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2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

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2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby BIGERN76 » Thu May 19, 2011 9:01 pm

Has any one seen the new reg for next hunting season? I was never familiar with the national forest regs but it looks like they are changing the youth seasons again and allowing kids to take any buck for the three buck limit. Its on the MDWFP website if yall are interested.

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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby gtk » Fri May 20, 2011 7:46 am

have not seen them yet
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby FireCloud » Sun May 22, 2011 9:12 pm

It should be universal across the state, regardless of where you are hunting, for any youth to be able to take any buck for his FIRST deer. I always thought the intent was for the "any buck" rule for a youth to be a "once in a lifetime" thing so that after a youth kills his very first deer, from that point forward a youth hunter is bound by the same rules as any other hunter. But I suspect some youth and the adults who supervise them tend to consider the any buck rule to be an "every year" benefit of being a youth hunter.

I am not sure that was what was intended, however, since research shows that the herd is IMPROVED by harvesting SPIKE bucks, it might pay to always allow a youth to harvest any SPIKE bucks as any (or all) of their three bucks. They should NOT however harvest "forkhorn" young bucks (except for their once in a lifetime FIRST deer.)

That would be a "win-win" situation for everyone. A youth could kill any buck for his very first once in a lifetime deer kill. After than he could shoot as many spike bucks as he wanted. As a youth became a more "mature" hunter and desired to bag a buck with a decent rack, he could then simply abide by the same rules as adult hunters do with the current antler regulations. I think that would be a way to provide a stepped program which would allow for youths of different ages to advance to the same level as adult hunters as they develop their hunting skills. Plus, overall, taking spikes from the herd would help the herd produce better bucks for all hunters as the forkhorn or better younger deer would be proportionally greater in number in the gene pool due to the youth harvesting at least some spikes.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby reesguide » Mon May 23, 2011 11:09 am

Never thought that the one of the youth's deer, not first, was a lifetime thing. Was never intended that way as it shouldn't be. Until they are 16 let em hunt in my opinion. Most that have been hunting a few years dont care anything about killing a small buck but if it makes em happy go for it.
Deer hunting and the outdoors is about enjoyment, I know some that are tickled to death with a BUCK period. To each there own but this regulation was never intended to be first in their life or even first in a particular season. Think it says " one of which" doesnt say first, last or whatever.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby BigRic » Mon May 23, 2011 6:55 pm

I'm with REES, Every year it says 1 buck of any size for 3 buck limit for youth. let'um shoot for they are the future hunters.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby FireCloud » Mon May 23, 2011 10:33 pm

In the day and age when I grew up there were NO special rules for youth hunters....no special seasons....no weapon exemptions....no exemptions from antler restrictions. EVERY hunter, youth or otherwise, had to abide by the same rules...no exceptions. And there were MORE deer hunters then, by a country mile, than there are today. So creating something different for youth hunters has absolutely NOT worked to increase the ranks of hunters in general...at least not over the past half century!!

When I grew up, virtually every guy I knew wanted to deer hunt and thought NOTHING about the rules being the same for a youth hunter as they were for an adult. In fact, part of the challenge for a youth was to be able to demonstrate he also was able to bring down a legal buck just as an adult could. The lack of "softer, easier rules" was not seen as something any of us wanted...in fact, I dare say the guys I knew would have considered it a sissy approach to be treated any different with the rules. I guarantee you that none of us would have wanted to be given a "special hunting season" apart from normal adult hunting season and be allowed to shoot bucks that were not legal for adults to shoot as a concession to us being "youths." Part of the pride we had of being HUNTERS was to be able to say any buck we killed was a buck any adult would also have killed and that our deer was taken during the same hunting seasons while hunting side by side with adults on an "equal" basis.

Of course no one in that day and age followed the absurd practice of trying to get 3, 4, and 5 year old children to pull the trigger on a deer. The priviledge of hunting with a firearm, like many other "adult" benefits of growing up, was reserved for those youths who had learned how to safely handle and use firearms. I was typical of guys my age and did not get a weapon capable of being used for deer hunting until I was 12 years old. Almost no one got a deer weapon before age 10. I killed my first buck, a decent 8 point, at age 15. It did not cause me to lose interest in hunting ONE BIT by not being able to kill a deer the first time I got into a tree stand. Nor did any of my friends lose their interest in hunting because they did not always bag a buck the first time or two, or even the first year or two, they tried.

