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Is it time for Louisiana to look at possibly decreasing deer seasons and limits? The whole premise behind primitive weapons season is now a joke. I hunt in Caldwell Parish , you can hunt deer almost 5 months out of the year. I belong to an old established club and our numbers have been free falling last 3 years. We have been in DMAP since it started and had a No Spike rule last ten years. In spite of our best efforts our numbers continue to decline regardless of how much effort the membership puts in to hunts. We have suffered from aggressive timber harvesting , but we were on the decline before that. From what I hear this is State wide. I would like to see us go back to the old season structure in area 2 where season opened the 1st Saturday in November and closed the 1st Sunday in January. Do away with the Primitive weapons season and open Bow Season October 15th through mid -January. Have two any deer tags accompanied by possibly 1 or 2 additional Doe Tags. Is there science behind my thoughts….NO …but there is not much science behind what we do now and it appears to not be working.We need try something, I am sure there are smarter guys than I and can figure something out that will help.
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   reflex
i am all for the state making some type of restriction. i do not know what the best solution would be but i would say doe day eveyday is bad. very bad. we need to go back to a couple doe days and 4 point or better. across the state. too many guys knocking down small deer including myself because its legal.
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I have seen several reports of low deer numbers being blamed on the state and the way that the seaon runs. NEWSFLASH!!!! The state makes the rules, but they don't hunt your land. If you don't agree with the rules, but continue to hunt with every legal weapon and tag out every year, that is a personal problem. If you have a set of inter club rules and are more strict than the state allows and are still not seeing deer, then its still not the rules by the state.
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I agree but at the same time it shouldnt be changed state wide. For some areas your idea would defiantly help out because I have hunted places with almost no deer that used to be full of them. On the other hand I hunt places that have way too many does as well. You want buck to do ratio at 1 to 1 or 2 to 1 if you really wanna kill some big deer and have a strong rut. I know of a bunch of spots you could go and see 20 deer every afternoon but you could sit there 5 years in a row and be lucky to see anything better than a scrub buck
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   deerman24
Changing the rules won't do much, we have to change the way we think. If you think the WLF dept makes rules to save our wildlife. You are wrong they make rules to sell more licenses. We have to control what we do. If you are in a club than push to make rules to kill less does. The DEMAP program is a joke, set your own rules.
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   hunt r
Do not punish those who have deer because people cant control themselves, ya'll starting to sound like democraps, we cant control ourselves so please let the government save us from ourselves. But at the same time, if the leaders are working out of a 60yr old playbook, its time for new thinking. Dont know where the 1-1 myth came about, but u should have at least 3does to each buck. Until people realize the importance of protecting knotheads, nothing will change. Every serious managed property knows this, its the foundation of any program. Protecting them and spikes will improve ur hunting faster than any other method, short of closeing the season.
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We are one of the oldest leases I know,we had a few up and down years but never down this far this long.We have reasonable habitat and some of the best habitat in the state on a members adjoining track.I hear this a lot that deer sightings are down. i heard hogs, drought, coyotes, who knowS......
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I have heard it myself, having been a State emp. for 10 years in the past. ' We are in the business of providing recreation, not growing trophy bucks.'
Those were the words of an arrogant red headed individual in Mandeville. Others up there literally bowed down to him as if they were worshiping Allah.
I wouldn't think a statewide set of dates would work. Each area would need to be assessed by biologists who actually stop the truck engine and spend more than 20 minutes doing browse surveys.

