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DEAR OTHER MIDWEST DEER STATES….. From: Iowa

MN Slick

PMA Member
I agree that the many younger folks wants a different experience and thanks social media they see what is possible when a state has the proper managment structure in place. Personally I don't see Minnesota adopting a more age freindly management strategy due to CWD and how the DNR here handles it. Simply put they see bucks as the main spreaders of CWD and want them all killed. SEMN, the best area in MN for mature bucks, went from APR's and a 1 buck/season limit to allowing 3 bucks due to CWD. It's grim here fortunately I spend 99% of my time in that "horrible" area of Northern Missouri, LOL!
 

LoessHillsArcher

PMA Member
Gun hunters may take it personally taking the gun season out of the rut but in a few short years I think they'd realize the gain to be had for all hunters, including themselves. IA gun hunters kill world class bucks every year and it's part to the timing of the season. Putting a gun season in the rut results in a reduction of quality deer #s, age class and with that comes a reduction in antler size to all hunters. If you're a meat hunter you want more deer #s. If you're a "trophy hunter" you want better age structure. Both of these groups win by moving the gun season out of the rut.

If you're a farmer or insurance company you want zero deer (this is a strong generalization here)
 

VanWyk

New Member
Skip, as a MI hunter I couldn't agree more. In your opinion what/where would be the best place to start to make a change?
 

bwese

Active Member
In NE the state big game biologists have defended the Nov. 9 day season's timing as what most people want as it gets to cold in December to have enjoyable hunts, especially for the young and old. They also say most of the hunters want to see deer when hunting and pressures that be want as many deer killed as possible and that is optimum time.

I don't see it changing in this state anytime soon. Its basically up to hunters to practice trigger control if they want to have a better chance at older class deer or a deer population. Habitat manipulators/managers and age class hunters are a small minority of hunters in any state and they don't have the financial influence to get changes made to improve the state's herd via season timing. I see deer age classes only getting better when hunting opportunities are lost for the vast majority of hunters if not all. That will be Armageddon time and I hope to never see that.
 
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LoessHillsArcher

PMA Member
In NE the state big game biologists have defended the Nov. 9 day season's timing as what most people want as it gets to cold in December to have enjoyable hunts, especially for the young and old. They also say most of the hunters want to see deer when hunting and pressures that be want as many deer killed as possible and that is optimum time.

I don't see it changing in this state anytime soon. Its basically up to hunters to practice trigger control if they want to have a better chance at older class deer or a deer population. Habitat manipulators/managers and age class hunters are a small minority of hunters in any state and they don't have the financial influence to get changes made to improve the state's herd via season timing. I see deer age classes only getting better when hunting opportunities are lost for the vast majority of hunters if not all. That will be Armageddon time and I hope to never see that.
I could see where western NE the weather factor is definitely true.

We always say we have to police ourselves even with IA's regulations. If we wanted as a family we could shoot a dozen bucks a year, probably all over 140 every single year. But we'd soon struggle to find bucks over 150 and over 3.5 years old. Instead, we'd rather shoot does for meat and a few bucks each year that are in the upper age range. With that comes a more enjoyable challenge to hunt them and most times larger antlers. Also it's super fun to go hunt and see nice bucks doing their thing, rutting, fighting, breeding does, and just doing what God created them to do. I've hunted deer heards in NW IA where it was way out of balance and to see a deer was a big deal. That type of hunting wasn't enjoyable for me.

That's our goal. It's not everyone's goal and that's ok. My biggest pet peeve is people who want to set a goal of X size or age buck but then continue to shoot less than their goal size or age bucks and complain about it. That bugs me. Don't be part of the problem. If they're happy shooting X size or age buck, by all means keep on doing what makes you happy! Everyone has to find their own happiness and enjoyment in their hunting style and situation. If you aren't happy and want something better/different, go make it happen.

