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Question by huntcamp. Uploaded on June 14, 2009
In general, I believe that antler restrictions are good for the herd. We (Michigan) have had a restriction of 4 pts on one side on one of the two bucks that you are allowed to harvest. Personally, I think that I have seen more and better bucks in the years since they instituted the rule. I have personally held this type of rule for my property for years, but I think that the DNR having forced others to a restriction has helped and is a good thing.
We've got a 3pt. rule on all deer, and a 4pt rule in "trophy" area's. The problem with that here is that if you are under 16 then you are allowed to take ANY horned deer.
I have noticed "bigger" deer since they started but they are more "edgy".
My point is why shoul the government care about trophy hunting, why impose those kind of rules. It should be up to the hunters if they want to QDM. Not everyone hast he time to trophy hunt and tend to shoot a deer and get out. We call them weekend warriors here. I let smaller bucks pass, but why should I tell Joe/Jane Blow who hunts on public land 1 day a year hoping to get a deer for food and the only deer he or she would see was a fork. They obviously aren't in it for the trophy aspect. To them a fork may be a trophy, like food for their kids. Me I am all for trophy hunting, but I think it should be left up to us, we have enough regs, especially here in WI. Thanks for the comments.
I think it is well worth it to have antler restrictions, otherwise you would hardly ever see a deer over 2 years old. Here in Ga you can take two bucks per season and of the two the second one has to have 4 points on one side or more. That is why Ga has the highest B&C and P&Y scores in the SouthEast. You will have better quality bucks a healthier deer herd and much better hunting over all.
It is a tough call from the stance that you proposed, as I grew up almost solely meat hunting. In retrospect, however, I think that antler restrictions are probably not a bad idea, as mentioned above by others... and I think in response to meat hunters needs, they may be well to have antler restrictions, with draw tags for any size bucks and does. Trophy hunters are not going to apply for doe tags or tags that allow you to shoot smaller bucks. Depredation hunter programs are also another aspect to look at- getting on a list with the fish and game to asist in population controll areas is a great way for meat hunters to satisfy the dinner table. This also manages for a higher percentage of "trophy status" bucks for the head hunters- who spend a lot of money (with the state and locally) to hunt big deer.
hunt camp i side with you . the dnr shouldnt be micro managing the herds for trophy bucks .
In the 7 or so years PA has had antler restrictions we've seen both the number of bucks and the number of trophy bucks increase dramatically. Sure, we see fewer deer because the doe kill is higher, but it's a good trade off in my opinion. As far as the DNR micro-managing the herd?...I don't think they are. They are managing the herd and the trophy bucks are a good byproduct of it. All the antler restriction do is protect one and a half year old bucks. by 2.5 yrs they're legal.
to me it all depends on if the area can handle the restrictions. because if u cant take some cull bucks because of the antler restriction that could be a bad thing. but we also need to look at if we want to shoot bigger bucks.
Many times I have seen another hunter pass on a doe and shoot a small buck. The doe was legal and also better eating go figure. Huntcamp your argument doesn't hold water. At least not in any state that allows the taking of antlerless deer. Want meat shoot a doe. I have hunted on the same farm near Kirksville MO since 1980. Since antler restrictions took effect the hunting has changed dramatically for the better. Hunters are allowed as many antlerless tags as you wish to buy at $7.00 each. Last fall I saw 5 legal bucks on the first day of MO hunting season.
Punch my username, scroll down on the bottom right and click on photos, then go to page 8. Click on the pics and blow them up. Those 2 bucks and several doe was shot on opening day. Third year in a row for me to take a nice buck from the same stand. We would have done better if SOME people could shoot like Clay Cooper or Kristyn Brady. Deer are all over the place and the buck to doe ratio is much better.
On the down side a huge 3 x 3 would be illegal but they are rare. It takes about 2 years for the restrictions to really show a difference. Heck I've been trying to get Kansas to restrict antler points.
