The Missouri Conservation Commission has more than doubled the number of counties included in the so-called “four-point rule” for deer hunters, and added a second, late youth portion to the firearms deer season. (more…)
Archive for the 'Antler Restrictions' Category
Will the Missouri Department of Conservation just-finished four-year pilot program of antler restrictions in 29 counties be junked or expanded to more areas of the state? Will timing of the firearms seasons be changed to move the antlerless portion into October, open the November portion the weekend before Thanksgiving and move the muzzleloader portion to late December?
MDC says hunter input online, in writing and at 16 meetings across the state will be weighed in determining changes in management of the state’s deer herd.
The pilot antler restriction program launched in 2004 in 29 counties required a buck to have a minimum of four points on one side to be legal. The intent was to shift harvest pressure from bucks to does, helping balance the male-female ratio and put more bucks in older age classes.
The department says the male-female balance makes managing the herd easier because fewer does need to be taken to affect the population size. Surveys have indicated many hunters want to see more bucks in the older age classes.
How did the program work? In the central Missouri counties involved, the doe harvest increased an average of 13 percent, but not in the 22 northern counties with high deer populations. Adult buck harvest increased by 20 percent.
The department says that based on hunter response and biological results from the pilot study, it will decide whether to expand antler restriction regulations to other counties or abandon it for the 2008 deer seasons.
The department believes it could help balance buck-doe ratios and produce more adult bucks by changing the season timing as outlined above beginning in 2009.
In 2007, the seasons were:
• Archery — Sept. 15-Jan. 15, excluding the November portion
• Urban counties — Oct. 5-8
• Youth — Oct. 27-28
• November — Nov. 10-20
• Antlerless — Dec. 8-16.
Remaining meetings are as follows:
• Feb. 4, Marshall High School Little Theater, 805 S. Miami Ave., Marshall
• Feb. 5 — Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 14-1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs
• Feb. 6 — State Fair Community College, 2503 W. 16th St., Sedalia
• Feb. 7 — St. George Catholic Church Basement, 611 E. Main, Linn
• Feb. 11 — West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St., West Plains
Comments can be registered online at www.mdc.mo.gov/16184 or sent in writing to Missouri Department of Conservation, Deer Management Considerations, 1110 S. College Ave., Columbia, MO 65201. The department asks you to state in which county you hunt most. whether you want the 4-point antler restriction in that county and whether you support the proposed season timing changes.
One of the most heated topics in Missouri – Quality Deer Management vs Traditional Deer Management
I thought I would pass this along in hopes that River Hill Traveler would help educate the public instead of telling the public what to think or what ever you think might help Missourians make an educated decision.
This is the last year of the experimental antler restriction and the MDC will evaluate the results and present these to Missourians at public meetings and on the web to get input on where MDC should go with it.
Thru the grapevine I am hearing talk about changes that were coming down the pipe for 2009 deer seasons.
It is doubtful that Antler Restriction will go state wide. This is in doubtful because some areas of Southeast Missouri are against it. (Example – http://www.riverhillstraveler.com/march-06-antler-point-restriction.php) You will have to scroll down to it.
Quote from the River Hills Traveler “One reason there is so much opposition to the idea is that most folks in this area think the deer population could stand to grow a little more, not shrink.”
Again opinion not fact, The deer population in Missouri stands at an all time high. Look at Wayne county Firearms season history, this year alone it was in the top 8 counties out of 118 in harvest. The last I checked Texas and Oregon County are in the Ozarks and are in the top 3 of harvest. How many deer do you want?
Did your article ever show that in the states with Antler Restriction that the harvest of deer actually went up all but the first year.
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 1996 = 1,706
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 1998 = 1,562
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 2000 = 1,634
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 2001 = 1,761
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 2003 = 1,537
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 2004 = 2,527
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 2005 = 2,117 (With 876 Bucks, 324 Button Bucks “1,200 Total Bucks” and 917 does)
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 2006 = 2,655 (With 1,341 Bucks, 369 Button Bucks “1,710 Total Bucks” and 945 does)
Wayne County Firearms Harvest 2007 = 3,103 (With 1,507, Bucks, 437 Button Bucks “1,944 Total Bucks” and 1,159 does)
Quote from the River Hills Traveler “A lot of hunters voluntarily limit their harvest to bucks even through deer of either sex may be taken.”
That is the problem and with proven by the harvest numbers, just in your county alone. What does this mean to the deer population and you? Well let’s take a look in areas that have been study, that has been TRADITIONAL DEER MANAGEMENT over the years.
DOES = 85% of the deer population
BUCKS 2 ∏ years old or less = 10% of the deer population.
BUCKS 2 ∏ years old to 4 ∏ years old = 5% of the deer population.
