Contributors to this thread:
Dr. Williams's Link
Wildlife Division on acorns
That's some interesting data for sure.
Really interesting to see that the harvest and the car-kills had both really leveled off for about 20 years there... which suggests they had hit absolute carrying capacity... which explains the incredible lack of understory around here.
But no, allowing crossbow use in archery season won't affect harvest rates at all....
I don't see anything this tight very often in what I do... If you follow it out to the obvious break....
I don't see anything this tight very often in what I do... If you follow it out to the obvious break....
But the departure began in '05 - best correlation is over first 30 years.
But the departure began in '05 - best correlation is over first 30 years.
And in the past dozen years....
And in the past dozen years....
Pretty striking departure from the trend here...
Pretty striking departure from the trend here...
Kinda makes me wonder if the guys at the State are paying attention.... You would think that having roadkills down to a 40-year low might get their attention. Kinda makes me wonder what the success trend looks like for public-land firearms.
I've been hunting Coventry for 19 years. There has been a serious decline since the introduction of crossbow for all, and no physical tags. I use to see deer almost every time out sometimes 8- 12 together, with no rut. This year with limited acorns following two years of mild temps and tons of acorns, I assumed that I would be once again tripping over deer on my way to my stand. Nope. I do believe in the correlation between acorns, warm temps and movement, but I also believe that the new tagging system is a joke.
The new tagging system IS a joke. Each hunter should only be able to print the number of tags that come with their license. Each tag should already have the the hunter ID number on it. Check stations should be utilized and payed for BY the hunter ($3 - $5 per check in). The check station collects your tag and issues you a sticker that must remain on the deer until it is processed. Many may not like my take on it but at least a it’s a start. Any better ideas?
Just the way we did it back when. Hunters license number with each tag, punch the number for date killed and attache it to the deer. Simple and honest
The sad thing, is that reporting even needs to be discussed. To me, by definition, a hunter is one who will hunt with ethics. The person who does not use tags or just puts one on a deer, drives it home and prints more is a poacher plain and simple.
Frustrating, if indeed what you could call tag fraud is rampant, that a lot of people out there "hunting" with "us" are actually poachers, literally ruining it for everyone. More than frustrating... It sucks.
Once again the CT DEEP attempts to game the system and portray the deer herd as being much larger than actual reality. A quick check of NTSB statistics shreds the 18,000 DVC myth fairly quickly. Evidently the 2X multiplier (or higher) isn't limited to counting deer but also counting deer that get hit by cars by 6X.
Too bad there's this thing called the internet where anyone can find the facts with a mouse click or two.......
Dr. Williams's Link
Yeah.... it’s CHECKING those “facts” that gets time consuming....
GF those are great regressions. But the fact is DVC reporting rates suck. Also, sounds like guys here think the new tagging system also sucks. But I won't disagree that with lower densities of deer around than there used to be, hunters will make up a higher percentage of deer mortality. Glens number of 18,000 was derived by DEEP back when densities were insane. Can be read about how they derived it here on page 2.
Sounds like Glen has an issue with Howard, and not DEEP as a whole...
Sill not seeing how DEEP is “gaming the system.” They did a study with DOT and found that, from 2001-2002, for every one deer reported to DEP, DOT removed 5 others that were not reported. So if 3,000 deer were reported to DEP, it stands to reason that 15,000 were not. That is not “gaming the system,” that is math. I just did a “quick check of NTSB statistics” and I could not find anything. Why not provide a link that “shreds the 18,000 DVC myth?” It is now 2017 and these numbers were derived at a different time well over a decade ago when deer densities were much higher than they are now. No one is saying that there are 18,000 DVCs/year now. However, in 2014, State Farm Insurance projected there would be 9,723 collisions in Connecticut: https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/big-game-hunting/deer-car-collisions-ranked-by-state/.
I think the lack of understory has more to do with aging forests over twenty years and maybe even soil quality degrading. Just a thought. Here in MA we have no understory or thick vegetation in most forests.
It's the rut. Go hunting.
I agree with Spike. Forests where hunting is permitted are overly mature with virtually no understory. That's why the majority of deer are now found in residential areas, where the habitat is more diverse and better quality, and hunter access is limited.
Crow, going out Wed with the .243.
