Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Does your state have a deer regulation that defies common sense?
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scotman
 
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Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby scotman » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:49 am

Whether your from NY or not do you think that the DEC and DNR should have antler restrictions? I wonder how many NY hunters in those specific WMU's never returned to the woods because of this kind of restriction. They claim it is because the bucks live longer. We are only allowed to harvest 1 buck as it is, I think it should be the hunters choice to shoot what he chooses,that is why we buy the license.

buck harvests were down 65% in WMU 3C and 40% in WMU 3J


NY DEC
Pilot Antler Restriction Project The pilot antler restriction program in the Southern Catskills has been expanded and now includes WMUs 3C, 3H, 3J & 3K.
The regulations REQUIRE that bucks taken in WMUs 3C, 3H, 3J and 3K have at least one antler with 3 points (or more) which are at least one inch long. This restriction applies to the archery, regular and muzzleloading seasons.
Important: Hunters under 17 years of age are exempt from the three point requirement.
Why is this change being made? For nearly 100 years, a "legal buck" has been a deer with at least one antler that is 3 inches long or longer. However, in recent years, other states have experimented with programs to change the age structure of bucks. In simple terms, these programs produce bucks that live longer. These programs have been well received in other locations, and we are now examining this form of deer management in New York State.
The pilot program was initiated in 2005 in WMUs 3C and 3J. Based upon strong local support, the antler restriction pilot has been expanded to include WMUs 3H and 3K in 2006. It will provide important information for both hunters and the DEC, and the results will be widely shared when they are available.
With 2005 being the first year of antler restrictions in WMUs 3C and 3J, buck harvests were down 65% in WMU 3C and 40% in WMU 3J. This was an expected decline, but DEC predicts that buck takes will return toward normal levels in 2006 and 2007 with a larger number of older bucks seen and taken by hunters. A similar trend is predicted for WMUs 3H and 3K with a reduction in buck take in 2006 followed by steady increases toward normal buck harvests in subsequent years.
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth

mhouck06
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby mhouck06 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:17 am

Personally I think this is a great idea.. The whole state of PA has had antler restrictions for the past few years now and it is really paying off. Before you were lucky to get a 6 point.. Now people are killing bigger and bigger bucks every year. People were opposed to it at first, but now seeing the results a few years later, it was a wise decision.. most areas of PA are 3 points to a side and some are 4 points to a side. Juniors can still shoot any buck, that is good because they can have a good chance at tagging a deer, but for the adults the restrictions have turned out to be great.

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adirondackhunter
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby adirondackhunter » Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:14 am

I think NY should go on antler restriction with a few exceptions for new hunters. 

twotone3
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby twotone3 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:42 am

We have the stupid antler restrictions here in Missouri, where they must have four points on one side.  The reason I call the restrictions stupid is because they don't do it state wide.  I feel if you are gonna do it anywhere in the state you need to do it in the entire state.  I have yet to decide if it works or not.  Each year I see about the same number of bucks but I have yet to see more than one legal one each year.  Also due to the restriction I have lost out on getting some meat on several occasions due to the fact the deer never puts its head in view.  I have had deer within 20 yards with a clear view of their body's but with tree branches it can be difficult to count points and by the time you do they no longer present a shot.  I had a massive 6 point which I could tell was an older deer walk straight at me one day but I had to let it go.  I personally think they need to find a better way to regulate the bucks that are shot.

allthingshunting
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby allthingshunting » Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:44 pm

Antler restrictions are an attempt to protect younger bucks.  Antler restrictions based on points is the easiest way to put a rule on the books without educating the deer hunting public.  Anyone can count points to determine a 'legal' buck.  Sometimes the deer stays hidden or moves too fast, but when given the right opportunity, anyone can make this decision.
 
That being said...the only true way to manage deer to increase the age structure is to harvest them based on their age.  This requires much more education, field experience, and judgement calls however.  Until the average hunter can distinguish between a yearling, 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old deer, based on physical characteristics, antler restrictions are the only way to attempt to accomplish this.
 
While i think it has major flaws, antler restrictions in PA are working to some extent.  Of 5 hunters in our family, prior to restrictions, we averaged a mature deer (3 1/2 years old plus) about every other year.  Now we average a mature deer about twice a year.  That's four times the mature deer.  If only we could let the deer with true potential walk.  (i'm talking the 6, 8, and 10 point yearlings which aren't protected - this is where antler restrictions are flawed.)

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby ranwin33 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:40 am

I'm fully in favor of antler restrictions.  We have them in my part of Missouri and I am convinced they play a part in the more and bigger deer we are seeing.  It appears to have been successful as more counties will be operating with the restrictions this season.  At first I was unhappy when it happened since we had not seen any bucks that would have been considered legal and I figured we'd have nothing to shoot.  But after the first year, things have definately improved.  I'd like to think some of our land management practices also help, but I know the antler restrictions play the biggest part.  As an example the 14 hunters on 140 acres to our south took just a two bucks and a doe this year on their property.  In past years most of them would have taken an immature buck. 

Robert Rowland
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby Robert Rowland » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:01 pm

Here in N.W. Missouri, we have the antler restriction. All of the hunters that I talk with have come to like the rule (after a couple of years)and are in favor of keeping it. If people are concerned about putting meat in the freezer, they can buy as many anlerless tags as they want.

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:11 am

Hi Robert, what part of NW Missouri you in.  Our farm is in Harrison County.  If like us, then your area has plenty of deer as well.  This summer while doing our evening drive we saw a herd with 38 deer in it just off the road and another with 17 a little further down.  All within a mile or two of our farm.

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EatDeer
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby EatDeer » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:39 am

I belive anything that helps bucks move into older age class deer is better than having a herd of yearling bucks. There is proof that a yearling spike buck can produce the same size rack at 5 years old as a eight point yearling will.  If the state would allow a doe season before bucks are legaly harvested, that would really help balance the herd even more.  
"Let a young buck go, so he can grow."

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Pilot Antler Restriction Project

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:35 am

I'm not sure how much it would help balance the herd based upon what's getting shot.  I think there are many hunters who won't shoot a doe and hold out for a buck no matter what, so many may well not take part in an early doe season.  We've got neighbors like that.
 
It might help with herd management from a stand point that bucks would be given a couple weeks warning before people start shooting at them with firearms.  Guns going off in the woods can make deer nervous.  But if it happened too early, then the woods would have time to settle down again.
 
I know we have ample opportunities to take does during the regular firearms season and following muzzle loader season and we don't shoot them because we take our does during bow season which is about two months prior and about two months following gun season.  Shooting a doe with a gun isn't much of a challenge on our property.  So we probably wouldn't participate in an early doe season using firearms anyway.
 
My only objection would be that in Missouri bow season closes when gun season starts, so I'd lose a week or two of bow hunting during the prime part of the season.  Other than that I'd have no objections to an early doe season.  I think it might be one of several changes Missouri is considering. 
 
Here is where Missouri appears to be headed, take note of the graphs as the table can be misleading.
http://www.mdc.mo.gov/hunt/deer/2008forums/summary.htm  I'd say changes are in store for us.
 

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