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  • For those who don't visit FS's Answers section ....

    Have you noticed declining numbers of hunters in your area? Just wondering how things are in different places. Here in Central New York, the state land crowds during gun deer season seem smaller, or at least they dwindle more quickly. Also, right now, the state is mailing out surplus doe permits for units that were expected to sell out but didn't. (Not that they're precisely "sold," of course; and that could also be due to other factors). Anyway, just wondering ....

  • #2
    Good question. Yes and no. Adults and kids alike around here are much more compartmented. Most, it's 100% deer. If your family hunts ducks, which is very big here, you hunt ducks. Run beagles after bunnies, then you run dogs year round in field trials and locally where you're allowed. Doves are a first two day type of thing. The all around hunter is gone. As a matter of fact people here are pretty repulsed by the smell of anything outside of their forte. Turkey hunting is surprisingly light around here, both spring and fall. Hunting squirrels, I'm lucky to see a couple other hunters out doing it all season and I will bet I know them when we meet.

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    • #3
      Nah....I live in farming country. If anything there are more people hunting in my area. I have friends who lease property and they have people fighting to get it signed first.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dewman View Post
        Good question. Yes and no. Adults and kids alike around here are much more compartmented. Most, it's 100% deer. If your family hunts ducks, which is very big here, you hunt ducks. Run beagles after bunnies, then you run dogs year round in field trials and locally where you're allowed. Doves are a first two day type of thing. The all around hunter is gone. As a matter of fact people here are pretty repulsed by the smell of anything outside of their forte. Turkey hunting is surprisingly light around here, both spring and fall. Hunting squirrels, I'm lucky to see a couple other hunters out doing it all season and I will bet I know them when we meet.
        I feel like I'm pretty much the only general small-game hunter in my area; I'm sure that's not the case, but in the fall, I either see Ruffed Grouse Society members (some of whom get pretty snooty when they see me without a dog, not that it's a reflection of RGS), whitetail bowhunters, or goose hunters. Nobody doing what I'm doing, hunting the thickets for grouse or woodcock, then sitting in the hardwoods for squirrels, walking the fence-lines for rabbits, etc. I do think the trend toward specializing makes the chance run-ins less likely.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dewman View Post
          Good question. Yes and no. Adults and kids alike around here are much more compartmented. Most, it's 100% deer. If your family hunts ducks, which is very big here, you hunt ducks. Run beagles after bunnies, then you run dogs year round in field trials and locally where you're allowed. Doves are a first two day type of thing. The all around hunter is gone. As a matter of fact people here are pretty repulsed by the smell of anything outside of their forte. Turkey hunting is surprisingly light around here, both spring and fall. Hunting squirrels, I'm lucky to see a couple other hunters out doing it all season and I will bet I know them when we meet.
          MATTM37: When you do a day of all around hunting, may I ask what your all around shotgun is you are carrying? Hunters curiosity you know.

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          • #6
            I know a hunter who doesn't hunt anymore. He was disappointed in the state game dept. raising license fees and needing to pay for a buck tag for every hunting season. (Archery, extended archery, black powder, shotgun and winter bow). He said hunting was all about the state make money. It took the enjoyment out of it. The guy had a good job with the phone company so he wasn't cheap.
            In answer to your question I have seen a drop off of hunters.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dewman View Post
              Good question. Yes and no. Adults and kids alike around here are much more compartmented. Most, it's 100% deer. If your family hunts ducks, which is very big here, you hunt ducks. Run beagles after bunnies, then you run dogs year round in field trials and locally where you're allowed. Doves are a first two day type of thing. The all around hunter is gone. As a matter of fact people here are pretty repulsed by the smell of anything outside of their forte. Turkey hunting is surprisingly light around here, both spring and fall. Hunting squirrels, I'm lucky to see a couple other hunters out doing it all season and I will bet I know them when we meet.
              The big kick off to deer season was a squirrel hunt in early Oct to sweep the cobwebs out of camp and shake the mice out of all the bedding.
              After everybody had killed a deer, I drug out a shotgun and hunted squirrels and jump shot mallards and woodies off the bends in Keechi creek!
              There was always something jumping, running or flying in that bottom!

