size of game decreasing??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hunter29180, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

    was reading a lot of post here and elsewhere. I noticed something, from the posts and from personal memories.

    last deer i hunted was in Virgina. back around 20yrs ago? the buck i got that year weighed in at the checkstation at 205. not only myself but the station checker and 2 other hunters felt it was a small buck. the other hunters bucks weighed in at 240ish and 250ish. in reading i see the common size for bucks in Virgina is now down to 125 average?? in looking through many posts i see the weight of un dressed deer overall dropping from about 20 yrs ago aprox..75 or more pounds?? seems i remember a "dressed" deer should produce around 120 to175lbs. now looks like 60 to 80 lbs??

    is my memory off or am i reading "tall" tales??

    or is this due to the hunting of mature animals have seriously depleted the physical size of them becaue they no longer get to the age and size i remember?
  2. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 Active Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    I don't know.......but a huge 10 point buck was hit in front of my house last week. He destroyed that car.

    Someone came by later in the night and cut his head off.:eek::confused:

  3. Tom Archer

    Tom Archer Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Watkinsville, GA
    Could it have been that the scales were off a tad on that memorable hunt 20 years ago?
    Deer, in many areas, are much more numerous today than was the case 20 years ago; but in GA where I live and deer hunt, human population increases, increasing bag limits, and land use changes seem to have reduced the size of the deer herd below what we enjoyed in 1991. If I go back to the mid to late 1960's, the stone-age of my youth when deer hunting was just beginning to gain widespread popularity in the state, deer were larger; BUT seasons were very short, bag limits restricted, there was still a lot of farming, and deer generally lived long enough to mature to large sizes. Since those early years hunters have transitioned from a "shoot anything with horns mentality" to that of a far more restrained attitude so that many hunters nowadays deer hunt with a "if it ain't a trophy; then I'll shoot a doe if I want any meat" mentality. My personal experience from my neck of the woods is that, if hunters allow a small buck to walk so that it reaches its full maturity; bucks around here have no problem getting to 200 plus pounds (and by the way, much of the seed stock in GA is descended from transplanted Virgina deer). As long as 1st year bucks continue to be heavily harvested; one can count on the fact that average buck weights will be 120-125lbs.
  4. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 Active Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    I am lucky here......we are surrounded by thousands of acres of federal and state land that you cannot hunt on about a half mile from my house...... past that there are large sections of private land that wealthy communities own and will not let people hunt on (they have be thinking of letting hunters in and thin the herd for years, but they never have). Most hunters I know do not hunt bucks unless they are trophy sized...they are all about the doe meat. IMO the big ones are out there, just smarter than the average hunter.

    BTW my mom is the best hunter I know.....he killed 6 last year (2 were bucks)....did I mention she killed them with her car......LOL. It seems like that poor little car has been in the shop more than she has driven it.
  5. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Upper Yukon, Alaska
    Friends who live on Kodiac, tell me all the hunters have had an affect on brown bear population dynamics. Everybody wants the big bear. In the past, those huge grizz down there killed off many of the younger bear, kept the balance right. Now, there's an imbalance with all kinds of 400-500 lb brown bear nobody wants to shoot when they are paying huge sums to the guides who gladly make promises and take their money. Bigger brown bear are few and far between, almost nonexistent friends claim.

    Where I live the explosion of wolves have hurt the moose more than anything else.
  6. watsisname

    watsisname Member

    Jan 24, 2010
    I have whitetails coming to my vegetable garden daily and they seem to be getting smaller all the time. None of them would weigh more than 125 lbs. Hardly worth shooting.
  7. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Southern Indiana
    we have a lot a grain fed ones here in southern indiana, but the large numbers mean less food for more deer which equals smaller deer. But I still see a few whoppers now and then.
  8. Chinook

    Chinook New Member

    Agreed! As a an AK nate. Ive seen it first hand. It used to be that we hunted for all of our meat for the table.. now.. Not so much. but I do remember seeing the massive, 50 mile long Caribou migration, and now, while still impressive, is nothing compared to what it used to be, and I blame the wolves. For sure. Still, we are prolly to blame for the lack of size in todays big game in general. Same idea as why nobody sticks 75# Kings on the Kenai anymore? I dunno, but I do know many more people are aware about conservation efforts, and that is something we can be proud of, even while todays trophies are not as impressive as those of years past.
  9. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    Hunter, you are seeing genetic selection in action.
    Killing a disproportionate number of the biggest bucks will, over time, cause the average size of the deer to decrease.
    We use this to our advantage when, as breeders, we select for a given trait and breed ONLY those animals that display that trait. My wife bred Doberman's for many years, and over that time developed a line of dogs that were beautiful, healthy, and had a good temperment.
    We do the opposite when, in the field, we harvest the biggest game - which leaves only the smaller ones to reproduce.

    The fix?
    Convince everyone that the smaller the deer, the better the meat.
  10. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Upper Yukon, Alaska
    Ya know, the bear & wolves really do take way more than all the hunters combined, like 10X-20X more, no joke. But, today is first day of early moose, rain so I'm doing what I like best ROAD HUNTING. Tomorrow we're riding in on 4&6 wheelers to a good local spot,,,, and I'll probably find 25 out of towner hunters every stationed every 50 feet where I plan to go, man it's getting bad. Ya know, I live way out here, deal with everything, then come moose season 400 hunters show up from Anchorage or whereever and our moose populations are way down anyway. I wonder what they think? But ya know, when the moose completely go extinct around here, they will just go somewheres else, wish it would be sooner than later too. I don't know, they have to have some sort of controls as the resource won't take such a hit from so many outsiders coming in. Man, so many more moose around Anch anyway.

    Couple years back, our VPSO got a 58 incher along the road. Well, there was a trk caravan of outsiders from the Mat valley that were coming from the other direction around the bend, VPSO & other group didn't see each other, Our subsistence season started a week before regular season. So the outsiders were watching moose cross the road and then seen it get shot. They come flying up thinkng thought they had just caught themselves a poacher, our VPSO, ha ha. We came by and all of us got into it with the outsider idiots. They didn't even realize our moose season had already started.

    I heard there's literally hundreds of outsiders camped at every pull off on our road out of here, unreal; usually don't see anything for 50 miles. So, I'm going to get going and get depressed at what I'll see I figure. Something has to be done to improve the situation. Did you see the same thing down yakutat?
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