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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 3,335

NH Fish and Game to possibly implement buck age-structure management regionally or throughout the state in an effort to increase the number of older-aged (i.e. large-antlered) bucks available to hunters.

There are tradeoffs associated with various buck age-structure management options. “Because of these tradeoffs, which could result in significant changes to our basic hunting season structure, it’s important for us to understand how all deer hunters feel about this issue

Would like to hear peoples thoughts on this before I take the survey
I have mixed feelings on this & it sounds to me after reading the NH website the State does not want to push it just some hunters want our deer to look like the ones they see on TV we have a small herd here in NH due to a lot of factors hash winters, poor soil, & lack of food we have very nice quality deer just not a HUGE amount like other states & I don't think we can support both so I would just like to know how other states are fairing with this state also mentiong the chances of getting a qualifing deer after this is implemented will decrease dramaticly for a long time & could actually never improve
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 02:01 PM
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Location: Oregon, Ohio
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In PA they instituted a point restriction and high doe tag numbers in an effort to get bigger racked bucks and provide more food for the lower deer numbers. After the first 4-5 years we started to see some nicer racked bucks 6, 8pts even a report of a 10 pt which for our area is something to talk about. However now, total deer numbers are down big time, too many doe tags, and last year we started to see lower class bucks again. spikes, threes, four pts. Not sure how this equates to the plan but something went wrong? Many years ago there were too many deer per sq mile, now it's close to not providing decent hunting anymore. I don't know what we'll see next month during the rut but I think a repeat of last year is most probable. I really don't know if messing with mother nature works or not. Ours is just a small sample of what we've seen in PA. At the moment, I' rather fill an archery tag with a four point than go empty handed. I'm not a trophy hunter and like to eat deer meat.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 03:00 PM
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Location: North-Central Missouri
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Here in Missouri they implemented a "4 point on one side" restriction. Basically any buck you shoot has to have at least 4 on one side. Honestly, I think it's a good thing, but they DO lift this restriction during youth hunts (which I think is a good thing). We do not have a limit on does in the area I hunt (north-central missouri). I have to admit, I do like getting the big bucks, alot of guys do, so I'm kinda for this restriction. BUT I also see where the guys who aren't trophy hunters are coming from too.

James 1:2-8
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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I am a meat hunter but that doesn't mean I don't like a big rack either & what HM stated is what the state of NH is concerned about happening I am all for anything the state wants to do to improve the herd. Our state can only support so many healthy deer & our numbers appear to be down a little I am only guessing but it looks like our buck to do ratio is about 3-4 doe to one buck & we dont have a lot of does either but I think our buck quality is faily good I have seen this year one 13 pt one 10 one 8 & one 6 have not seen anything smaller & about a dozen doe but I only hunt in my town on about 500 acre piece & about 50 acres on another so I really don't know about the rest of the state I do know that over the years there have been a LOT of big bucks harvested throughout the state just not world class bucks & I think the majority of hunters in the state will never see one even with the BASM. I guess I will vote on a way to improve the herd in whole. Mabybe a good tax break or something to bring back farmlands or putting in food plots would work
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 09:49 AM
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Location: Vermont
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No matter what management options the state tries, nobody can predict the winter severity, so, any/all management options are at the mercy of mother nature.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote.
-Benjamin Franklin

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 11:02 AM
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Location: Central Texas
Posts: 824
Texas implemented the 13" rule in a small number of counties in the southern part of the state to see how the ruling impacted the 'quality' of the bucks harvested and overall deer population. Each county regulates numbers of doe and bucks harvested closely from year to year, increasing the length of the season for antlerless (doe) in January the following season if populations are too large. I guess that the ruling was successful enough since they have expanded the number of counties with that ruling to include a good portion of the state last year.

Although we had a fairly wet spring, most of the summer months saw little to no rain at all in the part of central TX where I live. I'm anxious to get home to spend more time out 'in the woods' so I can see for myself the numbers and sizes of the deer population that wanders through my little neck of the woods. Last season, there were a lot of 6 pointers that wandered through leading me to believe that they will be 8 pointers this year. (I can only hope . . .)

Personally, I have no problems with the ruling. It gives the 'quality' bucks a chance to grow and mature. Spikes and such are legal throughout the season, even getting an extra couple of weeks in January to help ease them out of the gene pool.

I only have 15 acres to hunt on. 5 of those are too close to the house - even if I do catch them munching grass right out the dining room window (after season closes, of course). Of the remaining 10, I have only one avenue that I consider "safe enough" to shoot - since the neighborhood around me seems to be getting a lot more crowded than I would like (and neighbors building houses right in line with former favorite shooting spots). But I do feel fortunate that my property seems to be a major deer population crossroads for the part of the county where I live and that none of my neighbors have tried putting up deer (8ft tall) fences to keep the deer inside.

We shall see how the season goes when I get home next month. Best of luck to all of you!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 12:31 AM
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No known restrictions in IL except quantity. basically everything is fair game. herds are large and that generally has the biggest impact on everything from disease breakouts to over browsing and inferior genetics.

PSE 2010 1/2 AXE 6 #60
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The Devils Advocate

Revelation 22:17

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 05:45 AM
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Location: Oregon, Ohio
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The spike gene theory has had numerous studies done and the last one indicated that poor nutrition had more to do with low quality bucks than an earlier though gene issue. The report also stated that thinning the herd and giving the lower class bucks time to mature would turn the spikes, threes ect into better racked bucks. This is what PA instituted their program around. Hunting is pretty poor right now with herd numbers drastically cut. We did see some better bucks after the 4-5-6 year but starting last year a regression in rack size? Not sure if just a poor mast crop took place or something yet to be identified.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 09:50 AM
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Location: NE Arkansas
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Arkansas 3 point rule has helped the smaller hill deer bucks get bigger racks .. Any deer with a horn would get hammered during gun season before the rule came into play .... Every year are deer seem to be getting bigger racks around the state
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Location: New Hampshire
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Well the results are in from the survey & is mixed looks kinda 50/50 so I don't know what will happen this is killing me I am trying to hold out buying next years license which they were pretty quick to show the price increase yet again but I am thinking we won't know what happens w/ the deer season till about Aug. looks like they got me this year buying all the licenses again
BRUCE rumor has it VT is looking to change their's too?
heard you may be able to take spikes but then skips to 6 points & above
have you heard anything on that?
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