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MN Mike

MN Survey

20 posts in this topic

Just curious to get a few opinions on the results of the survey that was sent out November last year.

Click on this LINK for the whole document.

Here is one interesting chart.

chart.jpg

Mike

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If you goto the same DNR web page, there is an executive summmary, its a good read, and not too long, it summarizes their findings. At the end of the executive summary, here are their conclusions:

Summary

When faced with the choice of hunting under less than desirable regulations or not hunting in

their traditional areas, Minnesota deer hunters will choose to hunt. Our results indicated a high

fidelity to traditional hunting locations (90%) and unwillingness to move, even if they disagreed

with the regulations (mean = 2.63/3.00). Which regulations they chose, however; depended on

the scenario and an individual’s perception of its effectiveness. For example, when faced with

scenarios that called for a 25% and 50% reduction in the deer populations, respondents were

more likely to choose more liberal regulations under the 50% scenario (earn-a-buck vs. antler

point restrictions).

There were 2 additional points that stood out in this survey. First, moving the deer season out of

the rut has been noted by some individuals and organizations, as an acceptable and ‘easy’ change

that would lead to more mature bucks. However, in the choice portion of this study, it was clear

that respondents believed moving the deer season was less attractive than antler point

restrictions. Indeed, when asked if they supported or opposed moving the season, the regulation

garnered less support (28%) than a buck license lottery (29%), which ranked lowest in all the

choice scenarios.

Finally, respondents clearly wanted an opportunity to hunt bucks every year. In all cases, the

buck license lottery choice ranked lower than all other regulatory alternatives. The only choice

that ranked lower than a buck license lottery was moving to another hunting location if the

regulations were implemented. It seems apparent that if a buck license lottery were

implemented, DNR would experience at best dissention among a majority of hunters and at

worst, a movement of hunters to other areas of the state.

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Now my opinions: smile.gif

1) I hope that they keep the early antlerless season out of the pheasant hunting zones, that could be a real mess. It would be interesting to hear some opinions from bow hunters in the early antlerless zones, how did that affect your hunt? How about bucks being 'accidently shot' during the early season, did you find any?

2) From what I've read, antler point restrictions have been a failure out west, too many deer shot and left to lay, and the herd getting 'cropped off', meaning very few bucks above the point restriction because they all get shot, yet MN is considering going to antler point retrictions???!

3) I'm glad to see the buck lottery idea voted down, institutioning it would just make outlaws out of people, if they don't have a buck tag, and 'Mr. Big' comes trotting by, they'd probably shoot it and then go looking for a buck tag.

One thing that was missing was any mention of CWD. If it ever shows up in MN, they will lose a lot of deer hunters and consequently have a hard time controlling the deer herd. I personally think they need to restrict the game farms more, more frequent testing, DOUBLE FENCES so there are no escapees and nose touching between tame and wild deer.

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Blackjack, I wonder do you have any sources or articles about point restrictions not working or the herd being hurt by them? I've never seen or heard that and would be interested to see such evidence. I hunt in Wisconsin right next to Buffalo county where QDM has it roots in the upper midwest. Point restrictions are one part of that program and you just can't question the success they have had there. There are tons of nice mature bucks and quite a few true trophies coming from there every year.

I do agree that the pheasant areas like here would be a hard place to implement an early doe season, but honestly I don't think we are in the overpopulated areas where they are really shook up about the numbers either so I kind of doubt they'd do it.

I was kind of surprised by the survey results when I looked at it. Didn't think there would be as much support for point restrictions as there was. Also glad to see they have two options on eliminating party hunting (bucks or all together). Personally I'm all for eliminating cross tagging of bucks, but I'd never ever support getting rid of party hunting altogether, especially if you want to promote killing does, you sure wouldn't want to restrict the party hunting from doing that, doesn't make sense.

I personally wouldn't have a problem with buck lottery either. It works well in North Dakota and they don't seem to have any poaching because of it. They too have some monster bucks...

Game farms... restrictions are good, banning them altogher would be better!

