Moultrie Products
Let’s crunch some numbers
West Virginia
Contributors to this thread:
gobbler 19-Mar-19
JayD 20-Mar-19
gobbler 20-Mar-19
JayD 20-Mar-19
gobbler 20-Mar-19
Babysaph 20-Mar-19
Babysaph 20-Mar-19
gobbler 20-Mar-19
Lone Eagle 20-Mar-19
sundaynwv 20-Mar-19
JayD 20-Mar-19
gobbler 20-Mar-19
Babysaph 20-Mar-19
Babysaph 20-Mar-19
gobbler 20-Mar-19
JayD 20-Mar-19
gobbler 20-Mar-19
gobbler 20-Mar-19
JayD 20-Mar-19
sundaynwv 20-Mar-19
JayD 20-Mar-19
gobbler 20-Mar-19
Babysaph 21-Mar-19
From: gobbler
19-Mar-19
WV is one of only a small handful of states that consistently kill more bucks than does. That is not good for the deer herd or the habitat. These are the numbers from the latest 5 years I could get and they look very similar to the previous 5 years. These include totals from rifle, archery, and muzzleloader

5 yr average of bucks killed = 68,288

5 yr average of antlerless. = 58,979

Now remember that antlerless includes button bucks, shed bucks, and bucks with antlers less than 3 inches and the disparity widens.

WV DNR. has done some excellent things to try and close the gap by allowing concurrent buck/antlerless season, having the so called “earn a second buck “ counties, and even expanding that to include across all weapon choices, and allowing up to 2 does to be killed in one day. There is no doubt that these measures have helped a lot but even with this the gap is not being closed and has remained the same the last few years.

Here are some numbers I just received from WVDNR

This past season a total of 53,518 hunters harvested at least one or more bucks.

A total of 7,050 hunters harvested 2 or more antlered bucks for a total of 14,916 bucks.

The hunters that harvested 14,916 bucks only harvested 5,035 antlerless deer. Essentially 3 to 1 buck over doe. It should be noted that the antlerless deer consisted of 4,603 actual does, 201 button bucks, and 231 bucks with antlers less than 3 inches. So, true buck to true doe it’s 15,348 -4,601. A 3.3-1 ratio. I know there are variations of doe limits in counties but the bottom line is there is a large chunk of WV where doe harvest objectives are not being met.

To me it’s apparent we are not killing enough does. I understand and appreciate the emphasis on getting a buck but a true hunter is also a true conservationist and wants to do what is best for the deer. It’s also apparent that a large number of hunters are focusing on bucks to the exclusion of does by a 3-1 margin. I constantly hear that a very small number of people actually kill 3 bucks and that is true, but my question is how many opportunities at does are not being taken advantage of to get that second or third buck? There’s no practical realistic way to obtain that data precisely but I would suggest that the 3:1 margin as noted above would certainly include many passed opportunities to harvest a doe.

No one wants to take away opportunities but at some point those opportunities have to be balanced with what is best for the deer herd and the habitat. And by habitat I’m not just talking deer habitat, I’m talking about ecosystem. Habitat for other game species and non game species. Plants such as wildflowers, ginseng, and oak tree regeneration.

The DNR has done a good job of trying to steer hunters into taking enough does to meet the doe harvest objectives, but to me it’s clear that while it has helped a lot it’s still not getting the job done with just expanding doe opportunities and not addressing buck opportunities in order to achieve a more natural herd in regard to buck/doe ratios and a proper more natural buck age structure .

Most of us hunt to get back to nature and experience sights and sounds that we don’t get in our everyday home and work environment . We want to experience nature and the thrill of the hunt. Wouldn’t that be a richer more rewarding experience with a more natural deer herd?

From: JayD
20-Mar-19
Gobbler a few questions:

First I remember posting an article on here (I couldn’t find it here this morning) that our lead biologist claimed that if we killed at least 70 does for every 100 bucks that is what is needed to maintain the herd size as it is right now. It was also stated that the herd size right now is at a much healthier state than what it was when we were killing close to 100,000 bucks every year. I believe now they say we have around 650,000 and back then it was over a million maybe even 1.25 million is that correct?