Enforcement Division needs to be funded from the general fund. Game div & inland fish needs to be funded from a stamp that we all must purchase regardless of a lifetime license. Then they won't need to create rediculous revenue-seeking hunting rules, like the cartridge rifles as a primitive weapon, and 17 year old youths. My azz was full time working at age 17.
The tags do need to be cut back. Nobody is going to eat 6 deer each. A family of 3 hunters is 18 deer. Nobody will eat that much. You hear the same old story. Heard it yesterday 3x. ' man u can find people that will take the meat.' If you don't need it, slow down. Unfortunetly, the old school days of conservation and respect for game are long gone. It is more of an ESPN game now. Wannabe celeberties, etc. I have older friends that hunted Jackson Bienville & RR wma in the 70's hey days. You should see their walls, and hear their stories. We aren't even close today to having those opportunities.
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There will never be another McMurray buck killed in the Big Lake WMA. Biologist students and their supervisiors need to only use the Textbook as a guide, and let actual field obtained data set the seasons and limits for each different geographical area. Textbooks keep telling them kill does kill does kill does. Without even spending much time in each particular area, tags are issued for private land.
The new generation kids, now aged 29-35, are totally different. We won't get into that. I see very little improvement in the LA way of doing things. Those who remember the hey days, be thankful that you got to experience them.
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   deerman24
LOOk at the stats of management areas and the age of the deer being killed. most are 1 to 2 year old. The old bucks are gone or do not venture out in the daylight. The does are all 1 year old. People want more and bigger deer than stop shooting everything that comes out. The asme way with some clubs. my friend is in a club that allows you to shoot three does a year (to get members) they have 2000 acres with 30 members. thats 90 does on 2000 acres , thats crszy.
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This is still not a state problem though. There will be loopholes around any rule changes if hunters want more deer. I know people right now that buy their wife and/or kids licenses to get extra tags. I don't do it, and I don't agree with it, but it happens. You can cut numbers and tags down all you want. If people want to kill deer, there is a way around that. Deer sightings have been down statewide for a variety of reasons, but I don't believe that the limit or center-fire primitive weapons season is the reason. They can move the limit to 100 deer per year...if you only take 2 and pass on 98, then your land will be ok. I have seen less deer this year on my place, but it is because we had a super acorn crop this year. And I know that because I have put in the extra time and effort with cameras and scouting to figure it out. My deer have to do very little moving to bed and eat right now which will result in fewer sightings. When the acorns are gone, movement will increase dramatically in January.
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Switchback , lamplighter, deerman and OP i agree with all of you but unfortunately in this state people deer hunt just like they hunt ducks and fish for reds and specks. A majority of the people in mainly in southern LA go hunting for one reason and that is to get their limit. All these hunting club members that pay 700-1000$ a year are trying to kill their limit to justify paying that ammount of money to hunt and now everyone else is suffering from the results. BOTTOM LINE people are over killing......
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   deerman24
marshaltravis, you are 100% right. The rule with most hunters today is to kill everything you see and don't worry about tomorrow.
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   DannyI
We limit our lease in Sabine Parish to 4 deer, 2 bucks / 2 does. BUT, our harvest is way down the last 2 years. Why, it is not from overkill. We have 6500 acres, 45 members. Less than 30 deer taken in 2010 & 2011. This year, so far, less than 20. Mostly bucks killed in these years. I truly think it is because of hogs killing fawns, coyotes killing fawns, and now EHD or Blue Tongue added this year. I've heard reports from some parishes of finding many dead deer this year?? Not sure if this true, but, in Lacassine Reserve first 2 days of deer season, 15 dead deer found, and this is what has been reported. Now, yes, we all need to change our thinking in preserving our deer herd, and if it takes LAWF to make harvest changes, less does, 4 pt or better, statewide 3/4 deer total per license, whatever it takes, 'IF' the totals reported by tags, is way down. Cut the number of gun days across the board all areas. Yes I bow hunt. Would enjoy more than 2 weeks of bow only. Face it, you know La hunters will not do it themselves in taking less deer per year if they have the oppourtunity to take 6 deer.
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I think we should leave like it is a lot of the problem is there are a lot more hunter that are hunting less ground then 20 years ago. I only hunt the puplic land what I would like see done is in each region of the state close 1 WMA for 2 years so no doe's get killed, make bucks only for that time, then open it and close anouther in that region and keep rotating them. That way the population would have a little time to recover. Also cut down on doe days for bow hunters that is just, crazy every day is doe day where the management in that? I doent agree with the 4 piont or better or anything like that because look at Thistlethwaite they have had 4 points on one side or better for what 8-10 years where the results? I think private land should be managed by the people hunting it. Who knows the deer population best? The people thats on it every day thats who. But as for as LWF and their biologists thats a joke. How can they call them management areas when thay all have the same exact amount of doe days. Come on you think their deer herds are same as each other every year. Some may need that many doe day but other not as many. Like Bouef the last 2 weeks I spent 10 days on the stand and seen 4 deer and now they about 15 days of either sex. when I started going their 12 years ago it was deer trails that look like cow trails now just a few tracks here and there.
