Antler restriction

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1STRANGEWILDERNESS
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby 1STRANGEWILDERNESS » Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:04 am

I always gotta laugh when being called a Trophy hunter. I know a ton of guys that will not shoot a doe but will pound anything with a horn on its head.(for meat?? Oh and a horn) To me that’s trophy hunting just at a different level. I am surprised at the amount of people wanting to protect does.. although you aren’t in MI probably so hey I guess it varies greatly out there. If I had a few deer per square mile I wouldn’t shoot doe.
I had multiple sits this year where I would see 20 deer. No horns. That’s been my experience most of my life, maybe not seeing twenty deer in a sit but 10 does to a buck at the min. No problem.
Drive by a field in lower mi with 100 deer in it dec 1st. Not a single horn, view it at night with binocs in full moon, still no bucks.. or well maybe 1 scrub. I’ve got a buddy with a farm 120 acres. Mostly fields. They shoot 20 doe easy per yr and his fields are as full as ever the next season. Been that way ever since I knew em. Believe me folks you don’t want it like this.. most kill 2 bucks under 100” and most don’t shoot a doe. I was very happy when Dan smoked a doe in MI challenge this yr. so many people idolize him that I think he might actually changed some people’s minds about taking a doe not being taboo and that’s a very good thing.

My neighbor complains about deer eating his garden says he’s gonna thin hem out. Shoots several immature bucks no doe lol

Bucks could always be bigger if only people quit shooting them, let’s make some more laws. I don’t agree with that. You can’t make it so complicated, that would take the joy out of hunting for me. If I’m hunting and I see a buck that’s nice in my eyes. I’m shooting. I’ll “ground check em” as my neighbor from WI tells me to do lol


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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby PaPublicLandHunter » Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:06 am

I am a fan of the ARs here in Pa. On the public I do see a difference in more 3.5 year olds.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby Jonny » Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:21 am

1STRANGEWILDERNESS wrote:I always gotta laugh when being called a Trophy hunter. I know a ton of guys that will not shoot a doe but will pound anything with a horn on its head.(for meat?? Oh and a horn) To me that’s trophy hunting just at a different level. I am surprised at the amount of people wanting to protect does.. although you aren’t in MI probably so hey I guess it varies greatly out there. If I had a few deer per square mile I wouldn’t shoot doe.
I had multiple sits this year where I would see 20 deer. No horns. That’s been my experience most of my life, maybe not seeing twenty deer in a sit but 10 does to a buck at the min. No problem.
Drive by a field in lower mi with 100 deer in it dec 1st. Not a single horn, view it at night with binocs in full moon, still no bucks.. or well maybe 1 scrub. I’ve got a buddy with a farm 120 acres. Mostly fields. They shoot 20 doe easy per yr and his fields are as full as ever the next season. Been that way ever since I knew em. Believe me folks you don’t want it like this.. most kill 2 bucks under 100” and most don’t shoot a doe. I was very happy when Dan smoked a doe in MI challenge this yr. so many people idolize him that I think he might actually changed some people’s minds about taking a doe not being taboo and that’s a very good thing.

My neighbor complains about deer eating his garden says he’s gonna thin hem out. Shoots several immature bucks no doe lol

Bucks could always be bigger if only people quit shooting them, let’s make some more laws. I don’t agree with that. You can’t make it so complicated, that would take the joy out of hunting for me. If I’m hunting and I see a buck that’s nice in my eyes. I’m shooting. I’ll “ground check em” as my neighbor from WI tells me to do lol


So because I’d rather shoot a spike over a doe I’m a trophy hunter and not a meat hunter? Maybe I’m trying to get something in my freezer without hurting the population. Shooting a small buck accomplishes that.

Not every area has a surplus of does to shoot. How many deer do you wipe out in the future by shooting a doe? How about shooting a buck?

I’d rather shoot a doe but a lot of the public I hunt it isn’t good for the area.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby 1STRANGEWILDERNESS » Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:44 am

So because I’d rather shoot a spike over a doe I’m a trophy hunter and not a meat hunter? Maybe I’m trying to get something in my freezer without hurting the population. Shooting a small buck accomplishes that.

Not every area has a surplus of does to shoot. How many deer do you wipe out in the future by shooting a doe? How about shooting a buck?

I’d rather shoot a doe but a lot of the public I hunt it isn’t good for the area.[/quote]


As I said maybe it’s different elsewhere as population varies greatly by region. Also I mentioned if I was in a real low density deer area I wouldn’t shoot doe. I’m referring to conditions in my area.