I call bullshit. I hunted MDC property by Colebrook River Lake in the 70s and 80s and that was mature hardwood, no under story at all. I was seeing 20+ deer from my stand each day, not counting those I jumped or saw on the way to and from the stand. Mis management, and too many tags.
Yup, population explosion that the habitat couldn't support and it ultimately corrected itself. Hardly mismanagement in the 70s and 80s, far from it. Deer were overly regulated which is why abundances exploded after institution of the deer season in 1974.
Ah, this is too easy. So using your logic Doc, now that there are so few deer in the same areas of the NW corner the DEEP is is conducting studies , is it also due to deer being UNDER regulated? You know, mismanagement?
Here is a slide from one of my talks. 1974-75 was the tipping point where we realized we had enough deer to support a season. If deer were mismanaged, why did their population explode statewide after establishment of a regulated season? You're just mad your public land spot got hammered back in the day. Right?
You just continue to support my position Doc. DEP started a hunting season and the deer in the NW corner are decimated. Im not talking about the area around my stand location, im talking about the entire NW corner. Thanks for confirming what I already knew.
With all due respect it's painfully obvious you haven't spent any appreciable time in a good swath of NW CT; for example if you did you'd be aware of a lot of similarities in some areas of the NW corner with lower FF County. Between NYC movers and shakers and celebrities buying land and building their country get-a-ways over the past 15-20 years you've got a lot of similar habitat creation in places like Salisbury, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Warren, Morris and a few other locales as exists in the McMansion land of lower FF county.
If you look at Colebrook and Hartland there's certainly a lot of mature forest but you do still have working farms in the area too; Paugnut State Forest abuts a 3 such farms and it's not hard to find the travel corridors between the bedding areas and these tracts and set up shop.
No, the biggest case to be made for mismanagement would have to be the slow response to the growing predator population, and in particular the bear population that was inadvertently aided and abetted by the strategy of relocation to the least densely populated, most forested area in CT; the NW corner. That one's tough to blame as it made a lot more sense than leaving the bears in say, Middlesex or NH counties, but the law of unintended consequences has certainly come to fruition.
Lastly, the CT DEEP has been working on creating habitat in the NW corner, clear-cutting among other sites places like Roraback Wildlife Management in Harwinton and Columbia State Forest in Bantam/Morris. I believe they've also done some work along those lines in the Goshen WMA.
It comes down to a big uptick in natural predation and I can recall having conversations with Paul Rego about 10 years ago about the exploding bear population and also about the big increase in natural predation from coyotes, bobcats even before the bear population started to really grow.
The current bucks only policy needed to be in place at least 5-7 years sooner. And to Bob's point it's not like hunters weren't making the case for tag reduction in the NW corner.
Mike, I would have to agree with you. Working for the state, I get to see a lot of it. We have research plots in Barkhamsted, Goshen, Redding, Weston, Salisbury, Mansfield, Lyme, North Branford, Norfolk, you get the idea. I get around. Predators in NW are certainly a problem that DEEP is researching and I agree deer densities are lower up there but not due to hunting only and mismanagement as Bob claims. But the same phenomenon is happening up there that is happening in Redding; deer are no longer found in the mature forested stands where the habitat stinks, they are in the residential areas where habitat is much better and more diverse. If the NW herd is "decimated", then how in 2015 did the DEEP guys capture 28 does up there? I'll tell you how, in residential areas. They were telling me it was lousy with deer. However, the fawn mortality was rather shocking.
I do have a problem when Bob spouts off about DEEP and mismanagement blah blah blah. Remember our lesson about how wildlife are owned by the public? Well I wasn't making that up. DEEP proposed a bear hunting season to the publicly elected Legislature, who in turn, turned it into some Cecil nonsense. Predator management is a public process. I'm just the messenger. Hunters need to understand this, not fight it and blame DEEP.
So Doc, why isn't the DEEP reducing tag limits in those areas and/or minimum antler size? Come on!! You continue to reinforce my stance that the DEEP doesn't know what they're doing,......or maybe they do????? Damn!
