Are most OTC units like this?

Billy Goat

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Shenandoah Valley
I recall the mods here suggesting that people worried about this should post screenshots of their photos. This has been something I've wondered about too. Is it really that easy for amateur hacker types to get this data from pictures posted on websites like this, or are there more hunters out there that work for the NSA than we think?

I think it's geotagging that gets imbedded in photos. I have been told if you have your location turned off it won't be present.


I think if you know what you are looking at it's not difficult at all to come up with. But I'm not one to know.
 

mfllood3800

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Nov 25, 2016
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Utah
I remember this discussion on here a few years ago and a few members stating, "Oh no the hunting numbers are down".... I kept thinking, where? Not in Utah. The chatter back then was how good it was conservation, how it would help with hunting and wildlife improvement and herd growth and blah blah blah. You know what it did in Utah? It helped the ranchers, political groups and Gov agencies budgets. You know what it didn't help, conservation, herd growth and the quality of hunting. I have seen increasing amounts of hunt pressure with zero increase of law presence, a decline in herd size in 5 years that is simply incomprehensible and yet talks of even more tags being offered to please ranchers and increase State revenue.

You can disagree and that's fine. But hunting out West has become more like an amusement park many have discovered, and State Organizations have seen they can up the admission fees and keep selling tickets and pack crowds in and they are enjoying the profits without much concern to the details of wildlife numbers as long as the general numbers are sustained. They are relying on the honesty of "reporting" by hunters. I know they do in field research as well, but I also know those numbers from field Biologists in my areas are a joke, so spare me.

Western hunting has become a theme park vacation for many people. Pay at the gate, buy the goodies, like a Kifaru or Exo pack, the souveniers like a MTN Ops shirt or Hushin Hat and enjoy the rides. No dig at the brand name products as I own many, but seems it's become more about owning the gear, dressing the part, and paying at the gate, taking pics so you can post on your choice of social media after tromping thru the woods for a week, than the love of the mountains. If you love the mountains and hunting is in your blood then you this won't offend you. If you are a vacationing hunter who comes out West like a trip to Disney World then yes be offended, PLEASE.
 

bnsafe

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Feb 24, 2012
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I hadnt hunted west in 8 years and was shocked at the difference this year compared to then. there was 2 state plates I had never seen in the area before and not sure why but those 2 states were extremely well represented. almost like someone on a hunting site said go here on a state forum, lol. we got into elk, but they were pressured badly and wasnt about to respond. Just part of hunting now days I guess. I will go back, but its not the same feeling of getting away from people as before.
 
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Last time I checked Idaho is one of the fastest growing states. Sooner than later fish and game will have to face this head on and limit otc opportunities because everyones experience is and will be impacted. Thats fine with me. Just shoot a deer every two years. It will really make you think twice about shooting the meat buck.

as for elk, i think fish and game has lost control over much of the magic valley, sawtooth region herd and that is why you see these cow rifle opportunities.

the reality is that there is limited winter range for deer, elk and humans and as Idaho grows which poppulations will be culled? I know which is the most fragile…. double edged sword to say the least.

Anyways, I heard Montanas OTC is like a ghost town….😅
 

dtrkyman

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Oct 2, 2014
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I remember not too long ago everyone chitting on the tv "pros" for hunting ranches and private places and that they could not be successful on public. Be careful what you wish for! The trend right now is public land hunting and the youtubers and ONX have made that even more popular.

Covid added another can of worms and Canada being closed has kept guys in the states, I mean how many guys were taking fishing/hunting trips up north and have stayed home now.

After a few years the newbs will get filtered out and only the serious guys will remain, but there will be more people on the mountain, hunters and hikers!
 
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IDspud

IDspud

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Sep 7, 2021
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I recall the mods here suggesting that people worried about this should post screenshots of their photos. This has been something I've wondered about too. Is it really that easy for amateur hacker types to get this data from pictures posted on websites like this, or are there more hunters out there that work for the NSA than we think?
Really easy to do if the person didn’t know to turn off location services already.
 

Hornpout

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Sep 23, 2021
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15
Either learn some OTC units well and get a feel for where the majority of the hunting pressure comes from or avoid them altogether.
 

def90

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Aug 12, 2020
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Colorado
Welcome to Colorado where every hunting publication, online hunting site, and every youtube influencer has been telling everyone that Colorado has the largest number of elk and the greatest oportunity for the last 20 years.
 

def90

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Aug 12, 2020
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677
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Colorado
I recall the mods here suggesting that people worried about this should post screenshots of their photos. This has been something I've wondered about too. Is it really that easy for amateur hacker types to get this data from pictures posted on websites like this, or are there more hunters out there that work for the NSA than we think?

