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The "orange army"

Hawk32

Active Member
Like trapshooter1 stated the orange army is one of the main reasons I have for the love for of hunting. For me as a kid it went way beyond the couple days of 1st gun (3 if I skipped school). I was blessed to have a couple mentors in our group that taught me way more than just killing a deer. These guys would take me squirrel hunting, mushroom hunting, trap shooting, you name it when I was kid. They went above and beyond to take me in and teach me woodsmanship. Then numerous times they'd invite me into their home for a meal of what we harvested. A couple of those guys have passed now and every once in a while I think back of some of those hunts and realize how lucky I was. I still go back for opening weekend but not because of the deer hunting.
 

Obsessed

Well-Known Member
I'm a diehard SG deer hunting fan, but I will admit that the recent years of losing land access has taken its toll. Plus, I'm pretty burned out from bow hunting by the time SG season starts. It's started to lose some of it's luster for me. I still love it for what it is. No tolerance for dangerous lawbreakers though. Don't think sitting in a treestand is a good idea while lead is flying either.
 

crietveld

Active Member
I guess our group is lucky we still have more ground to hunt than we need. Part of growing up and living in the same neighborhood all your life. Definitely not sole permission on all of it but that’s fine.

Our group shoots alot of does and the occasional nice buck, young bucks get a pass. This keeps the landowners happy, farmers know just killing bucks isn’t helping reduce the deer damage they have.

Oh and my dad hunted with one of those outlaw groups for years. So bad the game warden followed them around on opening day because he knew he would write them up by 9 am. I just shook my head at his stories of them.


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Bucksnbears

Well-Known Member
I haven't gun hunted in years but many moons ago, I got caught up a few "deer rodeos" trucks involved. The thought of it now makes me sick but...
Good,bad,ugly, every situation I've been in while hunting the past 45 years has "taught" me things I know today.
Our gun season here is over now its as thought it never even happened.
 

2.5YR8

Active Member
My 1st experience deer hunting was part of a group of mostly family. We hunted the same properties that my grandpa started hunting when deer hunting was reestablished in the 50s/60s. Over the years fewer of us continued to make the trip as we aged and moved away. Sadly it sounds like last year was the final year of our yearly deer camp.

The plan this year (and hopefully years to come) will be centered around my new place, and we'll be stand hunting. It will just be my dad, my brother, and a buddy who stuck with us through the last couple years of struggles If we still need a couple deer by the 2nd weekend we might do a couple small drives that will be nothing compared to what we used to tromp around on.

It will certainly be different but ultimately deer camp is deer camp, and there aren't many places I'd rather be.
 

Hardwood11

It is going to be a good fall!
I don’t mind gun hunting… as long as it’s not smack during rut like Minnesota. That’s poor management. Iowa having the gun season in December is smart, and it’s why Iowa is great. That’s the key factor.

Move the gun season to Nov 6 in Iowa and most of your big mature bucks would die in 2 yrs. Hopefully that will never happen.
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
I don’t mind gun hunting… as long as it’s not smack during rut like Minnesota.

Or Missouri. We rarely have what I would call a mature buck (4+ year old). 90% of the good 2 year olds and all 3 year olds get destroyed by guns.

The sad part is many of my neighbors regret shooting them after they do. "Made a quick decision.. I thought he was bigger" when he was running across the field 100+ yards away.. :rolleyes:
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
I am in a pocket with landowners that choose to not do deer drives. About 20-30 mins away - it’s a different world …. Deer drives are the norm. I’ve been in both areas for maybe 15 years & the hunting choices & results are very different….
Both methods done legally- to each his own & i wish all groups the best & enjoying either form. No right or wrong. Hope everyone has a blast & makes some memories!

There’s no doubt on an OBJECTIVE level…. The areas without deer drives have a far better age structure of bucks. IMO- it’s due to the fact that far less 2-3 year olds get shot at. I would say, OBJECTIVELY, deer populations are higher in general in areas without deer drives. On my own farm- we have zero issues shooting all the does needed without drives …. But on average - I would call a spade a spade & say deer drive areas have fewer deer. This is not opinion- this is pure observation & what I see year in, year out.
Subjectively, maybe some folks would find deer drives more exciting. A good time to spend with a bunch of buddies… tradition/time with friends. Probably warmer with walking around, etc. On subjective level - I love sitting & watching natural deer movement …. Peace & quiet. I personally would never allow drives. I love sitting & I feel it’s the best way to manage the resource but that’s just my opinion & subjective spin on it. I will admit- I am on guard during gun season for “law breaking idiots” - but that’s cut & dry & any group of hunters has a few bad apples. Great we have the choice on how we hunt or why. I choose “management, sitting, no drives, hunts sitting with a kiddo or buddy for old bucks & does, etc” - but that’s me alone & doesn’t mean my way is right or wrong. Wish each groups the best & wish them an enjoyable season.

