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Old 05-15-2011, 09:34 PM   #1
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Default Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

Remember all the controversy and knee jerk hype that was tossed around last year regarding the new youth elk hunts that ran from August-December?

Well, the facts about those hunts were presented at the fall tag proposal meeting put on by ODFW recently. I was pleased to see that a significant portion of the youth hunters were successful and that the hunter days were spread out pretty evenly over the 5 month period. The fears of orphaned calves didn't materialize nor were the woods overrun with kids toting guns on August 1st. Kudos to all the new youth elk hunters and for you naysayers, here's the facts:

Extended Youth Elk Hunts

Concerns were expressed last year regarding 46 new extended season youth elk hunts for 2010. The 5-month long youth hunts for antlerless elk were designed to provide maximum opportunities for youth to find time to hunt amongst all the other demands competing for their time. In total, 678 antlerless elk tags were authorized for these hunts in 2010.

The primary concerns were with overlap of the youth rifle hunts with General and Controlled bow hunts and hunting during August when calves are likely still at heel. As a result of these concerns, a special telephone survey was conducted for these hunts. Results indicate the hunts were very well received. Highlights of the results are as follows:
  • 98% of the tags authorized were purchased
  • 93% of the youth purchasing the tag reported that they hunted
  • 86% of the hunters reported making at least one special trip to hunt with this tag, 66% of the hunters reported another deer or elk season was open when they were hunting
  • 4,242 youth days afield were relatively evenly distributed over the five month season
  • 313 elk harvested by 548 hunters for 57% overall success rate (0% - 100% by hunt)
  • 128 – 166 youth cow elk hunters in the field monthly during the five month season
  • Of those hunters that hunted and reported harvesting an elk, 24% report harvesting their elk during August (estimated 75 elk)
  • 97% of tag holders that hunted enjoyed the hunting experience
  • 94% of unsuccessful hunters and 98% of successful hunters indicated they will try to hunt elk again

2011 District May Meeting Info




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Old 05-15-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

My 13 yr old had one of the tags. We only hunted three days at the end of the season but she had her chances. I think any time we can get our youth in the field based on THEIR schedule we are that much better off. Good job ODFW.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

my oldest daughter will draw it this year and she's super pumped to get to try to harvest her first big game animal.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

I'm happy the program is a success even though I am not a fan of the tags being valid in Aug/Sep but if you can't beat them, join them. I'll be getting my son in on one of these so he can take advantage of the vocal period.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

I never did see any youth during the Aug scouting season or the archery season. If I had, I would of offered them to tag along and I would of helped them fill their tag.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

Yep, probably only 45 orphaned calves.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

Jacob and i had a great time, had to wait until late December but he finally got one.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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Yep, probably only 45 orphaned calves.
I gotta call you on this one RA because that's just the type of unsubstantiated hype I'm talking about. It's complete conjecture in fact.

The August harvest in this hunt was only 75 cows statewide, and according to ODFW even if some calves were orphaned it didn't necessarily mean a death sentence as calves of that age can run with the herd. Compare that to the late season cow hunts that run from January through March where many of the cows ARE pregnant. Every one of those is a two for one kill because the fetus has NO CHANCE of survival. I don't hear anyone screaming about canceling those hunts but then again, they don't conflict with any other seasons...

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Old 05-16-2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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Thumbs down Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

I will ask the question again, and hopefully someone will have an answer?

WHY ARE WE KILLING ANY COWS, AT ANY TIME, BY ANY HUNTERS, ON UNITS THAT ARE SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW THE POPULATION MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVE FOR THAT UNIT?

Second question:

Why did providing opportunity become the primary goal of ODFW in place of their primary responsibility of maintaining populations at the maximum level that can be supported by the habitat and social concerns?

Third question:

When, if ever, are hunters going to DEMAND that ODFW do what they are required by statute to do, regardless of the impact on their budget?

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Old 05-17-2011, 03:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

You are exactly right scoutdog, and until some of you people read the whole 625 pages of the book ( ELK of North America, Ecology And Management) then you will understand why it is unethical to kill cows in august. 6x6
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

I've ALWAYS argued that we should not be killing the doe deer or cow elk of any herd in Oregon. Especially since our Cougar population is out of control. Oregon is nowhere near its carrying capacity.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoutdog5 View Post
I will ask the question again, and hopefully someone will have an answer?

WHY ARE WE KILLING ANY COWS, AT ANY TIME, BY ANY HUNTERS, ON UNITS THAT ARE SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW THE POPULATION MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVE FOR THAT UNIT?

Second question:

Why did providing opportunity become the primary goal of ODFW in place of their primary responsibility of maintaining populations at the maximum level that can be supported by the habitat and social concerns?

