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 Your ideas on Utah deer herds

What do you think should be done to increase deer numbers?

Bill Bates
Bill Bates is the wildlife section chief in the Salt Lake office. While working for the DWR, he's had the chance to restore river otter populations, research endangered fish, crawl into bear dens, and transplant big game animals.

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED why there are fewer deer than years ago? Do you have good ideas on how to reverse this trend in order to increase the herds? Southeastern regional personnel are very concerned with recovering deer herds and want your help. To facilitate this, the division will hold an open house on Wednesday, February 16, from 7 to 9 p.m.. The open house will be held at the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center, located on the CEU/USU campus at 425 N. 300 E. As you are aware, deer management has attracted lots of media attention in recent months, prompting the Utah Wildlife Board to enact sweeping changes to the traditional deer hunt.

There are many factors that contribute to the size and health of our deer herds. We want to discuss these with you. The open house has no formal agenda, presentations or speakers. Several stations will be set up around the room, with a flip chart at each table. You will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with a division employee. Your comments will be recorded. Written comments or e-mails on the issue will be solicited. We will also answer questions about the big game application process, or on other topics you may be interested in.

This is an opportunity to talk with Division of Wildlife Resources wildlife biologists and managers. Please join us to share your ideas and concerns. We hope you will take a few minutes to visit with us at that time. If you have questions, please feel free to call our office at 435-613-3700.

36 Responses to Your ideas on Utah deer herds

  1. I heard that fish and game employee’s have had their credit cards taken away from them. I also heard the reason they had them taken from them was they were making large purchases on them and store owners were helping make these purchases by doing more than one charge on the card per purchase.

  2. Wildlife blog administrator

    Jolene, I don’t see the connection between your question and the blog post above, but I’ll try to answer anyway.

    The state’s Division of Purchasing & General Services has tight rules regarding employee use of state Visa cards. However, state employees who need them can get them if their supervisors and their agencies approve. This applies to all state employees — including those of us at the DWR. Here’s a link to more information: http://purchasing.utah.gov/procurementcard/index.html

  3. too many predators. more bear permits and thin out the coyotes. more lion and bobcat permits. the fish and game in their dumbness says we have over 300 thousand deer in the sw region. horse poop. raise the permits on predators and the deer and elk will come back. end of story. stop giving in to the enviro natzis.

  4. I’ve been reading over your deer management plans and couldn’t help but notice the money the division has put towards coyote management. I was wondering instead of paying officers to trap and kill the coyotes, you could publish information about sensitive areas where the coyotes are a problem. I know plenty of young, law abiding hunters that would love the chance to go after coyotes while at the same time helping the fawn’s to survive the spring. Maybe the division could post this information on a blog? Heck you could even charge people 5$ and I bet you’d clear the whole area.

  5. I’m sure there are many factors to the decreased deer populations, automobiles, habitat loss, predatory, drought, etc… I’d like to see a study on which factors we can control or reverse. Is it wise to just kill off the predators? Are they keeping the numbers down to a manageable number for the land to support because of habitat loss? I heard that Utah State University did a study where they’d lost a third of the deer they collard to study their habits to Auto-deer wrecks. Are there deer deterrents that actually work that you can mount to your bumper? If so shouldn’t they be required for the safety of the public, and the deer? Americas Riches lay in its Natural Resources. That is why America is great. That is Why Utah is great. I Care about the deer population tremendously! I’m an Avid Hunter. I’ve noticed in my lifetime the decrease in available lands to hunt. Anything worth hunting is private, protected or Limited entry. You can’t go by the gas station and pick up your deer/elk tag on the way up to camp. My Dad doesn’t even consider going anymore, the days of driving up the canyon road and shooting a 4 point with a 27″ spread have passed unless your 1 in 10,000 in a limited entry area, or hike into some special area with written permission and have to pack the animal out 10 miles… I think there would be wisdom in answering the why it’s broken before the public can have the American ingenuity to answer your question on How to fix it. Thank you for opening it up to the general population, you’ll find passion, and given the correct tools, a great change.

