reported harvest annually. Let’s look at Redding harvest. In 2015, there were 110 hunter-harvested deer reported (90 archery, 20 gun). As Steve pointed out, there were also 11 taken by WB. That makes 121 deer taken in Redding in 2015. So if 121 was 11% of Redding’s deer population, that means there were 1,100 (121 / 0.11 = 1100) deer in town. Redding land area is 31.5 square miles, that means the 2015 pre-hunt deer density in Redding was 35 deer/square mile (1100 deer / 31.5 square miles = 34.9 deer/square mile) and post-hunt density was 28 deer/square mile (1100 pre-hunt deer – 121 deer reported harvested = 979 post-hunt deer / 31.5 square miles = 27.6 deer/square mile). Lest I be accused of beating a dead horse, in 2015:

CAES determined uncorrected deer density on 4 Redding square miles to be 29 deer/square mile. Davis Aviation determined it to be between 29-30 deer/square mile over 6.5 square miles. DEEP on March 8 counted 31 deer/square mile on Transect 5 (which includes Redding and Ridgefield).

Anyone else seeing a trend here?

From: bigbuckbob
27-Jan-17
Is It Time to End the Baiting Thread?

From: airrow
27-Jan-17
Anyone else seeing a trend here ?........Yes Doc, You are still the clairvoyant and fraud the FLIR and Wildlife experts called you last year.

From: bigbuckbob
27-Jan-17
Let's see, if I wanted to prove my "agenda" deer herd count (you know, the one taken during the aerial survey so my good friend Tony D could get $128k of taxpayer money for my failed tick study),.....how could I do that???

I would need to come up with a percent for the "hunter reported harvest" plus the WB harvest that would take the 121 deer taken to my agenda goal of 1,100 deer in the herd. So 121 divided by X = 1100, so X = 11%. GOT IT!

Doc - you're not even trying to hide your spins now, you're getting lazy!! If you want to play you'll have to do better than that.

BTW - WB could only take 11 deer over bait at night with high powered rifles and hunters, you know, the guys you said couldn't reduce deer herd density, took 110!! That's 10X what your boys working for Tony D could do and they didn't get paid $128k, they did it for sport and paid for the pleasure.

From: notme
27-Jan-17

notme's Link
Ya man,slow hands the man..seen him in the late 70's when he was all dirty,wasn't an enjoyable show..glad he cleaned up...heres one that should be gotten the recognition they deserve..

From: notme
27-Jan-17
One year I saw uncle ted on a Friday at the colosium,Saturday richie blackmore,blue oyster cult and some others at kennedy stadium in bridgeport ,frank marino at the garden on sunday...nothing but balentines triple x and window pane...CRAP I'm still alive.....lol good times

From: bigbuckbob
27-Jan-17
Frank Marino?? Never heard of him, but love the song. He makes weird faces, better not to look at him while you listen :)

From: Dr. Williams
27-Jan-17

Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
Is that all the Dynamic Duo have left? Calling me names? How juvenile. Bob, are you back to this nonsense? The only agenda I have is coming up with accurate deer estimates. Just because I am using fact, can justify my numbers and that disagrees with the conspiracy theorists’ conclusions on this site in no way makes me a fraud. In fact, quite the opposite. I have provided links and citations and welcome whoever wants to check my work to do so and am showing you the basic calculations used to get there. I am hardly being fraudulent, but on the flip side, quite transparent. (Now Bob and/or Glen are going to use the word “transparent” in a witty attempt to insult me somehow.) What spins Bob? The 2015 deer program summary report states that 90 deer were taken by archery, 20 by gun, and also 9 crop damage and 1 reported vehicle kill which I didn’t include. 11 deer were taken by WB before I shut that aspect of the study down due to safety concerns. 11 + 110 = 121. Then I applied the 11% figure I derived separately for kicks to see what would come out and divided by Redding land area and Holy Toledo!! It was almost the exact same thing that 2 government agencies and a private independent contractor came up with separately. Hardly coincidence. How much confirmation do you guys need on this?

