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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if all is ready ... I had to mount scope on 336 as the area I will be hunting this year has longer seeing distance than normal for me.. and with the Antler Restriction I guess I better be safe than sorry in it.. Although I am not a rack hunter..
But I am ready to go and sure hope the Marlin brings home the meat again :D
 
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Gunjunkie,

If having about ten rifles sighted in and ready to go means I'm ready, then I am.

I'm going to start the rifle season with an 1895 CB 45-70 and peep sights. Then as the season progresses and I find myself getting itchy for longer shots I will probably switch to my tried & true Ruger M77, 30-06.

We have a few deer around but I don't like the antler restrictions either. Why save the inferior bucks to pass their genes to the next generation?

Good luck to you over there in Centre Co.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks you also... I am sneeking across the border, will be in edge of Clearfield County..
 

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I killed a couple does with my bow and have been hunting out in Mt for mule deer earlier this fall but there's a nice buck that has been coming into my cut corn field to check the does every afternoon lately. He'll be what I hunt for this year! I couldn't care less about growing older bucks here in Pa. call me sick but I loved the old days when I would see 50 deer a day up here in potter co., and I managed to kill pretty many nice 8 and 10 pointers over those same years.

GIVE ALT'S PLANS THE BOOT!!!!!
 
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My wife and I split up 2 weeks ago, so this will be the first year in the last 5 that I will not hunt in PA :!: I am now back in VA :D :!:
 
G

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6pt sika,
Sorry about your misfortune. I hope things can be resolved for you.

wakanstak,

I think most deer hunters here agree that Alt and his plan are only in place to decimate the deer herd. I don't hunt public land but from what I hear from people that do, there are very few deer to be found on most of our local game lands. More coyote tracks than deer when there's snow to see them.

With fewer youngsters taking up the sport I sometimes think we're going to be the last generation to remember what deer hunting used to be here. And being a firm believer in tradition I am totally against Sunday hunting. Deer season ALWAYS begins on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Gunjunkie, sorry for straying off-topic.
 

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I'm as ready as I guess I'm gonna get.

Steelbanger said:
I'm going to start the rifle season with an 1895 CB 45-70 and peep sights. Then as the season progresses and I find myself getting itchy for longer shots I will probably switch to my tried & true Ruger M77, 30-06.
I use a 'regular' 1895, but I'm the same as you - 1895 in the early season woods, M77 30-06 in the late season down on the farm...

Steelbanger said:
We have a few deer around but I don't like the antler restrictions either. Why save the inferior bucks to pass their genes to the next generation?
Do you truly believe that all spikes & fork-horns are genetically inferior? Maybe (I know, it's a long shot, but bear with me here...) that fork-horn is ummm... I dunno, young!

Once a spike always a spike. Nonsense.

Big racks take three things: TIME, FOOD and GENES. In that order!

The point of the antler restrictions is time. The point of the concurrent seasons and the boatloads of does tags is food.

If it works like the state hopes it will, the combination above will let us know if the genetics in PA are going to generate the big bucks (deer and $$$) we all want.

I can think of plenty of reasons to be against the antler restrictions but a spike might have B&C genetics--you just have to give him some time and some food to find out. Without the time and the food, you'll never learn what kind of genetics the deer in your neck of the woods really have.
 

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Steelbanger said:
I think most deer hunters here agree that Alt and his plan are only in place to decimate the deer herd. I don't hunt public land but from what I hear from people that do, there are very few deer to be found on most of our local game lands. More coyote tracks than deer when there's snow to see them.
Start stitching that Scarlet Letter on my sweater.

I believe that "Alt and his plan" are trying to make PA a tourist destination for big bucks. It's a money thing. PA used to be popular with out-of-state hunters and now it's not so popular. Out-of-state hunters buy expensive licenses, stay at hotels, eat at restaurants and might even shop for a souvenir or two. Big bucks equals big buck$.

I'll admit that part of "the plan" is to reduce the deer population in an effort to increase the food supply for the remaining deer. I'll further agree that some state land doesn't hold as much deer as it might. The farmland, OTOH, is positively loaded with deer--especially near populated areas. We almost need separate regs for private and public land.

I hunt public land exclusively for the first two-three days. I always see deer. Maybe not hundreds of deer, but more than just one or two.

