Chattahoochee NF-No Antlerless Deer Hunting

what would you describe to be the best fawn cover? I myself feel like there's a ton of diversity in the mountains. There's lots of areas that's so thick you can't walk through in he summer that's been untouched for years. Some areas are closed canopy and more open woods without much cover but there's just as much areas that I feel do provide cover. Walking along the Appalachian trail you will see that closed canopy effect. Drop off 10 leads from the top over a few miles and there's tons of diversity and good cover. Let's go to hooch wma. Take Martin branch, trail ridge and look at it in the summer. Should be covered up with deer from controlled burns, logging and storm damage. I see just as many deer there as I do at cut locast gap to horse trough falls in the big mature woods. We have a predator problem. Our woods is capable of at least twice what we have now. If we never touch them again it should support at least double. The mountains will never have what flatlands has population wise. Cut the bears and the population will grow. Bears and yotes proves to much competition for the deer. Yotes are here to stay but reducing bear population would be a lot easier. Ask a poll of hunters state wide, or regionally what the focus should be on managing, bears or deer. I'd say overwhelming majority will say we have to many bears. We all know how many are complaining about lower deer. Problem I see with the bears, few has mentioned it in this thread is that most hunters are seeing bears but so few are shooting. I seen 27 last season and shot 1. We're letting to many bears walk. Just about everybody that lets a bear walk will blast a yote. We're headed in the right direction with removal of doe days but we need a spring season for bears.
You bring up a lot of good points, a lot of which we're learning about through the research we have going on. The problem is the scale of closed canopy forest across a pretty large area. Take a look at the Game Check deer harvest dashboard and compare the deer harvest per square mile to aerial photos in Google maps. When you zoom out at the whole state look at how the dark green areas (totally forested) correspond to lower deer harvest. Southeast Georgia is very similar, but it appears more drastic than the mountains because harvest reporting isn't as compliant there. Also, here's a link to a video I did showing how land use can impact deer populations. While predators may seem the cause of the decline on the surface, the landscape and land use has major impacts on the ability of predators to locate fawns. It's just not as simple as killing more bears or coyotes, I wish it was that easy.

https://gadnrwrd.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/a8c09f55918b41e7af6e54abf1dc3a1c

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what would you describe to be the best fawn cover? I myself feel like there's a ton of diversity in the mountains. There's lots of areas that's so thick you can't walk through in he summer that's been untouched for years. Some areas are closed canopy and more open woods without much cover but there's just as much areas that I feel do provide cover. Walking along the Appalachian trail you will see that closed canopy effect. Drop off 10 leads from the top over a few miles and there's tons of diversity and good cover. Let's go to hooch wma. Take Martin branch, trail ridge and look at it in the summer. Should be covered up with deer from controlled burns, logging and storm damage. I see just as many deer there as I do at cut locast gap to horse trough falls in the big mature woods. We have a predator problem. Our woods is capable of at least twice what we have now. If we never touch them again it should support at least double. The mountains will never have what flatlands has population wise. Cut the bears and the population will grow. Bears and yotes proves to much competition for the deer. Yotes are here to stay but reducing bear population would be a lot easier. Ask a poll of hunters state wide, or regionally what the focus should be on managing, bears or deer. I'd say overwhelming majority will say we have to many bears. We all know how many are complaining about lower deer. Problem I see with the bears, few has mentioned it in this thread is that most hunters are seeing bears but so few are shooting. I seen 27 last season and shot 1. We're letting to many bears walk. Just about everybody that lets a bear walk will blast a yote. We're headed in the right direction with removal of doe days but we need a spring season for bears.
Can't argue with their science, they are not wrong, no way no how, will not listen. There is good fawning cover on most of the land up here, grown up roads, fields, and plenty of tornado damage. Not listening to what the people see and hear in these mountains is why we are at this crossroad with these bears. We need either a dog season in the early spring, Jan. Feb. or early March or one in July or August.. No seasons to be affected and no other hunters to be bothered, all we need is a little help up here and we can take care of most of the problems, I know a lot of hunters have not been shooting doe up here for a lot of years and we all have the same opinion about bear, we rather have more deer and less bear. I plant seven food plots every year for the deer and turkey and there has been only one deer shot in any of them and I got it this past season, we have been letting them walk for the last five years trying to build the population back a little. We had about seven doe spread out between the plots this last summer that had fawns in July, by the middle of August there was only two fawns left. Guess how many bear I had on camera at these plots, 12, that I could tell were different out of hundreds of pics, only had one yote, and he got blasted on opening day of turkey season when he came in to eat a hen turkey that was calling to a gobbler! If we can get some help with these bears we might be able to help the deer, if we get no help, there is no hope! On a side note, I don't have any bear dogs or know anyone that has any that I talk to often, so I am not trying to get another season for myself, just trying to get help with these bear problems that myself and every person in this community is sick and tired of!
 