And one more thing. Almost ALL of the non-hunting public I speak with don't know anything about bag limits, deer seasons, hunting regulations, etc. So your argument that the "Public" determines game management is off the wall. I seriously doubt that with so few houses in the NW corner that the soccer moms (all 5 of them) would have an impact in an area where hunting is more the norm, than say FF county. So once again, mis-management is the root cause. I don't case if the lower deer herd numbers was caused by predation or the woods changing, the DEEP should have lowered bag limits and even closed certain section to hunting entirely. I suggested just that years ago, and here we are talking about a deer herd crisis in the NW corner,........right!
I used to love going into the litchfield dunkins on a saturday mid morning dressing in full camo and face paint..ahhh the looks of terror and disgust....lol
I'm starting to see more of this up here (and yes, I've been pretty darn critical of the MA DFW wanting to see some tweaks in management). The biggest glitch in the process, seems to be that the actual professionals which we as hunters may or may not agree with all the time - IE, Dr Williams - may agree, and WANT to do the very thing we as hunters would like to see... Heck, I'm sure it's the same down there, up here, almost every person I know of at MDFW is a hunter and fisherman - both the men and women who work there. And most are dang good, and passionate about it. They are not random scientists sitting in lab coats... They do that, but got into it because they LOVED the outdoors first. So even if "we" disagree, there is a lot more common ground than not!
But then all these dang political issues creep in and kill things.
As was noted above, a bear season in CT would be good, but if it has to clear the legislature, with a bunch of NON professionals, they see one pic of a wounded bear walking around an elementary school formulated by HSUS and think: "No Chance in Hell". They take their chances on the possible mauling - because even then the "public" kick back is to risky.
We need people like Dr Williams (whether we agree with all they do/say or not) who are trained in wildlife biology or similar fields who can take feedback from the population overall, but filter it with their training and experience to make decisions.
Like anything, we wont agree with all of those decisions, and we can raise our voice and hope it leads to positive shifts. But overall, we want that professional leadership.
We dont go to "Andersons Accounting Agency" and ask them about the lump on the side of our neck... But with wildlife management, it seems like we do the equivalent by forcing many decisions to be run through the legislation, or gen pop...
I'd rather disagree at times with someone who knows a lot about the subject, than see that person not have a chance to do the job.
Bear in mind, I'm not specifically talking about Dr W... He's just got the jingle bells to come on here so I used his name.
If people actually trained in a field are not allowed to make the decisions, how good will the decisions be? There needs to be some challenge to their thinking sure, but, if they essentially come up with ideas, and those are run through the leg/gen pop... then it's going to be an increasingly bad pool of outcomes.
(That all said, the banter between you guys is entertaining, and often very informative - it's appreciated even though it can get harsh in all directions at times!)
Its funny...in every state hunters think the state is mismanaging
Will - Doc Williams is the guy advocating for WB to take over deer management, not only in this state but where ever WB can get a foothold! He's said several times that hunters can't get the job done. He's not on the side of the hunter, he's an advocate for his friend Tony D from WB. Having such a biased view on hunting and calling all hunters ignorant is not the type of ally I'm looking for. I knew game wardens in years past that agreed with my view of the deer herd in the NW corner, but couldn't get their managers to make the changes needed. They never once mentioned soccer mom's, habitat change, predators or PETA as the problem, it's just another example of another ineffective government agency at work. Ask yourself WHY Doc is on this site? Does he post live hunts? Does he wish others luck on live hunts? Does he share his bow hunting experience? Does he participate in threads about boots, stands, scents, bows, arrows, etc? NO to all of them. The only thing he participates in are threads about WB and how hunters are ignorant. You want him? You can have him! He's all yours.
12:52 Because Bob, they do not perceive that they need to further reduce tags up there just yet. As I said, the DEEP guys found plenty of deer to dart and collar in amongst residences up there. And like the rest of the state, and in particular Fairfield County, there are plenty of deer still out there, just not on public lands where the habitat stinks and guys have been pounding them with hunting pressure for decades.
Look, DEEP responds to different needs in different zones, which is precisely why they have different deer management zones. In zones 11 + 12, you can bow hunt, over bait for 4.5 months of the year and kill as many deer as you want. Why? Because those zones are the most densely populated with both humans and deer and areas to legally remove deer with firearms are pretty limited. Now I am sensing that you think there is a vast conspiracy that DEEP wants all the deer dead due to ticks and tick-borne diseases. If that is the case, then why in zone 4A and zone 2 does DEEP only allow for the take of 1 deer of either sex each during firearms and muzzleloader seasons when in the rest of the state you can take 2 deer each season? Because they are responding to lower population densities in those zones. Bob, the very thing you are accusing DEEP of not doing they have done in the very zone you are complaining about, reduced tag allotment.