What would have caused every one of us to quit "hunting" would have been to have a special season set up for us, create all sorts of exemptions from the normal rules of the sport, etc. merely to give us an "easy kill" on any buck that walked by. That is what you would do for "kids" ....not what any self respecting youth with a little age and maturity would want done for them. Killing a deer back then, when the limit for any hunter was ONE buck, was a "rite of passage" into the exclusive "club" of deer hunters. If it had been something like it is now, when "Daddy" aims and holds the rifle for a 5 year old to pull the trigger, every guy I knew would have laid "hunting" by and NEVER done it again.

I know my thinking is polarly opposite of the "politically correct" way things are done now but the PROOF is in the pudding, as the old saying goes, and the facts are how it was done back then resulted in MORE net hunters in the sport in times past than we have today. If the way we are doing things now is so great, why are we not getting more youths to become hunters? I'd like to hear some answers to that question.

When "hunting" ceases to be about learning and applying skills in order to pursue the game and bag it cleanly and via fair chase but instead becomes "shooting fish in a barrel" it LOSES its appeal as a sport. On the current path we are traveling today, with creating more and more "special deals" to give youth an advantage no one else in the hunting world gets, I believe we are instilling the idea that deer hunting is "easy"...and if it is not, then we will make special rules that make it easier so that "everyone" can succeed (that's the political correctness idea at work, because it is considered "uncouth" for everyone not to be able to succeed in our politically correct world.)

When we lower standards and create exceptions to the rules it is the same principle as "no fail" in school where we pass everyone regardless of whether or not they have learned the material they should learn. In the day I grew up, if you did not learn the material, you were failed and repeated the grade until you could pass the exams, even if it took you several times to do it. And if you could not do it, you were then seen as what you were by society, a person unable to pass basic schooling. That level of stigma alone motived a large number of slower learning students to buckle down and learn the material. I know that worked, because I used to tutor some of the slower learners free of cost simply to help those that wanted to learn be able to get to the next grade. They came to me seeking help because they wanted to graduate. Those that didn't care, eventually just dropped out. But before you say that dropouts are not good, consider that the old school system of failing student who did not learn had a LOWER drop out rate than the huge drop out rate we now have in Mississippi with our "no one fails" approach! The point I am making is setting standards and enforcing them in a school system creates a system where it "means something" to get a diploma. Today, drop outs occur because most kids think the idea of a high school diploma is a joke...since we pass anyone even if they did not learn the material. It diminishes the value of the diploma. It is for that very reason, for example, that Ole Miss has RAISED its admission standards. It is to raise the cailber of the student body academically and for those who do get a diploma to know it was not granted for sub par performance.

I feel that lowering the standards for hunting in order to make it easy for even a very young child to kill a deer reduces the attraction of our pastime as a true sport. Bending the rules is not how to create value to the idea of being a hunter. It's like lowering the admission standards so that even the truly dumb people can be admitted to college. That cheapens the value of the degree whereas raising standards enhances it.

Every sport I know has an element of sincere challenge to it. Take away the challenge, and you kill the interest in the sport for anyone except those who are simply too feeble to handle the challenge and feel life "owes" them an entitlement to make it eaiser for them to do what everyone else does.

The traditional path to getting youths into hunting, in decades past, was to take them on small game hunts, teach them how to use small caliber firearms such as a .22 rifle, and teach them woodsmanship, hunting skills, marksmanship, etc. on the small game animals and birds. Then, after having learned and demonstrated the knowledge necessary to safely hunt for big game animals, a youth hunter would have earned the right to use a greater weapon and hunt for deer or other big game animals. That is STILL a very valid path to getting youth into the sport. But it REQUIRES involvement of the adult hunter in the youth's life to spend the time hunting with and teaching hunting principles.

