T. Pierce wrote:
a fascinating read:
SURVIVAL POACHING by Ragnar Benson
he explains a few reasons poaching is beneficial to nature. and i tend to agree with some of his reasoning. after all man made laws are not always right or correct. this is not saying i poach. b/c i dont. im not much of a hunter either. but i do enjoy reading or watching something on hunting. and Ragnars books really take you outside the proverbial box.
"Experts?" If they are the experts and they are wrong what makes them an expert? An expert at being wrong is still wrong and PhD stands for Piled higher and Deeper. Having a "sheepskin" to hang on the wall does not necessarily make an expert very often. Changing laws is much more difficult than you suggest. The "experts" in wildlife management discovered that are far too many whitetail "wombs in the woods" in the woods in the late 60's. Nothing has changed. Having "culling events" is not sound game management. Increasing the number of the legal harvest is and I do not have a degree in game management to understand that principle. Just because someone studies any particular curriculum does not mean anything if what's being taught is bad information.
I also agree that whatever authorities are responsible for wildlife management in any area are certainly not infallible. For this reason they can and do modify policies and, as in the example above, stage culls when necessary.
By the same token, which of us can say that we are infallible? Maybe someone out there can say so, but for those of us who can't, or at the very least, if we don't have a PhD. in wildlife management or related discipline, would it not be more than arrogant for any of us to say that we are qualified to decide which game laws we should obey and which we should ignore?
Acknowledging that any government has shortcomings, most of us are fortunate enough to live in a society where the individual(s) can, where appropriate affect changes to laws.
IMHO, if we justifiably disagree with any law, then the thing to do is try to effect change.
In my experience, those who argue that they know better than the "experts" and therefore are not bound by laws are generally just yahoos trying to excuse their law breaking.
I heard some "stories" about the "reduced" deer herds but looking at the numbers projected by New York State, the deer harvest was only slightly lower than what was projected. Where I grew up there are 2 phenomena that take place. One is that deer season between NYS and Pa are one week apart. I know that the deer cross the Delaware when the shooting starts in one state and a week later cross the river in the opposite direction. My theory about lower harvests is due to hunters that aren't as skilled as when I was younger. Where I lived there were many hunters that really should have stayed in NYC and not decided to go in the woods. LOL Down here in Va where they have very small deer I am not too sure exactly what happens because life got in the way of me harvesting more than two deer since 1986. I just did not get in the woods.
game management is a balance
here in Pa we have a lot of hunters (approx 1 million) and a lot of deer.they could be found on state game lands and state parks, state forest, national forest, farms, suburbs, housing plans, etc
do you manage for max deer and make the hunters happy? this was done and the deer ate everything except the ferns and rhododendrum. a lot of people thought that's the way a forest looked. Pa had some of the highest deer/car accidents in the country. farmers and homeowners
complained about crop and shrub damage.
recently they switched to a 4 point (one side) buck requirement (to increase trophy size and improve buck/doe ratio) and issued scads of doe permits. one could get 5 or more. afer a few years of everyone shooting off the does, the population dropped, and the forests started to regenerate, accidents dropped and crop damage was reduced.
now the hunters, even those who been shooting several does a year, are complaining that there are no deer. it wasn't unusual before to see 100 deer on a hunt . now maybe 5 or 6
so what's the answer
the original deer population was eliminated prior to the Civil War and the deer were only reintroduced around 1900. so regulations are needed
trying to make the the hunters, the farmers, the permies with forest gardens, the homeowners with fancy shrubs, and the drivers all happy isn't easy
and the battle rages on
"trying to make the the hunters, the farmers, the permies with forest gardens, the homeowners with fancy shrubs, and the drivers all happy isn't easy"
Back in the 50's when I was a youngster, the deer hunting in Pennsylvania was excellent. The deer reintroduction was necessary because in the 1800's there weren't any regulations the wild game harvesting in Pa. went on year round and with almost all species including songbirds. I do not recall anti-doe hunting movements in either NY or Pa. I grew up exactly where the Delaware River begins as the border between the two states. South of the river was "The Pocanos" and to the north was "The Catskills." The Pa. game reintroduction began in 1900 and was pretty much completed by the 1930's with a few exceptions. It took much longer for the Elk population to be restored to levels suitable for sustainable hunting. I also remember the huge herds of starving whitetails on both sides of the river in the 50's after unusually long cold winters when we had extremely heavy snow. The fish & game departments from both NY and Pa. were buying any extra hay they could from the dairy farms in the region so they could feed the deer.
deer have two methods of population control. predation or starvation
when the deer were reintroduced into Pa, natural pretators (which were also eliminated from the state), such as wolves, mountain lions, and native americans were not also reintroduced to balance them
Hunting was the chosen method of maintaining the deer population. Doe hunting was frowned upon and the population increased and came out of balance.