Fraud is bad math and tossing numbers together that have no reason to be together to come up with a result you seek. From Glen “Maybe we should just divide Docs` last number 1,427 by 2.48 for 585 deer in Ashford, CT or 15 dpsm......and be done.” Where did 2.48 come from? And actually 1427 / 2.48 = 575 and not 585 as Glen reported here. So phantom numbers and bad math. And I am the fraud?

Back to statewide population estimates, the attached is the last report from when DEP used to survey all zones every third winter. From CT Wildlife, Volume 27, Number 3, May/June 2007, Page 3. “The survey technique is most useful as a long-term trend index to assess whether the deer population is increasing, stable, or decreasing on a regional and statewide basis.” Point being, is it was never meant to be a count of the entire deer herd in CT….

From: Mike in CT
27-Jan-17
Damn,

I should have started a side bet with notme on the over/under for this thread (I was going for over 100 posts, under 200 for the record.)

On a more serious note there has been one excellent observation and one point it seems no ones really taken notice of yet.

Point#1-Toonces hits the 10 ring-if a landowner wants a hunter to take deer off his property it should go without saying that the deer are coming onto that property well before a hunter arrives and starts baiting.

As Toonces asks, why bait if the deer are already hitting a food source? Treat it the same as you would a dropping oak in the woods, finding the best position to place your stand in .

Now it should go without saying that if the rationale is safety-related that trumps everything else but I've only seen 1 poster so far who suggested this as a rationale.

Point#2-the one I'm surprised no one else has latched onto yet.

The posts relating to having a property without deer and the need to bait to pull deer onto that property from 100-200 yards away.

I think it's probably a safe bet that a hunter isn't going to get a call from a landowner to kill deer on a property when there aren't any deer on that property. This one should be a given.

So, the $64,000 question is why would a landowner grant permission for a hunter to bait problem deer from areas that have that problem to their property where they don't have that problem?

That's the question people here should be asking.......

From: notme
27-Jan-17
I'll take the over 200 even without the videos..lol

Ex: toyland..every property in that area are 2-3 acres..most likely 3/4-1 acre of huntable land not including front/back yard..some big tracks of woods tossed in (town land,water co)..i know of at least 4 deffinet hunters in the same 3 mile area,probably most likely more if I really look for stands..i share pictures and sightings with 2..are they the same deer,don't know don't care..my goal is to pull as many deer into my property as a can for a clean shot..before I started baiting there some deer knew the school bus schedule or the sound of a garage door,bait just brings them and keeps them longer

From: bb
27-Jan-17
They just know to wait for the music to stop

From: notme
27-Jan-17
Lmfao...nope,music stops something amiss..

From: bigbuckbob
28-Jan-17
Oh Doc - you're still confused about my position on this topic, poor boy. I DON'T CARE HOW MANY DEER YOU SAY THERE ARE IN CT, NOR DO I CARE HOW MANY THE HUNTERS SAY THERE ARE.

Sorry for yelling, but it didn't seem like you heard me before. Your math is just a guess just like my math, or Glen's or anyone else on this site. My math is bit simpler though because it boils down to "less deer this season = bad", or "more deer this season = good". Can't get much simpler than that.

You accuse Glen of pulling the 2.48 from out of the blue, but then you state - "Then I applied the 11% figure I derived separately for kicks". Ahhh, ok, so kick yourself in the butt because that's where that number was pulled from. You see Doc, both sides use applied math that is questionable, I don't care how many links you document because those are guesses as well.

And why did you say the DEEP doesn't know exactly how many deer there are in one of your previous posts and now you're quoting them like this is the end all of the discussion? You see, you flip/flop back and forth so none of it makes sense. I've been consistent - there are no accurate counts, just guesses.