I began hunting with my father at age 5 and spent 7 more years walking at his side on hundreds of hunts before being allowed to carry my own weapon starting at age 12. In those many hunting adventures, I was allowed to take some shots under adult supervision as I was taught gun use, safety, and marksmanship "hands on." I fully understood that carrying a firearm and being able to take shots at a game animal on my own inititive carried with it a grave responsiblity, equal to being allowed to drive a car on the roads by myself. When I had learned how to do either in a responsible way, I would earn that priviledge...and until I had done so, regardless of my age, I would NOT be allowed to hunt on my own. I had the good sense to understand that there is a vast difference between being allowed to sit in a parent's lap and steer a car around in a vacant field and being able to drive that car on a public road all by myself. Same thing with deer hunting. Had I "sat in my parent's lap" and pulled the trigger on a gun aimed by a parent at a deer, I would ABSOLUTELY NOT have considered that "hunting" any more than I would have considered steering a car around a pasture was "driving"...at least not after I was about 6 years old and had enough basic intelligence to understand the difference.

We are not fooling our kids today when we tell them they are "hunting" while we "rig" the system in their favor. That only works when the kids are very young children and then only for a few years. After that, any self respecting youth understands the difference between "real hunting" and all the "special rules' created to gimic the sport to allow them to succeeed.

I for one say we need to discard the present "rig it so a kid can win" practices we are doing now and modify the approach to, at the least, create an "AGE APPROPRIATE" level of rules. That could easily be done by allowing the "shoot any buck" rule to only apply for youths under age 10, for example. From 10 to 15, youths could be allowed to shoot any spike buck, for the reasons stated previously, or any normal, legal buck if they so choose but NOT just "any buck." Assumingly, they would have had plenty of years to shoot any buck before turning 10 years old. Upon turning 16, standard "adult" rules would apply with NO special seasons, weapon exemptions, or antler restriction exemptions.

I'll even go one step further for the benefit of all those parents who really use their kids as an excuse to shoot any deer they see. Up to and through age 5, I'd be willing to suspend ALL deer hunting rules and allow any kid of that age to shoot a deer over bait, in a pen, or heck, even tied with a rope to a tree if that is what you want to do. Your average 4 year old is not going to understand what is happening anyway nor be able to know if shooting a "deer on a rope" or in a pen, etc. is sportsmanship or not. And the average daddy who is pretending in his mind that he is teaching his kid how to be a hunter probably does not care either!
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby Bullie » Tue May 24, 2011 6:41 am

Nice Post FC. You are spot on in my opinion. Mentors used to take kids hunting during the regular season, even if it meant the grownup might not be able to shoot the big buck.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby reesguide » Tue May 24, 2011 9:26 am

FireCloud wrote:In the day and age when I grew up there were NO special rules for youth hunters....no special seasons....no weapon exemptions....no exemptions from antler restrictions. EVERY hunter, youth or otherwise, had to abide by the same rules...no exceptions. And there were MORE deer hunters then, by a country mile, than there are today. So creating something different for youth hunters has absolutely NOT worked to increase the ranks of hunters in general...at least not over the past half century!!

When I grew up, virtually every guy I knew wanted to deer hunt and thought NOTHING about the rules being the same for a youth hunter as they were for an adult. In fact, part of the challenge for a youth was to be able to demonstrate he also was able to bring down a legal buck just as an adult could. The lack of "softer, easier rules" was not seen as something any of us wanted...in fact, I dare say the guys I knew would have considered it a sissy approach to be treated any different with the rules. I guarantee you that none of us would have wanted to be given a "special hunting season" apart from normal adult hunting season and be allowed to shoot bucks that were not legal for adults to shoot as a concession to us being "youths." Part of the pride we had of being HUNTERS was to be able to say any buck we killed was a buck any adult would also have killed and that our deer was taken during the same hunting seasons while hunting side by side with adults on an "equal" basis.

Of course no one in that day and age followed the absurd practice of trying to get 3, 4, and 5 year old children to pull the trigger on a deer. The priviledge of hunting with a firearm, like many other "adult" benefits of growing up, was reserved for those youths who had learned how to safely handle and use firearms. I was typical of guys my age and did not get a weapon capable of being used for deer hunting until I was 12 years old. Almost no one got a deer weapon before age 10. I killed my first buck, a decent 8 point, at age 15. It did not cause me to lose interest in hunting ONE BIT by not being able to kill a deer the first time I got into a tree stand. Nor did any of my friends lose their interest in hunting because they did not always bag a buck the first time or two, or even the first year or two, they tried.