To Skips point, eventually "going to IA" can't be everyone's answer to finding their dream hunting area, it's a limited area and to open it up to everyone would quickly turn what great resource people are coming here for to "just another midwest state". Eventually another state has to mimic what IA does and changing regulations is a huge first step. Or people are just going to have to be more patient and wait longer to draw an IA tag. There are other states that have the natural resources to become better than IA and be a second option for people looking to find that dream hunting area with higher deer number, better age structure, and a better chance at their hunting dream
 
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Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
, eventually "going to IA" can't be everyone's answer to finding their dream hunting area, it's a limited area and to open it up to everyone would quickly turn what great resource people are coming here for to "just another midwest state". Eventually another state has to mimic what IA does and changing regulations is a huge first step. Or people are just going to have to be more patient and wait longer to draw an IA tag. There are other states that have the natural resources to become better than IA and be a second option for people looking to find that dream hunting area with higher deer number, better age structure, and a better chance at their hunting dream
THIS^^^^^.
I don’t want to see iowa be a 10 year draw wait AND on other side…. I don’t want to collapse our system so it’s NOT a 10 year draw (because we cave in & tank like every other state). We need to see a whole state that would offer 5-10x the potential of iowa (MN, WI, MO, MI, IN, etc) start offering simple regs that would leave IA in the dust…. Take the heat off our pressured, limited & sensitive state.
We can’t afford to absorb 5% of the hunters from the “failed states” - that amount of people would overwhelm this state alone.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Skip, as a MI hunter I couldn't agree more. In your opinion what/where would be the best place to start to make a change?
Each system will have its “process” of “who & how” regulations are made. Every state is different.
In MI- who makes the regulations & how? That answer will tell me EXACTLY how I would respond to this.
 

Bucksnbears

Well-Known Member
Skip, can you explain the message you tried too do in that clip? As in the term "better".

If "better" means bigger bucks, I will disagree. Most (want) a big buck but few will kill one unless they have a true passion for attaining that goal. And with that comes trying to gain exclusive permission on private lands that can and does keep the "hunting" tradition alive.
I've been on both sides of this and I'm WAY LESS gready now as I was once.
I once had MILES of prime riverbottoms( like 20) locked up for myself.
Didn't give two chit if I got a family with kids kicked out that hunted it for years.
I wanted my own playgrounds for one reason...BIG BUCKS.

I now long for the days when I could drive around and see gangs driving deer.
They are GONE!
Where once I could see hundreds of people on a day out hunting, now I may go a few days without a person out.
20 years ago I woulda thought this was "better", now its damn near depressing.
As for moving the hunts later, I'd kinda still like to see that but some years in Northern MN that would really hurt due to deep snow that would make access impossible.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Skip, can you explain the message you tried too do in that clip? As in the term "better".

If "better" means bigger bucks, I will disagree. Most (want) a big buck but few will kill one unless they have a true passion for attaining that goal. And with that comes trying to gain exclusive permission on private lands that can and does keep the "hunting" tradition alive.
I've been on both sides of this and I'm WAY LESS gready now as I was once.
I once had MILES of prime riverbottoms( like 20) locked up for myself.
Didn't give two chit if I got a family with kids kicked out that hunted it for years.
I wanted my own playgrounds for one reason...BIG BUCKS.

I now long for the days when I could drive around and see gangs driving deer.
They are GONE!
Where once I could see hundreds of people on a day out hunting, now I may go a few days without a person out.
20 years ago I woulda thought this was "better", now its damn near depressing.
As for moving the hunts later, I'd kinda still like to see that but some years in Northern MN that would really hurt due to deep snow that would make access impossible.
Better is this ….
1) better than the current status of MN, MI, WI, MO, etc for balanced age structure as well as meat for the table. “BALANCED”. BETTER states would be attracting people vs the current state of them fleeing & youth not wanting to hunt.
2) BETTER - I’m meaning this…… what IOWA offers. (& we have our major problems with access & due to fact we only have 6% timber). BETTER means this…. States can still have the guys that want to “blast, get meat, whatever” but…. Due to regulations, all the young bucks are not targeted for destruction with guns in middle of rut…

