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Poll: Should Yearling Buck Protection Be Voluntary or Regulated by the State?

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February 05, 2014

Poll: Should Yearling Buck Protection Be Voluntary or Regulated by the State?

By Scott Bestul

I thought the thermometer and Peyton Manning’s bid for best quarterback ever were the only things bottoming out. But according to a press release from the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), the percentage of yearling (1-1/2-year-old) bucks in America’s annual whitetail harvest is lower than ever.

Among the fascinating stats in the QDMA’s annual “Whitetail Report,” a yearly compilation of all things whitetail, only 37 percent of bucks killed by hunters nationwide during the 2012-13 season were yearlings. Back in 1988, when the QDMA started tracking this number, 62 percent of bucks shot by hunters were yearlings. That’s a 25-percent drop in as many seasons.

Kip Adams, QDMA’s Director of Education and Outreach and a certified wildlife biologist is naturally pleased with the numbers. “Hunters in some states still shoot a high percentage of yearling bucks,” he says. “But overall, the trend is moving toward protection of at least some yearling bucks, as hunters are recognizing the benefits of having some mature bucks in the population—and it’s not just about antlers.”

According to Adams, the yearling buck kill has dropped steadily over the years due to a combination of better-educated hunters willingly passing on young bucks and state-mandated regulations, typically in the form Antler Point Restrictions, or APR’s, that protect a percentage of young bucks from harvest. “While many hunters see APRs as the primary reason, it’s interesting to note that two of the top five states with the lowest percentage of yearling bucks in the harvest—Kansas and Oklahoma—do not have any units under APRs. The majority of hunters in those states simply don’t shoot many young deer. And the national rate has been decreasing in recent years, even without the addition of antler-based restrictions.”

Since it’s the middle of winter, I’ve got plenty of time to contemplate questions like “Which is better, education that leads to voluntary restraint, or formal regulations like APRs?”

And my answer, derived after hours of thought, is a resounding, “Yes!” I know it’s a little wishy-washy, but hear me out.

Yearling-Buck Protection Defended

First, I contend that protecting some yearling bucks is absolutely worthwhile—and is not all about producing trophy-class racks. Whitetails evolved as a species to have all age-classes of deer present in the herd, a fact proven by historical research. This natural balance was undermined during the second half of the last century, however, by decades of traditional management designed to increase deer numbers by protecting does. The inevitable result in most places was more deer but fewer bucks, mostly young ones, a great many of which got shot year after year. With the whitetail boom came a necessary shift from traditional management aimed at increasing deer numbers by protecting does to balancing herds with habitat by shooting more does. Many hunters believe that yearly buck protection is all about big racks, but ask any deer biologist and he will tell you that APRs, for example, are primarily about shifting the harvest toward does.

At this very moment in time, there are hunters (especially in the Midwest) who would argue that we’ve gone too far in that direction. But in the big picture, there’s no question that the overarching result has been more bucks on the landscape, including some older ones. This better reflects a natural, healthy herd, and it just so happens that such a herd is significantly more fun to hunt. The rut is more intense, all deer are more active, and signs (mainly rubs and scrapes) is much more abundant. Sure, some of those bucks wind up growing some magnificent headgear, and some hunters are lucky enough to shoot them. I don’t see a problem with that. So to me, the question isn’t whether to protect yearling bucks in some areas.*

But how?

Voluntary Restraint

I’m a former teacher, so I’m all for education and non-mandated harvest restrictions. As an example, I grew up hunting an area in central Wisconsin where, in the late 1980’s, where our large group of family and friends decided on our own to curtail the harvest on yearling bucks. What started as an informal camp rule became a generally accepted practice. Youngsters and new hunters can kill any buck they want, but most veterans can’t remember the last yearling they shot. Passing on young bucks was not a decision that was adopted instantly or universally, but in time it became standard practice. Letting folks come to these decisions on their own often takes time, but the result is usually more lasting.

