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View Poll Results: is it poaching?
this is a case of poaching, pure and simple. 68 91.89%
this is a case of doing what's right. 6 8.11%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 14, 2012, 07:49 PM   #26
JerryM
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[Jerry, in general I can agree. But a goodly number of people understood "carrying capacity" long before anybody ever heard of a game department. For that matter, even TP&WD didn't understand it until the 1970s. Such knowledge was commonplace in my family in the 1800s.

It's not always a matter of "thinking" about knowing best--or at the least, better.

Based on sixteen years of employment in government, I guarantee you that such employment does not create wisdom.]

Hi Art,
Usually the dedicated hunters are ahead of the game biologist. I saw it here in southern NM where a hunter found his kill of a bighorn had scabies mites. He reported it, but the expert PhDs had to study it, and for several years. It resulted in decimation of the herd here. Quick action could have saved many sheep for restocking. It has never been clear to me why problems that require quick action with obvious solutions have to be studied for years, and then they conclude what hunters have known for many years, as in the case of your family in the early years. In some cases severe damage has already occurred, and it takes years to correct the situation.

However, I think in general the game departments do have the best
interest of the game populations at heart. Accordingly, I think that
the scenario posed considering what we have learned about carrying capacity would prevent such. In addition we have annual meetings of the game commission and whoever is interested to make our voices heard.
NM waited much too long to institute a permit system for deer, and we were far behind AZ in our game management.

I do not think we are doing a good job in the area of predator control, and along with the drought the deer herd has greatly decreased in the last 15 or so years due to mountain lions and coyotes.

In any case, I think most of us agree that ignoring of the law and poaching is not the way to correct the sometimes obvious errors of the game managers.

Regards,
Jerry
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Old July 14, 2012, 08:59 PM   #27
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Art Eatman--

I hit this late, but you said "It is not possible to poach out a woodlot or pasture of mature bucks" (Or something like that). You live in Texas and things are different there. You better believe it can be done in the North East.
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Old July 15, 2012, 12:00 AM   #28
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The foundation in any hunter's code of ethics, is to obey "all" state's DNR laws. That is what we teach to young hunters during our hunter safety classes. ....
interesting, game laws were never even brought up when I was in hunters ed. they do mention that it is your responsibility to educate yourself on local game laws but ethics and law have almost nothing to do with each other.

it is illegal to purchase a Cuban cigar while it is legal to purchase an identical cigar made in the Dominican Republic. is a person smoking a Cuban cigar automatically an anarchist and unethical person.

in some areas of the united states it is actually a punishable offense to swear in public. this is not a law that was made for your safety, it serves no purpose whatsoever and only exists because someone, somewhere felt that foul language was so repulsive that it should be illegal. if you catch yourself swearing like a sailor even though you know it's wrong are you automatically a criminal?

let's swing that another direction. all persons living in Nazi occupied europe during WWII were required by law to turn in any Jews that they found to authorities. many didn't because they knew it was wrong to do so and many were caught and faced severe punishment from the german SS. were these people anarchists and unethical?

a person that walks by their neighbor's house everyday and notices that they own a large number of pets that appear malnourished and unhealthy is considered a hero for turning that neighbor in for animal abuse and what is the final outcome? usually the animals are taken for their protection and if a suitable home can not be found ina timely manner those same animals are euthanized.

how is a person that sees a bunch of starving animals in the wild that are unable to recieve enough nourishment from the land anymore any less ethical for performing the euthanizing when it has become obvious that the authorities are not willing to control the population?


