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Old December 21, 2019, 05:18 AM   #1
onlinebiker
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An idea to consider

This thread will no doubt raise a few hackles.


But before you flame - please consider - "that's how we have always done it" isn't a logical answer. It's an emotional response.



The idea - legalizing the hunting of whitetail deer at night.

Anyone who had hunted can tell you that deer go nocturnal once the gunfire erupts. If hunting is to be an effective herd management tool - hunters need to be able to see something to shoot at.

I am a retired guy who can spend the time - and I usually fill all my tags pretty quickly. Processing the meat is the thing that slows me down. I only have one doe tag left this year and am waiting for late doe.

But working guys? It's dark when they go to work, it's dark when they get home. If they get poor weather on the weekend - their only option is to burn up vacation time.

If they could hunt at night it would be a different story.


Here in Michigan - there is a bill -HB 5244 - to start the season 10 days earlier. This really won't help. It will just make the deer go noctirnal earlier.


Thoughts?
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Old December 21, 2019, 07:37 AM   #2
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Deer don't "go nocturnal", they are nocturnal.

I've been seeing where they actually feeed 4-5 times a day. Most of that at night.
Seeing deer first thing in the morning, and as the sun goes down is more a function on how their eyes are built.

Personally, if i were to hear shooting at night, either of 2 things would occur.
1) the cops would get a call.
2) in a really bad mood, i may shoot back.
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Old December 21, 2019, 07:54 AM   #3
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You are assuming that you would hear a shot from.inside your house.

Do you call the police when someone is hunting racoon or coyote at night - which has heen legal in many states for years?
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Old December 21, 2019, 08:52 AM   #4
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I really hope that law doesn't pass. I already had to turn in my vacation time for next year. I've shot racoons at night during deer season and the cops weren't call but i for sure kept them in an easily findable place in case they did come.

As for hunting deer at night as good as it may sound there are to many problems with people not identifying their game. Pretty sure Michigan has 5 poached Elk this year during deer season and Wisconsin has 2 shot by the same person in the same day.

I also don't believe the poor working man doesn't get a chance to hunt story. It might be true to some people but Michigan's total deer season is what 3 months. If the working man wants more time get a crossbow. Or even just a muzzleloader for the additional 9 day season.
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Old December 21, 2019, 09:39 AM   #5
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Folks do hunt deer at night. They identify their game with a spotlight. Their shots are not always heard, because they use a .22 rimfire. It's a great way to get that trophy buck, or just fill the freezer. Oh...you want to make "jacklighting" legal!

Think about it, use your imagination. Lights all over the place, deer running, "as long as there's lead in the air there's hope" shooters laying down a field of fire with no idea what is behind the deer. Two days into the season, the anti-hunters start a petition. The local news interviews a terrified mother holding her children close.

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Old December 21, 2019, 10:01 AM   #6
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You're confused between hunting deer and just shooting deer. Frankly, I think you're unethical just from your suggestion. There's obviously no sport in your hunting. You post this junk and then state "don't flame". Exposing your moral beliefs and then asking on one to give negative feedback just isn't going to happen. The majority of the audience here won't find this very appealing in any way. I've been hunting deer for fifty-eight years and I've shot a lot of deer over the years. I used to work like everyone else and my time was limited back then. It only made me appreciate being out there even more. If you just want to shoot deer, go to a high fence area and pay for it. You're free to tell anyone any story you want about where and how you got the deer.
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Old December 21, 2019, 10:35 AM   #7
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Lots of emotional responses there folks.

....

Here in Michigan we have a surplus of deer - and a shortage of hunters - and new hunters simply are not being recruited.

I set up two this year - my sister, and the lady I live withc who got her first kill.

The deer are in herds bigger than anyone can remember. Car/deer accidents are at an all time high.

If we can't have more hunters - we need more efficient hunters.
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Old December 21, 2019, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Here in Michigan we have a surplus of deer - and a shortage of hunters - and new hunters simply are not being recruited.

I set up two this year - my sister, and the lady I live withc who got her first kill.

The deer are in herds bigger than anyone can remember. Car/deer accidents are at an all time high.