What would have caused every one of us to quit "hunting" would have been to have a special season set up for us, create all sorts of exemptions from the normal rules of the sport, etc. merely to give us an "easy kill" on any buck that walked by. That is what you would do for "kids" ....not what any self respecting youth with a little age and maturity would want done for them. Killing a deer back then, when the limit for any hunter was ONE buck, was a "rite of passage" into the exclusive "club" of deer hunters. If it had been something like it is now, when "Daddy" aims and holds the rifle for a 5 year old to pull the trigger, every guy I knew would have laid "hunting" by and NEVER done it again.

I know my thinking is polarly opposite of the "politically correct" way things are done now but the PROOF is in the pudding, as the old saying goes, and the facts are how it was done back then resulted in MORE net hunters in the sport in times past than we have today. If the way we are doing things now is so great, why are we not getting more youths to become hunters? I'd like to hear some answers to that question.

When "hunting" ceases to be about learning and applying skills in order to pursue the game and bag it cleanly and via fair chase but instead becomes "shooting fish in a barrel" it LOSES its appeal as a sport. On the current path we are traveling today, with creating more and more "special deals" to give youth an advantage no one else in the hunting world gets, I believe we are instilling the idea that deer hunting is "easy"...and if it is not, then we will make special rules that make it easier so that "everyone" can succeed (that's the political correctness idea at work, because it is considered "uncouth" for everyone not to be able to succeed in our politically correct world.)

When we lower standards and create exceptions to the rules it is the same principle as "no fail" in school where we pass everyone regardless of whether or not they have learned the material they should learn. In the day I grew up, if you did not learn the material, you were failed and repeated the grade until you could pass the exams, even if it took you several times to do it. And if you could not do it, you were then seen as what you were by society, a person unable to pass basic schooling. That level of stigma alone motived a large number of slower learning students to buckle down and learn the material. I know that worked, because I used to tutor some of the slower learners free of cost simply to help those that wanted to learn be able to get to the next grade. They came to me seeking help because they wanted to graduate. Those that didn't care, eventually just dropped out. But before you say that dropouts are not good, consider that the old school system of failing student who did not learn had a LOWER drop out rate than the huge drop out rate we now have in Mississippi with our "no one fails" approach! The point I am making is setting standards and enforcing them in a school system creates a system where it "means something" to get a diploma. Today, drop outs occur because most kids think the idea of a high school diploma is a joke...since we pass anyone even if they did not learn the material. It diminishes the value of the diploma. It is for that very reason, for example, that Ole Miss has RAISED its admission standards. It is to raise the cailber of the student body academically and for those who do get a diploma to know it was not granted for sub par performance.

I feel that lowering the standards for hunting in order to make it easy for even a very young child to kill a deer reduces the attraction of our pastime as a true sport. Bending the rules is not how to create value to the idea of being a hunter. It's like lowering the admission standards so that even the truly dumb people can be admitted to college. That cheapens the value of the degree whereas raising standards enhances it.

Every sport I know has an element of sincere challenge to it. Take away the challenge, and you kill the interest in the sport for anyone except those who are simply too feeble to handle the challenge and feel life "owes" them an entitlement to make it eaiser for them to do what everyone else does.

The traditional path to getting youths into hunting, in decades past, was to take them on small game hunts, teach them how to use small caliber firearms such as a .22 rifle, and teach them woodsmanship, hunting skills, marksmanship, etc. on the small game animals and birds. Then, after having learned and demonstrated the knowledge necessary to safely hunt for big game animals, a youth hunter would have earned the right to use a greater weapon and hunt for deer or other big game animals. That is STILL a very valid path to getting youth into the sport. But it REQUIRES involvement of the adult hunter in the youth's life to spend the time hunting with and teaching hunting principles.

I began hunting with my father at age 5 and spent 7 more years walking at his side on hundreds of hunts before being allowed to carry my own weapon starting at age 12. In those many hunting adventures, I was allowed to take some shots under adult supervision as I was taught gun use, safety, and marksmanship "hands on." I fully understood that carrying a firearm and being able to take shots at a game animal on my own inititive carried with it a grave responsiblity, equal to being allowed to drive a car on the roads by myself. When I had learned how to do either in a responsible way, I would earn that priviledge...and until I had done so, regardless of my age, I would NOT be allowed to hunt on my own. I had the good sense to understand that there is a vast difference between being allowed to sit in a parent's lap and steer a car around in a vacant field and being able to drive that car on a public road all by myself. Same thing with deer hunting. Had I "sat in my parent's lap" and pulled the trigger on a gun aimed by a parent at a deer, I would ABSOLUTELY NOT have considered that "hunting" any more than I would have considered steering a car around a pasture was "driving"...at least not after I was about 6 years old and had enough basic intelligence to understand the difference.

