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Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

Since antelope hunts occur predominately in the Western states, including Texas, I was wondering what you folks thought about the various state wildlife management departments restricting antelope tags as a "one a lifetime" specie? In other words, once drawn for an antelope tag, that's it for life.

Please use the following statistics to formulate your own opinion;

Using Arizona as an example, the average number of tags issued for the General Antelope Hunt is 12.16 tags per unit. Some units are issued only 1 tag, while the unit with the highest amount of tags issued is 46. Draw Odds success rates sadly average a mere 1.05% for 1st & 2nd choice applicants, while Hunt/Harvest Success rates average a whopping 82.13%.

For the Antelope Muzzleloader Hunt, average tags issued are 11.5 tags per unit, with 1 tag being the fewest, and 35 tags being the highest. 1st & 2nd choice Draw Odds average 3.12 % success, while the Hunt/Harvest Success reflects a liberal average of 69.25%.

For the Archery Antelope Hunt, average tags issued are 21 tags per unit, with 1 being the fewest, and 100 being the highest. 1st & 2nd choice Draw Odds average a 10.6 % success, while the Hunt/Harvest Success average is predictably low at only 19.45%.

Given the large number of applicants and the few tags available, and considering the disparity between the rifle/muzzy harvest/draw success rates compared to those of archery, do you folks feel that Arizona and other states should consider adopting a rule that:

For rifle or muzzleloader antelope tags they should be issued as a "one a lifetime" tag, while archery should be left alone? Or, do you feel that regardless of weapon choice, antelope should be "one a lifetime" tags?

AZThunder

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Joined: 07/01/2005
Posts: 70
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

i think its a idiotic idea and I feel sorry for the hunters who live in states where they have to worry about this new rule,we can buy state-wide antelope/archery tags here every year,along with surplus doe tags,as many as you want.Maybe they should focus on thier antelope herd reintroduction programs and forget about taking away more and more hunter opportunitys?

cowgal's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

I would say that if antelope are that scarce, then yes a "once a lifetime" tag would be appropriate. That's how scarce tags are handled in many states. What would be better is if they could keep track of who filled their tags, then allow the ones that were unsuccessful to apply again.

Have antelope numbers always been this low in Arizona? Is there just not enough habitat that supports them? Just wondering...

Mtwacko, you're very fortunate to live & hunt in a state that has an abundance of wildlife, not all of us are that fortunate. Here in Colorado we can't hunt mule deer every year like we used to. We now have to draw for tags, and most years we don't draw out. It has nothing to do with taking hunting away from anyone, its about allowing the deer herds build up again.

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Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

cowgal,

Arizona had some of the strongest herd numbers in the west prior to 1967. A severe winter storm and record breaking snows that year reduced the antelope herds sizes in northeastern Arizona to unthinkable levels. Now, with the 6 year drought and predator effects on their weakened and vulnerable fawns, the antelope are maintaining herd sizes in some regions, while suffering catastrophically in others. All-in-all, Arizona is doing fairly well, despite the challenges and dillemas from the drought and fawn losses to predation. The numbers of antelope here are far exceeded by those who apply to hunt them. The issue in front of Arizona lope hunters is whether to make them a "once-in-a-lifetime" bag limit specie, as is the Big-horns and buffalo.

I have included a link to an Arizona hunt forum topic/article below about the problems we are facing in southern Arizona with our Sonoran variety of antelope, which have been on the endangered species list since 1960. Please take a moment to read it, it's quite disturbing, but also informative. Keep in mind, it wasn't until 1995 that Arizona Game & Fish Department biologists ever witnessed or photographed Sonoran antelope drinking from a source of standing water.

Point and click>:http://www.azodchat.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7746

MTWACKO, I regret you feel Arizona is idiotic for contemplating this idea, but at this point, something must be done to make the draw and opportunity to draw more fair than the current system. It's ok to feel sorry for the hunters, but the idea is far from idiotic. Keep in mind, Arizona leads all other states for World Record Pronghorn, in both B&C and Pope&Young. Arizona's continued production of record book antelope are the result of sound wildlife management and innovative new habitat projects, not by stupidity as you've suggested. And to answer another one of cowgal's questions, YES, urbanization and the 40-acre ranchettes (which are becoming increasingly popular here and other areas in the west) are quite catastrophic to antelope herd sizes and reproduction. It's sad to see our once "great plains" of habitat being swallowed by ever-sprawling land development.

I neglected to word my original post to indicate that the "one-a-lifetime" tag should actually have been referred as a "one-a-lifetime-bag-limit". This means that you only get to bag one antelope a lifetime, not draw a tag. I apologize sincerely for the omission.

Now that the issue has been clarified, does anyone else have something viable to offer about the proposal?

AZThunder

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Joined: 07/01/2005
Posts: 70
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

you seem to have all the anwsers,how could anyone possibly help?If they make it a lifetime limit and you have taken an antelope and then the numbers get back to where they were then what?Do they get to apply again and reduce the odds of those who havnt?

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Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

MT, I wish I did have all the answers, but unfortunately I don't. Therefore, I cannot answer your questions. I am as new to this forum as you are, and I did not post this topic to get into a chest-bumping session. I peacefully posted this topic for input and opinion, so please ,spare me and others the rhetoric.

AZThunder

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

AZ, hope your antelope numbers are on the rebound. Here in Colorado they also were down for many years, and now we again have large healthy herds. We've also had some mild winters & we're finally pulling out of our drought as well.

Loss of habitat & urbanization is devastating to all big game, but the antelope had another unique problem. They do not instinctively know how to jump fences. In Colorado and Wyoming ranchers have been ordered to cut fences so antelope could migrate freely. However in recent years I've observed that antelope now jump fences as easily as deer, which tells me that they are learning to adapt to their new surroundings.

What is your opinion on the "one per lifetime bag limit'?

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Joined: 07/01/2005
Posts: 70
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

I dont know about antelope where you guys live but here in MT they go UNDER the fence,I have never seen one jump over a barbwire fence,maybe we build our fences higher.

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Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

cowgal,

You are correct, some of the Wyoming antelope will jump fences. It is my understanding (no proof from my observations) that a few Wyoming antelope were transplanted into Arizona. Others have observed and reported that they can easily distinguish the Wyoming lopes from the native Arizona lopes, as the Wyo's will jump the fences. Apparently, this has occured in Colorado as well. Genetically, this would be a great trait to pass among all the antelope species, both in Arizona, and all western states. The AZ Antelope Foundation has ongoing habitat projects which remove the bottom strands of barbed-wire and replace with smooth wire, or remove it all together. Some have placed PVC pipe on the bottom for easy decent under it. Urban sprawl, predation of fawns and drought have all paid serious consequences to the antelope. Fortunately, we can do something about all three, but urban growth will be the most difficult challenge.

AZThunder

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Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

Here's some examples of the plight of antelope with regard to barbed-wire fences, predation, and drought. Some pics are disturbing, so viewers are cautioned. I can't be 100% sure, but I believe the 4th photo down is that of a Mt. Lion kill.

http://azantelope.org/Photo_Gallery/Mortality/mortality.html

AZThunder

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Joined: 07/01/2005
Posts: 70
Poll Debate: Restricting Antelope Tags

AZ you asked for my opinion then told me you regretted how I felt and then told me my suggestion was wrong,you said you wanted opinions isnt mine welcome?

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