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Any one here hunt westbay I think the deer population is hurt bad. Go try to find some sign in that place.
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   ryanmac
Also, think about changing your club rule from no spikes to 6 or 8 point and better. Who wants to shoot a 4 or 6 point anyway? Let em go so they can grow!!
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There were 133,000 deer killed last year. There were approximately 136,000 licensed hunters last year. So obviously few people are killing their limit. To say that “my friend is in a club that allows you to shoot three does a year (to get members) they have 2000 acres with 30 members. thats 90 does on 2000 acres , thats crszy” is a misrepresentation of the facts. Those 30 members do not kill their limit of does. Few people do. There are 40,000 less licensed hunters than there was 20 years ago. To say “there are a lot more hunter that are hunting less ground then 20 years ago” is somewhat inaccurate. Maybe there is less ground but there are also less hunters.
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   jstogs
This 1:1 ratio may work on huge tracts in west Texas but there is much higher doe mortality than bucks(just on the highways). I am not seeing less deer but quit shooting under four pointers unless you haven't ever killed a deer. That will increase good bucks more than anything. Our deer are nocturnal because of the hunter efforts per year. The deer have patterned us. I don't do the camera thing but I look at the pics on our lease. There are a bunch of good bucks but they move at 4 am. I agree we want as little government interference as possible.
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I am president of our club, we could not find enough members willing to pay our lease if we went to a 6 or 8 pt rule for the club. We need some type of regional state mandated managment plan that works, NOT DMAP but something from the state based on areas or regions in the State based on population and avalible habitat. What we are doing is clearly not working as a club or a State.
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4 Years ago as a club it looked as if we turned a corner, we had guys seeing multiple bucks each outing and we killed a reasonable amount of deer. We dont over hunt our area as a rule. We have suffered from timber harvest over a larger area. Hopefully as the habitat improves our numbers will. I would like to see the State come in with more agressive managment.
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   deerman24
Don't look for the state to manage anything. The only thing they can manage is look for ways to sell more licenses. Its up to all the land owners and leasees to manage their herd. If you hunt an area and see more than 2 or 3 does a hunt than take some out. If you do shoot does don't shoot the ones that have little ones with her. DDon't shoot does that are young. (you can tell)if you see a doe every now and than, don't shoot the does you are not overloaded. If you follow this rule in a few years you will have deer. One doe with its offspring in 3 years will put 12 deer on your place and half will be bucks.
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The indians shot the fawns, because they couldn't reproduce like the older deer. I'm not advocating that though.
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   7MAG_JAKE
Instead of wanting the state to restrict the hunters who can actually police themselves and not shooting everything that walks the members should hold their trigger fingers. Instead of blaming statewide regulation, blame yourselves. Yall wanted to fill all those doe tags and they got filled, instead of wanting your moneys worth and meat hunting actually try to manage your herd. I believe at a club meeting several years ago this was predicted. You can't slaughter deer every year and tag out like it was done at the Club. Didn't the no spike rule go away for a while? Now your paying the price for bad rule making.
There was never that many deer there to begin with, now you have even less.So who is at fault?
The state of Mississippi has the same bag limits and primitive weapon usages. A 45-70 has the kill sistance of a muzzle loader, so your primitive weapon argument is invalid.
Just glad we got out when we did, best decision we have ever made. Joe Ware rule making at work, live with it. And these rules were voted for.
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What you speak of is a private lease. Some of us are referring to NWR's & WMA's. You will never self restrict. The older conservation-minded individuals let deer walk so that there will be more for the next year. The new generation kids, those about 29-35 yrs old now, are in a game. Their ultimate goal is to fill those tags. Anything whatsoever that walks out will be killed. You cannot educate them either. Therefore, it MUST be the Government, whether it be USFWS on Tensas, or State on Big Lake, who reduces the days and tags. THAT is why one area needs it's own unique rules, while club X 5 miles down the road has different rules. Put me in charge and see what happens.
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   7MAG_JAKE
Lamplighter, I was specifically speaking to Beacouperay. I use to be in that club. I agree we should have a horn restriction like 4 points or better, so many on one side, etc. But clubs should manage themselves, our lease in Mississippi we are 6 pt or better that meet state criteria for spread or beam length. We kill nice bucks every year. Last year we killed 2 9 points, 1 10 point and 1 8 point that were wall hangers. Thats a good year, we've had seasons even better we had seasons pretty crummy too. You have to take a personal effort to protect your herd on your place.
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   deerman24
I believe some of you guys are missing the point. Not killing spikes and 4 pointers are not going to increase your herd because they do not produce fawns only does do that. IF you want to increase your herd don't shoot does.
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Hey I'm one of those 29 year old hunter thats ' new to the game' and hold up just a second, because I do not think you can blame this on a certain age group of people. That show you IQ level! Even if ' WE ' do kill our limit don't act like you ' old school ' guys did'nt. I have seen a lot of pics, and heard the stories, so instead of pointing the finger, because you don't know what your talking about lets see if we can come up with a solution.

