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Deer Harvest History

Jackalope

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I guess this is my conundrum - do we continue to show the evil side of the ODNR and how they have decimated the deer herd, which certainly will not help to increase hunter recruitment or can we find a middle ground to work together?

Would we agree that although the deer population was down from its peak, that it is showing an upward trend?

Do we know if there has been an increase or decrease in quality buck harvested, relative to the number of total bucks harvested? - I know this is difficult to discern.

Do we as hunters believe that we can achieve both higher numbers of deer, maintain the quality of bucks, and not allow degradation of habitat at a state level?

WV has a high deer population - yet I don't see a lot of guys going there to hunt deer or lease ground, compared to Ohio. So clearly high deer numbers are not a driver for many hunters.

All in all, I just find it scary that hunter numbers are declining and the lack of trust between DNR's and hunters, will continue to be detrimental to hunting in the long term.

The head of our deer management program told me right to my face with about 10 other guys standing right there that he did not believe that the ODNR would accomplish the reduction level they wanted because too many hunters would quit hunting before they reach target levels. He then went on to say that the population would rebound some due to lack of hunting and hunters and then the ODNR would have to try to reduce the heard again. Talk about an eye-opening statement. They're not only willing to sacrifice recruitment but also the existing number of hunters to reduce the population. Farm Bureau and big insurance owns the DNR, hunters are nothing but a tool to accomplish an objective. Add in a nice hefty tag and license fee increase to offset the losses due to the reduction.

Looking at the data that is exactly what we're seeing today. They reduced the herd, a lot of people quit hunting, the numbers have rebounded slightly, they made up some lost revenue with a fee increase, so they're pushing to reduce it further again.
 
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at1010

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The head of our deer management program told me right to my face with about 10 other guys standing right there that he did not believe that the ODNR would accomplish the reduction level they wanted because too many hunters would quit hunting before they reach target levels. He then went on to say that the population would rebound some due to lack of hunting and hunters and then the ODNR would have to try to reduce the heard again. Talk about an eye-opening statement. They're not only willing to sacrifice recruitment but also the existing number of hunters to reduce the population. Farm Bureau and big insurance owns the DNR, hunters are nothing but a tool to accomplish an objective. Add in a nice hefty tag and license fee increase to offset the losses due to the reduction.

Looking at the data that is exactly what we're seeing today. They reduced the herd, a lot of people quit hunting, the numbers have rebounded slightly, they made up some lost revenue with a fee increase, so they're pushing to reduce it further again.

That is sincerely depressing.

So we are screwded from here on out?

More hunters will die off. Less hunters will be recruited, deer numbers will rebound past low hunter numbers being able to control them and hunting as we know is gone?

every opening day seems to be the same “quietest opening day ever”.
 

Lundy

Member
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I guess this is my conundrum - do we continue to show the evil side of the ODNR and how they have decimated the deer herd, which certainly will not help to increase hunter recruitment or can we find a middle ground to work together?

I'm sorry, as a long time hunter, longer than most of you on here I just can't subscribe to the "evil DNR" narrative. I have had many a heated discussion on this subject many times on this site. Hunters simply do not get to have it both ways. They blame the DNR for the large population reduction without taking any personal responsibility for the reduction. The ODNR provided the opportunity for the reduction through increased bag limits and reduced tag costs with a clearly stated goal of population reduction. Hunters gleefully participated in the increased kill and then bitched like crazy when it was completed.

I hunted before, during and after the stated push to reduce populations, my average yearly harvest goals and numbers remained unaffected regardless of the state bag limit changes.

I doubt anyone needed or needs today the DNR to tell them if they have too many or too few deer on the property they hunt. The scope of the success of the population reduction plan lays at the feet of hunters. The DNR does not have actual ability to reduce populations without hunters participating as a willing tool. The DNR does have the ability and means to increase the population through reduced legal harvest . The bottom line is they can increase the population without hunter help but they sure can't reduce it without their help.
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
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I don't think it will work a second time. Most hunters have adapted the places they hunt to better suit themselves. The "tool" is now aware that it is a tool.
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
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I'm sorry, as a long time hunter, longer than most of you on here I just can't subscribe to the "evil DNR" narrative. I have had many a heated discussion on this subject many times on this site. Hunters simply do not get to have it both ways. They blame the DNR for the large population reduction without taking any personal responsibility for the reduction. The ODNR provided the opportunity for the reduction through increased bag limits and reduced tag costs with a clearly stated goal of population reduction. Hunters gleefully participated in the increased kill and then bitched like crazy when it was completed.