Third question:

When, if ever, are hunters going to DEMAND that ODFW do what they are required by statute to do, regardless of the impact on their budget?

Scoutdog
I agree.

If there not any cow hunts, there would be less people in the field, this would lower any revenue and "opportunity" that is offered the the public. The goal is "opportunity", not anything else. Thousands of hunters scream every year that they didn't get a tag, there isn't enough opportunity for them and there's. When there is additional days in the field, there are additional hunters buying various things....tags, cougar tags, bear tags, ect.

I feel that Oregon has "managed" the herds to a near collapse, with extended seasons, additional hunts, and surplus tags that go unclaimed in the first drawing. WHen I was a kid (makes me feel old) there was ELK SEASON 1st, 2nd and DEER SEASON. When you put people in the field for months on end...then animals just can't keep up.

Archery was a sportsmans sport, not alot of bow hunters that I knew of. Muzzleloading was, well dated to say the least. these were the guys who went out to hunt and never really picked up a gun. Now days, the guy who bow hunts also draws special tags, late tags, his kids tag, his wife's tag, ect, ect. And that's just Oregon!!

This is the year that my middle son is starting on big game. I have taught him that hunting is just that, some days you get some, some days you get nothing. Opportunity is nice, but at the expense of the enitre states wildlife....not worth it. Some people don't realize the pressure that is being put on our game animals by the constant harrassment, the human inter actions, the wounded game...it all adds up. And when THOUSANDS of people are doing it (yes, your not the only one out there), that's a huge disaster on breeding populations. Really, how many elk and deer does one need to harvest?? It is possible to have several big game tags (couple of each species), several turkey tags, as well as shooting coyotes, sage rats, ect. all just in Oregon, this doesn't include the guy who hunts several other states, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, and on and on.

ODFW have a huge job, manage the animals that roam the state and then manage the people who roam the state. A happy medium isn't t possible with some, they want to hunt all year, every year. I'm not bad mouthing anyone, just would like people to see the big picture, you can't kill all year, every year and expect it to have not effect. With our population growth and intrusive actions on habitat, it will continue to go south.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:02 AM   #13
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I gotta call you on this one RA because that's just the type of unsubstantiated hype I'm talking about. It's complete conjecture in fact.

The August harvest in this hunt was only 75 cows statewide, and according to ODFW even if some calves were orphaned it didn't necessarily mean a death sentence as calves of that age can run with the herd. Compare that to the late season cow hunts that run from January through March where many of the cows ARE pregnant. Every one of those is a two for one kill because the fetus has NO CHANCE of survival. I don't hear anyone screaming about canceling those hunts but then again, they don't conflict with any other seasons...

"CL"
The math is pretty straight forward, cow elk have a pregnancy rate of 50%-80% across our state. Using a conservative rate of 60% yields the above stat of 45 orphaned calves. Fact!

Calves orphaned in August are indeed put at risk and yes I do own the book Elk of North America which does indicate this fact.

The bottom line is that we don't need to put these animals at risk, just because we want to afford opportunity. We don't kill cougars with kittens, we shouldn't kill cow elk with young calves.

While killing a cow elk with a unborn fetus is a sad fact of cow elk hunting, the unborn fetus does not suffer for days on end once the mother is killed. One is humane the other could be called in-humane.

Scoutdog5 as usual makes a valid point.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:01 AM   #14
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

Scoutdog,

The answer to all 3 of your questions is the same. As soon as we can get the politicians out of the management of ODFW, then the bio's can do their job. Until then, it will never happen.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:54 PM   #15
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The math is pretty straight forward, cow elk have a pregnancy rate of 50%-80% across our state. Using a conservative rate of 60% yields the above stat of 45 orphaned calves. Fact!
First off, you attempt to make it sound like any "orphaned calf" is sentenced to death which is not true. Calves at heel can be adopted by and run with the herd.

Next, as long as we're doing math let's include ALL the factors - like calf the mortality rate. Most units in Oregon still only have a recruitment rate of 15-25% due to a variety of reasons (predation being the primary one though). That rate applied to your math means that somewhere between 33 to 38 of those 45 "orphans" would not have survived to maturity. That leaves maybe 7-12 calves impacted by this hunt STATEWIDE which is less than one calf per elk unit. Hardly significant compared to 548 new youth elk hunters getting the opportunity to harvest an animal.

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While killing a cow elk with a unborn fetus is a sad fact of cow elk hunting, the unborn fetus does not suffer for days on end once the mother is killed. One is humane the other could be called in-humane.
Run that justification argument past me again? Somehow it's OK to kill pregnant cows as long as they haven't "dropped" yet? Even if they're only a couple months from calving? Even if it's a guaranteed that 50-80% of the kills will be a 2 for 1? I think you should re-examine your concept of ethical hunting...

