By Steve Sukut
Letter To The Editor 

For A Few Years, Please Don't Shoot Anterless Whitetail Deer

 


Dear Editor:

I'm addressing this letter to big game hunters, both resident and those from out of the area. I'm writing this to ask you to please don't shoot the antlerless whitetail deer in the area between Hinsdale and Nashua, for 5 miles on each side of the Milk River.

These deer were hit very hard during the winter of 2010-2011, and then suffered an EHD epidemic that same summer, all of which resulted in a 95 percent die-off. That is the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks' statistic. Since then, the numbers have not appreciably increased.

The FWP issued up to seven antlerless whitetail tags per hunter in 2011 (I bought seven myself, and burned them) and that contributed to the problem. Even though the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks took steps to protect antlerless mule deer this year, it is still legal to harvest whitetail does and fawns. I have asked for the reasoning behind this management strategy, and have not received an answer.


I have enjoyed not having to worry about hitting deer with my vehicle as much as the next person; having said that, I believe that most of us who live here, including the landowners who just a few short years ago put up with some serious crop predation, miss seeing whitetail deer running around.

With the current management practices, I don't believe these deer will ever recover to even a fraction of their former numbers. And we really don't want them to, because of the problem that I mentioned earlier.

But there has to be a happy medium, and to be able to find that, we need a few deer to start with. So please, when you're hunting, pass on the antlerless whitetails in this area, at least for a few years, and have your out-of-area hunter friends do the same. Thank you.

Steve Sukut

Glasgow

 

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