I hunted before, during and after the stated push to reduce populations, my average yearly harvest goals and numbers remained unaffected regardless of the state bag limit changes.

I doubt anyone needed or needs today the DNR to tell them if they have too many or too few deer on the property they hunt. The scope of the success of the population reduction plan lays at the feet of hunters. The DNR does not have actual ability to reduce populations without hunters participating as a willing tool. The DNR does have the ability and means to increase the population through reduced legal harvest . The bottom line is they can increase the population without hunter help but they sure can't reduce it without their help.

great post. To be clear I wasn’t trying to say I believe that. I’m here looking at all opinions as I haven’t been hunting as long as many on here.

I am concerned about hunters in future. I’ll say I tend to be supportive of all DNR but I think many on here have solid points as well.

very educational thread. Imo.
 
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Jamie

Senior Member
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Licking Co.
I'm sorry, as a long time hunter, longer than most of you on here I just can't subscribe to the "evil DNR" narrative. I have had many a heated discussion on this subject many times on this site. Hunters simply do not get to have it both ways. They blame the DNR for the large population reduction without taking any personal responsibility for the reduction. The ODNR provided the opportunity for the reduction through increased bag limits and reduced tag costs with a clearly stated goal of population reduction. Hunters gleefully participated in the increased kill and then bitched like crazy when it was completed.

I hunted before, during and after the stated push to reduce populations, my average yearly harvest goals and numbers remained unaffected regardless of the state bag limit changes.

I doubt anyone needed or needs today the DNR to tell them if they have too many or too few deer on the property they hunt. The scope of the success of the population reduction plan lays at the feet of hunters. The DNR does not have actual ability to reduce populations without hunters participating as a willing tool. The DNR does have the ability and means to increase the population through reduced legal harvest . The bottom line is they can increase the population without hunter help but they sure can't reduce it without their help.
well said. my sentiments exactly.
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
33,781
212
I'm sorry, as a long time hunter, longer than most of you on here I just can't subscribe to the "evil DNR" narrative. I have had many a heated discussion on this subject many times on this site. Hunters simply do not get to have it both ways. They blame the DNR for the large population reduction without taking any personal responsibility for the reduction. The ODNR provided the opportunity for the reduction through increased bag limits and reduced tag costs with a clearly stated goal of population reduction. Hunters gleefully participated in the increased kill and then bitched like crazy when it was completed.

I hunted before, during and after the stated push to reduce populations, my average yearly harvest goals and numbers remained unaffected regardless of the state bag limit changes.

I doubt anyone needed or needs today the DNR to tell them if they have too many or too few deer on the property they hunt. The scope of the success of the population reduction plan lays at the feet of hunters. The DNR does not have actual ability to reduce populations without hunters participating as a willing tool. The DNR does have the ability and means to increase the population through reduced legal harvest . The bottom line is they can increase the population without hunter help but they sure can't reduce it without their help.

Hunters were purposefully mislead as to the scope of the reduction as ODNR billed it as a great opportunity to reduce "overpopulation". If the ODNR had come out from the beginning and said they wanted a 40-70% reduction in current numbers hunters would have never agreed or participated to the extent required to accomplish a meaningful reduction. The backlash on the ODNR would have been expansive and quick. The ODNR blatantly lied to hunters by downplaying the extent of their intentions because they needed to use them to accomplish their goal. A lie by deception and misinformation is a lie nonetheless.

As the population began to fall and hunters took notice the ODNR doubled down on the misinformation and lies by telling hunters that the yearly harvest reduction was due to things like weather, lack of acorns that year, and other excuses that was more misinformation. Tonk even said once that hunters killed less deer because there were a bunch of acorns that year and deer didn't move as far and hunters failed to adapt to the change. To back that up he said it was evident by the lower number of squirrels hit on the road because they didn't have to cross the road as muchto find food. Biggest crock of crap I've ever read.

This same individual told me to my face with about 10 others standing there that we were spot on with our observations, but the vast majority of hunters weren't smart enough to figure it out.

