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DRH1175

Is the DNR taking the right approach to Deer Management in MN?

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What are everyones thoughts on the MN herd? What is being done right, what should be done differently? I honestly would like to see a 8 point antler restriction State wide. Call me harsh but I would like to see it!

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I guess I'd like to see something change. I'd vote for the earn a buck deal. First you must shoot a doe and then you can take a buck. A person doesn't always have time to sit and count points. Bucks can run or travel pretty fast past a person.

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I would love to see it. Go to the DNR site and they have a 2005 poll out there. I browsed it and it seems like more people would like to see more mature deer.

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What if they did an antler restriction with $$$$ penalty clause....Shoot any buck you wan't but when you register it's 20$ per tine less than 8..Unless you are under the age of 18 they can take what they want...Sounds harsh too but it would make people think twice about taking that 6 pointer for an extra 40$.....I think a few years of that and you would really see an increase in bigger bucks.....I'm all for it...lets start the motion....uplander

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A few of my thoughts...

1.) Move the firearms opener back two weeks.

- I believe this would reduce the number of bucks being killed statewide. They get decimated by all the gun hunters (me included) because we are one of the few states that has a gun season during the peak of the rut when bucks (old and young) are most vulnerable.

2.) Earn-a-buck of some kind.

- There are lots of ways to do this, but this is a great way to make sure a heard is balanced. A balanced heard is a healthy heard. I think everyone would agree that the heard in Minnesota is very doe-heavy.

I don't know that either of these will happen (especially the first), but it's fun to discuss.

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I wonder what all the guys shooting open sights would think about that one

Quote:

antler restriction with $$$$ penalty clause


... Even with bowhunting it's often difficult in determining points.

But I get what you're saying... I'd love to see more mature deer as well but at the expense of seeing less deer per outing? Or at the expense of eating your buck tag each season? For me I'm willing to make the sacrifice but many aren't. And they shouldn't have to. I think moving the season back a few weeks would benefit greatly. Still have the numbers... still the option to bag whatever you want but at the same time increase the number of mature deer by taking away the guns at the peak window of their weakness...

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I'm most in favor of moving the season back. I'd rather be able to bow hunt the greater part of the rut & cut wood & bird hunt in October when it's not that great for bowhunting anyway. In our party of 16 this year we shot 11 deer, 7 young bucks. We killed 2 does & 2 doe fawns. We literally only saw a total of 5 does & the 2 fawns. Of those does at least 1 was a multiple sighting of the same doe & maybe 2 of them. We whiffed on 1 buck & passed on 1, may have also been the same one. There are a lot of deer where we hunt, but most, at least this year, were small bucks. If we didn't shoot a bunch of them this year, sure there'd be a bunch of nice bucks next year, but there might not be any crops in the fields...

This year in our area the doe population was not the problem.

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Move it back to mirror Wisconsins season if anything, I would vote for a point restriction as well, but this would be a hard one to pass for previous stated reasons.

I will just throw this out there too, I bet most all archery hunters would vote yes, while most gun only hunters would vote no....?

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I would favor a point restriction, but not sure if its really feasible.

I would want a clause that kids under 16 or something could take any deer of any sex or size though.

Is MN doing the right thing? Well, they are listening and changing annually. So I guess if they arent doing the right thing, let em know what it is you would like different. The masses will be listened to for sure. Not saying changes will take place, but they are listening and can be swayed depending on what we say.

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I am bringing this up because the last about 7 years I have been passing on the the smaller bucks During all 3 seasons. To have them either run over to a fellow party memeber or neighbor to have them shot. I pass on them in the hopes they will get bigger not cause I don't feel like shooting them and would much rather see someone else shoot them. Trying to talk others into it isn't working and less admit unless we own sq miles it won't happen. The DNR has to do it for it to happen. I just don't see the joy in shooting a 4 pointer. I get as much or more joy of shooting a doe. What can we do about this? It is hard to get the ratio in tune when just as many small bucks are shot as does.

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The trouble is that not everyone has the same deer hunting goals that you have. So to say its not managed for the size of the bucks you want, isnt necessarily right either. Hunters differ greatly in what they feel will make their hunt a success when the weekend is done. Some could give a rip about antlers or not. Its a deer to them.