If we can't have more hunters - we need more efficient hunters.
Just substitute " people to kill deer" for hunters in your response. I hunted Michigan for deer for many years. Unless your DNR doesn't have a plan, releases statements that they're in need of means to kill more deer, or looking for means to reduce the deer here, you're simply making statements to prop up your desire to kill deer by any means and calling it "hunting". I have neighbors who live near my hunting property here in NY, and they like to shoot deer at night using a light. It's illegal and I'll turn them in every time I see them out spotlighting and hear gunfire. That's NOT hunting, it's shooting deer without any fair chase involved. People who do this are lazy, unethical, and criminal. Contact your DNR and ask them to support your suggestion and see what they say. In fact, if you live and "hunt" in Michigan, contact your fellow sportsman in your state and see what they think of your idea. I think you already know that answer. Why post it here? Are you looking to see if there are any others who support your idea of "hunting"? If you do, they'll be few and far between. Am I being emotional? Yes. I don't like poachers, or any other type of criminals. Here in NY if there's a problem with too many deer that is effecting someone such as a landowner or farmer, they issue nuisance permits. They go to those effected. No problem with that. They can shoot at night to reduce a limited number of nuisance deer. They don't call it hunting. If you don't have a permit and do it, they call it what it is...poaching. It's unethical and illegal. It's not sport, and it's definitely not hunting.
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Old December 21, 2019, 11:48 AM   #9
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Sport Hunting is considered "fair chase" and to most folks, shooting deer blinded by a spotlight at night is not considered "fair chase". While numbers may require going outside the box to keep the herd within it's reasonable size, giving the general population the opportunity to hunt deer at night is just asking for a safety and regulating nightmare. Biggest issue to controlling deer numbers is getting access to private land where the majority of high deer numbers are. That will not change with the changing of shooting hours. All it would do is contribute to trespassing and lead to wanton waste from dead deer laying in fields without access, both of which would be hard to regulate.
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Old December 21, 2019, 11:50 AM   #10
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My problem isn't night hunting deer, the problem would be writing and enforcing the new regulations. Are you going to allow the use of artificial light, or require NV to hunt? Or are you going to do like Europe and fox hunting have to have large objective scopes because NV and artificial light aren't allowed?

Besides, I don't see anything wrong with taking vacation to hunt. I do every year, and I look forward to my time off. The nice thing about hunting seasons is I know when they are going to be and it allows me to put in my vacation ahead of time so I make sure I get the time off I want.
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Old December 21, 2019, 11:58 AM   #11
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Here in NYS, they have areas where there are too many deer and lack of public access. What they've done is issue bonus DMP (Deer Management Permits) in those areas and also allow the reassignment of those tags if you can't use them. You don't need to shoot deer at night with a light in order to shoot more deer. Allowing more tags and an incentive to landowners to allow access are much better ways to start increasing the deer harvest. Also, the season can be lengthened. There are a lot of ways to harvest more deer by actual hunting than simply allowing shooting at night with a light.
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Old December 21, 2019, 12:12 PM   #12
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I don't need to shoot more deer. I still had meat in the freezer when I packaged the first five this year. So you can forget that arguement.


And as far as ethics and morality --

1. I find it fine to kill animals for meat - or pest control.
2. I find it best for all involved to make a quick and clean kill that subjects the animal to the minimum of suffering.


99 % of the rest are arbitrary rules that are generally only based on "tradition" i.e. - "the way we have always done it." . I don't see that as a rational explaination.


For years in Michigan - elevated stands were illegal - consideted "unsportsmanlike". Since the legalized them - that arguement evaporated.

Same thing with silencers and hunting with them. Both now legal.

We are now looking at the spread of bovine TB, CWD and EEE - all of which are spread quicker through a larger herd.

We need solutions. Not bickering about such nebulous concepts as "sporting chance".

Cats hunt for sport. They kill for fun.

I expect better out of people.
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Old December 21, 2019, 12:36 PM   #13
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Hunting deer at night

Just from the safety aspect alone, this is the dumbest idea I have heard regarding deer hunting. And not just because this is always how it's done.
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Old December 21, 2019, 12:43 PM   #14
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How would it be unsafe?

The same rules apply as daytime - know your target and what lays beyond.
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Old December 21, 2019, 01:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post
How would it be unsafe?

The same rules apply as daytime - know your target and what lays beyond.
....and how do you see anything behind and beyond the deer in the dark? How do you see a hunter in blaze orange on stand in the dark?

