I am glad that TN doesn't have antler restrictions because I have never thought that was a good way to manage buck harvest. I know each area of the country faces different challenges when it comes to managing the deer herd but manageing the number points a buck has to have before you shoot just doesn't get it done.
If the goal is to improve the herd overall the hunters have to get over the antler hang up and start shooting does. Experienced hunters who have oportunity to take does and do not should never complain about small buck sizes, or other hunters that shoot small bucks, because they are not doing their part.
Buck age structure can be improved in ways other than an arbitrary number of points. Why would you let a 4.5 year old six point walk and breed that gene into the herd and then turn around and kill a 1.5 year old 8 point with much superior genes?
I agree totally. It's up to the man that pulls the trigger. If not, he's not serious about larger bucks. He needs to do his part. But, at the same time, I think the 10 year old boy, on his first deer hunt, should be able to take his first buck regardless what it is. That 1.5 year old 6 pointer is a monster for a kid that young. And antler restrictions don't compensate for that. As he matures as a hunter, he'll grow into taking larger bucks. If not, he may be happy with little bucks. I do know people like that. They want a buck but don't care about size, and that's ok.
We cannot continue to do the same things and expect different results