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outdoorsman121's picture
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Antler restriction

Does anybody believe that NY should increase the restrictions of antler. At this time antler restrictions basically allow any deer to be shot, decreasing a deer’s chance of becoming mature. I believe all whitetail deer are trophies but allowing a deer to become mature allows us as hunters to shoot those deer that we consider a buck of a life time. What do you all think?  

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Since you asked, I feel that

Since you asked, I feel that it should be up to the hunter to select which deer he wants to shoot.  If he/she is fine with a spikehorn, and that will make them happy and satisfied, then so be it.  If you want to let the younger ones walk, and hold out for a mature deer, then so be it.  My personal opinion is that whether it's a spike or a 10 pointer, it's still got that thingy between it's legs, so i don't worry about the health of the species and deer #'s surviving.  I have never hunted for antlers myself.  And I ask you this, what happens if all of a sudden you start seeing 5 or 6 8-10 points a day, like they do in parts of Texas?  Will you still be that excited?  I think it'll be more like "selective harvesting", and I know I wouldn't be as excited.

Just my $.02

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Thanks

I appreciate your $.02. I agree that any whitetail buck or even a doe can be a trophy!!! I wouldn’t ask a youth to hold off on a bigger buck. It’s just that everything seems to be killed. You seem to think that the most important thing is killing a deer. When you have all deer being shot then how is the deer population supposed to flourish or how are some of the deer suppose to grow? I’m not as worried about the deer all becoming monster bucks I just believe that if there is a more strict antler restriction at least in some areas that I hunt the deer population has taken a hit but if restrictions were applied that population could grow and not only that but people could see bigger deer. In one of the areas I hunt the only buck that I have seen is a spike horn. Do i shoot this buck and have no other bucks or do I pass it on and take a chance to let another hunter shoot. If restriction were passed this buck would live and breed and have a chance to grow. You asked if I would get excited if during hunting season all I saw were big bucks my answer is yes. Just because restrictions are applied doesn’t mean all the deer are going to be big. It’s not going to ever be anything like you see in Texas. NY is a state not a ranch like those on TV. You could have antler restriction and still never see a big deer. It still would be a great challenge to kill a big buck! I’m just saying that we as hunters are conservationist as well, and when we go out into the woods, we shouldn’t have to kill something to be happy. If strict antler restrictions were made and a spike horn came out and you had to pass on it, you shouldn’t be upset but instead excited, for me seeing deer, enjoying the outdoors is what it is about. Restrictions would force people to pass on certain deer but that only means the hunter will have to stay in the woods a little longer and be more patient!!!! But that’s just my $.02!

 

:thumbsup1:

CVC
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I think part of the answer

I think part of the answer depends on the answer to the question of who the herd belongs to, the individual or the state.  If the herd belongs to the state then the state can and should manage the herd not only for population, but as a natural resource designed to bring revenue to the state and the program that manages wildlife in the state.

Does this mean I support antler restrictions?  No, not necessarily.  Imposing antler restrictions may result in older bigger deer, but it may not be what hunters of that state want and revenues could decline.  Each state should review their deer populations, talk to both resident and non-resident hunters and determine not only what is best for the HEALTH of the herd, but also try to balance it with what their customers want.  The health of the herd should be the ultimate and deciding factor when making changes to regulations in a state.

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I think one of the best

I think one of the best answers to this question is to use different management practices in different parts of your state. Have certain zones that keep the status quo... which sounds like there is no antler point restrictions. Then create other zones in the state that have antler restrictions. Yes, you are going to have people that throw a fit because the area that they hunt now has an antler point restriction. The first couple years will be filled with complaints but people will learn to go where the area is managed as they like. You might have to allow an exemption for private land owners. You could also add an acreage minimum to that exemption.

This policy serves to let everyone win. Someone who wants a decent chance at a big buck can go to a part of the state that has restrictions and those that are prefectly happy with shooting a forked horn buck can also find places to do so. Seems like a win - win situation to me.

CVC
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The key is to design a custom

The key is to design a custom program specific, like you said, to the area with well stated outcomes that can be measured.  Without a means to measure changes no one knows if the change is successful or a failure.  This is the problem with lots of programs - they sound good, but no one measures the outcomes. 

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you are right... evaluating

you are right... evaluating the management strategies that you use is key to successful management. You need to be adaptive while managing wildlife populations. This is where the buzz word or term "adaptive management" comes from. You have to plan and think through the management strategy that you think will give the best results, implement that strategy over time, have a system to evaluate the success or progress of that strategy over time and then be able to adjust your management accordingly. If you can not evaluate the successfullness of you management than it is impossible to know if you are doing everything wrong or if you are getting things right. One of the most common problems that hampers evaluation strategies is funding. It is hard enough to put enough funding together to fund the implementation of a new management strategy so scraping up enough funds to evaluate that process can be even harder. And the evaluation process can take a lot longer than just implementing the strategy in the first place.