BETTER results in the “serious guys” who want an OPPORTUNITY to hunt an older (& NATURAL) age class of bucks- in iowa we have this opportunity for BOTH GROUPS. Even on state land in iowa - a serious guy is able to hunt for an older buck - & has a real chance at being successful. In many of these poor states - that opportunity does NOT exist!!
I’ll state a fact…. Any regular state land around me- stuff that’s hunted hard - whatever….. there’s a better chance at an older buck on any public land in iowa than any private farm I’ve ever been able to hunt in MI. Public land in iowa destroys private farms in MI & many other states. & iowa has the least amount of public of any state!!! That may sound anecdotal but it’s true. & think about that…. Let’s put another way…. Any hunter with a bit of hunting skills can tag a 3-4 year old on public here….. I hunted 10-15 counties in MI For example & I think I’ve seen one buck that was 3.5 in my whole life. Maybe a handful of 2 year olds. Yes- that’s how bad it is. Put it another way…. My buddies from WI, MN, MI, PA, who hunt IA for the first time….. EVERY SINGLE ONE……. “I saw more older class bucks in one night than I did in last 10 years in MN” or whatever. I’ve heard this countless times in 20 years.

Have you hunted in MN, MI, WI, PA, etc??? Do you understand or can u comprehend how bad it is??? (Overall. Of course there’s rare exceptions or some guy that has 3000 acres, etc). If u haven’t seen it 1st hand - it’s hard to understand. It’s like comparing the USA to Haiti- one is vastly superior & if u have experienced the latter- you get how great it is here. (Unless ur a lib that hates this country ;) )

Last- by BETTER…. I mean - better than what it is. Doesn’t mean states or hunters are expecting 180’s. Or 5 year olds. But if you’re in an area where the 1-2 year olds are mowed down yearly - most the folks that “get it” are wanting a chance at a 3 or maybe a 4 year old. It’s not about trophies - it’s about a balanced age structure. What happens in 90% the areas of these states is madness. Why the folks that live there flock here!!!!!

On other hand….. when anyone who understands deer, basic biology, or even basic hunting…
& knows their system SUCKS….. let’s say the fight was over setting the gun season back “7 days” for example….. it’s mind boggling to see the opposition other than to call it “stubbornness, selfishness, ignorance, etc” cloaked in the cliche “tradition”.

**ACCESS in EVERY STATE has gotten harder. All states have gotten way worse!!!! & they have 5-10x the habitat!!!! We only have 6% timber!!!!! With more people wanting to come here!!!!

BOTTOM LINE: IOWA IS BETTER.
OTHER STATES ARE: WORSE.
Pretty simple- these states with 10x the habitat vs IA …. They COULD be way BETTER than iowa. WAY WAY BETTER. If anyone doesn’t think MO, WI & MN have potential to humiliate Iowa’s results…. You would be MISTAKEN!!!
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
& here’s another objection!!!
“it’s too cold to move the gun season back!”
1) think about late ML season here - any of you done -20 below? Or 0. Which- even in Jan - the norm is 20-30 degrees, Whatever.
“BUT I DONT LIKE COLD!!!!!” (Coming from grown men!!!)….
OH YA!!!!!! OOOOOPS!!!!!!!! That’s right!!!! Iowa offers the CHOICE of: Early ML season, gun 1, gun 2 & late ML. U don’t like cold - make a short gun season earlier. Folks who can’t handle the cold (girly men- sorry) - can opt for the earlier season. Break the gun seasons up so folks can choose & it breaks up the amount of gun hunters across the season!!!!! That COVERS EVERYONE!!!!!!!! & everyone wins with less pressure, more choices & a deer herd that isn’t wiped out by an army in a matter of a week.
& sorry- if we ever used “SCIENCE, FACTS or FORECASTS” - we’d all see 1-2 weeks does not result in huge temp changes on average. That little bit of time is a crap shoot on what week is colder. Look up ANY part of US & try & find where a week or 2 amounts to more than 2-3 degrees difference!!
 

Windlooker

Well-Known Member
You know at one time Iowa was as timbered as other states. Invention of the bulldozer. Most dangerous man in Iowa, a farmer on a dozer.

Others states with more habitat also have 10x the hunters Iowa has. Iowa 3 million people, Pa 13 million, MI 10 million. There’s more habitat but more people. It’s relative.

Not to mention nutrition, soil and genetic issues. Iowa is one big food plot. MI one big paper farm. Come on.
 