Now you are going to say you mean archery tags. Well in zone 2, there is a lot of open land accessible to hunters with firearms so the majority of them use that weapon of choice. As such, in 2016, 36% of all deer taken in zone 2 (179 of 496) were arrowed (this assumes that all landowner deer were taken with firearms). That is in contrast to Zone 11 where 80% of deer were taken with archery (1,376 of 1,712). That means, in Zone 2, with 4 tags available, archers killed 179 deer in 61 days on state land and 91 days on private. And firearms hunters, with only one tag available, killed 317 in 40 days. Are you suggesting DEEP limit firearms hunters to 0 tags in Zone 2? Because reducing archery tags to 2 isn’t going to do a while heck of a lot, maybe reduce archery take by 25% as I am guessing very few guys up there fill all 4 archery tags.
DEEP wanted a bear season for nuisance bears and predator control. If the public doesn’t determine wildlife management, then we should have a bear season? Right? It is not “my argument,” it is a fact; wildlife are owned and managed by the CT public and DEEP manages them according to the majority public opinion. Fact.
Dr Williams, that last paragraph stinks. I guess it's sort of the norm... But it drives me insane. We all drive cars but we sure as heck are not all mechanics...
Bob, Ill take both of you, I've learned from each of you and appreciate it! WB's approach is not mine. Point blank, I really dislike it. I guess I'm focused on a parallel issue, which is the dumbing down of expertise because of the distrust of it. I mean, if a state - any state - is going to pay well trained professionals to do a job, and then handcuff them with nonsensical constraints at the will of the people... To me it's like asking your neurosurgeon to do the job... But, in your living room, because hospitals are scary to people. Makes no sense.
No one's arguing that to your point the tail is wagging the dog but it is the reality and I suspect that applies to all 50 states; at least in CT any change to hunting laws must have a public hearing. Does this mean the outcome of the hearing (or hearings) dictates the end result? Yes and No; the legislature could defer to the judgement of the wildlife experts and ignore the crescendo from the anti-hunting crowd.
That's an idealistic view that reality doesn't support; reality is legislators are interested in large part in getting re-elected and those odds improve substantially when they vote on the "right" side of an issue. Regrettably, when it comes to wildlife management "right" is often measure in terms of which side a)made the most noise (communication) and b)has the most voting clout.
B is the real problem; many in this crowd can write much bigger checks than most of us here and in politics, money does talk.
Again Will, I'm in 100% agreement with you, it's just the unfortunate reality that we have to work on changing and that's only going to happen when a lot more hunters get off their couches and get into the fray.
Doc - you're spreading more mis-information. FAKE NEWS!!
How many times have I said - "I hunt state land"? Large tracts of state land. You're referring to private land bag limits for zones 2 and 4A, and 4A is not even in the NW corner. The bag limits on state land in the NW corner, zones 1 & 2 are identical to the rest of the state and that for all implements Doc. I call that mis-management. It's not a conspiracy, never said it was. It's stupidity.
Give me a break Bob. Fake News? What exactly about what I just said is “FAKE NEWS” or “misinformation?” The majority of deer in CT are taken on private land, 294 (66% in Zone 2 in 2016 with one tag!) so just 153 were taken on state land in 2016 in Zone 2. Do you think state land deer stay on state land and private land deer stay on private land? So therefore, DEEP reducing take in Zone 2 to one tag on private land doesn’t benefit you? I am not suggesting 4A is in NW CT. I also mentioned Zones 11+12 and am not suggesting those are in NW CT either. It is clear you only care about the state land that you hunt. Guys can kill a single deer on state land with a firearm statewide. Should they be able to shoot 0 deer with a firearm? I know, perhaps you should find a state land spot that has some deer if you want to harvest one instead of complaining about DEEP online.
