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My Column This Week:
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Bowriter 10-Oct-18
Bowriter 10-Oct-18
HUNT MAN 10-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18
Bowriter 10-Oct-18
T Mac 10-Oct-18
stick n string 10-Oct-18
Inshart 10-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18
Bowriter 10-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18
Rut Nut 10-Oct-18
stick n string 10-Oct-18
grubby 10-Oct-18
stick n string 10-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18
wyobullshooter 10-Oct-18
Bou'bound 10-Oct-18
orionsbrother 10-Oct-18
Bowriter 10-Oct-18
wyobullshooter 10-Oct-18
PAbowhunter1064 10-Oct-18
stick n string 10-Oct-18
Rut Nut 10-Oct-18
wyobullshooter 10-Oct-18
stick n string 10-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18
Bowriter 11-Oct-18
Lever Action 11-Oct-18
12yards 11-Oct-18
Rut Nut 11-Oct-18
12yards 11-Oct-18
South Farm 11-Oct-18
Crusader dad 11-Oct-18
Bowriter 11-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 11-Oct-18
Boreal 11-Oct-18
Bowriter 11-Oct-18
Rut Nut 11-Oct-18
GF 11-Oct-18
wyobullshooter 11-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 11-Oct-18
wyobullshooter 11-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 11-Oct-18
stick n string 11-Oct-18
Lever Action 11-Oct-18
wyobullshooter 11-Oct-18
JL 11-Oct-18
Missouribreaks 11-Oct-18
Bill Obeid 11-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 11-Oct-18
stick n string 11-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 11-Oct-18
Bill Obeid 11-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 11-Oct-18
orionsbrother 11-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 12-Oct-18
Bowriter 12-Oct-18
Bowriter 12-Oct-18
Bowriter 12-Oct-18
PAbowhunter1064 12-Oct-18
Rut Nut 12-Oct-18
Rut Nut 12-Oct-18
stick n string 12-Oct-18
Jethro 12-Oct-18
Bowriter 12-Oct-18
Bowriter 12-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 12-Oct-18
JL 12-Oct-18
stick n string 12-Oct-18
12yards 12-Oct-18
Alaska at heart 12-Oct-18
Boreal 12-Oct-18
Rut Nut 12-Oct-18
JL 12-Oct-18
Bowriter 12-Oct-18
JL 12-Oct-18
stick n string 12-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 12-Oct-18
Trial153 12-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 12-Oct-18
Bowriter 13-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 13-Oct-18
Rut Nut 13-Oct-18
Rut Nut 13-Oct-18
Rut Nut 17-Oct-18
TXHunter 17-Oct-18
PAbowhunter1064 17-Oct-18
PAbowhunter1064 17-Oct-18
PAbowhunter1064 17-Oct-18
12yards 17-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 17-Oct-18
PAbowhunter1064 17-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 17-Oct-18
Rut Nut 17-Oct-18
12yards 17-Oct-18
Rut Nut 17-Oct-18
BIG BEAR 17-Oct-18
Rut Nut 17-Oct-18
12yards 18-Oct-18
Bowriter 18-Oct-18
Bou'bound 20-Oct-18
From: Bowriter
10-Oct-18

Bowriter's embedded Photo
Bowriter's embedded Photo
THE OTHER SIDE OF TROPHY HUNITNG.

All deer hunters and I suspect hunters of all big game, dream of killing a trophy animal. Include me in that statement. To some degree, that is a natural progression. Hunters and fishermen begin wanting to just kill something. From that they progress to wanting to kill a limit. The next step in this evolution is the desire to kill a trophy size animal. There is nothing wrong with that. But there is another side to trophy hunting, one that needs examination and consideration. A survey of non-hunters, not anti-hunters or hunters, just people who do not hunt, indicated that 88-percent of those surveyed were strongly opposed to the taking of animals for trophy purposes. At the same time, those same people had no problem with hunting for consumption. In other words, the non-hunters did not object to hunting if the game was eaten and the trophy aspect was not of paramount importance. Keep in mind it will be the non-hunting public that will decide the future of hunting. They compose the majority of voters. That is one consideration. But to better understand the whole situation, I feel we must examine the makeup of the hunting society in general and whitetail deer hunters in particular. First, let's go back several years. In the early days of modern sport hunting, back when the deer herd was just developing and to see a deer was of front page importance, hunting was by necessity, limited to bucks only. The does were protected to increase the numbers of animals. That was as it should be. Hunters who would kill a doe were poachers-fined and ostracized. That was as it should be. Youngsters were taught that a real hunter would not shoot a doe. That was as it should be.

The deer herd grew. Through sound management, deer populations increased. The killing of does became important in the sound management of the entire herd. This was now being taught to young hunters. But at the same time, as deer hunting grew in popularity and became not just a sport but an industry, I and my fellow outdoor writers began to do a disservice to the sport. Yes, I accept my portion of the blame.

