Georgias deer herd by the numbers and by those who know

Thanks for the stats info. I think there is a line here between those who have plenty of deer and those who don't. The only thing that is frustrating is the idea that the "have nots" are not good hunters, have not been responsible hunters, or have little perspective. Across this argument is a wide range of experience, ability, and location. Perhaps there is logic to be found in both? Certainly facts can be used in both directions.

As far as the approach the state takes to manage on a state wide level, not a local level, I do believe other states handle it in a much more local way, which seems to work out fine for them as well (that is just based on what I hear, I am sure there are two sides to that as well).

The only thing I can't get beyond is the responsibility given to hunters in this arrangement to "do the right thing," as well as the disregard for the small lease holder who is more vulnerable to irresponsible hunters than the large lease holder, who has a larger plot of land to manage. Here is an example:

I could have a 100 acre lease next to 3 other 100 acre leases with good intentions. 400 acres of well managed land there. But if any of these 4 leases are next to some goober on another 100 acre lease who shoots every deer that walks by, then all 5 leases lose. That is 500 acres, and if I remember the numbers correctly, less than 8 does should be taken to maintain the herd. Lets say the first 4 shoot one doe a piece, and the fifth guy shoots 5 (plenty of folks out there shoot 5 does every year, just using realistic numbers), well, the deer herd is going downhill. It's hard enough for folks to manage their own lease let alone everybody else's.

Aside from those two issues, I agree on all other points
.


Ok to address these issues...The state doesn't expect any hunter to do the right thing. They actually know some people WILL do the wrong thing, while others do the right thing, while others do nothing. If they didn't expect people to do wrong the whole plan would fail. Nobody says you don't know what your doing. Your problem is simple like you said. "the guy on the hundred acres next to you killed to dang many deer for the local population to handle" Thats unfortunate for you but has got to happen somewhere.It's all accounted for. I'll show you in a very simple.

i am making up the following numbers for simplicity!

The state of GA has 3,000 acres statewide. of that 900 is developed city property. this leaves 2,100 of suitable forested or agricultural land. based on historical evidence we know that with ga soil type and natural food source deer survive best at roughly 15 head per acre. this gives us a desirable population of 15 * 2,100= 31,500 deer to live in georgia. We also know that deer reproduce at a rate of 3,500 per year so in one year the 31,500 turns into 35,000. well that is a problem cause now they are over populated so here is the solution.

There are 1,000 hunters in georgia and we need them to kill 3,500 deer so thats means each hunter gets to kill 3.5 right?

WRONG! we also know based on past warden tickets and local surveys that 50% (500)of hunters only killed 1 deer per person last year just because they trophy hunted while the other 50% (500) hunters killed six because they have no reguard of the law! oh no!!

So we set the limit at six, because we know 50% will only shoot 1 totaling 500 deer while the other 50% will shoot 6 totaling 3,000. This puts our total kill at 3,500 which was the target number in the first place and gives Georgia a stable deer population again.

Im sorry you live next to the guy that shoots 6 deer ever year but thats how it's gotta be.

I completely made up this very simple scenerio and this in in no way correct. It's just a very simple comparason to how VERY ELEMENTARY statistics help with our game management...
 
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JB0704

Senior Member
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Ok to address these issues...The state doesn't expect any hunter to do the right thing. They actually know some people WILL do the wrong thing, while others do the right thing, while others do nothing. If they didn't expect people to do wrong the whole plan would fail. Nobody says you don't know what your doing. Your problem is simple like you said. "the guy on the hundred acres next to you killed to dang many deer for the local population to handle" Thats unfortunate for you but has got to happen somewhere.It's all accounted for. I'll show you in a very simple.

i am making up the following numbers for simplicity!

The state of GA has 3,000 acres statewide. of that 900 is developed city property. this leaves 2,100 of suitable forested or agricultural land. based on historical evidence we know that with ga soil type and natural food source deer survive best at roughly 15 head per acre. this gives us a desirable population of 15 * 2,100= 31,500 deer to live in georgia. We also know that deer reproduce at a rate of 3,500 per year so in one year the 31,500 turns into 35,000. well that is a problem cause now they are over populated so here is the solution.