Thanks for the shout out Will. I am not sure what Bob is all worked up about. He has until he is 80 to shoot his next buck. He should have plenty of scouting time between now and then. Mike is right on this too and he is right that people with deeper pockets can push anti-hunting agenda which is why hunters need to be professional and continue to provide the public service of deer management. And I am friends with DEEP biologists who sometimes wonder why they even have a job when their expertise is ignored and politics win in wildlife management decisions. Incredibly frustrating, but that is the terms of the North American Model we abide by (http://wildlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ptd_10-1.pdf). I am certainly not advocating WB take over deer management as Bob suggests, in fact quite the contrary, though I do accept the reality that hunting is not always the answer. Bob, I did shoot a 3-point yearling buck yesterday with the .243, but I don’t feel the need to rehash its death online, but that is just me. I shot it, tagged it, gutted it, dragged it, threw it in my truck, hung it, and will butcher it in 6 days. Do you want to know what boots I was wearing? Jacket? Camo pattern? Ammo? I would be happy to tell you, but don’t feel the need to, again, that is just me. I will be back out Saturday morning in the drizzle to try and whack a doe or 3. And Bob, how can you have conversation about deer management without mentioning predators or habitat or soccer moms? Seems like basic requirements for deer management. I am not following what you mean there but we are having conversations about those things on this site. I am posting here because modern hunters need to think more than just saying “hunting is the answer.” You can thank Glen for getting me on this site because of his crusade against the Redding project and WB.
Doc, you're still off track. I said it doesn't matter if the herd decrease was caused by hunting, predation, poaching, aliens, etc. The deep should have changed the bag limits. In one breath you say the deer in the NW corner are hanging out in pockets of private land and then you say the deep reduced the bag limits, but wait that's only on private land Doc. Circles! You talk in circles. And since I only hunt state land in the NW corner that's the only area I can speak to with authority. Didn't learn it from a book, but from being in the woods for 48 years. And shooting an animal with a high powered rifle is for someone who is more interested in the kill than the hunt. But congrats on bagging one and kudos for doing your own butchering.
Deep reduced tags on private land in zone 2 because they know densities are down and the majority of deer are taken on private land. Also deer are clustered mostly on private land so tag reduction will be most effective there. That's not talking in circles, that's what's happening. 16 years is a helluva hunt Bob. With kids and work and my volunteer commitments, I don't have time to wait 16 years between harvests. Plus, I'd get pretty hungry over the span of 16 years. But thanks for the kudos.
Patience Doc, comes with age I think. If you're not hunting for any deer, but one particular deer, it's a different game. It's like finding a 4 leaf clover, it takes time. But with time comes great reward.
As with many endeavors each comes to it with their own personal ethos and their own concepts of "what it's all about."
Look up any old thread on what constitutes a "trophy" and you'll see the point very clearly. To some of the hunters driven by the desire to conquer increasingly harder challenges it is a mature buck; the top 1% of what's out there.
To others, 8pts is a trophy, whether it's a mature 5 1/2 year old buck or a 1 1/2 year old buck. To others it's a deer; any deer, especially if it's a bow kill.
It is not for me to judge the validity of any of the above claims (or claimants)-to each their own and if you meet the challenge you've set for yourself you have done well.
Ironically, it is this difference in hunting attitudes that is our greatest hurdle; too many times I've seen personal interests placed ahead of the greater good and splintered groups make poor political action bodies.
"To thine own self be true." Find your passion, live it unapologetically to the fullest and at the end of your journey it will have been a life well lived.
I'm early but I'll wish all a very Happy Thanksgiving; at the end of the day it's family that is the ultimate trophy.
I have said it before and I'll say it again, any deer taken with a bow is a trophy. It's the most self-handicapping way to hunt which is limitations exist for its use in overabundant situations. The property I hunt is for deer management so if it's brown, it's down.
Bob, I'm out right now. I'm sitting on a periwinkle foam rubber gardening pad I commandeered from gardening shed and I'm wearing some insulated rubber boots I got at Cabela's, mossy oak pattern coveralls I've had forever, my hooded Browning hydro fleece jacket, face mask, gloves, and camo/blaze orange reversible fleece hat. I'm using a Remington 700 .243 with 95 grain Nosler ballistic tip Federal ammo and a Leupold scope. Though I'm good with this setup well beyond 200 yards, I dinged that 3 point yearling Wed at 15 from the ground. Haven't seen anything yet this morning aside from nuthatches, but watching the sun come up over this brook is pretty awesome.