We are not fooling our kids today when we tell them they are "hunting" while we "rig" the system in their favor. That only works when the kids are very young children and then only for a few years. After that, any self respecting youth understands the difference between "real hunting" and all the "special rules' created to gimic the sport to allow them to succeeed.

I for one say we need to discard the present "rig it so a kid can win" practices we are doing now and modify the approach to, at the least, create an "AGE APPROPRIATE" level of rules. That could easily be done by allowing the "shoot any buck" rule to only apply for youths under age 10, for example. From 10 to 15, youths could be allowed to shoot any spike buck, for the reasons stated previously, or any normal, legal buck if they so choose but NOT just "any buck." Assumingly, they would have had plenty of years to shoot any buck before turning 10 years old. Upon turning 16, standard "adult" rules would apply with NO special seasons, weapon exemptions, or antler restriction exemptions.

I'll even go one step further for the benefit of all those parents who really use their kids as an excuse to shoot any deer they see. Up to and through age 5, I'd be willing to suspend ALL deer hunting rules and allow any kid of that age to shoot a deer over bait, in a pen, or heck, even tied with a rope to a tree if that is what you want to do. Your average 4 year old is not going to understand what is happening anyway nor be able to know if shooting a "deer on a rope" or in a pen, etc. is sportsmanship or not. And the average daddy who is pretending in his mind that he is teaching his kid how to be a hunter probably does not care either!

Sometimes I think you have fever, a high one at that, when you are making some of these post. Different time from when you and I grew up and as far as being less people deer hunting now I dont buy that at all.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby Bullie » Tue May 24, 2011 9:38 am

I can remember driving through Holly Spring NF and every little pull off had a campsite, and the campsites were full of hunters. All it takes to come to the conclusion that there are fewer hunters is to see lic. sales numbers.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby reesguide » Tue May 24, 2011 1:20 pm

I personally think that the deer hunting numbers are up, license sales are likely down due to the small game not being hunted as much. Also, when we were growing up we didn't have deer in our back yard like we do now, most shy away from public land if they can help it hunting deer. That used to be the only place to hunt em, not anymore.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby FireCloud » Tue May 24, 2011 11:19 pm

I am never offended when anyone challenges any statements I make. When I write, I expect some will disagree. It's everyone's right in life to believe anything they want...even if it is not factual. Example, you can believe the moon is made of cheeze if you want to...but that does not make it so!

I don't deal with "beliefs"...I deal with proven facts, especially when I write a statement that is likely to be challenged. Last year, when I was writing in a blog on this website, I wrote a couple of well researched articles regarding the decline in the number of hunters. The data stated in those articles was taken from several sources, but the best overall source I found were the published studies done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They have done this SAME research study for several decades and have a vast amount of data to show the change in hunters, fishermen, and others who engage in outdoor activities (chiefly nature observance, ie. bird watching and the like.) By the way, there are more "wildlife observers" than their are hunters in our state!

Without rehashing the articles I have already written and posted that clearly state the conclusions born out by this research, I will say the trend for at least the last two decades has been one of DRAMATIC decline in the number of hunters of any and every kind. Even if you choose not to believe it, John, the data shows that if you added up ALL the hunters that exist today of any kind (deer, turkey, duck, or whatever) there are less than HALF the number of hunters that existed when I grew up. We don't have more, we have less...whether you choose to believe it or not.

And the breakdown of the type of hunters does not show that there are more deer hunters today than there were decades ago. Sorry to burst your bubble, John, but the data says you are simply wrong. You can access the full reports, which are a couple dozen pages long, for any period online as these are official government publications.

Therefore, I am not suffering from fever, delusion, nor even the effects of my 107 proof whiskey that I like as I write my posts. I researched the data, based my statements on valid facts, and simply acknowledged the pitiful conclusion that the research shows, which is that only about seven percent (7%) of the total population in Mississippi still hunts. That means 93% of the population DOES NOT HUNT. Like it or not, that is a dramatic decline in the number of hunters over the last generation or two.

