To many hunters

mmmm

Member
So I have been hunting in MT for about 12 years. I usually hunt Sept 1 for sharptails and Huns and sometimes stay through to pheasant season Pheasant season has always had lots of hunters but in early sept for sharpies there were never many hunters. In the first years of hunting MT I would rarely run into another hunter however this year was packed with hunters with public spots being hit over and over again. Some of the spots I have used for years that I would be the only one signing in had gone through a book of sign in slips the first week. Facebook was full of people posting all the details of MT hunting with loads of people posting pictures with there limits of birds. One guy does and internet show showing the sign in box and telling the area he hunts and showing his limit everyday. I know this is the goal of the state to get all these hunters but I think they should lower the limit 4 sharps a day is to many if you are going to have that many hunters and 3 roosters a day might also be to much. I have contacted fish and game about lowering the limit to 2 sharps a day but got no response. I wonder what others think? I hate to see MT turn into SD.
 

gimruis

Well-known member
While I can't specifically relate to the situation you describe, there's no doubt that hunting pressure on public land or water can be frustrating. I get sick of people and other boats on the lake when I'm fishing too. Its just the world we live in. When someone gets on some good hunting or on a hot bite, they can't help themselves. They just have to post it online for everyone to see.

My advice to you is to find new ground or try to go when there is less pressure. Inclement weather, the middle of the week, or gaining access to private land would be potential solutions.
 

BrownDogsCan2

Well-known member
You have to remember also that it's cyclical. Even before the internet the good places here would get hammered and the next year that place may have moved a hundred mile to north or west or whatever. I used to not care to much because being a resident I knew of other places to hunt. I look at differently now like hey maybe that's someone elses favorite field to hunt and try to keep my mouth shut. I think part of the problem you ran into this year was the internet saying how poor sd was going to be this year, people were like hey what's a few more hours lets go to montana and shoot some huns
 
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birddude

Well-known member
So I have been hunting in MT for about 12 years. I usually hunt Sept 1 for sharptails and Huns and sometimes stay through to pheasant season Pheasant season has always had lots of hunters but in early sept for sharpies there were never many hunters. In the first years of hunting MT I would rarely run into another hunter however this year was packed with hunters with public spots being hit over and over again. Some of the spots I have used for years that I would be the only one signing in had gone through a book of sign in slips the first week. Facebook was full of people posting all the details of MT hunting with loads of people posting pictures with there limits of birds. One guy does and internet show showing the sign in box and telling the area he hunts and showing his limit everyday. I know this is the goal of the state to get all these hunters but I think they should lower the limit 4 sharps a day is to many if you are going to have that many hunters and 3 roosters a day might also be to much. I have contacted fish and game about lowering the limit to 2 sharps a day but got no response. I wonder what others think? I hate to see MT turn into SD.
Man, I feel your pain, but the sad truth is as farming practices change and more and more states loose their upland birds some will give it up or turn into a preserve hunter. Those of us who can are picking up the western game. I really am sorry but here I come!!
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
You have to remember also that it's cyclical. Even before the internet the good places here would get hammered and the next year that place may have moved a hundred mile to north or west or whatever. I used to not care to much because being a resident I knew of other places to hunt. I look at differently now like hey maybe that's someone elses favorite field to hunt and try to keep my mouth shut. I think part of the problem you ran into this year was the internet saying how poor sd was going to be this year, people were like hey what's a few more hours lets go to montana and shoot some huns
Both states were bone dry, MT especially..but there’s birds if you move around…
 

18 car

Member
I'm not convinced reducing the daily bag limit would reduce hunter numbers. As a lifetime Montanan and avid bird hunter, I've seen a continual increase of hunting pressure to the upland bird resource in MT.
Today quick access to accurate landownership maps (onx maps), a popular Block Management Program, large tracts of Federal and State owned land, low hunter numbers relative to many mid-west states and the internet/ social media have all contributed to growing hunter numbers. Every hunter has to decide when expenditures exceed gratification.
 

mmmm

Member
I am not saying the hunters should not come and hunt. My concern is the birds. A group of four gets their limit and thats 16 birds if they stay a week thats 112 birds. Are they really going to store and then eat all of them while in a hotel room or camper. To each his own I just worry with what I see as increased pressure and harsh weather conditions birds might go away like in many other states. I only take one or two birds a day and eat them that day and some days I miss a lot and dont get any. What I want the most is to see birds and have my dogs work them and I just want that to last the few more years I have left.