Know on a lighter note I have been hunting Caldwell parish hard for 3 weeks now. The first 2 weeks I did'nt see any deer and very little sign. This week I have seen about 15 deer in 4 days so it's getting better, and it was this time last year when I started see deer also, but no sign of the rut at all. How about you guys?
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   Ricky Pon
Didn't read thru the comments, but did read the original post. I had a long day and usually when this subject is touched on, some of you let your extra chromosome shine down upon us all, and i can't hold my tongue.

I wouldn't suggest running to the state/government for help. All they are worried about is money money money. They can care less about deer numbers being down, just as long as the licenses are being sold. Don't ever let them fool you. It would be nice if they stepped in and did something, numbered doe days, 4 point or better, minimum spread etc....

It all comes down to us. We are the biggest impact on the environment. I know some people are not the 'mostest' sharp tool in the shed, but you need to face the facts and educate yourself on what is going on. Something has to be done soon and quick, or you can mark my words that next year will be worse and it will continue down that path.

Bottom line, the biggest problem we face is not disease, predators, hurricanes etc.... It's that enough people flat out do not care about management or think twice before they pull trigger. To the ones that do, we number too little to make a difference, unless you are fenced in or own a significant amount of property.

Like marshall said 'it's dose daggum boys in da south dat all dey wants to do is get dere limit of da reds and da specks and da deer.'
Refer to my chromosome statement.....
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OK true, not all new generation members are ' Brown it's Down' minded. There are always exceptions. BUt generally, when making reference to society, it is common to separate into groups. Sure, one of their members can be more conservation minded.

Same with people who live in South LA. Remember the Fla. parish group. They have no French heritage. They more aligned with the pine tree red necks. I live South. I let bucks and does go on public land that I never tell anyone about. People there would freak out. And you really have to dig deep to sit back home and watch live on an internet forum, one of the 29-35 new gen members up there ' a just dusted a button buck ' nex morning ' i just dusted a big ol doe' just dusted a spike ' . They will not stop. The government must stop them by reducing tags and kill allowances.
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   hunt r
We are talking about seperate issues here. Having worked in wildlife lamp knows the tensas issue is simply about habitat, its managed for bear not deer. As for the weather, gumbo cres in a poptop camper first ever muzzleloader hunt. Rained 4 days and nights straight, u couldnt leave crystal oil rd. without hipboots, we still killed over 2,000 deer. The second group is large landowners such as timber companies that keep their numbers low, this won't change. DMAP clubs demand u keep numbers low. So all u have left is medium to small landowners trying to improve the quality of their hunting, not just raiseing trophy bucks. Shooting knotheads and hunting does every day makeing then hard to see are the two biggest problems and the easiest to control, and this is the landowners prob, not the states.T he areas west of the ouachita river and east of the miss. never had many deer, the season opened in the late 60's. The areas i'm talking about are e.carrol, tensas, madison areas the always held lots of deer. I havent heard one shot this whole week.
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The landowner of the Tensas NWR IS the government i.e. USFWS.

