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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed while reading posts on here that some people shoot 4 pointers and even spikes and so forth. Missouri has an antler restriction law that says a buck you shoot has to have atleast 4 points on one side. You can shoot a spike, but they have to be less than 3 inches. Are any other states like this?
anybody against this, for this? what are you thoughts???
 

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Oklahoma doesn't have antler restrictions, but I think it would help if we did. There is no need to shoot these small bucks. Letting these small bucks walk, and shooting does instead helps balance the herd and makes for better hunting in future years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I absolutely agree. Now for our youth hunts (we have two of them, and they both last 2 days) there are no restrictions. Which I think is good b/c that way a child gets the chance to bag a buck. My cousin's boy got a 4 pointer last year and was the happiest little guy on the face of the planet! HE's only 6! That's something he's going to remember and hopefully want to continue for the rest of his life!
 

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We have to have at least 3 points on one side
I wouldn't have a problem if they had to have 4 on one side to be legal
Arkansas bucks are getting bigger because of it
 

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PA has 3-4 point restrictions depending on where you are hunting. I have seen improvement in antler size/points since the restriction,however, PA issued so many doe tags that the herds have been reduced dramatically. It's becoming tough hunting now just to see deer. Also, the deer have become nocturnal in just the last few years. I hate educated deer!
 

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Vermonts Regulations says the following

Legal Buck: A white-tailed deer with at least one antler having two or more points.
Point: An antler projection of at least one inch measured from base to tip.
A broken main beam shall count as a point, regardless of length.
An tlerless Deer: A white-tailed deer without antlers or with antlers less than three inches long.
 

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no restrictions where i hunt in new york i do think they implemented a restriction in a small area upstate,but for most ny hunters no restrictions
 

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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?
 

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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.
 

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no restrictions where i hunt in new york i do think they implemented a restriction in a small area upstate,but for most ny hunters no restrictions
ditto!! and i don't have a problem with anybody shooting a spike.if thats what they want to do and makes them happy its all good besides its a trophy no matter how you look at it ''to some people''!!i don't shoot anything less than a 6ptr.i used to shoot spikes but now just want something bigger.i'll shoot a doe first!!
 

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TX - depends on the county on antlers. Most counties are now going to a min 13" spread so that the bucks are larger, more mature. Spikes are legal and even get an additional couple weeks at the end of the regular season (doe too).

Preferences? Bucks with the big racks of course, but if they don't come along then I'll put a doe into the freezer any time. I had to let almost a dozen 6 pointers wander past me last season simply because they didn't meet the minimum spread. One came up behind me and walked past less than fifteen feet away. Best part of that is that most of them should be "legal" THIS year.

Should hunters have ethics? Do I care how others hunt? Okay, here's my opinion -- and that's what you're getting here, an opinion -- as long as hunters are ethical (and y'all can take that with a grain of salt or two) with how they hunt and do so without causing a black eye on the rest of us hunters, who am I to judge how another person hunts?

I've tried to instill my ethics of hunting in my sons in seasons past and hope to do so with my daughter this year. Hunting with my grandfather happens to be one of the few memories I still have of him, but the "life" lessons learned back then are still valued ones today. I just hope I'm still around when MY grand-children are old enough to hunt. I'd like to be there just to make sure those life lessons learned from my grandfather are passed on down to future generations.

My $.02 worth!
 

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LEGAL BUCK: A forked horn buck.

FORKED HORN BUCK: A buck with at least 2 points on one antler.

POINT: To count as a legal point it has to be on the upper two thirds of the antler. (in CA brow tines are not legal points)

ANTLERLESS-DEER: Any deer without antlers or with less than two points on one side.

