Take some time to read through the plan. I mean REALLY read through it. There is some good information in there, but I also see some vague information that I would like to know more about. For example, the draft of the plan talks about managing deer populations. Why not think about the big picture and manage the mountain lion population to help increase the deer population? I am getting more and more pictures on my trail cameras of big cats and fewer and fewer deer. Coincidence? I don't think so.
One factor I don't see being addressed is spike bucks with antlers over 3" long. Some of our spike bucks we see on camera year after year do not grow any bigger, but we are not allowed to harvest them. That is one way I believe we can improve the herds. Thin out some of the spike bucks mentioned and allow better breeding.
The study mentions poaching and that is a major factor. I have seen rifle hunters take down does (completely illegal), gather up their 4 or 5 buddies, and then carry the deer out in a record time. Does it get reported? Sometimes, but not always. It's difficult to take pictures or get close enough when you are facing a poacher with a firearm and you are not allowed to carry a sidearm. It's also very difficult to wait on the line, give a description of the people, and have to wait for days before a warden will come out. Now, don't get me wrong. I know our wardens are spread WAY too thin and can't be everywhere, but this is a problem we hunters abiding by the law face every time we go out. Poaching is getting worse.
Have an opinion? Want to speak up? Share your questions, concerns, or thoughts on the subject. Comments may be provided to the Department by email or snail mail. Comments will be accepted until close of business April 30, 2015. If you decide to send via email: DeerPlan@wildlife.ca.gov.
Send comments via snail mail to Deer Plan, 1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
Questions on how to comment on the plan may be directed to Stuart Itoga 916-445-3652.
I'll be sending this in for their review and offer to help in whatever way I can.