When you buy a new phone “geo tagging” is always by default turned on in your camera app. Geo tagging inserts the coordinates of where the photo was taken along with time and date and all of the various camera settings. That data is embedded in to the photo image file and can be read through any photo viewing app. Take your pic of your big bull, post it online, now everyone knows where you were. Many digital cameras these days also are able to and will embed gps location info as well. First thing you should do when you get a new phone or camera is to turn off geo or location tagging.
 

Ucsdryder

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Jan 24, 2015
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2,086
What I have seen in Colorado over the past 10 years or so is a big increase in people hunting deep in the designated wilderness areas. When I first moved here 16 years ago, my first elk season I spent a week in the Eagles Nest Wilderness and saw elk and mule deer and had an amazing experience. I was the only truck at the trailhead. Now I bet that same trailhead would have 30-40 vehicles on Labor Day weekend.
I have a spot I had been hunting in unit 16. I killed my first nice bull up there. 7 years ago, there might have been 8 or 10 trucks at the trailhead opening weekend, and most of those guys were hunting g low and on the trails. Opening weekend, the elk would be completely unmolested and feeding in day light hours in the alpine. On a whim I drove through that trailhead parking lot 2 weekends ago, and counted 37 vehicles, most out of state plates.
Yeah you have to adapt, and find the pockets where pressured elk are hiding, but I do miss the days of chasing relatively unmolested elk. I just do not understand why anyone would roll up to a parking spot, see 30 other vehicles, and think “man, this is going to be a good hunt!” LOL


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What’s craY about this is it was 7 years ago…not 20-30. Very similar experience. The place I hunt now I glassed 17 bulls the night before the opener 7 years ago, and every night during the season you could see animals. this year I didn’t see one elk in those meadows glassing many evenings. I did see more people than ever and saw and heard less elk. 7 years. Not 20, not 10…7. What will it look like in 7 more?
 

3forks

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Oct 4, 2014
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I drive through a few units on the way to where I hunt here in Colorado.

My schedule is fairly flexible, so I make the drive from the Denver metro area often during the weekdays of archery season. I won’t be too specific, but on the major routes west, I see A LOT of trucks parked off the road. They aren’t broken down, and I see lots of out of state plates. The point is, it’s not just the trailheads that are busy.

There are tons of podcasts, a lot of guys posting on social media, forums, and everyone is trying to gain followers by posting new tactics to try and differentiate themselves. First, it was backpack deep into the wilderness, and now it’s hunt lower and away from trailheads.

I know there are skilled hunters in the Midwest and East, but I always thought that with the amount of hunters in those areas hunting in close proximity to each other - that there is an element of luck in getting a really big buck. I feel that could be happening in the west, too. With as many guys out in the field doing the same thing, our declining herds are getting pressured and pushed around. Getting into elk consistently is harder to do, and some days I think it’s just because you happened to get into them, and they could be long gone tomorrow.
 

deerhunt1988

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Oct 15, 2017
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MS
Gotta love social media and "influencers". They've already ruined public land turkey hunting in the Eastern U.S. and are now helping ruin western big game too. And believe it or not, state game and fish agencies are even paying them to pimp out our public lands! Georgia has spent $23k on a project with The Hunting Public. Tennessee had paid them $10k+. And they've acknowledged Arizona paying them too. Very timely as their recent Arizona video had 100k views in under 24hrs. There is a reason they are diving into western big game now. $$$
 
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Okhotnik

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N ID
What I have seen in Colorado over the past 10 years or so is a big increase in people hunting deep in the designated wilderness areas. When I first moved here 16 years ago, my first elk season I spent a week in the Eagles Nest Wilderness and saw elk and mule deer and had an amazing experience. I was the only truck at the trailhead. Now I bet that same trailhead would have 30-40 vehicles on Labor Day weekend.
I have a spot I had been hunting in unit 16. I killed my first nice bull up there. 7 years ago, there might have been 8 or 10 trucks at the trailhead opening weekend, and most of those guys were hunting g low and on the trails. Opening weekend, the elk would be completely unmolested and feeding in day light hours in the alpine. On a whim I drove through that trailhead parking lot 2 weekends ago, and counted 37 vehicles, most out of state plates.
Yeah you have to adapt, and find the pockets where pressured elk are hiding, but I do miss the days of chasing relatively unmolested elk. I just do not understand why anyone would roll up to a parking spot, see 30 other vehicles, and think “man, this is going to be a good hunt!” LOL