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Scoutdog5 as usual makes a valid point.
Agreed. However as long as bowhunters and disabled hunters get a shot at cows, kids should too.



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Old 05-17-2011, 06:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by scoutdog5 View Post
I will ask the question again, and hopefully someone will have an answer?

WHY ARE WE KILLING ANY COWS, AT ANY TIME, BY ANY HUNTERS, ON UNITS THAT ARE SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW THE POPULATION MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVE FOR THAT UNIT?

Second question:

Why did providing opportunity become the primary goal of ODFW in place of their primary responsibility of maintaining populations at the maximum level that can be supported by the habitat and social concerns?

Third question:

When, if ever, are hunters going to DEMAND that ODFW do what they are required by statute to do, regardless of the impact on their budget?

Scoutdog
EXACTLY. And I am a bow hunter who would like to see an end to archery cow killing in most units also. I did run into one of these kids in a draw only archery unit. I had nothing but words of encouragement for the kiddo but that does not mean I think it was a competent decision by ODFW.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:42 PM   #17
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First off, you attempt to make it sound like any "orphaned calf" is sentenced to death which is not true. Calves at heel can be adopted by and run with the herd.

Calves in August are still reliant upon their mothers for a good share of their nutrition, cutting that off for a calf will lead to many of them to die and the others to under perform going into the most critical time in their lives-winter. There are some that will argue that other cows will adopt the orphan and there is some evidence of this, but it is most likely a minority and if it is a cow with another calf this may very well doom both calves since a cow is hard pressed to support one calf. Now we may actually kill two calves and another cow.

Next, as long as we're doing math let's include ALL the factors - like calf the mortality rate. Most units in Oregon still only have a recruitment rate of 15-25% due to a variety of reasons (predation being the primary one though). That rate applied to your math means that somewhere between 33 to 38 of those 45 "orphans" would not have survived to maturity. That leaves maybe 7-12 calves impacted by this hunt STATEWIDE which is less than one calf per elk unit. Hardly significant compared to 548 new youth elk hunters getting the opportunity to harvest an animal.

Are the calves lost to orphaning additive or compensatory, that is the answer you will need to answer. Under your theory we should all be hunting only calves, since they have the highest mortality rate of any single age class of elk. Again having calves starving to death and being solely caused by man does not leave me feeling good. 548 youth could have this opportunity and simply wait another month. Youth hunts hardly significant, archery harvest hardly significant, predator losses other than cougars hardly significant, hunter crippling losses hardly significant, antler shed hunting hardly significant.........guess what, add them up......SIGNIFICANT. We are killing off our elk herds by a thousand cuts.



Run that justification argument past me again? Somehow it's OK to kill pregnant cows as long as they haven't "dropped" yet? Even if they're only a couple months from calving? Even if it's a guaranteed that 50-80% of the kills will be a 2 for 1? I think you should re-examine your concept of ethical hunting...

So your argument is that killing a pregnant cow is not ethical, but you support killing cows with dependant calves as ethical......try that again! My point was that a unborn calf dies quickly within the mother versus a orphaned calf that may persist for a month. So when is killing a cow elk not a two for one deal? Killing a cow that would have produced a calf is a two for one, even if all she is packing is a egg. Frankly I could do with almost all the cow harvest being gone and I think the M.O.'s for most of the units support that idea.




Agreed. However as long as bowhunters and disabled hunters get a shot at cows, kids should too.

So we should just keep piling it on because others get to. Again, a death by a thousand cuts. In many units in E.O. there are no archery or disabled hunter cow harvests allowed, but the youth hunts were forced on these units, against what I hear, the district bio wishes.



"CL"
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:17 PM   #18
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Calves in August are still reliant upon their mothers for a good share of their nutrition, cutting that off for a calf will lead to many of them to die and the others to under perform going into the most critical time in their lives-winter. There are some that will argue that other cows will adopt the orphan and there is some evidence of this, but it is most likely a minority and if it is a cow with another calf this may very well doom both calves since a cow is hard pressed to support one calf. Now we may actually kill two calves and another cow.

I’m sure we’re not going to agree on this point so I’ll agree to disagree with you. I asked this specific question directly to ODFW and my opinion is based on their answer. Upping the ante with more hype isn’t going to convince me otherwise. “May” is a pretty broad term and only an opinion – let’s stick to facts.


