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#366539 - 08/27/07 07:44 AM Another example of why I don't like ARs
BSK
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Here's another example of why I don't like QDM programs set on point restrictions. Under a "4 points on one side" or 8-point rule, this buck would not be harvestable. Yet he should be a "shooter" in most QDM programs. He is at least 3 1/2 and might be 4 1/2.

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#366595 - 08/27/07 08:12 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
pastorbmp
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BSK,
I agree with you, but how do you feasibly carry out a QDM program using age as a factor? Most hunters could not estimate age...especially in the heat of the moment. Do you think spread would be better?

I know the best case scenerio would be to have experienced, educated hunters who are committed to herd management on your lease, but many times that is not feasible.

What do you think of the "4 on one side" rule for WMA's ? Do they have any other way to control the number of young bucks killed? These are questions I have rolled over in my mind.

I have some friends that have a 3 point on one side rule on their lease?!?! That's really ridiculous...what are you accomplishing? Killing off your best yearlings!
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#366640 - 08/27/07 08:41 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
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Age restrictions work great for private hunting leases. In fact, age restrictions are the preferred management practice since you can teach your restrictions to lease members. Unfortunately, public land opportunities do not have the ability to control hunter skill levels so antler characteristic restrictions are the only method equitable to all.
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#366798 - 08/27/07 10:26 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BigGameGuy]
Wes Parrish
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 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
Age restrictions work great for private hunting leases. In fact, age restrictions are the preferred management practice since you can teach your restrictions to lease members. Unfortunately, public land opportunities do not have the ability to control hunter skill levels so antler characteristic restrictions are the only method equitable to all.

Why not use both, as in giving a hunter a choice of either/or?
Wouldn't that be more equitable to all?


A large, and growing, number of hunters can accurately field judge the difference between 3 1/2 and older bucks vs. 2 1/2 and younger bucks.

Our QDM club allows hunters to use any one of multiple criteria in defining a minimal club "shooter". The multiple criteria allows those hunters with better aging skills to not worry about antler criteria, while those less experienced hunters may prefer the antler criteria. Yet, those less experienced hunters are given incentive to learn better age-judging skills.

Basically, we allow any 3 1/2-yr-old or older as a "shooter" buck.
But, we also allow any 15-inch spread and/or any 17-inch beam length. While this makes most 2 1/2-yr-olds (in our area) minimal club-legal "shooters", we have found more of the experienced hunters are voluntarily passing up these younger bucks that meet the minimum antler criteria.

On a public WMA such as President's Island, wouldn't it be a more sound program to additionally allow the taking of any 4 1/2-yr-old or older buck? Would think this would save some of the best 9 & 10-point 2 1/2's that are currently being killed there, in exchange for some fully mature record-book 8-pointers that are currently being wasted (not available to be killed under the antler restrictions).

Or put it this way, wouldn't it be better (from a deer management perspective) and a greater trophy (from most hunters' perspectives), for a hunter to take a 5 1/2-yr-old 8-pointer (no matter what the buck's antlers score) instead of a genetically superior 9 to 10-point 2 1/2-yr-old buck (meets the 9-point rule)?

My thinking is that if ANY mature buck were legal, many hunters would volutarily pass up more younger WMA-legal 9-point bucks, leading to greater numbers of larger-antlered mature bucks?

Maybe a less experienced deer hunter (or even an experienced deer manager), can't relate, but to many experienced deer hunters, a mature 140-class 8-pointer is a tremedously greater "trophy" than an antler-gentically superior but young 120-class 10-pointer. Why exclude those mature 8-pointers from harvest?

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#366866 - 08/27/07 10:55 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
gil1
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Here's another example of why I don't like QDM programs set on point restrictions. Under a "4 points on one side" or 8-point rule, this buck would not be harvestable. Yet he should be a "shooter" in most QDM programs. He is at least 3 1/2 and might be 4 1/2.


Since when are QDM programs set on point restrictions? When I read QDM's Quality Whitetails, I see a ton of articles teaching folks how to age deer so they won't depend on antlers to set their QDM programs. I'm thinking that if you're basing your harvest on antlers, your taking a step, but you're not harvesting by the guidelines that QDM would recommend.
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#366910 - 08/27/07 11:16 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: gil1]
pastorbmp
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Wes,
No offense, but you must not hunt the same WMA's that I do. Most fellows you are lucky if you can keep them from "shooting first and checking the # of points later". No telling how many bucks are left laying in the woods because some yahoo shot one then went down and checked it. The spirit of what you are saying is absolutely right, but the practicality of it on a WMA (imo) is impossible. The average weekend warrior hunter couldn't tell the difference between a 2 1/2 and a 3 1/2 year old deer. In fact, I'd say many have never even seen a 3 1/2 year deer.

Give you one example...ran into a guy at Catoosa last year. He said "they sure messed this place up when they started that 4 on one side rule. 20 years ago there used to be all kinds of deer up here, now there ain't no deer here".

I just scratched my head at that one!

Do you think you are going to be able to teach a guy like that how to distinguish between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old deer?
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#366941 - 08/27/07 11:40 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
Wes Parrish
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Pastorbmp,

Keep in mind that first and foremost, I think all antler "point" restrictions, such as "4 on a side" or "9 points" may be as detrimental as they are beneficial. I'd generally much prefer to see a simple "either-sex" regulation than any antler point restrictions at all. If the deer population is low, have a low limit (and maybe a short hunt). If the deer population is higher, have a higher doe limit than the buck limit, but the ultimate in hunter choice is "either-sex" regs.
 Originally Posted By: pastorbmp
Wes,
No offense, but you must not hunt the same WMA's that I do. Most fellows you are lucky if you can keep them from "shooting first and checking the # of points later". No telling how many bucks are left laying in the woods because some yahoo shot one then went down and checked it. The spirit of what you are saying is absolutely right, but the practicality of it on a WMA (imo) is impossible. The average weekend warrior hunter couldn't tell the difference between a 2 1/2 and a 3 1/2 year old deer. In fact, I'd say many have never even seen a 3 1/2 year deer.

Give you one example...ran into a guy at Catoosa last year. He said "they sure messed this place up when they started that 4 on one side rule. 20 years ago there used to be all kinds of deer up here, now there ain't no deer here".

Do you think you are going to be able to teach a guy like that how to distinguish between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old deer?

Probably not, but do you think you can teach that guy to count to four before he shoots a little buck either?
In the situation you describe, perhaps the best regs would simply be "either-sex" with a shorter season.

With the option to "age" a buck as additional "legal" buck criteria, I was referring to the more intensely monitored WMA's such as President's Island, where every buck harvested is aged, and it's a much more controlled environment than Catoosa WMA. Most older bucks would already be legal for harvest at Catoosa, but in a place with a 9-point antler criteria, many if not most older bucks are illegal for harvest.

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#366986 - 08/27/07 12:36 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
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pastorbmp,

I don't know of any "real" QDM programs on public land. In fact, I'm not sure it's possible to practice QDM on public land. Proper QDM requires educated hunters: educated in identify bucks by age, identifiying button bucks from adult does, and educated in what is being attempted in the way of management and why. Hunters must be dedicated to the QDM priciples to make the system work effectively.