Hunters themselves are not to blame for being lied to and mislead by a state department that they believed was honest and upfront and had good intentions but was in fact using them to their own detriment.
 

Lundy

Member
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I would have hoped that hunters were not mindless masses that just accept what they are told versus what they see with their own eyes on the lands they hunt. Doesn’t say much for the collective intellect of hunters does it.
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
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That is sincerely depressing.

So we are screwded from here on out?

More hunters will die off. Less hunters will be recruited, deer numbers will rebound past low hunter numbers being able to control them and hunting as we know is gone?

every opening day seems to be the same “quietest opening day ever”.

That's the fear. Tonk admitted they can't win this game forever. People will quit, people will never get into hunting. Eventually, the deer population will rise as a result. Some hunters will start hunting again and it'll be a cycle. . We already struggle with recruitment and retention. My fear is the hunter numbers get to a level where there is only a small voice left to fight the antis. As hunters drop off they also stop supporting the organizations that fight for our rights. If people stop caring the antis will win. The antis are not getting any weaker and have no problem with recruitment and retention. We will have flushed it all away so that insurance companies can protect their profits and have fewer payouts.
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
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That's the fear. Tonk admitted they can't win this game forever. People will quit, people will never get into hunting. Eventually, the deer population will rise as a result. Some hunters will start hunting again and it'll be a cycle. . We already struggle with recruitment and retention. My fear is the hunter numbers get to a level where there is only a small voice left to fight the antis. As hunters drop off they also stop supporting the organizations that fight for our rights. If people stop caring the antis will win. The antis are not getting any weaker and have no problem with recruitment and retention. We will have flushed it all away so that insurance companies can protect their profits and have fewer payouts.
Seems impossible to win this for hunters but there must be something. I donate to places like Qdma, RGS, etc. but what else can be done to recruit more young hunters? Because what you described is exactly my fear and the antis recruiter through straight bullshit propaganda, like saying “opossum are good cause they eat ticks” - totally negating that they are Turkey predators, and turkeys eat exponentially more ticks than opossum per annum.

Not to mention the entire absents of fire in the North due to falsely lead and sponsored Smokey the bear campaigns.

yes hunters are blamed for RFG extension or near so.

without supporting our own groups. It’s destined to fail.

seems we are in a rock and a hard place.....tough tough spot.
 

Jackalope

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I would have hoped that hunters were not mindless masses that just accept what they are told versus what they see with their own eyes on the lands they hunt. Doesn’t say much for the collective intellect of hunters does it.

Hunters as a collective are killers. That's what we do. That's why we destroyed the animal population and damn near made deer and turkeys extinct in Ohio. We created things like a state DNR to prevent that from happening again because we realized that we can not self-govern. To an extent, It's impossible because they don't have the big picture. As numbers fell time and time again I heard people complain that their neighbor was baiting all of them, or their neighbor put in these food plots and all of the deer were over there. Not realizing that their neighbor was baiting and putting in food plots because they weren't seeing deer either. All this while the DNR is handing out cheap tags, adding bonus gun seasons, and telling hunters there was an "overpopulation". What were they to think when they were being purposefully deceived? What's to believe, their eyes, or a state management department who they believed at least had some of their best interest at heart. To blame hunters is a travesty. I would agree with you if the DNR had been open, honest and forthcoming with information and hunters still went ahead with it. But they were purposefully deceived because the DNR knew if they were honest they couldn't get it done. Hunters aren't to blame for that.
 

Lundy

Member
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This is like a old rerun.

Fact - The ODNR plainly and clearly stated, prior to the slaughter, that the increase in allowable harvest and reduced cost tags was to reduce the population. Not maintain the population but to reduce it. They never hid their intent of a large reduction.

The area where they did not come clean on was the extent of the reduction they wanted to achieve. They never, to my knowledge, stated what they believed the population to be and what they would like to achieve as a target. They side stepped those questions with it need to managed to a target population county by county. When asked what the current county population estimate was and what the target goal was there was no answer from the ones I asked, at least not until late into season 2 of the reduction plan. Those target numbers by county were not openly available to John Q public until into season 2 of the slaughter, or at least I couldn't get access to the numbers and I tried by attending one of the open houses. You were in attendance at this same meeting I believe.