again, I am neither advocating or condoning the actions described and though my analogies are a little in-proportionant in scope, the overall precedent remains the same. laws and ethics are not interchangeable and anyone that argues contrary has obviously not spent much time in history class.
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Old July 15, 2012, 12:45 AM   #29
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I don't think they'll have to worry much. Since MO started its antler point restrictions, we are seeing lots of spikes, fours and sixes meet their demise in the grills of cars and pickups.
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Old July 15, 2012, 12:53 AM   #30
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It's poaching and with added crime of failure to make reasonable attempt to recover the animal. Even if you kill a game animal illegally you have to attempt to recover it.
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Old July 15, 2012, 04:58 AM   #31
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Poaching!
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Old July 15, 2012, 05:23 AM   #32
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Quote:
how is a person that sees a bunch of starving animals in the wild that are unable to recieve enough nourishment from the land anymore any less ethical for performing the euthanizing when it has become obvious that the authorities are not willing to control the population?
this is why we have hunting season. it's poaching no matter how you slice it.
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:25 AM   #33
Art Eatman
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gaseousclay, the system of the OP has created the problem, so it's obvious that "hunting season" shooting of the deer fails to deal with the problem. If anything, it makes the problem worse.

If those in authority won't deal with the problem, who is left to do so?

To believe that obedience to a law is sufficient unto itself, regardless of harm: That is a Statist attitude, and is exactly what we see in government in WashDC today. It is what is desired by the TSA and Homeland Security.

Note: In a normal ecosystem, killing out of season or after hours, etc., etc., is indeed poaching.

I guess it's that I believe that rational killing for what is factually "the good of the species" or "protection of an ecosystem" is not poaching.

Although wildlife agencies try to have the best interests of game animals as their credo, that is irrelevant to the thesis of the OP.
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:54 AM   #34
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this is why we have hunting season. it's poaching no matter how you slice it.
but that is the thing, the vast majority of these overpopulated animals are female or very small males so when he established hunting season rolls around they are still going to be illegal to harvest and no matter how long you leave the females they will always be untouchable by law. maybe if they are lucky and left for several years the bucks may eventually grow to legal size but that still does little or nothing to solve the immediate problem.

growing up in montana there was a similar situation with the mule deer population. they rarely congregated in large herds but there was way too many for the land to support and for the longest time only the bucks were allowed to be harvested. interestingly enough nobody seemed to care that the average buck was only around 120-140 pounds and usually was not the best of of eating but once dozens of cases of deer having blue tongue disease were confirmed fish and game started population control measures, easing restrictions and even allowed the purchase of an extra doe tag in certain areas. inside of just a few years, the average buck went up to around 170-190 pounds, had an extra couple points on his rack and though the disease problem never fully went away the numbers dropped down to only a couple confirmed cases a year.
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Old July 15, 2012, 10:04 AM   #35
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let's swing that another direction. all persons living in Nazi occupied europe during WWII were required by law to turn in any Jews that they found to authorities.
Wow, please don't tell me that you are invoking Godwin's law to justify poaching.

Quote:
the overall precedent remains the same. laws and ethics are not interchangeable and anyone that argues contrary has obviously not spent much time in history class.
I have spent considerable time in history class and laws and ethics are sometimes interchangeable. In fact, the creation of many laws comes from the ethics of lawmakers at the time and the laws are really nothing more than codified ethics. Just because you don't share the same ethics as the law maker doesn't make the law unethical, but only unethical to you. Much of this is covered not under history, but under philosophy.

The notion of going out and killing off animals because you think it is the right thing to do because you don't have the patience to let natural selection deal with the issue really doesn't make your actions correct. I would posit that going out to kill the animals that you think are suffering is very unethical because while you may be putting an end to their suffering, you are taking from them their opportunity to survive. Not only that, but your criteria for killing them does not help the species from a natural selection perspective. Just because an animal is starving does not mean it is genetically inferior. So your shooting of starving animals (which are thusfar the smarter or genetically superior animals that have fought and struggled to remain alive under stressful conditions) means that you are actually doing more harm to the survival of the population as the genetically inferior animals are likely amongst the first to die off naturally.
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Old July 15, 2012, 10:20 AM   #36
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It is what it is !!!