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I would love to see the season moved out of the rut. I think many of those questions would have been answered differently if they were asked differently. ?? Lots of grey area there?? I dont like the survey... grin.gif

Point restrictions have been proven to have some problems. Poaching yes, and your 1 1/2 yr old bucks with the greatest potential become the targeted animal. Spikes, forks, sixs, survive (thats a good thing) but all the bucks that have more points at the same age, therefore the greatest potential are fair game. And just as young and stupid as the spikes! In the long term I think you could create an inferior gene pool.

Look up studys by Gary Alt, he introduced point restrictions and QDM to Pennsylvania. There has been many articles in the last year or so in "Deer & Deer Hunting" and other periodicals on this subject.

With a perfect management strategy, no deer would be harvested until the age of 4 1/2... the end! I wont hold my breath! wink.gif I hope they decide to do something! confused.gif

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I believe a buck lottery would be a great addition to the license process.No reason to have every buck with a 1 inch antler shot.

The problem I see with the DNR changing the buck licenses is that it could cut sales and then the revenue from license sales would drop.The DNR would probably have a issue with that.

Lawdog I agree with you 100% on the North Dakota Lottery for buck tags.One cannot count on the deer hunters to control what they shoot.Bufflao county in Wisc. is another great example of how things can work for bigger bucks.

It comes down to what you want to shoot,big or anything and hunters are pretty divided on this issue.

This is a subject just like slot limits for fishing and it is hard for any single group to come up with a program that will keep all sportsmen happy.

I am glad that I personally do not have to make the decisions the DNR does.

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I would like to see the results based on the areas that people hunt. Not sure that is available, or even thought to be done that way, but I see different managments for different parts of the state. Where we hunt up near Orr, you can go all week with out seeing a deer, so when one does show its self, your probably going to take it, so points and earn a buck would not go over well up there IMHO. Now, you get down in the Brainerd area and south where guys are seeing a lot more deer I can see a few things work down there. We have party hunted for many years. We have yet to use up all of our tags, or even all of our doe tags back when it was a lottery, but that was just us, I guess it could go away and not change the way we hunt.

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As mentioned, Deer and Deer Hunting magazine has had lots of articles in the last several years. Did a web search on 'antler point restrictions'. Here are a couple of short blurbs - READ THE ONE FROM NEW MEXICO!!!

Many of the southeastern states have antler-point restrictions, where they protect they bottom end of the herd, and make the better quality yearlings vulnerable to harvest. For example, one state has a rule that protects all bucks that don't have at least 3 points on one antler. Therefore, the 6-point and 8-point yearlings are harvested, and the bucks with less antler potential (e.g., spikes) are protected. Another state has a 4-point rule, which protects all bucks with less than 4 points. These and other southeastern states are taking a hard look at their data, and questioning whether they should be continuing with such a harvest strategy. Most biologists agree that improving the age structure of a buck herd is a legitimate goal; however, many southeastern biologists simply don't think that protecting only the poor-quality yearlings has been the best approach.

Another:

Here in Alberta years ago there was a restriction on Mule deer, minimum 3 pt (min. 3 pt, one side, not incl. brow tine). Don't know if it actually increased the herd size, made for bigger bucks though. Has since been rescinded in most zones, suspect because there were too many fork bucks found dead, I know I spent a lot of time waiting for a 3rd point to grow in the bino's. Rule of thumb was if you could hang your wedding ring on it, it was a point, but it came down to a judgement call in the field.

From New Mexico:

New Mexico has not completed any research to determine what impact this point restriction has

had over the last 2 years, but other western states have. Based on their experiences, it is expected

that, over time, the following will occur in New Mexico as well:

• An increase in the number of “Illegal” bucks killed and left in the field.

o California found an illegal harvest ranging from 100-120 percent of the legal

harvest. After the restriction was abandoned in 1990, the number of bucks

with more than 3 points increased by 25%.

• An increase in the number of “Mature” bucks killed, which will have the opposite

effect with fewer, not more, mature bucks surviving the hunting season.

o Oregon (with a 4-point restriction) found the average antler spread of legal

bucks was reduced from 24” to 17”.

o Montana (with a 4-point restriction) found that all the older, mature bucks

were completely shot out. No bucks survive once they reach a 4x4 antler.

• An increased harvest of bucks showing more desirable genetic traits.

o In New Mexico many yearling bucks are fork-antlered or even have 3 points, so a

“3 points or better” restriction may actually encourage the removal of the best

bucks, or the bucks with the most potential, from the population.