There are 1,000 hunters in georgia and we need them to kill 3,500 deer so thats means each hunter gets to kill 3.5 right?

WRONG! we also know based on past warden tickets and local surveys that 50% (500)of hunters only killed 1 deer per person last year just because they trophy hunted while the other 50% (500) hunters killed six because they have no reguard of the law! oh no!!

So we set the limit at six, because we know 50% will only shoot 1 totaling 500 deer while the other 50% will shoot 6 totaling 3,000. This puts our total kill at 3,500 which was the target number in the first place and gives Georgia a stable deer population again.

Im sorry you live next to the guy that shoots 6 deer ever year but thats how it's gotta be.

I completely made up this very simple scenerio and this in in no way correct. It's just a very simple comparason to how VERY ELEMENTARY statistics help with our game management...or anything else thats needs help for that matter.

So you make the limit
That makes a little more sense. I do remember reading one of the WRD fellas on here saying that the responsibility is in the hunter's hands. Looking at the "big picture" statistically makes it a bit easier to comprehend. Thanks for taking the time to type all that out. I am looking into new leases, and hopefully I will find the "good neighbors," have gotten some pretty good leads recently. I still think the same harvest goals could be accomplished in a more equitable way, but it currently is what it is, and I'm still gonna hunt whether I'm seeing 'em or not. :cheers:
 
:rolleyes:
That makes a little more sense. I do remember reading one of the WRD fellas on here saying that the responsibility is in the hunter's hands. Looking at the "big picture" statistically makes it a bit easier to comprehend. Thanks for taking the time to type all that out. I am looking into new leases, and hopefully I will find the "good neighbors," have gotten some pretty good leads recently. I still think the same harvest goals could be accomplished in a more equitable way, but it currently is what it is, and I'm still gonna hunt whether I'm seeing 'em or not. :cheers:
glad i could help...just don't quote me, im definately no statistician :rofl:
 
That makes a little more sense. I do remember reading one of the WRD fellas on here saying that the responsibility is in the hunter's hands.
They spell it all out on page 26 of the popular guide - "Deer Harvest Guidelines".

The 4th paragraph sez:

It is the responsibility of hunters, clubs and landowners to establish objectives to manage deer on the property they own, lease, or hunt. Georgia deer hunters, landowners and hunting clubs have differing management objectives. There is no statewide season and bag limit scenario that will satisfy these differing objectives. As such, Georgia's current statewide regulations provide a framework for landowners and hunting clubs to use when establishing a harvest regime for their specific property(ies). This statewide framework is not site-specific and should never be viewed as such. However, statewide regulations do provide landowners and hunting clubs great flexibility to meet their deer management objectives.
Either you respect the wisdom contained therein and apply it or you don't.
 
Great post elfiii. I agree completely too.
Lowering the harvest limit enough to impact the heard state wide is not the way to do it. It takes a management tool out of the hands of the people who need it most. It forces them to manage their heard according to your area. You need to get with the clubs and land owners to come up with a plan to fit your specific area. If their not seeing deer then they should be more than willing to listen. If their not having a problem then its probably your property.
 

JB0704

Senior Member
They spell it all out on page 26 of the popular guide - "Deer Harvest Guidelines".

The 4th paragraph sez:



Either you respect the wisdom contained therein and apply it or you don't.
In which case I was correct in stating that the current regs rely on hunters. That was my only point there. Getting with other landowners and clubs only works to the extent they are willing to cooperate. Otherwise, you are stuck like me, looking for another lease. Elfiii, you say it is a problem of controlling other people, I would agree.

I am very glad there are so many fine folks on here who have quality hunting property. I know this is all through hard work, experience, wisdom, and some good luck with neighbors. I wish you all continued success. Further, I would like to say thanks to all the good, highly educated, folks at WRD for their efforts.