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Are the calves lost to orphaning additive or compensatory, that is the answer you will need to answer. Under your theory we should all be hunting only calves, since they have the highest mortality rate of any single age class of elk. Again having calves starving to death and being solely caused by man does not leave me feeling good. 548 youth could have this opportunity and simply wait another month. Youth hunts hardly significant, archery harvest hardly significant, predator losses other than cougars hardly significant, hunter crippling losses hardly significant, antler shed hunting hardly significant.........guess what, add them up......SIGNIFICANT. We are killing off our elk herds by a thousand cuts.

You’re avoiding the fact that we’re talking about a youth hunter August harvest of maybe 2 cows per unit impacting at most less than one calf per unit. Insignificant biologically, by anyone’s standards.


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So your argument is that killing a pregnant cow is not ethical, but you support killing cows with dependant calves as ethical......try that again! My point was that a unborn calf dies quickly within the mother versus a orphaned calf that may persist for a month. So when is killing a cow elk not a two for one deal? Killing a cow that would have produced a calf is a two for one, even if all she is packing is a egg. Frankly I could do with almost all the cow harvest being gone and I think the M.O.'s for most of the units support that idea.

I never said the late season hunts were unethical, although they’re not for me. I try to stay out of other people's ethics as long as they are legal. I use the late season hunts to illustrate how minuscule the August youth hunt incidental take is compared to the incidental take by adult hunters at other times of the year. I actually agree with your opinion of cow hunts in general, but I believe the cuts should start with (able bodied) adult hunter tags so that disabled and youth hunters could continue to utilize the “easier” opportunities.



Quote:
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So we should just keep piling it on because others get to. Again, a death by a thousand cuts. In many units in E.O. there are no archery or disabled hunter cow harvests allowed, but the youth hunts were forced on these units, against what I hear, the district bio wishes.

To me, it’s about the numbers and youth opportunity. The opportunity gained for the youth hunters outweighs the biologically insignificant harvest AND any collateral loss that “may” occur. Regarding the tag allocations, it was my understanding that in most units the tags came out of existing allotments so it wasn’t even an increase in total cow harvest. I could be wrong on that but looking at the regs, it appears that there are lots of NEO cow hunts.



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Old 05-17-2011, 11:11 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=CombinationLicense;3670987]Remember all the controversy and knee jerk hype that was tossed around last year regarding the new youth elk hunts that ran from August-December?

Well, the facts about those hunts were presented at the fall tag proposal meeting put on by ODFW recently. I was pleased to see that a significant portion of the youth hunters were successful and that the hunter days were spread out pretty evenly over the 5 month period. The fears of orphaned calves didn't materialize nor were the woods overrun with kids toting guns on August 1st. Kudos to all the new youth elk hunters and for you naysayers, here's the facts:

I agree, we will disagree on this one. This is mainly what I responded to though. When somebody starts calling others opinions hype and then presents their own and ODF&W's hype, well you will get a response. Do you really believe every thing the department tells you?

Fact, orphaned calves did occur. Fact, most probably perished. Fact, waiting a month would have made a difference. Fact, I can sleep at night knowing I had no part in this.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:19 AM   #20
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I would take a bet that harvest rates would be right around 33% on these hunts still. The Melrose Plus tag which I consider to be a fairly easy area to find an elk to harvest only had a success rate of 36% in 2008. Now this hunt is Aug 1-March 31. They have 3 month longer and still can only scratch out 1 elk for every 3 tags. I don't see any youth hunt having better statistics being that the highest harvest rate for youth hunts in 2008 was in the low 30%'s (I can't remember the exact number). Every other hunt was below 30%, even the hunts that already occur in August. Why would it be any different?

BS already touched on this, but comparing a 14 day season to a 5 month season is apples and oranges. In a short season everyone wants to be there opening day and get out and hunt. In a long season, most hunters know they have time so they are not in a hurry to get out there.

Well it looks like I win a beer on both counts!
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:23 AM   #21
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Hell ,Rank, I'll buy you a beer for your effort on this topic. 6x6
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:26 AM   #22
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I’m sure we’re not going to agree on this point so I’ll agree to disagree with you. I asked this specific question directly to ODFW and my opinion is based on their answer. Upping the ante with more hype isn’t going to convince me otherwise. “May” is a pretty broad term and only an opinion – let’s stick to facts.



You’re avoiding the fact that we’re talking about a youth hunter August harvest of maybe 2 cows per unit impacting at most less than one calf per unit. Insignificant biologically, by anyone’s standards.

My question:
How many calves can a cow how in their life time? How many calves can those those calves have and so on? Short term "one calf per unit" long term .................?
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:25 AM   #23
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The math is pretty straight forward, cow elk have a pregnancy rate of 50%-80% across our state. Using a conservative rate of 60% yields the above stat of 45 orphaned calves. Fact!

