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-   -   Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX) (https://www.huntingnet.com/forum/northeast/285722-antler-restrictions-what-they-found-tx.html)

Screamin Steel 02-08-2009 04:38 AM

Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 
I picked up the Mar/ Apr 2009 issue of Bowhunter magazine last week, and found a very intersting piece on the new anler restrictions in TX. I wish I could find a link to the article....it outlined some key differences in the way TX went about instituting these changes in comparison to te way it was done and is currently being done in PA. I did find a link to TX Parks and Wildlife Department that specifies the current restictions with a visual aid. Very intersting that TX designed their regs to allow for harvest of spikes, and even deer sporting one unbranched antler. Their restriction is primarily spread based, while allowing for harvest of sub prime animals sporting either mature, yet abnormally narrow racks, and unbranched antlers. Interestingly, these regs are very similar to what I envisioned as being a superior method to our current system. Here are a few exceptf from the article:

"Data from Texas shows that 25% of all yearlings are spikes, while 93% of all spikes ae yearlings. In other words, hunters could take every spike form the yearling age clas, and still leave 75% of yearlings alive and well in the field." - This corresponds roughly to my laymans pespective. I would say in my hunting areas that approx 1/4 of yearlings I observe are spikes, and that 90% or better of spikes that I observe are yearling bucks.

"Additionally, this strategy may have helped reduce any high grading in the 1 1/2 year old age class. High grading means that hunters harvest all the top end bucks and leave the lower quality bucks (spikes) to breed....Allowing the hunters the opportunity to take spikes seemed to make most people happy, and believe it or not, the AR were easier to sell to youth hunters than older hunters." - So, while PA AR proponents vehemently deny the possibility of AR's causing high grading, the TX biologists where aware and concerned of that possibility, and took steps to reduce its effect.The spike slot was well recieved by the public, and wait.....it gets better.

"As Carroll and his biologists predicted, within one year, the toatal number of bucks harvested was the same as it was prior to antler restrictions. Interestingly, after thre years the total number of spikes harvested dropped from 42 % to 19 %. Since the original six counties in the study had one buck limits, it was believed hunters were passing on spikes in hopes of taking mature bucks. The previous ten years of data from those six counties showed that 1.5 AND 2.5 YEAR OLD BUCKS COMPRISED 80 PERCENT OF THE HARVEST. After three years of the new rules, only 29% of bucks harvested were younger than 3.5 years! "Prior to antler restrictions, if the typical hunters did not see a buck in the first three or four hunts, the chance to even see a buck the rest of the hunting season became slim." Carrol said. "Nowadays, it's not uncommon for a hunter to see several bucks every time he goes out. Many hunters are now passing on bucks in the thirteen inch range, in hopes of seeing just how big some of these bucks will get." -So, TX predicted that after the first year their buck harvest would return to normal and it did. Why did PA fail and still fails to accomplish this? Could you imagine if by changing our regs, that we could possibly see results similar to those of TX? 71% of bucks killed age 3.5 and older! Another thing that truly stuck out to me as I read the article was the constant mention of hunter satisfaction. A point that has gone completely by the wayside in PA. Proven by the crossbow vote, continued HR in many areas, and the degrading comments made by RSB and other PGC employees, recently.

Here is the link I did find. It outlines the Texas AR's in detail. I highly reccommend buying the magazine and reading the entire article.
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/game_management/deer/antler_restrictions/

I particularly enjoyed this little excerpt from the link above:


With so many more "quality" bucks available for harvest, and only 1 buck tag available, few hunters chose to use their only buck tag on a spike. The likely result was high-grading of the buck population. Therefore, the regulation was modified (adding a second buck to the bag, which must be restricted to a buck with at least 1 unbranched antler) to allow more hunting opportunity while minimizing the risk of high-grading. As a result, the incidence of "spikes" in the harvest increased slightly as expected.
Many of the southeastern states have antler-point restrictions, where they protect they bottom end of the herd, and make the better quality yearlings vulnerable to harvest. For example, one state has a rule that protects all bucks that don't have at least 3 points on one antler. Therefore, the 6-point and 8-point yearlings are available for harvest, while the bucks with less antler potential (e.g., spikes) are protected. Another state has a 4-point rule, which protects all bucks with less than 4 points. These and other southeastern states are taking a hard look at their data, and questioning whether they should be continuing with such a harvest strategy. Most biologists agree that improving the age structure of a buck herd is beneficial; however, many southeastern biologists simply don't think that protecting only the poor-quality yearlings has been the best approach. We (TPWD) agree.

explorer_Jack 02-08-2009 08:30 AM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 
The wiser hunters knew this. It's the stupid ones and the younger ones that are being brain washed by the likes of the PGC and associates. This is like breeding RSB with a BTBowhunter genes and getting this. Not avery desirable future of human race.




BTBowhunter 02-08-2009 08:32 AM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 
Thanks for posting this SS!!

I'm going to read the thing before commenting much except to say that I agree wholeheartedly with their idea of a spread measure vs a point count on the high end.

The other end allowing spikes is interesting to say the least. As I said, I havent read it yet (where the heck is my copy!!! i'm a subscriber!!!) but I'm wondering about that idea in light of recent evidence that implies that 1.5 spikes may well not be genetically inferior.



livbucks 02-08-2009 08:56 AM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 
That is all well and good, but TX hunters are a different breed than PA hunters. The TX hunter is more trophy oriented and easier to sell on complicated AR. Pa hunters would need to take night classes to comprehend it.