Steelbanger said:
With fewer youngsters taking up the sport I sometimes think we're going to be the last generation to remember what deer hunting used to be here. And being a firm believer in tradition I am totally against Sunday hunting. Deer season ALWAYS begins on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Amen on the Monday after Turkey Day and on the no Sunday hunting. The youngster thing is bad. The number of young hunters is down substantially from my days in HS just 20 years ago--and I live in a very rural area with a high percentage of hunters. The schools here are closed for the first two days of deer season!

My dad talks about hunting in the late 50s and early 60s when there were more deer than anyone could imagine. The woods are too mature to support those numbers today. Selective cutting or small-scale clearcutting won't provide enough browse for a massive explosion in the deer herd. Large-scale clearcutting, like when they shaved PA bald in the 1880s-1920s, is not a possibility. Massive clearcutting would be the only way to get those deer numbers back, and even then it'd take 40-50 years to get there.

The 'problem' is that the hunters are saying that there are no deer in the woods and the state saying that the deer pop. is bigger than ever. Both are right. The deer pop. is huge, but the deer no longer live in the big woods where most public hunting land is. The private land (where the deer are) is less and less open to hunting. The deer find refuge on posted land and then get hit by cars and the insurance lobby continues to cry about the deer herd.

The more I think about it, the more I think we need different regs for public land than for private.

Gloves and mask on in anticipation of flames...
Tom G
 

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Tom G for the most part I agree with what you say...for the most part. A young male deer @1 1/2 yrs old could be a spike or y but it could also be a 10 pt.
I just spent 2 weeks of prime rut at a camp on private land in Potter Co. and saw 18 bucks only 3 were legal to shoot, yet the majority of those deer were over 1 1/2 yrs old. the legal 3 were rack bucks but well under what horn hunters would consider a trophy rack. This land has a 1 buck to 2 doe ratio and is not "over run with brown 4 legged rats" like some areas of the state are. some of those days there was a light covering of snow, so tracks were easily spotted. And about 1/2 of the 2500 acres was either select cut or clear cut in the past 4 yrs. so there is plenty of browse/feed. It borders public gamelands where hunters have really put a hurt on the population.
Alt nor the PGC really has no program in place other than to lower deer numbers statewide. Those areas with large private posted lands just get increased doe tags in hope that areas that do allow access can aide in lowering numbers somehow and those private land hunters will increase their kill. Yet the fact remains that the number of hunters on that private land stays pretty much the same each year, ie. the same family hunts the farm or the same group leases the land each season
What baffles me is how ALT figures killing so many deer in the northcentral part of the state is going to help lower deer numbers in the SW part of the state.
ALT MOST GO!!!!
If you doubt this ask yourself this: Where are all those bucks we protected over the last few yrs? And what is going to stop the herd from increasing it's size once again once the sacred forests recover? Today farmers produce more crops on less land than they did on more land back in the 60s. That is a fact!
I've hunted for 40+ yrs back in the 60s-70s when deer numbers were high up here I still killed nice rack bucks.
and with all this new stuff ALT has done to rear bigger bucks I have yet to see the antlers increase that much, while deer numbers have plummeted. PaRR
 

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PaRR - not many 1.5YO bucks are 10pts. Most are 4pt or 6pt, I'd wager. A 1.5YO spike is definitely not the genetics we want. I wonder how successful a 1.5YO spike is at breeding. Not very, but probably not a complete shutout, either.

Killing a bazillion anterless deer on state forest land in Potter/Tioga or surrounding counties won't do anything to solve the deer 'problem' around Philly and Pittsburgh. I have a 2G antlerless tag and if I can fill it it will be on or near farmland, not in the big woods.

The antler restrictions have only been in place for two seasons. If they work, this is the first year that should really show it. My uncle and his grandson were out for a drive not too long ago and they took a picture of a huge buck on state land in Tioga Co. Of course, one big buck does not mean success for Alt & his plan.

Like I said above, the more I think about it the more I think we need more differences in the regs than we have now. Maybe they should go back to the 1-2 day doe season in some places and keep the two week concurrent season open where they're swimming in deer. Maybe no antlerless harvest on state game/forest lands.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the answer. But I know that shooting a young spike/fork buck will guarantee one fewer 'mature' buck next season.
 