THE BIG REALITY…. Be thankful this gun season wasn’t early to mid November ….. which destroys probably 2/3rds of the states that could be amazing. For those who might not like our gun season- at least be thankful of the timing of it!!
 

Bucksnbears

Well-Known Member
Good post Skip.
As a bowhunter, I enjoy watching deer doing what deer do naturally.
As a "hunter", I still enjoy driving around and watching gunners making drives and watching deer cartwheel head over hooves..
 

OMB

Member
it's really hilarious how people will get upset about the "orange army" but not about the fact there's both a youth and adult early muzzleloader season in October with weapons that can shoot over 500 yards (and the same people can do that in late December over food sources.) And the same people will say centerfire rifles should be restricted because they can shoot too far. Lotta people worrying about lotta things that do not affect them at tall.
 
Furthermore, the REALITY is hunting was never intended to grow trophy deer through land acquisition and patrol. The science behind it is to maintain healthy levels through conservation knowing that most folks don’t own enough land to manage their own deer or don’t own at all. Those who get upset need to remember why hunting exists to begin with, and it’s not to stock a personal trophy room. Most are happy to take a deer or two for conservation purposes, meat, and camaraderie. Let’s not stray too far from that.
 
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Wi transplant

PMA Member
Sorry guys but unless you have "experienced" a gun season in wi, mi, or pa. Where you have 600k plus hunters on the same weekend!! You have not seen a true "orange army!!! Just my 2 cents!!!!

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203ntyp

PMA Member
Sorry guys but unless you have "experienced" a gun season in wi, mi, or pa. Where you have 600k plus hunters on the same weekend!! You have not seen a true "orange army!!! Just my 2 cents!!!!
Agree, at one point years ago PA had over 1 million hunters afield and it was crazy on public land. People fighting for their spots, purposely messing with others. That's the reason I haven't hunted public ground for 35 years and made an effort to secure private ground by offering help with farm work or anything else the landowner needed for the privilege to hunt their land. I'm fortunate to have good relationships with a couple land owners, the main factor is I tell them that I only hunt archery.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sorry guys but unless you have "experienced" a gun season in wi, mi, or pa. Where you have 600k plus hunters on the same weekend!! You have not seen a true "orange army!!! Just my 2 cents!!!!

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So true. I remember counting somthing like 100 shots by 9 am once growing up in MI. And that's not people pushing and spraying lead. It was all stand hunting.
 

Wi transplant

PMA Member
Just an example in wi i owned a square 40. East side open ag field no one could hunt ,north power line seperated the woods, west ag field ,and south conected buy woods. It was shot gun so the people around me wanted to "cover" anything coming in or out of my 40. They new mine was great bedding and had food! So opening morning there was 3 people on north fenceline 2 on west and 3 in woods to the south !! A guy every 200 yrs !! Nothing could come in or out without getting shot at!! That was last straw through in towel and sold it!! I hope all here in iowa realize how special this is and fight like hell to keep it this way!!

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2-bucks

PMA Member
My first deer season in western Michigan...Mid 1980's and I'm 14. My brother and I "scout" out some spots to hunt on public. Not experienced yet so obviously pick spots too easy to access. Opening morning comes with me leaning on the tree I picked and as the sun comes up I can see three other hunters, we all have rifles mind you. Even at 14 I knew it was not safe nor were any of our chances of getting a buck any good. I walked for an hour before I could fined a spot where I could not see another hunter. That is an army! Tactics changed a lot after that.
 

crietveld

Active Member
Drove through nw West Virginia today. Must be rifle season here. Close to every 10 th vehicle we met was a truck towing an atv or utv loaded with hunting gear. Or dead deer, saw several decent for this area. Also apparently its ok to park along the interstate and walk up the mountain to hunt out here


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