However, I can see using antler restrictions as a starting point for a QDM program. You have to start somewhere. But once the hunters on a managed property have seen and killed a few 2 1/2 year-old bucks, they can easily learn to identify a yearling from a 2 1/2 year-old. Once they have some experience seeing, identifying andkilling 2 1/2s (and the occassional 3 1/2, which will be produced by a "no yearlings" harvest strategy), then move them up to a harvest limit of 3 1/2. It can be done. I've seen it work over and over again.
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#367042 - 08/27/07 01:04 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
RUGER Administrator
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What does Jim Zumbo's favorite rifle have to do with this?

Oh, nevermind. \:D
Sorry, couldn't resist.
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#367107 - 08/27/07 01:41 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
pastorbmp
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Bsk,
I am on your side on this. While I do not think a 4 on one side rule is the best management technique, it is much better than none, especially for a WMA. A private lease, as you say, is a different matter. No doubt, going by age classification (with some understanding that occasional misjudgments are going to be made) is absolutely the way to go.

"Probably not, but do you think you can teach that guy to count to four before he shoots a little buck either
 Originally Posted By: WesParrish
Probably not, but do you think you can teach that guy to count to four before he shoots a little buck either?


Wes...you got me there! \:\) Touche!
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#367147 - 08/27/07 02:18 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: RUGER]
PMC, certified
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 Originally Posted By: RUGER
What does Jim Zumbo's favorite rifle have to do with this?

Oh, nevermind. \:D
Sorry, couldn't resist.


I was thinking the same thing,

Pmc®
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#367164 - 08/27/07 02:36 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: PMC, certified]
gil1
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 Originally Posted By: PMC®
 Originally Posted By: RUGER
What does Jim Zumbo's favorite rifle have to do with this?

Oh, nevermind. \:D
Sorry, couldn't resist.


I was thinking the same thing,

Pmc®


I had to think about it for a while to figure out what the first "AR" stood for. I finally figured that one out and then the Zumbo line came in. I just figured you guys were on crack again. It finally came to me! Y'all are just always a step ahead.
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It is not the killing ...; it is the contest of skill and cunning. The true hunter counts his achievement in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport.

Dr. Saxton Pope

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#367331 - 08/27/07 04:33 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: gil1]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Gosh I'm getting slow in my old age. I didn't figure out what you were talking about until you all explained it.
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#367457 - 08/27/07 05:16 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
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Heck, I thought they were talking about ARkansas!
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#367471 - 08/27/07 05:28 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
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 Originally Posted By: WesParrish
A large, and growing, number of hunters can accurately field judge the difference between 3 1/2 and older bucks vs. 2 1/2 and younger bucks.


I'd say we're up to about 5%... ;\)

Try working a check station on opening weekend and you'll see what I mean. Even when I show the hunter the tri-cuspid some still won't believe "that his 8-point is only a yearling". I was also taught that the most accurate method to age a deer is to count the "wrinkles in his ear". I do agree that the situation is getting better, but aging a deer on-the-hoof is a long way from being practical on a public area.
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#367504 - 08/27/07 05:48 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BigGameGuy]
Wes Parrish
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 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
Even when I show the hunter the tri-cuspid some still won't believe "that his 8-point is only a yearling".

Know what you mean, and am in general agreement with you.

But regarding some SELECT WMA's that have antler restrictions, why couldn't an OPTION age criteria (in lieu of other stated criteria) be added to the benefit of both the deer management and at least those deer hunters who are more adept at field judging age?

Most specifically, I'm thinking of President's Island as a prime example where having the option of taking a fully mature 8-pointer could be beneficial to both the herd and the deer hunters.

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#367619 - 08/27/07 07:09 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
deerchaser007
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I ain't gonna tell no lie,... no matter how hard i try, no matter how much research and books i look into,.. no matter how many photos i see on here,... i still can't properly age a buck perfectly by looking at it. BUT,.. i can get within a year.
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#368308 - 08/28/07 06:57 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: deerchaser007]
AlabamaSwamper
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I got 2 better than that BSK. Here is not one, but three 6pts that are 2.5+ and I think one may be as old as 6.5y/o.

Yes, they are off limits by our rules. However, we have at least 7 bucks with 4pts on one side already identified with the cameras and it could be as many as 9. All those and we are just now to the time of year they start showing up. GOt two new ones the other day.

BGG and BSK, remember the Pm's we had a while back about "how many" could our 1000 acres hold?

If we have 9 bucks with 4pts on one side, that puts us at around 14 bucks that are 2.5+. The three big 6pts and a couple more smaller that I think could be. 12 at minimum.

In this pic, disregard the middle buck





In this pic, the older 6pt is the rack you see up close. I'll try to post a better pic of him later. As you can see, he has some good lookin friends with him. lol

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#368309 - 08/28/07 06:58 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
AlabamaSwamper
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Oh, I'm not disagreeing with you btw. I wish we could do a age restriction instead of AR's. Impossible, hell, some can't even identify number of points!!!!!GRRRRRRRRRR
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#368317 - 08/28/07 07:14 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
BSK
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Those numbers sound good AS. When it comes to summer resident bucks, I generally get seven to nine 2 1/2+ bucks on 488 acres. Now once the season gets rolling, the skies the limit during October and November. Last year I ended up with 25 different 2 1/2+ year-old bucks that used the property at some time between Aug. 1 and Jan. 31. Now at no time were all of them using the property at the same time, but that's the number of bucks that used the property at some time during that 6 month period. Of those 25, 24 used the property during the legal hunting season and were harvestable, manageable bucks (lost one to the summer to fall seasonal range shift).
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#368329 - 08/28/07 07:24 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
AlabamaSwamper
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These older bucks keep me from sleeping sometimes!

I finally got a big tall 8pt that we have been surrounding with cameras for a month.

Out of 311 pics on the card last week, I had ONE of him!!!!!! GRRR

It was a good one though. lol


I put out a camera on my other 700 acre lease with corn as the bait, left it there on a well used trail in a well defined funnel and after 1 week, I had ZERO pics!!!!!!! Camera is working fine also and corn wasn't touched. Now, figure that one out. lol
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#368385 - 08/28/07 08:00 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
pastorbmp
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AS,
Join the club. I have three cameras out, with corn in front of each of them, in places I have historically gotten lots of good buck pictures. Only one of the bucks I had on camera last year was taken (as far as I know).