So according to your numbers it looks as if over the past 5 years that we are actually killing more than 70 does for every 100 bucks - looks like it is about 85 to 86 does for every 100 bucks killed. So I take it you have a problem with the theory that this is the ratio needed to maintain the deer herd at the level it is now?

So what numbers do you think we should be seeing? So out of 650000 deer we kill about 120000 of them each year as hunters - then I know disease, auto kills and predators also play role. But seriously what numbers do you and your group want to see - I know you want more does than bucks killed so how will that effect size of the herd? I mean I look at OH and KY sites every now and then and hear the complaints that quite a few say they see no deer. So what are the hard numbers you and your group want to see - what size herd would you like to see? How many bucks do you want to see killed? Several years ago I believe we had like 35,000 killed is that a good number for you? How many more does do you want killed? Will the number of does you want killed maintain the herd or lower the overall herd numbers? If you want these changes I sure would like to know how it is going to change things ? I am not trying to be smart here just want to see the hard numbers you all want instead of just asking for higher prices to hunt and for more does to be killed.

From: gobbler
20-Mar-19
JayD, first these are my opinions . I didn’t ask any group for their opinion on these numbers. In fact this is the first site on social media where I released them. I agree 100% that we are in a better place for deer and habitat than we were when we were killing 100,000 bucks a year. That was entirely too many deer for our habitat or probably any habitat anywhere based on deer per square mile . iDK what the exact right numbers are . But the 2 points that bother me are

1. We are one of only a couple states in our surrounding area and I’m including several states not just OH, that routinely kill more bucks than does each year.

2. The DNR is consistently not meeting doe harvest objectives in a good number of counties each year despite making it easier and easier to harvest does each year.

I think those 2 things are directly related to each other. And as the numbers show some people are shooting their 2nd and 3rd buck and not taking advantage of the antlerless option by a margin of 3:1

The DNR wouldn’t have doe harvest objectives for each county if there wasn’t a valid biological reason for having them. IDK who said 70 does per 100 bucks, but I would suggest getting some more opinions on that number from other independent wildlife biologists both inside and outside the state.

From: JayD
20-Mar-19
So is the shoot a doe before a second buck not mandatory acrossed the state? Maybe that and make it to where an additional doe needs to be killed before the third buck should be considered as well even though at the most that will mean around 700 more does being killed.

I understand that you want more does killed than what there are bucks but it has been stated by our biologist that we need to kill 70 does for every 100 bucks to maintain the herd level to where it is now. So since you want to see more does killed are you saying we need to reduce the herd size even further? Or do you think the ratio of 70 to 100 is hogwash? I think in some areas there is still some over population but at least from what I hear on here and on other social media - a lot of hunters are not seeing deer. Is lowering the population with a higher doe kill needed at this time?

Shouldn’t there be a hard number for the number of does and bucks that you would like to see harvested ? I mean I know there are some out there who have recently stated on social media that WV hunting licenses are set up in a way that every buck - down to the very last one could be killed. Which I don’t buy into and I think was foolishly said. I would like to know the numbers for herd size and harvest numbers that you all think is needed for WV. I would think you should want to know the hard numbers before stating what ratio of harvest numbers need to be. I will try to look for that article again on here that I posted where they said 70 to 100 was needed to maintain the herd size. As to getting others to say if that was correct or not - shouldn’t the estimated herd size for the past several years tell us if It is working or not? I mean is our herd size growing again - as a state do we have an over population of deer again? I can tell you right now - there are quite a few that think WV does not have enough deer anymore. I am not one of those believers but I think all within the DNR including yourself and other commissioners would be on the chopping block if you were to drop the herd size anymore!

From: gobbler
20-Mar-19
What I’m saying is I’m not sure that 70 does per 100 bucks is a valid constant . The number can and should vary from year to year based on current situations . If it is being used annually then it obviously isn’t working because if it were we would be meeting for harvest objectives yet every year we are not.