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              • #8
                No there's more people than ever hunting where I do. I killed two nice bucks two years in a row and the hunting clubs snatch d up the land around me asap. And I see lots of road hunters more every year. And I'm sick and tired of it nothing I can do. But report what activity I see. And I have a huge problem with trespassers getting worse every year. Gotta a surprise for them this year I have days off during the week to mess up their routine.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Milldawg View Post
                  No there's more people than ever hunting where I do. I killed two nice bucks two years in a row and the hunting clubs snatch d up the land around me asap. And I see lots of road hunters more every year. And I'm sick and tired of it nothing I can do. But report what activity I see. And I have a huge problem with trespassers getting worse every year. Gotta a surprise for them this year I have days off during the week to mess up their routine.
                  I have to remind myself that no trespasser is worth me going to jail, no matter how mad I get. I'm lucky to have good neighbors---mostly.
                  Good Hunting.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dewman View Post
                    Good question. Yes and no. Adults and kids alike around here are much more compartmented. Most, it's 100% deer. If your family hunts ducks, which is very big here, you hunt ducks. Run beagles after bunnies, then you run dogs year round in field trials and locally where you're allowed. Doves are a first two day type of thing. The all around hunter is gone. As a matter of fact people here are pretty repulsed by the smell of anything outside of their forte. Turkey hunting is surprisingly light around here, both spring and fall. Hunting squirrels, I'm lucky to see a couple other hunters out doing it all season and I will bet I know them when we meet.
                    Dewman, before last year, I would just put the bird barrel on that 12-gauge pump we discussed in the thread about deer-guns. 28-inch barrel, modified choke. Last year I bought a youth-model Mossberg 500 20-gauge pump, mainly for the lighter weight and shorter length. I'm not exactly pint-sized but the youth model is actually a decent fit, just a hair too short but nothing I haven't gotten used to. In comparison to the 12-gauge, it feels like I'm carrying a BB gun around. I also wanted the interchangeable choke-tubes; I would always do alright with the 12-gauge, but often wished for IC choke. I'm pretty utilitarian about guns and gear, which is a good way to be on my budget. Honestly, though, even if I hit the lottery, I don't think I'd ever be into the really fine firearms or in having very many. My interests have never really run that way. I'd be more apt to collect rare editions of old hunting and fishing books and paintings, probably.

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                    • #11
                      There has been a decline in small game hunters---squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, etc., but the deer hunting is strong and getting stronger. Good land to lease is in high demand by deer hunters. I don't think as many are hunting turkeys since our population has taken a dramatic dip in the past few years, at least in some areas. Lots of feed and seed stores would be hard put to stay in business down here if it weren't for the planting of fall food plots and the sale of feed corn. This is SW Alabama, just in case you didn't know. Our gun season doesn't open until the 18th of this month, and runs until Feb. 10th.

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                      • #12
                        In my neck of the woods, We have an UP Swing in Hunters this year.

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                        • #13
                          Alabama appears to be holding steady at around 600,000 hunting licenses, stamps and permits issued each year. Roughly 12% of the population. You can check your state at the link below,

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PigHunter View Post
                            Alabama appears to be holding steady at around 600,000 hunting licenses, stamps and permits issued each year. Roughly 12% of the population. You can check your state at the link below,
                            Many thanks, Pighunter. That's handy. I see that New York is actually up about 28,000 from last year. And after seeing other hunters' responses, and seeing that, for the most part anyway, everyone is saying no decline, I wonder what's up. Plenty of reasons why different hunters' paths don't cross, I guess.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PigHunter View Post
                              Alabama appears to be holding steady at around 600,000 hunting licenses, stamps and permits issued each year. Roughly 12% of the population. You can check your state at the link below,
                              Glad to be of help. I found the statistics to be interesting. I'm running into about the same number of hunters on the public land I go to.

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