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Boots's picture
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Wolves? Wheelers?

I hear a lot of people at the Mule Deer Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other hunting organizations talking a lot about wolves these days, and I'm fully on board with taking care of a problem.  But we should probably be hearing a little more about 4 wheelers going wherever the heck they want to.  I sure wish the game cops would crack down on that.  I went to one of my favorite glassing spots not to long ago and someone had driven their four wheeler clear out to the point, which isn't that far off a road to begin with.  It's an oxymoron to ask for better quality game, and more game, and then drive your wheeler through their habitat and ruin it.  Am I alone on this one?  This is what makes the environmentalists so dang crazy too, because many of us who claim to be conservationists will drag our wheeler all through the brush.  If we were responsible about it, as a whole, then we'd get them more off our backs (not all of them of course), we'd have better game, and the experience would just be better for everyone.  And you have to take the approach that it starts with you, and not the approach of "well everyone else is doing it."  Just saying. 

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Location: Palmer Ak
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  i agree , it's a problem

 

i agree , it's a problem everywhere. Most of the places I would sit to spot from 20 years ago have  4 wheeler trails to them, even though some are a very short hike off either the road or major 4 wheeler trails

Alex

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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
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Disagree

It is no different then any thing else, there are always a few bad apples in every bunch, Most of us abid by the laws.

Kevin

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Vehicles

I'm not much of a fan of vehicles off established roads, but that's me.

I do think that in certain locales the use of vehicles is warranted, but most folks are just plain lazy and need to get out and walk or ride an equine more.

 

Biker

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4 wheeler

I don't hunt bige game much any more. One of the reasons is I've got bad knees and just don't get around to well. I do hike a bit with my braces on but don't get to awful far from the road. If I was to shoot something off the road much at all, I'd need my 4 wheeler to recover it. But I have seen a few  guy's hunting off 4 wheelers in the past, before my knees went south. Be nice if you didn't have to hear them and I'm sure the animals can hear them. Where I'd see them was usually not far from a road.

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Location: Palmer Ak
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Exactly right Don. When this

Exactly right Don. When this 60 yr old hikes up a hill to glass around and has to watch out for a healthy 20 something weaving through the trees on a wheeler it kind of ticks me off.

Alex

SGM
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Could not agree more about 4

Could not agree more about 4 wheels but they do not eat as many elk as wolves do. Four wheelers are a great tool if used properly but keeping them on the established roads is where it needs to start. I have also seen 4 wheels well off roads where they have driven thru some prime country. I have reported it to the National Forest folks and DOW when I see them. Not sure how much they do about it but at least I did my part to help stop it. I have also talked to some of the folks “when I see them” and on each account they were from out of state. Also each time they did not seem to understand why it was a big deal. I would explain this is elk country not whitetails country. After a pleasant talk with them they seemed to understand and agreed it was not the way to do it. Perhaps better education is the key. Just some food for thought.

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Can't help but believe the

Can't help but believe the reason the wolf issue has been quiet ,is that it is so complex. Yes wolves need to be listed as game animals and controled like all our wildlife, This has become a human world and unless we're all going to jump off tall buildings there just isn't enough land to accept unilimited numbers of game animals or predators.Although a few more  moose & caribou would be nice ,the greenies fight every effort to control wolf numbers, and I'm afraid the same will become the case for reducing the number of bears here.For years we were limited to one brown bear every four years, now large areas of the state allow one per year and increasing areas allow two, some with no closed season.

Alex

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I am with you on this one.  I

I am with you on this one.  I had a herd scouted lasy year for archery season, when I went up to hunt the first morning I could see what I thought were some weird tracks i the dirt in the dark.  Later when it was lighter they appeard better and the were in fact ATV tracks, now this road is closed and has been closed for years.  Needless to say the herd was gone.  We use out ATV to just get to up and down the main roads to where we want to hunt, from there it is on foot only.  I would like to see more roads closed the hunting would get some much better anf those ATV hunters will just have to use those tow long things that get us around every other day.   

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I'm not sure I follow the anti-ATV argument

Are you guys saying that driving an ATV through habitat chases game out of the area? I just don't think that is true.  I think it far more likely that your ATV tire tracks are left behind by poachers who have eliminated your herds or driven them off.  I use an All Terrain Vehicle on my property and I can not see that it affects the game population at all.  I do not hunt from an ATV and in fact I walk home to get it after I have tagged my deer.  But then I find it very useful to drag a deer out with (or load a deer on to).  I also use the ATV for skidding out logs for firewood.  I just don't see that using an ATV (OCCASSIONALLY) in an area drives game away.  Now if you are having ATV races there twice a week - sure that will keep game away but so will a backpack picnic and birdwatching with the same frequency. 

I don't see how someone driving their four wheeler through a spot that you glass from would have any impact on the success of your hunt at all unless they were actually there at the time that you were.  ATVs can kill vegetation and make mud spots so I guess its arguable that they could have an impact on habitat but that's a long way from ruining habitat.

I will side with you if you are talking about a 'forever wild' area.  In that case - there should be NO motorized access.  No trucks, no ATVS, no dirt bikes, no boat motors, at all.  But I guess I am in teh minority here.  My thinking is that equal access means equal access whether you ate 17 or 77 and that we as hunters need to support each other rather than compete amongst ourselves.

As for wolves - they have their place in the food chain, but they need to be held in check just like any other population for a balance ecosystem.  Sport hunting wolves seems like the best way to do that to me. 

Just my two cents.....

SGM
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Education

Yes Mike driving an ATV off roads and thru an area in elk country can absolutely drive the game out and keep them out for several days or weeks. As I stated earlier, elk are not whitetails so hunters need to learn about the game and their habits. When elk move it is not ¼ mile o even a mile. They can move 5, 10 or 15 miles in a blink of an eye over some very steep and nasty terrain.  Nothing is more dis-hearting than to get all pumped up for elk season to find out someone who has no clue just ruined your hunt for the year by driving “Scouting” from their ATV right thru where you planned to hunt and off the roads. That is why you see so many posts about getting off the roads “on foot” and away from the crowds. Also people have no business driving off established roads and tearing up the land especially in the high country. The land here is much more fragile and it can take 20 or 30 years for nature to repair the damage done by one ATV driven off road. What you do on your private land is your business but when it is on public land it becomes everyone’s business. One last point is allot of elk country does not see much traffic until hunting season. All of a sudden the hills are crawling with vehicles and ATV’s. Seems the deer on your place are somewhat use to seeing, hearing and smelling your ATV. If elk don’t like something they are gone and gone quick and can stay gone for a long time.

In the west we have Wilderness area. They are public land and in the Wilderness areas NO wheeled vehicles are authorized. Of course this is some of the most rugged and remote land in the national forest.

As for you view on the  wolves and hunting we see eye to eye on that one.

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