Calves orphaned in August are indeed put at risk and yes I do own the book Elk of North America which does indicate this fact.

The bottom line is that we don't need to put these animals at risk, just because we want to afford opportunity. We don't kill cougars with kittens, we shouldn't kill cow elk with young calves.

While killing a cow elk with a unborn fetus is a sad fact of cow elk hunting, the unborn fetus does not suffer for days on end once the mother is killed. One is humane the other could be called in-humane.

Scoutdog5 as usual makes a valid point.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:30 AM   #24
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I don't think the math is as simple as you make it out Rank, your assumption that whatever percentage of cows are pregnant equates to a calf at heel. Keep in mind that survival of young calves is part of the reason there have been declines in our elk populations in parts of the state. A percentage of those calves born will not survive to August 1st.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:31 PM   #25
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I don't think the math is as simple as you make it out Rank, your assumption that whatever percentage of cows are pregnant equates to a calf at heel. Keep in mind that survival of young calves is part of the reason there have been declines in our elk populations in parts of the state. A percentage of those calves born will not survive to August 1st.
Certainly true, when the bio's can give us what those figures are (time specific) we could plug that into the math. Bottom line, how many orphans is acceptable? We can play with the numbers all we want, but we still will not know exactly how many orphans there will be. That certainly does not diminish the problem in my view.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:44 PM   #26
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

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Do you really believe every thing the department tells you?
The same question could be asked of you. Seems like we heard different stories from different ODFW sources. I don’t know who you’ve been talking to but perhaps it’s your local bio. I asked the question at the state level and got an answer based on input from all over the state. I’m not saying that either one is right or wrong but in my opinion, more information usually leads to better decisions.

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Fact, most probably perished.
No offense intended Rank but you just used FACT and PROBABLY in the same sentence to defend your position. Which is it?

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I would take a bet that harvest rates would be right around 33% on these hunts still. The Melrose Plus tag which I consider to be a fairly easy area to find an elk to harvest only had a success rate of 36% in 2008. Now this hunt is Aug 1-March 31. They have 3 month longer and still can only scratch out 1 elk for every 3 tags. I don't see any youth hunt having better statistics being that the highest harvest rate for youth hunts in 2008 was in the low 30%'s (I can't remember the exact number). Every other hunt was below 30%, even the hunts that already occur in August. Why would it be any different?
I guess you didn’t actually read the facts above regarding these hunts. See bullet 5 above:

“313 elk harvested by 548 hunters for 57% overall success rate”


Almost twice your estimate


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Well it looks like I win a beer on both counts!
:backlaugh:Not!

"CL"
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:50 PM   #27
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Christmas Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

First, let me say that I am completely in favor of youth hunters being given special access to tags. I have previously proposed on Ifish and to the Commission that youth hunters be given 25% of the tags for every antelope hunt, and be given their own 5 day season prior to the regularly scheduled season. I would also support youth hunters being given 10% of the tags for every deer and elk controlled hunt in Oregon, Wenaha any bull elk, Metolius late archery buck, etc.

Having said that, there is no justification for youth hunters or anyone else being issued antlerless/any elk tags in much of Oregon. Here are some unvarnished facts for you to think about. I hope they make you sick to your stomach, and then mad as hell. (can I say that on Ifish?)

These are statewide stats for the species shown, and are taken from ODFW published stats

Year..................Roos. cow/calf ratio................Rocky cow/calf ratio

2002............................38/100..............................28/100
2003............................31/100..............................26/100
2004............................32/100..............................26/100
2005............................33/100..............................28/100
2006.............................34/100.............................28/100
2007.............................33/100.............................no counts
2008.............................30/100.............................26/100
2009.............................28/100.............................28/100
2010.............................26/100.............................24/100

Remember, these are statewide averages. For every unit that had higher ratios than those shown, other units had lower ratios, in many cases substantially lower.

Note: I would have included population estimates, but ODFW has done so few counts over the past few years, the limited data is statistically worthless.

Since 2004, the antlerless harvest statewide hsa averaged 5,000 animals. does anyone want to claim that 5,000 is an insignificant harvest? How many of the cows that were killed were pregnant, also killing a calf? How many cows killed in the early seasons left orphaned calves?

You would think that, given the downward trend in calf production for both roosies and rockies, ODFW would be very conservative with issuing antlerless/any elk tags. Man would you be wrong. Here are the proposed antlerless/any elk tags for 2011:

Northwest Zone...........1,879 rifle tags
Southwest Zone.............802 rifle tags
South Central Zone:.........81 rifle tags
Central Zone............... 1,476 rifle tags
Columbia Zone............. ..803 rifle tags
Northeast Zone.............6,476 rifle tags
Southeast Zone.............2,083 rifle tags

Total rifle tags............13,600

PLUS

4,490 controlled hunt archery tags and unlimited over-the-counter tags on most units.