Thus, I think it is VERY realistic to assess whether or not the public policies our government and the social thinkers of the day practice are accomplishing any worthwhile objectives as they go down the present path. More and more, I agree with the many media commentators who argue that government, regardless of who is running it, cannot run anything successfully. In general, it is hard to think of anything government excells at doing. But it is incredibly easy to list hundreds of things government fails at doing well. Programs and rules put in place to promote "social equality" and make everyone "succeed" by simply modifying the rules to make it ridiculously easy or to ignore any failure to do what is required for true success are a form of liberal thinking that has produce little or no measureable benefit.

Let's consider how you would realistically measure the results of a public policy enacted to create special priviledges for youth hunters. Since older generations of adult hunters sooner or later stop hunting for one reason or the other (health, age, disability, death, etc.) it is IMPOSSIBLE for there to be more hunters today than previously unless there are "new recruits" enlisted into the ranks of hunters. If there were no youth hunters entering into the sport, the older hunters would simply die off or otherwise stop hunting and you would see the total numbers of hunters decline over time. THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT THE FACTUAL DATA SHOWS TO BE THE TREND OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DECADES!!!

The programs and rules crafted by our government wildlife agencies are what is designed to bring in those "new recruits" in the form of youth hunters, with the idea that if they are introduced into the sport and find it interesting, they will boost the ranks of adult hunters. So how would you logically measure whether or not the recruitment of youth hunters as a result of all these special rules, seasons, etc. is working? The ONLY logical way is to assess whether or not the ranks of hunters is growing. If it is, then the youth programs might be responsible for the increase and therefore should be continued. But if NOT, then why the heck keep doing something that is not working? One definiition of insanity is to repeatedly do the same thing but expect different results.

We have had special youth programs and policies in place long enough to assess if they are making a difference. And we count the numbers of hunters, by ages and many other categories, on a regular basis. So if the programs are working, the numbers would absolutely HAVE to show it. I don't see the numbers proving the current methods work and I am outspoken and intelligent enough to say so. It's like saying the Emperor has no clothes on....he didn't, but there was only one person who actually was willing to speak out and say so!

I am not against youth hunters. I am very much FOR them!! In fact, despite critizing the MDWFP quite often I have repeatedly applauded their effort to do things to try to recruit youths into hunting and fishing. But trying is not enough. That is the same situation we see in public school education in many districts today. All the programs, policies, and other things being "tried" simply are NOT producing students who achieve the desired results on standardized tests. In fact, we cannot even get the drop out rate under control in our state despite all the rules and programs designed to produce more graduates. When it comes to government efforts to accomplish results via its programs and policies, you absolutely have to evaluate and measure performance, grading it according to whether it is working or failing. And when the results show that the goals are not being achieved, then it is time to STOP doing what is being done and do something different. In fact, it may be way past time to make a change. I just hope it's not too late!

If we don't find a solution to the declining number of hunters, which is already down to only 7% of the population, we will fairly soon reach a "point of no return" when the license and other revenues will not support the state agencies and the 93% plus of the non-hunting population refuses to allow general tax dollars to be spent to support a "blood sport" practiced by only a handful of people.

Many of you don't have a clue as to the abismal financial shape at least some of our state agencies are in. I sat in on two state agency meetings last week where two licensure boards in our state are flat broke. They don't have the money on hand to pay bills which are due today and are having to wait on the July 1 appropriation to arrive so they can pay debts due in May. One of those licensure boards is supposed to have 5 board members on it. It only has two members remaining, and both of them have remained past the expiration of their terms. The Governor has the responsibility to appoint members to any vacant or expired terms but apparently cannot even find anyone in the industry willing to serve. The board is essentially non-functional which means it is not able to do the job it is supposed to be doing to protect the public. Why? Because the ranks of those engaged in that profession have declined horribly due to the economy and the entire agency is simply collapsing because there is not enough revenue coming in to make it work. Same thing with the other state agency I monitored who has seen its ranks of licensed professionals drop by about 40% over the past few years. They don't have funds with which to pay bills that are due now. And the future looks even more bleak because the ranks of those paying license fees is expected to decline another 30% or so in the next couple of years.