BUCKS 4 ∏ years old and up = 1% of the deer population.
Remember it takes around 3 ∏ years old before a Buck is even consider a mature whitetail. Also when a buck reaches 3 ∏ years of age with the correct nutrition the buck has reached 80% potential of its antler growth compared to a 1 ∏ year old only has 10% of its antler growth. If a buck reaches 4 ∏ years of age it has reached 90% of its potential antler growth. The traditional deer population is considered un-natural since does have been protected.
Quote from the River Hills Traveler “Generally, hunters would prefer to take an eight point deer over a four or six pointer.”
Then why are you showing only one side of the story. When a shift is made and does are no longer protected then the quality of the entire herd benefits but the bucks end up with the biggest benefit, because they get older.
Study’s that have what is called QUALITY DEER MANAGEMENT the population changes for the better.
DOES = 50% of the deer population
BUCKS 2 ∏ years old or less = 12.5 % of the deer population
BUCKS 2 ∏ years old to 4 ∏ years old = 25% of the deer population
BUCKS 4 ∏ years old and up = 12.5 % of the deer population
If you look at the numbers you have a 1 to 1 ratio between bucks and does and you can then see a visible rut and now have a more natural deer population.
Quote from the River Hills Traveler “Here, on the other hand, hunters either can’t see deer at considerable distances or find themselves too close at hand to have time for examining deer with optics. It is much more difficult to count points here.”
I believe you don’t give your reader’s much credit. I realize people think I am a redneck, but I can count up to four, I do own a optics and if the Bucks get that close to hunters in the Ozarks, then why do you need optics to count.
Quote from the River Hills Traveler “Does here tend to mature later than up north, producing fewer fawns over a life time. Taking an Ozark doe, therefore, has more impact on the deer population than it does up north.”
If this was a biological fact then I guess all the states like TEXAS and in the south would have fewer deer. Comments like this are opinion not fact. All Whitetail Does from Canada to Florida have to the chance to breed 2 to 3 times and doe fawns are able to breed within their first year.
Quote from the River Hills Traveler ”In the Ozarks, the other side of the coin is that in some areas, hunting pressure is so low that an antler restriction probably wouldn’t have the impact on the doe population that you might fear. (On the other hand it would have little impact on bucks, either.)”
I tell my kids if you don’t ever try, how will you know. Quality Deer Management is not about Big Antler Deer that is just a by product, it is about having a balanced age structure of mature bucks to does. How much research is out there, that you are basing you opinions on? I believe in common sense, well common sense is going to tell you that shooting the majority of 1 ∏ year old to 2 ∏ year olds you won’t have many 3 ∏ to 4 ∏ year olds. Will you. In Wayne County with 62% of the harvest are bucks and out of them 28% of them Button Bucks.
Does anyone know how many buck with LESS than 4 points one side was taken in the Ozarks. NO, and we will never know, because we are not in the study.
AS SOON AS WE PICKED UP A BOW OR GUN AND SET LAWS WE CHANGED NATURE AND STARTED MANAGING THE DEER HEARD. WE HAVE FOREVER CHANGED IT AND IN KNOW WAY NO MATTER WHAT WE DO CAN WE GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING WHEN IT WAS UNDER NATURALLY SELECTION.
In my humble opinion we owe it to the what ever the game to try to get it back to what nature intended. Since the wolf, cougar, bear no longer are the main predators we skew the deer herd to the most unnatural state in modern times as the main and responsible predator in controlling the natural section. Traditional deer management does not do this again in my opinion.
Here in a couple of weeks there will be a big effort from the MDC to get information out to the public.
As a writer it is our job to show people how to make a informed decision not to make the decision for them. With deer meetings across Missouri coming soon I hope that you might consider putting in the Newspaper a series of articles of information from states that have had it for years and compare that to Missouri
Here is the other side of the fence, that are not opinions but true data and FACT based on history, in which a typical hunter may never see. UNLESS WE SHOW THEM WHERE TO LOOK, then they can make up their own mind.
Arkansas – Has had antler restriction for years. – http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Sports/198342/
Pennsylvania – The Deer Hunting Capital of the world has so much data on their website – http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?a=465&q=151329
Michigan – Has a four year study – http://www.qdma.com/articles/details.asp?id=40
Texas – Part of the stated has just started it. – http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/game_management/deer/antler_restrictions/
New York – Is now getting ready to start. – http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html
Mississippi – Antler Restriction – http://www.whitetailinstitute.com/info/news/sept04/2.html
Georgia – Is where it all started. – http://georgiawildlife.dnr.state.ga.us/content/displaycontent.asp?txtDocument=262&txtPage=4
Louisiana- Antler Restriction – http://www.wlf.state.la.us/pdfs/hunting/programs/dmapnewlettev6i1.pdf