I have gotten 1000's of pictures- only one mature buck! One camera, last year I had more different bucks on that camera then all the rest of them put together...this year I got ONE deer picture in almost two months!!!! Camera is working fine...gets me everytime I walk up to check and gets lots of coons also! Go figure! I am going to have to haul out about 150 lbs of corn from my feeder in about another week or so!
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#368406 - 08/28/07 08:15 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Don't worry yet. Older buck pictures have been coming in much, much slower this year than in previous years. Normally, I can get every older buck using my property in summer within the first 10 days the cameras are out. I'm at three weeks of camera time this year and I'm still getting new bucks. The pictures are trickling in this year instead of pouring in like usual. Blame the heat and the drought.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

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#368462 - 08/28/07 09:00 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Headhunter
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Is there not some way to give a "scoring" on the hoof class that if a hunter passes the class he could then shoot a 150" deer (that only has 8 points on say Presidents Island) instead of having to let that deer walk. I do agree that age is probably the best way to determine which buck to kill, but who would argue a 8 pointer that measures 150" being a great kill regardless of age? I believe that it is a shame if you have to pass a once in a lifetime buck because he only has 8 points.
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#369910 - 08/28/07 11:21 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
Red Rider 450
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 Originally Posted By: AlabamaSwamper

I put out a camera on my other 700 acre lease with corn as the bait, left it there on a well used trail in a well defined funnel and after 1 week, I had ZERO pics!!!!!!! Camera is working fine also and corn wasn't touched. Now, figure that one out. lol



However, it did take them longer than a week to find it on the farm. Maybe you should leave it another week.
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#369913 - 08/28/07 11:28 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Red Rider 450]
Red Rider 450
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Oh and here is the other 6pt. AS spoke of.
And he is an older deer

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#369938 - 08/29/07 12:32 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Red Rider 450]
AlabamaSwamper
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I'm going to check that corn on Thursday. If they found it Red, I'm going to take 2 cameras over there.

If not, I'm not moving them where they are now I don't think.
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#369970 - 08/29/07 01:15 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
Red Rider 450
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Sounds good. I'm probably gonna move mine also.
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#370076 - 08/29/07 07:10 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
CULLBUCK 2
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That buck would be harvested on public land or leased property. .I do agree , ARs just dont work..
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#370139 - 08/29/07 07:48 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: CULLBUCK 2]
AlabamaSwamper
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CullBuck,

Considering the camera data (if that is what you call it) I have for the last three years on our place, I will beg to differ.

3 years ago, we had around 6 bucks photographed that were 2.5+. This year, we are already at 12 for sure and maybe as many as 14.

And considering that our best antlered bucks haven't been taken any of the three years, I'd say any conversation of genetics is a waste of time. Three years ago, you couldn't buy a deer 2.5+. Last year, I personally saw three in what little hunting I did. I'd only seen one since 2001 on that place. Even though we have a few bigger 6pts, their presence alone will create competition which in theory, should help my chances of shooting one of those shooter bucks.

I do agree that AR's are not as good as "age" restrictions but we could go back to shooting 10 yearlings a year I guess.
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#370192 - 08/29/07 08:09 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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You have to start somewhere AS, but once your hunters get some experience seeing 2 1/2 and older bucks, they WILL be able to learn how to identify an older buck from a yearling buck. That is the easiest age judgement to make.
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#370452 - 08/29/07 10:22 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Hillbilly Hunter
Killbilly
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This is a good example of a mature buck that is only a 6 pter. Who in thier right mind would let him walk by?
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#370494 - 08/29/07 10:42 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
8 POINTS OR BETTER
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 Originally Posted By: AlabamaSwamper
CullBuck,

Considering the camera data (if that is what you call it) I have for the last three years on our place, I will beg to differ.

3 years ago, we had around 6 bucks photographed that were 2.5+. This year, we are already at 12 for sure and maybe as many as 14.

And considering that our best antlered bucks haven't been taken any of the three years, I'd say any conversation of genetics is a waste of time. Three years ago, you couldn't buy a deer 2.5+. Last year, I personally saw three in what little hunting I did. I'd only seen one since 2001 on that place. Even though we have a few bigger 6pts, their presence alone will create competition which in theory, should help my chances of shooting one of those shooter bucks.

I do agree that AR's are not as good as "age" restrictions but we could go back to shooting 10 yearlings a year I guess.


AlabamaSwamper,
I agree with you 100%. My hunting place was the same way. 3 years ago not very many 2 1/2 or older deer at all. Today we have several, because of 8 point rule, but I would like to take it to the next level, age class. But man it is hard to do. I know the 8 point rule is not for every one, but for the ones that want nice deer (not all gaints), just nice 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year olds it works.
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#370846 - 08/29/07 01:30 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Hillbilly Hunter]
CULLBUCK 2
4 Point


Registered: 03/20/07
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Loc: Bradley co. TN

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Hillbilly, id take him in a heartbeat and most TN hunters would.Id love to be on some property bordering a lease that let that buck walk..
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#371101 - 08/29/07 03:43 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: CULLBUCK 2]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
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AR's are MUCH MUCH better than nothing, in my opinion. No, not the best way to manage a herd...but way better than the old days of "How many bucks did you kill this year", "AH, I only killed 7, 4 spikes, forkhorn and two good 6 pointers"....boy those were the days, weren't they! \:\)
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#371136 - 08/29/07 03:56 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
BSK
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True pastorbmp, better than nothing.


HH, I would shoot that mature buck in a heartbeat.
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#371142 - 08/29/07 03:57 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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HH,

By the way, your top photo versus your lower photos are the PERFECT example of why it is so hard to field-judge the age of bucks in the summertime. Look at the difference in that buck's neck-size from late August to mid-October. That's a massive difference.
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#371216 - 08/29/07 04:20 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
12 Point


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 Originally Posted By: BSK
HH,

By the way, your top photo versus your lower photos are the PERFECT example of why it is so hard to field-judge the age of bucks in the summertime. Look at the difference in that buck's neck-size from late August to mid-October. That's a massive difference.


That alone leads me to believe that a LOT of these summer-time age estimate are on the low side.
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#371342 - 08/29/07 05:31 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BigGameGuy]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BigGameGuy
That alone leads me to believe that a LOT of these summer-time age estimate are on the low side.

And even ole Wes agrees with you! ;\)

And probably just as many guessed on the high side by focusing on antlers instead of teeth and/or body characteristics.
Some of these velvet bucks just look so "massive", until they shed their velvet.

I don't even profess to be able to accurately guess a buck's age during the summer.

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#371380 - 08/29/07 06:03 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
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And that's why so many think I'm crazy when I judge a buck in summer to be mature. They expect a mature buck to have a massive neck and chest, and he will have, but not for a couple months.

You have to ignore the neck and look at other features in summer, primarily ham size and depth of the brisket.
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#371505 - 08/29/07 07:26 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
AlabamaSwamper
12 Point


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One thing we did on our other 700 acres is to also allow any buck with a 12" inside spread, regardless of points.

We have the 4pts on one side rule but if you see a big mature buck with less than that like the 6pts posted here, it's alright to take him.

I have an idea our other club will do the same next year.
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#372139 - 08/29/07 11:09 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
Red Rider 450
4 Point


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Yeah we would like to be able to only shoot 3 1/2 year olds and up.

But like AS said we have some guys who would shoot yearling and 2 1/2 year olds and swear up and down they were 4 year old deer.

We had to start somewhere...we have had repeat problems from a few members, but that is almost behind us after this year...I hope.