State-Mandated Antler Restrictions

On the flip side, I now live and hunt in southeastern Minnesota, an area that’s been under APRs for four seasons now. For the most part, I like them. APRs made sense here because our state was an annual, national leader in the harvest of yearling bucks. There were a lot of reasons for this, but the primary one, in my opinion, was our early and long gun seasons. Hunters were loath to alter the firearms season framework, but the majority liked the idea of APRs. So a three-year trial period was put in place, then evaluated. Support remains reasonably strong, so APRs have stuck. I suppose you could call this a state mandate, but it was really more of a request; as in most states, we have APRs because the majority of hunters asked for yearling buck protection.

Generally, I equate yearling buck protection to the catch-and-release ethic that’s developed in muskie fishing. I live in a state packed with huge muskies, and there are very, very few of these trophy gamefish killed any more. But it’s important to remember that this ethic did not evolve overnight. It started with regulations that protected immature fish and eventually developed into something larger. It’s not a perfect comparison, but I think deer hunting works in similar fashion. Regulations can be very useful in giving us a start. And then hunters decide what happens from there.

So let’s hear from you.

* It’s important to point out that there are some places where APRs, for example, make no sense. In the big woods of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, deer densities are low and asking a hunter to pass on the only buck he may see in a season is simply too much. The QDMA recognizes this. Adams has told me multiple times that the organization is seen by some as “that APR group.” In fact, when asked for their input by states considering APRs, QDMA has expressed disapproval more than they’ve offered support.  QDMA only supports APRs when they make scientific sense, the results can be measured, and the majority of hunters want them. 

 

 

 

 

Comments (20)

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from jjas wrote 10 weeks 2 days ago

As pointed out....many more people are passing on yearlings than they used to. Educating people about the benefits of doing this are paying off, and I don't see the need to mandate it for several reasons.

There are always going to be people who hunt on small parcels, or on public ground or perhaps they are young, old or only hunt a couple of times a year or maybe they just want to kill a deer. I don't have a problem with that. It's their tag and their choice.

One area I think magazines and organizations are missing the boat on when it comes to education is getting hunters to not kill button bucks. Way too many buttons are killed every hunting season and added into the "antlerless" deer column in the harvest stats. It skews the data and undermines the age structure of the buck herd.

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from NHshtr wrote 10 weeks 1 day ago

If a state or region has a good age balance, leave it be and don't try to "manage" it. Most, if not all, F&G dept.s now have the ability to determine this from harvest data. If there is an age structure issue, then start with education of hunters (not just new hunters) and include habitat issues along with the study. Personally, I'm not convinced that "balancing the age classes" through hunting is an achievable goal unless the habitat (and hunter support) is right for it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BillSheive5555 wrote 10 weeks 1 day ago

I dont think so because here in York Maine where I live. Most of the bucks are yearlings because of the decreasing amount of hunters so more dear are being born and its hard to find a mature buck with all the younger ones out there.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cnels36 wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

I believe Ohio should put a points limitation on bucks. Most areas in Ohio have plenty of bucks to pick through.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike0714 wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

AR's work out east where there are a lot of deer and they are the right subspecies to grow 3 points. Sitka, Carmon Mountain, and Coues deer can be mature with out having 3 points on a side and if you don't count eye guards then good luck. My coues deer this year was 4 1/2 years old and taped out at 70 3/8 in. With good mass but was only a 2x2 with eye guards. Under some AR laws he would not have been legal but he was mature and showed no signs of growing another point just more mass and length. Given we did see deer with 3 point but could not get in range of them or I did not like the shot. (I shoot a lot and will take broad side shots out to 500 or 600 depending on conditions) Some deer species and subspecies just don't get big enough often enough or don't have the number's for AR's but out east AR's can be beneficial conservation tools.