I am with you. We do the same thing. Its not helping much, but I think its safe to say that if we didnt pass on the smaller bucks they have zero chance to grow old.

I would prefer everyone around to pass on small bucks, but not everyone around us feels they should. And for me to say my goals are what they should adopt, isnt right.

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Myself in the last 2 years have decided to harvest a buck 8 points or better. No luck yet. I passed on a spike last night. I told my dad I passed and said if that spike walk by him he wouild have shot. I said how do you expect to shoot a wall mounter if you shoot spikes. He said he needs meat on the table. Some people hunt for meat while others hunt for trophy's.

Here are my thoughts:

1. Move the season back a couple of weeks.

2. Eliminate party hunting. Say I shoot a buck. A couple hours later another buck runs by. With the rules now I can shoot that buck to fill someone elses tag in my party. With no party hunting I let that buck walk and he may not get harvested that year, therefor he grows to a better buck next year.

3. Earn a buck. Harvest a doe first then take a buck.

4. Antler restriction. $20 per point seems awfully steep. Maybe it should be so people won't do it. I like the 8pt. Maybe we should start with 6pts and go from there.

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I have always been a meat hunter. I've hunted with both gun and bow, though the bow has been gathering dust the last few years due to a lack of time to hunt.

I will shoot any doe any time. I will no longer shoot little bucks. That's changed over time for me. Time was I'd shoot anything that wasn't a fawn (nothing against shooting fawns, they just don't offer much meat).

Now, after doing this for a long enough time, I shoot does for meat and will pass on young bucks and look for Mr. Mack Daddy.

But there are 400,000 plus hunters out there in Minnesota, and there are so many differing opinions on what constitutes a rewarding deer hunt that consensus will be hard to build. My perspective is merely my own, and is no more or less valid than someone else's.

If Minnesotans want a deer herd managed more toward trophy status, I agree it will be up to the DNR/Legislature to change things. Hunters are too numerous and varied in their interests to get together on it.

I like the idea of managing the herd toward trophy status. It certainly can be done in a way that gives the meat hunters lots of options but also over a 10-year period would start giving trophy hunters more hope.

I also recommend moving the season back a couple weeks to mimic Wisconsin. I've hunted in Sconnie three times (at deer camp with rellies near LaCrosse), and haven't found any lack of does or bucks to shoot. Removing the rut from the deer gun season is a very good start. I also like the idea of earning a buck by shooting a doe, but only in areas where population balances/numbers warrant that type of approach.

And here's a thought. If gun season doesn't start until later, will more bowhunters hunt the rut harder than they do now, taking more trophy bucks than they do now? I realize the number of bowhunters in MN is a mere fraction of the number of gun hunters.

Just my brand of food for thought. grin.gif

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It would be nice if some people would let em go to let em grow thats my policy. The only way to improve the quality of bucks would be an antler restriction. But I think we are probably in the minority on that one. It would be nice to see a survey maybe if we were the majority the laws would change but I doubt it. If it makes the majority happy to shoot small bucks though I will deal and keep passing them up and hope they live to see another year. If it were my choice it would be atleast four points on one side. The big ones are still out there though.

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This issue has so many varying opinions it is difficult to come to a consensus. You have those who just want the opportunity to harvest a deer. You have those who are out for meat and you have those who want the trophy buck and nothing else. Add to that deer populations, when high like now(in certain/not all areas), lead to more crop damage, more car-vehicle collisions and a greater chance for disease like CWD/Bovine TB to spread more quickly. Earn a buck would help bring the population in check, but would be met with quite a bit of opposition from the traditional hunters, which I believe are the majority of MN hunters. Antler restrictions would make hunting much more difficult and turn people away leaving less people to help control the herd. Lastly, if we all passed on the small bucks and it came to be that trophy bucks were running all over, would we get the same satisfaction in killing a trophy buck if they were everywhere??? I guess I have had a few opportunities at a wall hanger and have yet to connect, but don't get the least bit angry when someone harvests a spike or forkhorn or whatever. I see the deer as a resource for all to enjoy with hopefully as little restriction as possible. These are just my opinions. I think the MN DNR does there best to keep as many people happy as they can. I

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If the DNR wants to take the right approach to deer management in MN they need to take a look at what North Dakota is doing. I bow hunted up there last year for a week and each morning/evening I saw no less than 10 deer each sit. For some hunters in MN that number might be average but to me thats pretty darn good..

