Are folks hunting MA in Zone 10 (Shotgun & Muzzleloader)?

MP-In-The-Wind

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I've been hunting most of the month in Zone 10, and have heard VERY few shots taken. Are people not seeing deer? Are people not hunting?
Any thoughts?

BTW: I have shot 1 deer...and 1 coyote....(and seen 4 other deer).
 

Mark from MA

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Zone 10 is somewhat urban, and lots of towns with no discharge rules. I wouldn't expect to hear a lot of anything unless your near a large farm area or public land.
Also, not everyone hunts with a MZ, most guys are done by the end of shotgun season. Anyone left that serious is probably hunting with a bow as to not be bothered by police.

There are supossedly a lot of deer in Zone 10 on small patches of land, a lot of it would be unhuntable with a MZ due to setback restrictions.

I see a lot of people hunting my area of zone 5, but hear very few shots because there are very few deer.

If you've been hunting "most of the month" and only saw 4 and killed one....maybe there arent' as many deer as the state thinks there are either.

On medium density spots in CT I see 4-5 deer per DAY usually.
 
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Dan-o

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I was out in z10 today, Xbow, have permission, and plenty of room on friends property For gun, but like to keep a low profile. I sat for the afternoon. Didn’t even see a squirrel. He has not been seeing deer in his field like previous years.
i have already gotten a few, including one in my avatar. Still have another buck tag to fill. A guy I know shot a nice 8pt in 10 this afternoon. Hunt the food. Time is short. Good luck
 
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Zone 10 is somewhat urban, and lots of towns with no discharge rules. I wouldn't expect to hear a lot of anything unless your near a large farm area or public land.
Also, not everyone hunts with a MZ, most guys are done by the end of shotgun season. Anyone left that serious is probably hunting with a bow as to not be bothered by police.

There are supossedly a lot of deer in Zone 10 on small patches of land, a lot of it would be unhuntable with a MZ due to setback restrictions.

I see a lot of people hunting my area of zone 5, but hear very few shots because there are very few deer.

If you've been hunting "most of the month" and only saw 4 and killed one....maybe there arent' as many deer as the state thinks there are either.

On medium density spots in CT I see 4-5 deer per DAY usually.
All hunting in Mass has the same "Setback Restrictions". 150ft. from a Hard surface road and 500Ft. from a house or building in use, unless you have permission of the owner or occupant there in.
 

Mark from MA

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All hunting in Mass has the same "Setback Restrictions". 150ft. from a Hard surface road and 500Ft. from a house or building in use, unless you have permission of the owner or occupant there in.
Yeah. I know.........but some towns out that way have discharge restrictions on firearms that would supersede these setback rules is what I really meant.

And I would venture to say there would be a few that push the limits on distance because they know someone, so they bowhunt, or the landowners only allow bowhunting. They don't want to shoot a gun and deal with the issues of possible idiots calling the cops, or dealing with the luck of the draw on Game Wardens, and outing the landowner as being pro hunting in an anti hunting neighborhood.

I had places in CT I could technically shoot a deer with a gun, I had enough land and it was legal, ..........but fxck all if I would because the cops would be there because of some neighbor calling. Yet I could bowhunt forever and no one would ever know, so I'd bowhunt and keep permission rather than cause any issues for the landowner and lose my permission. Also as a bonus, there are no restrictions for distance on bowhunting in CT, therefore it insulates me from the laws for firearms distances.

MA is fxcking all gay with that, which is why I don't hunt in the urban areas of MA because some ahole Fish Cop will pull out a rangefinder and write me up for being only 495 feet from the neighbors house without their permission. But I'd venture a guess with the amount of deer being killed in Zone 10, that shit happens daily with people that are backed up to conservation land or something.

So back to the OP......people may be hunting, but you might not hear a lot of gunshots out that way.
 