From: Babysaph
20-Mar-19
Wv is one of only a handful of states that kills more bucks than does because we are one of the poorer states. We are usually on the bottom in most other things so this is no surprise to me. It is up to the lawmakers to fix this but they can't until someone comes up with a way to keep the state from losing money. It is that simple

From: Babysaph
20-Mar-19
I'm just a dumb ole boy but if we kill more does than bucks then the deer population will get so low that people won't hunt. That is the problem now as I understand it. Lil Johnny doesn't want to hunt now. If you take him out hunting and he is seeing no deer you will never get his nose out of that phone or video game. It is a precarious situation for sure. Wv is different. I don't think we will ever kill more does than bucks regardless of what biologist says this is what we need for our deer herd.. What is best for the deer herd is not always what is best for the bottom line unfortunately. Hunters want to see and kill deer.

From: gobbler
20-Mar-19
WV DNR made a deal with the devil in the 90s using deer tags to balance the budget when we were killing upwards to 200-250 thousand deer a year. Now that we are killing less than half that the system needs changed. Tags don’t count for Federal PR matching funds, licenses do.

From: Lone Eagle
20-Mar-19

From: sundaynwv
20-Mar-19
40 percent doe kill is supposed to stabilize a herd. That is from Dr. Crum. If only managing deer was as easy as saying a hard number.

And the earn a buck counties have little to no rhyme or reason. Some of the highest doe concentration counties are not an earn a buck county.

From: JayD
20-Mar-19
If only it was as easy as stating a percentage as well. LOL JR you are absolutely correct the deer population will decline - glad you would answer that when other won’t.

From: gobbler
20-Mar-19
That is the whole point, to get population to decline in the areas it needs to decline. That is what is meant by not meeting harvest objectives . That is why they established concurrent buck/doe season, earn a buck counties, ability to kill 2 does a day. I didn’t think it needed to be said. It’s common sense for most people.

From: Babysaph
20-Mar-19
You are right about the deer tags gobbler

From: Babysaph
20-Mar-19
That is the object but when hunters are not buying licenses now they surely won't if they are not seeing deer..hunters will not like what the deer herd would look like if it was balanced..

From: gobbler
20-Mar-19
I’m not convinced of that JR. That was probably the case 20-25 years ago, but I’m not so sure about today. You can still have a decent deer herd with a better buck/doe ratio. That leads to better rut activity, more trailing, more chasing, etc. I think hunters would enjoy seeing multiple bucks per day rather than a couple along with 20-30 doe

From: JayD
20-Mar-19
So Gobbler are you seeing 20 to 30 does for each buck on your property?

I most certainly do not see that here. Heck I was told quite a few on the Facebook page of your one group that most people were complaining about not seeing any deer not just bucks.

So from your previous post I can take it is that you think that 650,000 deer is too much for WV and you want to see less deer. That’s all I wanted to know sorry it took so long to find that out.

From: gobbler
20-Mar-19
JayD, again you’re doing what you do best and that is putting words into someone else’s mouth in order to make some point. That works in grade school but not in adulthood. I never mentioned 650,000 deer in any of my posts . You threw that number out there and now you are trying to make it sound like I was talking about that number. No one knows how many deer are in WV. Any estimated number of deer in WV is an educated guess at best. What I DID say is WV needs a more balanced herd. No, I’m not seeing 10-15 does per buck on my place. I’m currently seeing about 3-4 does per buck because in last 6 years we have taken 3 bucks and somewhere between 30-40 does. And no, earn a buck is NOT universal across the state , and the counties change every year. Maybe if you would actually read the regulations before making comments and inferences about them we could have an informed logical discussion about them?

From: gobbler
20-Mar-19
JayD, I’m sorry for being so sarcastic but that’s a big reason I quit posting on here. You twist things around to make it sound like someone said something they never said. IDK why you do it? If you would like to have a civil discussion I’m up for that but I’m not going to have a discussion with anyone that that tries to put words in my mouth.

