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pa rifle season(buck and doe)hunting
jack002

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hi folks..i been doing alot of reading before i posted anything,but what i think about the season here in pa is that we have become a if it's brown it's down state..all the hype about the ar regulations and becoming a state known for it's big bucks is great ..but what i dont get is they do all this work to do so and then mix the doe hunt with the reg.firearms season???what i see in erie county is small groups of deer running across a field and only one of them will make to the other side of the field??what is this??i have friends of mine bringing home a bed full of deer in back of the truck..and what stinks is the amount of button bucks you see mixed in with the does..and at least up here it has become kind of scary being out in the woods them first few days..there is lead flying all over the place [gunshoot]..i dont know but in my oppion the hunters would see more and better bucks if the seasons went back to the way it was before all this monkey business..if they want more deer dead at the end of the year then make the doe season longer than the 3 days they were given before..keep the new ar restrictions but give these little guys a fighting chance to become what we all want to see [antlers] big bucks..i would pass on a ok buck if i knew i had a good chance to see a better buck,but what we are all seeing is the fact(that the chance of that is becoming slim)
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Jack..

You wanna take big bucks..You must go where they live..These are my 2 publicland bucks from another state 07'..08'



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Drop Tine

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Well you know what I have been preaching to the choir about this for years and it’s useless. The Pgc uses a piece of paper and a pencil to figure out how many deer we can take or have taken, but there are too many variables.
The Button buck issue is a prime example of variables. How does the Pgc know how many BB were killed every year? They don’t, its called a guesstimate. How many self respecting hunters would want to show up at the processors with a little dog BB. Does the Pgc account for these guys that know its probably not wise or cost effective to show up with a BB to get butchered and get charged full price for a hand full of meat? When the DIY’ers fill out there card do they write in buck or doe for a BB?
They have to write in Doe.
I find it interesting that 2/3 of the buck never make it past 1.5 years old. The buck in this state could have so much potential if they could only be allowed to live longer and the game commission used more accurate harvest reports.
I see the things you talk about, "if its brown its down mentality" all the time and until the PGC start's lisentening to the hunters and the hunters start using there eyes to judge on the hoof its going to be like this for a long time.
But just don't become numb and brainwashed because it becomes, "the blind leading the blind" from my point of veiw. [buckteeth]
Ghost

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Jack..

You wanna take big bucks ya gotta scout now...Found this nice rub today while scouting and looking for sheds...it seems Im the only one scouting around this joint...And you guys wonder How/why I bring home the big boys year after year..well..your lookin at it...Winter scouting.. [thumbup]



smarchlewski

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i agree with the poster where i hunt northern cambria county 10 years ago it was not uncommon to see a heard of 30 to 40 deer together now 3 to 8 or 10 to a heard. still seeing deer i guess and in 2005 i bagged my biggest ever a 10 point . i hunt with an experinced group and we all would like to see the doe season go back to after regular buck season. what was so wrong with the way it was when we were kids and you may have only got a six point but the young hunters in your party seen deer all day long and lots of them? pa whitetail hunting to me is a time honered tradition that i would like to pass on to my 1 year old grandson if there are ANY WILD DEER LEFT for him to hunt by that time. i wish the pgc would listen more to the people who buy the licences. not to mention the economy of the rural places in pa witch depend on the annual migration of hunters to thier small towns just to get by.if it was not broke why did they fix it?
renegade

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Jack – I’m not sure where you got the idea there is “hype about the state becoming known for it’s big bucks”, but that’s not what AR is about nor what PA is trying to do. PA is simply trying to correct the skew of the breeding ratio that’s been out of balance for many years, which will provide for a healthier herd. Larger “racks” are just simply a by-product when you add age to a buck.

For many decades we’ve had a “if it’s brown it’s down” buck season where we shot pretty much any buck that came along. Harvest records prove that 75-90% of the harvest were yearling buck. Shooting all these young buck left very few to make it to the older age classes. If they made it to 2.5 years their chances were even slimmer to live yet another year, and so on. That’s the reason that even with a larger herd then we currently have, we had only a small percentage harvested in the 2.5+ age classes. That has now changed and in fact now take more 2.5+ deer than before with a larger herd. That's because there's more of them to take. It's the law of probability.

The AR Pa uses is designed to save a larger percentage of these yearlings and allow them to live an additional year so that the herd will have a higher portion of 2.5 deer to do the breeding and then be available for harvest that fall. This also takes pressure off the yearlings and lets them save their energy stores for body growth instead of being expelled chasing does around. This in turn leaves them healthier going into the winter by having more fat stores to survive it with. Yearlings also do not express their antler growing potential in there first antler growing season. A 2.5 will have roughly a 50% increase in antler size over a yearling.