  6. There is always talk of habitat being an issue of the decline in deer. What is the DWR doing to create projects to improve habitat? Is BLM difficult to work with to create projects to improve BLM ground? Is the Forest Service difficult to work with to create projects to improve Forest Service Ground. Is there a list of projects the public can see that the Division is working on to improve habitat? Is there something we as hunters can do to help get more projects approved to help habitat? Back when railings and clearings of BLM ground happened in the 50’s the deer numbers seemed to improve, those clearings have become overgrown with junipers and pines again. There has to be some way us as hunters with numbers can help get more projects approved to improve habitat for deer.

  7. Thanks for the comments Travis.

    Utah has an aggressive habitat management and restoration program. We also work regularly with the Forest Service and the BLM on many joint habitat projects.

    During the past five years more than 600,000 acres of Utah range lands were treated. More than 700 projects were completed at a cost of about $70 million dollars. The Utah deer-management plan includes an objective to improve another 500,000 acres of habitat in the next five years. Over the coming years, as the habitat work matures, we expect to see significant payoffs from the work that we’re doing now.

    Here are a few links to more information:

  8. I believe that the restructuring of the deer management plan that will be implemented in 2012 is a movement in the right direction to bring back are deer Population. But I feel more will be required. I live for the outdoors and the most important part of being a hunter nowadays is to be of preservationists first. We don’t just hunt for sustainment anymore we do it for recreation and the word I have heard most is tradition. Well if our deer population goes away it will not be tradition anymore. I think the fish and game made a good choice buying so much land over these past few years. I also think they have done well with our once-in-a-lifetime species. I see a lot of elk but the deer population hasn’t recovered that’s what I’m personally most interested in and I think they made the right choice Going with option 2. Most arguments seem to be that people are upset that it limits their chances and options to hunt deer but we got to keep them around in order to hunt them. The fish and game needs to remember their studies on the five-day rifle hunt more deer are harvested faster with this short rifle hunt. Also availability of water is key. I have seen so many springs captured and some have dried up in my life it’s no wonder the deer have nothing to drink.

  9. How about we stop counting the buck to doe ratio right after the hunt! And have those who do the counting get out of the truck and do some hiking! Not to mention stop cutting the lion tags in half!!! The biologist in my area swears there arent many cats around here anymore and yet I can catch three in one afternoon an go to a totally different area of the valley the next day and catch two in the same tree!!! Kill more preadators people and stop lookin at the buck to doe ratio so close to the hunt!

  10. Another thing how about it spending more tax dollars in areas where it’s gonna benefit us public land hunters and less in areas where its mostly private such as stansbury island! The island is mostly private property and yet I personally saw three fish and game officers out there on the 2010 deer hunt what a waste of our taxes! And what angers me most is our taxes go to help manage the deer out there that we cant hardly hunt because the public land is such a limited area!

  11. My biggest bitch towards the state, and the forest service, and probably the biggest problem I see in the mountians, is not the predators, not to muc hunting, and not even poaching, which I think is a lot bigger problem than most think of, but the biggets threat to the Big Horn sheep, and the Deer and Elk and buffalo, and all the ungulates that we love to hunt, is the domestic sheep, and cattle that are allowed to swarm our mountains.

    I go to the mountians to see wildlife, and I see thousands of cattle, and sheep all over the forests. I cannot walk around any small lake in the mountains around my home in central utah without having to watch my step. I will not even fish in the lakes any more due ot the high concentrations of feces in the water from all the cattle and sheep. I know that the land is being raped by the cattlemen and Sheep ranchers of Utah, and that the forest service does not hold these guys to a standard of honesty and to protect the areas from being overgrazed.

    I think if we pride ourselves on the wild lands in Utah, We wil lhave to at some point, take and remove the cattle, and sheep from the hils, and let the wild life return, or soon we will be placeing these animals o nthe endangered species list and then finally maybe get them the protection they deserve.

    I am so sick of seeing five hundred cows on one canyon, and only two deer. It should be the other way round.

  12. In response to Steve R Gossard’s comment…

    I need to correct a few misconceptions that you have.