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Rulo

Senior Member
DNR=WMA= Wildlife Management Area
Most of these Mountain WMA'S are properties of the USFS=United States Forest Service. DNR manages the wildlife, not their job to maintain the roads, organize litter pick up, etc.

What is the Forest Service?

We are a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture that manages 193 million acres of land, roughly the size of Texas. We manage public lands in the form of national forests and grasslands, provide technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies and make up the largest forestry research organization in the world.

When and why was the Forest Service established?

Congress established the Forest Service in 1905 to provide quality water and timber for the nation’s benefit. Congress later directed the Forest Service to broaden its management scope for additional multiple uses and benefits and for the sustained yield of renewable resources such as water, forage, wildlife, wood, and recreation.

What does the Forest Service do?

We help people share and enjoy the forest, while conserving the environment for generations to come. Some activities are compatible. Some are not.
You, as a concerned citizen, can play a key role by expressing your views to Forest Service managers to help us strike a balance and make decisions in the best interest of the public lands and the public.

What is the Forest Service mission?

The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
Its not that simple. "DNR manages the wildlife, not their job to maintain the roads, organize litter pick up, etc" is not going to cut it.

It is "their" job. As curators of the forest, DNR aka the "WMA people" are tasked with managing not only wildlife but the environment as well. On top of taking an oath to do just that......

To simply say that DNR Staff can circle around a couch in the middle of a cul-de-sac for 2 years because its "not their job" is wrong. Either pick up the couch (because as a citizen you sure dont want to get caught driving around on a WMA with a nasty couch in your truck bed) or call the USFS to pick it up. Its indicative of a bad attitude and poor work ethic among staff......

Trash.....same thing......DNR manages the wildlife....set the regs,,,,,will and can write us tickets for dumping on USFS/WMA lands but can simply say...."Its not my job" when it comes to picking up dumped furniture or organizing a litter pick up?

Nope. I dont think so......

DNR is the one pushing to expand these WMAs. Why? To justify their budget and reason for even existing. Well fine....then they need to do their job!
 
Maybe another year of research will help shed some light on the problem. Like I said before I know we don't have the best habitat for deer up here and dealing with the federal government to get something going is a waste of time I feel like. Just look what trumps been trying to get done and the resistance he's getting. I've accepted the fact that timber harvest of national forest will probably never happen on a large enough scale to do any good. In pockets that it has in recent years I can see no noticeable difference in deer numbers. Only reason I don't buy the habitat scenario is that we lost to many deer to quick. It started 20 years ago with increased doe days, booming bear and yote numbers. The combination has killed the deer off in a relatively short time. Yes we need better habitat but that's going to be hard to do. Eliminate some competition and I think we would solve the problem. Everything has to have a balance and right now it's not. I'm with goshen on the bears. We have to many of them. To many people are tired of dealing with them. I had my garbage carried off the other day because of them.
 
What makes me laugh is that most people that read/talk about the deer population in the CNF have no clue just how bad it truly is. Its bad. They need to shut the season down for 2 weeks in the CNF and allow us to hunt the bears with hounds.
 

PappyHoel

Senior Member
People will starve now. Increase in the trout stocking program is needed
 
I have been told that the reason a spring bear hunt wouldn't be considered is due to conflict with other campers, hikers, etc. My argument was that you have just as many people during September and october and if that was a true deciding factor you could make it bow only. My conversation didn't make it much further than that. Just assume that he lost interest in the conversation or had no more B's to shoot me. I don't know why there is no consideration of a spring hunt but I'm sure there is good reason somewhere. Definitely a topic to be pushed. Looking forward to pulling out the bow early.
 
Hey Pappyhoel why dont you save that "stocking trout = welfare for locals" nonsense for the fishing, political, or "useless Billy" type discussions? If you knew anything about true mountain folks you'd realize that if they're really into trout fishing they seldom fish for stockers and dont enjoy eating them nearly as much as you seem to think they do. If you ever got lucky enough to catch and eat a good-sized stream-bred trout you'd get why. I havent eaten 20 natives in the last 10 years, but it's not because I havent caught any. It's called catch and release. So, basically, grown folks are talking. Go outside and play.
 
Its not that simple. "DNR manages the wildlife, not their job to maintain the roads, organize litter pick up, etc" is not going to cut it.

It is "their" job. As curators of the forest, DNR aka the "WMA people" are tasked with managing not only wildlife but the environment as well. On top of taking an oath to do just that......

To simply say that DNR Staff can circle around a couch in the middle of a cul-de-sac for 2 years because its "not their job" is wrong. Either pick up the couch (because as a citizen you sure dont want to get caught driving around on a WMA with a nasty couch in your truck bed) or call the USFS to pick it up. Its indicative of a bad attitude and poor work ethic among staff......