CVC
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This reminds about a staff

This reminds about a staff meeting I sat in one Friday morning.  One manager kept interrupting the boss who finally relented and let the manager speak.  He informed her that he had done a customer survey.  She perked up and asked him what the results were.  He got a bit sheepish and said, I don't know we never evaluated them.  I thought for sure she would go ballistic but for some strange reason she didn't.  She merely stated, what good is a survey if you don't evaluate the results?  He responded, I see your point.

Well it is a point that applies to programs like this.  What good are the programs if you don't evaluate their results?  It is a waste of money and worse some could do irreparable harm to the herd.  Any change should have specific goals and measures to evaluate the program.

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Trophy Hunting disguised as

Trophy Hunting disguised as game management.

If you want to shoot a big buck then don't shoot a small one.

I have over 50 racks that score beyond minimum for B&C and the secret is don't shoot the little ones if you want a big one, wait.

Having guided hundreds of hunters who wanted a big rack buck I can attest that not every hunter has the skill and ability to take a giant mossy horned buck anywhere but on a game farm.

There are more average hunters than above average, that's why they call it "average."

As I see it antler restrictions are for those who can't hit a home run.

It would be like the new ball players who can't match Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Roger Maris asking that the ball parks be made smaller.

Or the pitchers not to throw so hard and fast.

The new ball players use drugs to be the athelete they are not and can not be, the trophy hunter who can not rise to the level of trophy hunter now feeds the deer to grow bigger racks and asks me not to shoot the little ones so they can finally get a big one, and in their vanity make sure that inferior genes get bred into the herds.

Selectively allowing spike horns to live and breed more than bigger racked bucks is flat out dumb if you are after big racked bucks.

Two bucks are born, #1 is a button his first year, #2 is a decent spike. Good genetics make #2 a forkhorn his second year and #1 is a dinky spike 4" long.  the forkhorn gets shot as he is legal in VT and next year #2 woulda been a basket rack 6 and that's all the trophy hunters see...what might be.

so now its year 3 and #1 is still a spike at 3.5 years old but fat, and there is a son of #2 that is a nice spike and in his second year he is a 5 pointer or maybe a basket 6 and he gets shot ending those antler genetics but now we have a 4.5 year old spike that has run around all season safe and has bred every doe on the mountain three times and his Spike genetics are taking off really good.

Sure, that's good thinking for the future.Confused

If you want trophy headgear then have the state put out supplemental minerals, and stop pretending its anything but farming deer.

Or, have a slot where you can't shoot the deer unless its a spike or over 6 points, as many western states have done for years and years on elk.

You can shoot spikes and anything 6 points or larger, then you'll see what that 3 point, or 4 point becomes, or 5 point becomes.

Anything that has spike genes will be culled from the herd early on. the middle aged deer can get older and the button buck who will be a 4 point next year gets to live for a few more breeding seasons and pass those genes on.

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Hey Simon, I agree with

Hey Simon, I agree with almost all of your points, except for one or 2.  First, science has proven that the "once a spikehorn always a spikehorn" theory is a myth.  If they have proper food and water, they will all grow bigger antlers.  Maybe some genetic freak will stay a spike forever, but that is not the norm.  Most spikes, even malnurished ones, move out of the spike age by 2 1/2 years old.  If that's not what you meant, then I apologize.

The only other thing I don't agree with is the fact that "average" hunters don't have the "skill" to kill bigger bucks.  How do you necessarily know that they do or not?  What if they don't go after the bigger ones simply because they are limited in time, or are happy with a 120 pounder for the meat?  Just because they don't hold out and target the bigger ones, does not mean they are not skilled enough to get them.

But, I agree, it is sort of an art.  Being from Vermont, you are probably familiar with the Benoits and their quest for the 200 lb bucks.  Surely most hunters cannot do what they do, it's a dedication that is tough to match.

Speaking of Vermont, which part are you from?  I see "SW Vermont".  I mainly hunt the northeast, but I hunted in the Arlington/Sandgate area back in high school, and my father did before that.  Nice area.

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Well, to each their own, deer

Well, to each their own, deer biology hasn't changed and is well documented, anyone can grab a book by RUE III off the shelf and read it. but folks want to keep working against it ..like they tried stocking swordfish in freshwater lakes once...it gives us something to watch and shake our heads over until they finally get it.

Personally I view antler restrictions and other requests for special treatment as a continuation of the 70s mentality of "everyone makes the team", no more bar to have to meet.

To me its no different than ball players unable to achieve what others did before them, so they ask for the ballparks to be made smaller, steriods to be allowed, seasons altered so they can have a chance at being as great as truly great men were.

Its lowering the bar, is what it is.

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