The reason for mixing the doe season with the regular 2 week rifle season is two-fold. It allows more doe to be taken because weather no longer plays much of a factor like it did before. With only 3 days the harvest was highly variable due to the weather. They set doe allocations based on population goals and if those goals aren’t met (due to weather and the amount of hunters who have off) then the herd population grows. That’s what we seen for many years and why we had such an overpopulation in the late 90’s.

The other reason for the mixed season is for hunter opportunity. With a 3 day season many hunters might not get off or only have 1 day off. With a two week season it allows hunters more time to mesh with today’s busy schedules. It also allows them to be a little more picky as to what and when they want to harvest a deer.

As for the truckload of deer. Don’t get the impression that it’s the norm. And if you have herds that large running around, then you need to take out a good many because large herds of doe are not healthy for either the herd or the habitat. Remember, large herds are what got us into this predicament to begin with. But are these guys all being legal? Because poachers hurt us all, they take more than their fair share.

Button bucks are a necessary evil during doe season. Only the hunter can stop that by sizing up the deer instead of just wailing some lead. The percentage of BB in the antlerless harvest has always (pre & post AR) been pretty steady in the 22-24% range. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to that. We could have a requirement to use your buck tag if you shoot a BB (which I don’t have a problem with) but you know that would get abused bigtime.

What makes you think we would “see more and better buck” if we went back to the old seasons? We didn’t before. After all that’s the whole reason for having a selective harvest like AR. There’s little doubt that AR hasn’t worked as intended. It’s evident in the harvest data, the taxidermists claims, buck contests, and by the approval of a majority of the hunters.

I’m not sure what your wanting to see happen because your last 2 paragraphs you say to ” make the doe season longer than the 3 days they were given before..keep the new ar restrictions but give these little guys a fighting chance to become what we all want to see big bucks”. That’s just what the PGC is doing??? Where's the problem?

Droptine – ” How does the Pgc know how many BB were killed every year? They don’t, its called a guesstimate. How many self respecting hunters would want to show up at the processors with a little dog BB.”

So let me get this straight. The PGC physically checks between 30 and 50,000 deer each year and it’s a “guesstimate”. But yet you one hunter who sees maybe 10 deer a year has a better idea of the entire states harvest. Is that right?

” Does the Pgc account for these guys that know its probably not wise or cost effective to show up with a BB to get butchered and get charged full price for a hand full of meat? When the DIY’ers fill out there card do they write in buck or doe for a BB?”

Yes, they do account for this, for instance for every percentage that they check they know there’s a certain percentage that doesn’t take them. It’s no different then the rest of the harvest estimate that I’ve explained and linked to before.
And why would anyone be shy about marking button buck on their card (or taking it to the processor)? They aren’t illegal. And do you think those people in Hburg. are going to laugh at some guy they have no clue who he is? And why would he/she care? Heck I’ve seen some really bad shots and mangled deer that people drop off at the processors that are far more of an embarrassment than a button buck would be.

” The buck in this state could have so much potential if they could only be allowed to live longer and the game commission used more accurate harvest reports.”

What in the heck do you think the higher antler restrictions are for???? How would the PGC get more accurate harvest reports? That’s totally on the hunters themselves. The PGC is going to make it even easier yet by providing online reporting, but man, a postage paid report card that takes 3 minutes to fill out is pretty damn simple. And it’s mandatory to boot!

Smarchlewski – Welcome aboard. Glad you joined in.
” 10 years ago it was not uncommon to see a heard of 30 to 40 deer together now 3 to 8 or 10 to a heard.”

Herein lies the problem that a lot of hunters have to overcome. The spoils. Having 30 to 40 deer together is not normal and has led to the problems we now have. Heck even around here back during out peak in the late 80’s only about 15-20 in a herd was only fairly common. If you see 8 or 10 to a herd nowadays it’s even uncommon. You might see a group of 5 together now but 2 or 3 is more common. But it’s that low, which is lower than it should be, because of those high numbered herds of the past doing the damage that they did. Now we have to suffer with below normal herd just to allow the food supplies to rebound and catch back up.

You can’t just look at one aspect of this whole deer management issue. It’s all tied together. Past practices and events have current repercussions. You have to keep the big picture in mind even when dissecting the details.
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renegade wrote:
Jack – I’m not sure where you got the idea there is “hype about the state becoming known for it’s big bucks”, but that’s not what AR is about nor what PA is trying to do. PA is simply trying to correct the skew of the breeding ratio that’s been out of balance for many years, which will provide for a healthier herd. Larger “racks” are just simply a by-product when you add age to a buck.