Music??? What music?? All I hear is this ringing noise in my head. Please make it stop. Oh wait, someone is at the door. Bye

From: notme
28-Jan-17

notme's Link
Does it sound like this

From: notme
28-Jan-17

notme's Link
Hopefully it's more like this

From: Dr. Williams
28-Jan-17
Bob my boy, to quote you: "At the time, the DEP was estimating the herd to be around 20,000. So if I'm seeing 15-20 deer every time out, how could there be just 20k deer in the state" No Bob, they weren't estimating the herd to be that size. That is what the trend index reported, not what DEP estimated the statewide herd to be. Get it?

Glen's 2.48 number is a deer harvest density for 2016 for some zone or statewide or something. It is a meaningless number particularly when you use it to divide by the estimated number of deer in Ashford. The resulting quotient is nonsensical and tells us nothing. My 11% figure was an educated guess yes based on the Minnesota article whose link I provided above in which it estimated 15% of the herd was harvested annually. And when I asked a DEEP biologist what % of the herd is harvested annually, he guessed between 10-15%.

Not flip flopping on DEP estimates either. I said "DEEP on March 8 counted 31 deer/square mile on Transect 5 (which includes Redding and Ridgefield)." That is a fact and was stated as such. Not extrapolating it out to the Town or State. Get it? Or do you need me to type slower? Bob just because my math tells a different story from what you "know" or the fact that you don't understand it doesn't make it fraudulent.

From: airrow
28-Jan-17
BBB - Our deer estimate for Ashford, CT (1/1/17) was 585 deer or 15 dpsm; which is 2.44 less than Docs' 1,427 fall estimate. Our estimate for the fall 2017 would be approximately 731 deer with a 25% fawn recruitment or 18.84 dpsm. The different between the two estimates is approximately 2X.

From: Mike in CT
28-Jan-17
A couple of thoughts on a few other interesting points:

1. The harvest per square mile is an interesting metric when properly applied; If you use the DEEP harvest report and have the square miles in a zone it's fairly simple to derive that zones harvest/square mile. In this scope it can be a useful barometer of zonal success rate when one is analyzing harvest data to consider potential hunting spots.

While it's interesting to put zone-by-zone comparisons up the value of that information is subject to debate; factors such as habitat variation from zone-to-zone, predator numbers, hunter numbers, vehicle traffic aren't universal so that has to be taken into account before drawing any conclusions.

It's interesting to look at that data, estimated fawn recruitment and try to ballpark a zonal herd estimate but again, the key word here is "estimate."

Let's leave that last thought aside for a moment.

2. I've seen a wide range of estimates for Zone 5's deer population and I'm not seeing it on either the low or high end of the spectrum. 6/dpsm or 38/dpsm don't seem reasonable based don a few facts I'll get to shortly. I'll preface them by saying I'd take the average (22 dpsm +/- 10%) and feel pretty comfortable about that number.

OK, the facts as to why I feel better about that number; If you look at the DEEP DMZ map you'll see Ashford sits right on the eastern border of Zone 4A. Zone 4A, along with Zones 2 & 3 were the 3 DMZ's not included in the private land Sunday hunting bill and the rationale was the DEEP established a cut-off of deer densities of 20/dpsm or greater as a requirement for Sunday hunting.

Obviously this seems to indicate the DEEP placed the dpsm in these 3 zones at less than 20/dpsm. With the proximity of Ashford to Zone 4A along with the similarities in terms of habitat, terrain, population, etc it seems much more likely that the numbers in Ashford would be close to those in Zone 4A than significantly higher or lower.

Again, as with the other numbers this is an estimate, not an absolute.

From: bigbuckbob
28-Jan-17
So Doc, let me see if I got this right. Blah blah blah 11 x Y blah blah blah lots of deer blah blah blah. Now I got it??

From: Dr. Williams
28-Jan-17
Yes Bob. That is exactly what your posts have sounded like all along. Mike, I have shown, using Ashford's harvest data, that 6 deer/square mile is not a possible density. So it makes no sense to use that number for coming up with an average. I'm not saying that my guess of 38 is correct. But just that it makes no sense to use an impossible number.

