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Discussion Starter #1
OK, we have all argued till we are blue in the face over what to do about the deer herd here in MN.

We have us bowhunters trying to get some sensible management for a balanced herd, both buck to doe ratio and age structure.

The gun hunters, who only get a few days to hunt feel that any restrictions on harvest will take something away from them.

If you haven't figured it out yet, politicians have no interest in improving hunting or fishing in this state.

This is a generalization, of course, but you get the point. The State organizations can't even agree what to do. Bluffland Whitetails wants QDM, MDHA wants anyone to shoot whatever they want, etc. We all pretty much agree that what the DNR has been doing the last 30 years or so hasn't been working very well, at least our deer herd is not up to it's potential. The rule book for deer hunting is getting thicker every year, rules are very cubersome and confusing. (I just got back from a North Dakota deer hunt...the rules are on a 2-sided pamphlet!!)

SO HERE IT IS:

I was having lunch with a buddy the other day and I think he may be on to something. It is simple and may just make everyone happy that wants to be happy. I give you the T-W PLAN:

1. You get one license. (per weapon choice)
2. You can shoot any deer, any sex any age.
3. You get one deer.
4. NO party hunting.

Once you shoot your deer, you are done. If you want to hunt more, all you have to do is be more selective and wait to drop the hammer or string until you see the one you want to take.

There you have it. If little Jimmy wants to shoot a forky for his first buck, great. You want a doe for the freezer, go for it. If you want a big buck for the wall, you have all season to go after it. Lots of hunting opportunity here and it is simple to boot.

This sounded too simplistic at first, but the more I chew on it, the better I like it!

MN hunters, whaddaya think??
 

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1)What do you do about doe tags?

2)One tag and you can shoot what you want?.....What about the areas in the state where the deer numbers need to come back some? You still want to allow people to shoot doe?

3)In a lot of the areas in the state where the herd numbers need to be reduced(IE...metro zone and others). Eliminating party hunting would hurt the overall direction those areas are trying to take in just flat out taking more deer out. But I understand your point that maybe less bucks will be shot. But keep in mind, both IA and WI are 2 buck states and MNans want to be like them for some reason.

I'm not real sure how your plan helps improve age structure as well. If there truly is an age structure issue which I'm not sold on that there is.



My plan....

Leave all the regs as they are now, but bump the season back 2 weeks. Reduce 3A to 5 days. Cut the doe tag price in half. Cut the smoke pole season in half or at least by 25%.

Without question MN regs are faaaar too complicated. Thank legislation for that.
 

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have to go with leaving the doe management alone. especially in the metro area. think we should have a doe season for the gun hunter. at least in zone that need to reduce the herd. while i'm at it. should be two tags for archery instead of just one. ya i'm dreaming again. i really do agree with you about the rules here. it's so confusing.

Bill
 

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I buy my own shirts!
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Discussion Starter #4
Glad you guys see the tongue in cheek part of this....If I had a magic wand, I'd push the firearm season back, at least in the southern half of the state. I have turned blue long ago waiting for that to happen.

Maybe "age structure" isn't the term I was really after, but I wanted to find a nice way of saying: "not shoot 90% of the year and a half old bucks"..
 

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I'm with you on reducing the length of the muzzleloader season. Back in the day I could see it, but with new guns that can shoot 150-200 yards, most modern ML's are getting better performance than slug guns.

I'm in one of those youth only lottery zones so I can't even shoot a doe with my bow this year. The area wildlife manager kind of blames our low deer numbers on the late muzzleloader season and their liberal taking of antlerless deer, especially when they had the 2 doe, 1 buck all season licencse and especially the party hunting muzzleloaders. A group of guys with 10 tags are going to hunt together until all 10 tags are filled. In Ag country where I'm at, most people are in the fields during the regular gun season, so they all wait until the ML season. Once the corn is gone, there are only so many places the deer can hide,and with roads every square mile, these big groups of hunters can go after them pretty effectively. Send a few guys into the groves or cattail sloughs, have a couple of guys posting and a few more in trucks to cut them off if they try to cross a road.
 

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I don't really care for your plan at all. It has a lot of holes in it. For instance, it has already been brought up that you cannot generalize hunting across the entire state due to herd variations and in the case of the metro area an obvious overabundance of nuisance deer. It should also be noted that most hunters in Mn don't shoot more than one deer anyways so not much would change other than a large loss of revenue from additional license sales. I am also not quite sure how this plan will help the quality of antlered deer in this state. You can only harvest one antlered deer in MN now and even with party hunting I would bet that very few hunters take more than one antlered deer. Most people have no issue sharing a bonus permit, but there is just something about your primary tag that doesn't lend itself to sharing.


With all that said I don't want you to think that I just wrote this to tear you down. I think that it is great that that kind of stuff comes up in conversion with your buddies. It would be great if all hunters in MN would start bringing their ideas to the attention of others in the state. We need to state being proactive with our DNR instead of just griping about it with our pals.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
'preciate the input..... Don't worry about offending, I wouldn't put something like this up if I was going to get my little feelings hurt...I've got thick skin.