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from IND_NRA wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

My family and I eat the meat, and we depend on that meat for the year. I know that if my state puts an antler restriction law in the books, I will still be eating deer meat come the end of our season. Take that how you want.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

This article omitted discussion of the method adopted by Indiana - limiting every hunter to one buck. When you do that, most hunters will give the yearlings a pass but first time and youth hunters can still choose to shoot yearlings if they want to.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodpecker wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

I like venison. They say that the young ones taste better than the older ones. I also like to play by the rules. If you force me to hold off shooting a healthy spike, four or six point, I'm not so sure that I can play by your rules. You might be making a criminal out of me. I voted neither. Maybe if you want to have deer with bigger rack's you should get together with the power's that be and start an off shoot club that plants food plots on state land. Of course, you'll have to pass the hat to come up with the money to pay for it. If you have your own land, you can make your own rules.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CSIN26 wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

I feel that anyone paying for a deer tag should be able to harvest any size animal they choose. In Indiana a firearms license is for an antlered deer only (one antler must be at least 3" to be considered antlered). If you want to save yearling deer from meat hunters (not concerned with antler size, just want meat in the freezer) make the firearm tag either sex. Also allow them to buy an additional firearms license if they use it on an antlerless deer. That way they don't have to buy two tags just so they can shoot an antlerless deer if they see one. My other complaint about antler restrictions is for the beginning deer hunters. If you have not had the opportunity see the smile on a young hunters face after killing their first buck (no matter how big the rack is) you are missing the reason why we all started hunting in the first place. I feel it should be on a voluntary basis. My family has taken the same approach as Scott’s family did. I have passed on a lot of bucks, and I usually harvest does to fill the freezer. That is a personal choice, and some hunters don't have the luxury of passing a deer that could be in the freezer. I am fortunate enough to be able to do this. Don't restrict the hunters that don't have this luxury.

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from Ken Reed wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

The state needs to regulate it. Take Pennsylvania....enough said.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dighunter wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

Why in the world would I want someone else (another government entity) dictate how I live my life how to do things?!?!?!?! We continue to restrict away our freedoms to please few.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wpickett wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I would prefer that we not legislate everything. Maybe education and setting up policies/guidelines. I don't attempt to harvest spikes, but I got one thinking it was a doe. I can just see the $500-$1000 fine, seizing of my weapon, car, and being kicked out of a management hunt program because I now have a DNR conviction.

If the state saw the law as a way to manage game and not to collect money, as Maryland does, I might concede it is worth trying.

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from fallghost wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

Keep the government out of it. If one wants to protect yearling bucks he should talk to the neighboring land owners and find out if they will do the same. It all comes down to choice. Every time the government restricts something like this it limits the freedoms people have by limiting the decisions they can make.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gheid45 wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I have no need of a trophy deer. I do however have need of the meat in my freezer. The fact is, younger deer make better and more tender steaks and roasts. If you are planning on grinding the venison to make sausage then big and tough won't matter as much. I abide by the point restrictions here in Missouri but I definitely do not like them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joejv4 wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I'm not a big fan of States legislating anything beyond the bare minimum. NY has areas with APR's, and there is science behind those areas having them. We also have areas with deer populations too high for the habitat carrying capacity, and there we have special measures to reduce the number of does. In the Adirondacks, the herd is smaller, so no does. The rest of the state, deer management permits (doe permits) are issued in numbers that reflect the harvest needed to maintain healthy populations.

As for me, I'm a meat hunter, not a trophy hunter (can't eat antlers), and would rather take a doe because they are better table fare. However, when it comes down to the last week of the season, and I'm not seeing anything to put in the freezer, chances are that if it's brown, it's down (provided I have the right tags).

Now, a growing number of hunters are more interested in that big rack and what kind of B&C score they can get. With that being the case, that growing population of hunters looking for trophies is passing on younger bucks simply because they want something bigger. (read any whitetail hunting article, look at the sales numbers for trail-cams, calls, rattling bags and fake antlers, scents, scent removers, and all the other goodies that are produced to help get that monster buck on your wall). This trend toward trophy-hunting, and away from meat-hunting is doing very well at policing the harvest of yearlings nowadays. This leaves meat-hunters like me, who are now a minority, with options to get our venison, while allowing hunters to voluntarily follow QDM principles. No need for the government to get involved with new regulations.