2,109 controlled hunt muzzleloader tags.

1,077 controlled hunt youth tags.

Here is a comparison with NW Colorado. Colorado conducts it's counts based on herds rather than units. The statistics shown below are for herd unit. They contain 1-10 hunting units. In some herd units, they list the cow/calf ratio for each hunting unit, for others it is averaged for all the hunting units in the herd unit.

Green River...........50-58 calves/100 cows
Lower Yampa.........64-69/100
Upper Ympa...........47-69/100
North Park.............49/100
Bookcliffs...............55/100
White River............64/100 (white river is the largest elk herd in the world.)
Eagle Ridge............37-42/100
Middle Park............46-59/100
Glade Park.............40/100
Grand Mesa............53/100
Roaring Fork...........37-40/100

Some of you will respond that Colorado does not have the predator problems we do. I agree 100%, but you are missing the point. If predators or any other mortality factor are impacting populations, THEN HUMAN HARVEST HAS TO BE REDUCED TO ACCOUNT FOR THAT. THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION FOR MAINTAINING POPULATIONS.

The plain and simple truth is that ODFW is NOT managing our elk herds to maximize the benefits to Oregonians, AND WE ARE LETTING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. The plain and simple truth is that ODFW is only concerned with maintaining the income stream from elk tag sales, without regard for the impact on populations, AND WE ARE LETTING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT. The plain and simple truth is that if ODFW continues to operate in the same way, elk populations will continue to decline, AND WE ARE LETTING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT.

It is way past time for those organizations that supposedly were created to benefit our wildlife populations, RMEF, OHA, Oregon Bowhunters, Mule Deer Foundation, etc. stand up and lead the fight to end the current over-harvest of our big game populations. As individual hunters, we MUST step up and not only be heard at ODFW and with the public, but put pressure on the organizations we belong to to get off their butts and put a stop to this.

I am not holding my breath.

Scoutdog

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Old 05-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #28
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

I have said all along............for me.......it is pretty simple.

based on my hunting / outdoor experiences and the reduction of populations I have witnessed over the last 20 years, something major needs to happen.

If you can physically see the changes taking place.......and science also backs it up, don't you think its time for a change?

I too appreciate youth opportunity but not at the expense of making matters worse.

Scout and Rank gets my vote!!!!!!! Wheels.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:57 AM   #29
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

Thanks Scoutdog, I could not have said it any better. You would think they would catch on, with the declining blacktail population, the license purchases have been declining also. Elk will probably go down the same road. If they could only manage the animals and not the dollars. And one more thing, OHA in Tillamook we talk about these things a lot , but it seems to not go far, but that letter from all the chapter presidents from the NW might help. Keep up the good work. 6x6
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:00 AM   #30
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

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The same question could be asked of you. Seems like we heard different stories from different ODFW sources. I don’t know who you’ve been talking to but perhaps it’s your local bio. I asked the question at the state level and got an answer based on input from all over the state. I’m not saying that either one is right or wrong but in my opinion, more information usually leads to better decisions.

I agree, why don't both of us propose that ODF&W radio collar some of these calves in these ag hunt areas and see what the results are! Of coarse I'm sure we can come up with some sort of excuse to not believe the results. Better yet, lets get a university to conduct the study.

No offense intended Rank but you just used FACT and PROBABLY in the same sentence to defend your position. Which is it?

So you are saying it is a fact that none of the calves starved to death?

I guess you didn’t actually read the facts above regarding these hunts. See bullet 5 above:

“313 elk harvested by 548 hunters for 57% overall success rate”


Almost twice your estimate


:backlaugh:Not!

"CL"
That wasn't my quote! Actually was a couple of your defenders on last years thread! Yep, just about double what you guys thought the harvest would be and guess who said it would be higher?

Frankly it is a shame that we are fighting over this, in most cases we are on the same page and I have valued the information that you bring to this forum. With that said though, I also know how stubborn I can become when somebody attacks an idea that I came up with, is this the case for you? I can tell you for a FACT though, nobody likes having their nose rubbed in IT! You guys championed this ill conceived idea and of coarse ODF&W grabbed it like a man grabbing a rope when stuck in quicksand. All I can tell you is the day of reckoning is coming my friend. So do you think rubbing our noses in this makes us want to support this program or champion against it?