I remember in the 60's, people, who were opposed to doe hunting, raising money to air-drop corn and hay to starving deer in the northern counties in the winter!!!
for everything to live in harmony and balance, everything must be in harmony and balance
i didn't say i was against wildlife coming to visit. the topic was the need regulate the population to a sustainable level and that different groups have different ideas on what that is.
"Camp meat" (antlerless) tags are still issued in NYS. You cannot get one unless you are a landowner. Those are some of the stupid regulations that were debated in the 60's. Organizations such as PETA have done more harm to wild animal populations than most other regulations. Repopulating the predators in Pa. isn't a practical solution unfortunately. Increasing the antlerless harvest has been the only practical solution for multiple decades. Too many lobbyists greasing the palms of too many legislators is definitely a problem. Without natural predators hunting is the only way to control the deer population. The increased populations will eventually lead to more widespread "deer wasting disease." I grew up enjoying lots of venison as a protein source. Where I grew up there have always been lots of deer on both sides of the river (Pa.&NY). I was just up there visiting and the demographics are changing from a population that made their living "in the woods" to more "city folk" so the harvests are somewhat reduced more from a lack of skill hunting than from reduced population of deer. There was little else to do except hunt and fish when I was a youngster.
" I do not recall anti-doe hunting movements in either NY or Pa"
the movement was incopporated into the hunting regulations. a hunting licence entitled you to an "antlered deer" anywhere in the state. there was no limits on how many were sold.
A limited number of doe permits were issued by each county (a lottery drawing) and had to be used in that counry. A lot of (anti doe hunter) people would apply for doe permits so hunters couldn't get one.
Antlered deer season was two weeks and doe season was 3 days after that. if you got an antlered deer, you couldn't use your doe permit.
If you applied for an archery or primative (muzzleloader) permit, you couldn't get a doe permit
(these seasons allowed you to harvest either bucks or does)
all these things led to an imbalance in the buck/doe ratios
and I said, regulations were needed due to the fact that humans were designated as the primary predators for the population. problems arose because the deer herd has managed for maximum deer for hunters rather than sustainable numbers for the environment
Mambo Dave wrote:
Getting back to bows for beginners - this thread had me reading up on a few models, and it seems that some compound bows are adjustable-draw (for example, I think I read one was 25 lbs. to 60 lbs.), and are easily adjustable without having someone work on the bow (that may have been from Hoyt's site).
I am thinking about getting one, but agree that now that I've waited this long, I should just keep searching pawn shops for a good deal.
I have often thought of the hunting experience is really all about being "in the woods" whether or not I see any game. The experience is truly the part I like best. If I were in a situation where finding game meant the difference between eating or starving then I suppose that would make it a much different experience. I am always "armed" when I am in the woods with at least a 22 cal. rifle. Not really to shoot anything but I believe in being prepared.
I've been hunting, or as I like to call it "Taking my gun for a walk in the woods", a few times now. The most I've gotten are a few squirrel. One of these days I'll take it more seriously and go after some bigger game.
Also just started getting into fishing this year. I love the product and will probably start smoking my own fish soon.
Dave...If you could have one book that covers bow making, and arrow making which would it be? And what is the most minimum set of tools one could use to make a functioning hunting bow?
I always carry a small .22 with me as well when I'm camping.
It's good to have this forum. I personally believe hunting and fishing can provide a huge portion of food on top of agricultural practices.
Are you zone 5? Dwarf Bissetti will grow as far north as zone 4. I use Sasa Palmetta but only because I have a source. There is a guy that lives down the street that allows me to dig out as much as I want because it is taking over his property. All I had to say was I would do it for free and he said have at it.
Dave, Good info there.. big time.. I will have to go through a few times, and digest it some more.
Rudder Bows is a great resource. I got my arrows through them from Glacier Archery. I'll have to look into growing bamboo up at my cabin. That would be a great resource. Any suggestions on a type to look at for northern midwest climates?
This will be my 1st year hunting with a traditional bow(any bow for that matter) I plan on bringing my bow with to hunt for grouse this year. My instinctive shooting is getting better.
Thinking about picking up a 35-40lb paddle bow for hunting small game, and practice shooting from Rudders. Then save the 50lb horse bow for deer.