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from Joe C Rozniata wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

In Oklahoma there trying to regulate it so much it's getting stupid they want to pass a reg for a buck to have at least 6 on one side that bogas my boy shot 3 yr old that had 3 on one side and 4 on the other it was tall and had mass but get real with the regs or don't put any

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Miss bee wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I also think that antler restrictions are working in Pa. We are seeing bigger racks where we hunt. As far as the overall deer herd, I can't always agree with the statement that it is stable. A bounty on coyotes would be good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RatherBeFishing wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I also hunt in SE MN and do not like the APR system. My dad and I typically get out 3-4 days a year and last season we saw a total of 6 deer and 5 of them were small bucks that we were forced to pass on because of APR's and the sixth one was a button buck that I ended up harvesting. Needless to say, when splitting a fawn with somebody, the meat does not go very far. I much prefer to eat venison over store bought meat and would have been much happier if we were each able to take one of the bucks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from voiceofreasoncny wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

In response to joejv4, the areas in New York State that have Antler Point restrictions do NOT have any science behind them. Those areas are suffering from dying habitat because those areas have been declared "forever wild" and those habitats are no longer allowed to be managed. Hunters came up with the idea of APR's and the deer harvest data shows that those areas' deer populations are NOT recovering. Yes, a higher proportion of harvested bucks are from older age classes, but, overall harvest numbers continue to decline because the habitat is past its prime and no longer able to sustain the deer numbers it once did.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PJ wrote 7 weeks 3 days ago

To call yourself a hunter I believe you should at least kind of know the basics. I mean come on, to many people have never been taught "the right way", taking only mature bucks out of the herd. The times are changing and the only real way to eliminate the amount of "hunters" that are taking yearling and immature bucks is to simply teach the younger generation new tactics. Hunting has transformed traitorously over the past 30yrs. As a hunter from Ks. it is almost expected of you to do your part in management take a buck that has reached a mature age, it is frowned upon if you do not. It has been taught and said over and over again to me. The younger generation is loosing what it's like to work for something.... Growing mature whitetail's, and harvesting them is almost a moral issue, it is something that has to be taught and passed down generation to generation. We absolutely do not need more government dictation, we need to control our own futures! I'm not saying that it's wrong to take immature deer but my morals and ethics tell me it's not right to rob an animal that hasn't had a chance to live to it's potential. We need to educate new and future hunters, and even teach old dogs new tricks, difficult it may be but it is possible.

You can't tell me that all of the hunters in the states that have APR's are being truthful about their harvest either... APR's should be nonexistent to me, APR's are for the people that quote themselves as "hunters" those are the people that need to be taught "the right way." Experience is only that if you have learned from it ladies and gentlemen. It shouldn't be a law stating that you can only harvest a mature deer, it should be a privilege earned by the hunter who has put in his/her time and effort to earn a true trophy.

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Post a Comment

from NHshtr wrote 10 weeks 1 day ago

If a state or region has a good age balance, leave it be and don't try to "manage" it. Most, if not all, F&G dept.s now have the ability to determine this from harvest data. If there is an age structure issue, then start with education of hunters (not just new hunters) and include habitat issues along with the study. Personally, I'm not convinced that "balancing the age classes" through hunting is an achievable goal unless the habitat (and hunter support) is right for it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cnels36 wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

I believe Ohio should put a points limitation on bucks. Most areas in Ohio have plenty of bucks to pick through.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from IND_NRA wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

My family and I eat the meat, and we depend on that meat for the year. I know that if my state puts an antler restriction law in the books, I will still be eating deer meat come the end of our season. Take that how you want.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ken Reed wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

The state needs to regulate it. Take Pennsylvania....enough said.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dighunter wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

Why in the world would I want someone else (another government entity) dictate how I live my life how to do things?!?!?!?! We continue to restrict away our freedoms to please few.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 10 weeks 2 days ago

As pointed out....many more people are passing on yearlings than they used to. Educating people about the benefits of doing this are paying off, and I don't see the need to mandate it for several reasons.

There are always going to be people who hunt on small parcels, or on public ground or perhaps they are young, old or only hunt a couple of times a year or maybe they just want to kill a deer. I don't have a problem with that. It's their tag and their choice.

