Posted at: 11/25/2012 6:14 PM
Updated at: 11/25/2012 10:35 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
Duluth bowhunters said they are seeing fewer deer this year during the eighth-annual city hunt. Arrowhead Bowhunters Alliance President Phillip Lockett said he's been getting complaints from hunters, and the harvest is slightly down from last year.
"You're putting in a lot more stand hours to harvest the same amount of deer," Lockett said. "You're seeing the population brought down. We talk to our hunters all the time, and they're complaining that it's getting much harder to shoot those deer."
Lockett said many things have changed since the hunt started. Numbers have been brought down and deer are getting smarter.
"They learn if they go into the woods, in a certain area, they might not come out," Lockett said.
Lockett also said this knowledge has forced some big bucks to take refuge in residential neighborhoods or in restricted hunting areas.
Many hunters also said they are seeing more bucks than does, which makes bagging a buck difficult. Within the city, hunters must take a doe first.
This has been frustrating for many people, including Phil Mannon and his son, Caleb.
"It's absolutely hard to buy him a doe," Phil said. "He's had one buck he could have shot 18 times."
"I get all excited, not knowing what it is," Caleb said. "Then, once I see it. It's a buck, and it's like, 'ugh...can't shoot it.'"
Phil said it's important to get young hunters interested in the sport, but when you don't see deer, it's easy for kids to get bored.
Phil said he doesn't see the hunt changing much in the next few years, but believes its future is unpredictable.
"It's perpetually going to be a needed tool, I believe," Phil said. "Will it always stay as an intensive harvest? I don't know."