ALSO, since placing AR's we have seen a steady incline in 2 1/2's, 3 1/2's and a few more mature bucks. We also started taking more does...I think we should be taking even more, but I guess we have to give it some time.

However I do agree with BSK, THis is just a starting point for us. In the future we hope to be able to place an age restriction instead of an Antler restriction.
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#372302 - 08/30/07 06:39 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Red Rider 450]
BSK
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Red Rider 450,

We started with an AR at first--buck had to have an outside spread as wide as his ears--but eventually just made the rule "no yearlings" once hunters had gained enough experience identifying yearlings from older bucks.

Now, most hunters on the place will hold out for a 3 1/2 or older buck, but 2 1/2s are still "legal."
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#372324 - 08/30/07 06:53 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Red Rider 450
4 Point


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Thats sounds good.

How much benefit would we gain by "passing" on the 2 1/2's and only taking 3 1/2's and up, as opposed to taking 2 1/2's and up??
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#372432 - 08/30/07 07:56 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Red Rider 450]
BSK
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That depends. Simply by passing yearlings you are allowing bucks to reach the age (2 1/2) where they are pretty good at avoiding hunters. Once a buck gets to 3 1/2, he is an amazingly wary creature. In essence, he is very hard to see and kill.

So it all comes down to your hunters. Are they good enough to kill the 3 1/2 year-old bucks that exist?

We keep our limit at 2 1/2 for a couple of reasons:

1) We have a couple of out-of-state hunters that only make it in for 4 or 5 days of hunting per year. The odds of killing a 3 1/2+ year-old buck in only 4 to 5 days of hunting are low.

2) Our hunting is more "entertainment" than anything else, and some hunters are more than happy with a 80-100 gross 2 1/2 year-old buck.

3) Most of us simply aren't that good of hunters! Even seeing a single 3 1/2+ year-old buck in an entire season is not a guarantee. Last year we had 11 bucks 3 1/2 or older we were regularly photographing on our property, yet only half the hunters ever saw one.
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#372488 - 08/30/07 08:24 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
Locksley
16 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 19733
Loc: Antioch TN

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 Originally Posted By: pastorbmp
AR's are MUCH MUCH better than nothing, in my opinion. No, not the best way to manage a herd...but way better than the old days of "How many bucks did you kill this year", "AH, I only killed 7, 4 spikes, forkhorn and two good 6 pointers"....boy those were the days, weren't they! \:\)




pastorbmp that is what a lot of hunters want still . They lack the patience or reguard for the herd to change their ways to.
To guys like that only points restrictions will work , and only then after some of them get a ticket for shooting and leaving does and to small bucks laying.
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#372594 - 08/30/07 09:24 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Red Rider 450]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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 Originally Posted By: Red Rider 450
How much benefit would we gain by "passing" on the 2 1/2's and only taking 3 1/2's and up, as opposed to taking 2 1/2's and up??

Depends on how you want to define "benefit" and "gain".
For me personally, I "gain" immeasurably in observing more natural deer activity, as well as positioning myself for a much better chance of taking a mature buck. I gain a lot every time I get to observe deer, and don't cut that observation short by killing one. Killing a deer is only one part of why I'm hunting ---- I enjoy "hunting", and observing undisturbed wildlife.

This is not just an issue of producing more 3 1/2 & older bucks, but in increasing your odds of taking a 3 1/2 & older buck. Older bucks have a tendency to follow the trails of younger bucks, and only move out when other deer have kind of proven an area safe. I have often seen an older buck following the same trail as a younger buck, but just coming along a few minutes later. If you kill that 2 1/2, you may never know about the 3 1/2 that was behind him.

But, obviously, if you produce more 3 1/2's, you should be increasing your odds of seeing one. By passing up all 2 1/2's, how many more 3 1/2's and older bucks could you expect to produce? This is going to vary greatly by both habitat and the hunters hunting it. In some situations, it would be likely that most 2 1/2's would be killed unless most hunters were passing them up; other situations, most 2 1/2's might be surviving to 3 1/2 and older, even if all hunters saw all 2 1/2's as "shooter" bucks.

In my main TN hunting areas of Stewart County, I would speculate that IF no one was killing any 2 1/2's, we would be AT THE VERY LEAST more than doubling the number of 3 1/2's available for harvest (compared to if all hunters were killing every 2 1/2 they could). And even if all hunters then saw all 3 1/2's as "shooter" bucks, I believe we would still be more than quadrupling the number of 4 1/2-yr-old and older bucks available for harvest --- simply by not killing any 2 1/2's.

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#372801 - 08/30/07 11:12 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
Headhunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/14/00
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I still say for the majority of hunters if you see a 130" deer or better, why not be able to shoot him no matter how many points, especially if the deer will score over 140", I think that would completely suck to have pass that deer because he only has 6, 7, or 8 points. Now if I had the money and was able to spend several thousand dollars to go kill a buck, I would have the mindset that a 150" deer would not be good enough. I just can't understand as to why it has to be if a 130", 140" or better eight pointer walks by then on several WMA's you cannot shoot that deer. Especially in the case of President's Island where there are so few hunters, it seems theys could at least come up with some way to shoot a big deer (a class on scoring, and then set a scoring minimum and if he does not meet the minimum then you lose the deer, pay a penalty, etc.). A guy I know killed a 7 pointer in middle tennessee a few years ago that I will guarantee any hunter would kill in a heartbeat. He grossed over 150", was over 20" wide and that is another deer that more than proves why I do not like antler restrictions. My 7 pointer I have mounted has over 11" G2's, over 16" wide, socres in the upper 120's or low 130's, dressed out 172 lbs. and I have not met anyone that would have passed him. It seems like there could be some way those type deer could be harvested and still be legal. Like BSK says, those deer may not even be seen or if they are that may the only time they are seen and for most hunters that would be a once in a lifetime deer. This is also why I would think having to kill a doe to kill a buck is crazy to. Now having to kill a doe before you kill a second or third buck in a season that would be fine, but with my luck the very first buck that walked by would be the largest buck I have ever seen. I more than agree that aging is probably the best way to manage a deer herd, but what could be done to make it so that when a once in a lifetime buck (but has 8 or fewer points) walks by on the WMA's that has a 9 or better rule, that a hunter could shoot that deer?
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#374024 - 08/30/07 11:07 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Headhunter]
Red Rider 450
4 Point


Registered: 12/02/04
Posts: 345
Loc: Florence,Al

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Thanks BSK and Wes...good points...good info.

Dont get me wrong, I do love to hunt and just being out there with my friends and family is what makes it all worhtwhile...heck I just got into the QDMA a few years ago and feel like I'm learning alot.

I also hunt with Alabama Swamper and we have seen a DRASTIC change in the last couple of years by just taking more does and passing the yearling bucks...and a few good food plots havent hurt us either.

I guess what I'm getting at is what we've been doing has worked and I want to manage the best we can. The 2 1/2 vs. 3 1/2 thing has been in my mind along time and I had to ask.