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you're an honest man with an honest opinion an I hold mine as well. going back to 2 or 3 day doe season with an extension for bad weather is a good place to start in areas that are now below carrying capacity.
I long for those big numbers of deer once again, but like most I realize the pgc will never allow them once more. it befalls the HUNTER to choose to just harvest 1 deer a year be it buck or doe. sadly like in all aspects of life there re some whose greed ruins it for the rest.
Another good idea would be to only allow junior hunters to harvest multiple doe in lower deer number area and require them to let spikes walk statewide, I'm sure Alt has thought about that too. But that hinders his only good deer is a bick buck theroy. PaRR
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alt's plan in time may work,, I sure haven't seen any change here for the most part.. But I have see lots of wasted venison let lay cause of mistakes, and the fines being the reason.. I am sure the vast majority of Sportsmen would obey the law to the best of there ability, and the mistakes would be harvested and used if the fines weren't present..
 

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my $.02 is Dr. Alt is working for the game commission's benifit more than the deer's.
The GC is strapped for cash everyone knows that or at least should. All those anterless tags come with a $6.00 fee. Take that money out of the budget and there's a hole . Money needed for pensions, operating costs,etc. rather than deer management. WAK
 

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I'll agree 100% that the PGC is interested first and foremost in the welfare of the PGC. Everybody looks out for #1 first, and the hunters ain't even #2 (as in, I had to go #2 ;) ).

Alt's objective (not the publicly stated objectives available here: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?a=465&q=151308 ) is increased out-of-state license sales. These licenses are the PGC's big ticket item and an increase of 1,000 non-resident licenses means $101,000 in revenue for the PGC. Heck, that probably covers Alt's salary. The PGC wants PA to become a 'hot' destination for whitetail deer.
 

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sad but TRUE! of course years ago when the NC part of the state was the deer capital fo the east if not the world there wer plenty of out of staters spending big $$ in Pa.
Am I the only one whom rues for the "old days" WAK
 

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Ready as I can be and still be at home! One .32 WS and one .35 Remington to go please!
 
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All spike bucks and 4 point deer aren't 1 1/2 years old, as Alt would have us believe. Some are just genetically inferior and will never grow a nice rack. As an example, last year in the area I hunt, we had a piebald button buck with unique markings making him easy to identify. He was a yearling and probably weighed 75-80 pounds. Luckily, he made it through his first season and now is a racked buck. Spike? 4 point? Nope, a pretty nice 8 point is what he's carrying on his head.

Throughout Sept., Oct. and now most of November I have only seen 1 deer where I hunt that definitely had a legal rack, this one being a 7 point. I have seen 7 or 8 other big bodied bucks with small 4 and 5 point racks. These guys are the ones Alt has had us pass up in order for them to pass on these genes. Don't tell me that they're all last years yearlings! Tell Alt, at least he'll agree with you.
 

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I was at the range yesterday and brother if Alt would've come by it would not have been pretty. Burn him out, tar 'n feather him, put a rack on his head and a brown fur coat and force him out into the gamelands opening day....were only some of the suggestions I heard of what those other shooters were saying.
Just like the radical left wing Democrats the PGC just isn't in tune with what the mainline (hunters). Here in Pa the main stream hunters don't care about big rack and low deer numbers...they want to see deer!
 

