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Took this buck Monday am on 11/21, the hunting has been a lot tougher at PC NWR over the last 5 years, mostly due to mismanagement by the Feds and pigs. View attachment 379410 View attachment 379411
What would you say is the biggest problem with management of the area by the Feds? I have a small parcel of private property adjacent to Pond Creek - and the deer herd has surely declined over the past few years. This is the first year since I have owned the property that there has been no mature deer on camera. The only thing good I can say, is hogs have been almost absent from my property for the last couple of months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What would you say is the biggest problem with management of the area by the Feds? I have a small parcel of private property adjacent to Pond Creek - and the deer herd has surely declined over the past few years. This is the first year since I have owned the property that there has been no mature deer on camera. The only thing good I can say, is hogs have been almost absent from my property for the last couple of months.
Hey Swampcat, it's been a while since I have been on here.
On our property down by Wilton the buck and general general deer population has been about the same, even with the dry conditions. Of course we don't have a visible pig problem there either. I grew up here in the area and since the 3 point rule I have in increasingly seen larger and larger bucks and more deer generally.My son shot a buck on our property last year that was the widest we have ever seen and harvested.I will include pics from 3 bucks on our property.
Smile Plant Hunting Tree Sky
Deer Organism Fawn Horn Terrestrial animal
Vertebrate Deer Elk Plant Organism

That being said the 3 point rule is not an end all, quality large bucks take time and passing on the small ones.

Pond Creek has mostly had a liberal buck harvesting policy, any size buck can be taken and also the taking of 2 bucks each season. The pig problem competition for the same food sources don't help the situation either. The restriction placed on the taking of pigs by hunters has only increased the pig population, not saying though that there is any cure for the pig problem beyond decreasing the numbers.

With PC NWR getting too much pressure over the years by hunters that can take any buck walking and liberal doe harvests I think have decreased the overall quality and population.

I suggest one buck total with 3 points are larger for any season combined at PC NWR, only the taking of 2 does or maybe even one max. That would help and also may decrease the number of hunters that travel from distance to hunt there because of the liberal harvest policy. Lastly you could make it limited permit hunt as in total number of hunters allowed any one season they first come first serve or a drawing process with points.

I looked at the harvest numbers from 5 years ago compared to last year and there is quite a difference at PC NWR.

There are good bucks still in there, but maybe nocturnal or or hard to connect with them because they are farther apart because their overall numbers are less.

I'm not a wildlife biologist but I have hunted PC for almost 15 to 20 years now. I have seen the changes, also when I started hunting there they had a lot of places that had been clear cut that are now grown up and do not produce as much food now than when they were young clear cuts which is the cycle of clear cuts.

No easy fix or easy answers, but I believe you when you say you haven't seen the numbers.
 

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Hey Swampcat, it's been a while since I have been on here.
On our property down by Wilton the buck and general general deer population has been about the same, even with the dry conditions. Of course we don't have a visible pig problem there either. I grew up here in the area and since the 3 point rule I have in increasingly seen larger and larger bucks and more deer generally.My son shot a buck on our property last year that was the widest we have ever seen and harvested.I will include pics from 3 bucks on our property. View attachment 379413 View attachment 379414 View attachment 379415
That being said the 3 point rule is not an end all, quality large bucks take time and passing on the small ones.

Pond Creek has mostly had a liberal buck harvesting policy, any size buck can be taken and also the taking of 2 bucks each season. The pig problem competition for the same food sources don't help the situation either. The restriction placed on the taking of pigs by hunters has only increased the pig population, not saying though that there is any cure for the pig problem beyond decreasing the numbers.

With PC NWR getting too much pressure over the years by hunters that can take any buck walking and liberal doe harvests I think have decreased the overall quality and population.

I suggest one buck total with 3 points are larger for any season combined at PC NWR, only the taking of 2 does or maybe even one max. That would help and also may decrease the number of hunters that travel from distance to hunt there because of the liberal harvest policy. Lastly you could make it limited permit hunt as in total number of hunters allowed any one season they first come first serve or a drawing process with points.

I looked at the harvest numbers from 5 years ago compared to last year and there is quite a difference at PC NWR.

There are good bucks still in there, but maybe nocturnal or or hard to connect with them because they are farther apart because their overall numbers are less.

I'm not a wildlife biologist but I have hunted PC for almost 15 to 20 years now. I have seen the changes, also when I started hunting there they had a lot of places that had been clear cut that are now grown up and do not produce as much food now than when they were young clear cuts which is the cycle of clear cuts.

No easy fix or easy answers, but I believe you when you say you haven't seen the numbers.
It has been awhile. Didnt recognize you. They have changed the regs to one buck maximum with a total of three deer. And you no longer have to kill a doe before killing a buck of any kind. Yes, numbers have dropped way off. USFS has told me aging of the forest has left less available browse and has reduced carrying capacity to some extent.
 

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It has been awhile. Didnt recognize you. They have changed the regs to one buck maximum with a total of three deer. And you no longer have to kill a doe before killing a buck of any kind. Yes, numbers have dropped way off. USFS has told me aging of the forest has left less available browse and has reduced carrying capacity to some extent.
I agree with the aging forest idea, same happens when the clear cuts grow up, it would be nice to see them do more cutting or selective cutting every so many years to increase the food supply and or get rid of the pigs which probably won't happen. Pond Creek has always been a tough hunt but even tougher now and more patience needed. When I used to 5 deer a day from the stand and now only see one or 2 in the same periods of time I can tell it has dropped off. Takes more patience which a lot of hunters don't have.
 