Thanks for the info!
there are a couple of varieties that will grow in zone 4. That's about the coldest it will tolerate. Zone 3 is way too cold for me. I am moving back to zone 5 though.
Dave, I'm up in zone 3a/b by Ely, MN. I don't know if bamboo will grow that far north.
You could always take up the skill of slinging. It is lightweight, portable, and infinite amount of ammo. Deadly accurate after a while and extremely powerful. You could make it out of scraps of leather also.
Imho, sling is not a good option for hunting, it takes a lot of time and practice to get some accuracy and the whirling prior to launch alltough you only use half a circle is enough to alarm most of the animals you try to hunt... may be you can take some animals shooting over a band of them. Sling is the right tool for guide and guard sheep/goats and alternatively as a war weapon used by a mass of slingers due to its power and fast rate of shooting.
I began to sling at age 10 and now i am 55. i have tried to hunt some times with my sling, but haven't got any kill so far.
slingshot in the other hand is more accurate and though is'nt easy, you can take some little birds rats and squirrel.
When i was younger i hunted a lot with airguns, mostly birds from robin to a pigeon size, also lot of water rats, snakes and frogs and ate them all.
Here in Spain laws are very restrictive about firearms, weapons and hunting. i.e. you can't legaly use airguns or .22 for hunting, and even a slingshot with wrist support is an ilegal weapon.
Harvest time is right around the corner. I wait for a couple good frosts. I don't bother with the state imposed seasons. It is my land so how you be a poacher on your own land? I used to bow hunt, and trophy hunt when I was a young man. Now I hunt to feed my family. I have found a rifle to be the most efficient for a quick, clean kill. Plus, I can reach way farther than a bow, which increases my odds. I usually take three deer and that holds us over until the next season. Most of it gets ground into burger since I am not much of a butcher and only know how to save the tenderloin, backstrap and the occasional roast. I'm thinking about volunteering some time at a local wild game butcher shop so I can learn more.
Dave Bennett wrote:
I used to do exactly the same thing as far as when the "harvest season" begins. In my opinion the arbitrary hunting seasons are based on some strange ethical reasons for not taking very young deer. I prefer smaller animals because they just taste better. Usually by the end of August the fawns have lost their spots and all of them have been eating grasses so their meat is particularly sweet. I have never been a trophy hunter. Even when I went moose hunting I passed up on a huge animal in favor of one that dressed out around 650lbs. It has always been about putting meat on the table for me. I bow hunt because I have been an archer for over 50 years and enjoy the challenge of stalking my quarry but have taken dozens of deer with a rifle. My firearm choice would suggest that if a deer is over 100 yards away it isn't a target even though I am easily capable of delivering a well placed shot at that distance. I am used to hunting in brushy terrain and most often am presented with opportunities at much shorter ranges. I used to enjoy knocking down those little steel plates at ridiculously long ranges but never considered trekking that far to collect game. Lately I have been considering that "newish" Savage model 220 - 20 gauge fully rifled bolt action using sabot slugs as my deer rifle but have a lifelong fondness for my trusty Marlin 30-30. My long range rifle is a 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser. That is a sweet shooter but not for hunting.
Butchering is not that difficult if you have a good teacher to show you what to do the first time. I will never enjoy removing all of that "silver skin" but after a while it becomes much like cutting up a very large chicken.
Thanks Dave. A one or two year old doe certainly tastes better than an old stinky buck. I usually opt for something less than 100 lbs over a big rack. I love my 3030 Marlin, as well, and also have been known to use my 20 gauge 1100. That shoots pretty sweet too.
There are no state regulations on age or size of deer taken that I am aware of. Our only regulation is the amount of deer taken. In my part of Maryland, between the three seasons, rifle, bow, and muzzleloader, you are allowed a total of 6 antlered, and 30 antlerless. The only stipulation is you have to take 2 antlerless before you take your second antlered. Seems ridiculously high until you consider that these younger generations hunt deer on the sofa with a joystick.
Dave Bennett wrote:Sometimes a plant or an animal becomes a pest because of over population and culling is necessary.
Martin Pelletier wrote:I just want to know if someone have heard or have any knowledge about wilderness management? Because, I had a professional course on this and it just come to my sense that is exactly what permaculture is all about. If i'm wrong can someone tell me why? Because i'm new to this forum and permaculture stuff and find it very interesting.
Xisca Nicolas wrote:
I just mean that hunting and fishing are controls that all animals do among themselves, and we participate in it.
BUT we are only on one side of the regulation, so we should be more auto-regulating on the birth side.