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Musky Buck

Old Zone 4

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More a question than a topic maybe but I'm not remembering why this changed to zone 2 ? I'd like to hear some input into the positives and the negatives of the change for you in your hunting area and if you prefer the new 9 day season vs the old 2 day, 4 day, or multi-zone buck tags. I thought the old zone 4 allowed for hunters to pick almost the style by which you hunted. Seemed to put 3 days less pressure on them, split up the hunters a bit, and yet if it was mature buck or bust kind of guys they had the 6 days to try that route. I understand if this 9 day season is working well for you your in favor and if not you're not. Things like noticing more nocturnal deer, maybe now instead of some parties being done after the 1st weekend they are now hunting the whole 9 days, extra days to do deer drives and buy up more bonus tags, that's a whole nuther ? how many buy bonus permits, some reports from you would be greatly appreciated.

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I think it has its good points and bad points. I think it has helped the population issue by allowing people more time to get that extra doe, on the other side it gives people more days to get that extra buck and I think that is a huge reason why I have been seeing fewer mature bucks each year. Back when it was a 2 day hunt I would usually see 3 or 4 mature bucks each year (most during the bow season) and now I am still seeing about the same number of bucks but a majority are yearlings, why dont these yearlings seem to grow up? I dont know I doubt all of them get shot but I guess its possible and there has got to be some reason why 75% of the bucks I see are yearlings since the change. I think less people are doing deer drives now at least in my area because before you only had 2 days to get your deer so you did everything you could to try and get them but now people seem to sit more because they have all week for something to walk by their stand. I think it is very popular with people who strickly rifle hunt because they get more time to hunt and who doesnt want to hunt more. But for people like me who mainly just bow hunt I think would like to see it the way it was. Has anybody else been seeing less mature bucks and more 1.5 and 2.5 year olds since we switched to 9 day or is it just me?

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I personally like it better, as it gives me some week nights to hunt some marginal places around my folks place that I always wanted to hunt growing up, but couldn't justify the time in such a short season. I don't shoot any more deer than I was, but a few more might be shot in different places.

It seems to me that there are more small bucks, but we never saw many mature ones anyway.

I think the # of bonus tags going down in the areas as they need it to stabilizes the population just fine, at least around here. There are less deer than there were, but there's still plenty.

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Agree guys, I liked the old zone 4 a lot mainly because the deer had 5 days inbetween to get back on routine and it allowed those bucks that made weekend # 1 some breeding and rutting time and to not be almost totally nocturnal by the second weekend. I think it may have helped some bucks make it through the season because once 1st weekend was done some lands became almost a refuge of sorts. I guess basically instead of 4 hunts, or 8 hunts or multizone 12 hunts, we now can have 18 hunts meaning morning and evening plus more scheming and time to do drives and if all fails 16 musket days or a possible 32 more hunts.

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Why I asked the ? is because the change has been to old zone 4 where old zone 1 and 2 the boundaries have been the same and the season length, although they added the zone north of HWY 10 to zone 2 3 seasons ago. Just trying to figure out some stuff as to why I'm noticing a much more nocturnal herd, I know the season isn't the only reason and most seasons it seems they get more nocturnal each day which makes sense and that is part of why deer drives happens, if they were running around during shooting hours with high frequency drives would make little sense. The part I can't figure out is I have areas that are left alone until rifle opener, no grouse,pheasant, bow and arrow ducks or geese, no traffic to bother them yet they are still waiting to come out after dark, maybe this fall will be different, time will tell.

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Here is a purely anecdotal observation:

Last year, on Friday (Day 7 of the season) we had 25 deer in a hay field in the middle of our hunting land well before dark. In the middle of the bunch was a big ol' wide 12 pointer chasing does like crazy. By the time I saw them, it was pretty dark so all I could do was watch, but what a spectacle!

So at least in this one location for this one year, they did get back to normal during the season.

No, we never got the 12 pointer, lucky dog that he is.

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