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It has been awhile. Didnt recognize you. They have changed the regs to one buck maximum with a total of three deer. And you no longer have to kill a doe before killing a buck of any kind. Yes, numbers have dropped way off. USFS has told me aging of the forest has left less available browse and has reduced carrying capacity to some extent.
Also the long dry spells we have had haven't helped, where 10 years ago I had to wade thru water to get to stands is no longer the case for a long time now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It has been awhile. Didnt recognize you. They have changed the regs to one buck maximum with a total of three deer. And you no longer have to kill a doe before killing a buck of any kind. Yes, numbers have dropped way off. USFS has told me aging of the forest has left less available browse and has reduced carrying capacity to some extent.
Also on Sunday 11/20 had a herd of pigs about 20 or so in number about 100 yards from the stand eating acorns and making a huge racket. Largest one appeared to be about 100 or pounds or so with a bunch of 50 pounders. Still there but I think the food sources, lack of standing water has changed their habits also. It's a river bottom supposed to be standing water and wet soil. I wish they would go to a 2 deer policy as in one buck, 3 points are larger and one doe. Selective cutting for younger vegetation and trees to have uneven aged forest and fields.
 

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Also on Sunday 11/20 had a herd of pigs about 20 or so in number about 100 yards from the stand eating acorns and making a huge racket. Largest one appeared to be about 100 or pounds or so with a bunch of 50 pounders. Still there but I think the food sources, lack of standing water has changed their habits also. It's a river bottom supposed to be standing water and wet soil. I wish they would go to a 2 deer policy as in one buck, 3 points are larger and one doe. Selective cutting for younger vegetation and trees to have uneven aged forest and fields.
Might be water in there next time you go
 

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Hey Swampcat, it's been a while since I have been on here.
On our property down by Wilton the buck and general general deer population has been about the same, even with the dry conditions. Of course we don't have a visible pig problem there either. I grew up here in the area and since the 3 point rule I have in increasingly seen larger and larger bucks and more deer generally.My son shot a buck on our property last year that was the widest we have ever seen and harvested.I will include pics from 3 bucks on our property. View attachment 379413 View attachment 379414 View attachment 379415
That being said the 3 point rule is not an end all, quality large bucks take time and passing on the small ones.

Pond Creek has mostly had a liberal buck harvesting policy, any size buck can be taken and also the taking of 2 bucks each season. The pig problem competition for the same food sources don't help the situation either. The restriction placed on the taking of pigs by hunters has only increased the pig population, not saying though that there is any cure for the pig problem beyond decreasing the numbers.

With PC NWR getting too much pressure over the years by hunters that can take any buck walking and liberal doe harvests I think have decreased the overall quality and population.

I suggest one buck total with 3 points are larger for any season combined at PC NWR, only the taking of 2 does or maybe even one max. That would help and also may decrease the number of hunters that travel from distance to hunt there because of the liberal harvest policy. Lastly you could make it limited permit hunt as in total number of hunters allowed any one season they first come first serve or a drawing process with points.

I looked at the harvest numbers from 5 years ago compared to last year and there is quite a difference at PC NWR.

There are good bucks still in there, but maybe nocturnal or or hard to connect with them because they are farther apart because their overall numbers are less.

I'm not a wildlife biologist but I have hunted PC for almost 15 to 20 years now. I have seen the changes, also when I started hunting there they had a lot of places that had been clear cut that are now grown up and do not produce as much food now than when they were young clear cuts which is the cycle of clear cuts.

No easy fix or easy answers, but I believe you when you say you haven't seen the numbers.
Nice buck archerrn84.

I agree with most of what you say above but take exception to "limited permit hunt" with a drawing. Doing away with the muzzleloader season would be my preference. Also if you want to let the bucks reach older age class then a minimum score could be enacted, but I don't see the powers that be doing anything like that. I like the one buck limit that is in place now.

Yes, the numbers are down and I speculate there are several possibilities. Dry weather conditions have not helped much and the hog population is a major problem. I shot one this year the first week of November, one of about 30 in the herd! I did not like finding a scull back in early October of a buck that died last fall or winter. Would have been a dandy this year. No idea how it died but it's not good either way.

I've hunted it hard this year and have passed on a couple of decent bucks. The number of hunters has been way down the last couple of years. It was nothing to hear 10 to 15 trucks years ago as I started my hunt. I'm an early riser since I don't sleep well anyway. Now on my road (Litchford) I do good to hear 3 or 4 on a Saturday morning.

What's the answer? One thing is more biological studies. Secondly might just be a 125 minimum P&Y score. That will get the bucks in an older age class in a hurry! But I don't run the place so I'm just going to sit and wait.
 

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I agree with the aging forest idea, same happens when the clear cuts grow up, it would be nice to see them do more cutting or selective cutting every so many years to increase the food supply and or get rid of the pigs which probably won't happen. Pond Creek has always been a tough hunt but even tougher now and more patience needed. When I used to 5 deer a day from the stand and now only see one or 2 in the same periods of time I can tell it has dropped off. Takes more patience which a lot of hunters don't have.
People will be for your head suggesting clear cutting. But your right on the money.
 

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People will be for your head suggesting clear cutting. But your right on the money.
Absolutely correct. Clear cuts soon become magnets to deer, cover and browse. Maybe clear cuts with all the white oaks left standing??? Any money made off the refuge stays on the refuge. Imagine the Feds doing something like that. Timber money would soon be used for more giveaway programs. They need to clearcut one hundred forty acre tracts just for starters!
 

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What would you say is the biggest problem with management of the area by the Feds? I have a small parcel of private property adjacent to Pond Creek - and the deer herd has surely declined over the past few years. This is the first year since I have owned the property that there has been no mature deer on camera. The only thing good I can say, is hogs have been almost absent from my property for the last couple of months.
Thought you said in the Deer Numbers thread that deer numbers were as good as you seen them?
 
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