From: JayD
20-Mar-19
Gobbler that is bull crap! You are the one twisting things. I ask questions of you and yes I have gotten the number of 650,000 from DNR officials. I ask you a legit question on the 70 to 100 ratio that was mentioned in the article by the one biologist - I can’t remember if it was Crum or Pack who made that statement as what was needed to maintain the herd as it is. All I ask is if you did not agree with it. Then I ask again about if you felt that the only ratio needed is for more does to be killed than bucks. As JR stated that will more than likely result in a decrease in herd size. Something that I hear many hunters from PA, OH and KY complain about as well as those who praise the bucks from those states. And hunters here in WV complaining about seeing no deer.

Again you were the one who stated that the idea is to get the population decline - those are your answers not mine. I am trying to understand your answers - I am trying to understand what you and your group want but you all get ticked every time someone ask you questions and then you twist things around and try to make the other person look bad - then you use your sarcastic comments. So yes I am up for a fair discussion - all I ask is what your goal is for the deer herd - do you want less deer in WV? Yes I agree in some areas there are too many deer - but I don’t think it is a common problem through out WV - so the estimated figure the last I heard from DNR is 650,000 deer in WV - is that too many?

Again i was just reading your answers and took it that you thought we needed less deer - now I don’t know what the heck you want.

And you talk about putting words in someone’s mouth - what about you saying I thought the director wasn’t providing good leadship? So I don’t want to hear your misguided allegations!

And I do read the regulations for my county so stop with the stupid logical discussion remark - it is hard to have a logical discussion with two guys on here that constantly will tell half-stories and say the other half can’t be told at the time because of one excuse or the other.

I apologize to the rest of you all on here but I am tired of Gobbler and Sunday coming on here and accusing me of things that just are not true! And if you are a part of the BBM group you would understand they do this stuff constantly to people who don’t agree with their way of thinking.

So gobbler and Sunday I will apologize to you two as well - just as gobbler did above - I am sorry that you two accuse people of doing things they haven’t done. IDK why you do it? And yes I would be up for a civil discussion as well!

From: sundaynwv
20-Mar-19
Jayd,

Here's some numbers. I'd like to see Preston County kill a total of 5,089 deer. 2021.5 bucks 3067.5 does Of which 1500 bucks taken with a rifle, 275.5 bucks taken with traditional archery, and 124.5 with a crossbow, And 125.5 taken with a muzzleloader(100.5 in the December season and 25 in the heritage). 1000 does in early rifle, 1000 in rifle, 500.5 with traditional archery, 500 with crossbow., 65 in December muzzleloader, and 2 in heritage. A total of 60 percent does for one year then cut back in the doe harvest, even though no biological surveys conclude a 2 doe limit is better than a 3 doe limit.

From: JayD
20-Mar-19
Sunday wouldn’t it be nice if maybe some research was done on buck limits since like you are insinuating with the biological survey remark that none exist.

I actually made a suggestion to the director - for starting some research in WV to put in place a 2 buck limit in 2 counties in each district and follow the results for 3 to 5 years or whatever our biologist deem necessary to get viable info.

I also suggested to make the research even more interesting (and I know this will rattle some cages) but to up the limit in one of the bow only counties to 2 bucks for the same period of time. I think a safe guard could be put in place for the bow only county that if the harvest became more than what the DNR thought it should be they could drop the limit back to 1 for the remainder of the season. I just don’t think it will make much difference as it is hard enough to get one buck with a bow let alone two.

I would love to see the results - I think getting the research would help in setting the best to follow instead of trying to make an educated guess at it.

From: gobbler
20-Mar-19
Well, I’m sorry everyone. I thought I would come back and try to give some new data and opinions on that data but that didn’t work. I don’t want to see “Burnette wants to kill all the deer in WV “ on another FB site tonite.

If anyone has any questions you can PM me

Thanks

From: Babysaph
21-Mar-19
Here is my take. Hunters want to see deer in WV period. Farmers and insurance companies want less deer. It is a fine line for the lawmakers to deal with. Someone said earlier that Wv is resistant to change. That is true. Most hunters here want to just kill deer and are not interested in the size of them. It is so important for some to say they got their buck. Any buck.

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