    1. The state does not control Forest Service livestock permits, so blaming the state is misplaced.

    2. Mountain ungulate habitat is generally quite good. It’s the lower-level transisitional and winter range areas that are the biggest problem, and those areas are, as often as not, private property or BLM ground — not Forest Service.

    3. There are far fewer livestock numbers in Utah’s National Forests than there were in the past. Between continual Forest Service permit cutbacks in both grazing permits and the decline of the domestic, free-ranging livestock industry, the numbers of domestic livestock in the forests are at their lowest levels in 130 years.

    4. The number of mule deer in the National Forests reached a high point 30 to 50 years ago. Interestingly, this occurred during a time when the Forest Services allowed much greater numbers of livestock onto forest lands than is the case today.

    5. The mostly widely accepted theory regarding mule deer habitat is that overgrazing by large numbers of domestic livestock at the turn of the last century set the stage for a widespread shift from winter ranges being dominated by bunch grasses to them being dominated by brush — especially sagebrush. This proliferation of sagebrush greatly increased the prospects of deer making it through the winters and, subsequently, gave rise to the high mule deer populations of past decades. Now that the brush is getting old, dying and once again, being replaced by grasses (especially cheat grass), winter ranges can no longer support the vast deer herds they did during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. In other words, past livestock grazing practices helped create the conditions that made large deer herds possible.

    6. Even if your contentions about livestock being to blame for ungulate problems were generally true, which they’re not, the National Forests are administered under a policy of multiple use. This means that rancher, logger, recreationalist, mining and, yes, hunter interests must all be taken into consideration when determining Forest Service policy. The forests are no more administered for hunters than they are for any other group that uses our forests.

    7. Predators! But weaving them into the explanation here would require another two or three paragraphs, so I’ll leave it at that. Bottom line, though, domestic livestock aren’t the problem with our deer herds.

  13. The folks that sit in an office or just ride in a pickup have an answer for everything that the people that pay taxes and spend as much time in the hills as the answer people do at their desks. Why are the sugestions of the people who pay to have you sit at your desk always wrong ? Do you really think because you are so much smarter just because you may work for the DWR ? We all want what is right for the game animals in Utah, but the DWR in answering questions sound more like a slick politician, that someone who cares about wildlife. Do your job without wasting our tax dollars and our time.

  14. Clayton Fraughton

    I think we need to reconsider the shooting of Spike Bucks. I know you fathers out there love to see your young kid shoot his/her first deer, I know I do but I think that they also need to be taught that you don’t always get one. Or should we pass this little one, we can get a bigger one. For instance when I was a kid, I could have shot a spike but my dad said “hey lets pass these up and see if we cant get a bigger one,” and I ended up shooting a 3X4, and I can tell you it was a lot cooler for me as a kid, that I shot a bigger buck than my friend who did end up shooting a spike, and I can tell you the reaction is so much better as well. So in essence we need to make the Regulations on the deer hunts to be similar to the Elk hunts, lets make it so you can’t shoot a spike buck. I mean we want more deer and bigger ones, so lets give the spikes a chance to grow bigger and produce more offspring. Then when we do hit a higher buck/doe ratio we can make the spike hunt the same as with the elk if we want.

  15. My biggest “complaint” would have to be the structure by which the division operates. The undue heat the the UDWR endures due to a lack of education by the public, an ever hamstringing wildlife board and a few special interest groups who have tipped the scales where they now have enough money to more or less manipulate every entity and person of power in Utah.

    1) The UDWR is very seldom to blame for the aforementioned issues. Most decisions that people have discussed are due to legislative decisions or the wildlife board making policy that the division implements.

    2) The uneducated or often times poorly educated public is very quick to point fingers based on very little information or worse, misinformation that is spread. These mule deer open houses are a great source of information, if people are willing to listen and learn. Some of the misconceptions and misperceptions about wildlife and the UDWR are very disturbing. Outreach is key.

    3)Option 2? Thumbs down and just another example of DWR biologist’s recommendation going by the wayside clearing the way for personally motivated changes by 4 or 5 individuals and a couple of SI groups.

    4) Mandatory surveys with informational pieces before Big game applications are accepted. How can we make policy in regards to social issues (Option 2) when survey data shows that the owners of these animals (The public) is against it?