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I was born and raised in PA and still return to the family hunting camp at least twice a year for fellowship, memories and hunting, in that order. Our camp is in the "big woods" catagory with state forest and huge private clubs surrounding us. The nearest producing farm is at least 8-10 miles away in the "lowlands". When my Dad acquired this piece of land in 1968 we had deer all over the place but the quality of them was terrible. Spikes, 3 and 4 points were the order of the day. In the mid 80's we had a terrible winter and we found many deer carcasses in the spring. The herd gradually deminished. It went from seeing upwards to 30-40 deer the first day of gun season to now seeing a handful, if that. I get the Game News and I know all about QDM. I don't know if it will work. I have read that somewhere in the midwest (maybe Iowa or around in there--it escapes me right now) it did not have the desired effect they had hoped for and have abandon the theory. From my experience hunting the mountains and ridges of northcentral PA, I think it is worthy of a 10 trial.
It was mentioned earlier in this thread that there are two distinctly different views of the deer population: one, we have too many and two, we have too few. As stated, both are correct. There has been a monumental shift of where the deer reside. The farm country has always had deer but they now have more than let's say 30 years ago. I would suspect that car-deer accident reports would bare this out (as it does here in Michigan). Deer will not stay where there is inadequate food sources. They have moved or at the very least there numbers in "big forest" areas have declined (due to the lack of sufficient food to support a large herd) and the numbers in the predominantly agricultural areas have grown.
It could also be that the smaller farms that once dotted our states more remote areas are now not used for farms any longer. Back in '68 there were 3 smaller farms that grew corn, had hay fields etc. within 2-3 miles of our cabin. They quit farming those fields over 25 years ago. Us, along with our neighboring camps, alternate taking lumber off so there is some browse and hopefully new growth in the area continually. We have apple trees that we keep pruned and are fruitful. A few of the camps put out some supplimental feeders but not many. Dispite those efforts, deer population has declined dramatically. It evidently has not been enough of a food source to keep them in the area.
This is not unique to PA. The same thing has occurred in Michigan and I suspect other states. It is more common now to hit a deer with your car in and around the suburbs of Detroit, Flint, Lansing or Grand Rapids than it is in Northern Michigan. Everyone always gone North to hunt----that is where the deer were. Not anymore. Many have forsaken the tradition of going "up North" to hunt because in the last few years they have seen so few deer. I just talked to a friend of mine who got back from hunting in the Upper Pennisula where he has hunted for over 20 years. He hunts the first week of the season every year. Last year he saw a three point and 2 does------------the entire week! This year he saw 4 does the first day and not a deer after that. This is a place where he rarely came back empty handed year after year. It is not a phenomenon unique to PA. When deer can not meet their nutritional requirements they either move or survival of the fittest takes the heard down to a sustainable number.
So, what can we do? Forestry management can help but this will take a lot of years to show positive results and will take cooperation between Governmental units, hunting clubs and large land owners. These groups are not adept at cooperation. The smaller farms that dotted our most rural areas are never coming back-----they are dead. Deer numbers have to be reduced in the suburban and suburban/agricultural areas-----there are just too many. They come right up to houses and will eat the ornamental landscape!
The fact is, in my opinion, we will not see the herds of deer we had in the 40', 50's and 60's again, not at least in the next generation or two. So why not give this QDM a 10 year try? In our case it can't hurt. We hunt about 7-8 guys out of our camp and years ago it was not uncommon to fill 4-5 tags (all spikes,3's or 4's with an occassional 6 or 7 point). If we can't have the numbers maybe we ought to try for quality. The last five years here is our harvest-------1,0,0,1,1. These are buck numbers, we usually take a doe or two at the most.------------Just my opinion based on hunting the mountains and ridges of PA since '68.

Now let's talk season openner date and Sunday hunting. I know I am going to tick off some people now. We don't have enough kids hunting right? I know a lot of schools are closed the first day and maybe second but when are kids primarily not in school? Saturday and Sunday!!!! We have been reducing the amount of time these kids can hunt without taking off school by 50%. Before you all go crazy, yes, I know there are other factors on why our youth are not hunting. I give those variables there due and there are now programs to try and stimulate interest. I am just saying this may be one link of the chain to increase youth participation.
Now let's talk economic impact. Do you know what the first 2 days of
deer season costs the manufacturing sector of PA? It is staggering. Many close down or run "skeleton" crews. Start the season on Saturday after Thanksgiving, allow Sunday hunting and most of the guys are back to work Monday. Most everone goes to camp early now anyway. Once Thanksgiving meal is over all us hunter want to think about is getting to the camp/cabin. Now I know this goes against tradition and believe it or not I am quite a traditionalist in many aspects but on this one I have to say it is time for change.

Happy Hunting in the great state of PA----I leave tomorrow! JOHN
 

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I, too, wish for the old days when you could see more than one deer during the season. I think that the PGC take their deer census in the southern part of Pa. where there seems to be a lot of deer because here in the North Central there isn't that many anymore. I've been hunting for almost 40 years and I've seen a big drop in the deer herd over the last few years. As for Alt's plan to increase the size of bucks that are harvested I really haven't seen any increase in size at Ackley's big buck contest. Every since I can remember looking at the chart the average buck turned in was a 6 pointer and even last year the average didn't seem to be any larger.
 
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