But, I remain convinced that the current regs expose too many people not in your shoes to risk of over hunting. There are MANY tools which could be used to manage a deer herd which do not expose local populations to the risk the current regs do.....here are a few:

1. Take a kid hunting day
2. Take an orphan hunting day
3. Take your preacher hunting day
4. "Hey guys, let's all kill a doe!" day
5. Take a wounded warrior hunting day
6. Stop killing coyotes for a year
7. Hit gas instead of brake when deer crosses
8. Shoot does instead of bucks for a year
9. "Free beer for the guy who kills the most does today!" day
10. A well worded ad on GON forum requesting help with deer problem
11. Crop depredation permits
12. Take a local LEO hunting day
13. Shoot 2 does before you can kill a buck
14. Teach wife how to hunt
15. Teach mother-in-law how to hunt
16. "WE need more members to help with all these does!"
17. "Doe only" memberships in your club
18. "LEt's see if I can get two with one shot" day
19. Make "doe days" mean "doe only" days, and make participation mandatory for all members
20. Put a bounty on does in your club / lease

.......there are many, many TOOLS available whether the regs allow 12 or 3. They all involve a little sacrifice. Problem is, nobody wants to deal with it themselves, they just tell us, apparently ungrateful and unable hunters, how we have failed to control other people, or we ride 4-wheelers too much (I don't even own one). Problem with current regs is it legalizes unethical practice and relies on the goodness of others and in the process, exposes lots of folks to the unethical practice of folks we don't even trust to stay on their side of the property line (thus the $0.89 no trespassing signs every 30 feet).

I want to add that even though I disagree with many of y'all, I do understand that we all have opinions based on personal experience, and I believe you are all sincere in your convictions with this point.
 
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In which case I was correct in stating that the current regs rely on hunters. That was my only point there. Getting with other landowners and clubs only works to the extent they are willing to cooperate. Otherwise, you are stuck like me, looking for another lease. Elfiii, you say it is a problem of controlling other people, I would agree.

I am very glad there are so many fine folks on here who have quality hunting property. I know this is all through hard work, experience, wisdom, and some good luck with neighbors. I wish you all continued success. Further, I would like to say thanks to all the good, highly educated, folks at WRD for their efforts.

But, I remain convinced that the current regs expose too many people not in your shoes to risk of over hunting. There are MANY tools which could be used to manage a deer herd which do not expose local populations to the risk the current regs do.....here are a few:

1. Take a kid hunting day
2. Take an orphan hunting day
3. Take your preacher hunting day
4. "Hey guys, let's all kill a doe!" day
5. Take a wounded warrior hunting day
6. Stop killing coyotes for a year
7. Hit gas instead of brake when deer crosses
8. Shoot does instead of bucks for a year
9. "Free beer for the guy who kills the most does today!" day
10. A well worded ad on GON forum requesting help with deer problem
11. Crop depredation permits
12. Take a local LEO hunting day
13. Shoot 2 does before you can kill a buck


.......there are many, many TOOLS available whether the regs allow 12 or 3. Problem with current regs is it legalizes unethical practice and relies on the goodness of others and in the process, exposes fools like me to the unethical practice of folks we don't trust to stay on their side of the property line (thus the $0.89 no trespassing signs every 30 feet).
I agree with most of what you have said so far.Some people will never understand it though.I have good places to hunt an see deer regularly an can take what i want a year an manage to the best of my ability for the size of properties i hunt.That said deer numbers are down in certain areas an as a whole in some county's.I have talked to people all over my county that agree with lower numbers seen since the changes.Not bad hunting but a definite decrease since limits an doe days were extended.Guess us that fill this way should move to south georgia or metro counties were its loaded with deer so we will need doe days all season an 12 tags an can tell people there aint nothing wrong with the deer herd.::ke: :banginghe
 

JB0704

Senior Member
I agree with most of what you have said so far.Some people will never understand it though.I have good places to hunt an see deer regularly an can take what i want a year an manage to the best of my ability for the size of properties i hunt.That said deer numbers are down in certain areas an as a whole in some county's.I have talked to people all over my county that agree with lower numbers seen since the changes.Not bad hunting but a definite decrease since limits an doe days were extended.Guess us that fill this way should move to south georgia or metro counties were its loaded with deer so we will need doe days all season an 12 tags an can tell people there aint nothing wrong with the deer herd.::ke: :banginghe
:bounce: :cheers:
 
Just an FYI, the bag limit is set in law. It states that the limit SHALL be 10 antlerless and 2 antlered, WRD does not have the authority to further limit it to anything less than 12.