When it comes to professional hunters reducing dangerously high deer numbers, I see no problem with spotlighting or shining deer and shooting them. But for the general public? Again, how would the legalization of hunting at night help with the deer kill? Do you think that a high number of folks that won't take time off during the regular season or hunt weekends are going to be motivated to hunting at night? How is night hunting going to get access to private land? I would think it would tend to anger land owners as they would not be able to see trespassers. Do you really think that allowing deer hunting at night is going to recruit more hunters? Do you really think that hunting at night is going to make deer hunters take more deer?

Quote:
If they could hunt at night it would be a different story.
IMHO, I don't think so. The only difference, would be a increase in violations and accidental shootings.
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Old December 21, 2019, 01:15 PM   #16
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If the Michigan DNR really cared they would allow baiting state wide and get rid of antler restrictions. 3 on one side and 4 on one side tags can be hard to fill. They use to say it was unfair to use a crossbow in the late archery season because it would be to easy to kill yarded up deer in the Upper Peninsula yet the lower Peninsula can still use a crossbow in late archery season.

If people want to hunt then let them hunt. If people want to come home with meat then go to the grocery store.
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Old December 21, 2019, 01:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Blindstitch View Post
If the Michigan DNR really cared they would allow baiting state wide and get rid of antler restrictions. 3 on one side and 4 on one side tags can be hard to fill. They use to say it was unfair to use a crossbow in the late archery season because it would be to easy to kill yarded up deer in the Upper Peninsula yet the lower Peninsula can still use a crossbow in late archery season.

If people want to hunt then let them hunt. If people want to come home with meat then go to the grocery store.
I agree. There are a lot of ways that would increase the deer kill other than allowing hunting at night. Longer seasons, more specialty hunts. Wisconsin's antlerless holiday hunt is a way for folks without time off(and college students) to get out and try for antlerless deer. Weather of course is a factor, but adding days to the season makes for more days of good weather too. Antler restrictions generally do not affect a high percentage of the overall kill other than the first year implemented. Populations are more easily controlled with antlerless hunts. Enough young "button" bucks are taken during those seasons to allow for mature bucks.

One way that has been proposed recently is to pay landowners for antlerless deer taken off their land by non family members. This would be on those special late season antlerless hunts conducted after the general firearm season. While many landowners do not want any increased pressure on their land before the regular gun season, once that season is ended and they are thru hunting for mature bucks, the idea of letting a few folks hunt their property and culling does/fawns @ $50 a piece is intriguing. Will it substantially increase the overall deer kill? Probably not. While areas with high deer densities around here give hunters a opportunity to take unlimited antlerless deer, most folks are happy with one or two. Whether they pay for two tags or are given 20, they still shoot about the same amount.
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Old December 21, 2019, 02:20 PM   #18
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Absolutely - night hunting would increase the number of deer taken.


Ask anyone who hunts coyotes at night. Far more shots present themselves at night.

I should clarify - deer are neither strictly nocturnal or diurnal. They classify as cathemeral. (Both diurnal and nocturnal) Once hunting pressures begin they tend more to nocturnal or crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk).

You can't shoot what you can' t see.


Edit to add.

Totally agree with getting rid of antler restrictions.


Disagree with baiting - as CWD is spread through saliva - and concentrated bait piles are an incubator.
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Old December 21, 2019, 02:51 PM   #19
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Deer are much more nocturnal than before. Putting out bait is why.

I'm not judgmental. If baiting is legal I don't lose sleep over those who do, but I think we'd be better off if it were not legal.

I think South Carolina regulations allow shooting 1 full hour before sunrise, and 1 hour after sunset. Most places are 30 minutes prior to and after. Something like that may be a reasonable compromise. I'm not real knowledgeable about their laws, but most European countries allow shooting for game long before sunrise and after sunset. That is why the bigger light transmitting scopes are more common there.
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Old December 22, 2019, 02:13 AM   #20
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Deer seasons are not set to harvest the maximum amount of deer, they are set to allow a moderate harvest of the herds. If they allowed nighttime hunting, the harvest would go way up. Deer tags are sold to generate revenues to fund wildlife agencies. So if you shoot all the deer in one year, they are out of a job in a few years. More likely a wildlife department would sell additional hunts or allow special hunts to manage herd sizes.