    5) RAC and wildlife board weight demographically correct. Roughly 74% of the state’s population lives in the Northern and Central region. I do not understand why decisions, when considering RAC recommendations and input, isn’t a direct reflection of the numbers. Currently, things are akin to having rhode island have as many presidential votes as Florida.

    6) Why is the minority considered and listened to time and time again. This is absolutely the case and needs to be repaired. The wildlife board has too much power and virtually no check and balance. They were told time and time again that there is no biological upside to growing a higher buck to doe ratio, yet they sold it to the uneducated public that this would be more or less a fix all for our deer herds.

    FACT: Having higher buck to doe ratios and less hunting pressure will not increase the deer population.

    FACT: The lost revenue from the sale of deer tags to the hunters lost under the adopted option will cause a budget shortfall and LESSEN the resources to manage the new HUNTER management units.

    FACT: The NET result of cutting tags will be a few bigger bucks in the field for hunters that do happen to have a tag.

    FACT: The Henry mountains, the prized mule deer unit of the state, has been under very restricted predator control, harvest control and has a buck to doe ratio of over 50/100, yet struggles and is STILL under population objective, just like the rest of the state. All other LE units are experiencing similar trends.

    FACT: The aforementioned statement is absolute proof that when the biologists refer to higher buck to doe ratios not growing more deer, they are speaking the truth.

    FACT: In spite of the truth being revealed in regards to higher buck to doe ratios and surveys showing that hunters just want to hunt, the wildlife board chose to implement option 2, which goes against both of these FACTS.

    Bottom line, allow the division to manage our deer as they see fit according to sound biology. Our biologists did not go to school, receive degrees and dedicate their lives to biology to finally be hired by the UDWR and practice politics and sociology. Put a bit a bridal on the board, give the reigns to the scientists and find a way to reduce the amount of influence that the conservation and convention tag pimps have on our system. Money is eating away at our traditions and turning Utah into a game farm.

    Lastly, In my opinion, formed with hours of matriculated biological research shows that deer numbers in the past 50 years have been artificially elevated due to irresponsible grazing practices and poisoning of predators has been replaced by high vehicle mortality, less forage from reformed grazing, intrusion on traditional summer and winter ranges, year round pressure due to recreation, overwhelming relative ATV access and a value being placed on most predators that supersedes the want and need for their demise. This all contributes to a return to traditional (Pre 19th century) numbers.

    In short- Spend the money on educating the public and use every available avenue to do so.

    PS,

    Please allocate the unallocated money from exposition tags to mule deer research and to make up for budget shortfalls due to the mess created by the wildlife board unjustly forcing the division to implement option 2.

  16. Great comments Gus!

    Clearly by reading many of the comments here education is something the division should focus on. Many hunters don’t understand even basic mule deer biology and that is very apparent. They also don’t understand that the wildlife board makes decisions and not the DWR

    My suggestions is educate hunters as much as possible. Maybe reach out to hunters through your email lists and post some FAQ’s on Mule Deer biology on your website somewhere.

    I think focusing on things like telling people the relationship between carrying capacity and predation may be a good start. It will be real interesting to see what the USU roadkill study reveals.

    Thanks for all you do for Utah wildlife DWR!!

  17. Hi Jeff,

    We actually have assembled some information on the website about mule deer, their biology and what the DWR is doing to help the deer herds. We’ll be adding additional information over the coming weeks.

    Go to wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/learn-more/mule-deer.html

  18. I’ve read these responces above and have two comments to make, baced off my own property and my family’s.
    1. People & traffic. I remmember as a kid it took over a half hour to drive from Park City to Heber, normal speeds on that 2-lane road were around 40 mph on a good day, the normal speed now is 70 mph (I drive it every day). I also see dead moose, elk and deer every day in differant locations. My dad tells storys about all the bobcats, cougars, bears, etc., they never seemed to have any affect on deer and I personally have not seen a bobcat in over 10 years now.
    2. Livestock & elk. I no cows overgraze, no dought, but another thing to think about is elk overgrazing, remmember they are NOT native here in Utah with exeption of the north slope. The elk in Midway city around the old mountain spa dominate that area in the winter due to the hot springs keeping the ground temps warm, they do not tolerate the deer very long. Before the elk, deer were there by the hundreds.
    Deer simply have fewer places to winter now due to people, traffic, Livestock, and do not forget about ELK!