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interesting, game laws were never even brought up when I was in hunters ed
Well, I find it interesting but mostly disturbing. Not only do we teach this in the ethics section of our classes but we also dedicate about an hour for a state's conservation officer to review the exising laws, new laws as well as a question and answer segment. ....
We also hand out the current copy of Hunting and Trapping regulation. I'm sure all you guys read these every year. Right

These are times when it's quite common to grill the officer on concerns and problems. Just naturally comes out and handled quite well. One thing that does supprise me, in the level of politics that bureaucracy that exists. There are those at top that don't know the diference between a Muskrat and Tree-Rat. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old July 15, 2012, 10:21 AM   #37
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laws and ethics are not interchangeable and anyone that argues contrary has obviously not spent much time in history class.
I've yet to know of any history class that teaches Game Management and hunting regulations. Again, comparing modern hunting practices to the Revolutionary War is BS. Stating that breaking any law you don't agree with is perfectly fine is a snub and a kick to the groin of any brave soul that fought in that war to give us that right to govern ourselves. You're right tho, ethics and laws are different. One can use poor ethics while hunting that are legal and just be considered by many to be a slob hunter. Break the law while hunting and you are a criminal....period, no matter what the personal justification is. Consequences if caught are much different.

Quote:
gaseousclay, the system of the OP has created the problem, so it's obvious that "hunting season" shooting of the deer fails to deal with the problem. If anything, it makes the problem worse.
Art, the scenario the OP presents is basically non-existent anywhere in modern America. With the popularity of hunting, the modern tools available for use and the multitude of seasons, the only reason this could ever happen is on private land that is not accessible to other hunters. Modern hunting bag limits and game management everywhere in the country allows for the harvest of female and juvenile animals when needed. State agencies can only control game populations in areas of public access, so if an area is overpopulated, it is because the private land owner created it themselves. Now you think they should be able to shoot animals outta season because they mismanaged their land? So much for them knowing better than the state as for carrying capacity. If this is a fantasy scenario, then the answer should be fantasy, but if one wants it to be realistic, they themselves should be realistic. Again, every poacher alive justifies to themselves why they poach, problem is, that reasoning don't float to the general public and game wardens.

Quote:
I guess it's that I believe that rational killing for what is factually "the good of the species" or "protection of an ecosystem" is not poaching.
I believe the key word in that statement is Factually.
How factual is it that an average person can estimate game populations driving down the road @ 70 MPH? How factual is it that the majority of those claiming they are doing what's best for the land are just slob hunters justifying their poaching? I doubt that anyone here would tell another not to do what is right for "the good of the species" or "protection of an ecosystem", but the fact is, giving folks the right to hunt as they see fit is what decimated many game populations and drove others into extinction. Remember, if you're better qualified to manage the game in your state than wildlife officials, than so is your neighbor Bubba, and his nephew and the 14 others that hunt next door. The real facts are, that game laws and wildlife management as lame as they can be at times, are the only reason you and I have game to hunt at all.
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Old July 15, 2012, 03:28 PM   #38
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Before passage, 67% of the American people opposed Obamacare.
Art in the case of Obama Care you had very powerful special interests supporting that legislation. The same is true of the invasion of Iraq and the Bush tax cuts which weren't supported by a majority of citizens.

That generally isn't true of changes in to game limits. Another consideration there is lots of difference between a state rep and a US congress person.
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Old July 15, 2012, 04:06 PM   #39
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Poaching is poaching, even if the reasoning is sound. I have heard that the landowner can "PETITION" TPW for special tags or some such. They eventually send an observer to count the deer on your property and then tell you what to kill for a few seasons. From what I have been told its is a long drawnout deal that is very restrictive.
I've had the same problem in the past and felt there were only 2 choices. Leave or spend a few seasons using your tags wisely, and your wife's if she hunts. And your buddys who want some extra meat for the freezer. As long as it's legal do what you gotta do. You can fix it, we did. After 3 seasons it proved to produce some decent bucks and overfilled the freezer every year.
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Old July 15, 2012, 04:16 PM   #40
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What's right or ethical is not always legal.
What is wrong or unethical is not always illegal.

Yes we are a country of laws but often times the laws are written to protect the interests of a few people even though they are clearly destructive to the majority of the people and the very fabric of the USA. On the other side their are many laws that people hate even though they are in the peoples best interest.

