Montana general tag 4 for 4

molliesmaster

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Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
436
Father, thank you for the reprimand. I am changed.

The reality is that even though the word "harvest" has recently replaced "hunt" to make everyone feel better, is that tons of small bucks are shot so the hunter goes home with a story. That's a fact and would be nice if FWP addressed it. Not holding my breath.

The herd numbers/quality/experience, filling freezers, etc. can all be addressed by putting limits on what is harvested. If filling a freezer is really the goal (sure it is....riiiight), the harvester (let's start using that instead of hunter) would make plans on where they're hunting accordingly and would post pics on rokslide with a pile of white tail does in their pickup, high fiving, etc..

I'm talking about the 95%, you're using the 5%, the 'gripe' has tons of merit, not 'some'.

It's your story boss, you spin it any way you want.

Perhaps you'd like to tell the rest of us how we should chew gum and wipe our butts, too? Until then, I think I'll let someone fill their tag how they want to and I'll fill mine the way I want to, within the confines of the law.
 

Brettkazz

Junior Member
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Jul 8, 2021
Messages
10
Congrats. My party started 2 years ago on our first western hunt and filled 4 deer tags as well. Last year I was luck enough to get a tag on the alternate list and killed my first elk and made it back to find a good whitetail. This year we added my dad to the party and filled 5 mule deer tags. The area we hunt seems to be overlooked as people just drive by without giving it much attention. Haven't figured out how to get it done with the bow yet but that's a work in progress
 

Muledeer185

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2022
Messages
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Anybody for shortening the season here in Montana for mule deer so they don’t get pounded during the rut? Could this be part of the solution?
Also, congrats on the successful hunt.
 

PablitoPescador

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Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
190
Anybody for shortening the season here in Montana for mule deer so they don’t get pounded during the rut? Could this be part of the solution?
Also, congrats on the successful hunt.
I would 100% support a pre-rut hunt over what we currently have.
 

BugleMeTimber

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Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
159
Location
Montana
Anybody for shortening the season here in Montana for mule deer so they don’t get pounded during the rut? Could this be part of the solution?
Also, congrats on the successful hunt.
Once we shorten the season we'll never get it back but we could have limited entry rut hunts. I'd like to see the general tags go to any whitetail deer and only 3 pt min but any buck for youth on mule deer. Keep the mule deer doe to B Tags where they can be managed more accurately, and folks would not be able to shoot muley dinks to "fill the freezer". Just my Opinion/Idea, not a biologist.
 

BugleMeTimber

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Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
159
Location
Montana
How does s 3 pt minimum even 4 pt stop people from shooting "dinks".
It would restrict the spikes, 1x2's and 2x2's from being shot. Yes, there would still be small bucks shot but at least some small bucks would make it through the season.
 

S.Clancy

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Joined
Jan 28, 2015
Messages
1,578
Location
Montana
I know this is an old/tired complaint, but FWP has to put an antler point minimum in place asap to keep this from happening. It's insane how many dinks are shot simply to fill a tag for 'tag and brag' rights. Infuriating.
Antler point restrictions have never done what they are supposed to do, which is increase age class.
 

Pro953

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Joined
Sep 27, 2016
Messages
536
Location
California
Curious. How does shooting a mature buck vs a “dink” alter the supposed state of the declining deer herd? Both are dead bucks.


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hobbes

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Jun 6, 2012
Messages
2,185
Location
Montana
Curious. How does shooting a mature buck vs a “dink” alter the supposed state of the declining deer herd? Both are dead bucks.


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I don't think that's what changes herd numbers. Herd numbers decline through a combination of bad winters, drought, disease, and "over harvest". Unless we are shooting the hell out of does (sounds like some folks say we are) "over harvest" isn't what's caused the decline in numbers. ) I've not seen a lot of does killed where I've been hunting, but Ive seen a reduction in deer numbers. However, I think herd quality suffers by killing too many bucks at a young age. You eventually end up with a very small number of older class bucks that should be doing the breeding. Instead you have a pile of goofy looking 2 year old 3 points doing the breeding. I'm not sure that equates to herd health though. Does fewer big bucks mean an unhealthy herd or just not a lot of big bucks? I also don't think a herd with 25 does to one buck is a healthy herd. That also lends itself to weaker and immature bucks breeding does.


The QDM guys in the whitetail world use the term "herd management" a lot. My argument was few of them really cared about herd management but instead big buck production. We were just lucky that they couldn't get there without overall management of the herd.

Montana will struggle to ever change the deer set up. However, there's been some pretty big changes recommended for elk coming out of the working group recently so deer may follow. I don't mind nonresident hunters and have no real beef against them, but the reduction in folks hunting in November should be removed from them first in my opinion. Make the last two or three weeks of November a permit for rifle deer (whitetail and MD), open to archery, and the typical "up to 10% for nonresidents.". Do it statewide or the districts open will be slammed.

As far as killing young bucks goes, limiting folks to October will still kill the hell out of young bucks. People's mindset won't change. They'll see fewer big bucks in October than November. The young bucks will still be there looking stupid and they'll continue to be killed to fill a tag.

Unfortunately, it may be necessary to make some changes.

To be honest, I don't like the idea of me not hunting November. I love hunting November. What I really want is everyone else to stay home and I can keep hunting :) without interference. It's all about me and my desire to kill big bucks. Anyone else's desire to just fill a tag has less standing than that. Maybe I'll be generous and let a kid slide by but I'll decide what everyone else can kill. What I want is the only thing that matters.