Thanks again for the info...good stuff.
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#374362 - 08/31/07 08:59 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Red Rider 450]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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It's hard to explain, but while many hunters might think they would regret passing up shots at "nice" 2 1/2-yr-old bucks, once you do it --- well, at least I have had no regrets.

It grows on you --- you start looking forward to seeing those bucks again, especially the next year. Think about it. As you learn the habitats of a particular buck, doesn't that give you a much better chance of seeing him again when he's a year older? He will get smarter, more nocturnal, and more challenging to hunt, but you will have a better chance of crossing paths with him again vs. a buck you haven't been able to follow in the past.

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#374635 - 08/31/07 10:40 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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but while many hunters might think they would regret passing up shots at "nice" 2 1/2-yr-old bucks, once you do it --- well, at least I have had no regrets.

Very good point Wes. Honestly, I've never regretted passing up a buck of any age. If had wanted to shoot him, I would have. If I didn't shoot him at first sight, there was a reason.

Now there certainly have been bucks I regretted shooting, but never a regret for one I didn't shoot.
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#374677 - 08/31/07 11:02 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
gil1
12 Point


Registered: 04/06/07
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
but while many hunters might think they would regret passing up shots at "nice" 2 1/2-yr-old bucks, once you do it --- well, at least I have had no regrets.

Very good point Wes. Honestly, I've never regretted passing up a buck of any age. If had wanted to shoot him, I would have. If I didn't shoot him at first sight, there was a reason.

Now there certainly have been bucks I regretted shooting, but never a regret for one I didn't shoot.

Really well said, fellas. I'm not sure I knew I felt that way, but you described it perfectly.
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#375254 - 08/31/07 03:06 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
Polecat
10 Point


Registered: 10/31/02
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Loc: Burns, Tn. USA

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I thought for a moment that this was gonna' be another anti-black rifle thread.
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#375299 - 08/31/07 03:43 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Polecat]
brier rabbit
4 Point


Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 130
Loc: sumner tn

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did the twra try antler restictions at natches trace. i have hunted over their in the past couple of years. it is a really nice peice of land, always see lots of deer and some really nice bucks. have a 110 inch buck hanging an my wall from their. i do not know why the twra stopped the program.surly it had to have some upside to it.
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#375338 - 08/31/07 04:15 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: brier rabbit]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
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Someone can answer you better than me brier rabbit, but I remember reading an article about the AR program at Natchez trace several years ago. I believe they start there before CAtoosa did. For some reason, they just never saw the age structure or quality of bucks increase. According to the article, they were just bum-fuzzled (my terminology). They had no explanation. They did not know if it was poaching or what exactly the problem was. Since there were no real measurable improvements, they dropped it. Catoosa, meanwhile, has had very good, verifiable improvements with their AR program.
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#375376 - 08/31/07 04:38 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
8 POINTS OR BETTER
10 Point


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seems like the north half had restrictions and the south half did not.
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#375957 - 09/01/07 06:23 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: 8 POINTS OR BETTER]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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The didn't see the result they hoped to on Natchez with a 6-point rule. But the surrounding landowners sure did!

But one of the problems with trying to limit the age of bucks harvested on some WMAs is the hunting/scouting time allowed. If I was drawn for a particular 3-day hunt and only got to scout for a day, I really don't think I could consistently kill an older buck. They are hard animals to kill without a lot of knowledge and experience of the area.

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#376096 - 09/01/07 08:42 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Radar
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I don't understand the logic behind the antler restrictions at Laurel Hill WMA ? According the the exact wording in the regulations , A legal buck is one with " 2 points or less or at least 9 points . Antler points must be 1" or longer ".

Edited by Radar (09/01/07 08:43 AM)
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#376115 - 09/01/07 08:53 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: ]
Radar
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 Originally Posted By: psycho
 Originally Posted By: Radar
I don't understand the logic behind the antler restrictions at Laurel Hill WMA ? According the the exact wording in the regulations , A legal buck is one with " 2 points or less or at least 9 points . Antler points must be 1" or longer ".


same here.. stupid regs to say the least


Maybe BigGameGuy can explain that one .
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#376116 - 09/01/07 08:54 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: ]
AlabamaSwamper
12 Point


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Although I'm not sure how many 9pts+ they kill at Laurel Hill, I know there have been some huge bucks killed there, even before AR's were put in place. I know of one 159" deer taken there. That is big!

I wish the TWRA would just tell us why they put a 9pt or better rule. I'm just interested to know, not mad or anything.
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#376137 - 09/01/07 09:06 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: AlabamaSwamper]
Radar
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Registered: 08/19/01
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 Originally Posted By: AlabamaSwamper
Although I'm not sure how many 9pts+ they kill at Laurel Hill, I know there have been some huge bucks killed there, even before AR's were put in place. I know of one 159" deer taken there. That is big!

I wish the TWRA would just tell us why they put a 9pt or better rule. I'm just interested to know, not mad or anything.


I don't understand the spike or less rule . I don't believe in culling them out .


Edited by Radar (09/01/07 09:06 AM)
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#376159 - 09/01/07 09:30 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Radar]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
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"I don't understand the spike or less rule . I don't believe in culling them out."

Exactly. That old way of thinking has been thrown out years ago. Though I can remember shooting a lot of spikes because of it!
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#376229 - 09/01/07 10:42 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: TAS]
brier rabbit
4 Point


Registered: 07/22/07
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Loc: sumner tn

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i have always hunted on the south side of nat trace, always see nice bucks. hope ehd does not wipe them out.
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#376436 - 09/01/07 04:26 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: brier rabbit]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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The Laurel Hill rules are basically the same as Presidents Island.
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#376441 - 09/01/07 04:33 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Radar
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What is the reasoning behind the spike or less rule ?
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#376466 - 09/01/07 04:50 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Radar]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Alan would be the right person to ask.
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#377098 - 09/02/07 08:31 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Radar
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Registered: 08/19/01
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ttt
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#377275 - 09/02/07 12:14 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Radar]
TOW
10 Point


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Posts: 4246
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A friend of mine killed a nice 12 pointer that had a spread of just 14 inches. But it stuck up high and had tremendous mass. the deer scored out at 168 and change. On an "outside the ears" AR he would have been a non-shooter.

I had that deer into 45 yards during bow season and couldn't get him to close the distance.

Teach people how to judge the age of bucks instead of size (width and/or points) of a buck.It is NOT that hard...especially telling a 1 1/2 from an older buck. Just passing all 1 1/2 year olds will do wonders for a herd's buck age.



.
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#377347 - 09/02/07 01:53 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: TOW]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Just passing all 1 1/2 year olds will do wonders for a herd's buck age.