One area I think magazines and organizations are missing the boat on when it comes to education is getting hunters to not kill button bucks. Way too many buttons are killed every hunting season and added into the "antlerless" deer column in the harvest stats. It skews the data and undermines the age structure of the buck herd.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike0714 wrote 9 weeks 4 days ago

AR's work out east where there are a lot of deer and they are the right subspecies to grow 3 points. Sitka, Carmon Mountain, and Coues deer can be mature with out having 3 points on a side and if you don't count eye guards then good luck. My coues deer this year was 4 1/2 years old and taped out at 70 3/8 in. With good mass but was only a 2x2 with eye guards. Under some AR laws he would not have been legal but he was mature and showed no signs of growing another point just more mass and length. Given we did see deer with 3 point but could not get in range of them or I did not like the shot. (I shoot a lot and will take broad side shots out to 500 or 600 depending on conditions) Some deer species and subspecies just don't get big enough often enough or don't have the number's for AR's but out east AR's can be beneficial conservation tools.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

This article omitted discussion of the method adopted by Indiana - limiting every hunter to one buck. When you do that, most hunters will give the yearlings a pass but first time and youth hunters can still choose to shoot yearlings if they want to.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CSIN26 wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

I feel that anyone paying for a deer tag should be able to harvest any size animal they choose. In Indiana a firearms license is for an antlered deer only (one antler must be at least 3" to be considered antlered). If you want to save yearling deer from meat hunters (not concerned with antler size, just want meat in the freezer) make the firearm tag either sex. Also allow them to buy an additional firearms license if they use it on an antlerless deer. That way they don't have to buy two tags just so they can shoot an antlerless deer if they see one. My other complaint about antler restrictions is for the beginning deer hunters. If you have not had the opportunity see the smile on a young hunters face after killing their first buck (no matter how big the rack is) you are missing the reason why we all started hunting in the first place. I feel it should be on a voluntary basis. My family has taken the same approach as Scott’s family did. I have passed on a lot of bucks, and I usually harvest does to fill the freezer. That is a personal choice, and some hunters don't have the luxury of passing a deer that could be in the freezer. I am fortunate enough to be able to do this. Don't restrict the hunters that don't have this luxury.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wpickett wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I would prefer that we not legislate everything. Maybe education and setting up policies/guidelines. I don't attempt to harvest spikes, but I got one thinking it was a doe. I can just see the $500-$1000 fine, seizing of my weapon, car, and being kicked out of a management hunt program because I now have a DNR conviction.

If the state saw the law as a way to manage game and not to collect money, as Maryland does, I might concede it is worth trying.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fallghost wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

Keep the government out of it. If one wants to protect yearling bucks he should talk to the neighboring land owners and find out if they will do the same. It all comes down to choice. Every time the government restricts something like this it limits the freedoms people have by limiting the decisions they can make.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gheid45 wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I have no need of a trophy deer. I do however have need of the meat in my freezer. The fact is, younger deer make better and more tender steaks and roasts. If you are planning on grinding the venison to make sausage then big and tough won't matter as much. I abide by the point restrictions here in Missouri but I definitely do not like them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joejv4 wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I'm not a big fan of States legislating anything beyond the bare minimum. NY has areas with APR's, and there is science behind those areas having them. We also have areas with deer populations too high for the habitat carrying capacity, and there we have special measures to reduce the number of does. In the Adirondacks, the herd is smaller, so no does. The rest of the state, deer management permits (doe permits) are issued in numbers that reflect the harvest needed to maintain healthy populations.

As for me, I'm a meat hunter, not a trophy hunter (can't eat antlers), and would rather take a doe because they are better table fare. However, when it comes down to the last week of the season, and I'm not seeing anything to put in the freezer, chances are that if it's brown, it's down (provided I have the right tags).