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MP-In-The-Wind

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..just to clarify...I've hunted this area in years past...SOME years it's CONSTANT gun shots during December..and on most days I'd at least hear a few shots...
 

Mark from MA

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There were less hunters out here for sure this year, think a lot of fudd hunters are throwing in the towel and more serious hunters are hunting out of state.
I'm with you on this.......if you have time and are serious, your not hunting Central MA with 5 deer per mile. or even taking the time to deal with anti hunting morons in eastern Ma for 15-20 deer per square mile there.

Even me.....I hunt less because I don't take the time to go to better places. I'm not wasting my time sitting in MA on my vacation time anymore.

I made the mistake of doing it this year to save a little extra coin for trips next year. I saw one deer, and killed the same one deer. A spikehorn, the dumbest deer in the woods. Which I didn't even want to shoot but since I didn't bother with out of state this year, my freezer was empty. I took the 4 yard shot as a gift. Make no mistake I was more than glad to have it, but felt bad because I know the deer population is crappy and Im killing deer i really shouldn't be, but I've eaten tags here for 4 years....so it was time. And likely i will not be hunting MA next year at all.

There are much better options.....especially south and mid west, my son will be in PA next year, so Ill hunt there when I visit him. And saved up for a midwest trip, maybe KY again, or MO I've been doing some research on.
 
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Mark from MA

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..just to clarify...I've hunted this area in years past...SOME years it's CONSTANT gun shots during December..and on most days I'd at least hear a few shots...
You do have to remember.....if they are CONSTANTLY shooting does.....eventually your gonna drop the deer populations as well. At least in the most huntable pockets of land.
 

BFDX7

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I’ve been out every day in the afternoon with my kid minus Xmas. We’ve each only seen deer on two occasions and the shooting opportunity wasn’t there. We’re hunting zone 9 and there hasn’t been to many guys in the woods. I hunted opening day in 4N and on my ride home there didn’t seem to be the amount of people in the woods like past years. Next year I’m going to have to decide what the plan is going to be… hunt, don’t hunt or hunt out of state. Maybe I’ll explore southern NH considering the license increases and the lack of deer. I started hunting in the early 1990’s and opening day it sounded like a war zone. Sure a few idiots would empty their guns but this year I didn’t hear a shot.
 

rocket500

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I’ve gotten two so far and have seen plenty. Jumped one yesterday and two today on short hunts (last 90 minutes of shooting light). Zone 9.
 

Dennis in MA

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That's a lot of land in Z10. Wow. It's almost 1/2 the state! (OK, maybe it's 20% and about 60% of the people.).

Anyone catch last week's MeatEater. Steve's brother Matt was on kvetching about too many hunters (and his cause was social media. Like Burt'nee is watching Joe Rogan bag an elk and she runs out to buy a shooty-gun and some camo. Sure.)

But he was complaining about local - Montana. Sure, there might be more hunters in Montana. Come East. We have, by and large, too many deer. We brought them from almost extinction 120 years ago in the area to probably the biggest population since Man wandered into the area.

The problem, as we've discussed, is that the majority of hte deer-gettin season is during archery in mASS. Not as many hunters. Not as many kills due to bad shots and just never getting a shot b/c of distance.

I really should go get a bow this off season and get back to it. Maybe take a doe out back. It's either me or the coyotes that'll get em.
 
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This is my second-year bow hunting, I hunt mostly in z10, I have been hunting since the beginning of the season, I have seen four deer total on state land, and due to work, I can only hunt on Saturday. I did learn a lot. There are a few places I discovered that is loaded with deer but within 500 ft from a building or house.

another skunk year, so so frustrating.
 