So it is ok to teach our youth that it is ok to cause collateral damage in the name of opportunity when it could be avoided, but just not as convenient? Wow, no wonder we are in such trouble in this world!
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:13 PM   #31
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

RA, Scoutdog, Wheels and 6x6 –

What started this whole debate was your heartburn with the August 1st start date for these hunts, correct? However, now that the data is out showing relatively insignificant impacts from the youth hunters your posts have morphed into a general disdain for all antlerless hunts.


I get that and understand the big picture argument regarding antlerless hunts for both deer and elk. If you look back in this thread I’ve already said I support overall antlerless tag reductions. There is good biological reason to revisit the number of antlerless tags being issued. Allowing ANY general season cow/doe hunts should be a thing of the past and the number of tags issued should be based on biological need. I have testified before our legislature regarding the need for ODFW to manage based on science and data so to say otherwise would be hypocritical. On this point I think we all agree so stop trying to say that I’m on the other side of the argument.


However, that’s where we part ways because you are fixated on the wrong target to effect the change you seek. As Scoutdog points out there are about 20,000 (adult hunter) cow elk tags available. Some open on August 1st, general archery season starts a few weeks later, some run concurrent with rifle season and then a TON of late season winter range 2 for 1 tags.


All that harvest and pressure compared to about 10 youth hunter tags per unit spread out over a 5-month season.


Question! Which hunt does the most damage to out elk herds – 20,000 tags (adult) spread out over 7 months (August-March) or 550 tags (youth) spread out over 5 months? Which area should you focus on if you really want to save calves, orphaned or otherwise?


Getting on the soapbox and condemning those evil kids sounds kind of petty when you put things in perspective doesn’t it?


My point all along has been that these youth hunts are insignificant in comparison to the other cow tags available. Face it, the whole “youth hunters causing orphaned calves” thing is really a non-starter in this argument for two reasons; 1) because the number is insignificant biologically and 2), because exponentially more calves are killed incidentally in other hunts either before or after birth. IMHO, if you really want to be a champion of the elk maybe you should focus the major issue and quit picking on the kids.


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That wasn't my quote! Actually was a couple of your defenders on last years thread! Yep, just about double what you guys thought the harvest would be and guess who said it would be higher?
RA, I apologize if I misquoted you. It looked like that was your statement so I went there. However, regarding the number of successful youth hunters I am ecstatic! There will always be antlerless hunts of some kind (damage, etc…) and as I’ve said before, they should primarily be for youth or disabled hunters benefit. In our quest for ethical hunters and wise game management there needs to also be a path for emerging hunters to become successful so they stay with the sport. Some sacrifices will need to be made at the expense of those that don’t need the same considerations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rank Amateur View Post
Frankly it is a shame that we are fighting over this, in most cases we are on the same page and I have valued the information that you bring to this forum. With that said though, I also know how stubborn I can become when somebody attacks an idea that I came up with, is this the case for you? I can tell you for a FACT though, nobody likes having their nose rubbed in IT!
Regarding “fighting about this”, nothing gets an issue brought to the fore better than a good debate. Win, lose or draw I always learn something and just because we differ on this issue doesn’t mean that I don’t respect your knowledge and opinion. That being said, I don’t see my opinion changing regarding the youth hunts until there is an overall reduction in the antlerless harvest elsewhere.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rank Amateur View Post
You guys championed this ill conceived idea and of coarse ODF&W grabbed it like a man grabbing a rope when stuck in quicksand. All I can tell you is the day of reckoning is coming my friend. So do you think rubbing our noses in this makes us want to support this program or champion against it?

So it is ok to teach our youth that it is ok to cause collateral damage in the name of opportunity when it could be avoided, but just not as convenient? Wow, no wonder we are in such trouble in this world!
I guess that you think I had something to do with the inception of these hunts, correct? Not true, period. The first I heard of these hunts was at the big game tag meeting last year. Which is why I asked the questions to determine if I could support them or not.

I have (and will continue to) ask ODFW for more youth opportunities whenever possible though. IMHO, we have to quit eating our young or our sport will wither on the vine. Regarding tag allocations, there are bigger fish to fry - much bigger!





"CL"

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Old 05-19-2011, 08:02 PM   #32
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

I see we can find some common ground.

Yes, we all probably agree the cow hunts are too numerous and we would like to see some reductions, frankly in units below M.O. (say for the last 5 years) they should be stopped period until the herds are built back to M.O.