• A prolonged breeding season because more inexperienced males were left to breed.

Prolonged breeding seasons result in fawns being born later in the year. Fawns born

later in the year have a much harder time gaining weight and growing big enough to

survive the winter. As more fawns die, deer populations drop.

• A reduction in overall hunter success with fewer legal deer to harvest.

------------------------

So I'd still like to know why MN would want to goto a strategy that has failed elsewhere??!!!

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Quote:

Here are a couple of short blurbs - READ THE ONE FROM NEW MEXICO!!!

Most biologists agree that improving the age structure of a buck herd is a legitimate goal; however, many southeastern biologists simply don't think that protecting only the poor-quality yearlings has been the best approach.

From New Mexico:

New Mexico has not completed any research to determine what impact this point restriction has

had over the last 2 years

It is expected that, over time, the following will occur in New Mexico as well:

• An increase in the number of “Illegal” bucks killed and left in the field.

o California found an illegal harvest ranging from 100-120 percent of the legal harvest.


WHAT? Cal needs to have some enforcement obviously. Does anybody really think MN would have as many dead little bucks laying in the woods as we have legally registered? Come on, that number doesn't even seem possible.

Quote:

• An increase in the number of “Mature” bucks killed, which will have the opposite effect with fewer, not more, mature bucks surviving the hunting season.


Of course there will be an increase in mature bucks killed because there will be more mature bucks to kill. If you kill em all when they are 1 1/2 then you can't kill many mature bucks. This isn't looking at the right number. Its not how many mature bucks get killed, it is how many are there out there???

Quote:

• Montana (with a 4-point restriction) found that all the older, mature buckswere completely shot out. No bucks survive once they reach a 4x4 antler.


BLB and others planning that trip to Montana scrap it. Thre are ZERO bucks that are 4x4 or bigger. NONE! Amazing that someone could print something so absurd. ZERO bucks bigger than 3x3 boys. Sorry about that.

Quote:

• A prolonged breeding season because more inexperienced males were left to breed.


Not necessarily if as I said before there are more mature bucks around, then the little inexperienced guys don't even get a chance...

Quote:

• A reduction in overall hunter success with fewer legal deer to harvest.


One of the goals is to reduce the population. Arguing that point restrictions fail because they reduce the population is saying that because it does what you wanted it to do, it doesn't work...HUH???

Quote:

------------------------

So I'd still like to know why MN would want to goto a strategy that has failed elsewhere??!!!


You know the old saying, liars figure and figures lie. I personally don't believe these "findings" and predictions for New Mexico really show its a failure...

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I can understand in some parts of the state that the opportunity to take a deer is less. But..in those areas where we have intensive antlerless harvest, or offer management permits, I feel an Earn-a-Buck proposal would be great!! It forces those in zones of high population to balance the population before shooting any bucks.

The goal is to have a higher buck-to-doe ratio isn't it? So...to get bigger and better bucks, we need to curb the herd. those big bucks on the ranches don't get big by harvesting them.

Steve

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Correct, big bucks dont get big by shooting them when they are 1.5 year old fork horns.

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On the Montana survey the must have forgot to survey the area I hunt around Glascow and the Milk river as I have seen some real beauties and have also shot some. confused.gif

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Do a web search on 'antler point restrictions', theres a lot of info out there. I only copied in some info from state agencies, I stayed away from other forums and articles. Do your own research. There was also some info from Pennsylvania and Missouri saying antler point restrictions work. Which state is correct? Thats why I asked the question.

Back to the survey, I'm glad they qualified the question 'would you like to shoot bigger bucks'. Of course we all would, but the survey found out the majority didn't if it meant hunting outside the rut (and in colder weather) or not being able to shoot a buck every year.

Change is coming but I've said it before and I'll say it again, deer hunting right now is as good as I've ever seen it. I can shoot an early doe with my bow, go slug hunting and shoot a doe or a buck, and then I can still hunt in the late season by muzzleloader or bow. I can deer hunt for 3 1/2 months!!! I remember when I first started deer hunting 25 years ago, doe permits were treasured and it got to be a long season if you were only buck hunting. Deer hunting right now is as good as I've ever seen it.