Nobody likes being called a trophy hunter is my point I guess. I get called that by meat hunters that only shoot bucks. Why do they only target horns when we are overrun with deer? I guess for the trophy to toss in a basket.. so we’re both after bone headed trophy’s

How many deer do I wipe out in the future by shooting doe? That I don’t know but as stated I have a friend where they take 20 off 120 acres of mostly ag land every season. The next seasons deer numbers look a lot like the previous. This has gone on for two decades. I myself shoot a few by my house. Never notice a population difference the next season. Like I say we’re overloaded.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby PAwildman » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:56 pm

Where I hunt it's 4 up on one side. My experience hunting all public is guys still shoot at anything and everything in rifle. If it doesn't have 4 up, they leave it lay. I find multiple young bucks every single year 4pts 6pts blasted right in the shoulder or just behind, lying dead in the open. I'd rather them take the deer they shot, maybe get creative and come back later, instead of leaving them, but they are worried that the woods police will be sitting right there at their trucks waiting...

Here's a shed I found on public last year. This is a mature PA buck not legal. If he was running by in rifle, most guys would pull the trigger and count points later. I'd say they'd find a way to get this one out of the woods though. I'm all for anything that helps the deer survive, given the "Agendas" out there to kill them all off.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby may21581 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:51 am

Most of your laws are created with the umbrella coverage type. To explain a little further this is to cover the majority of everyday casual hunters that may hunt weekends, after work for a few hours, and the folks that just like to get out. These rules are more designed for the 90 percenters not the 10 percenters who trophy hunt.
A buck that is mature and only 14" wide should be allowed. However it falls under this silly restriction rule you guys have. I wonder if you were to call the warden and explain the situation and maybe share a pic within ahead of time if he would give you permission?
Alot of rules dont make sense to me. I dont hunt west virginia however my stepsons do. They have family there and hunt the state. For the longest time they never allowed crossbows, however they could use high powered rifles during gun season. When they passed the law over there to use them everyone was loving it. I could never wrap my head around this.
I dont understand the no hunting on sunday thing either in some states. Not sure the reasoning with this. Was it created for safety or more for the tradition and respect for the day?
I guess sometimes the 10 percenters can even get tripped up on some silly rules from time to time that have been designed for the majority.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby SteveD » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:17 am

I'm for it, with today's technology its puts some sport/challenge into it and restraint on the hunting crowd.Get plenty of meat from an older deer also, for the "meat only" group.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby tim » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:06 am

So I say it’s stupid and I am a trophy hunter....other guys are all for it, so if you are for it are you REALLY for it? How for it are you? Are we talking a little restriction so a deer makes it to 2.5? To me that accomplished nothing . Most trophy hunters aren’t looking for 2.5 year old bucks either and a lot aren’t looking for 3.5. So what type of restrictions are you really willing to accept. I think most would be complaining if there was a way to restrict the kill until deer are 4.5 or even 5.5. Is that unrealistic? If so why if you want a restriction then let’s restrict them till they are mature... just something to think about
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:57 am

tim wrote:So I say it’s stupid and I am a trophy hunter....other guys are all for it, so if you are for it are you REALLY for it? How for it are you? Are we talking a little restriction so a deer makes it to 2.5? To me that accomplished nothing . Most trophy hunters aren’t looking for 2.5 year old bucks either and a lot aren’t looking for 3.5. So what type of restrictions are you really willing to accept. I think most would be complaining if there was a way to restrict the kill until deer are 4.5 or even 5.5. Is that unrealistic? If so why if you want a restriction then let’s restrict them till they are mature... just something to think about

Not sure if u r being sarcastic or not, but u pretty much summed up my feelings :lol:
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby Kraftd » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:30 am

Antler restrictions are focused on antlers, which are the trophy aspect of hunting. Whether reality dictates it being practical or not, the goal is to enhance the number of larger antlered bucks, plain and simple. I like shooting bigger bucks over smaller, I also hunt harder and more than probably 90% of deer hunters, and most of you blow me out of the water.

They don't bother me personally, and wouldn't tremendously impact how I hunt if my areas had them. That said, I'm opposed to forced trophy hunting, which make no mistake, is what this is. Again, goal is larger antlers, hence restrictions on killing buks with smaller antlers. You can make whatever age structure arguments you want, or argue antlers are just a simple proxy for age, but the goal is more larger antlered bucks. Even if most hunters would love that in theory, most don't have the skill, patience or time to not have it impact their harvest negatively. I don't support a system that pushes harvest choice onto the masses.

Its been mentioned earlier, but I try and know my areas well. I have several that would be much better served with a small buck harvest over a doe. I have others that it is the opposite, and others with pretty healthy structures (both sex and age) where frankly it wouldn't matter. Should be my choice, and I'll shoot a small buck late if I need meat and I'm in a low deer number area. On most of the public I hunt locally I would be far more apt to pass all does than young bucks, though generally pass all of both.