Glen. Why are you dividing the number i came up with assuming 11% harvest of the herd by 2.44? And why did you change that number? A few posts up it was 2.48. And I came up with 1427 not 1431. You just change numbers willy nilly now? And again, to be clear, it is you calling me a fraud. See, you can edit your own posts by you can't edit mine. And you still can't get it that I didn't review the Davis flight. We paid Davis Aviation to do it. I mean, you have his report.

29-Jan-17
If deer harvest per square mile is related to deer population, Bridgeport had 0.05 harvested per sqm.

Can you smart guys good with numbers calculate the total deer population in Bridgeport?

From: notme
29-Jan-17
Lots...

29-Jan-17
Vito, perhaps you miss understood the question. I meant living deer per square mile not Crack dealers.

From: Dr. Williams
29-Jan-17
Well I know there are about 57 on the old Remington site, but some of that is in Stratford. Obviously there are limitations to using harvest data to estimate abundances. For instance in urban areas where there is little to no hunting. How about Westport where only 10 deer were reported? How about Wethersfield with 0 reported?

From: bigbuckbob
29-Jan-17
Wow! Doc knows there are 57! Not 56 or 58 but exactly 57. What chapter in his biology book was that covered. Amazing.

From: notme
29-Jan-17
I thought you meant rats...lol.

How can there be 10 in westport if you can't hunt there?

From: Dr. Williams
29-Jan-17

Dr. Williams's Link
Bob, perhaps I stated "about 57" because maybe, just maybe, I experimented with the Jacobson method for estimating deer abundance using infrared triggered cameras in there. I might know what I am talking about, or then again, I might just be a fraud..... here's a link for the chapter on the Jacobson method if you are interested.

From: bigbuckbob
29-Jan-17
Could care less, I thought I made that clear a few posts ago. I really don't care what kind of guessing method used to estimate deer. Haven't you noticed that no is interested?

From: airrow
29-Jan-17
Doc - I have been consistent on my "estimates" about Ashford, CT (585 deer or 15 dpsm) and I haven't brought in irrelevant statistics from other states-enough said.

The topic of this thread was baiting so let's get back to that; let's start with an honest summary of our positions-mine is conservation; protecting a resource for this generation and those to come after-period. FCMDMA's and the Be Safe organizations position is counter to mine and as you serve on the advisory board it's more likely your position is theirs; kill as many deer as possible. Removing baiting would not adversely impact conservation (what most posters on this forum want) but it would put a major dent in the objective of FCMDMA wouldn't it ?

It would certainly end the practice of baiting deer off of preserves and that is the only reason for getting permission to hunt on nearby properties where there are no deer.

From: Wild Bill
29-Jan-17
Why don't you guys just go have a rumble in a parking lot somewhere?

From: tompolaris
29-Jan-17
I've been on this site since the 90's. a good portion of the guys know me from UBC and various fund raisers, we always seem to have had a fun time here changing notes ,pictures and experiences. That seems to be changing now and has much more disputes than ever. Not totally sure but I know I wont call "a Dr," to find out why. Let's have fun! TS

29-Jan-17
WB,

They would first have to argue for 4 month to decide what parking lot to use, is it paved or not, etc etc.

From: Dr. Williams
29-Jan-17
Tom. I have absolutely no problem with guys posting hunting tips, photos, recipes, hunting stories, tips, equipment advice, food plot advice, yucking it up, etc. That is what sites like this are for and I have seldom, if ever, intervened on those conversations. What I have a problem with is when hunters stumble over the line and think they know better than trained, educated, and certified wildlife professionals with utterly bogus numbers that are nonsensical and clearly self-serving. This attitude and chest pounding does nothing more than give hunters a bad name and undermines the DEEP employees charged with managing the state resource and increase the divide between the two. Only in this field does purchasing a hunting license make you as much in the know as someone who got their undergraduate and post graduate education and training in the field. Look at Bob, he loves calling me out on stuff but when I counter with justification, he says "he doesn't care." He sounds just like my 13 year old daughter when I catch her in a ridiculous argument. "I don't care!" Uh huh....... hmmmmm.

