Jeana’s Corner – Dwindling Herds or Dwindling Responsibility?

I have not been hunting as long as a lot of people, so I know I have not seen it all or done it all when it comes to hunting, nor do I know it all, but I have noticed in the 7 years that I have been hunting that in the areas I hunt the deer population seems to be thinning.  I am from Ohio and I hunt around central Ohio as well. Not only have I noticed that the amount of deer coming through the ground on which I hunt to be dwindling, but also Ohio Department of Natural Resources has reported that the number of deer being reported harvested has been down for the 2nd year in a row.
I have my own thoughts on why this is. When I first began hunting, as I am sure was the case with most of you, when and if you killed an animal you tagged it in. With tagging it in, you wrote the time, date, and location of the kill on a temporary tag and then you physically took it to a check in station where a licensed vendor would give you a permanent tag for your harvest. No more! Now when you make a kill, you still do the temporary slip, but you either phone in your kill to an automated response line or log on to a computer or mobile device to record your kill.  You are then given a number that is to stay with your harvest. At no time does anyone check to see if the animal you are phoning in is actually the animal you have harvested. Yes, I know, we are all adults and it is the honor system, but not everyone has honor. Poachers are out in full force during whitetail season and what is to stop them from fudging a bit on the truth when calling in. I, for one liked the physical check in, it held you accountable, it gave an accurate reading of what animals were being harvested and where.
The number of doe being reported as killed has gone up, yet the number of bucks seen in the woods and harvested has gone down. I understand that in order to have bucks, we must also have doe from the year before, we must allow them to pass by the arrow and breed, but in order to breed there must also be bucks. If no bucks are being seen, and none are being reported as harvested, where are they?  It is honestly my belief that with this new system in place, not just in Ohio, but in other states as well, there is no way to accurately account for the whitetail herd. We have all heard the saying: if you did not see it with your own eyes, or hear it with your own ears, then do not believe it,” well so is the case with reporting the harvest. If there is no physical proof of a doe kill, how can anyone be sure it was in fact a doe? That 4 point that was reported online, who is to say it is not a 12 hanging on someone else’s wall?
For the most part, I like to believe hunters and outdoors-man are honest and ethical people, but there is always that one or two that ruin things for everyone. There is always that person who is not a true hunter by heart, but for the trophy and will do whatever is within their means to take it home. So I ask, are the population of the deer in your area really decreasing by nature or is there some other reason to blame?

May 28, 2015 | Category: Blog, Deer hunting, Jeana's Corner | Comments: none

 

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