Oklahoma Ups Boone & Crockett Prospects

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The Oklahoman has a good write up about how Oklahoma has been improving the number of B&C whitetail deer taken in recent years, particularly the non-typical variety. In the past 15 years there has been a shift toward quality management rather than just "if it's brown, it's down."

More Oklahoma landowners are managing for trophy bucks today than they were 10 and 20 years ago.

In recent years, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has sent more of its employees to Boone & Crockett school to become official measurers. That's because more Oklahoma hunters prize the head gear that deer wear.

"In the 15 years I've been with the department, it's at least doubled, if not tripled," said Jerry Shaw, big game biologist for Wildlife Department, on the growing interest in antler scoring.

The Wildlife Department's regulations have moved toward managing more for trophy bucks by liberalizing the doe harvest and reducing the buck limit from three to two.


jim boyd's picture

Oklahoma does not immediately

Oklahoma does not immediately appear on the radar when one considers big bucks - but CA-V is right... look where the state is goegraphically and there is no reason for it not to have some real giants.

Kudos to Oklahoma for reducing the buck limits from 3 to 2, that is a great move.

Many states now have a "one and done" policy as it relates to bucks...

I wish that GA and SC would do this... in fact, if they did, Georgia would literally explode as a hot bed of trophy bucks... They have some great bucks already... if they instituted a one buck rule, you would see immediate results.

Several counties around the Altanta metro area are bow only and these suburban bucks have grown to massive sizes.

Oklahoma is addressing the buck to doe ratio, as well by increasing the allowances of doe harvest - very wise move.

The point about trail cameras is a great one - now someone can "know" what is on their land and hold off on an average 6 or 8 point buck, hoping to catch a giant that they know frequents their properties.

I have been less than inclined to use trail cameras in the past - I feel we spook a lot of deer going to check the cameras on a regular basis - but am beginning to lean toward using them on a new lease I have in 2011.

I do wonder about the disparity of non typical bucks in Oklahoma versus the national averages - and it is demonstrative - makes you wonder if there is some genetic strain in that area that causes this... or maybe something in the soils or food supplies?

Great questions, one for the scientists, I suppose!

At any rate, great news for Oklahoma - again... kudos to them for taking a proactive stand and really raising the bar for hunters in the state and challenging them to take a little more of a "trophy mindset" as it relates to deer hunting.

It sounds like they can - and maybe this is the reason for this - create conditions were out of staters start to head to Oklahoma for the buck of a lifetime!

Great article!

Ca_Vermonster's picture

That's good to see.  I have

That's good to see.  I have heard nothing but good things about the deer in Oklahoma.  And, considering it's adjacent to Kansas, which has some absolute beasts, you could wonder why the deer were not the same quality in each place.

hawkeye270's picture

I am really surprised that it

I am really surprised that it has taken OK this long to hop on the "quality deer management" band wagon. It seems like pretty much all of the states that have large numbers of white tailed deer have already started following this current wave in deer management. I was watching an episode of the boone and crocket club's show (I can not remember its name) the other day and they were talking about the debate that through trophy hunting, hunters are degrading the gene pool and thus hurting different game populations. It is an argument that many of the anti hunting groups have used. I have even heard fellow hunters that consider themselves "meat hunters" rather than trophy hunters make comments such as this. The show concluded that there was no scientific evidence to support that claim. They rather cited the fact that there are more and more entries into the record book year after year as a sign that the opposite is true. 

CVC's picture

Interesting topic you raise

Interesting topic you raise about trophy hunters supposedly degrading the gene pool.  I suppose on the surface it makes sense if hunters are taking only the genetically superior deer and allowing the inferior ones to walk.  I just don't know and I am not sure if more entries into the B&C book validates the counter-argument that they are not degrading the population.  I am not sure there is a causual effect between an increase of B&C records and herd quality.

The herd could be declining in gene quality while more deer are being entered into the book.  For example, are the book deer coming from management ranches?  Are more people interested in recording their deer and just more people are doing as opposed to there actually being more book deer?

Does the show have a bias and how scientific is their study?

I guess I have one more thought.  By waiting until bucks are older trophy bucks doesn't that give the genetically superior buck more time to breed whereas a meat hunter would just take them when they are young and not fully developed and thus preventing them from breeding?

I don't know the answers, but I sure do have lots of questions.

ecubackpacker's picture

Your last paragragh hits the

Your last paragragh hits the nail on the head.

Waiting on a deer to become a trophy quality deer let's him breed more does. Most trophy hunters harvest deer after they reach 5 years of age. The current studies indicate that the majority of the breeding is being conducted by 3-5 year old deer in relatively stable deer herds. So, yes, that trophy buck will have breed pretty much all he'll ever breed when he is harvested.

IMO, that statement about depleting the gene quality is a ruse...just the anti's attempt in undermining hunting.

gatorfan's picture

Kind of makes me wish I

Kind of makes me wish I hadn't just refianced and put an addition on my house.

I saw this just the other day and started think....hmmmm

GET OFF THE GRID!-Shoot your guns, fish in your own pond, no more California !!

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ecubackpacker's picture

Somebody call Tom to see how

Somebody call Tom to see how many acres is included with this property because I don't see where the acreage is listed. He could have 2 acres with the pond and the wildlife actually be located on the neighbors property who is an anti-hunter...that would be my luck...Hahahaha

CVC's picture

More landowners are seeing

More landowners are seeing the deer on their land as a resource to be managed and I guess this is a good thing.  I think it is, but I am sure someone will point out a negative about it as I am sure there is one, just not thinking of it at the moment.  I had just posted a thread about OK and its deer asking why we don't hear more about it.  I guess if they keep this up we will.

As for reducing the number of bucks from 3 to 2, in KS we can only take one buck so that seems pretty liberal from where I am typing.