Trash.....same thing......DNR manages the wildlife....set the regs,,,,,will and can write us tickets for dumping on USFS/WMA lands but can simply say...."Its not my job" when it comes to picking up dumped furniture or organizing a litter pick up?

Nope. I dont think so......

DNR is the one pushing to expand these WMAs. Why? To justify their budget and reason for even existing. Well fine....then they need to do their job!
I see you often bash DNR.
On this point about a couch that you looked at for over two years,
why in the world wouldn’t you do your part and haul that thing to the dump if it bothered you that much?
It’s not a bad thing to get caught hauling away a couch or garbage you found.
They may have seen it before as did you.
They’d probably stop and thank you for helping and they can’t give you a ticket if you had it in your truck hauling it away.
Don’t demand of others things your not willing to help do for yourself and say it’s not your job too.
It is my job to help keep the forest clean and my payment is the view.
 
I see you often bash DNR.
On this point about a couch that you looked at for over two years,
why in the world wouldn’t you do your part and haul that thing to the dump if it bothered you that much?
It’s not a bad thing to get caught hauling away a couch or garbage you found.
They may have seen it before as did you.
They’d probably stop and thank you for helping and they can’t give you a ticket if you had it in your truck hauling it away.
Don’t demand of others things your not willing to help do for yourself and say it’s not your job too.
It is my job to help keep the forest clean and my payment is the view.
I agree DNR has many tasks each year to overcome. Many you obviously aren't familiar with. We don't need to go into who does what but trash pick up shouldn't be on their list of duties due to the simple fact that I'm sure most of them have enough sense not to throw it out. In my opinion, that's why we have prison detail. Make those no good lazy pieces of scum go out and pick up trash as a debt to their community. Also just quit throwing trash out. There are public trash facilities everywhere you go. Don't be a lazy piece and take it to the can as far as the couch goes there are many alternatives to putting it on the side of the road even for a poor man in the hills.
 
I don't want to start another argument or derail this thread.

I live close to the mountains and like to hunt there during bow season and during December some too.
Granted I don't put the work in to do this myself. And I get why you don't want to drag a bear over that ridge. I did it once myself.

But if you live there and your tired of bears, bears, bears. Why don't you invite some of your fellow GON members up to get their first bear.

I bet the list of volunteers would be long.
 
I don't want to start another argument or derail this thread.

I live close to the mountains and like to hunt there during bow season and during December some too.
Granted I don't put the work in to do this myself. And I get why you don't want to drag a bear over that ridge. I did it once myself.

But if you live there and your tired of bears, bears, bears. Why don't you invite some of your fellow GON members up to get their first bear.

I bet the list of volunteers would be long.
Did just that this past year, eight friends, eight bears, all recovered but one. Found a week later. Another guy on here is going to come this fall and maybe he can take a few with him.. We trying everything!! Also have to be careful, don't want to take someone to your honey hole and have them beat you back! Everyone I have taken has been really good people!!
 
I would not be opposed to a dog/bear season in the sping, summer, or early December. Heck honestly I don't care when they dog hunt for bears though I know a a lot of my friends do. I will hunt around the areas and or the dates. Honestly whatever will bring back some resemblance of a deer population I am all for. I am not a wildlife biologist so I really just have opinions I have to leave my trust up to them, heck what else am I gonna do lol. I also would not be opposed to baiting for bears on private land, heck even public. In Maine you can bait on public land you just have to be posted and a mile or more from any structural dwelling. I am all for any means to narrow down the predator population, I tagged out on bear this season, though it was the first year I have harvested a bear. I also missed two bears this season. In total I dont know how many bears I saw but I saw bears every time I hunted them.
 
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Not during bowseason. I'm all for the dog hunters but why take it from the bowhunters? Give em their own season.
Absolutely NOT during bow season PLEASE don't push for dog hunting during bow season. One of my favorite things to do is come up and bow hunt these bears and putting dogs on the ground that early in the year will ruin the quality of the hunt for everyone. Have a late season dog hunt. A well trained bear dog will find the bear no matter what time of year. If DNR is looking to harvest more bear during the bow season a good start would be to open the access roads on wmas during bow season instead of the first gun hunt. This will make it easier to retrieve your animal when timing due to hot temps. is a big factor. Also would encourage more people to get out there a little earlier in the year if they could go hunt their spots and not have to walk 5 miles to get there. It really makes no sense to close gates during bow season but open them during gun season when temps. aren't a factor and there is a ton of other hunters in the woods. You would think they would either keep gates closed all year or close them during gun season to give ALL the MANY other hunters room to roam.
 
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