Mark from MA

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This is my second-year bow hunting, I hunt mostly in z10, I have been hunting since the beginning of the season, I have seen four deer total on state land, and due to work, I can only hunt on Saturday. I did learn a lot. There are a few places I discovered that is loaded with deer but within 500 ft from a building or house.

another skunk year, so so frustrating.
Likely this will be the case in zone 10. State land will be overhunted and not have that many deer on it in general. Get some decent huntable private land and you'll see a lot more deer. The deer go where they aren't bothered and usually that's near the houses. Problem in MA is you can never hunt them because you;; have to get 3 or 4 houses of permission to hunt, which in MA full of libtards isn't that easy.
 

Kevin 103

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I’m familiar with Dover, zone 10. Most of the town is 2 acre zoning and lots of conservation land abutting those large suburban lots. It’s perfect habitat for deer in those “buffer areas” and tough for hunters to access during shotgun and muzzle loader season especially.
I haven’t hunted deer this year but it seems to my casual observation that they are not moving around as much as previous years. Maybe a good mast crop?
 

Mark from MA

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This is my second-year bow hunting, I hunt mostly in z10, I have been hunting since the beginning of the season, I have seen four deer total on state land, and due to work, I can only hunt on Saturday. I did learn a lot. There are a few places I discovered that is loaded with deer but within 500 ft from a building or house.

another skunk year, so so frustrating.
Dude....your in a good area. You'll get one if you keep at it, if you can work at private land, it will bring your chances of seeing a deer up by 30%.-50% If you can take time off at all focus on the first or second week of November, and try some calling.... that will increase your opportunities as well.

Keep in mind that overall our success rates in MA are like 10-15% statewide. And that's not with a bow. MA is not a deer hunting mecca. We have some nice bucks for sure, but numbers even in the east aren't what they are in other states.

Where other states south and in the midwest....are looking into the 30% range, or higher.
 
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I have two private spots that the owner gave me permission to hunt, but they both abutting to the wetland and it is deep water you cant walk in it. Buck do hide there. The problem is it is close to the neighbors I have to get 2 additional permission from both sides in order to hunt freely. Too much work but I will attempt again this summer. I participated in the lottery for bow hunting from the surrounding town but haven't gotten any yet, I also write to different owners with bigger land and was unsuccessful. Being outdoor is great and seeing deer is a plus but I am not positive about the deer population in MASS from two years of bowhunting. I put a lot of mileage scouting but I don't see much out there. I hope the state deer management recognized the problem. Hopefully, they don't screw up like the striper fishing industry.
 

Mark from MA

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Being outdoor is great and seeing deer is a plus but I am not positive about the deer population in MASS from two years of bowhunting. I put a lot of mileage scouting but I don't see much out there. I hope the state deer management insurance company lobby recognized that they are succeeding in eradicating the deer herd.
Fixed it For You!!
 

HorizontalHunter

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Being outdoor is great and seeing deer is a plus but I am not positive about the deer population in MASS from two years of bowhunting. I put a lot of mileage scouting but I don't see much out there. I hope the state deer management recognized the problem. Hopefully, they don't screw up like the striper fishing industry.

Having hunted lout of state I completely agree with @Mark from MA.
Once you hunt out of state and see good hunting you realize how much Mass sucks for hunting.

The worst part about it is that once you start looking at the hunter success rates and the data you will realize that this is what they want.

2DB86D40-87B3-4631-BA24-25D1C4D0724C.jpeg


Prime time for scouting starts tomorrow. There is no snow pack and the leaves have been for awhile so the deer sign is as easy to find as it will ever get.

Bob
 
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I went out and still hunted in the Townsend state forest this afternoon. It was perfect for it because of the wet ground. Saw a decent amount of sign and saw three deer. One buck I watched for a bit but was too far for my sidelock. I have to say I'm agreeing with others here there just isn't enough deer on Mass public land to make hunting here worthwhile anymore. Way too many hikers, bikers and other hunters.
 

Mark from MA

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Having hunted lout of state I completely agree with @Mark from MA.
Once you hunt out of state and see good hunting you realize how much Mass sucks for hunting.

The worst part about it is that once you start looking at the hunter success rates and the data you will realize that this is what they want.

