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hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3023
Opinions on point restrictions

How do you feel that point restrictions affect the quality of mule deer hunting? Colorado had a three point restriction many years ago and then dropped it and went with totally limited tags instead.

I believe there are many states that still use it, so what is the purpose and does it have the desired affect?  I have taken my best bucks years after the restrictions were dropped but that is me just becoming a better hunter I believe not because of management policy.

What are yor thoughts.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 2047
Point Restrictions


I personnally do not feel that point restrictions helped the muley bucks. When they first did this back in 1988 it changed how most guys hunted. I can not speak for everyone, but most the people out there chasing deer back then killed the first buck they seen. I found quite a few 2x2's that people left the first couple of years of the point restrictions. Your typical hunter would have to hold out for a 3x or bigger so many of the bigger bucks were getting killed by guys that would typically shoot the first buck they saw (spikes and 2 points). The part that really bothered me about this decision by the CDOW was the fact that several other states in the west had already tried this and proved it did not work.

The very first year they put in the point restriction I had a chance to shoot my dream buck. I have always wanted a giant 2x2. One that was 30+ inches wide, heavy, and tall. I had him opening day of archery season at 35 yards and could not take him. I tried like crazy just to find and extra legal point and could not so I had to watch my dream walk off.Sick


exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
point restrictions don't help

The only thing that helps build older age class animals are tag reductions for the public.  Private ranches can micro manage, and with whitetail deer management, I'm a big proponent of shooting spikes.  But for public deer management the only way to go is with tag reductions

arrowflipper's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 579
opposite affect

I remember the year they put the three point restriction on here in Washington.  Like so many other hunters, before that time, I would take the first legal buck I saw.  (Still do)  I was out for the meat more than the antlers.  Don't get me wrong, I would love to harvest a huge buck, but those smaller ones provide much better eating most of the time.

Washington, like so many other states, sited helping bucks become bigger as the reason for the change.  What I have seen is not that..... We have a huge population of uneven bucks here.  Many bucks are 2X3, 3X4 etc.  And we have some very large two points out there running around.  They are never getting any bigger.  And now, they are the ones propagating their genes, instead of the larger bucks that are being killed off.  Of course not all large bucks get killed so they are still breeding, but there are a lot of the inferior bucks that are now breeding, therefore passing their inferior genes on and on and on.

I don't think it has been as successful as they might have hoped, but I sure don't see them changing back.  To change back would be to admit it didn't work and they sure aren't going to admit anything like that.  I'd guess that for every "legal" buck I see, I see at least 10 that just do not have that third point, and some of them are huge bucks.


hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3023
Loks like we are all in

Loks like we are all in agreement on this one and fortunately Colorado saw the light and moved on. It's too bad some states refuse to make the change to proven and better management tactics.

Like Quinton I saw quite a few 2 points left to rot back then because of guys just seeing antlers and then running when they got close enough for a good look.

My kids were able to take some small bucks because the restriction was gone and gave them more opportunity to be successful at a young age.

By the way my biggest 2 point measures about 21" on the outside.


jaybe's picture
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Location: S.E. Michigan
Joined: 10/19/2010
Posts: 825
Yup - I'm with the rest of

Yup - I'm with the rest of you. I think that point restrictions as well as minimum spread requirements are on the wrong track when it comes to deer herd management.

Speaking of points, did I hear or read somewhere that in some places where moose are hunted that they have to have at least three "front" points to be legal? I was watching the Jim Shockey program last night, and he had three different moose hunts that took place in British Columbia (I think). I noticed that one of them had three front points and one had four - didn't notice the first one. I was showing my wife the shape and design of the moose antlers and explaining that to her. She had never before noticed that they are that way; I'm guessing that a lot of people haven't noticed that, either.


Topgun 30-06's picture
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Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 695
jaybe---Jim's show that you

jaybe---Jim's show that you are talking about was at his Rogue River hunting territory in the Yukon that he has sole hunting rights to and they grow enormous moose up there!

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
In oregon we dont have

In oregon we dont have restrictions on deer, just elk, there are a few units with 3 point or better. I dont agree with the restriction at all

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