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Tmayer13

PMA Member
Beating dead horse here in MO. Mo is all about the $$$
More tags sold the better, tax revenue
Missouri sees the wtd as the state’s resource. Unlike IA who sees wtd as the people of the state’s resource.
S IA vs N MO is an imaginary line of identical mix of habitat (the areas im the most familiar with anyway- Ringgold Decatur Wayne Appanoose Davis)
Shame. Age structure (and the opportunity to reach 5+) is the only difference


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The argument of money should never come into play and heres why;
My dad hunts MO every year the week before gun season starts...Pays 250$ for tag

If MO drop the tag allotment even by a third and charges double the asking price, people will still pay it..I mean look at the price of an IA NR tag...its like $800 or something crazy like that....Change the laws, get the guns out of November and ask more for the tag, its literally a win-win situation....less hunters, better seasons and higher tag monies, the residents win, the NRs win and the government wins....

I realize i am thinking about this as a person who cares about conservation so its easy for me to see it...convincing your state legislators of this is another story...
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
You know at one time Iowa was as timbered as other states. Invention of the bulldozer. Most dangerous man in Iowa, a farmer on a dozer.

Others states with more habitat also have 10x the hunters Iowa has. Iowa 3 million people, Pa 13 million, MI 10 million. There’s more habitat but more people. It’s relative.

Not to mention nutrition, soil and genetic issues. Iowa is one big food plot. MI one big paper farm. Come on.
Agree it’s the most transformed state of the 50.
Population & hunting pressure are EXTREMELY regional ….. for example- WI may be more populated with people vs Iowa but SW WI & Northeast iowa are very similar in populations. Same with SE MN vs Northeast iowa.

population density of Northern MO is as low or lower than southern iowa.

then we have Ohio- lots of people- no guns during the rut. Extremely better than its neighbors.
Or Kansas vs Nebraska……. Both very rural…. Kansas smokes Nebraska when you cross the line. I spent 7-8 years hunting Nemaha co Kansas near the Nebraska line. Gun season was 2-3 weeks later on KS side & hunting vastly superior in any sense of the word.

it’s not about people or population near what regulations impact. Case in point…. The amount of deer within 20 mins of Des Moines I’ve seen score over, say, 220” & INCREDIBLY MATURE…. Pretty mind boggling. Every year- absolute mammoths killed a short drive outside of Des Moines. I can assure you- this frequency of mature & giant bucks- this doesn’t happen around towns in MO, WI, MN, MI, PA, Etc. & again- Im not saying anyone is pushing “grow giant bucks” …. Thats just the HUUUUUGGGEEE benefit of having regulations that allow more bucks to reach older ages.

LATE GUN SEASONS allow more bucks to reach a natural older age class vs their neighbors that don’t do this. It’s proven over & over & over with these magic lines we call states & guys that fully see & understand & compare the realities of both sides of those lines. If Hunters “voted with their feet” …. They are voting for iowa - leaving their states that are full of habitat & deer to come to this little bit of paradise that has a bit over 6% timber left. To the tune of a 5 year wait & probably 5-20 hours in the car for them + thousands of dollars. Just for the OPPORTUNITY they do NOT have back home.

SOIL QUALITY vs our neighbors is a non-issue. It has little to no merit. 65% of the state has premium soils with almost no trees or deer. The best deer hunting is in the worst soil ratings of the state. & again- look right across those borders,……. Gorgeous ….. & such a waste of potential.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
If MO drop the tag allotment even by a third and charges double the asking price, people will still pay it..I mean look at the price of an IA NR tag...its like $800 or something crazy like that....Change the laws, get the guns out of November and ask more for the tag, its literally a win-win situation....less hunters, better seasons and higher tag monies, the residents win, the NRs win and the government wins....
THIS is common sense!!! This should be going on with every state!! At least a debate. The obstacle…. You are dealing with POLITICS!!! Let’s face it folks - common sense & solving issues is not the governments best suited task. They are horrible at it!!! But…. The more younger folks that get control & get organized (get an “IBA” that has common sense) - the closer it’ll be to a vote, debate or inch closer to getting a majority support…. A state might start off with something with “40% support”…. Give the same issue 3-5 more years & all the sudden it’s “52%”. I will guarantee the trend is UP for education, support & hunters that want things to get better!!! It’s gaining ground, not losing!!!
 