View attachment 558562


Prime time for scouting starts tomorrow. There is no snow pack and the leaves have been for awhile so the deer sign is as easy to find as it will ever get.

Bob
What is interesting in the data.....is if you look at the red (shotgun) harvest line. Notice how that peaked in the late 1990's and is now on a downtrend. To me that represents central/west ma.....as most guys are gunhunters in these areas. If the herd was growing statewide.....that shotgun kill number would increase along with the other numbers. Because, even if there were less shotgun hunters......your giving them more time afield, and if the herd was increasing.....the kill would increase. But its not....its going down.

These retards have doubled the amount of field time allowed, opened up all sorts of reservoirs and state land, doubled the amount of deer you can harvest by doubling the buck tag......and the harvest has increased to go along with that. Well.....no shit! It doesn't mean your deer herd is increasing....it means your giving everyone more time, opportunity and tags and they are killing more deer.

Again.....the insurance lobby approves.......
 

whacko

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Did not hunt a single day in mass this year and I live in zone 10 and used to hunt 9 and 10. Decided this year (2022) I will not be purchasing a hunting license in mass. All the extra huting days I got in nh this year plus the success I've had I'll just stick with my non resident nh for 2022.
 

HorizontalHunter

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What is interesting in the data.....is if you look at the red (shotgun) harvest line. Notice how that peaked in the late 1990's and is now on a downtrend. To me that represents central/west ma.....as most guys are gunhunters in these areas. If the herd was growing statewide.....that shotgun kill number would increase along with the other numbers. Because, even if there were less shotgun hunters......your giving them more time afield, and if the herd was increasing.....the kill would increase. But its not....its going down.

These retards have doubled the amount of field time allowed, opened up all sorts of reservoirs and state land, doubled the amount of deer you can harvest by doubling the buck tag......and the harvest has increased to go along with that. Well.....no shit! It doesn't mean your deer herd is increasing....it means your giving everyone more time, opportunity and tags and they are killing more deer.

Again.....the insurance lobby approves.......

Exactly, and they are trying to stabilize them at these low levels. It never will stabilize due to the “any-zone“ tags. Like you, I have been hunting a long time and remember the time before doe tags and the introduction of the 3 day smooth bore primitive firearms season.

They have destroyed the hunting in western mass and nobody but hunters care.

Normally I would buy my new license and permits today but I am seriously considering not getting a Mass license this year. First time in almost 40 years.

Bob
 

Mark from MA

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Same here Bob. I've been buying in MA for 40 years. Now, I'm in a quandry....because I do like the bird hunting, so begrudingly Ill likely pay because of that.
I hate to keep paying for their piss poor deer management.

However, my kid will be in PA this year, in a zone that has a lot of deer. So Ill be hunting that for sure.

Also planning trip to KY this year as well.
 
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I don’t understand why everyone is sour grapes, it was definitely off in my area of zone 10 November 15-December 15 but like a light switch it went back to normal seeing 4-8 deer a sit the last couple weeks of the season. I went the last evening trying to get a friend on one he missed and we saw 7 total. I shot 3 in archery and 2 in muzzleloader, with many more opportunities. There’s piles of deer where I hunt. I always scout more than I hunt every year and that’s why I typically see more than the average guy with 2 ladder stands he pounds every weekend. If I was to guess I’m probably 50/50 or 60/40 private to public but some of the public spots I see more deer than anywhere. I hunted deer out of state for the second time ever this year and went to Maine and saw 1 deer in 5 days of hunting. Zone 10 is all I know I’ve really never traveled outside a 15 mile radius to deer hunt in my life.
 
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Did not hunt a single day in mass this year and I live in zone 10 and used to hunt 9 and 10. Decided this year (2022) I will not be purchasing a hunting license in mass. All the extra huting days I got in nh this year plus the success I've had I'll just stick with my non resident nh for 2022.
What part of zone 10?
 
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