With all that said I tell people they should go. For me it has been the best times in my hunting life. I always say go but go alone with your dog there is nothing like walking out there just you and your dog.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
Speaking only about pheasants, I don’t think hunting pressure negatively affects the population. In general, I would see a positive correlation with greater hunter #’s leading to more habitat…the BMA program relies on signatures in the box..,may help sway a landowner to enroll, or stay enrolled…maybe not. I know lots of that land isn’t quality farmland. I’m a MT rookie…4th season that just passed…I see hunters in certain areas, but not so much where I hunt.
 
I've been going to MT since the early 90's. Some years there were a ton of hunters, no slips to sign left in the boxes. One day my dog brought back 3 cripples for a limit without firing a shot. Winter of 96-97 wiped the birds out. Next few years there were few hunters. Than birds came back and the cycle returned again with more hunters. Internet is bad in some ways, but before the internet there were magazines that published bird hot spots that were just as bad. If knuckleheads want to post pix with limits next to an identifiable spot not much anyone can do. If you check statistics for most states the number of bird hunters is going down, the reason we see more hunters is that there is less good habitat and hunters crowd on the remaining good stuff.
 

Miforester

Well-known member
This topic seems to be a very common theme on states that have good bird populations. Being from Michigan I have seen an increase in hunters/pressure, I'm sure social media has contributed but still alot of print media focusing on hot spots for different bird species. I think another factor to consider are states that offer mixed bag opportunities, which is what I really like. I have my lifetime license in nebraska and love the potential to get 4 different upland species during one trip, from what I've read montana would provide even more. I maybe one of those new out of staters coming to Montana for the species variety and experience.
 

Chestle

Well-known member
I have not looked up the latest numbers of hunting licenses sold in KS and SD but my impression is hunter numbers are in decline? Is this not so? NRA keeps putting out that we all need to get kids involved in hunting to keep it going.

So if it's true hunter numbers are declining, do we have too many hunters or not enough public land available for hunting.

I suspect it's mostly the latter rather than the former. IMO.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
SD NR licenses were over 100k about 15 years ago and under 70k now, actually just over 60k; I would bet a flat of shells that there’s more public land per NR hunter today than 15 years ago, maybe more in total than there was then. I notice a few WIA that disappear, but notice new ones, too; all the other public land is pretty permanent, with the exception of CREP, but that’s all new in relation to 2007, I believe. I don’t see public spots overrun with hunters after October…I hunted a decent amount on public land this fall, including in October…mid-week, not much competition, including a WPA less than 5 miles from a decent sized town ( a few thousand) where 2 of us shot about 16 roosters over several hunts…never saw hunters walking…a few driving around. I’ll take more land to hunt, sure; happy with what’s there now…I drive by LOTS of MN spots en route to SD midweek…drool…never anybody there. I have stopped a few times and taken a 20-30 minute walk…usually contact birds. Normally the spots I hunt or look at are 25 miles or more from decent sized cities…regardless of what state. Sure, I’d take more $, women, guns, and public land to hunt…just bought a new (to me) browning citori superlight 12 gauge…6.55 lbs…sweet gun! No $ or new women…almost none of either at the moment! But lots of public land…🥰
 
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benelli-banger

Well-known member
There's certainly been a decline in CRP though, right?
Sure, but the majority of CRP is private land. The county in SD where I hunt actually has more than a decade ago, but still down from 20 years ago. I’m addressing the earlier comment about public land decreasing. Found the 2019 brood count survey, most recent I found…there were 15 counties in SD that had increases in crp in 2018 vs 2007…mostly in SE SD…but overall, statewide, it was down from 2007 levels.
 
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GetTothePoint

Active member
Too many hunters everywhere. With social media and technology advancements in equipment and clothing making it increasingly easier for anyone and everyone to hunt it has became the chique activity for many. Too many!
 

birddude

Well-known member
One good side effect maybe 🤞. Aside from a pointer problem I'm also addicted to the lake and the baitshop marina near us is talking $6/gal gas on the water this summer. And our boat has a bad drinking problem 🤦‍♂️.
All B.S. aside. At 6.00 a gal. I could drive 200 miles south, fish and hunt preserve all winter!!
 
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