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Satchmo

Attn: MN Gun Deer Hunters

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This is an informal group started to help everyone discuss the issues facing our MN firearm deer hunting. As we face the challenges of what to do about CWD, special interest groups, APRs, and accurate population estimates, it would be nice to hear from the nearly 500,000 hunters spread out across all areas of our state. As this group grows and hopefully bands together, polls will be done to determine what you the people would like to see in our deer herd and from the people who manage them. There are several small groups out there today that are loudly lobbying for support of their positions, but the gun hunter have traditionally been silent and left all the decisions to the DNR. We'd like to get the opinions of the hunters directly from the source..

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29 minutes ago, delcecchi said:

Why would you come on HSO advertising a FB group?   Clickbait?  Or just an innocent miscue?  

 

Probably for the reasons stated in the original post.

 

Relax, they are just trying to get a group of like minded people together to discuss deer hunting issues in Minnesota. No one is selling anything that I can see. Do you even know what a Facebook group is?

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10 minutes ago, Big Dave2 said:

 

Probably for the reasons stated in the original post.

 

Relax, they are just trying to get a group of like minded people together to discuss deer hunting issues in Minnesota. No one is selling anything that I can see. Do you even know what a Facebook group is?

Exactly Dave! Trying to build a group of concerned hunters to try to give the generally passive group of folks a place to voice their opinions. There is nothing to buy, no advertising, and no set agenda. Just a place to bounce ideas and gauge what deer hunters are thinking, and Facebook reaches a much larger and more diverse group than forums these days. While I still like participating in forums these days, they are smaller communities with smaller demographics, and in the deer policy world, numbers count.

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FB NEVER!! :lol:

 

Well maybe someday but I hope not.;)

 

Here’s one: APRs don’t have to mean 4 points on a side.  I don’t think it’ll ever fly for the whole state but what would the harm be in letting spikes and forks walk?

 

Heres two: Shut down the cervid farms now!  Buy em out with the money we’ll spend on CWD testing for eternity if we don’t.

 

Heres three: Stop party hunting bucks. 

:2c:

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39 minutes ago, Wanderer said:

FB NEVER!! :lol:

 

Well maybe someday but I hope not.;)

 

Here’s one: APRs don’t have to mean 4 points on a side.  I don’t think it’ll ever fly for the whole state but what would the harm be in letting spikes and forks walk?

 

Heres two: Shut down the cervid farms now!  Buy em out with the money we’ll spend on CWD testing for eternity if we don’t.

 

Heres three: Stop party hunting bucks. 

:2c:

Correct! APRs could be set at whatever they want. I don't like APRs unless a region has a large enough antlerless herd to support the extra pressure it will take when guys aren't seeing legal bucks. (think fill the freezer) 

 

Cervid farms are whole other can of worms. Not enough monitoring & regulation of them. I wish they would all go away. CWD is here now and it's not going away. I can only hope it stays contained to southern MN.

 

If "Party hunting" were stopped altogether (which I don't think will happen) the harvest would drop and the herd rebound would take care of itself in many areas IMHO, but it may be too bitter a pill to swallow for many groups. 

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3 hours ago, Satchmo said:

Cervid farms are whole other can of worms. Not enough monitoring & regulation of them. I wish they would all go away. CWD is here now and it's not going away. I can only hope it stays contained to southern MN.

Ask Wisconsin how that's working out.    The staying confined part.    With luck and cooperation, perhaps it can be eradicated from the spots where it has been found here.   It seems to have happened in Pine Island.

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4 hours ago, Satchmo said:

Correct! APRs could be set at whatever they want. I don't like APRs unless a region has a large enough antlerless herd to support the extra pressure it will take when guys aren't seeing legal bucks. (think fill the freezer) 

 

Cervid farms are whole other can of worms. Not enough monitoring & regulation of them. I wish they would all go away. CWD is here now and it's not going away. I can only hope it stays contained to southern MN.

 

If "Party hunting" were stopped altogether (which I don't think will happen) the harvest would drop and the herd rebound would take care of itself in many areas IMHO, but it may be too bitter a pill to swallow for many groups. 

 

Here's one. Yes get rid of the Deer farms. So far their the only places CWD has occurred in MN.

Here's two. Until it was even discovered or there was a way to test for it. How does anyone even know that there has not always been some amount of CWD in the Deer herds in every state?  :confused:

Here's three. As PF said above. Party hunting has been a long time family tradition for many hunting families for like ever. There are still many families who actually need and can use the meat still in this state. Filling the freezer means more to many then Antlers on the wall.  Which by looking at my Avatar, I can't really say much about but know the folks we use to hunt with up north were pretty darn poor and counted on venison.