Good luck Doc and thanks for sharing your hunt
Periwinkle?..GL.doc..if you get one let us know how many tics on it..seriously..like an average
Thanks. Saw nothing. One guy saw a bobcat.
Not much happening most places,......next time.
Bobcats are super cool to watch!
Hold on a minute guys, I need to make more popcorn...there isn't anything that you guys won't argue about..
Toyota - Ford and Chevy and Dodge Suck
Ha ha ha. Just kidding around!
Thongs. V string Tstring..bikini..granny. all perspective...lol
notme - we all saw your legs, I don't want to gouge my eyes out if you showed a picture of yourself in a thong.
The one in pink Bob? Closer to your age? ;) KIDDING!!!
Owwww! That hurts, but only because it's true. And where's the person who's growing old gracefully, want to meet him/her because they're full of sh_t. Getting old sucks. You wake you one morning and you now need a plan on how to put on your socks without hurting yourself.
I was just rereading this thread last night. GF, I do not understand your crossbow statement. You said “But no, allowing crossbow use in archery season won’t affect harvest rates at all…” Are you kidding? I am asking because according to the chart here, after the permitted use of crossbows statewide in 2013, reported harvest dropped from 13,421 in 2012 to 12,549 in 2013 and fell further to 11,394 in 2014 before the disastrous 2015 season of 9,577. If crossbow use were to have an impact on archery take, wouldn’t reported harvest rates increase? I guess I am not following. Crossbow is certainly a more efficient weapon than a bow, so one wouldn’t assume decreased harvest rates after its permitted use.
This article is little more than a Connecticut state agency’s (DEEP) attempt to manipulate data of “deer vehicle collisions", with a "made-up graph".
According to the article, CT had 18,000 DVC’s in 2000, yet we find the DEEP stating 18,000 DVC’s and 13,000 hunter harvested deer in 2011 to promote hunting in town owned reserve properties in Guilford, CT.
I especially like the line - “In fact, every year since 2009, it’s been hunters -- not cars and trucks -- that kill the most deer.” Maybe they forgot about making the statement of 18,000 DVCs in 2011.
Also stating the multiplier of 6X times actual deer strikes..........show us the evidence. This is the same as stating 40-60 dpsm in Fairfield County. Doc - This is the nonsense the DEEP and the CAES have been peddling for the last 17 years !
For every Deer Vehicle Collision; there are 5 more we don`t see.
Ok. And we are back to talking about vehicle collisions and Guilford for some reason. Again, Glen has an issue with Howard. The link you posted is a Town of Guilford document (all you have to do is look at the web address: http://www.ci.guilford.ct.us/wp-content/uploads/Appendix-F-Deer-Management.pdf) that refers to a DEEP-provided report about hunter safety. You can tell this by reading on page 6 of that document "A report provided by Dr. Howard Kilpatrick of the Connecticut DEEP Wildlife Division is provided (Appendix F-1) documenting that hunting can occur safely on the East River Preserve.” See, you can tell it is Town document as it refers to the DEEP report as Appendix F-1. Nowhere in Appendix F-1 does it mention the 18,000 number, only that reduced deer populations will reduce deer vehicle collisions. But the Town document does use that number, because at the time, that was the estimated number of annual DVCs occurring in CT. Are you mad that that figure was used as justification to open Guilford town lands to bowhunting such that the property was continued to be hunted as it had been in private ownership for decades? Man, what a thankless process that was. I thought I was going to get egged multiple times by animal rights whackos and now I am getting it from bow hunters on a bow hunting site after the fact?
Glen, you are blending a Town of Guilford open space management plan, with a hunting safety report provided to them by DEEP, with a news story by NPR and claiming DEEP and CAES is “peddling nonsense.” What? Here is the “evidence” from Howard and Andy’s “Managing Urban Deer in Connecticut” (http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/wildlife/pdf_files/game/urbandeer07.pdf) that was published in 2007. But this is probably not good enough for the Kangaroo Court of Bowsite. You are going to ask for photographic evidence for each of the 18,000 deer from back in 2001. Right?