I have on a couple occasions shot deer that were hit by cars when the dnr or sherrifs department would not come deal with it. I won't stand by and watch an animal suffer because officers are to lazy to come do their job. I had another instance where a doe with a broken leg during a very hard winter was stuck in a drift in my back yard and was going to stave to death. I called the sherrifs dep. A deputy came out and was afraid his 9mil was going to skip off the snow and endanger the houses 300 yards away so he would not do anything. So when he left I put a 22 up to the does forehead and shot it. It was to weak to even struggle as we walked right up to it. So I guess I was guilty of poaching but I also did what I thought was humane. I'm not sure that what the people in the OPs example are right or wrong I'm no expert on game management its not something I would undertake.
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Old July 15, 2012, 07:06 PM   #41
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"Art, the scenario the OP presents is basically non-existent anywhere in modern America."

Which is exactly why in my first post I pointed out the false premise of the OP.

"I believe the key word in that statement is Factually."

With well over a century of family history in farming and ranching, "factually" as I used it is child's-play simplicity. It doesn't matter what species of herbivore is of interest. Carrying capacity is carrying capacity.

"...the patience to let natural selection deal with the issue..."

How long is "patient"? In the central Texas hill country, a half-century hasn't been long enough such that any natural selection has made any improvement.

"How factual is it that an average person can estimate game populations driving down the road @ 70 MPH?"

Can't. But observing a browse line in trees/brush is a lead-pipe cinch; most any rancher can do it. That shows range conditions.

Then there was the night on a highway north of Ozona when I had to stop and wait a moment before going very slowly through a herd of well over fifty whitetail which were wadded up from borrow ditch to borrow ditch. Or the evening on the way home from Luckenbach via Blanco and saw well over a hundred whitetail (by head count) in a five-acre oat patch; mostly does, about greyhound size.
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Old July 15, 2012, 07:20 PM   #42
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Art, the scenario the OP presents is basically non-existent anywhere in modern America.
on the contrary. art himself gave personal experience with such a situation. the claims that the only overpopulated area are on private property and are the landowners fault is utter foolishness. most farmers prefer to get rid of deer because they compete with domestic animals for food and eat food crops. if wild animals are eating everything then that means more money that has to be spent to buy feed for cattle, sheep, goats, hogs and other livestock. there is not a farmer around that would ever be so stupid as to completely ban hunters from his property.

also this conversation is based off a real life situation that has been an ongoing problem in eastern Washington along the snake river basin where it just so happens to be on public land and open to everyone for hunting. it is accessible by boat and car so there really is no explanation as to why these deer are not hunted....oh yes except for they are illegal to hunt.

Quote:
How factual is it that an average person can estimate game populations driving down the road @ 70 MPH?
now you are talking accurate census of the game. I can tell you that I do not have an accurate accounting of the animals....asside from taking the time to count them myself witha pad and a pencil to avoid losing count. after around 300 I gave up, my brother has counted over 400 on occassions. once you hit numbers like these accurate accounting of game numbers is irrelevant, general rule of thumb is 3 acres of wilderness or 1 acre of farmland per deer, this is wilderness so just one of these herds requires a ball park estimate of around 1500 ares of land to sustain itself and that is not counting the animals that do not belong to these herds. that is a pretty good indication that this animal is overpopulated in the region.
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Art in the case of Obama Care you had very powerful special interests supporting that legislation. The same is true of the invasion of Iraq and the Bush tax cuts which weren't supported by a majority of citizens.