State agencies depend on license and other related revenue to operate. When the ranks of those paying the licenses and fees decline, for whatever reason, those agencies which are supposed to be "self supporting" via licenses and fees from those who are participants in that niche can and WILL go belly up. There isn't much other choice. Hunters are declinng in number and the license fees, ammo tax, and other items that produce the revenue are declining with them. It's all about the money. And if the survival of wildlife agencies, programs, and even hunting in general depends on cash flowing into the kitty, as it does, then we better find a solution FAST to the problem of declining number of hunters. So if youth hunters are the key, then I submit we better study what we are doing and be SURE we get it right!! The penalty for failure is extinction of this sport as we know it.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby Bullie » Wed May 25, 2011 6:42 am

Bully for you FC. You sure can yap.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby Todd Macko » Wed May 25, 2011 8:34 am

I didn't see in your post but did these studies take into account the days..hours spent hunting by the individuals that hunt so as to compare hours in the woods rather than the number of hunters that participated. Seems like they would be two totally different things and relative to wildlife management.

I know that when I was growing up in East Texas, hunting usually occurred before breakfast or after supper. In the area of the country I grew up, the menfolks didn't have the amount of leisure time we enjoy today.

I never heard any of my cousins, uncles or pawpaw saying anything about a trophy. It was all about putting a few squirrels or rabbits in the stew pot. If you didn't hunt, you didn't eat rabbit stew!

Different world we live in today. The population has gravitated to population centers. Very little of our tools, clothing, raw materials, and food comes by our own hand, but rather, our hands stay busy in the pursuit of coin so that we can obtain these essentials.

To me it makes sense that we have a smaller percentage of the population that hunts but it also makes sense that those hunters spend much more time in pursuit of game than the generation or two preceding us. There's not much land out there that doesn't get a fair amount of hunting pressure. I think you'd have to go back a little further before you'd find Americans hunting for days on end like we do. We have things pretty good!

I agree that we need to try and keep our sport fresh with newcomers. Hunting has a lot to offer our society. It's not economilly feasible to manage wildlife populations[*] with a goverment entitity. The development of conservative character and morals that we embrace go hand in hand with hunting. We'd be poorer as a people without it.

Don't agree with the concept that making hunting "easy" attracts more people to it applies equally to different age groups of children across the board. There's a big difference between a 5 year old and a 13 year old. Accessibility, opportunity..yes. Hand a kid two video games with one being easy that they can win the first time they play and the second being one that is challenging and not winnable without months of playing and see which one they stick with.

If the stupid easy games were all that were available, they would quickly decide that playing video games is boring and they have better things to do. It's the hard games than hand them defeat while they see their friends reaching levels they aspire to that motivate them to try harder and dedicate more time to playing.

Hunting is the same way. Take a 13 year old out on his first hunting trip to a food plot with a heated shooting house and he takes a doe at first light, you probably just ruined hunting for that kid. I know I did it with my stepson. He could have cared less about hunting after that. He knew he could do it!

I grew up hunting small game because we basically didn't have deer. Quail, dove, rabbit, and squirrel all fell to the single shot 20 gauge. While it was always winter, I didn't have a clue about seasons. I could hunt where I wanted. Nobody cared!

Hunting deer as an adult was another story. I went years trying to kill a deer by hunting as if I were small game hunting. I saw an awful lot of white rumps and flags. It ignited a fire in me to hunt deer that still burns hot today.

I despise the push by some in this state to open the seasons up to any weapon. I believe the abolishment of the special seasons removes incentives or goals for hunters to aspire to.

I don't say too much about it anymore because there are always those that want to jump up and call somebody else greedy or elitist. In truth, I think everybody deserves their time in the woods and hope they continue to get it. Just common courtesy should be enough for all of us to get along!
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby Bullie » Wed May 25, 2011 8:52 am

And Todd ain't too bad either.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby FireCloud » Wed May 25, 2011 11:30 pm

Great post, Todd.

I fully agree that hunting and the principles it instills in those who practice it with good sportsmanship, produces benefits that enhance our society. I very much want hunting to remain a viable, active part of our lifestyle in this state (or any state for that matter.)