Personally, we hear all the time the importance of a balanced age structure for a healthy herd. For a fairily short-lived and often abundant animal, I just don't think age structure is as ecologically critical as some make it seem. I can by sex ratio to some extent, but if a yearling buck and a 5 year old have the same genetics in them, hypothetically, it makes no difference for overall herd health which breeds the does as long as they get bred.

Again, I love hunting big bucks, but so many don't have the interest, drive, or skill to do it consistently, so why make them feel inferior, or in theory make it easier for them with APRs? Like others have said, killing all 2 year olds instead of yearlings doesn't really change anything, though I suppose there are more guys who view a 85 inch 8 as a trophy than a 30 inch fork.

Just my thoughts. Not a hill I'd die on either way.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:33 am

may21581 wrote:Most of your laws are created with the umbrella coverage type. To explain a little further this is to cover the majority of everyday casual hunters that may hunt weekends, after work for a few hours, and the folks that just like to get out. These rules are more designed for the 90 percenters not the 10 percenters who trophy hunt.
A buck that is mature and only 14" wide should be allowed. However it falls under this silly restriction rule you guys have. I wonder if you were to call the warden and explain the situation and maybe share a pic within ahead of time if he would give you permission?
Alot of rules dont make sense to me. I dont hunt west virginia however my stepsons do. They have family there and hunt the state. For the longest time they never allowed crossbows, however they could use high powered rifles during gun season. When they passed the law over there to use them everyone was loving it. I could never wrap my head around this.
I dont understand the no hunting on sunday thing either in some states. Not sure the reasoning with this. Was it created for safety or more for the tradition and respect for the day?
I guess sometimes the 10 percenters can even get tripped up on some silly rules from time to time that have been designed for the majority.

Very valid points. Just don’t think that 90% rule translates to my area. I have something around .8 deer per sq mile in my county. I’ve hunted here my entire life and still sometimes go a week of hard hunting without seeing a deer. I think the odds are heavily stacked against a hunter with limited time to even see 1 buck that meets the minimum. On top of that doe’s are only allowed during archery season. This is a heavy gun state, typically u get the avg hunter going opening day archery with a Xbow. Would say success is very low. I’ve tried pretty dang hard the past 2 seasons and ate my doe tag. Think a guy in my area hunting a couple weekends a year is dang lucky to see a buck and should be allowed to shoot it.

As far as sending a pic of the buck to GW asking for permission. It would be to little to late. I’ve never done worth a crap at killing one particular buck, on purpose at least. Typically I only get one or two pics of a single buck running cams all season. Most the ones I tag I’ve never seen nor got a pic of.

I’m fine with the restriction but I get way more time to throw at it than most. In the last 12 years this is the only time it has ever done me dirty. But I’m sure a lot of locals get discouraged.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby BorealBushMN » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:51 am

I've heard another theory behind APRs is that after a year under their belt, the bucks get a little smarter and are not as vulnerable as they are their first year.

In certain areas with high deer populations, I see no problem with APRs if that's what the locals in that area want. If a person can get an additional doe tag or their main tag is either sex, they at least have an option of filling the tag for meat with a doe or holding out for a bigger buck. It's a tool in the DNR toolbox to manipulate the deer herds and maybe make for an overall better hunting experience.

In the grand scheme of things, I'm not a fan of APRs, and think spread and beam length measurements are just plain silly (you supposed to jump on a deer's back and ride around on it to measure its antlers before you kill it? :think: :doh: :lol: ). Everyone is out hunting for a different reason and the Govt shouldn't dictate what people choose to harvest. The one thing we all need to remain united on is keeping as many people participating in hunting as possible. Rules like APRs tend to turn some people off and may drive more people out of our ranks, especially in areas where there is a small deer population where does are not an option, or limited.

As far as what the best regulations are for growing mature deer, allowing limited buck harvest (buck lottery tags) and later/shorter firearms seasons would do the job more effectively than APRs or spread/beam measurements. In the whitetail world, denying someone a buck tag because of a lottery system would cause riots, so I don't foresee that ever happening.
Last edited by BorealBushMN on Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:54 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby IkemanTx » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:52 am

Boogieman1 wrote:Curious what you alls thoughts are on antler restrictions. The county I do the majority of my hunting in has a minimum of 13” inside spread restriction. Have never had this really adversely effect me until yesterday. I had what I considered a mature animal in my wheel house that I wanted desperately to shoot. However, instead of his horns growing out wide they went straight up. Tall, heavy rack with stickers all over it. Couldn’t have been more than 11 or 12 inches wide. But I found myself no longer liking this law. Had to let a buck walk that would have put a heck of a smile on my face.

This got me thinking about youth hunters who must follow this same law. For me, I can grit my teeth and take it cause I get to spend more time out there than the avg Joe. Most kids around here or heck even some adults don’t get much time in the woods. Guessing probably only a handful of days per season. That makes it tough to get a buck that is considered legal. Don’t think there is any laws or restrictions that will please everyone but my feelings are a kid should be able to shoot any buck he wants.