Now, a growing number of hunters are more interested in that big rack and what kind of B&C score they can get. With that being the case, that growing population of hunters looking for trophies is passing on younger bucks simply because they want something bigger. (read any whitetail hunting article, look at the sales numbers for trail-cams, calls, rattling bags and fake antlers, scents, scent removers, and all the other goodies that are produced to help get that monster buck on your wall). This trend toward trophy-hunting, and away from meat-hunting is doing very well at policing the harvest of yearlings nowadays. This leaves meat-hunters like me, who are now a minority, with options to get our venison, while allowing hunters to voluntarily follow QDM principles. No need for the government to get involved with new regulations.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe C Rozniata wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

In Oklahoma there trying to regulate it so much it's getting stupid they want to pass a reg for a buck to have at least 6 on one side that bogas my boy shot 3 yr old that had 3 on one side and 4 on the other it was tall and had mass but get real with the regs or don't put any

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Miss bee wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I also think that antler restrictions are working in Pa. We are seeing bigger racks where we hunt. As far as the overall deer herd, I can't always agree with the statement that it is stable. A bounty on coyotes would be good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RatherBeFishing wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

I also hunt in SE MN and do not like the APR system. My dad and I typically get out 3-4 days a year and last season we saw a total of 6 deer and 5 of them were small bucks that we were forced to pass on because of APR's and the sixth one was a button buck that I ended up harvesting. Needless to say, when splitting a fawn with somebody, the meat does not go very far. I much prefer to eat venison over store bought meat and would have been much happier if we were each able to take one of the bucks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from voiceofreasoncny wrote 9 weeks 2 days ago

In response to joejv4, the areas in New York State that have Antler Point restrictions do NOT have any science behind them. Those areas are suffering from dying habitat because those areas have been declared "forever wild" and those habitats are no longer allowed to be managed. Hunters came up with the idea of APR's and the deer harvest data shows that those areas' deer populations are NOT recovering. Yes, a higher proportion of harvested bucks are from older age classes, but, overall harvest numbers continue to decline because the habitat is past its prime and no longer able to sustain the deer numbers it once did.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PJ wrote 7 weeks 3 days ago

To call yourself a hunter I believe you should at least kind of know the basics. I mean come on, to many people have never been taught "the right way", taking only mature bucks out of the herd. The times are changing and the only real way to eliminate the amount of "hunters" that are taking yearling and immature bucks is to simply teach the younger generation new tactics. Hunting has transformed traitorously over the past 30yrs. As a hunter from Ks. it is almost expected of you to do your part in management take a buck that has reached a mature age, it is frowned upon if you do not. It has been taught and said over and over again to me. The younger generation is loosing what it's like to work for something.... Growing mature whitetail's, and harvesting them is almost a moral issue, it is something that has to be taught and passed down generation to generation. We absolutely do not need more government dictation, we need to control our own futures! I'm not saying that it's wrong to take immature deer but my morals and ethics tell me it's not right to rob an animal that hasn't had a chance to live to it's potential. We need to educate new and future hunters, and even teach old dogs new tricks, difficult it may be but it is possible.

You can't tell me that all of the hunters in the states that have APR's are being truthful about their harvest either... APR's should be nonexistent to me, APR's are for the people that quote themselves as "hunters" those are the people that need to be taught "the right way." Experience is only that if you have learned from it ladies and gentlemen. It shouldn't be a law stating that you can only harvest a mature deer, it should be a privilege earned by the hunter who has put in his/her time and effort to earn a true trophy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BillSheive5555 wrote 10 weeks 1 day ago

I dont think so because here in York Maine where I live. Most of the bucks are yearlings because of the decreasing amount of hunters so more dear are being born and its hard to find a mature buck with all the younger ones out there.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodpecker wrote 9 weeks 3 days ago

I like venison. They say that the young ones taste better than the older ones. I also like to play by the rules. If you force me to hold off shooting a healthy spike, four or six point, I'm not so sure that I can play by your rules. You might be making a criminal out of me. I voted neither. Maybe if you want to have deer with bigger rack's you should get together with the power's that be and start an off shoot club that plants food plots on state land. Of course, you'll have to pass the hat to come up with the money to pay for it. If you have your own land, you can make your own rules.

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