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I would go for an earn a buck if anything. Antler point restrictions? No way. That is up to the land owner. I am guilty of it as well but I hate to think of only big antlered deer as trophies. I would hate for my daughter to shoot a small buck and not feel like she got a true trophy because there were not enough points. Any deer with a bow is a trophy in my eyes. As far as the gun season goes I think it is idiotic that the DNR does not move the season back a week or two. Absurd! crazy.gif

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South central Mn has very few deer compared to hunters so the earn a buck would not work unless you want a bunch of hunters quitting the sport. I think the zone I hunt in has 250 doe tags per season,that is 2 counties of land. If you are going to be the "big Buck Hunter" like on TV and let the big bucks breed during the rut then no bowhunting for bucks until after the rut also. I bowhunt and also slug hunt.Pushing the season back in this part of the state would eliminate 50% of the hunting ground because the deer are moving to the wintering ground by the end of november. Again making alot of hunters quit. Our state is huge and diverse. What may work up north will not work down south. What works in the southeast bluff region will not work in the red river valley.I would hate to see our state become an Iowa or Ohio and the TV hunters come in and buy and lease the ground here like they do in those 2 states. If you ever have the chance to hunt those states you will know what I'm talking about.We have an incredible herd in Mn. and lots of people get to hunt and harvest deer.If you want to practice QDM then do it and get your nieghbors to go along with it. It does work in promoting bigger, older deer. You had better know what your doing and get a good count of the deer in the area and know how many doe,fawn and buck are in the area before and during the season so If you want to practice QDM. Its nice to have a chance at getting a big buck but thats not the only reason I hunt. I think a lot of people watch to many TV shows about huge deer on private ranches in Texas and think that is what we need. Try hunting in texas for under 7000 dollars and harvest one of those deer. I'm not saying our system is perfect by any means but the states that have the restrictions made for big bucks have many drawbacks also like increased poaching and increased compation for prime hunting ground by very rich people like you never seen.

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Oh boy now i have to go into a rant...I have shot bucks big and small, does, and fawn I have shot them all. A "trophy" to me is how you take the deer. For example I shot a 6 pointer 3 or 4 years ago, not huge at all 2 1/2 year old, but i saw him laying in a corn row 300 yards away, i stalked to within 35 yards and shot him where he lay, he never smelled, or saw me, in my book trophy deer. There is already an antler restriction in certain areas:example a buck must have 8 legal point in forestville to be shot. There is management out there, most of this talk of our changing hunting in MN is from people that don't see many deer IMO. I think the hunting we have in our state is 2nd to none. (I grew up in MT) We have the ability to hunt during the rut, not many other states do? Do they produce more record book deer? Gee I don't know, go to google do a search, there are only 3 or 4 states in the nation with more record book whitetails than MN. I say change nothing, if anything maybe just have one 10 day gun season. it comes down to hunters choosing which deer to harvest, AND nutrition for deer. deer hunting is a privelage not a right, therefore we are pretty darn lucky the state has in place what it does. I bow hunt october and november and gun hunt 3B. I buy 3 or 4 tags every year, in past years I have shot as many as 9 in 1 year party hunting, last year I shot 0 still paid for 3 deer tags. I have never hunted up north, maybe there aren't many deer up there. In the southern part of the state there are deer everywhere, i pass on deer all the time.

Earn a buck: IMO makes no sense, now you have to take 2 deer? What if I don't want 2 deer, yes I know this is the first year of the venison donation program, which is great so you can just donate your doe, but still, not everyone shoots 2 deer, won't be long beforre the herd is cut in half IMO.

Statewide antler restriction: makes no sense, say a deer is 200-300 yards away you can shoot it with a 30-06, but counting points could be tough. why should i be penalized for shooting a 6 pointer when i thought it was a 9 ? UNless it is in an area such as forestville, but that is shotgun, so it should be within 100 yards, and point counting is easier.

I think the DNR is trying to add hunters, not decrease them with tough regs.

