Thursday, February 4, 2010

FWP Proposes Restricting Region 1 Whitetail Hunting to Bucks Only

After listening to hunters in Region 1 (Northwest MT)FWP has decided to recommend to the Commish restricting whitetail hunting within the region to bucks only. The reason is the apparent downward population spiral observed over the past two hunting seasons. If approved it would be the first bucks only hunt in the region since 2001.

The why of this was not made entirely clear in the press release but my guess is reduced fawn production, as is the case with mule deer across much of the state. With mule deer it appears a combination hard winters, decreased forage production due to drought and in some cases increased predation--coyotes, bears and such. Regardless wildlife populations tend to ebb and flow naturally anyway so curtailing the kill for a few seasons should allow both species to rebound assuming of course Ma Nature decides to cooperate.

My off the wall idea for helping to speed up the process is to trap and transfer whitetails from the many ranches here in the southwest currently stockpiling them in unbelievable numbers--Ok, just kidding I'm not really naive enough to believe anything of the sort might work. And I don't believe for a minute there is a solution or even if one is called for these are after all private lands and the individual landowners can and will do any damn thing pleases and rightly so. But if you doubt the stockpile thing just take a ride any morning or evening around Dillon, Twin Bridges, Sheridan, Alder area and take a looksee for yourself. I guarantee driving out Blacktail to the Matador turning right to Carrigan Lane and back to Dillon you will see hundreds, perhaps thousands, and that's not counting the many hundreds mule deer also grazing the very private pivots and hay meadows within the short 15 mile or so loop.

Be that as it may and besides none of the above is really much of a concern to me personally and certainly none of my business. Still every time I see all those deer crowded together in what really is a relatively small area the thought occurs what if EHD strikes? I can hear the caterwauling already, can't you?

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