BTBowhunter 02-08-2009 09:08 AM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 

ORIGINAL: livbucks

That is all well and good, but TX hunters are a different breed than PA hunters. The TX hunter is more trophy oriented and easier to sell on complicated AR. Pa hunters would need to take night classes to comprehend it.
I've only read partway thorugh the link and I don't have the article yet but you are right about that one. Texans have been letting more of their deer grow up for years. Thier percentage of of 3.5+ bucks before they put in any ARwas far bigger than we have after AR. Letting deer mature is simply part of the deer hunting culture down there. TX alsohasonly slightly morehuntersthan Pa has but they are spread out over close to three times as much land

DennyF 02-08-2009 01:03 PM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 
TX alsohasonly slightly morehuntersthan Pa has but they are spread out over close to three times as much land

Yeah, but from what I can tell, Texas doesn't have the longtraditionswe've had in getting what is essentially free access to large amounts ofprivate land, nor the millions of acres of public land thatwe havehere?

Be interesting to see how their hunters adapt to these changes.


BTBowhunter 02-08-2009 01:09 PM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 
Absolutely Denny. I have a buddy who moved there from here and he claims that no one hunts unless they own the ground or pay big $$

bluebird2 02-08-2009 01:21 PM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 
Here is an interesting quote from the link.

While this is not a trophy-buck management strategy, most hunters and landowners probably would agree that it would be irresponsible of TPW to propose a regulation that would have an adverse effect on antler quality. Protecting the bottom end of the herd (i.e., spikes and 3-pointers) would do just that. Therefore, we're considering a much more proactive approach to improve the age structure of the buck herd, while not compromising the quality of those bucks that reach maturity.
So why did the PGC implement ARs when they knew it would likely have an adverse effect on antler quality just like it did in Miss.


here is another interesting quote.

Many of the southeastern states have antler-point restrictions, where they protect they bottom end of the herd, and make the better quality yearlings vulnerable to harvest. For example, one state has a rule that protects all bucks that don't have at least 3 points on one antler. Therefore, the 6-point and 8-point yearlings are available for harvest, while the bucks with less antler potential (e.g., spikes) are protected. Another state has a 4-point rule, which protects all bucks with less than 4 points. These and other southeastern states are taking a hard look at their data, and questioning whether they should be continuing with such a harvest strategy. Most biologists agree that improving the age structure of a buck herd is beneficial; however, many southeastern biologists simply don't think that protecting only the poor-quality yearlings has been the best approach. We (TPWD) agree.

R.S.B. 02-08-2009 03:21 PM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 

ORIGINAL: bluebird2

Here is an interesting quote from the link.

While this is not a trophy-buck management strategy, most hunters and landowners probably would agree that it would be irresponsible of TPW to propose a regulation that would have an adverse effect on antler quality. Protecting the bottom end of the herd (i.e., spikes and 3-pointers) would do just that. Therefore, we're considering a much more proactive approach to improve the age structure of the buck herd, while not compromising the quality of those bucks that reach maturity.
So why did the PGC implement ARs when they knew it would likely have an adverse effect on antler quality just like it did in Miss.


here is another interesting quote.

Many of the southeastern states have antler-point restrictions, where they protect they bottom end of the herd, and make the better quality yearlings vulnerable to harvest. For example, one state has a rule that protects all bucks that don't have at least 3 points on one antler. Therefore, the 6-point and 8-point yearlings are available for harvest, while the bucks with less antler potential (e.g., spikes) are protected. Another state has a 4-point rule, which protects all bucks with less than 4 points. These and other southeastern states are taking a hard look at their data, and questioning whether they should be continuing with such a harvest strategy. Most biologists agree that improving the age structure of a buck herd is beneficial; however, many southeastern biologists simply don't think that protecting only the poor-quality yearlings has been the best approach. We (TPWD) agree.


There is one other very important point that makes all of the difference in the world between southern and northern states and there buck management objectives.

In the northern states we have a narrow breeding and fawn birth period as required by nature due to the timing of spring and winter conditions.
Therefore our deer are bred before our hunting seasons remove the bucks.
In the southern states the deer have a much longer breeding period with most of their does not being bred until after their buck hunting seasons.

That makes high grading from antler restrictions in those southern states much more likely then would occur from antler restrictions in the northern states where we don’t harvest our bucks until after they have already pretty much completed their short annual breeding cycle.

When you compare antler restrictions and breeding potential between northern and southern states you are compares apples to pumpkins right from the start.

R.S. Bodenhorn

bluebird2 02-08-2009 03:58 PM

RE: Antler Restrictions (What they found in TX)
 

hat makes high grading from antler restrictions in those southern states much more likely then would occur from antler restrictions in the northern states where we don’t harvest our bucks until after they have already pretty much completed their short annual breeding cycle
That is absolutely not true and shows that you don't understand the concept of high grading. The initial effects of high grading has nothing to do with when the buck are harvested or when the doe are bred. High grading simply refers to harvesting the best buck in each age class which results in an average smaller rack size in the succeeding age class. Kroll's research supports that theory as does the results from Miss.

When you compare antler restrictions and breeding potential between northern and southern states you are compares apples to pumpkins right from the star
Are you sure you know the difference between apples and pumpkins?:)



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