That is the name of the game. EAB to a degree was a mandated deer slaughter and hurt a lot of areas, some of which with predatation, idiots still shooting does, and other factors have not bounced back. Since it was banned and some other things changed, the balance is more in the hunters favor. You have freedom to manage better. Unfortunately, too many people exercise their freedome to be blind and ignorant on the status of the deer population in their area and fill tags without looking to what tomorrow might bring, instead just worrying about how many deer they "need".
As for my report, my crew got 4 more does over the weekend. Wish we could have got more, but this was our highest harvest year ever. I hunt in one of those areas that as mentioned these hunts make sense. We are loaded. Some of our neighbors were out as well. We work together to make sure the cooperative harvest isn't too high. We base our harvest decisions on how the population is sitting vs how our freezers are looking. More people need to get active to make their hunting better. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.
Biggest reason. 1/2 the state was antlered only this year (not last). That alone significantly impacts the numbers.
Reason 2. Doe tag, once so cheap, have risen in costs. I know of a farm where they would regularly shoot 20 does on drives to thin out the herd. That did little because the place is a deer mecca. Raise the price of an antlerless tag and these guys are not going to spend 12 dollars a piece to shoot some does (most of which were donated).
Anyways, Im really liking the setup of this years hunt. Limited extra tags but everyone has an opportunity to get a buck or doe.
As for report...I waited for that big buck during regular season and needed one for the freezer. I went out to a farm that surrounds my inlaws 20. Due to gurgling stomach and me not knowing exactly where the stands were I didnt make it out till 730. Only hunted till 930. Saw 16 deer and put one in the freezer.
I vote keep this hunt AND keep good regulations.