IMO we should all feel very privelaged to hunt the 1st rut, remember every 21 days does go into estrus if they are not bred. So can you ever not hunt the rut after November 1? Are some of you saying no hunting when deer are in the rut? Ok just sit there an watch the crops and hope one meanders by? C'mon already. If you want a trophy meaning one that can go in the record book, manage your private land, don't expect others to practice QDM on state land, cause that won't happen, except in forestville where it's gotta be an 8 pointer, still not quaranteed to be "trophy" though. Something else you can do, make sure the deer have high protein diets such as food plots, quality bucks need nutrition too, it's not just hunting regs. So how many of the complainers are actually planting high protein food for the deer? Thats's kind of what I thought, it is always one sided, it's always the state's fault, or other hunters' fault. It's never YOUR fault by what YOU are or are not doing is it?

Just my opinion and 2 cent.

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I actually think the DNR is doing a nice job. On this sight alone, people often comment on the size of the bucks and how in the past years, not only the number of deer increase, but the quality of the deer also. I really don't want anybody to tell me what to shoot. I deer hunt from September archery to 3B in November. On the last day of 3B, if I haven't shot a deer, you bet I'm going to drop the fork. I've passed on too many little bucks to keep track of the last 4 years bowhunting. It hasn't always been because I was practicing QDM, it was only because I was always holding out for the big one. They wouldn't have been any less a trophy, firearm or otherwise. I don't want to be able to go out and shoot a trophy every year. Man, I got more satisfaction shooting one darn beautiful buck last week than doing anything else because it was something that I have been working hard at, almost obsessive about, for a long time. We have great bucks here, go out and get them, just look at this sight, you will see them. I agree with coach, if shooting a large buck became as easy as shooting a squirrel, what kind of trophy would it be? We have the same discussion every year. I for one am just thankful that I can go out any time and almost always see a deer. Not a ton of deer, not always close, but still a chance to see one of the most beautiful animals on earth. JM2C.

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You shouldn't think of that money as punishment...More like a managment tax. If your 9 pointer turns out to be 6 just pay the fee. The money could be used for conservation and managment of the herd. if you don't wan't to pay extra you would just have to be sure of what you are shooting.

I know it's a crazy idea that everyone will hate, but I think it could work. Think of the $$ it could generate..They might not have to raise the price of the liscense for a while.. That would be great for guys like me whos buck tag goes unfilled most years..

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I have no prob spending money, as i have stated in numerous posts I buy 3-4 tags a year and sometime fill none. I just feel the parts of the state that need it most it is being implemented, and why would the DNR want to scare off hunters with a reg like that, it is a privelage to hunt not a right to shoot a trophy class deer. Why should some guy trying to fill the freezer have to shoot a deer with antlers, a specific # of antlers? "Can't eat antlers," thats what my uncle Larry (RIP) used to always say. I mean I am not trying to be argumentative about the whole thing, I have been holding out since bow opener to take a 140"+ buck, so I understand but it would be too tough to manage. Now instead of registering deer, people who don't have the money to pay a fine for too small a deer stop registering their deer, now what have you got? A giant dang mess thats what, just not a good solution IMO, but if it were law I would follow it.

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I get your point you cant eat antlers. In most parts of the state though you can take a doe or a buck without even applying for a doe tag..If filling the freezer is the point it's almost cheaper to buy beef. Once you factor in the gas the shells the liscense the food the beer. Most guys I know hunt for the sport. Wouldn't the sport be better if there were more mature bucks out there....

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It would always be nice to see more bigger bucks, I can't lie, but I put my time in man, i scout starting in sept, and keep on going till i get a deer. I don't know there is no easy way to get a big buck, unless you can shel;l out the cash and basically buy one. I have a nonhunting friend that always says, "wow you sure spend a lot of money to shoot a free deer!" yea so what you spend all your money at the casino, at least I have something to show for it. anyway here is a link to a survey by the dnr about public input on deer populations.

link to DNR survey

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I'm in favor of getting rid of party hunting. However, without a lot more C.O.s party hunting wouldn't stop anyway.

The store I work in registered about 130 bucks in the first 2 day season. I can honestly say a minimum of 120 of these bucks were less than 2 1/2 years old. All I kept hearing was it's got a nice body. Next year it would have had a nice body and a nice rack.

I'd go with a buck lottery. I feel most people in our area would rather shoot a basket six over a nice doe. That is what the numbers seem to indicate in the last 5 years. There are a lot of people that say it is tradition to party hunt and what not but I think for our herd in western MN there needs to be a new tradition started based on biological reasoning.

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