This is the point restritcion in California
 

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Kansas:
no point restrictions and only one buck per person

Opinion:
If a state puts in point restrictions to increase antler size, it is like shooting themselves in the foot to NOT allow spikes to be shot. Research has shown over and over that spike bucks never grow very large antlers and usually max out at 6 points.
Opinion:
a person should be able to shoot what ever buck he wants if he has a buck license.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
rdraider:
Ok, i have to ask, how in the world is a hunter supposed to know if the deer has a 13 inch spread? what if it LOOKS 13 and it's actually 10? That law seems a little rediculous to me. In Missouri, I personally asked a game warden last year, what would happen if I accidentally shot a buck that only had 3 points on each side (in MO bucks taken have to have at least 4 points on ONE side). He told me it depends on the size of the buck. If the buck is smaller, then they are more forgiving about it, b/c you can't tell as well on a small racked buck. but he said if it's an older buck w/a more mature rack, then they will fine you because you should be able to see if it has 4 points on one side. TO ME, that's a HECK of a lot of stuff to have to go through before you take a deer. I absolutely AGREE with what they are trying to do, BUT.... it's a pain. Some guys I know NEVER even seen big bucks on their property. One of my buddies has never even shot a buck. either because they are too small or the dominant buck don't come on his property. I think if the state's deer herd is healthy, they need to lift the point restriction. If it starts to go down or hurt in anyway, then put it back on. What does everyone think???
 

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"Ok, i have to ask, how in the world is a hunter supposed to know if the deer has a 13 inch spread?"

When reading the TX Parks & Wildlife regulations on hunting, there's a picture that explains the "13 inch" rule. If the inside spread is past the tips of the buck's ears, then it will be at least 13 inches. I had one buck whose rack didn't meet the rule, but his body size was easily 30-50 pounds heavier than anything else I'd seen. Didn't meet the "rack rule" so I had to let him go. I will have to ask the local game warden what happens "if" . . . you miss the 13 inch rule.

We have a pretty good deer population in central Texas. Personally, I have no problems with the "rack rule". It gives the bucks a chance to mature before somebody takes a crack at them. Those with genetic deficiencies (spikes) are given an extra couple weeks a year to get removed from the gene pool.
 

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In NH it has to have at least one spike at least 3" long
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ok, what about those bucks that reach 7, 8 years old and never reach 13 inches??? When I was a little kid, there was a buck that hung around our hunting spot and we called him "high and tight". He was EXTREMELY tall but EXTREMELY narrow. He was probably a 4 1/2 year old when he was taken. This deer would've never made the 13 inches rule but scored in the 170's! I would ask the game warden this question and find out what happens IF you make a mistake... it's always good to be prepared....
 
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Good and bad

I couldn't agree more with Buckshot, here in Iowa we have no antler restrictions and the bucks are plenty big. But in my opinon taking out a full racked 6 point is far better than taking a perfect 8 point or even a ten that could some day be a trophy type deer. It drives me crazy to listen to people say they seen an 8 point buck or a 12 point buck cross the road, because my dad killed a giant 8 that is probably bigger than a slick 12 that I killed. Yet we have pictures of a 6 pointer that is bigger than most 8s.
 

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I oppose the implentation of most AR's. The goal of an AR being to promote bucks to a higher age class, thus larger antlers. But what does a point restriction really do? It makes the genetically good buck legal at an early age. Quite simply, a genetically superior buck with good nutrition may easily be an 8-point at 18-months. Is that the buck we want to kill?

Number of points is a poor managment system. Inside spread is better as it protects 75% of the deer under 2.5. However it is hard to implement and hard to enforce. Let's examine just what an AR does. I managed a piece of property for several years that required both 8-points and a minimum of 16" spread. The fine for making a mistake was hefty. But that was private property.

An AR may to some degree, help advance young deer to the age of 2.5 at which point they get killed. If the goal is to manage for antlers, then you pass everything under 3.5 years. After that age, few bucks need protection from hunters. But how do you get to look at their teeth? Few hunters on a statewide basis can age a deer on the hoof.

If the goal is to balance age strata, then by far, the second best method is to reduce the male bag limit and count all male deer, regardless of antler development, as a buck. I.e. a button buck would require a buck tag. This also improves sex ratios and sometimes requires an increase in doe kill.

Unfortunately, the goal of most AR's is to produce more antler and that goal is short circuited at age 2.5. a poor age to stop development if antlers are the goal.

The bst method of all, no matter what the goal, is hunter education. Unless there is a severe biological need. I oppose all AR's. If herd health is sound and ecologically secure, states should not regulate what ahunter can or cannot kill based on the desire of a minority for larger antlers. That should be done on private land or selected management areas.

Just my opinion.
 
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