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Antler Point Restictions in Wisconsin

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Antler Point Restictions in Wisconsin

Old 01-02-2017, 08:27 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Antler Point Restictions in Wisconsin

New here. I posted about this on another forum (gbo), but seems to be kinda dead over there compared to what it was a few years ago. Anyhow, would like to know what other hunters think about this. If you have it in your state and how its working out, or if you would like to see it in Wisconsin. I wouldn't be opposed, my group and I have been letting the little yearlings (spikes, forks, and sixes) go for quite a few years now. I don't really have a problem with anyone shooting a legal buck, but of coarse wouldn't mind seeing more/bigger bucks myself. To me, if you're looking for some venison, you may as well shoot a doe and let that fork turn into an eight next year. I'm not really a "trophy" hunter (if I held out for a "trophy" I'd never shoot anything), I'm happy with a 2 1/2 year old eight pointer, but I think APR would improve the chances of seeing 3 1/2 or older bucks. Enough of my rambling, what do you guys think?
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:07 AM
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here in Pa. we have antler restriction. some like it some don't. I myself don't like it. since it was started I have seen a lot of property leased and posted. we also have lost a lot of hunters too. finding a place to hunt is getting hard. we have state game lands but they fill up quickly. as I don't hunt for horns it doesn't interest me to have antler restriction. this is just my opinion.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:26 AM
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I am also from PA. I am not a bone hunter, I hunt deer, I will take the first large bodied buck that meets the antler restrictions or large doe that is unfortunate to come into gun range. That said, when antler restrictions and herd reduction were initiated in PA it was for the purpose of getting an older age class of bucks and reducing the doe numbers. 70 to 75 percent of our buck harvest was deer a year and a half old. We were killing most of our bucks before they were two and a half years old, coupled with the extreme number of does we had in the state was damaging habitat and our herd was way out of balance in age classifications. This was not done to create trophy buck but it did have that result because we now have a much older age structure of bucks in the state. Most of our state is a buck must have at least 3 points on at least one antler and the point must be an inch or more long, the rest of the state is a legal buck must have "three on top" that means it must have at least three points on at least one antler not counting the brow tine. We are now seeing lots of very large bodied and big racked buck everywhere in the state. Since I am not an antler hunter I was luke warm to the change but since I understood it was about herd health not about creating trophy deer I supported the program. There are those who don't like the fact that they cannot shoot the first 3 inch spike buck or 4 point they see and those who were so use to being over run with doe that it just was a matter of sitting down and waiting for one to come along that they still bad mouth the program but they cannot argue with the results, it did exactly what the biologists said it would do. Since I have no idea what herd and habitat conditions are in Wisconsin, I am in no position to recommend it in your state or not, I can just tell you why PA did it and what the results are because of it.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:22 PM
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If it was marketed in such a way as to be about the biology of the herd and continuing its health and sustainability. I think a moderate point restriction might get decent backing from the hunting community at large in Wisconsin.
But since our DNR has such a poor record of using science and of explaining why they are doing what they are doing. Few people here would believe them at all.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:49 PM
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Sonny, our agency did explain the biology aspects of the program. The Biologist went all around the state putting on programs in big venues for months to explain why it was necessary to reduce the herd and protect young bucks but all many in the audience saw was the racks from 5 and 6 year old deer compared to 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old deer that he held up and never heard the reasons for the program and they came away believing it was a trophy buck program. It is one of the faults of human nature to hear and see what you want to hear and see. I had an old WCO friend who use to say," I know you think you understand what you thought I said, however I am not sure what you heard was what I meant". That hits the mark on the money in our deer program change.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Slim View Post
here in Pa. we have antler restriction. some like it some don't. I myself don't like it. since it was started I have seen a lot of property leased and posted. we also have lost a lot of hunters too. finding a place to hunt is getting hard. we have state game lands but they fill up quickly. as I don't hunt for horns it doesn't interest me to have antler restriction. this is just my opinion.
Thanks for the input. I don't know if antler restrictions are causing these issues. Hunter numbers have gone down in Wisconsin over the last twenty years, although not a lot (694712 in 2000 and 613165 in 2015) and I know a lot more land is posted now compared to when I was starting out 20, 25 years ago. Maybe the antler restrictions are contributing to these issues in pa, though, its certainly not my place to say. I'm not just out there to get something to hang on the wall, either. I just enjoy going, and it sure doesn't bother me to have a nice rack of horns hanging off my venison. I don't know if APR are the way to go or not. I would think it would help the deer herd. I guess the selfish side of me wishes that all the neighbors had the same standards I do. I don't get mad about anyone shooting a legal deer, but it is a little annoying when you now the same groups of guys that are wackin' multiple little bucks every year. I just think to myself "If you'd quit doing that for one year, by next year they'd be decent eight or ten pointers" just my opinion. On the other hand I would not want to deny any of the old farmers around my area (or any young kid) a chance at a buck, especially when he's been feeding them all year.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
The question I asked every one who is critical of other hunters shooting bucks that don't meet their standards is, if those hunters are satisfied shooting a legal buck and don't care if it is someone else's idea of a trophy deer, why would you care how big the rack is? As far as the loss of hunter numbers, that is a nationwide occurrence, and many factors are responsible for it, not the least of which is there are many things for young people to do that do not require patience, getting cold and sitting still and the lack of instant gratification, so many have no interest unless someone takes the time to introduce them to it early in their life.
I smell what you're stepping in. Like I said, I don't get mad about it, and the only time it annoys me is when you get the guys in my area bragging about all the bucks they shoot. And you find out later that they shot a spike with their bow, a fork opening morning of gun season and then another spike to fill their wife's tag. Come on now. My three nicest bucks are in the 110 to 120 range and I've never seen one bigger than that,not while hunting anyway. I know not every hunter is just after big horns. But who wouldn't rather shoot a nice buck rather than doe or a spike? BTW the vast majority of bucks taken in Wisconsin are yearlings. I do think it would be better for the herd to have more mature bucks.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:05 PM
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What are you calling a yearling?
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:58 PM
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1 1/2 year old legal buck.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:12 AM
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I live in Michigan which is divided into DMU, deer management units. All kinds of rules on the books per unit. Unit where my deer camp is only had no doe permit restrictions yet the herd has never built up and it isn't all about harsh winters. Lots of people feed their family's in the area, any deer standing in sight of a road is fair game any day of the week season or not.