I saw the reduction where I hunted, not from extra harvest on the land I hunted but the surrounding properties and the large 30 man deer drives surely took advantage of the increased opportunities. With the state still saying a reduction was needed and still providing increased kill opportunity we put a no doe kill in place because we saw the change. I didn't need someone else to tell me the health of the population as compared to previous years.
 
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Jackalope

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They never hid their intent of a large reduction.

The area where they did not come clean on was the extent of the reduction they wanted to achieve.

So we agree, they purposefully misled hunters to their own detriment. They lied. If I tell my wife I'm going to a buddies house and actually go to a whore house she's not going to buy my excuse of "what, I told you I was going to a house."

They said they wanted to reduce it. Not decimate it statewide. They absolutely hid the extent of their intentions from hunters. They made it sound as if there was some overpopulation, some health issues, and that they wanted to better manage it for everyone so the herd needed a reduction. Why would hunters not believe them, at that time deer hunting in Ohio was beyond fantastic. Sure let's reduce it some so we get better deer. But then the DNR turned around and allowed damn near decimation in massive areas to protect the profits of big insurance. Public land was hit the hardest and now they're trying to protect what meager population remains by cutting off doe tags after shotgun, or making it one deer only. Which BTW was their whole "management" strategy. Allow the kill until we realize that we've way exceeded the goal of decimation then pull back the reigns a little to maintain it.

At the end of the day hunters shouldn't trust the ODNR as far as they can throw them. They will lie through their teeth to hunters.
 

Curran

Senior Member
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Seems impossible to win this for hunters but there must be something. I donate to places like Qdma, RGS, etc. but what else can be done to recruit more young hunters? Because what you described is exactly my fear...
The short answer - When it comes to R3, the elephant in the room that nobody (NGOs & Agencies) is addressing is opening ACCESS to a quality hunting experience. More specifically, it is access to quality hunting property. Nobody is addressing it because it is the most difficult problem to solve. You can take as many new people hunting as you want, but unless you can show them a quality experience, that includes opportunity to shoot something, they aren't going to stick with it.

The long answer - I'll work on writing something that will truly depress you later... Lol
 

Jackalope

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The short answer - When it comes to R3, the elephant in the room that nobody (NGOs & Agencies) is addressing is opening ACCESS to a quality hunting experience. More specifically, it is access to quality hunting property. Nobody is addressing it because it is the most difficult problem to solve. You can take as many new people hunting as you want, but unless you can show them a quality experience, that includes opportunity to shoot something, they aren't going to stick with it.

The long answer - I'll work on writing something that will truly depress you later... Lol

Absolutely. And the bar is only getting set higher as the younger generation is all about instant gratification. As woodsman its up to us to appropriately set expectations but that's a lot easier to do on the back of a successful hunt rather than grinding it out on a struggle stretch and have to keep saying "almost" and "we'll get it done eventually". Nothing get kids hooked on hunting better than seeing deer and shooting one.
 
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Always someone else's fault - said years ago on The Dumbassville the we were in the golden age of deer hunting and we would screw it up. Wish some of you guys hunted in the late 1960's - might have a different take on all this - dang
 
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at1010

*Supporting Member*
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The short answer - When it comes to R3, the elephant in the room that nobody (NGOs & Agencies) is addressing is opening ACCESS to a quality hunting experience. More specifically, it is access to quality hunting property. Nobody is addressing it because it is the most difficult problem to solve. You can take as many new people hunting as you want, but unless you can show them a quality experience, that includes opportunity to shoot something, they aren't going to stick with it.

The long answer - I'll work on writing something that will truly depress you later... Lol

I always appreciate your insight and knowledge on these topics. I’m all ears. Thanks buddy.
 

Jackalope

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Always someone else's fault - said years ago on The Dumbassville the we were in the golden age of deer hunting and we would screw it up. Wish some of you guys hunted in the late 1960's - might mave a different take on all this - dang

The past few years there's been a pretty good recovery of the population. Hopefully people don't listen to the DNR this time.

I used to have dialup internet and currently live in the golden age of broadband, and I'm appreciative for it, however that doesn't mean going back to dialup is acceptable. "It could be worse" is never something I've settled for.
 
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