And Bullie, I write from my heart with some degree of passion simply because I am concerned for the future of hunting, gun ownship and use, habitat conservation, wildlife mangement, and a host of other issues of the day. I will offer no appology for expressing my passion through my writings, however I will offer my sincere appology if I have offended anyone with my words. I have no inherent desire to intentionally offend or insult anyone, although sometimes I probably do without realizing it at the time. I don't want to bring conflict to this great website but only want to generate a level of thought provoking discussion on these sorts of issues that affect us all.

Todd, I will go back through my files and see if the studies I mentioned give info on the number of hours spent in the woods. I seem to think they did look at that issue but let me check into it before I say anything about that. That is an interesting point to consider.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby reesguide » Thu May 26, 2011 5:35 am

Are license sales based on percentage or actual numbers? Notice you used percentages and with population growth that could make a difference. I have not read your blog and have no doubt you have done your homework but in our area I just dont see a reduction in hunting.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby Bullie » Thu May 26, 2011 7:43 am

FC,
I enjoy your posts. Even though I have to make certain that I am focused while reading them. I cannot read your posts in the same manner as one would read the majority of my posts, or those of anyone else, on this site.

I only find you offensive when I have to look up more than one or two words from each paragraph (you almost never write one paragraph...you can be time consuming). And, conversely, being mildly offensive is one of my favorite pastimes when I find someone that responds irrationally and childishly to what the rest of the cyber world understands to be ribbing or playful sarcasm.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby jv » Thu May 26, 2011 8:10 pm

Good post Todd.......
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby LazyGhost » Thu May 26, 2011 9:40 pm

I'd sure like to know what the rate of decline was for the years before vs. the years since the Hunters Education requirement. I truely believe thats the main culpret behind the dwindling numbers. Not so easy anymore for a coworker, brother-in-law, or friend to tag along on a hunting trip and DISCOVER what hunting is all about. They cant just go to Wal-Mart and buy a one season license and be on their way to the woods. Now they have to spend all day on a saturday or several evenings during the week in a class, before they are deemed worthy to obtain a license. At least thats the way it was when I got mine.

Im not against hunters education. I am however against the notion of that LAME course being perceived as the determining factor in whether someone is fit to participate. A course, mind you, that 100% of the class will pass, just for showing up. Maybe it was just the class I was in but when I say LAME, I mean LAME.

Ohh, and back on topic... Anyone who believe kids should be able to whack all the young bucks they want, is a NUCKLEHEAD! :roll:
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby LazyGhost » Thu May 26, 2011 9:52 pm

And great post Todd :D
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby saddaddykiller » Fri May 27, 2011 12:55 am

dang...its gonna take me 2 hours to read all of this...
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby reesguide » Fri May 27, 2011 5:54 am

LazyGhost wrote:

Ohh, and back on topic... Anyone who believe kids should be able to whack all the young bucks they want, is a NUCKLEHEAD! :roll:

So your against a youth hunter being able to kill one buck not meeting state regs each year? :stir: :stir:
A 11 year youth hunter might say you were the NUCKLEHEAD ir even worse knowing todays 11 year olds. :rotflol:
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby reesguide » Fri May 27, 2011 5:13 pm

Noticed in the intents that a youth hunter may kill all 3 underneath the state regs if they choose.
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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby BIGERN76 » Fri May 27, 2011 10:12 pm

reesguide wrote:Noticed in the intents that a youth hunter may kill all 3 underneath the state regs if they choose.

This is part of what I was trying to point out. They also specifically included button bucks in the antlerless deer category. The way I read the rules in the past, a button was legal but now it is included. Most of what I read in the intents started out with "the state of MS has to many deer". Guess they are just trying to get people to kill anything. We have very liberal limits now and I don't think this is going to help. I fear it will only skew our buck/doe ratio even more.

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Re: 2011-2012 Deer hunting reg. changes

Postby reesguide » Sat May 28, 2011 4:54 am

BIGERN76 wrote:
reesguide wrote:Noticed in the intents that a youth hunter may kill all 3 underneath the state regs if they choose.

This is part of what I was trying to point out. They also specifically included button bucks in the antlerless deer category. The way I read the rules in the past, a button was legal but now it is included. Most of what I read in the intents started out with "the state of MS has to many deer". Guess they are just trying to get people to kill anything. We have very liberal limits now and I don't think this is going to help. I fear it will only skew our buck/doe ratio even more.

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Yeah, kinda made a point to say it was legal to kill a button head.
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