Happy to go to the parking lot. I'm 6' 8" and 290 pounds. Let's do this.

From: bigbuckbob
29-Jan-17
Doc - don't twist the facts about what said. I didn't just call you out! I said I don't care about the numbers being thrown around on this thread about herd density, but not just by you, but by other hunters and myself!! Why? Because they're all guesses and mean very little when you come right down to it. I think what matters to most hunters is are we seeing more or less deer each year.

I've also said that I know you very knowledge when it comes to wildlife biology, but that doesn't make your guesses any better than Mike's, Glen's or mine, so get off your high horse when it comes to your education because it means little in this discussion. And where has the DEEP commented on this thread? I'd love to have someone from the dept come on the site and education about the herd and what their thoughts and plans are, but that's not you Doc. The only divide on this site is between most of us and you, but it seems you just don't realize that for some reason.

And who's acting like a 13 year old? Me, saying I don't care about guesses from either side, or is it you saying I'll meet you in the parking lot Mr 6'8" 190 lbs??? How many different ways can we say that we just don't care what you have to say?

From: bigbuckbob
29-Jan-17
290 lbs. I know exact numbers are important to you.

From: Dr. Williams
29-Jan-17
Bob, what warms my heart and helps me sleep at night is just knowing that you care. You clearly care about the numbers when you say "Wow! Doc knows there are 57! Not 56 or 58 but exactly 57. What chapter in his biology book was that covered. Amazing." I'll give you the formulas for the Jacobson method tomorrow. Actually with all the guys using game cameras on this site, they'd probably get a kick out of using it. I'll even explain how to use it. Bet the guys hunting Redding will find there's more than single digits there.... I think what you mean is no one wants to hear an argument counter to theirs that uses the scientific literature and justified numbers to come up with proper estimates. That's what you mean right? Or are you going to give me the "whatever?"

From: notme
30-Jan-17

notme's Link

From: bigbuckbob
30-Jan-17
Doc - no, when I say my numbers are wrong, your numbers are wrong, Glens' are wrong,....that's exactly what I mean. We're all guessing. Using a formula to calculate is NOT factual, you and I both know that. This is not like calculating the speed of car by saying I know the distance it traveled and the time it took to travel that distance so I can calculate the speed. Then you're dealing with facts to do your calculations not assumptions based around if the number of deer killed by cars and hunters, and then guessing at how many may have been killed by poachers and hunters not reporting.

When a hunter on this site says there are so few deer in Redding now that I'm only seeing 5-6 a season where I once saw that many a day,....what he doesn't want to hear is that seeing 5-6 all year is GREAT. That means there are 33 DPSM, or some other guess. All that hunter is saying is the herd is below last year's level. You know, like the DEEP survey where they ask "In your opinion, is the herd increasing, decreasing or stable?" They don't ask tell us how many you KNOW are in your hunting area.

From: bleydon
30-Jan-17
I think there is a fair bit of middle ground between "estimates aren't perfect" and "all attempts to quantify deer are completely without value." At some point we have to do the best we can with available methodologies. And if the same methodology is used year after year, even if imperfect, it is likely to demonstrate trends. The "deer herd has completely collapsed" position does seem hard to square with this year's harvest numbers. I assume the confidence interval for DEEP estimates is relatively wide so if they say 33 it doesn't mean exactly 33, but we know it is for sure not 6.

On the original point of baiting, the fact is it makes it easier to get an ethical and humane kill on a deer, and in small parcels is virtually a requirement to have any effective chance of taking one.

If deer numbers actually do plummet, I imagine they will stop or restrict its use. But if numbers are reasonably stable and still higher than ideal such as in much of zone 11, it makes sense to allow its use.

