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Joined: 04/15/2008
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Washington Mule Deer Quantity vs Quality

Opinions please, I would like to ask you muley (or anyone concerned) hunters what you would prefer Quantity or Quality and what you think of my assessment of the Muley buck trend.

It has been several years now that the regulations for harvesting a Mule Deer Bucks is 3 point or better. I know this requirement has been to increase the heard numbers. The trend I see happening is, when I am out and about or hunting them (especially in heavily hunted areas) is more and more big-large-mature 2 pointers. I am thinking this requirement is genetically creating these Muley bucks that will never be any bigger then a 2 Point. I am also seeing more and more spikes, all bucks in there first year should be forkies if they are to be large 4 pointer bucks later in life. What I am trying to say is if this trend continues could we possibly get to were there are more mature bucks that can't be harvested then the legal variety, are we ruining or Mule Deer genes.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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Washington Mule Deer Quantity vs Quality

Welcome to BGH.

I don't know what the real answer is but I suspect that making a three point or better rule without taking out surplus does will certainly degrade the herd. Problem being that the bucks being taken are the ones we really want to see breed. What you end up with is a surplus of does being bred by inferior bucks. Here, when I moved in 18 yrs ago, the ratio was 1 buck per 100 does. Thats insane. Small bucks were having a field day and today we not only don't have a lot of big bucks any more but the doe population is way down also. I'd like to see a four point or better law and a spike/doe law. Four point or better requires one tag and spike/doe requires a different tag. Been to many does and spikes running around here and the herd has gone way down. Also the size of the deer, body size, is getting pathetic. 100# mule deer are pathetic.