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Randy Newberg should make another youtube video of your area and ask Colorado to pay him for it like in Arizona
 

bluetick78

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Jan 12, 2017
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Idaho Falls,ID
I saw more plates from Washington and Oregon than ever before this season during archery elk. Of the guys I spoke with, most were mid-20's, uneducated, and told me they were staying the whole season. When I asked how that was possible, they replied with "unemployment bro", or something to that effect. I did get to witness 2 guys busting elk left and right out of 3 drainages. They were pro's at it, almost surgical. They talked louder than any hunters I've ever met, they talked loud enough for me to eavesdrop from 3/4 of a mile. Their bugling sounded like a magpie playing a kazoo. Their uncanny ability to skyline themselves, play the elk kazoo, and talk really loud simultaneously was beyond impressive. There's a few guys other than myself that hunt that area, and we were all extremely impressed at how they blew all the elk out in under a day. It took the better part of a week for the elk to start filtering back in, and they were skittish and quiet upon arrival. Luckily the kazoo playing magpies left and I could begin hunting again, but I'll never look at nonres hunters the same.
 

xnader

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Nov 28, 2020
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15
It's getting like that everywhere.
Down here on Mobile Bay the Teal season has been open
a couple weeks. I have never seen so many mud boats at
the boat ramp DURING THE WEEK as I have the past few.
Do people not work anymore?
Same here. Went out for the opener of our northern zone in WI last weekend. Got to the boat ramp at 11pm just for giggles, couldnt believe my eyes when there was already 13 trucks sitting there with boats unloaded
 

S.Clancy

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Jan 28, 2015
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Montana
We hunt some really popular spots for opener of deer and elk, archery and rifle. I've counted over 30 vehicles on one road, and 14 vehicles at one parking area. Guess what, we still killed elk regularly. It just takes some creativity.
 

brn2hnt

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Feb 27, 2012
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Treasure Valley, ID
Part of the reason I moved to Idaho was to enjoy the vast public land and hunting opportunities. Rifle season turned into an absolute joke pretty quickly. Opening day sounds like a war zone and there is someone on every ridge. Campers and tents stack up like a circus. I can only imagine how pissed the born and raised locals are.

Archery was way better for a minute, but this year it seems like it’s turned into the same thing. It feels more like groups of hunters flushing game back and forth until someone gets lucky. Now that I've really gotten to know the unit(s) I hunt it seems like there is virtually no ground that isn't hit. I've hiked ridge to ridge over some really rough terrain and still find boot tracks in the middle between access points.

I cannot stand feeling like I'm hunting for a spot to myself more than hunting for actual game. Is this pretty typical or do I need to start figuring out another unit much further away? If I finally tag a bull the fact that 15 other hunters have been chasing him back and forth until I got the lucky chance shot kind of takes away from the experience of "hunting." I definitely don't want it to be easy and handed to me, but this seems more like luck than skill.

What do you consider normal pressure for OTC units for deer and elk? Are you hunting areas that only you are in, or do you expect to have company there? If you hike 10 miles across the mountains from the nearest access point are you surprised to find boot tracks there? Am I dreaming thinking that I should be able to do a day of hiking and no one else has been there in the last few days or week?


Here's a picture I made of one section of the unit(green boundary). The red dots and lines are just people I have seen(including myself and my route) in one single day. If that's what can be hit in one day I'm guessing that every draw has absolutely been hit and probably frequently. Is this normal? Or way too much pressure?
Is it normal? For that mountain it sure is lol. Pro tip, go easy on posting photos that anyone can identify in less than 5 min on a map service.

There's plenty of good deer taken in that unit, but the type of people who kill those good deer are smart enough to not hang the antlers up to advertise the result.
 
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IDspud

IDspud

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Is it normal? For that mountain it sure is lol. Pro tip, go easy on posting photos that anyone can identify in less than 5 min on a map service.

There's plenty of good deer taken in that unit, but the type of people who kill those good deer are smart enough to not hang the antlers up to advertise the result.
Why would someone go through all the trouble of trying to match up google earth maps over the state of Idaho for a unit that I'm saying is blown out and sucks lol. If they do more power to them...
 

Rob5589

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Sep 6, 2014
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W Sac CA
Spent 9 days in Idaho this season. Spoke to 3 guys, saw maybe 6 others, always on a road. And I don't go "deep" being that I am solo; 1 to 1.5 miles tops. Midweek I was likely the only hunter in the area. The rest were some MT conservation corp guys and a few loggers. Same as last year in the same zone. I've hunted that southeast zone everyone adores several times and rarely run into anyone else other than passing by one another on the roads.
 

FLATHEAD

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Jun 27, 2021
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Same here. Went out for the opener of our northern zone in WI last weekend. Got to the boat ramp at 11pm just for giggles, couldnt believe my eyes when there was already 13 trucks sitting there with boats unloaded
There aint a duck alive that would make me do that.
 
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