Many deer hunters think that because they bought a tag, they bought a deer. Hunters need to stop with the entitlement mindset and start thinking about what is best for the herds. For example: if there are a lot of deer, shoot does, because one buck can breed a lot of does, but each doe can only breed once a year. "But hunters want bucks!" you say. So? You will affect herd numbers faster by shooting does than shooting bucks. Contrarily, if there are not very many deer, sell fewer tags and put fewer hunters in the field. When I lived in NV a few decades ago, that's the method they adopted. And while people whined about not getting "their" deer tag, no one complained about the state's 80% success rate.

Quote:
Deer don't "go nocturnal", they are nocturnal.
Quote:
They classify as cathemeral.
Never heard that term before. In college, I was taught that deer are "crepuscular", they are adapted for low light twilight conditions found at dusk and before dawn. Many herbivores are adapted to twilight, the dark hampers predators' ability to detect prey.
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Old December 22, 2019, 12:07 PM   #21
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In SC, we can actually get farmland protection tags that allow you to night hunt out of season. If you want to combine night hunting with regular season, delete all other sub seasons. No muzzle loader, bow, rifle, or shotgun specific season. When it’s in, it’s in. Would I night hunt if it became a thing? No. Night hunting for me is reserved for predator and coon hunting.
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Old December 22, 2019, 12:36 PM   #22
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As is your right.

I probably would not hunt nighttine - simply because that's when my SO is home... Of course she could go night hunting with me...

His and her nightvison gear.

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Old December 22, 2019, 01:57 PM   #23
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Absolutely - night hunting would increase the number of deer taken.


You make an absolute phrase, but have no absolute proof.
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Old December 22, 2019, 02:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
You make an absolute phrase, but have no absolute proof.
He's been doing that all through here. It's his opinions and not supported by any data. He's not referencing any reliable sources of information. You can't just say things to make a case.
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Old December 22, 2019, 03:21 PM   #25
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I considered the idea, as an idea, and not anyone's personal ethics.

Considering all things, I would not approve night hunting for deer as part of the general hunting rules.

Mostly, due to safety concerns, both mine and for those hunting. Consider, for a moment making it legal for the general population. This means that those "slob hunters" that we all detest and which give the rest of us a bad name (and sometimes a black eye) in public opinion, think of the results if you turn them loose, legally, at night.

It's not impossible that some of them will be even more willfully and wantonly destructive at night, simply because "no one" will see them.

Posted property is still posted at night. Signs are harder to see. Fences are harder to see. EVERYTHING is harder to see in the dark. And your light only shows what's there where you point it. (and a lot of night hunting morons will have their lights on guns, which means they're pointing a loaded gun at everything they look at. NOT a safe thing).

Knowing your target and what is beyond it? Absolutely a basic, vitally important rule. At night? your vision is limited to the range of your light (or NV equipment), AND NO FURTHR. Your gun shoots a LOT further than you can see.

How well can you track wounded game in the dark? Not the same as in daylight.

How about an increase in personal injury as people stumble, trip, and fall over or even off things they would see in daylight??

Potential increase in property damage is quite possible too. The very kind of poor behavior that gets people posting NO HUNTING signs on their property would expand if you allowed deer hunting at night.

The ethical sportsman is NOT the problem. Its the others who are also "hunters" and therefore exactly the same in the eyes of the non hunting public that would be an INCREASED problem if they were allowed to wander the woods at night, legally hunting deer.

Other points to consider, hunting pressure at night is going to change deer behavior yet again. Not to mention everything else that lives in the woods.
When you bother them, most animals will move. This includes all those animals you aren't hunting, as well.

An overpopulation of deer moving out of your territory and into someone else's due to day and night hunting pressure does not solve the problem it just moves it.


Quote:
Absolutely - night hunting would increase the number of deer taken.
I'd agree, that math. More time hunting, more game taken. BUT, I can't help but think that would ALSO result in an increase in deer shot and LOST.

The idea of night hunting has upsides, but were the general population to do so, you must consider all the downsides possible, and that they ARE going to happen.

As a controlled hunt, in a specific area, with a limited duration, I could see that. As a general "you can shoot deer 24/7 any time you see them during hunting season" thing? HELL NO!
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