Saw 2 6pt at at WI Deer &Tukey show that scored near 150. One 5 pt scored near 140. Nice illegal deer in some states. Shoot does great I am not talking about us hardcore hunters, I am talking about the hunters that hunt one day a year. They do not have the time to wait for the next one to walk by. The people who cannot get away from their families for more than a morning or evening. Hunting should not be an elitist activety. Just lose more from our ranks. In CWD zones antlerless tags are free and you can get as many as you want. Great you are in a great area. Probably many hours of scouting. Not evertyone has the time or place they can do that. I am lucky I own some land and can pick and choose. DNR should not micro-manage as cooner brought up. They see how much money can be had, by having those monsters out there. I have nop problem having anyone shot whatever is legal, just for food. Some people consider forks to be trophies. Actually I believe the same age does or bucks pretty much taste similar. Shoot a 5 year old doe and she can be pretty gamey.
By the way great for Georgia, but we are #3 in the nation without AR. And for those that can shoot 2 bucks. Is it 1 for gun and one for archery? Or is it 2 for each? If 2 for each I have an idea of how to keep more bucks around, only shoot 1.
Antler point restrictions are a good management tool to regulate the deer herd numbers and thereby the overall health. Most restictions are intended to maintain a healthy mature buck-to-doe ratio.
Let the game managers do their job and take a doe if you are looking for meat. Attend the game commission public meetings and learn why they are doing what they are doing and voice your opinion. That's how things are understood or changed.
Most hunters want to shoot trophy bucks. I'd be damn ashamed to drag some forkie back to camp if I were you.
i do not think it is a good ideal. it can be a pro or con thing thought the upside older and mature bucks the down side less dear killed. if i see a spike im going to shot it .
Where are you hunting ? You said "#3 in nation without A/R."
To fishhead : Ya shoot the lil' ones you'll never see a "big" one. Due to no growth time, or the big boys won't come into the area with that much pressure.
i dont like it what if you think a spike is a doe or miss count points
Huntcamp, I have shot around 30 deer in GA, mostly in Moscogee County. You are #3 in the nation??? in what? Number of deer killed. Certainly not in number of B&C or Pope & Young bucks.
Without A/R you have lots of doe and a few mostly young bucks. This is not speculation it is fact. People I know that hunt in Counties with A/R love it. There are still plenty of deer just a much better ratio and more mature bucks. As far as people that only hunt one day. Making little bucks legal still will not insure they get a shot.
Do you know anyone that goes to the trouble and expense of deer hunting just to hunt only one day?
Wisconsin, look it up we are number 3. Yes I do know people that only hunt a day or 2. They are only able to go that much and would not miss it for the world. Half my camp only gun hunts. They cannot bow hunt for various reasons. I have also shot about 30 deer so what is your point? http://www.boone-crockett.org/bgRecords/records_whitetail.asp?area=bgRec...
I would check your facts again. Thanks for proving my point Del in KS. Making small bucks legal will not insure they get shot. Please do not get me wrong, I am all for the QDM if it is possible in your area, just think it is not something the DNR should impose. Letting bucks live does not necessarily make the heard healthier, it does help the population grow or stay the same. At least here and in most states with a ton of deer overpopulation is the most dangerous problem facing the herd. Killing does is the best way to make the population decline, but it all helps.
You are only allowed to take two bucks total all deer season in Ga. You can take two antlered and 10 antlerless. If you take a deer on a WMA than it does not count against you license but that is the only exception. Del in Ks is absolutely right ( as usual) antler restrictions only help in every way, they do not hinder at all. Do you think the GA DNR would have these regulations for so long if they didn't work?