Where my Brother lives they have a doe permit drawing and all bucks must have at least 3 points on one side. Just made the locals mad and poachers out of a bunch of them. 90 percent of the locals butcher their own deer so they shoot any buck with 3 inch antlers like they always did. Do not display the deer and butcher it so who can say it didn't come from the county 25 miles away.


Where I live in Southern Michigan, no antler restrictions except the 3 inch rule. I usually get an 8 point every year to fill my big antler combo tag. Many times I get a second one and rarely ever any thing smaller than a 4 point to fill the small antler tag. Yet we have a 5 doe tag per day over the counter sales, A 3 week muzzle loader season and a from just a day or some before Christmas to New Years private land special doe season.
Just yesterday walking my pups in the field and woods I had about 12 to 15 does near me in less than an hour, Really scared to death too standing 10 feet off the trail watching as the pups and I walked by.


Personally I think they should take the antler restrictions and shove it where the sun don't shine.
I like my 1 1/2 year old 8 points and the spikes are not bad eating either. Yup farm fed, with corn and soy beans.


Why would I want to shoot an old tough sway back buck to eat.


I said once before at deer camp if they want to cut the deer herd sell doe permits over the counter. double the cost of a buck tag and make it a drawing to get one too.
Of course today I would stop deer hunting if they did that.


Al

Last edited by alleyyooper; 01-04-2017 at 04:10 AM.
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