 

I also don't want young hunters which are becoming more in short supply according to another post not long ago about less people hunting and tag sales dropping.  Not being able to take their first Deer because a bunch of antler mongers want them to sit and count points as their first Deer is walking away. If anything, for the APR folks lets put an age limit on it so young folks can still take a few Deer before they want to give it up, because they can't shoot the deer they finally see or just Does.  I know my son's first buck was a fork horn but to him it was the terdy point buck! :grin: 

Edited by leech~~

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This is exactly why nothing changes with our regulations.  The general MN hunting public too afraid to try some changes that are aimed at improving the age structure and breeding buck/doe ratio in our herd.  

It would take 3 years max to figure out the effects of the changes but the general public won’t tolerate even a little bit of sacrifice for a short amount of time.  It’s too disruptive to what is known.

 

The general “MN hunting public” is the FA deer hunter.  Based on license sales, that’s what we do.  Sure, many of us buy some other licenses and do other things but the FA deer season is IT for a large percentage of the MN hunting public.  And for good reason: it’s the easiest and most social hunt of the year.  That’s all it is.  We take what we can get for a couple weeks and pretty much forget about the woods the rest of the year.

 

Sometimes taking 1 step back to take 2 forward is a good plan.

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Even though my group passes small bucks and practices selective doe harvest, That is completely by choice. I also choose to put in food plots and drop aspen, birch, maple, or ash trees for the deer in Jan/Feb to help them out in my swamp/cattle country area. I do not care what the neighbors do.  I  also do not believe there would be any reason to halt party hunting or to implement APRs if the herd was managed for a higher more stable number. We need to stop the big pendulum swings in doe harvest however, and  we certainly need a much more accurate population assessment and a fine tuned harvest plan to accomplish that. I do like the way WI has their units broken down by county to give them the ability to fine tune the harvest. Currently in MN, some of the antlerless areas in MN span some large areas with multiple kinds of terrain and very different herd dynamics. Very large counties could even be broken down.

 

As far as APRs, I'm not a giant fan, but even if get pushed through in SE MN by the small, loud special interest groups pushing for it there, I would want all youth 16 and under exempted from them.

Edited by Satchmo

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1 minute ago, Satchmo said:

Even though my group passes small bucks and practices selective doe harvest, I  do not believe there would be any reason to halt party hunting or to implement APRs if the herd was managed for a higher more stable number. To do that, we need a much more accurate population assessment and a fine tuned harvest plan. I do like the way WI has their units broken down by county to give them the ability to fine tune the harvest. Currently in MN, some of the antlerless areas in MN span some large areas with multiple kinds of terrain and very different herd dynamics. Very large counties could even be broken down.

Face it. What you are talking about can only be done through  regulation by reducing the numbers of hunters or licenses in the state which means fewer hunters.

 

The APR guys for years told people to stick a doe or two in the freezer instead of a buck because they were ignorant and didn't understand that does drive population and they would have been better off in the long run taking a spike.

 

If you really want to improve age structure then tell everyone to stop shooting the big ones and the age structure will improve overnight.

 

Now,let's cut to the chase- the best thing we can do is focus on habitat development. The more and better the habitat,the better the hunting will be. Focus on that and stop trying to divide the hunters over who can take what and with what. 

 

Imagine how the muskie population would look if they took every bug muskie they hooked and left the smaller ones. It would look like the northern population where they do just that. 

 

Let the big ones walk to improve the age structure and take a tender,young spike to fill your tag and you will begin to see more deer and bigger deer. 

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It’s interesting when people compare Wisconsin to Minnesota for Deer management and population.

Here’s a few things to think about that make them different and why Wisconsin has such a robust Deer population compared to Minnesota. 

1)      The whole state of Wisconsin is at a lower elevation then most of Minnesota meaning less sever winters for their northern Deer herd as compare to Minnesota.

2)      Land terrain. There are some large differences.

 

3)      Wolves, as the map shows Minnesota has way more fawn eaters then Wisconsin.

 

4)      Later season. Part 1 allows the rut to be almost completed before hunting starts meaning more Doe’s have been bread. Part 2 Their last weekend is on Thanks giving which for a good number of guys means they are no way in He!! Going to be hunting at least on Thanks given day unless they want a divorce!    :lol:

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5 minutes ago, PurpleFloyd said:

Face it. What you are talking about can only be done through  regulation by reducing the numbers of hunters or licenses in the state which means fewer hunters.

 

The APR guys for years told people to stick a doe or two in the freezer instead of a buck because they were ignorant and didn't understand that does drive population and they would have been better off in the long run taking a spike.

 

If you really want to improve age structure then tell everyone to stop shooting the big ones and the age structure will improve overnight.

 

Now,let's cut to the chase- the best thing we can do is focus on habitat development. The more and better the habitat,the better the hunting will be. Focus on that and stop trying to divide the hunters over who can take what and with what. 