What kind of antler restrictions do y’all have? Any downfalls? How would you set it up?


I’ve got the same 13” inside spread requirements for all the counties I hunt in Texas. On the Oklahoma side of the river I don’t have any AR’s.
I had 3 seasons in a row when I first started hunting public land where I had to pass up deer that were JUST on the verge of being legal. I ended up eating tag soup 2 of those seasons, and only getting a couple does in January with a rifle the other season.

That being said, the average age of bucks shot in the county I grew up in has risen from 1.5 to 3.5 thanks to over a decade of the regs being in place. I am still a fan, even when it bites me, because it is by far the best way to ensure older age classes are all that is shot. I don’t, however, believe a 3-point or 4-point restriction, as I have seen examples of yearlings throwing that every year I have been in the woods. Only once have I seen a public land yearling that I thought made the 13” width restriction.
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby tim » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:31 pm

Boogieman1 wrote:
tim wrote:So I say it’s stupid and I am a trophy hunter....other guys are all for it, so if you are for it are you REALLY for it? How for it are you? Are we talking a little restriction so a deer makes it to 2.5? To me that accomplished nothing . Most trophy hunters aren’t looking for 2.5 year old bucks either and a lot aren’t looking for 3.5. So what type of restrictions are you really willing to accept. I think most would be complaining if there was a way to restrict the kill until deer are 4.5 or even 5.5. Is that unrealistic? If so why if you want a restriction then let’s restrict them till they are mature... just something to think about

Not sure if u r being sarcastic or not, but u pretty much summed up my feelings :lol:

Lol I’m serious. I don’t agree with antler restrictions cause I know a lot of guys don’t care much about antlers but if there gonna do it go ahead and really do it so deer get old ..... then we will see who is serious about antler restrictions
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Re: Antler restriction

Unread postby may21581 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:00 am

Boogieman1 wrote:
may21581 wrote:Most of your laws are created with the umbrella coverage type. To explain a little further this is to cover the majority of everyday casual hunters that may hunt weekends, after work for a few hours, and the folks that just like to get out. These rules are more designed for the 90 percenters not the 10 percenters who trophy hunt.
A buck that is mature and only 14" wide should be allowed. However it falls under this silly restriction rule you guys have. I wonder if you were to call the warden and explain the situation and maybe share a pic within ahead of time if he would give you permission?
Alot of rules dont make sense to me. I dont hunt west virginia however my stepsons do. They have family there and hunt the state. For the longest time they never allowed crossbows, however they could use high powered rifles during gun season. When they passed the law over there to use them everyone was loving it. I could never wrap my head around this.
I dont understand the no hunting on sunday thing either in some states. Not sure the reasoning with this. Was it created for safety or more for the tradition and respect for the day?
I guess sometimes the 10 percenters can even get tripped up on some silly rules from time to time that have been designed for the majority.

Very valid points. Just don’t think that 90% rule translates to my area. I have something around .8 deer per sq mile in my county. I’ve hunted here my entire life and still sometimes go a week of hard hunting without seeing a deer. I think the odds are heavily stacked against a hunter with limited time to even see 1 buck that meets the minimum. On top of that doe’s are only allowed during archery season. This is a heavy gun state, typically u get the avg hunter going opening day archery with a Xbow. Would say success is very low. I’ve tried pretty dang hard the past 2 seasons and ate my doe tag. Think a guy in my area hunting a couple weekends a year is dang lucky to see a buck and should be allowed to shoot it.

As far as sending a pic of the buck to GW asking for permission. It would be to little to late. I’ve never done worth a crap at killing one particular buck, on purpose at least. Typically I only get one or two pics of a single buck running cams all season. Most the ones I tag I’ve never seen nor got a pic of.

I’m fine with the restriction but I get way more time to throw at it than most. In the last 12 years this is the only time it has ever done me dirty. But I’m sure a lot of locals get discouraged.


So the 90 percenters or majority of hunters rule sounds like it does apply in your situation. You say the numbers are low in your area and you really have to be on your game to shoot a buck. Rather it be with a gun or bow then it sounds like you fall in the 10 percent group. Then the rest of the state and counties that are putting up some numbers on harvests would be the 90 percenters or majority. So these rules were designed with the overall numbers or outcome desired and you get caught up in this by a technicality.
My county put a ban on does from public land after gun season. Ehd hurt them several years ago and they did this to boost the numbers. Now there is doe crawling everywhere in one of my spots. I'd love to shoot a doe in there now but I cant. I'm caught up in this umbrella rule. Maybe in a few years we will reap the rewards from these rules?
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