  19. Thanks Jeff. I was looking at one of the big game message boards and stumbled upon these guys. It sounds like they agree with my sentiment. Does anyone know about this group? Are they affiliated with the DWR?

    http://unitedwildlifecooperative.org/Welcome.html

    Gus

  20. I agree with most everybody on here with what they are saying. An issue that I havent seen people talking about is WOLVES!!!! I know that we are told there are not wolves in Utah… I know for a fact that this is false. I have family that live in Coalville Utah that have lost many animals due to these wolves. I have personally seen these animals and heard them at night. I am an avid coyote hunter and I know the difference between a coyote and a wolf or house dog. Since the DWR is trying to increase our deer herds, I think one thing that we need to keep in mind is that our surrounding states (Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana) are losing their deer and elk herds due to these wolves. If they are losing their herds, the wolves are going to travel to find more food. I know that there is not some magical line that says the wolves cant come into Utah. There is a post on http://www.tinesup.com where it shows a wolf that was wearing a collar travel from Montana into Idaho, Wyoming, UTAH!!! then was killed in Colorado. They are here and we need to control these animals. TAKE THEM OFF THE ENDANGERED LIST AND GET THEM OUT OF HERE!!!! What is the DWR doing about this, or have they not thought about it yet????

  21. Wildlife government agencies gives unanimous part on giving hunter and wildlife protection and education. I am very happy seeing companies you gives contribution and help to this agencies. Let us help protect and nurture the living part of nature.

  22. I have read most of the comments here and I can agree with some. I grew up in southern UTAH during the sixties and seventies and with the exception of the Elk herd the game populations ie.. Deer, Phesants, Doves, Rabbits and so on are not even close now to what they were then. I believe that there are two main reasons for this.
    1.) At some point after the seventies (I’m sure that point could be determined) the DWR became more interested in the money that could be made and allowed the entire state to be over hunted.
    2.) Around the same point in time they (the DWR) started to allow some of the special interest groups i.e…. PITA, ALF and so on to become more involved in such things as setting hunting regulations and determining the population of predators. The predator populations and hunting pressures now need to be managed more by people who understand what is really needed to attain and maintain the balance which is best for all of our animals.

  23. Thanks for the comments Danny, but I want to correct some misconceptions:

    The DWR carefully manages and adjusts hunting license and permits sales to ensure that Utah game species are not overhunted. Also, one hundred percent of all revenue generated from the sale of licenses and permits is plowed back into our efforts to help wildlife and ensure the future of hunting and fishing in Utah.

    Although the DWR welcomes the views and participation of all members of public at all our public meetings, to my knowledge neither PETA nor ALF representatives attend these meetings. Neither group is involved in any way with making wildlife management decisions at the DWR.

  24. Danny, you owe me a new keyboard. I just spit coffee all over the place.

    Please get educated.

    Gus

  25. Interesting comments to read. I personally am excited about the direction we are headed in getting our deer herds back to where we all want them. I feel it is better than the direction we were headed a year ago. That being said, we have a long way to go. We all want to see more deer as we are and fill our dream of harvesting a trophy buck year after year. We can all do more than what we are doing now. For me, I am excited to get out and harvest a few coyotes this spring, which I have not done in a long time. Become a part of the solution, not the problem.

  26. plain and simple we need to just make 4 point or better to get the bucks back. and or hunters have to alternate years hunting only every other year. which would also make it easier for people to get a tag. most elk units in my area are spike only unless you draw and we got a ton of elk im sure that helps. basically the same idea with deer except there is less four pointers or bigger so we should limit to that except maybe for youth hunters.

  27. And this will grow more deer how?

    Point restrictions, sure, run that one by any fish and game agency in the west and see what your answer is.