My real point is to get people thinking about the way we harvest deer. I hunt in AG country in Southern MN and we have what can only be called a slaughter each gun season. It makes no sense that your license is for "legal buck or doe by permit". For my 30+ years of hunting, I have heard (and participated) in the "OH boy, I got my doe permit" game...So, we hit the field with our coveted antlerless permit in our pocket and shoot the first fork buck or 6-point that comes by. The point being, if these does need to be manageed in a certain ares, the your permit should say "antlerless only".

Since the early '70's, we have managed the deer herd for numbers only, mainly by the issuance of antlerless permits. Between unlimited buck harvest, party hunting for bucks and the firearm season being held in the peak of rut when bucks are the most vulnerable, it is inconcievable to me that there is a mystery that we don't have the quality that other states around us do...Ask yourself this: do you "deserve" to shoot a buck every year, regardless of what the state of the buck herd in your area?? Are any of us willing to go a year without a buck tag to have a few more mature bucks in your area?? (Flaming opportunity here)

Apathy is also a huge factor. I read letters every week in the MN Outdoor news from hunters that feel that everything is fine the way it is, and that "greedy bowhunters" are trying to take something away from them.

I think there is a pretty good group of hunters in this state, gun, bow & muzzleloader that would like to see some common sense and simplification. I guess the point of the oversimplified plan above is to point out that most of our problems are caused by trying to "manage" something that probably doesn't need quite so much managing.

Lastly, we all like to comment on these threads thru the looking glass of our own area...I don't hunt the Metro or the big woods up North. I hunt S.Central Ag zones and get over to the SE each year. Different areas have different management needs and there is a lack of local imput and control IMHO....
 

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Lastly, we all like to comment on these threads thru the looking glass of our own area...I don't hunt the Metro or the big woods up North. I hunt S.Central Ag zones and get over to the SE each year. Different areas have different management needs and there is a lack of local imput and control IMHO....
I think that you hit the nail on the head right there. That is where your plan doesn't fit in with the rest of the state, because believe me the rest of the state isn't as messed up as you guys are. I don't think that anybody will deny that the SE part of the state should have a little more attention and a lot less rules, like getting rid of the second firearm season. For the rest of the state the biggest thing that I see is deer numbers way down from allowing hunters to shoot up to 7 deer.
 

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Why not charge like $60 for a buck tag, $20 for a doe tag and $70 for an either sex tag. This will encourage guys to buy doe tags and hopefully fewer bucks will get taken. This may let them grow. The increased tag cost will put money back into the DNR where it is needed.

The hunter has the choice as to which tag to buy. You could even put a limit on party hunting, say 5 to a party and only 2 buck tags per party. If everyone wants a buck tag, then they don't party hunt.

This would be interesting to try for about 5 years to see if any type of buck doe ratios started balancing out.
 

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I grew up in southern MN and after 3 gun season i switched ot bow hunting for the exact reason its not hunting down there, maybe 20% of the people down there hunt, the rest drive from farm to farm and drive the woods and shoot whatever comes out. Not hunting in my book. Why wouldnt you be able to use your bow tag on a doe, its always either sex isnt it??? I thought just the muzzy changed this year. Personally i want to see away with cross tagging and party hunting, when you shoot your deer and tag it your done, you shoot 1 buck, and if you have doe tags fill them. We have so many different types of land to hunt in this state, flat farm country, hills out west, woods up north, then DEEP woods way up north, with that diversity no one is gonna be happy what ever happens, the guys way up north always say were lucky to see 3 deer a year so we shoot what we say, others in certain parts say if i dont shoot it my neighbor will so it wont do any good to let it walk. Its a mess thats for sure i really dont see a good cause coming either, the guys in office dont care about hunting and fishing regs as long as they are making the state money they could care less. Thats what the dnr is for but with the very little amount of money the dnr gets and has they arent in any good position thats for sure. You can wish in one hand and poop in the other see which one fills up first thats the way i look at our deer hunting regs, and outlook in mn. Im gonna hunt as much as i can but dont see a very good future for big bucks in mn they way everthing is going.
 

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I'm from northern Mn. and read all the treads about Minnesota's odd way of managing are deer herds. I agree there is no perfect way to manage the whole state. This is my idea..... all doe tags could be bought over the counter and the number you can buy be regulated by the DNR for the zone you hunt. Buck tags would be lottery only for all Mn. and have a minimum point restriction of a 4-6 point. My thoughts on this is that young and old could still enjoy hunting by shooting does and put meat in the freezer. The other side to this is that it would put are buck to doe ratio closer to where it should be and make those bucks move to find a doe. Also this would keep people from just shooting young bucks so they can say they shot a buck like the ones i know that say they have shot a buck every year for the last 20 some years but don't have one on the wall because they all were basket 8's and smaller. This would in just a few year make for alot more mature buck for those who want one for the wall and which maybe would bring in non-residents for the chance at a monster buck and compete with some of are closer states.
 

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my 2 cents

I think we should go from a 5 to a 3 deer limit (at least up here in NW MN) and change from 1 to 2 bucks taken but by at least two different legal means - such as one gun and one bow. Limits are kind of a joke, however, because of sharing tags and what not.
I think point restrictions reflect but one opinion about deer management and although people have the right to believe in it, I think it's dumb.
 

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for lots of people that i know, one deer isn't enough meat. i could care less what i shoot as long as I fill my freezer
 
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