 

Imagine how the muskie population would look if they took every bug muskie they hooked and left the smaller ones. It would look like the northern population where they do just that. 

 

Let the big ones walk to improve the age structure and take a tender,young spike to fill your tag and you will begin to see more deer and bigger deer. 

PF,   You're absolutely right. The only way to limit harvest and rebuild the herd in many areas is thru regulation, because too many people still to do things the old fashioned way and kill everything that the DNR says they can.

 

The antlerless tag allocations are based on faulty population estimates at best. The most accurate assessment of the herd comes from the boots on the ground. Which means YOU the hunters. I take NO heed in the DNR numbers in my area. WE manage our local population. My group passes small bucks when there are few & take does when they are plentiful. We monitor our deer year round, do habitat improvements throughout the year, and take out predators when we can.  This however is not the norm in the gun hunting circles. 

 

The APR guys don't even follow their own advise when it comes to doe harvest. I find that most of the vocal, hardcore APR advocates are hunting SE MN, where the populations have been over goal for years, and they are trophy hunting. In many of those areas, they SHOULD be taking does to bring the herd dynamics back in to line. Those guys want everyone else to follow their plan that benefits their trophy hunting goals. A large part of the rest of the MN would benefit more from protecting does, not bucks. I'd much rather see a plan that benefits the herd, not the special interest groups.

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PF,

 

I’ve noticed lately that we agree on several topics but I disagree here.  Yes, the early inception of QDM and associated APRs was too one-sided but you honestly can’t elevate age structure by killing so many yearlings like we do.  It would take ONE year for hunters to notice an uptick in average size and increase in Buck/Doe ratio.  In two years those bucks would be branch antlered deer.  Yes, fawns are tender but I’m pretty comfortable with stating the difference in meat quality between a 1.5 year old deer and 2.5 year is more dependent on the taking and care of the game.

 

But all this doesn’t matter anyway.  We put 400,000 plus hunters in the woods every November to manage the population by harvest.  That’s it; that’s all the DNR is interested in and we’ve grown comfortable with the plans familiarity.  Even if we took a year off from shooting yearlings, the 2.5s would be gleaned right off the top with the gauntlet we field each year.  And by popular opinion, the general hunting public in this state is OK with it.

 

I’ll argue to my death that is why people who actually care about quality deer hunting in a state that is well suited for it have to go outside the regular FA season at a minimum to get it. And better yet, acquire as much manageable property as one can and build their own herd.  Which in turn further limits access to others, helps overcrowd public land and lowers the bar even further.

 

Pretty much everyone I know that pursues deer enough to go out if state, get into archery, buy or lease land knows this state is capable of a more developed herd.  And I think that is the point Satchmo is trying to ge to here.  It’s just a really big issue with a really big group of opinions weighing in.  And so many who believe there is no “Issue” to resolve.

 

**This post typed before Satchmo’s above. ;)

Edited by Wanderer

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29 minutes ago, leech~~ said:

It’s interesting when people compare Wisconsin to Minnesota for Deer management and population.

Here’s a few things to think about that make them different and why Wisconsin has such a robust Deer population compared to Minnesota. 

1)      The whole state of Wisconsin is at a lower elevation then most of Minnesota meaning less sever winters for their northern Deer herd as compare to Minnesota.

2)      Land terrain. There are some large differences.

 

3)      Wolves, as the map shows Minnesota has way more fawn eaters then Wisconsin.

 

4)      Later season. Part 1 allows the rut to be almost completed before hunting starts meaning more Doe’s have been bread. Part 2 Their last weekend is on Thanks giving which for a good number of guys means they are no way in He!! Going to be hunting at least on Thanks given day unless they want a divorce!    :lol:

Leech,   I was not at all trying to compare the hunting between the two states. That is apples and oranges. I was simply stating that I like their permit area system. I've hunted the WI rifle system for the last 25 years, and there are many similarities and some glaring differences.

1) Yes, the state is farther south with less winter kill.

2) There are also many similarities in terrain, but again a generally milder climate.

3) WI has fewer wolves, but still has it's share of predators.

4) Part 1- I've seen far more rut activity in WI over the last 25 years than I have in MN.

     Part 2 - Are you kidding me? Most turkey dinners are served at deer camp or within relatively short driving distance. This is a religion over there! They will only miss a part of Sundays for a Packer game. Thanksgiving don't mean squat. It's a four day hunting weekend!

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2 hours ago, Wanderer said:

PF,

 

I’ve noticed lately that we agree on several topics but I disagree here.  Yes, the early inception of QDM and associated APRs was too one-sided but you honestly can’t elevate age structure by killing so many yearlings like we do.  It would take ONE year for hunters to notice an uptick in average size and increase in Buck/Doe ratio.  In two years those bucks would be branch antlered deer.  Yes, fawns are tender but I’m pretty comfortable with stating the difference in meat quality between a 1.5 year old deer and 2.5 year is more dependent on the taking and care of the game.

