New Hampshire Will Hold Hearing Regarding Antler Point Restriction

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Proposed rules regarding antler point restrictions (APRs) in Wildlife Management Unit-A for deer hunters in New Hampshire will be discussed at two public hearings in April:

  • Thursday, April 7, 2011, at 6:30 p.m., at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H. 0330
  • Friday, April 8, 2011, at 6:30 p.m., at the Pittsburg School, 12 School Street, Pittsburg, N.H.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is proposing to:

  • readopt with amendment Fis 301.03 to restrict the taking of deer in wildlife management unit A (WMU A) during the bow and arrow season, the muzzleloader and the regular firearm seasons to a 3-point minimum antlered deer or antlerless deer.
  • readopt with amendment Fis 301.01 to define "Three point minimum antlered deer" as a deer that has at least one antler 3 inches long measured from the tip of the main beam along the distal edge of the antler to the base of the antler burr at the skull, plus at least two antler points that branch from the main beam that are at least 1 inch from the tip to the confluence with the closest edge of the main beam.

"As part of the process of developing these proposals, Fish and Game received input from an unprecedented 7,870 hunters -- that's almost 12% of the nearly 66,000 hunters surveyed last fall," said Fish and Game Wildlife Division Director Steve Weber.  "It was determined that most hunters supported implementing buck age structure management techniques if called for based on our current deer management plan." Based on the results of that survey, Fish and Game also determined that the best form of buck age structure management in this situation was to implement a 3-point APR in WMU-A only.

For more information on the complex issue of "buck age structure management" (the regulation of antlered buck harvest in an effort to reduce the harvest mortality rate of one or more buck age classes), visit www.huntnh.com/buckagestructure. The objective of such management is to try to provide a better opportunity for bucks to reach older ages.

"We understand this is a big change, and that there are a lot of hunters on both sides of the APR issue in New Hampshire," said Weber. "At this point, we have not made a final decision on whether or not to implement the recommendation and will be seeking public input to help us make our final decision. We need folks to show up and voice their opinions or to submit written comments if we are going to make the best decision on this important issue."

The complete rulemaking notice, with original and proposed rule language, can be viewed on the Fish and Game website. Go to www.wildnh.com/Legislative/Notices_summary.htm and click on “Deer Season Rules -- Antler Point Restriction (APR)."

Written comments must be received by April 18, 2011. Send to: comments@wildlife.nh.gov (put "Comments on Deer Season Rules - APR" in subject line; or write to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301; or fax to (603) 271-1438.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit www.wildnh.com.

Comments

hunter25's picture

As noted in a thread I

As noted in a thread I started this morning most people don't think point restrictions have anything but a negative effect.

The way the state this restriction is very confusing. I'm not sure that it only means 3 points total for both antlers combined.

It states it must have at least one antler at least 3 inches long with at least two antler points that branch from the main beam. It does not say beams as in plural. I may be very wrong here but I admit to being confused on how this is written. Out west it would make perfect sense as it would for sure mean 3 points on one side. But back there I'm just not sure.

jaybe's picture

That's an interesting antler

That's an interesting antler point restriction - three points total. They say it is an effort to save a year-class of bucks. To me, that will only really save the young-of-the-year. In other words, button bucks. In my experience, many bucks that are 1 1/2 years old will have three or more points. Some, or course, will be spikes, so they would be off limits, but the rest would be fair game.

It seems like almost every state tinkers around with these different kinds of restrictions trying to make things better. I recall that one state had a "minimum spread" restriction. It was 13" or something like that. I don't believe it lasted very long because hunters were having a very tough time trying to tell whether that buck that's crashing through the woods had a 13 or 14 inch spread. "I'd better shoot it so I can get my tape out and measure it."

On through the fog.