The following is from that report DV1. This is not a good thing if you ask me.
"On average, each year we save 712 yearling bucks from harvest, and gain 30 2.5 year old bucks and 84 3.5+ year old bucks. In other words, we harvest 712 less yearling bucks but gain only 114 older age class bucks as a result of APR. That means that 84% of the yearlings saved from harvest every year do not show up in the harvest as older age class bucks. Another way of putting it is that for every 6.25 yearlings saved from harvest, we get 1 older age class buck in the harvest. Therefore, 598 yearling bucks saved from harvest in the south APR zones do not show up in the harvest as older age class bucks every year."
This illustrates the problem I have with believing anything from the Division regarding deer management any longer. This is a perfect example of how people who were formerly credible biologists have become nothing more than politicians, and spin, twist and outright lie to get their way. I first saw it when Larry came to a UBNJ Council meeting and stressed to the Council that bow hunting was quickly dying in NJ, and to prove it gave a stat that there were less than 19,000 bow hunters in NJ in 2009. Yet the numbers from the Division...his own agency...were over 35,000 bow hunters. He conveniently left off senior bow licenses sold and all around sportsman licenses sold to scare Council members into thinking bow hunting would die off without crossbow full inclusion.
The crossbow debate has been settled but the misleading and misrepresentation tactics by Division employees didn't stop there. I saw it at the QDM forum they held leading to the expansion of APR zones when this report came out. This "presentation" of the APR study data shows it again. Here's how. Here is a quote in red from the study regarding Rusty's quoted section:
"For all south APR zones, the combined average harvest before APR was 1,876 bucks per year. After the institution of APR, the combined average harvest was 1,289 bucks per year (Figure 1). This is a 31% decline in the antlered harvest due to APR."
They attribute the entire decrease in harvest to APR, completely ignoring the fact that the entire deer herd was cut nearly in half, so there were only half as many deer available at the end of the study period as there were at the beginning. For their assessment to be true, they want us to believe that the same number of yearling bucks would be harvested each year from a herd of 111,000 deer as was harvested each year from herd of 200,000 deer.
At the beginning of the study period, the deer population in NJ was estimated at approximately 200,000 animals. At the end of the study period, it was approximately 111,000 animals. However, the stat they give for the average of 712 yearling bucks saved and 598 that don't show up, was from a deer population of approximately 200,000 animals. At the end of the study period, the population was nearly cut in half so statistically, there would not have been the same number of yearling bucks available to be harvested, it should be almost half that number. They lead us to believe the same number of yearling bucks would be harvested at the end of the study with only half as many deer available. The average of 712 saved, and 598 that don't show up, would only be accurate if the the population was constant. It wasn't, it was cut in half. The number of yearling bucks killed, and saved, would decrease proportionately to the population as it decreased. They don't account for that (in my view intentionally), to inflate the numbers and make APR's look like a fruitless effort.
Since that's out of the way, lets look at the actual results. Again, from the study:
Now let’s look at each age class harvest for all the APR zones. These numbers are all summarized in Table 1.
The average yearling harvest pre-APR was 1,325 bucks per year. (from approximately 200k deer) The post-APR average yearling harvest is 613 bucks per year for all the south APR zones. (from approximately 111k deer)
The average 2.5 year old harvest pre-APR was 456 bucks per year;(from approximately 200k deer) the post-APR average harvest of 2.5 year olds is 486 bucks per year. (from approximately 111k deer)
The average 3.5+ year old harvest pre-APR was 95 bucks per year.(from approximately 200k deer)The post-APR average harvest is 179 bucks per year. (from approximately 111k deer)
Was there a decrease in the number of yearling bucks harvested? ...absolutely, as is intended by APR's, so that right there proves the first goal of the program was a success: protecting more yearling bucks.
Was there an increase in older age class bucks?...absolutely, which proves the next goal of the program was a success. There were only modest gains of 2.5 yr olds harvested, however, the number of 3.5 yr olds almost doubled from 95 to 179, and remember, this is all happening at a time when the total number of deer available in the herd is being cut in half.
Was it a perfect success with a 1 for 1 gain in yearlings saved to older bucks killed, no, and it never will be. A percentage of those saved, just like all the other deer in the herd, are susceptible to predators, disease (we had several EHD outbreaks during the study period here) and vehicles, but to call it a failure...when the number of 3.5 year old bucks killed almost doubled during a time of drastic herd reduction, when the entire herd was nearly cut in half. I don't know how any objective person can call that a failure.
Edited by DV1, 12/07/17 - 11:07 PM.
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