That generally isn't true of changes in to game limits. Another consideration there is lots of difference between a state rep and a US congress person.
this is not true at all. special interests groups shape a great number of our game laws. why else would there be special hunting seasons specifically for archers and muzzleloaders? there is no reason why a bowhunter can't hunt at the same time as rifle hunters are muzzleloaders.

there is no reason why some states should outlaw certain calibers, or others outlawing shredder arrowheads. there is no reason that some outlaw the use of electronic calls or why some states outlaw mineral licks.

these restrictions and concessions are made for the sole purpose of appeasing special interests groups. special interests groups are one of the few reasons that hunting is still legal in some states.
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Old July 15, 2012, 07:41 PM   #43
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this is not true at all. special interests groups shape a great number of our game laws. why else would there be special hunting seasons specifically for archers and muzzleloaders? there is no reason why a bowhunter can't hunt at the same time as rifle hunters are muzzleloaders.
Name me one bow or muzzle loader that opposes an increase in the number of deer they can take.
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Old July 15, 2012, 08:59 PM   #44
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Name me one bow or muzzle loader that opposes an increase in the number of deer they can take.
the argument is not whether you should be allowed to take more than one. unless we are talking about hunters that fill every tag they have ever bought then there is a high likelihood that they would feel adequate with whatever the limit is. many shooters are lucky to fill even half of the tags that they buy. the issue is the animals that the existing tags can be used to harvest.

many people, especially in washington, oregon and california consider it unethical to kill a doe (whether legal or not). it is just a matter of the culture in which they find themselves. if you think logically. a single buck can impregnate over a hundred does in a single year while a single doe is only going to have a handfull of fawns over the course of it's life time. so to the uneducated masses, saving all of the does to hunt the bucks sounds like a good strategy for population control however all it takes is a single buck that is too small to be harvested to get mixed into a herd of does and he can quite easily impregnate the entire herd in short fashion.

the only way to effectively control a population is to control both sex of a given species and due to a strange squeamishness among west coast society, does are left alone and only mature bucks are allowed to be harvest. states such as washington are at a great disadvantage because the majority of the population lies on the western part of the state meaning that when the eastern part of the state has a dire need to get rid of does, the western part which may not have that same problem is easily able to vote against a proposed change to hunting laws because they see no need for it.
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:22 PM   #45
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OP,

Good luck in court with your reasoning. I'm betting you'll be a disgruntled citizen afterwards.

You don't like your state's hunting laws?
1) run for governor
2) start your own special interest group, since you think they have the power to change laws
3) don't follow it and if you get caught, let a court decide if you're right or not

otherwise, enjoy it legally.

I respect my local department of wildlife for what they've done to educate the public and management of resources. I've never met a bad wildlife officer but I've run into a number of unscrupulous hunters. For me, I put my trust in the DOW.
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:52 PM   #46
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OP,

Good luck in court with your reasoning. I'm betting you'll be a disgruntled citizen afterwards.
ok first of all I would like to point out that I have been very clear that I neither advocated or condoned this action, I am simply pointing out that I empathize with the actions being taken by private citizens to protect their ecosystem.

Quote:
You don't like your state's hunting laws?
1) run for governor
2) start your own special interest group, since you think they have the power to change laws
3) don't follow it and if you get caught, let a court decide if you're right or not
I am not a resident of Washington so none of those are going to do me much good. I live in Idaho on the I-W border and as soon as those dirty, diseased, starved does and midget bucks step over the state line they are fair game because my state realizes that controlling only one sex of any given species is a horrible way to manage game populations unless they are intentionally trying to bolster numbers rather than minimize them. they also realize that a statewide census of game animals is foolish and so they have the state split into about 100 different units based on geography and constantly increases or decreases restrictions as necessary per unit to maintain a healthy population across the board. however I do get a little perplexed when I take a 30 minute drive from my house and see hundreds of deer suffering that nobody is allowed to harvest and wonder why?


Quote:
I respect my local department of wildlife for what they've done to educate the public and management of resources. I've never met a bad wildlife officer but I've run into a number of unscrupulous hunters. For me, I put my trust in the DOW.
I have the greatest respect for MY local F&G dept. however I have seen a great many public hunting areas closed because of people offroading and tearing up the countryside with 4 wheelers and then finding F&G vehicles sunk down to the frame in a mud pit well off of established roadways and trails so yes there is hypocrisy everywhere you go. does that mean that I would impede a game wardens duty? no
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Old July 16, 2012, 06:50 AM   #47
twins
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I am simply pointing out that I empathize with the actions being taken by private citizens to protect their ecosystem.
A citizen has to follow laws, rules & regulations like all other citizens within the ordinance. Empathizing with illegal activities won't solve the problem. Ethically or not, hunting outside the law won't earn you any empathy points with the court, public, or fellow hunters.
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Old July 16, 2012, 09:25 AM   #48
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twins, I suggest that you do some reading on "jury nullification", when it comes to obedience to bad law.