This thread seems to be aimed at private leases. I am applying it to Federal NWRs.
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   hunt r
No matter where u apply it, the methods are the same, just the conclusions are different. Seasons are set based on browse surveys, cutovers have more browse than mature trees so harvest numbers are higher. When tnwr was first opened all the woods had been cutover. Now they are closed canopy, cant support 1/10th of the deer. The nwr make a balanced decision, regular landowners can choose to maximize for one species if they want to, so a little browse to nwr means kill more deer, to me it means less food for me to supply. As i've said, no nwr allows bucks only hunting any more, private landowners can. Why should it be legal to kill 6 bucks in a season, as long as 3 dont have horns? Hunters are so insistant on being sure what they're shooting at, but won't protect spikes because they might make a mistake when shooting does.
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The following data are from the statewide mail survey.

Modern firearms hunters kill about 80% of the deer. About 56% of these report killing 0 deer. About 25% report killing 1 deer. About 11% report killing 2 deer. About 5% report killing 3 deer. About 1% report killing 4 deer. Less than 1% report killing 5 or more deer. The mean kill per hunter is 0.8 deer.

Based on these statistics there aren't that many hunters killing their limits. However if hunters had less tags they might be more selective on what they shoot. Maybe.
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Jake we have deer, we have some really nice deer. we see them on game cams and a few get killed every year. What I am talking about is a general down turn state wide. As far as your family getting out Beaucoup< I miss your dad. One of the better hunters i ever had the pleasure to share the woods with.I miss him every season.As far as Joe Ware he has probably killed more bucks in absolute fair chase conditions as anyone in this State. He is a great steward of the land and he owns hundreds of acres of some of the best habitat left in this state.He keeps it as untouched as possible. Politics and personalities clash in all clubs, you were very young and to my knowledge never killed a deer or hunted as much as your dad and brothers. Tell your dad Merry Christmas from me!!
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So, in closing, what it boils down to is this :

The older generation having experienced the conservation upbringing find it easier to stop when THEIR freezer is full, not Joe Blow's and Aunt Tee's. These individuals likely do not seek out to use all 6 tags as if it were a challenge. Their grandpas taught them conservation.

The newer generation, many, but not all, of them tend to look at it as if it were more of an ESPN game, with points to be earned. Brown is down until tags run out. ' we'll find somebody to take the meat. ' This is why, like a dictator, the STATE needs to reduce the tags. They will not stop, so, like a dictator, the state needs to step in and reduce the tags. You are not going to teach these folks or change their mind. Other than that, it will only get worse.
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I'm not convinced that changing the overall limits would be very effective. There are very few people who actually kill their limits. Just because someone can only kill 4 will not mean they will be more selective. The idea that all these young hunters are killing their limits while all the older hunters are on here complaining that there are not seeing any deer doesn't really add up. They may be killing anything that moves but I doubt they are killing their limits. Having statewide doe days instead of 3 doe tags would be more effective I think. Really it boils down to people taking it upon themselves to be more selective.
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Lets take it apart by sentence and analyze.

Older folks are not ' not seeing deer '. They see deer, but they have a freezer full and are letting some go for the future. Now that we got that clarified, lets go to the next sentence.

Alot of folk are taking all 6 deer. They can, it's legal. It's the mindset that differs between these generations. The new generation sees it as cool, put the smack down, wack & stack, etc, points, etc. The older generation, having lived the result of such hunting before, and having been taught conservation by ol school grandpas, tend to take what they can use, and leave some for the rest. That was the ol school conservation prevalent in the late 70's and early 80's. Archery equipment has gotton much more effective, as has skills. Thus, more deer are killed easier.
Until you get the new generation to realize that, unlike the old cartoon we all used to watch where the space man just added water to a cup and made instant martians to chase the coyote, we can't just add water to make instant deer. Conservation.
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limit used to be 6 bucks but doe days were very limited,We used to have to stand in line at the rack year after year. Yes lot of young bucks but happy hunters, don't get me wrong I have killed my share does and younger bucks.I am for trying something new and I know one fix does not fit all regions of the state.I am a hunter that limits out or close most years but i hunt a lot and keep and use what i kill.We have long seasons and liberal limits, maybe to much.....
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Less than 1% of hunters kill 5 or more deer.
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