    The only biologically valid reason that I know of that buck harvest reductions would even be considered to be an effective tool to increase deer populations, is if they are below the accepted buck to doe ratios necessary to breed the does in any given herd. Point restrictions and reduced buck harvest will do one thing and one thing only, they will slightly increase the chance to harvest a larger antlered animal.

    -Carrying more bucks will make it more difficult and take longer to get back to population objective after severe winter kill.

    -Carrying more bucks will stunt herd growth and compete with fawns and does for thermal cover on winter range when herds are at or near capacity.

    -Carrying more bucks or killing less will NOT increase deer populations. The henry mountains and every other LE unit in the state are prime examples of carrying a high buck population not doing a thing for increasing deer numbers. They are ALL under objective.

    Wanna have more bucks? Create more deer. Wanna create more deer? Focus on the things that actually increase numbers, not feel good solutions for the undereducated public being sold on a nut shell game by people who stand to gain from growing trophy animals and limiting us “commoners” from shooting the kings animals.

    Shame on Utah for letting this happen. It’s deplorable.

    Make things right. Get rid of the wildlife board and hog tie the 800 pound gorilla that squeezing the teets of Utahns dry to push their own selfish, money driven agendas. Utah is headed down the road of being one giant game farm. It has to stop.

    The division needs to find a way to stand up to the wildlife board and SFW and do their job according to common sense and biology, not what will fetch the largest check come banquet time.

  28. I agree with most of what Gus is saying. My own feelings are, for too long we have over-prescribed tags for herds that never did recover from the winter of 1993. Also, the seasons should be more staggered. Right now deer are pushed from August thru November creating a lot of stress on the animals.

    With the increased proficiency in muzzle loaders, it is no longer a primitive weapon. Accuracy at 300 yards, ability to wear camo, is not fair chase. This is just my opinion.

    One thing I do believe in is a 3 point or better restriction. It has worked for the elk herds.

  29. The subject of antler point restrictions has come up several times in the responses, so I want to comment on it.

    Antler point restrictions do not produce more deer or deer with larger antlers.

    Most western states, including Utah, have tried mule deer antler restrictions, and in nearly every instance, the results were poor or counterproductive. Point restrictions resulted in a significant increase in illegal harvest of younger bucks as hunters mistakenly killed and abandoned them (it’s often difficult to judge the number of points on a live buck). Antler point restrictions also cause increased hunting pressure on mature bucks, and this increased pressure results in fewer of these animals.

    Utah abandoned point restrictions after five years when we documented an increase in illegal kills, reductions in overall harvest and noticeably fewer mature bucks. Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington and Oregon have all experienced similar results with antler restrictions. The bottom line is that the available evidence and repeated experience with deer antler point restrictions show that these restrictions do not work.

  30. Administrator, thanks for your response on point restrictions. How about a response on my comments on over prescribing tags, muzzle loaders and season schedules. I would like your input.

  31. TA, I can’t say I disagree with your muzzleloader comments. Montana doesn’t have a separate season. If you want to hunt with a muzzle loader, you do it during the any weapon season.

    On your tag allocation comment, I think if you are referring to doe harvest, it may some validity, but as has been stated many times by division biologists, buck hunting pressure and harvest doesn’t really affect population trends, one way or another, unless the specific herd/unit/region/area is being under bred due to low buck populations. Currently, Monroe, Oquirrh Stansbury, SS Bonanza are NEAR this, but to my knowledge, NONE are at the level that would be considered to running risk of does not being bred. Breeding cycles and the affect of younger bucks may be another conversation, but there isn’t much out there that would lead me to believe that it is an issue. This brings me to my next thought.

    In comparison to many other naimals, mule deer are grossly under studied. DO some research and look for journals and publications regarding mule deer biology. It is VERY limited. I think the division is on the right track and putting plenty of effort into finding out these things.

    One organization to look into if one is interested in education is WAFWA.

    Lastly, I would like to encourage anyone reading this to get educated on mule deer and the way our system works in this state. I can guarantee you it will be eye opening.

    Thanks again to the division for the work you do. Hopefully someday soon you will actually be considered to the proper degree when policies are being laid out. Look into who is making decisions, who is pushing for the decisions that are being made and what you can do to change the things that are wrong with the system.