For private land management (not public land), I couldn't agree more with that statement.
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#377374 - 09/02/07 02:50 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
ghosthunter
10 Point


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I haven't read all of this thread but I've seen many pics of mature 6 pointers that would be out of AR limits if I assume there is an 8 pt or 4pts on one side rule. Now a mature 6 pointer is definitely in a small percentage of the population, but to resolve this issue my question would be, How about a 3 points on one side rule? That would save spikes and four points. Now let's see the mature 4 point and spike pics.
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#377389 - 09/02/07 03:23 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: ghosthunter]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 17870
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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If I'm not mistaken Alan's reasoning for the spike rule was because the deer on PI had the genetics and the nutrition available to produce better than spike deer overall so he was culling them.
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#377394 - 09/02/07 03:32 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Mike Belt]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4943
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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a "3 on one side rule" would mean you are taking your best yearling bucks. If one of your goals is more great racks (which in all honesty that is one of the goals), you are shooting yourself in the foot imo. I am certainly not opposed to shooting a mature buck with only three on a side, but to shoot the yearling 6 pointers would be self defeating. The best compromise might be to have a AR along with "or spread outside the ears". That wouldn't cover all the mature bucks, but it would certainly cover most of them.
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#377488 - 09/02/07 06:14 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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ghosthunter,

What pastorbmp said. The point (no pun intended) of antler restrictions is to eliminate young bucks from harvest but allow older bucks to be harvested. The problem with that system is there is no easy to identify antler characteristic that will perfectly divide yearlings from older bucks. Some older bucks have few points. Some older bucks have narrow spreads. And worse yet, the best, healthiest yearling bucks can qualify for just about any antler restriction, and the absolute last bucks you want harvested are your best yearlings, as they will also be your best middle-aged bucks.

In essence, no matter what antler restriction you set, your best yearlings will qualify and your lowest-end mature bucks won't. Both of those situations are counter-productive.
_________________________
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#377522 - 09/02/07 06:59 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
MoCamo
Spike


Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Southern Tn

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we practice a three on one side rule on our lease and it has worked pretty well so far.We dont shoot every buck that meets the AR but we felt we needed a starting point.This is a old club and sometimes change is hard so we decided to take it one step at a time.We also added a solid food plot program plus alot of hard work and some broken tractor equiptment and good members and things seem to be coming together.Would like to post some pictures but cant seem to get it done.Any help or advice would be appreciated.
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#377658 - 09/02/07 09:07 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: MoCamo]
8 POINTS OR BETTER
10 Point


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 4086
Loc: Hardin, Co.

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MoCamo,
A lot of people use http://www.photobucket.com . Down load your pictures to photobucket. Then when you want to post them on tndeer, click on the third icon from the right, above there you type the messages in, if you put your mouse pointer on it, it will say "enter an image" left click on that icon. A script Prompt will pop up on your computer screen. Now go to photobucket to the picture you want to down load to tndeer. There will be four link options below the picture. click on the IMG Code and it will copy it. Now go back to tndeer to the script prompt and paste the IMG Code, and hit OK. It should put the picture in your post. Hope this helps.
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#377773 - 09/02/07 10:37 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: 8 POINTS OR BETTER]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65381
Loc: Nashville, TN

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MoCamo,

Any idea what percent of harvested bucks are yearlings with your 3-points-on-a-side rule?

I ask because 50% of the yearlings on my place have at least 3 points on one side. I would sure hate to have the yearlings--and the best half at that--eligible for harvest.
_________________________
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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#377806 - 09/02/07 10:57 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3659
Loc: chattanooga

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BSK,

They're eligible for harvest right now anyway. I don't see your point.
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#377936 - 09/03/07 01:47 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
156p&y
10 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 4215
Loc: Franklin Tn

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Here is another old deer that wouldn't qualify for 8pt of better rule. He's just a huge older than snot 7pt. I couldn't kill him last year but got close one time I actually had him in the scope and thought he was a different deer until it was too late and then cussed myself for about the next hour. [img][/img]
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#377961 - 09/03/07 05:46 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: 156p&y]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4943
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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156 P&y,

I think most AR's are "4 points on one side". I know Catoosa's are. Most private leases that I know that have AR's are 4 on one side. This beautiful buck would qualify for that! He is a dandy.
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#378105 - 09/03/07 09:02 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: ghosthunter]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65381
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
BSK,

They're eligible for harvest right now anyway. I don't see your point.


If a club or land-owner is using antler restrictions, it is usually in an attempt to get bucks into the older age-classes. The whole point of an antler restriction is to make young bucks off limits to harvest but allow older bucks to be harvested. If an antler restriction doesn't do that, it is a failure. If the antler restriction is set too low, a very high percentage of yearlings could be eligible for harvest, and it would be your largest, healthiest yearlings. Those are exactly the young bucks you don't want harvested because they will be your largest antlered 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old bucks.

If an antler restriction is set too high, such as 4-points-on-a-side or 8-points-or-better, then some mature bucks will not qualify for harvest and you top-end yearlings are still eligible for harvest. In a healthy herd, some yearlings will produce 4-point-on-a-side antlers and even 8-point antlers.

Basically, there is no antler restriction that works real well. Too much overlap exists between young and older bucks with every potential antler criterion that could be used for a restriction.

However, as I've said before, hunters have to start somewhere, and an antler restriction is probably one of he easiest systems to implement. That said, I highly, HIGHLY recommend those hunters switch to an age-based system after a couple of years. Any hunter can learn to identify a yearling from an older buck fairly quickly, once they've had the opportunity to actually see some older bucks in the field. The body differences between these two groups is the most striking of all age differences. So once an antler restriction begins to pay dividends--hunters seeing and harvesting some older bucks--then a "no yearling bucks" policy can be implemented.
_________________________
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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#378110 - 09/03/07 09:06 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65381
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 Originally Posted By: pastorbmp
156 P&y,

I think most AR's are "4 points on one side". I know Catoosa's are. Most private leases that I know that have AR's are 4 on one side. This beautiful buck would qualify for that! He is a dandy.


I've seen everything from a "no spikes" rule in the Deep South, 4 total points in MS, 3 points on a side, 6 total points or better, 4 points on a side, 8 total points or better, 9 total points or better (PI and Laurel Hill WMA), 12" or wider outside spread, 13" or wider outside spread, 15" or wider outside spread, etc., etc.

Many, many antler restrictions have been tried.
_________________________
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#378158 - 09/03/07 10:01 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 17870
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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I couldn't agree more that any antler restriction is the first step in an attempt to advance buck age structure as long as it isn't set too low. If so then you're really not accomplishing anything. I'm not too crazy about the restrictions involving width or number of points. I prefer a minimum B & C score (as long as it isn't an unrealistic number for your area). Couple this with the "either/or option" of an age restriction (for instance or at least 4.5 years old) and you have the best criteria for advancing buck age structure as well as the opportunity at taking mature bucks that don't measure up rack wise.

A word of advice...before any restrictions are implemented you need to know what your objective is and to make sure that each and every person involved is in agreement.
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#378236 - 09/03/07 10:55 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Mike Belt]
TOW
10 Point


Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 4246
Loc: Back 40

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 Quote:
That said, I highly, HIGHLY recommend those hunters switch to an age-based system after a couple of years. Any hunter can learn to identify a yearling from an older buck fairly quickly, once they've had the opportunity to actually see some older bucks in the field.


