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ARs Without Herd Reduction

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ARs Without Herd Reduction

Old 04-07-2009, 02:25 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default ARs Without Herd Reduction

Missouri implement ARs in 2004 in a limited numbers of units, without intending to reduce the herd by 50%. While our buck harvest decreased by 40% from 2001 to 2008 , here are the results from Missouri.
Biologic al Effects
The Antler Point Restriction had little effect on the doe harvest in the northern counties, but in the central APR counties the doe harvest increased an average of 13 percent over the four-year study period.

The APR reduced the harvest of antlered deer in both the northern and central APR counties. The reduction ranged from 35 percent in 2004 to 14 percent in 2007 in the northern APR counties, and from 37 percent to 19 percent in the central APR counties. The reduction consisted mostly of yearling bucks, because the majority of bucks in this age class did not qualify as legal deer under the APR.

Harvest of adult bucks was slightly lower in the APR counties in 2004, but increased in all of the following years. By 2007, the number of adult bucks harvested in the northern APR counties increased by 55 percent, and in the central pilot counties by 62 percent. Because the number of adult bucks taken in the northern and central control counties also increased, the adjusted change was to 16 percent and 32 percent in the northern and central APR counties, respectively.

The increase in the number of adult bucks taken in the control counties might have been a result of an increasing number of hunters deciding not to shoot young bucks even though doing so was legal. We suspect the APR regulation might have prompted and accelerated this voluntarily restrictive harvest, producing higher adult buck harvests.

Total harvest declines in the northern APR counties ranged from 14 percent in 2004 to 8 percent in 2007, and from 3 percent in 2004 to no change in the central APR counties. Continuation of the APR likely will result in 5–10 percent fewer deer harvested annually in the northern APR counties and will have no effect in the central APR counties. That’s because the increased harvest of does and adult bucks in the northern counties did not offset the decrease in the yearling buck harvest, as it did in the southern counties.
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