My only real worry is herd numbers. Buck quality should be up to what the masses are willing to work towards.
 
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hobbes

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Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
2,185
Location
Montana
Montana treated my brother and I very well this fall. 4 for 4 tags filled in 7 days of hunting. Cant wait to go back. 4 shots taken 4 heart shot animals. Cant ask for a better trip.
Congrats again. My apologies for helping the thread along on a different path than just congrats. If you post much about Montana mule deer, it's inevitable that it'll head down this road.
 

Pro953

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 27, 2016
Messages
536
Location
California
I don't think that's what changes herd numbers. Herd numbers decline through a combination of bad winters, drought, disease, and "over harvest". Unless we are shooting the hell out of does (sounds like some folks say we are) "over harvest" isn't what's caused the decline in numbers. ) I've not seen a lot of does killed where I've been hunting, but Ive seen a reduction in deer numbers. However, I think herd quality suffers by killing too many bucks at a young age. You eventually end up with a very small number of older class bucks that should be doing the breeding. Instead you have a pile of goofy looking 2 year old 3 points doing the breeding. I'm not sure that equates to herd health though. Does fewer big bucks mean an unhealthy herd or just not a lot of big bucks? I also don't think a herd with 25 does to one buck is a healthy herd. That also lends itself to weaker and immature bucks breeding does.


The QDM guys in the whitetail world use the term "herd management" a lot. My argument was few of them really cared about herd management but instead big buck production. We were just lucky that they couldn't get there without overall management of the herd.

Montana will struggle to ever change the deer set up. However, there's been some pretty big changes recommended for elk coming out of the working group recently so deer may follow. I don't mind nonresident hunters and have no real beef against them, but the reduction in folks hunting in November should be removed from them first in my opinion. Make the last two or three weeks of November a permit for rifle deer (whitetail and MD), open to archery, and the typical "up to 10% for nonresidents.". Do it statewide or the districts open will be slammed.

As far as killing young bucks goes, limiting folks to October will still kill the hell out of young bucks. People's mindset won't change. They'll see fewer big bucks in October than November. The young bucks will still be there looking stupid and they'll continue to be killed to fill a tag.

Unfortunately, it may be necessary to make some changes.

To be honest, I don't like the idea of me not hunting November. I love hunting November. What I really want is everyone else to stay home and I can keep hunting :) without interference. It's all about me and my desire to kill big bucks. Anyone else's desire to just fill a tag has less standing than that. Maybe I'll be generous and let a kid slide by but I'll decide what everyone else can kill. What I want is the only thing that matters.

My only real worry is herd numbers. Buck quality should be up to what the masses are willing to work towards.

Yeah my comment was a little tongue in cheek.

I guess my thoughts are once someone has a tag it is his or her choice what they want to harvest and we should not socially shame them for what they pull the trigger on.

Antler point restrictions are not a very successful management tool.

Herd management though season dates and tag distribution and habitat management will make a much better impact.

But as you pointed out, all of those take some level of personal sacrifice vs just giving someone shit on the internet. (Also coming from a bunch us that also have a few 2-3 point young bucks from “back in the day”).


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hobbes

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Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
2,185
Location
Montana
Yeah my comment was a little tongue in cheek.

I guess my thoughts are once someone has a tag it is his or her choice what they want to harvest and we should not socially shame them for what they pull the trigger on.

Antler point restrictions are not a very successful management tool.

Herd management though season dates and tag distribution and habitat management will make a much better impact.

But as you pointed out, all of those take some level of personal sacrifice vs just giving someone shit on the internet. (Also coming from a bunch us that also have a few 2-3 point young bucks from “back in the day”).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Most of my post wasn't really directed at your question. A lot of it was "thinking out loud".

I think there's plenty of that going around, guys that shot whatever they wanted for multiple years before progressing into being more selective. Now that they've reached that stage, they've seen the light and everyone should be there. They rail on anyone for shooting a "dink".
 

Muledeer185

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2022
Messages
23
Once we shorten the season we'll never get it back but we could have limited entry rut hunts. I'd like to see the general tags go to any whitetail deer and only 3 pt min but any buck for youth on mule deer. Keep the mule deer doe to B Tags where they can be managed more accurately, and folks would not be able to shoot muley dinks to "fill the freezer". Just my Opinion/Idea, not a biologist.
I think limited entry rut hunts would be great. As far as shortening the seasons maybe add a week onto the front of the season when the bucks are less vulnerable.
 

Flyjunky

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
736
Anybody for shortening the season here in Montana for mule deer so they don’t get pounded during the rut? Could this be part of the solution?
Also, congrats on the successful hunt.
Are you suggesting hunting deer every year during the rut is having a negative impact?
 

Muledeer185

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2022
Messages
23
Are you suggesting hunting deer every year during the rut is having a negative impact?
Yes. The dumbing down of the bucks during the rut make them so vulnerable. More of the smarter, older bucks would survive improving trophy quality I would think. Its way more difficult hunting a non-rutting buck.
 

Flyjunky

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Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
736
Yes. The dumbing down of the bucks during the rut make them so vulnerable. More of the smarter, older bucks would survive improving trophy quality I would think. Its way more difficult hunting a non-rutting buck.
It might not of come across but I was being sarcastic.

It cracks me up that people complain about smaller bucks being shot but don’t say a thing about hunting during the rut. Hunting big bucks when they’re most vulnerable and then complain about decline of quality hunting.
 
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