As you said the easiest deer to judge age on are the yearling bucks versus the 2 1/2 and up. Just passing up yearling bucks is enough to make a dramatic change.

When a buck gets to be 2 1/2 he is at least 3 or 4 times "smarter" than he was when he was 1 1/2.

Just a good slide show showing the differences in ages between a yearling and an "adult" buck should be sufficient to teach any deer hunter what is and what isn't a yearling buck.

Guys... this is a no brainer.. just don't shoot yearling bucks... period.




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#378308 - 09/03/07 12:18 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: TOW]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3659
Loc: chattanooga

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I read an article in a magazine the other day that was discussing Pennsylvania's ARs and the article claimed that the trophy buck turn out in the state was significantly increasing.
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#378332 - 09/03/07 12:51 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: ghosthunter]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65381
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
I read an article in a magazine the other day that was discussing Pennsylvania's ARs and the article claimed that the trophy buck turn out in the state was significantly increasing.


That is correct. The buck age structure is definitely increasing. And for a state agency, antler restrictions are about the only way to go. It would be impossible to "regulate" a 'no yearling bucks' policy. But on private property, hunters can set any criteria they want.
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#378405 - 09/03/07 01:40 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
156p&y
10 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 4215
Loc: Franklin Tn

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
However, as I've said before, hunters have to start somewhere, and an antler restriction is probably one of he easiest systems to implement. That said, I highly, HIGHLY recommend those hunters switch to an age-based system after a couple of years. Any hunter can learn to identify a yearling from an older buck fairly quickly, once they've had the opportunity to actually see some older bucks in the field. The body differences between these two groups is the most striking of all age differences. So once an antler restriction begins to pay dividends--hunters seeing and harvesting some older bucks--then a "no yearling bucks" policy can be implemented.


That's what we did in the very beginning of our program. We started out with an 8pts and bigger rule that had to be outside the ears and soon learned that we were taking our top end yearlings in some cases. I really had to grow with the program b/c I was a relatively young hunter. So it was a great start, we only used this method I think 2 seasons before seeing positive results and moved on to a age class system. Ever since then we've stuck to aging but every once in a while we have guys come hunt that can't age deer so we tell them atleast an 8pt and bigger. Like you said BSK you have to start somewhere.
We started with a point restriction and moved to an age restriction and have even upped our age restriction and have talked about moving it from 3.5 to 4.5 but the problem is we can grow 4.5 year olds all day but have a hard time harvesting them or even seeing them.
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#378480 - 09/03/07 02:34 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: 156p&y]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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Loc: Nashville, TN

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...but the problem is we can grow 4.5 year olds all day but have a hard time harvesting them or even seeing them.

Join the club 156p&y!
_________________________
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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#378655 - 09/03/07 04:44 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
cmoses
4 Point


Registered: 02/04/07
Posts: 473
Loc: Cottontown

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
...but the problem is we can grow 4.5 year olds all day but have a hard time harvesting them or even seeing them.

Join the club 156p&y!


ditto that

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#379503 - 09/03/07 11:19 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: pastorbmp]
Boone 58
16 Point


Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 14856
Loc: Food Plot

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Guys, bottom line is that you have to have a guideline....period if you want to accomplish more. For those of you who use the excuse that "it doesnt do any good cause no one follows the rules" is like saying that it does no good to have a speed limit cause every one speeds.........Please dont be so stupid to say that since rules will be broken but for the whole will produce results closer to the intended goal than if no goal were set at all. Rules do make a difference, people who are afraid to follow good rules will always whine that someone else is getting away with it.......Report them and shoot for better quality deer by following the guidelines we have. No one can argue that what has been implemented so far has not at least been a huge success in the state as far as improving the quality of older buck kills. WE need something to shoot for and i believe we are on the right track....we need some tweaking. I do not believe in the 9 pt rule set at laurel hill wma.....it is just too hard to see if a buck qualifies when there are monster 8 pts there on that wma!!!
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#379589 - 09/04/07 06:14 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Boone 58]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 17870
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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I hunted PI. I didn't like the 9 point rule either. There are plenty of P & Y and bigger bucks dying of old age there. Throw in the "or" 4.5 years old or better and it makes the 9 point rule feasable.
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#379715 - 09/04/07 08:21 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Mike Belt]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19260
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
Throw in the "or" 4.5 years old or better and it makes the 9 point rule feasable.

I agree, except that some of us have trouble counting up to nine. ;\)

For me personally, if there were a 9-pt rule coupled with an "or" a certain age, I'd be looking for a buck of that age more than one with 9 or more points.

Not only do most hunters consider a mature 8-pointer a greater "trophy" (than most of the best young 9-10-pointers), but by taking out the older 8-pointers, you are actually doing something good for the herd provided a goal was to produce more 9-plus-point-bucks. Those 9-pt 2 1/2-yr-old bucks will usually become 9-pt-plus older bucks, with higher-scoring racks (on average) than 8-point bucks of the same age class.

But if all 8-pt bucks are not allowed for harvest, then harvest pressure is actually INCREASED on the 9-pt-plus younger bucks, allowing for fewer of the bucks with the greatest antler potential to live to maturity.

With any antler restriction used, harvest pressure actually increases on that minimum definition, to the point that in many circumstances, there might actually be more larger antlered older bucks roaming an area if it were managed with no antler restrictions at all.

Here's a thought to ponder:

If President's Island continued with the same amount of annual hunter hours (and archery only), but totally eliminated antler restrictions, would there be more 9-pt-plus mature bucks roaming the island a couple years later?

I don't know the answer, but my thinking is that some of the young 9-10 pointers would become older simply because some hunters had shifted their harvest pressure over to both the mature bucks (regardless of antlers) and to bucks of any age (regardless of antlers). No doubt, there would be an increase in the annual buck harvest, but would there be more larger antlered younger bucks survive into the older classes?

From a sound deer management perspective, I believe the harvest ratios (male vs. female) and the percentage of males taken annually are more important criteria than any antler restrictions. If the harvest is limited to say an estimated 25% of the males (without antler restrictions), then any antler restrictions imposed may be much ado for nothing gained. Besides, a mature 8-point buck is a terrible thing to waste.

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#380201 - 09/04/07 12:36 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: cmoses]
Tenbears
6 Point


Registered: 12/08/03
Posts: 746
Loc: MUSIC CITY (BNA)

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 Originally Posted By: CMoses
 Originally Posted By: BSK
...but the problem is we can grow 4.5 year olds all day but have a hard time harvesting them or even seeing them.

Join the club 156p&y!


ditto that
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#380557 - 09/04/07 04:14 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
grundsow
4 Point


Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 284
Loc: Berks County, PA

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 Quote:
Here's another example of why I don't like QDM programs set on point restrictions. Under a "4 points on one side" or 8-point rule, this buck would not be harvestable. Yet he should be a "shooter" in most QDM programs. He is at least 3 1/2 and might be 4 1/2.

The possibility of having maybe a few mature 6-points running around is “undesirable”???

Don’t they help with every biological thing AR’s are supposed to help with?