The DNR is trying to find a way to keep the numbers of deer down and also trying to satisfy the vocal minority that want bigger bucks. I'm glad to see that they're surveying hunters and at least trying to find answers that will keep most of the hunters happy.

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I don't support antler restrictions. I would agree that they haven't worked for many Western states and talk to people in Pennsylvania and see how well their state-imposed version of QDM has worked. Sure, there are some bigger bucks walking around. But the reports I've read time and time again find Pennsylvanians seeing far fewer deer and having less opportunities to hunt them. Whereas people once saw two dozen deer on opening day, they now see two.

No thanks. I'd like to get a deer, any deer that's a yearling or older versus waiting all year or years to get a buck the state considers a trophy (I'll define that thank you very much). I would love to get a big buck and sure that some day I will (my second season this year) through scouting and preparation. But for now I think the DNR is doing a great job of management and providing hunters with an outstanding array of opportunities through many seasons (bow, gun, muzzleloader) as BlackJack has indicated.

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I grew up hunting Minnesota and still do when I get the chance, but I now live in North Dakota. I would like to say this about a buck tag lottery.I have applied for a buck tag every year for since moving here six years ago and have got one every year. It is my opinion that there are a lot of hunters that don't care to shoot bucks there more interested in meat. So a doe tag works just fine. In the party that I hunt with I'm the only one who applies for a buck tag. I will have to say that I think North Dakota has a better system as far as hunting sections. With smaller areas it seems to me they can better control the population with the number of tags issued. Don't get me wrong I'm still a minnesotan at heart!

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I'm going to hunt in WI for the first time this year, over MEA to be exact, can't wait. We happen to be hunting in an Earn-A-Buck area, which doesn't trouble me near as much as if it were antler point restrictions. I want to be able to decide if he's a shooter to me or not. One thing I hadn't known about EAB, that I like, is that shooting an extra doe this year can prequalify you for next year. That makes a lot of sense, reward the guys doing their part.

In MN in some areas I think that would great, in many areas it's completely unnecessary & could lead to overkill.

I agree with Blackjack, the deer hunting in MN has never been better in my lifetime.

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Personally, I'd like to see anything that would increase the quality of the bucks in MN. Even my guide in Missouri says that MN has way more potential than Missouri.

I also think a lot of QDM will just happen over time. I'm 37 now and began bow/gun hunting when I was 12. When I first started my father and I would shoot ANY buck we saw. I finally got my first antlered buck when I was 18. Then I went on a string and got 5 bucks in 5 years. At that point I decided to start challenging myself to shoot bigger deer.

Since then I've put 4 bucks on the wall and I typically see 1-4 shooters per year. I also consider it a bad year if I pass on less than 20 bucks in a year.

I am amazed at how many more people talk about looking for shooter bucks in the last 5 years. Ten to twelve years ago hardly anyone talked about it and now most talk about it. I am of the opinion that in another 10 years QDM will probably be the norm.

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It seems like this is evolving a lot like catch and release fishing has.

When I was a kid in the 70's, any walleye we caught ended up getting killed. My evoloution to releasing the spawners took some time, but now it is second nature. If someone wants to eat a 6 pound 'eye, I have no trouble with that either, as long as the fish is legal.

Now that we have a full 9 days where I hunt, I will probably be fussier about bucks. I happen to really love venison, and with a two day season, we could not afford to be picky if we wanted meat.

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Hey Gissert,

First walleye I caught on ST was a 6 lber. I didn't want to keep her but she went belly up on me, rather then letting the turtles get her, my family had a couple meals.

Being a bowhunter does allow for the ability to be more picky and I understand people liking to get some deer to eat venison. I also love the fact that I can shoot a couple does with my bow and sit back for a big buck.

I agree we used to keep all fish and shoot every deer. Took me a while to teach my son to let some big ST lake blue gills go but he eventually "caught" on.

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Hey Guys,

I'm glad that we might start seeing some regulations to

protect some bucks. I think the best way to do this is Earn a buck. The DNR wants to increase the doe harvest and that would promote it. In the areas around Moorhead whare I hunt

you can see tons and tons of does and maybe a few bucks. Some areas you can shoot 5 deer.

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