Further, based on all the analysis I've done the limit has no real effect on the total deer harvest at this point. If I made the rules and it were my intention to decrease harvest, the ideal tool would be a decrease in doe days.

If you are specifically interested in decreasing the limit I strongly recommend focusing your effort where it will do the most good and contact your legislative representatives, rather than WRD or web forums.
 

JB0704

Senior Member
Just an FYI, the bag limit is set in law. It states that the limit SHALL be 10 antlerless and 2 antlered, WRD does not have the authority to further limit it to anything less than 12.
That is good to know. My position is a general "there might be a problem," more than a "the limit is the problem." Stating limits is just my way of summarizing the concept of the current approach.

Further, based on all the analysis I've done the limit has no real effect on the total deer harvest at this point. If I made the rules and it were my intention to decrease harvest, the ideal tool would be a decrease in doe days..
I respect your wisdom here. And will from now forward believe that a reduction in doe days might be necessary in targeted areas which have experienced over harvest. And that makes sense, really. Back when there were doe days, even though the people I hunted with were not really "ethical," nobody ever shot a doe except on those days it was legal.

If you are specifically interested in decreasing the limit I strongly recommend focusing your effort where it will do the most good and contact your legislative representatives, rather than WRD or web forums.
The link you posted indicated that there was an idea to raise the limit to 15, but WRD did not agree. It was my belief that WRD also exercised a level of influence over the legislation. I don't claim to know more than my experiences. However, I did learn, from your post here, and I believe you, that doe days are a more effective tool than limits. That is a positive from my perspective anway. Also, the other posters explanation of stats helped a lot as well.

I have only been around this forum for a year, so I am a "newbie." It seems to me that this forum represents a free exchange of ideas amongst outdoorsmen in the context of couteous discussion. I attempt to do that.

And thank you for your efforts at maintaining a quality deer herd in this state.
 
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I agree with most of what you have said so far.Some people will never understand it though.I have good places to hunt an see deer regularly an can take what i want a year an manage to the best of my ability for the size of properties i hunt.That said deer numbers are down in certain areas an as a whole in some county's.I have talked to people all over my county that agree with lower numbers seen since the changes.Not bad hunting but a definite decrease since limits an doe days were extended.Guess us that fill this way should move to south georgia or metro counties were its loaded with deer so we will need doe days all season an 12 tags an can tell people there aint nothing wrong with the deer herd.::ke: :banginghe
I didn't say there was nothing wrong with the deer heard. I said, it makes no since to limit statewide when the population problem is area specific.
I sometimes go weeks without seeing deer in my neighborhood spots but I know what the problem is.
Theres no woods. :eek: Its hard to beat being able to hunt every day and 1 gal gas round trip. :bounce:
 
Sorry to chime in so late but one thing I would like to express that I think may help you understand this ...

Statictics is in fact the very best way to manage a deer herd. When using a computer model based off of a properly formed statistical equation it accounts for every variable known to man. i.e. number of poached deer, number of deer lost by predation, number of deer lost to natural causes, number of deer lost to human encroachment, etc..This information is not gathered from each hunter but rather a sample size (x) from hunters in many different regions of the state and the combination of many small sample sizes gives a very accurate look into the larger picture. By taking sample sizes from different areas you are also taking into accout for other variables without realizing it such as human population of those areas, location specific causes. etc.

This in return gives DNR a very accurate reading of the State of Georgia as a whole. They do not try and manage it county by county as that is not applicable for this need.

If you do live in an area with a high concerntration of local location specific causes of population decimation then that is unfortunate for you. However if you travel an hour up the road you may find more deer than you can imagine.

The management of the overall Georgia deer herd is the goal of Georgia's DNR not of your hunting lease. If people around you take the limit each year it could easily lower your local deer herd. However that limit is based on a state wide target size herd. It takes people killing the full limit and lowering local populations, meanwhile otheres are not shooting any leaving dense populations in some areas to get DNR to it's overall goal of (x) population. I'm sorry you hunt an area that maintians a lower population due to the legal limits being fulfilled but it has to happen somewhere.