 

But all this doesn’t matter anyway.  We put 400,000 plus hunters in the woods every November to manage the population by harvest.  That’s it; that’s all the DNR is interested in and we’ve grown comfortable with the plans familiarity.  Even if we took a year off from shooting yearlings, the 2.5s would be gleaned right off the top with the gauntlet we field each year.  And by popular opinion, the general hunting public in this state is OK with it.

 

I’ll argue to my death that is why people who actually care about quality deer hunting in a state that is well suited for it have to go outside the regular FA season at a minimum to get it. And better yet, acquire as much manageable property as one can and build their own herd.  Which in turn further limits access to others, helps overcrowd public land and lowers the bar even further.

 

Pretty much everyone I know that pursues deer enough to go out if state, get into archery, buy or lease land knows this state is capable of a more developed herd.  And I think that is the point Satchmo is trying to ge to here.  It’s just a really big issue with a really big group of opinions weighing in.  And so many who believe there is no “Issue” to resolve.

 

**This post typed before Satchmo’s above. ;)

Well, I would argue you can't elevate age structure if you shoot all the old ones either.

My proposal has worked for the muskie population no? 

 

The ONLY way your proposal works is to limit the total number of tags available and hence the total deer harvest.

 

Just a few years ago we had this group pop up on the forums looking to audit the DNR. This was exposed as a scheme to get the DNR to elevate deer numbers so it was easier to push statewide apr. Funny thing is this got passed and suddenly there wasn't a peep from that group about low population after the audit even though nothing changed in the immediate time after the legislation was passed.

 

I find it a bit comical how the most hardcore of those pushing for new expanded regulations for deer hunting are generally the most vocal about wanting to keep government out of our lives in everything else they do. 

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1 hour ago, Satchmo said:

Leech,   I was not at all trying to compare the hunting between the two states. That is apples and oranges. I was simply stating that I like their permit area system. I've hunted the WI rifle system for the last 25 years, and there are many similarities and some glaring differences.

1) Yes, the state is farther south with less winter kill.

2) There are also many similarities in terrain, but again a generally milder climate.

3) WI has fewer wolves, but still has it's share of predators.

4) Part 1- I've seen far more rut activity in WI over the last 25 years than I have in MN.

     Part 2 - Are you kidding me? Most turkey dinners are served at deer camp or within relatively short driving distance. This is a religion over there! They will only miss a part of Sundays for a Packer game. Thanksgiving don't mean squat. It's a four day hunting weekend!

I lived in northern Wisconsin for some years. We have land up there where my wife grew up.

In the 80's and 90's in that area you could harvest something like 6 deer a year and they had a stable population until they introduced wolves. Actually the numbers are still high but they limit the number of deer you can take from how it was then. 

Wisconsin from bottom to top has better habitat than much of Minnesota.

 

South of 94 it gets pretty barren and with the southern part of the state tilled for crops and with all the groves,fences and tree lines removed it just cannot support enough of a population to make it feasible to do the whole age structure,herd building thing. 

 

But I do know one thing. If you want to protect deer, plant a cornfield in every section and don't harvest until after the season and don't hunt it. 

 

 

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Who cares about "age structure"? I've seen things like "organic" or "grass fed" beef in the grocery store but I have yet to see a sign asserting that "our beef is older".

 

If you guys want to hunt for antlers then by all means go and do it but don't expect that everyone in the states wants to game the system to help you.

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12 minutes ago, PurpleFloyd said:

I find it a bit comical how the most hardcore of those pushing for new expanded regulations for deer hunting are generally the most vocal about wanting to keep government out of our lives in everything else they do. 

 

I would also be willing to bet that the majority of people pushing for APR's and to end party hunting are also big advocates of catch and release fishing. If that's the case why not just go shed hunting? There's no crowds, you can take any size antlers you want and you can even use a dog. You can mount them all over your house and brag to your friends without ever having to shoot a deer.

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So hunters are already in decline and a small group of special interest hunters want everyone to conform to their version of Utopia which includes fewer hunters yet and more regulation. I don't see how that fixes things.

 

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Focus guys! Who here is advocating for APR or the end to party hunting? Answer..........Noone! To hell with the special interest groups. But if you think you can maintain the status quo for the last 3 decades and expect a healthy herd with the way it is being managed now, think again.  You will see an even further decline in hunters and hunter satisfaction. I would much rather shoot one deer per year than shoot 5 this year and then none the next 4 seasons. It's called sustainability. It's not the 80s, 90s, or even early 2000s. 

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