Eggshell, that was an excellent post. All to often people jump all over the biologists and blame them for everything. If nothing else you gave some good insight from the other side which is a great thing. I work closely with one of our local biologists here with the Learn To Hunt I run. He tells me a lot of the same things you mentioned. Everyone blames him for no deer. Yet I see deer everywhere! It isn't an easy job cause no matter what you do you will never make evryone happy.
As far as shooting poults in fall I think it is more of a personal decision. We all know not all those will make it through the winter and it will not make a huge impact on the population. There are lots of them around this year and I will not hesitate to take one as after Charlie and Treerooster have been making me hungry for a nice tender young hen. I truly believe most people don't or won't shoot a hen just because that was the way they were taught to hunt. What I mean is that it is less of an accomplishment to shoot a hen than a mature tom. It is the same with some of the older deer hunters that refuse to shoot anything but a buck. Yet they will shoot the small forks and spikes, and then complain they don't see any big bucks around. In all you just have to manage your hunting. Of course if you have 5 tags and you shoot 5 hens in a small area, yeah it may affect the next year. Just like in managing deer you have to shoot some does. Do you want to shoot all of them, of course not. I am starting to babble now so I will wrap this up. In the end you have to make the choice you are comfortable with cause it makes it much more enjoyable, and if you loose that enjoyment, than you may as well give it up all together. And sometimes I think it is more of a challenge to shoot a big old doe or hen cause they are more cautious than the males. Just my oppinion!
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