I don't understand why "my" point of view on the orphan calves has been so hard to understand. Let's take one more stab at this. If I was out hunting and shot a cougar with young, I not only would be breaking a law, but as a sportsman I would feel ashamed of causing the premature death of the kittens by starvation. Even though I greatly want to see the cougar population decreased, I'm not willing to sacrifice my ethics as a sportsman to hunt the animals I pursue under the rules of fair chase. My goal is to make as clean of a kill on the animals that I pursue as is within my abilities, causing a young of an animal that I have harvested to suffer a slow death is not within my goals, nor should it be within any true sportspersons. If we support this position that orphaned calves are insignificant, I believe we diminish ourselves in the eye of the non-hunting public. I surely can think of no defense for this to tell the public that they will accept. When I harvest a bull elk, I try my best to respect that animal, letting one of his offspring to starve to death when it could have been prevented, is showing disrespect in my book. Maybe I'm getting soft in my middle age, but I was taught this by my peers, to do less would disrespect them.

Biologically speaking, you are correct, the harvest in the youth hunts and any deaths by orphaned calves is insignificant when compared to the whole. I believe that ODF&W did offset the youth harvest in the units that had Cow tags, so that should have been a wash. In the units that did not have Cow tags, then this harvest was indeed and additional harvest. This is not the direction we need to be moving, can we not get these herds built back up and then let the youth have the first crack at them, either sex would be fine with me.

I don't think you will get an argument from any of us that "if" Cow tags need to be issued, the youth, disabled and seniors should get the first crack at them. In fact I have been on the record of supporting that concept for many years.

I also have been on the record of allowing youth to have a crack at bulls and bucks before the rest of us. I'm not against youth hunts, not at all, and I feel ashamed that we have allowed our game populations to fall so far that the best we can offer them is an antlerless hunt.

All we have been asking is the dropping of August from the youth hunt program, this really doesn't seem like too much to ask. Yes, we would expect August to be dropped from the other hunts also (in regard to Cow harvests).
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:47 PM   #33
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

Here are the rules we should be following regarding elk hunting, in my opinion:

1. There should be NO antlerless hunting prior to Sept 1 of each year, no youth tags, no damage tags, no landowner tags, nada, regardless of the population numbers on the unit.

2. There should be NO elk hunting of any kind after December 1 of each year, regardless of the population numbers on the unit. The research is crystal clear on multiple species: Harassment of females before during and after winter has a serious, negaive impact on the production of calves. The way you increase opportunity is to increase herd productivity. The way you increase herd productivity is to leave the animals alone from Dec through the end of June. Since there is not much we can do about the huge increase in non-hunting activities during these time frames, we need to eliminate our negative impacts. As a point of information, in the 50's-60's, when mule deer populations were at their most productive, there were no deer or elk hunts in August or September, except when rifle season opened the end of Sept, there were NO hunts after thanksgiving. We need to get back to that.

3. When a unit has been at or below 90% of MO for three consecutive years, there should be NO antlerless tags of any kind for any user group. When that population starts to recover, antlerless tags should not be added until the unit has met or exceeded MO for at least one year.

4. Any elk tags should be eliminated, period. They encourage poor hunting practices, serve no valid biological purpose, and make it difficult to predict harvest levels, making it virtually impossible to set appropriate tag numbers. All antlerless tags for all users and special interest groups should be controlled hunts.

5. When (I should say if) composition trend counts are done, biologists should count three classes of bulls, spikes, raghorns, and mature. The minimum escapement level for mature bulls should be 10/100 adults. When that level is not met for two consecutive years, bull tags for all user groups should be substantially reduced. No exceptions.

6. On units where population trend counts are not done for two consecutive years (currently the majority of units in Oregon) no antlerless tags should be issued.

7. On units where composition trend counts are not done for two consecutive years (mostly occurs on the westside currently), no bull tags should be issued.

8. It is time to seriously consider combining the bull and antlerless rifle seasons into one or two hunts, assuming there are any units that should have antlerless tags. Using the Ochoco unit as an example, split the cow tags between the two rifle seasons, and get all hunting seasons done by Nov 15. This is what Colorado does, for the most part, and if you look at the statistics I provided in a previous post on this thread, it certainly does not impact calf production.


For forty years, we have managed our big game populations based on providing maximum hunting opportunity to a wide variety of user groups without much regard for the negative impact that approach has had on the reproductive health of our big game species. We are now reaping the rewards of that ridiculous policy. IF we are going to provide our children with the opportunities and heritage we have enjoyed, we are going to have to radically change how we do things, and make the sacrifices necessary to repair the damage we have done.

Scoutdog
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:54 PM   #34
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Default Re: Special Youth Elk Hunts - Facts Not Hype

I agree totally with you rank,my thing is the August cow killing, be it youth,damage, or archery hunts. I am a bow hunter myself and I would like to see them make the last two weeks of season any elk. The kids hunts I do not have a problem with either, but let them hunt the last 4 months of the year, that should be long enough. 6x6
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