Am I missing something? I keep hearing people talk of taking spikes and fork horns here in the UP, and seeing some being hauled home. I thought a UP buck had to have 3 points on one side or better to be legal for the last two years. Let'm go, let'm grow.
live2hunt is right, only the combo tags are subject to the restrictions you mention above. If a single tag is bought anything with horns is fair game, granted it has to have the spikes tall enough if it is a spiker. So, were getting there as a trophy state, but not completely there because idiots are still shooting every tom dick and harry bucks out there without caring what impact it will have on the maturity of bucks in the UP. They just feel its a good place to see lots of deer and lots of shooting. Until that mentality is broken we will never see trophy potential in this great wilderness that has so much potential to become a haven for hunting whitetails that would, if only nutured and controlled, make record books. Don't get me wrong my only objective is not to make the books, far from it, just get a really nice buck every year, and your just not going to get that in today's Upper Penninsula. You have to go to Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota to achieve that on a consistent basis, that's what I do. Sure, you may get lucky every 5-10 years with a "nice" buck, but right now that's about it. I wish the state would adopt more strict rules when it came to buck hunting in the U.P. They are on the right path in my opinion adopting these rules for combo tags, but need to take a more aggressive approach altogether. Not only that, but they would also generate more sales if the U.P. was known for "pope" or "booner" bucks as people would flock to find success with greater odds. I'm not really even sure I want yahoos in the woods like that next to me though, so I shouldn't say that too loud I guess. But managing for it would benefit both us (hunters) and them (the state) that's for sure.
Too many hunters are still taking immature bucks for meat, when they are seeing plenty of does. It is widely and acceptedly known the U.P. has no shortages of does and population balance is tipped to say the least in the females favor. That is why we see virtually no heavy rutting behavior, fighting, or intense chasing by multiple bruisers. Why aren't these hunters focusing on harvesting does for meat instead of shooting one buck that is less than 2.5 years old for their yearly deer to take home on the roof or hood of thier car? Do they feel this is an accomplishment year in and year out? Then they complain to every soul they see, especially locals, about how they never see any descent bucks to shoot that would warrant hanging on their walls. I don't get these people, when they do this and can see upwards of 10's to 20's of does in their bait pile on any given day, being that baiting is legal in the U.P.. I can shoot a doe every day if I wanted to I know that. Somehow these folks, need to shoot a buck to feel worthy or something, even if it's young enough to still taste the milk in their mouth from the mother's teet. OK, I'm done griping for now!!!
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.