Don’t they help from even a recreational standpoint in that it’s satisfying to even witness an animal with such age?

This may be a dumb question, but what is the downside? I mean, how many could there possibly be?

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#380594 - 09/04/07 04:43 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: grundsow]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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grundsow,

BSK never said that having mature 6-points running around is undesirable!

What is undesirable (under QDM) is to kill 8 point or better yearlings while using Antler Restrictions and have to let a real trophy (mature buck)6 point walk.

This thread is about the benefits of QDM over AR's. You might want to read the whole thread.
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#381133 - 09/04/07 09:28 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: TAS]
grundsow
4 Point


Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 284
Loc: Berks County, PA

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 Quote:
BSK never said that having mature 6-points running around is undesirable!

Well I guess I don't understand what he meant by "I don't like"...

 Quote:
This thread is about the benefits of QDM over AR's. You might want to read the whole thread.

Naturally I read the whole thing today before I made my post.

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#381166 - 09/04/07 09:43 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: grundsow]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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What he said Quote:
Here's another example of why I don't like QDM programs set on point restrictions. Under a "4 points on one side" or 8-point rule, this buck would not be harvestable. Yet he should be a "shooter" in most QDM programs. He is at least 3 1/2 and might be 4 1/2.

True QDM programs for buck harvesting is based on age and not point restrictions. The example he is talking about is the old 6 pointer in the picture you could not shoot with an 8 point rule antler restriction. That's what he doesn't like. Brian (like myself) I think would be proud to shoot a 4 1/2 year old 6 pointer but would be crushed if he screwed up and dropped the hammer on a 8 point yearling.
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#381663 - 09/05/07 07:54 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: TAS]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65381
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: TAS
True QDM programs for buck harvesting is based on age and not point restrictions. The example he is talking about is the old 6 pointer in the picture you could not shoot with an 8 point rule antler restriction. That's what he doesn't like. Brian (like myself) I think would be proud to shoot a 4 1/2 year old 6 pointer but would be crushed if he screwed up and dropped the hammer on a 8 point yearling.


Yup.
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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#381687 - 09/05/07 08:02 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65381
Loc: Nashville, TN

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grundsow,

Having any mature bucks in the herd at all, regardless of their antlers, is a very good thing biologically. At the same time, I don't like any "unnatural" selection going on, and always shooting the largest antler bucks of any age but passing the smaller antlered bucks of the same age is an unnatural selection process. Nature does not select for antler size, nor should we.

That said, I'm not sure "protecting" the smallest antlered bucks of each age is going to do noticeable harm to a deer population. I just don't like it from a biological/philisophical perspective. I try, whenever possible, to mimic Nature's processes. The more unnatural something is, the less I like it.

But my major concern is from a hunting success standpoint. As I've said many time before, I've never seen a biological QDM failure (an inability to produce older bucks using QDM harvest guidelines). But I sure have seen some QDM harvest failures (an inability of the hunters to see and kill the older bucks they are producing). Older bucks are so hard to see and kill that I sure hate to have hunters NOT be able to kill a mature buck they get in their sights simply because his antlers don't "qualify" for harvest. On the rare occassions I can get a mature buck in my sights, I'm shooting him whether he is a scrub spike are a 30-point monster. I, like many hunters, don't get that chance very often!
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#381808 - 09/05/07 08:51 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19260
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Older bucks are so hard to see and kill that I sure hate to have hunters NOT be able to kill a mature buck they get in their sights simply because his antlers don't "qualify" for harvest.

Simply worth repeating.

Equaling disappointing is going on one of those single weekend hunts where you are required to kill a doe before a buck, but the buck of a lifetime comes along before the doe. I think many of these regs get created by non-deer-hunting wildlife biologists who simply don't understand much of which motivates the hunters most capable of helping with management goals, and the regs themselves can actually be counter-productive to those management goals.

Just a few years ago I recall one very popular WMA's manager came to the brilliant conclusion that they needed to kill more does and fewer bucks. So he scheduled a doe-only rifle deer hunt (and this was scheduled outside the regular rifle season which should have increased hunter participation). But no hunters showed up to hunt. Since then, all hunts there have simply been "either-sex", with a higher doe than buck limit, and both hunter enthusiasm and participation have been high enough to stabilize the deer population (and produce good ongoing harvest ratios).

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#383523 - 09/05/07 10:33 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
grundsow
4 Point


Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 284
Loc: Berks County, PA

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Hey, some buck have to die of non-hunting mortality, right? Why not let the lower end of the scale get sacrificed to the asphalt gods?

Or why not do like PA has and let junior hunters, disabled hunters, and military leave hunters take these guys?

It just seem like there'd be very few lifetime 6-points, that it's not worth being concerned about.

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#383826 - 09/06/07 07:48 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: grundsow]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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Your in PA not TN. There are more mature 6 points in TN than there, I know because I got stuck just north of you for two long years. Here is one just got off the trail camera yesterday and where I am at in TN there is no asphalt within this bucks range! Plus in TN we think it is more sporting to use a rifle or bow than a truck. \:\)

[img][/img]
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#383891 - 09/06/07 08:09 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: grundsow]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19260
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: grundsow
It just seem like there'd be very few lifetime 6-points, that it's not worth being concerned about.
That may be true, but I once saw a 140-class 6-pointer that I'd appreciate as "trophy antlers" more than most 170-class 10-pointers.

In your above quote, how would you feel if we substituted "8-points" for the 6-points?

We have some WMA's in TN where the only legal bucks are those with 9 or more points, and I assure you there are more than a few lifetime 8-pointers.

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#383960 - 09/06/07 08:34 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Wes Parrish]
BSK
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It just seem like there'd be very few lifetime 6-points, that it's not worth being concerned about.

I've seen enough to be concerned about it. Maybe 10-15% of all mature bucks. Why protect these bucks?
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#384532 - 09/06/07 01:35 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Mike Belt]
Radar
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 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
If I'm not mistaken Alan's reasoning for the spike rule was because the deer on PI had the genetics and the nutrition available to produce better than spike deer overall so he was culling them.


But why use the spike rule on Laurel Hill WMA ? It is average deer habitat and doesn't have the same quality genetics as P.I.
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#384664 - 09/06/07 03:08 PM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Radar]
BSK
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If you two don't stop saying "has the genetics" I'm going to come find you! \:D I know where you both live! ;\)
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#385675 - 09/07/07 06:11 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: BSK]
Mike Belt
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I'm sorry, lol. PI provides the nutrition and protection for the deer to show off their basic genetic potential earlier than in most cases.
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#385743 - 09/07/07 07:12 AM Re: Another example of why I don't like ARs [Re: Mike Belt]
BSK
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Exactly Mike. PI has a very advanced buck age structure. This should keep the peak of rut as early as possible, which will reduce the number of late-born bucks (the major contributor to spike yearlings). And considering PI is in the best MS River floodplain soils and is basically all high-quality agriculture, antler development should be extremely high. If a yarling buck is a spike under those conditions he is either a rare late-born buck or he really does have a genetic problem.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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