The statistical equation is as follows when using multiple variables if you would like to play around with it some, if I remember it correctly....

y/z= B +B x +B x^2+B x^3...etc...+n
0 1 2 3
It would be much more detailed than that for such a matter but thats the basic.

Also,
like you I have been hunting since the 80's and have seen a great increase in deer everyyear since then in south GA.
Well said and backs up every point I made in my post concerning what we see happening in Dooly.
 
In which case I was correct in stating that the current regs rely on hunters. That was my only point there. Getting with other landowners and clubs only works to the extent they are willing to cooperate. Otherwise, you are stuck like me, looking for another lease. Elfiii, you say it is a problem of controlling other people, I would agree.
I know. I was reinforcing what you were saying. The only place I disagree is the problem is not controlling other people. The problem is other people controlling themselves. Until deer clubs start outlawing "brown and down" and start doing responsible stewardship of the resource on their own, what you get will be what you get.

I'm still not in favor of using the law to punish everybody when the reality is only a few are guilty. As Charlie and the article in the popular guide point out, it is impossible for WRD to recommend a "one size fits all" deer management plan and it is impracticable for them to attempt to do one that is localized by county. Do you really want 159 different sets of deer hunting rules for this state? Do you think such a system is both manageable and enforceable?

It appears the only real solution is for deer hunters to "get real" just like the duck hunters and the turkey hunters have had to do.
 

JB0704

Senior Member
I know. I was reinforcing what you were saying. The only place I disagree is the problem is not controlling other people. The problem is other people controlling themselves. Until deer clubs start outlawing "brown and down" and start doing responsible stewardship of the resource on their own, what you get will be what you get.
I understand what you are saying.

I'm still not in favor of using the law to punish everybody when the reality is only a few are guilty. As Charlie and the article in the popular guide point out, it is impossible for WRD to recommend a "one size fits all" deer management plan and it is impracticable for them to attempt to do one that is localized by county. Do you really want 159 different sets of deer hunting rules for this state? Do you think such a system is both manageable and enforceable?.
No, that is not what I want. I am not a biologist, so my opinion is about worthless on the subject, but I personally would like to see a more targeted approach like Pennsylvania's or Marlyland's. I know each system has it's problems, but what they do makes more sense to me because regions are controlled much more specifically.

From what I understand public opinion trends towards simplicity in the regs, so I am probably in the minority on that point.

I don't want to punish everybody, instead, I would like the regs to protect everybody equally. We all agree that in the current system there are the "big losers," who often are not guilty themselves of anything other than leasing next to a group of undiciplined hunters. Sometimes the "losers" are reaping what the sowed. I guess the best way to put it is that, to me at least, there might be a better way.

It appears the only real solution is for deer hunters to "get real" just like the duck hunters and the turkey hunters have had to do.
Perhaps your right. :cheers:
 
Just an FYI, the bag limit is set in law. It states that the limit SHALL be 10 antlerless and 2 antlered, WRD does not have the authority to further limit it to anything less than 12.

Further, based on all the analysis I've done the limit has no real effect on the total deer harvest at this point. If I made the rules and it were my intention to decrease harvest, the ideal tool would be a decrease in doe days.

If you are specifically interested in decreasing the limit I strongly recommend focusing your effort where it will do the most good and contact your legislative representatives, rather than WRD or web forums.
The law establishes the limit.

WRD has complete control of the number of either sex days.
 
some of yall need to seperate theory from reality.


a wise man once said the problem with the world is that the intelligent are full of doubts and the stupid are full of confidence
 
I don't think there would realistically be many people at all who kill twelve deer a year. Our limit here in NC is six deer, and I know very few people who actually regularly kill that many. About four deer a year will do me for meat (combined with wild hogs, small game, fish, and store-bought/raised meat,) and those usually come from two seperate regions of the state, and sometimes other states. I very, very seldom kill my limit, because I just don't need them. I doubt if people in Georgia are much different. I think the main problem for a lot of folks nowadays is the prevelance of hundred-acre leases with ten people hunting on them, combined with the let-all-the-non-B&C-bucks-walk-and-kill-does-for-meat mentality. Shoot some of those little antlered fellers instead and let some does walk. Your stomach and the deer herd will thank you. How many more mounted dead deer heads do you really need, anyway? :)
 
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