In my opinion numbers here kind of suggest otherwise. Maybe we just grow bigger deer on average. No no DNR has ever mad a bad rule! pettym uch same rule here 1 deer for each license, bow/gun. except CWD zones totally different rules for those. CWD zones up until last year, if you shot a doe you were given a buck tag, a day later if you shot another doe, you received another buck tag. I just do not like to leave out hunters, not all hunters have the time to scout even hunt more tahn a day or so and just want meat and that means shoot what you see. do not have time to sit and pick and choose. As the NUMBERS show we have been producing a lot of B&C deer for a long time, long before QDM was thought of. I am sure you heard of the Field and Stream buck. It wasn't even the biggest deer in the state. 3 bigger deer were at the WI Deer& Turkey Expo as well as the F&S Buck. I recommend that show for any hunter it is quite an event, Usually around 400 trophy mounts, gun and bow. Most from the previous deer season. I know Kansas is relatively new to the Whitetail game and is well known for thier excellent whitetails, I see some monsters. i know hunting is different down there and different rules need apply. i just know here especially the gun season,is more family oriented for a lot of people. I have hunted with pretty much the same 10 guys for 20 years. During gun season. Bow hunting is a much more challenging hunt, but there is something about opening gun season that is special for everyone. Not just the trophy hunters. I am one. I pass small bucks regularly, haven't shot one under 15 inch spread for 10 years atleast. I am not going to impose the way I hunt on anyone just so I may an extra chance to see a monster. Our DNR let our herd get so huge that they had to implement all kinds of rules at once. Throughout the 1990's we had to apply for doe tags and usually only received them every other year. Then all of a sudden we had 8 tags in our pockets. They asked hunters to obliterate the herd in the south. Which the hunters had a problem with. The DNR literally wanted every deer killed, by whatever means necessary. They hired sharpshooters and everything. They had them shoot at night over lighted bait stations. I believe if they would havegotten off their backsides we wouldn't have been in that situation. They are learning we are learning. We should never be gauranteed a shot at a deer. It is not supposed to be called shooting,it should be called hunting. Some of my favorite days in the woods aren't always the days I harvest a deer or even a monster. In my opinion with all this trophy hunting we are losing that aspect. It is not always about killing an animal, that is what we are out there for, but there is so much more. and yes AR hinder, they hinder the weekend warriors, say what you want about them they have just as much right to do what they as we do. The lucky ones and we are the minority not the majority. have time to be in the woods and scout set stands and so on. Up north people mostly hunt for meat, for the last few years they have been losing jobs and need all the meat they can find. Some even pick up road kill. Just because it is a small buck doesn't mean that hey are not good eating. They also accomplish soething instead of picking up donated deer. Which is fine, much rather shoot it myself though. I just think that rule would discourage more than it would help. You guys test it for awhile longer, so we do not have to.
Shoot Straight and knock em down. Good Luck Guys!!
Antler restriction in my opinion would be a plus for everyone! If you need the meat harvest a antler and if you want a trophy then the antler restriction is going to help you harvest a better trophy simply stated
I am all for A/R but I don't think that it is fair for someone else to tell you what you can do on your land. If you bought property to hunt on and then 2-3 years later they made a new law telling you what you can and can't shoot, wouldn't you be upset? I can see both sides having certain arguemts though.
On wildlife management areas it is a good idea to restrict antler size. However, I do not own lots of property; I lease a small track of land and there are not a ton of deer on it. I buy my license, follow the rules, and when I have the opportunity to take a 6 pointer, I will - either by gun or bow. I love hunting, but if I had to wait for a 12 pointer to walk by, I would give it up. The sport is trying to attract new hunters, and it could discourage them if they have to wait for that 12 pointer as well.
I don't like antler restrictions. In counties where we have antler restrictions in our state, a buck must have four points on one side that is one inch or longer for it to be legally harvested. Even with binoculars, sometimes this is a very difficult to impossible judging process. I have had several instances where I passed on a buck that possibly would have met the qualifications. I could clearly see four points; however, I could not tell if each point was at least one inch long. In other instances, by the time I decided that the buck would qualify, it ran off and did not give me a shot. I know of several hunters in our state that shoots a buck first and then sees if it qualifies. If it qualifies, they field dress it and check it in or if it does not qualify, they leave it laying in the field as coyote bait. I personally think that there are more cons than pros with antler restrictions. Antler restrictions means big, big money for conservation departments in selling out-of-state tags. Don't kid yourself on this one. What I am saying is true! Always follow the money trail. Many decisions are made with money in mind.
Just found this post and after reading about how the DNR shouldn't be "micromanaging", I felt compelled to add my two cents.
Lets' start with "ownership"; the citizens of a state own the natural resources, including wildlife. The DNR, as the overseer of those resources has an obligation to manage the deer herd for optimum use by the public. Personally, I think the antler restrictions should be more restrictive for non-resident hunters. Let them stay home and shoot their deer.
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