Western Hunting losing it's appeal

EastHumboldt

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Nov 14, 2020
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389
Somebody may have already covered this... I didn’t read the whole thread. First thought is yes western hunting is starting to suck so if I was you I wouldn’t bother with it anymore.

Second thought is. the problem is this: When I was born in 1958 the population of the planet was 2.9 billion and the population of the US was 174 million. Now its 7.8 billion and 328 million. More than double world wide and almost double nationally. Too many people going after too few resources. I love my two grandchildren, but the rest of you stop having so many f#@ing babies!

Curmudgeon out.
 

mwebs

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Sep 2, 2018
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ID
This may have been stated in different terms, but I took a massive pay cut a long time ago to move to my desired location. Everyone on this thread has the same opportunity to do so, not that I want you to haha. It’s just like people that complain about no jobs where they live, guess what they are out there somewhere, do you think I wanted to live in Minot, ND before moving to ID, nope but there was money and jobs so that’s where I went.

I don’t feel sorry for anyone, it’s simple supply and demand. There is a finite resource of big game in the west and every hunter from every corner of the country apparently wants to hunt them. The price should reflect that.

I sometimes hunt with out of state friends and they are not coming this year, it’s a bummer but they will hunt more in their neck of the woods.
 

jmez

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Jun 12, 2012
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Piedmont, SD
There will always be opportunity. It may not be the opportunity that you want but there will be something there none the less.

I'd rather hunt a "crowded" unit than not hunt at all. I'd rather hunt for any animal than not be able to hunt because of trophy quality.

I have a couple sets of elk horns on the wall. They are kinda neat. They just hang there. They'll get thrown away, given away or sold when I die if my kids don't want them. I've had several hunts where antlers were off limits to me. I enjoy those hunts as much as the bull hunts. I'm in the mountains with rutting elk hunting them the same way as if I had a bull tag. I don't take more enjoyment out of one over the other. Die with memories, not dreams.
 

dmozer74

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Jun 5, 2020
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17
As a Colorado resident I understand your frustration. However the states are charged with regulating the populations of game animals and balancing that with their own budgets and making sure they’re taking care of their own citizens first. CPW makes some odd choices and at the top of that is our current system for OTC hunting. It seems they care more about balancing budget with little regard to population health and growth of trophy opportunities.
 

adam634

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Dec 6, 2015
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None your business
Yep for sure I’d start looking elsewhere
lots of other good hunts and basically what I’ve done is I hunt my home state, save up for Alaska sheep and take advantage of various whitetail opportunities and turkeys. we have been our own worst enemy for opportunity by pounding “hunter recruitment“ and glorifying ”backpack hunting”
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
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The reality of more people wanting to hunt means fewer tags unless wildlife populations grow or at the least don’t shrink. Probably the best way to accomplish that is to ensure they have habitat which means protecting more land from development. It’s important to advocate for and if you can donate money to protect land. It may not benefit you in your lifetime but maybe it will help your kids. If not your kids it will benefit a stranger and that’s good too. I’m as discouraged about the direction things seem heading as the next guy but think there should be some talk about how we maintain or expand populations to increase opportunity so long as we don’t get to the point of land being over carrying capacity.
 

540-Virginian

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Dec 6, 2020
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Shenandoah Valley
People always seem to complain about low hunter recruitment, too much hunting pressure on OTC tags, too low of draw odds on better units, point creep, and increased tag cost. The problem is all these things compete with each other. You can't make a change to one without affecting the others (and usually in a negative way).

I've hunted OTC elk in Colorado twice while having success both years and come across very few people while hunting (and this is in one of the most crowded units in CO). One year was a back country hunt and the other was road hunting (day hunting within 2 miles of the road). One was also as a NR and the other as a resident. I'll continue to hunt CO off and on for the rest of my hunting time.

I feel like people are going to complain no matter what changes are made because people just like to complain.

I have never hunted out west (would like to one day), but this comment reminds me of hunting whitetails on public land in Virginia. People complained it was too crowded, then the complained there are no deer. I grew up hunting private but have been hunting public big National Forest last few years.

all I can assess from my experience is that people hate to do any work to find deer. Managed properties make it ridiculously easy to roll up to your heated blind over a perfect food crop by way of a $10k atv. Then only spend a few mornings ‘hunting’ to shoot a massive buck.

public land in Virginia requires you to walk maybe 30 mins or more and hike up maybe 700-1000k of elevation to find a deer and a nice shooter 6-8 point. But since that’s not right next to the road everyone complains.

I share this as I am curious if the complaint for out west is the same except you guys have bigger mountains so the walking and hiking is obviously more so your lazy is not near as lazy as ours is...
 

CorbLand

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Joined
Mar 16, 2016
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2,236
I have never hunted out west (would like to one day), but this comment reminds me of hunting whitetails on public land in Virginia. People complained it was too crowded, then the complained there are no deer. I grew up hunting private but have been hunting public big National Forest last few years.

all I can assess from my experience is that people hate to do any work to find deer. Managed properties make it ridiculously easy to roll up to your heated blind over a perfect food crop by way of a $10k atv. Then only spend a few mornings ‘hunting’ to shoot a massive buck.

public land in Virginia requires you to walk maybe 30 mins or more and hike up maybe 700-1000k of elevation to find a deer and a nice shooter 6-8 point. But since that’s not right next to the road everyone complains.

I share this as I am curious if the complaint for out west is the same except you guys have bigger mountains so the walking and hiking is obviously more so your lazy is not near as lazy as ours is...
There is a lot of truth in this. I don't care how you hunt, what really bothers me is when people don't put very much effort in, then complain that there aren't animals.

My wife drew a cow elk tag in 2020, she was working full time and doing an internship in the medical field. I started a new job in July that was a difficult to learn. She was exhausted, I was exhausted, so we didn't hunt that hard. We slept in some days, never hiked more than a mile or two. Never could get an elk killed. Another kid I know that got them same tag hunted for 1 day, then complained that there weren't elk and that he would rather get the tag once every 5 years and have 100% success then every other and have ~30% success rates that it currently is. My wife and I were both like, we didn't hunt that hard so we got the success for what we gave.

I had a guy tell me that he would rather get 2 deer tags in 40 years and kill two 200 inch deer than get a tag every year for 40 years and kill two 200 inch deer out of those. Same outcome, but one you get to hunt every year.

Drives me nuts when people would rather limit everyone's opportunity so they can have a higher level of success.
 

Socal858

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
93
It’s probably been said already but It could always be better but it could certainly be a whole lot worse. You can hunt your own state every year for some of us (ca resident) and pick up cow elk, pronghorn, deer tags, in a multitude of other states every 1-3 years and cycle through them so as to not have a drought. Tag fees are typically a drop in the bucket compared to what I spend on gas and other resources to make these memories happen. Additionally i am putting in for points in some of these areas that are managed for quality in the hopes that in 10-20 years I get that experience. Bottom line is it’s pretty damn good, the biggest hurdle is time.…
Cheers,
MV
 

Fatcamp

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May 31, 2017
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Sodak
Not at all, the unlimited whitetail specific tags are 95% (wild ass guessing) public, well past a majority of leftover deer tags are mostly public land as well.
Interesting. I will have to look into that. We have kids in Fort Collins, always looking to head out there.
 
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