    GET INVOLVED!!!

  32. I think there’s no deer because everyone in sal lake shoots bucks in my back yard. So let’s change and have people who live in salt lake shoot them in salt lake. So Wichita ever county you live in that’s where you should hunt.

  33. These are the issues I would like to see addressed:

    1- Identify the five areas in the State with the highest deer vs. auto accident rates. Clearly make them as such and warn drivers with flashing lights during critical times of the year that they are entering a wildlife critical zone. Indicate the UHP will be aggressively enforcing speed limits in these areas, with increased fines similar to construction zones.

    2- Increase UDOT’s fencing and wildlife migration budget.

    3- Require wildlife migration and winter range to be considered in all forms of development. Provide development incentives for developers that provide for wildlife.

    4- Increase the funding in the Agricultural Division to $750,000 for coyote control.

    5-Establish multiple buck to doe ratios that allow for individual units to be managed for lower or high buck to doe ratios. Rather than a statewide ratio. More of a social issue but would allow studies to the completed for future management ideas.

    6- Within 5 years establish adult doe survival and fawn recruitment criteria to pair with buck to doe ratios in determining hunt tag numbers in the respective units.

    7- Continue to manage cougars and bears at the moderate level where appropriate.

    8-Require the DWR to publish and make available on-line a yearly audit of all conservation tags and convention tags. The audit should include a list of tags for each organization. Where and when the tag was sold or how it was handled. The name of the person that received the tag. The money or in kind funds received by the organization. And, a clear and complete accounting of what projects or expenses the funds were used to complete, not just a lump sum project total or expense total. Hopefully more money on the ground for habitat, or at least calm the arguing.

    9- Eliminate all doe harvest on public land in units that are under objective or which boundaries touch a unit that is under objective.

  34. If you want more deer with more quality bucks ask the people on the Jicarilla. Its not hard ……. control the things that kill deer…. cars, predators, hunters! The Jicarilla deer hurd was down to nothing….. solution stop hunting for 5 yrs, control predators and very limited hunting, its that simple people.Here in Colorado our deer hurds were a joke and still are but has improved when the draw was put in. Cannot contiue to over hunt these animals… its all about the MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOu can get the deer back easily, just stop over hunting them, but if that happens where will the MONEY come from. ITs all about the MONEY! Send 500 hunters into the Henry Mountains and see what happens to the deeer hurd!

  35. Sorav,

    See what happens to the deer herd, or the buck population? My guess is the deer herd won’t be affected, but the buck to doe ratio will drop and Henry’s conservation tags and governor’s tag won’t sell for 90k-200k. Other than that, I think the deer herd will be fine. With a population estimate of 1200, 500 tags would likely yield a harvest 100-150 bucks, You’d still have well over a 20/100 buck to doe ratio post season. (This is an estimate based on harvest statistics, population estimates and is speculation)

    I’ve hunted 2C next to the Jic and the deer population is far from impressive, but the buck size and relative buck quantity is. Not to mention the Jic is close to impossible and over 20k to get a tag. Is that where we want our general season deer hunting to go?

    Again, more bucks doesn’t equal more deer, especially if the area is at or near capacity, like many bios contend we are at.

    And, your Colorado deer herds are declining at similar rates to Utah.

    Tip of the day – Facts, not conjecture.

  36. We sure have a lot of difrent ideas here. We cant realy know for sure if something works or not unless we try it, so long as it is reasonable. Mabe try a few of the better more sound ideas in different places and watch them closesly.
    One thing for sure is deer dying decreases the amount of deer and they die in a variety of different ways some it maybe traffic others it may be predators or lack of food. I live in Washington County and l see so many deer right intown neer the virgin river with busy roads all around them, but the have plenty of water and food. Another area I see a lot of deer is between veyo and enterprise resivor where there are no paved roads but very little water. I guess wht im getting at is the answer may be different in different places. I personally would like to know where coyotes are the biggest problem I enjoy hunting them but would like to know where I would be doing the most good.
    This needs to be a joint effort. We all want more deer so lets not argue. Instead take all ideas in to thought and be effective.

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