The argument of money should never come into play and heres why;
My dad hunts MO every year the week before gun season starts...Pays 250$ for tag

If MO drop the tag allotment even by a third and charges double the asking price, people will still pay it..I mean look at the price of an IA NR tag...its like $800 or something crazy like that....Change the laws, get the guns out of November and ask more for the tag, its literally a win-win situation....less hunters, better seasons and higher tag monies, the residents win, the NRs win and the government wins....

I realize i am thinking about this as a person who cares about conservation so its easy for me to see it...convincing your state legislators of this is another story...

MO is not concerned as much with the price of NR tag but the raw #s of people they can get to spend their $ in mo for sales tax revenues and pumping up the overall economy for tourism etc.


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OMB

Member
The one thing that needs to be taken into account here is the changing of the guard that's going to come in the next 10-15 years in hunting, not just in the Midwest, but across the entire country. WI has a system set up for citizens to propose changes and vote on those at the yearly spring Conservation Congress hearings, and making any changes whatsoever to the timing of the gun deer season come up every few years. These meetings heavily influence DNR policy and proposals to mess with the season structure are heavily unpopular due to the tradition we have in the state of starting the Saturday before Thanksgiving. If there's going to be a chance ever of moving season dates around, it's unfortunately not going to come until after the Baby Boomers age out of hunting. I don't want to start a complete second topic, but just doing a scan in the plat book of a 20 mile radius of our Iowa farm shows that more than half of the farms with meaningful timber will probably turn over in the next decade. Look at land closings and the people buying rec ground is a mix of Cedar Valley/DSM guys in their 30s/40s and non-residents.

The other major thing that isn't being addressed is the Iowa DNR and non-residents now needing 4-5 points to draw an archery license. There's a lot of complaining about non-residents buying or leasing up prime hunting ground, but everyone conveniently forgets the fact the Iowa DNR has been giving out free "governors" tags to every C-list country musician so they get featured on the Outdoor Channel pounding a 150" 10 pointer over a perfectly manicured food plot for what, 15 or 20 years now? The cat is out of the bag, and non-resident landowners/leasers who bought into that with a lot of money are going to start wondering why they don't have tags more regularly, and they have more money than you can wrap your head around. Like it or not, that money will talk. Arizona just shut down 20+ over the counter archery mule and coues deer units after they paid influencers to promote the hunts. Across the board, we all have to look our at various state game agencies and look at what our return is on their funding when they're causing the resource to get loved to death.

I like the sentiment behind the videos, and I agree at the 25,000 foot level, but I don't see it as being a viable option quite yet. And one could also make the argument that Iowa kills way too many mature bucks from 9 year olds sitting on a food plot in October with helicopter dad doing everything but pulling the trigger for kid that has no idea what he just accomplished so dad can throw up pictures on Facebook. I don't think any of the other Midwestern states have early muzzleloader for adults or youth. As alluded in another post, I can't drive around Iowa without seeing a D9 Cat with a ripper parked next to a smoking pile of trees that got cut down so the farmer could get another 3 rows of corn in. This thread is an excellent conversation starter, and tons of good points, but there's a lot of introspection that needs to occur in Iowa before people start taking the rest of the region to task.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Good points all around. Love the diversity of thoughts & thinking.
I think we could do a pile of t-shirts!! “KEEP IOWA GREAT”. “MAKE THE MIDWEST GREAT AGAIN”

I agree on the $!!!!!! That’s a huuuuuugggeee issue that needs addressed!! & there’s plenty of $ INCENTIVES for a state to get their act together. I’m chewing hard on all financial ramifications!
NO ONE WILL EVER SEE A SYSTEM WHERE EVERYONE IS HAPPY!!! Everything has its +/-‘s. I’d just make the case that adopting better regulations have far more +’s vs -‘s. The next case to be made is the financial incentives or monetary advancements that better regulations will make. Overall. Net impact, vastly positive. More on that later & very good points above.
 

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