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Where are all the hunters?


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Can't wrap around this.... So if the numbers of licensed hunters has gone up or stayed flat where are all the hunters?  My eyes tell me there are a lot less as you no longer see the orange army on opening day of gun, far less shots, never see a deer on a vehicle or hanging, of the people I know and work with there are hardly any that hunt.  

But yet the DEC numbers say there is.  So where are they?  They post from 2006 on, is that because before that there was a drastic drop?

Is it that people now have the option to hunt right at their house more?  Is it that people are hunting more private land and more people own their own private land so they don't have to go elsewhere?  Do more people have camps to go to and hunt?  When I hunt my spot in the dacks I don't even see another vehicle up there in the whole state forest.  

As I've heard from many here that think there are less hunters these days by their own experience are we all missing something?  

Used to be at work everyone fought for time off for hunting season, I am the only one now.  Are the numbers squed or am I misremembering the days of a line of lights on opening day on the road and vehicles parked all over? And cars with deer on them and deer hanging in yards and guys gathered around pickups at the diner looking at a deer at midday?  

Maybe it's just me..... 

Edited by Robhuntandfish

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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No it's not just you !  ENCON might report that the # of hunters remain the same but as you said the Orange Army and opening day shots are a whole lot less these day's is proof positive that the actual #'s of hunter has indeed dropped . Naturally anyone can prove otherwise but certainly not by what actually happens in the field . We all know and agree with the fact that #'s can and will be manipulated to satisfy certain Political Elements .  Just like the Media can lean either left or right to try and adjust people's attitude #'s of hunter's ( true or not ) accomplishes the same thing ! Sad but True !

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1 hour ago, blackbeltbill said:

I don't  know what the answer is for every area of New York State-- but down here in Orange County it is definitely  more Crowded from around 2018 on.

  I only live 50 miles North of NYC- So that has to be considered. 

  

Maybe that is it.  More people in larger cities getting hunting licenses?  Would seem like it isn't enough to balance the scales but maybe....

I would say just due to general population increase itself but since NY is the #1 state for population loss I guess it can't be that.  

Maybe more women hunters is a big one. Although the ratio on this site is still like 2/300 lol.  But there is def more women hunting.  Maybe it's not noticed cause they hunt with likely a spouse that also hunts so now there is two in a household that hunt?  Or maybe more wives getting their license and guys using their tags too?  

I can't say it's the DEC numbers but I know what I and many of us are seeing. 

Edited by Robhuntandfish

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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Since online hunter safely courses have become a thing I know of a lot of wives and kids that now have hunting licenses! It used to be tough to convince them to sit through a class, now that husband/dad can do it online to get their tags to fill…

Although I’ve called dec every year since 2017 my dad still gets sent his lifetime license although he’s been dead since 2016. There are probably a lot more.

 

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1 hour ago, Robhuntandfish said:

Maybe that is it.  More people in larger cities getting hunting licenses?  Would seem like it isn't enough to balance the scales but maybe....

I would say just due to general population increase itself but since NY is the #1 state for population loss I guess it can't be that.  

Maybe more women hunters is a big one. Although the ratio on this site is still like 2/300 lol.  But there is def more women hunting.  Maybe it's not noticed cause they hunt with likely a spouse that also hunts so now there is two in a household that hunt?  Or maybe more wives getting their license and guys using their tags too?  

I can't say it's the DEC numbers but I know what I and many of us are seeing. 

I think it is the sales to family members of hunters that keeps the numbers up. Since the course was available online a lot more spouses and kids took it.

So the license sales are up but actual hunter numbers are down,I see the same where I live,even compared to 20 years ago.

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I could see the family thing happening. My wife hunted once in 2017 but still buys her license every year so she can sign her DMPs over to me. Two license sales on paper but only one Hunter in the woods.

 

I don't really have a problem with that, as long as they are only filling dmps. It's when guys start putting their wife's buck tag on deer and taking two bucks in gun that I get annoyed. Then again, that's also poaching.

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2 hours ago, Caveman said:

I could see the family thing happening. My wife hunted once in 2017 but still buys her license every year so she can sign her DMPs over to me. Two license sales on paper but only one Hunter in the woods.

