Jun 29, 2008

Hunter Days

The number of antelope permits issued in Arizona since 1974 has steadily decreased from 1213 down to 473 in 2007. The number of first choice applicants has increased from 6435 in 1974 to 28042 in 2007. All this is cool information you can find in the 2008 edition of the Arizona Survey.

I was wondering if hunters were really prioritizing their tags - if they were really believing that these tags might be the only ones they ever receive. One way to take a look at this is by calculating the average number of hunter days in the field over the years. I would guess that hunters nowadays would spend more days in the field then they may have in the past. The average number of hunter days in 1974 was 2.07 per hunter. The lowest number recorded since 1974 was 1.97. In 2007 the average per hunter was 2.70, the highest average since 1974! The correlation coefficient when comparing the years to the hunter days in the field is .49 which means that the number of days in field per hunter have been steadily increasing.

This could all mean that hunters are definitely realizing that their tags are very rare and that they need to take all the care and time in the field they can. Or, it could just mean that antelope are getting harder to find due to the drastic decrease in the pronghorn population over the last 30 years.

7 comments:

randy r said...

Eli, I have your dvd. after 12 years I have drawn an or. och. area tag.On the ranch I will be hunting,I have scouted a buck that even with the dvd, I an having a hard time judging/scoring. He turns forward, ears are at the dip in the prong. mass is medium or shightly above. The tops are long, nearly twice as long as the bottom, yeat the top looks small compared to the bottoms. You have a pictude on your blog of a buck that looks a lot like him. Your picture you have is of the turned forward buck and half a different buck with big prongs. Any help?? thanks. R.R.

Eli Grimmett said...

R.R. - do you have any photos or video of your buck? If you do you can email them to me and I'd be happy to give you a guess on the score. If you don't have a picture or something I can see I really can't help much.

Congrats on the tag! Bucks that hook forward or lean forward are always tough to judge, but make for great conversation.

Also, since my brain is working slowly this morning - what does "or. och." mean?

randy r said...

Eli-I am going back july 12. I will try to get a good picture, my camera leaves a lot to be desided at 200 yards, which is as close as he has let me get. or. is Oregon,and och. is the Ochoco hunting unit. sorry,we who live in central Oregon dont think about it. again thanks !! R.R.

NMHUNTER said...

Eli, I definately am not leaving anything to chance on my tag. That is why I have booked with the best Antelope Outfiffer on the planet.My wife and I had a great time scouting the other day with you and your Dad. Any good photos you could share? Thanks Andrew P andrewp@mwieic.com

Anonymous said...

When you couple the decreasing numbers with the fact that G&F has relocated a boat load of antelope, their densities are going to drop significantly, thereby increasing the time in the field neccessary to harvest one. JMO.

Eli Grimmett said...

Point 1. G&F has transplanted bucks from an unhuntable ranch in 19A two years ago, and from the Fain Ranch in 19A several years before that. These are the only recent intra-state transplants I’m aware of. These antelope were taken from 19A and put into many different units. The only unit that should experience a decrease in antelope density due to transplants is Unit 19A. Any unit gaining antelope should, in theory, increase it’s antelope density.

Point 2. G&F surveyed 44 bucks in Unit 10 in 2007. They issued 50 permits. Hunters took 45 bucks. How is this possible? It isn’t, unless the survey was incorrect. My point is that you can’t really base decreasing densities on what the G&F survey indicates. We just scouted Unit 10 and counted 49 bucks on just The Plateau.

My thoughts go like this: If hunters are spending more time in the field and antelope densities are decreasing than hunter success rates should remain stable or decrease. If antelope densities are the same than success rates remain stable or go up. If antelope densities are increasing than hunter success rates should go up.

In 2007 hunter success rates were at an All-Time high for rifle hunters and the second highest they’ve ever been for archers. To me this means that hunters are realizing the value in their tags and attempting to hunt until they kill where these same hunters may have not stayed the extra day in the past.

Maybe I'm wrong on all of it, I don't know. :)

Were there any other transplants that I missed?

Anonymous said...

Eli,

Those surveys are bogus. From what I understand they only do them every 3(maybe 4) years. Then, when they actually do them, they take what they see and then use some calculation to get their numbers. For example, in unit 10 they surveyed 44 bucks. That's obviously not the only 44 bucks in the unit. I don't know the percentage, but they figure in the amount of bucks they actually see per square mile of the unit covered and figure it from there. So if 44 bucks were seen in 44 square miles, they would assume 1 buck per square mile for the whole unit.

That's how it was explained to me and it's a stupid system in my opinion. Just the fact that they don't even do the surveys every year makes no sense to me.

Blake