Droptine – ” How does the Pgc know how many BB were killed every year? They don’t, its called a guesstimate. How many self respecting hunters would want to show up at the processors with a little dog BB.”

So let me get this straight. The PGC physically checks between 30 and 50,000 deer each year and it’s a “guesstimate”. But yet you one hunter who sees maybe 10 deer a year has a better idea of the entire states harvest. Is that right?
Preaty much
” Does the Pgc account for these guys that know its probably not wise or cost effective to show up with a BB to get butchered and get charged full price for a hand full of meat? When the DIY’ers fill out there card do they write in buck or doe for a BB?”

Yes, they do account for this, for instance for every percentage that they check they know there’s a certain percentage that doesn’t take them. It’s no different then the rest of the harvest estimate that I’ve explained and linked to before.
And why would anyone be shy about marking button buck on their card (or taking it to the processor)? They aren’t illegal. And do you think those people in Hburg. are going to laugh at some guy they have no clue who he is? And why would he/she care? Heck I’ve seen some really bad shots and mangled deer that people drop off at the processors that are far more of an embarrassment than a button buck would be.
I have never read that they take into account for DIYers. And since when was there a check mark for BB on your harvest report card?

” The buck in this state could have so much potential if they could only be allowed to live longer and the game commission used more accurate harvest reports.”

What in the heck do you think the higher antler restrictions are for????

From above
hype about the state becoming known for it’s big bucks”[/i], but that’s not what AR is about nor what PA is trying to do. PA is simply trying to correct the skew of the breeding ratio that’s been out of balance for many years, which will provide for a healthier herd. Larger “racks” are just simply a by-product when you add age to a buck.
Did you tell the nice gentelman that 2/3 rds of the buck born DON'T make it past 1.5 years of age... yep you left that part out.

How would the PGC get more accurate harvest reports? That’s totally on the hunters themselves. The PGC is going to make it even easier yet by providing online reporting, but man, a postage paid report card that takes 3 minutes to fill out is pretty damn simple. And it’s mandatory to boot!
I agree but I think the public needs reminded by simply fining.


renegade

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"I have never read that they take into account for DIYers."
"Another factor that could affect the accuracy of harvest estimates is whether hunters who take their deer to meat processors (where PGC personnel field-check deer) are just as likely to report their harvest as hunters who process deer themselves". http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/lib/pgc/deer/pdf/reporting_rate_variability.pdf


"And since when was there a check mark for BB on your harvest report card?"
Since at least 2002. Better get your spectacles checked. [bigeyes00]

"Did you tell the nice gentelman that 2/3 rds of the buck born DON'T make it past 1.5 years of age... yep you left that part out."
No, why would I make an accusation like that? How did you come up with that one? Fawn mortality is about roughly 46% depending on the area. Beyond that we'd have to have the total born and the total road kills etc. and then add in the harvest. Do you have a source for your reasoning?

"I agree but I think the public needs reminded by simply fining."
I do too.... in theory, but it's just too hard to enforce. All they have to do is claim it was mailed because beyond that it's out of their hands. Enforcing the fines just doesn't hold up in court.
jack002

I'm a 10 point buck on this forum.<br> <b>My next goal is to become a 11 Pointer.</B>
I'm a 10 point buck on this forum.
My next goal is to become a 11 Pointer.


Joined: 24 Mar 2009
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Location: pennsylvania,erie county
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ok renegade.. but i still think mixing the season's is STUPID...and the pgc no longer has any idea what they are doing..nor what to do next...what i wrote is just my opinion of whats going on..don't like it don't read it. but that is whats happening in erie county..
renegade

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And that's fine Jack, your certainly entitled to your opinion. But don't we deserve more of a reason that just "it's STUPID", or the wildly open ended claim that they don't have any idea what their doing. That sounds like a 12 year olds responce. The idea of discussion is to delve into the reasons and ask the question "why" or "how". We get into some pretty detailed discussions here, as I'm sure you've seen, but you gotta give us more to work with that just "it's stupid" or why the professionals don't know what their doing.
oldzimm

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smarchlewski wrote:
i agree with the poster where i hunt northern cambria county 10 years ago it was not uncommon to see a heard of 30 to 40 deer together now 3 to 8 or 10 to a heard. still seeing deer i guess and in 2005 i bagged my biggest ever a 10 point . i hunt with an experinced group and we all would like to see the doe season go back to after regular buck season. what was so wrong with the way it was when we were kids and you may have only got a six point but the young hunters in your party seen deer all day long and lots of them? pa whitetail hunting to me is a time honered tradition that i would like to pass on to my 1 year old grandson if there are ANY WILD DEER LEFT for him to hunt by that time. i wish the pgc would listen more to the people who buy the licences. not to mention the economy of the rural places in pa witch depend on the annual migration of hunters to thier small towns just to get by.if it was not broke why did they fix it?