 

I don't really have a problem with that, as long as they are only filling dmps. It's when guys start putting their wife's buck tag on deer and taking two bucks in gun that I get annoyed. Then again, that's also poaching.

I think the latter happens way more than the dmp being signed over. 

I don't get why that is necessary in some folks opinion. If you buy all three licenses you get three tags and usually I get a dmp too. 4 deer per hunter without breaking the law,seems pretty good to me.

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1 hour ago, BowmanMike said:

I think the latter happens way more than the dmp being signed over. 

I don't get why that is necessary in some folks opinion. If you buy all three licenses you get three tags and usually I get a dmp too. 4 deer per hunter without breaking the law,seems pretty good to me.

Unfortunately, there are lots of hunters out there  (maybe even the majority now) who do not give a crap about shooting does.  All of the emphasis, that’s put on antlers in the media and such, helps push them that way.  
 

It’s mostly about the inches of horn with them, with little concern about the meat.  I myself went through a brief “trophy” stage, when antlers were much more important.  That was before I was married, and had (3) more hungry mouths to feed.  
 

After that, deer hunting became about 95% about the meat for me.  That was a bit of a struggle for a few years, before our local deer population exploded in the early 2000’s and the state loosened up with the dmp tags.  
 

It’s got way better than it has ever been, (3) years ago, when they started the early antlerless gun season, the Holliday ML season, and the extra half hours before and after the sun is out.  
 

We can now legally take up to (9) deer per year per person in our wmu (only (2) can have antlers longer than 3”). Never has it been better for us meat hunters. 
 

 

 


 

Edited by Wolc123
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10 hours ago, Robhuntandfish said:

Can't wrap around this.... So if the numbers of licensed hunters has gone up or stayed flat where are all the hunters?  My eyes tell me there are a lot less as you no longer see the orange army on opening day of gun, far less shots, never see a deer on a vehicle or hanging, of the people I know and work with there are hardly any that hunt.  

But yet the DEC numbers say there is.  So where are they?  They post from 2006 on, is that because before that there was a drastic drop?

Is it that people now have the option to hunt right at their house more?  Is it that people are hunting more private land and more people own their own private land so they don't have to go elsewhere?  Do more people have camps to go to and hunt?  When I hunt my spot in the dacks I don't even see another vehicle up there in the whole state forest.  

As I've heard from many here that think there are less hunters these days by their own experience are we all missing something?  

Used to be at work everyone fought for time off for hunting season, I am the only one now.  Are the numbers squed or am I misremembering the days of a line of lights on opening day on the road and vehicles parked all over? And cars with deer on them and deer hanging in yards and guys gathered around pickups at the diner looking at a deer at midday?  

Maybe it's just me..... 

License sales are up and have been ,I don't do it but think of how many just have their spouse or children take the hunter education course ( now online ) to only be able to use their tag for an extra tag . Not looking to argue with anyone we all know it happens . I can go all season with out running into another actual hunter . 20 years ago I couldn't say that .

Edited by sbuff
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22 minutes ago, sbuff said:

License sales are up and have been ,I don't do but think of how many just have their spouse or children take the hunter education course ( now online ) to only be able to use their tag for an extra tag . Not looking to argue with anyone we all know it happens . I can go all season with out running into another actual hunter . 20 years ago I couldn't say that .

Perhaps all replying should have listed their Home County where they do the bulk of their Hunting.

   It looks like very different  scenarios depending on where you live.   

Take The Multiple Use Area Challenge. 

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37 minutes ago, sbuff said:

License sales are up and have been ,I don't do but think of how many just have their spouse or children take the hunter education course ( now online ) to only be able to use their tag for an extra tag . Not looking to argue with anyone we all know it happens . I can go all season with out running into another actual hunter . 20 years ago I couldn't say that .

I personally know about 10 guys that took there wives/kids courses online only to get the tags. They openly admit they will put whatever tag on the deer to get it home. I don't hunt with them, so I don't know what they end up shooting. Most are tight lipped in that department. 

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1 minute ago, mowin said:

I personally know about 10 guys that took there wives/kids courses online only to get the tags. They openly admit they will put whatever tag on the deer to get it home. I don't hunt with them, so I don't know what they end up shooting. Most are tight lipped in that department. 

Happens across the state , we all know it ...  

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