From: Dr. Williams
30-Jan-17
Bleydon. Well said.

Bob, a guess is one thing. Using science and known numbers and survey techniques puts you much more in the ballpark than a guess. Read what Bleydon wrote. He nailed it.

From: hoytman
30-Jan-17
I remember less than 8 years ago, my parents had thirty deer at any given moment bedding in the back yard. I have seen the population decline each year. I put up a camera up this years for the first time in 5 years (with bait) and only saw a handful of deer. things have definitely changed in zones 11 and 12.

From: hoytman
30-Jan-17

From: shawnm
30-Jan-17
I would have to guess its because of the unlimited tags. Just bring your deer into a certain check in station and get a replacement tag. Its the guys that go out and kill 8 to 9 does per year and a couple bucks on top of it. I dont care how big the population is when you got multiple guys shooting multiple deer year after year what do you expect. I think the 2 doe tags and two either sex is plenty enough. Both for the killer and meat eater

From: Mike in CT
30-Jan-17
For quite a number of years there seems to be ample evidence that the CT DEEP views hunters as a valuable source of information; I'm sure everyone here is acquainted with the end of year surveys they send out.

As there is a cost associated with this process it seems intuitive that they (DEEP) must see a value in the practice. Aside from the generic questions about mast crop, dollars spent, time spent, harvest, and herd size (increasing, stable, decreasing) they also have sections for comments (feedback).

It should be fairly obvious that this feedback is solicited as the DEEP simply does not have the man-power to actively canvas the woods to the extent that hunters (boots on the ground) do and it offers them a cost-effective means to gather information about the habitat and the deer herd.

It seems to be a partnership arrangement without preconceptions on the merits of the feedback on either a group level (all hunter respondents) or an individual level. I think when an agency acknowledges the value of hunter input it is counterproductive to attempt to miscast that feedback or to disparage the motives behind that feedback.

From almost 20 years on this forum (in addition to having had long interactions with many here) I think the posters share a common interest in promoting a healthy deer herd that ensures not just their opportunities but opportunities for their kids and grandchildren.

Whatever our differences on numbers I would hope the latter sentiment is universally accepted.

From: bigbuckbob
30-Jan-17
Doc - I guess what I'm failing to make clear is this "Let's say your counts, or the DEEP counts for the total deer population in CT are as accurate as humanly possible,....I'm giving you that. But if you, or the state, are saying there are 128k deer in CT but I hunt state land in the NW corner and I'm only seeing 5 deer a year, what does it matter to me as hunter?" That's my point. Then my next point is - what's the state doing to rectify the problem? Nothing other than doing a fawn mortality study. Good start, but it's too late, the damage has been done.

Also , all of these educated guesses/calculations mean little if the land the deer are on isn't hunt-able, whether it's a refuge, park, private no permission, Staten Island, etc. So let's talk about the areas where we hunt and tell us how many deer are in Housatonic forest in the area of Bradford Mtn for example? The only correct answer is - No data available. EXCEPT - my first hand knowledge of the area by hiking before, during and after the hunting season which documents very little deer sign and even fewer deer. This is no different than Glen or others that hunt in FF county saying the areas they hunt have far fewer deer. You can say there are plenty, but unless they're on Glen's property, how does that help him?

That's the only point I'm trying to make.

From: notme
30-Jan-17
165 with this and vids...lol ..somebody call someone a pansy or something to hit 200.

From: bigbuckbob
30-Jan-17
notme - I could go on all year like this, just ask anyone who knows me,.....I love to discuss and argue points, I thinks it's a healthy way to learn and stir up the thought process a bit. Doc may not believe this, but I respect his opinions, I just don't agree with them. I enjoy the back and forth and I have to admit at times he makes me think (I know Doc, something I'm not used to ).

Doc is definitely too big for me to call a pansy, so that's not going to happen. I know where to draw the line.

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