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Discussion Starter #1
This Whole Shooting a Doe First Thing...

Bottom line: its annoying.

Yes, I can hunt other non-EAB zones. Yes, F&W wants us to shoot does to help maintain a healthy population. But is that the only F&W reason?

I don't mind shooting a doe... as long as I have it as an option. I like being in the woods with the option of shooting a buck or a doe. If I see a buck... and if I feel like it... I shoot it. If I see a doe... and if I feel like it... I shoot it.

I just don't like "doe only" hunting.
 

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How about the guys that can only consume 1 or 2 deer at the most per year? Or can not give the extra deer to anyone or live too far from the very few donation centers? How about the guys that have limited hunting time or the many kids just starting out?

Good concept but not always practical. I think limiting the buck take as well as going back to the doe only days may be a liitle better for most hunters. Look at states like ILL and IA and follow their leads for both quality and herd reduction.
 

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I starting out in hunting would probably be excited if I saw a buck or doe, any deer for that matter. It would really bum me out if I finally saw a deer and couldn't shoot it for EAB reasons.

Granted I may have a heart attack before drawing back the bow if I actually saw a deer, but I'd like the option if it was a buck or a doe.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I love gun hunting for deer. But I also love bowhunting for deer.

That being said... were the "gun only" guys complaining to F&W about bowhunters shooting bucks before they had a chance?
 

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I agree that EAB is a real pain. Last year I had the biggest buck I ever had within bow range but I had to p [no swearing please] cause I didn't EAB. I really don't know why the bowhunters have to EAB but shotgunners don't, it just isn't fair IMO. I would love NJ to go to 1 buck per year. Imagin the size of the bucks we would see after a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
PA is 1 buck per hunter, per year. Hmmm... opening day... a little 5 pointer walks under your tree... I bet a lot of guys would p [no swearing please] since you can only shoot 1 buck per year.
 

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I would like one buck per year that way you would wait for a good one and let all the small guys go that would pay off big time in a few years.
I doubt that will ever happen here though
 

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Thats why I shot the first thing I saw. Yeah it was small but my son had a 8 and 6 right under his stand for 20 min eating and he couldnt do a damn thing.
 

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I think all of these suggestions are great, but the reality is that if you want anything to change, you have to voice your opinion. Write your ideas down and send them to the division. That's what I do, maybe they toss my ideas right in the garbage, but hey it's worth a shot. Better yet, if you can, attend the annual game code hearings and voice your opinion there.

I'd love to see the buck limit reduced to 1 or 2 tops per year. Man, if we had that the bucks this state would produce would simply be outrageous. We'd have Illinois guys coming here. The genetics are here and the soil type is here, the only thing missing is a sensible deer season. Sure the deer #'s need to be kept in check, but we can do that while limiting our buck take.
 

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the rule doesnt always work. i hear of guys playing games with the doe tags all the time. there shouldnt be any order in which to shoot your deer.
 

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Just shoot your doe already and stop whining!:p:D

No, I hear exactly what you guys are saying. Ive had to p [no swearing please] some real butes in previous seasons because of the earn-a-buck. If you recall we did that survey on here a while back too, and many of these points were made. Well I did mail that to the division and it contained many of these ideas as proposed changes. Like Stealthy said, I let them hear what my thoughts are, whether or not they even consider them is beyond me, but Im sure they look them over before they toss them in the garbage.;)

Seriously though, I think they like to hear what we have to say. They want to keep us happy because we are why they have jobs. Everyone Ive ever dealt with from the division was willing to bend over backwards to help out. I think we have one of the best divisions of fish and wildlife in the country![up]

Send in your ideas, and maybe we can get some changes brought about.[up]
 

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it should be two buck per year and if you take 5 does year (to help the herd /state) you get one more shot at a buck .we need to stop the 2 buck in the 6 day season. 2 bucks when ever and 1 more if you take 5 does
 

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2 bucks period!!! If you take two with the bow you can't take any with the shotgun or muzzy...If you take 1 with the bow and one with the muzzy your doe only for the shotgun and late bow seasons... When they didn't have the eab zones not enough hunters were taking does!!! They would hunt the bucks and forget about the does....We have way too many does and we all need to do are part to thin them out!!!

I think you should have the option to take 2 bucks with the bow...2 with the shotgun...and 2 with the muzzy...BUT only two a year!!!! You choose what weapon or combonation of weapons you want to take them with!!!! 2 total!!!!
 