I agree smarchiewski, since you are a grandfather I assume you are getting long in the tooth like me. I remember those days of large deer herds, in Union County I seen 20 to 25 deer running together and I will agree with Renegade that herds them were bigger then they should of been. Now your lucky to see 4 or 5 deer all season. The Problem is "if" PGC's QDM idea was good, they now went too far with it. Here in Union County we have hundreds of acres in clear cuts in different stages and you would think the deer population should be shooting up like a space shuttle, the feed is here the deer are not.

Now this is way before my time, but it is a fact the Pa deer herd started growing when clear cutting was big in the state and the PGC was founded, I was told before these two events took place you were lucky to see a deer track let alone a deer. (history has a way of repeating itself, lets hope not here)

I believe there are two ways of getting the right balance to our deer herd.
1. Cut the number of doe licenses sold where they need to be cut.
OR
2. If the PGC is leery about making drastic cuts on doe licenses, they should make it one deer per year bag limit. If the deer herd starts to get out of hand adjust the number of doe licenses being sold, I thought that is way we have doe license's anyway.

Last but not least is my biggest pet pea, when the PGC tells people that it is up to the hunters to control the deer herds in their own areas, that is pure BS. If the numbers are low the deer herd must be controlled by laws across the board for everyone, the reason why is because half the hunters out there are saying "If I don't kill that deer somebody else will" and that mind set will never change.

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renegade

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I disagree. Being a grandfather and being an old fart like you do not necessarily go hand in hand! [greentoung]
jack002

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does that mean i'm qualified to run the pgc..ha ha..ok here are some of my reasons why i would be alittle disgruntled about this..
1.this system is not a fix all they must think it is.
2.the system should be by county not for the entire state.
3.i have hunted since i was 13 and am now 40 we in erie county have never had herds of 30-40 deer running around.
4.the last two years i have not even seen 1 deer walking around, and i dont leave the woods for lunch i stay in my blind all day.
5.slob hunters have been the only one's to benifit from the great plan they have come up with.
6.the herds of deer up here(and by that i mean 5-7 deer back before all this came about)is down to not seeing a deer at all.
7.why is this???
8.how is this???
9.when enough is enough ..or are they going to keep this awsome plan going till they feel we have done whats needed???no deer left..
10.being a twelve year old could i work for the pgc..no way i might be too intelligent for the job..
11.ask any of the other members from erie county if what i have posted is not the truth about what we see going on or if i'm just spreading b.s..
12.the plan they came up with has set us up for failure..why??
13. atleast a twelve year old might understand what i'm saying..
14.take a kid out all day and see nothing..wow that was fun huh son..
15.the damage to the deer population was been done PLEASE STOP.
16.how??? why??? do i have to have my son come home with out atleast seeing a deer to tell mom about..
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Then why do keep going to the same spot and not see any deer? Their isen't one major plan for the entire state. Why do you think western Pa in a 4 on one side and the rest of the state is 3?

And just a lil FYI- The deer management plan that Pa has is one of the best in the nation. That isen't said by the PGC or even I. Thats said by many major scientific communities.
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archerACE wrote:
Then why do keep going to the same spot and not see any deer? Their isen't one major plan for the entire state. Why do you think western Pa in a 4 on one side and the rest of the state is 3?

And just a lil FYI- The deer management plan that Pa has is one of the best in the nation. That isen't said by the PGC or even I. Thats said by many major scientific communities.


Why do you assume that a person is sitting in the same spot if he isn't seeing any deer? Sonny last deer season wasn't my first rodeo. I'm not going to lie to you, I kill at least one deer nearly every year and that doesn't mean that there is an over population of deer. I hunted long an hard in 5 counties last year and like I said earlier, I seen 4 or 5 deer and that is sad. Deer sightings should be a lot higher then that, when one is hunting with a gang and we have not killed doe as a gang since 1955, so where are they at?

So you say the scientific community says Pa has the best deer management in the nation. That is why our deer herd is in such a state of disgrace, the PGC was getting their information from the scientific community. It is a good thing the deer don't read books, or else they would stop mating because the scientific community would say we are over populated with deer. QDM in the minds of the scientific community is one deer per county. As you can tell I don't hold the scientific community in high regard on the subject of deer management, there is what the book says and there is real life in the mountains, what you feel, taste and see (nothing).

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pa rifle season(buck and doe)hunting
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