Personally, I find that the concept of blind obedience to law as outweighing the health of an ecosystem to be philosophically disturbing.

DNS, it occurs to me that the idea of "let nature take its course" was thrown out the window sometime back when the first settlers began moving west. Highways, canals, railroads, farms, fences, pipelines, dams & reservoirs, navigation projects, timber-cutting, mining, cities and towns...What course is nature "supposed" to take?
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Old July 16, 2012, 06:06 PM   #49
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But observing a browse line in trees/brush is a lead-pipe cinch; most any rancher can do it. That shows range conditions.
Kinda like this one on the edge of a woods near me? Looks almost professionally trimmed, but it's not.




Quote:
I am not a resident of Washington so none of those are going to do me much good. I live in Idaho on the I-W border and as soon as those dirty, diseased, starved does and midget bucks step over the state line they are fair game because my state realizes that controlling only one sex of any given species is a horrible way to manage game populations unless they are intentionally trying to bolster numbers rather than minimize them.
Funny, you claim Washington has so many deer that they are tripping over each other while they are staving to death. There's so many of them that they are evolving into midgets just to survive. But in this same hunting forum a few threads down, another poster claims that the gigantic 300 pound wolves are decimating the deer and elk populations in Washington State to the point there soon won't be any left. Which is it?

Managing game populations is not an easy thing to do. Most hunters know which way they want it for THEM, but they don't consider the rest of the hunting population....... nor do they consider the non-hunters that may also enjoy watching and photographing those same animals. But state wildlife agencies do. They also have to consider crop damage to farmers along with property damage to vehicles and safety to the general public due to the result of deer/car crashes. They have to try and find the fine line between having populations high enough for the average hunter to have success, but still low enough for carrying capacity and safety. On public land many times they keep recruit(small, young deer) populations higher than normal because of high kill ratios for mature deer. Many reasons deer on large tracts of public land tend to be smaller......they are just younger. Their methods are not perfect, but over the years we still manage to have deer to hunt.....and a lot more than 40-60 years ago when we used Grandpa's method of game management. Thanks to Grandpa's game management deer populations were much lower than they are now with a buck/doe ratio that was completely outta wack. Grandpa's game management eradicated the wild turkeys from many states where they were native for centuries. Modern Game management has brought them back to record numbers and in places they were never found before. Grandpa and his dad hunted the passenger pigeons that once numbered in the billions around here to extinction. No modern Game management is not perfect, but it's pretty damn good. Much better than what most gun forum posters can muster. If one thinks they can justify poaching because they know more than the experts, so be it. Still makes them a violator and a poacher, even if their intent is noble.

Quote:
most farmers prefer to get rid of deer because they compete with domestic animals for food and eat food crops
Not around here. Around here they hunt deer themselves. If they don't hunt, they sure as 'ell know how valuable deer are as a cash crop as per pay to hunt/lease options. In both cases, they prefer deer numbers to be high and allow very little, if any, access to other hunters. Many have access to state funded crop damage, but refuse it because they must shoot a good amount of antler-less deer to get it.
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Old July 16, 2012, 06:23 PM   #50
oneounceload
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Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
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Poaching and no excuse whatsoever for their actions - even if they all had wildlife mgt/biology degrees

Quote:
we do not choose which laws we follow and which we don't.
Yes we do - everyday, but we should be aware that there are possible consequences if we do not

When I lived in NV, poaching was a serious crime and the punishment was severe - if you chose to ignore the law you took the chance on jail, property confiscation, monetary fines, etc....

It's simple OP - if those folks feel there is a serious situation, then they should be talking to the state game folks and providing proof via photos or other means
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