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We have way too many does and we all need to do are part to thin them out!!!
Just looked over my records for the last 3 years. Not counting fawns, I have seen 2.7 bucks for every doe over the last 3 years, averaging it out. Not everywhere has antlerless deer running wild. We just don't have a lot of deer in my areas. In example, one place I hunt, where I saw the deer on Saturday, there are 3 other guys that hunt there with me, and two of them have taken does. All summer long I only saw a group of 3 does and 4 fawns in our field, along with those bucks. Now maybe there was one or two does I didn't see, but that still only leaves us with one or two females for the rut. If I kill my mandatory doe...what does that leave us? Remember, doe family groups pretty much stick to small home ranges, and I'm restricted to hunting 78 acres of this area...so if you shoot the does in your family group, your done...another group of females is not going to move in unless deer densities get high and females have to look for a new home range to find adequate food and cover.

I know my observations are close to the true numbers too. The State, and QDMA estimate the deer density in that area at less than 20 deer per square mile...and I'm only talking about a 78 acre portion that we hunt, not the whole square mile. We saw those 7 antlerless deer, and 3 bucks. That's 10 deer, or probably half the deer herd for a square mile at best. There is a good bit of hunting pressure on all the properties around us too, at least another 15 bow hunters, and double that for gun season, for that square mile. I don't think there are enough does for even half the bow hunters to shoot a required doe, and if they did (some would be fawns) what would be left?

I've seen it happen, woodlands that used to be teaming with deer, now hard to find a track due to over hunting that area. Another example just outside of Elmer NJ was a great piece of land I hunted for 20 years. Back in the late 1970's and into the early 1980's, there was great hunting in that piece. Lots of deer, and some pretty big bucks and does...very healthy. Probably too many deer at that time, and I would estimate 75 deer per square mile in that area. The block was almost a perfect square mile, at 653 acres, and nearly square. There was a 70 acre bean field on the south end that had between 50 and 60 deer in it every night, and some real big bucks. I hunted my parents ground behind thier house, and a nieghbors, which was a total of 55 acres in the NE corner. WE also had access to about 330 acres of the block too, but mostly hunted that corner. There were only 4 bow hunters in the entire block at that time.

There were enough deer in the piece that doe family groups occupied nearly every part of the woods, and their ranges overlapped. The rut was insane...bucks chasing does everywhere, and seemed like a new big buck showed up every day. The habitat was great, no evidence of overbrowsing with an abundance of oaks, crops, swamps, green briar thickets, apple trees, persimmons, cedars for winter browse, and a 10 acre hay field too. The beans got hammered, but that inspired the farmer to let me hunt there as well.

After a few years of seeing big numbers of deer in that field, more and more hunters moved into the woods. Land was bought and sold, leased and hunted much more heavily. It was still pretty good through about 1985, but that year, a big group came in, drove the woods from the bean field on the south side to the highway on the north edge. They did it twice and killed 29 deer.

As the pressure increased, and the deer numbers decreased, things began to change. I was forced into the 55 acre corner only, and deer counts in the bean field fell to maybe 3 to 5 deer by the late 1980's, early 1990's. With numbers that low, we were not seeing any deer in that 55 acre corner at the opposite end of the woods, the few that were left were concentrated up near the field on that food source, and we only had deer if there were acorns because that corner was an oak and laurel thicket.

I've hunted that place about 2 dozen times in the last 3 seasons and only seen deer 3 times...a button buck twice and a spike once. Walked back there yesterday and didn't see a single track crossing the 4 wheeler trail...not one.

My point?...you can kill too many deer, despite what some people say. EAB is a good idea for some places, but still needs some tweaking, and probably shouldn't be imposed anywhere deer densities are below 30 to 40 deer per square mile.

Check this link for another point of view.
http://www.outdoortalknetwork.com/art243.html

Just my opinion, but guys up north remember, the hunting down in south Jersey is quite a bit different than up there...we just don't have big numbers of deer.
 

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The absolute best way to have your ideas heard is to talk to F&G Council members. They attend monthly Federation meetings. Find out where a monthly Federation meeting is in your area and attend. Simple and very effective.
 

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I am a fan of the program, have to shoot the does to have a good herd. Also most of the Zones pop. are out of control, and if everyone shot a buck, there wouldn't be any control.
We gripe because they experiment w/ brithcontrol, yet we gripe when we have to shoot a doe first. There has to be some give and take here, we are the only means of controling the herd right now. I would rather keep it that way, so I have to shoot a doe 1st then so be it.
 
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