Pick up any deer hunting magazine on the newsstand. Count the number of articles about hunting trophy bucks. How many articles are there about hunting or killing smaller bucks or does? I believe you'll notice a severe disparity. What has this overemphasis on trophy antlers done to deer hunting? It has spawned a group of young hunters who believe that unless they kill a "big buck", they are not good hunters. They want to emulate the television “Heroes” of the sport. They also believe that killing a doe is easy and in doing so they may ruin their chance to kill a big buck.

To begin with, should not the definition of trophy belong totally to the one doing the hunting? What is to become of the young man or woman, who upon their first hunt is faced with the opportunity to shoot a young, fat, six point buck but due to a misguided trophy factor, refuses to do so for fear of ridicule for shooting a "little buck"? How long will that youngster continue to hunt if he or she cannot shoot something? That young person is not yet at the stage where enjoyment of the hunt, not the kill, is the primary reason for being in the woods. That person, as it is with all young people just starting to hunt, wants to kill something. If, in a certain amount of time, they do not, they tend to give up the sport. Can we afford that?

We, all of us, must remember that to a young hunter, a small buck or even a doe, is a trophy. And that is just exactly as it should be. No organization or record book should decide for anyone what constitutes a trophy.

Lack of success breeds discontent and discontinuation. The hunter hit with the barrage of trophy deer hunting tips and stories becomes reluctant to shoot anything that will no impress his friends. He is led to believe that killing big, trophy deer is easy and he should be able to do it. But does he or she realize how small the number of really big bucks there are? The chances of killing one of these "trophy animals", is slim in most areas. So after a period of not killing anything, the hunter quits. We lose another one. Then of course, as I previously mentioned, there is the adverse public opinion by the non-hunters. That needs no explanation.

Am I against trophy hunting? NO. If the hunter accepts the responsibility that goes with trophy hunting, I am in favor of it. I applaud the hunter who passes up the small buck and takes a doe instead. I applaud the hunter who goes a year or two or three and kills only does, waiting for the big buck. And for the traveling hunter with several hundred dollars invested in an out of state hunt and only one tag, sure, wait for the big boy. But let us all strive to reach the maturity to say, "If there is to be a healthy deer herd and growing numbers of hunters then I must do my part." Let none of us decide what is a trophy animal for anyone other than ourselves. Let us all applaud the hunter with the doe in his truck or the spike in his truck for being a successful hunter. If we have passed up a dozen small bucks, let us keep that to ourselves. After all, we made that decision. It is only our business.

Won't you do your part?

Cutline:-Let him decide what a trophy is.

From: Bowriter
10-Oct-18
Anyone who may wish, is free to share this column so long as it is not for compensation and proper credit is given. It is under copyright.

From: HUNT MAN
10-Oct-18
Who does the credit need to go to?

From: BIG BEAR
10-Oct-18
I don’t agree with everything you wrote John..... I for one have never progressed or evolved to a point where I’m hunting for a big rack...........

A six point buck is a trophy to me...... as is a doe...........

Maybe you can influence hunters and deer managers even more as a writer to plea with them to stop trying to cram antler point restrictions down our throats.........

Or to make it legal again to shoot does with our bows in the Northern part of my state..... The gun hunters have lobbied to outlaw the harvest of does there during archery season.. and were successful.......

I talked to a deer biologist in my state and was told that the restrictions on no does is not biologically necessary.... rather politically motivated....

I do agree with your point.....”Let none of us decide for others what a trophy is”.....

From: Bowriter
10-Oct-18
Big Bear-The entire point restriction thing is not biologically sound and I do not agree with it. In most instances, it is more politically motivated than biologically. A group of "trophy" hunters want it, they lobby for it and it gets enacted. Biologically, it has no basis because sound biology does not consider antler size as important. As for the killing of does, again, that should be based on population and sex ratio. But, understand, most wildlife management is not done as purely as it should be. Any time, biology and politics meet, biology loses.

From: T Mac
10-Oct-18
My son is starting only his 3rd bow season and I have never told him not to shoot. He gets his tags and only he decides how he fills them.

10-Oct-18
Hunt, credit goes to the GOAT....

From: Inshart
10-Oct-18
You know it's funny that over the years I've invited quite a few "never killed a deer before" (hunters?) to hunt my property. Their first question (all of them!) "are there certain deer that you don't want me to shoot" (or something very similar to that). My answer is always "if it's bigger than a grey squirrel and looks like a deer you go ahead and take it".

I've also invited a few seasoned hunters who have killed many deer to hunt my property. "what kind of restrictions do you have?" I've told them basically the same thing, "None, you take what makes you happy."

I agree with Bowriter, the trophy is in the eye of the beholder.

From: BIG BEAR
10-Oct-18
So if you want to ruffle some feathers next week John.... write part 2 to your column........ “Down with antler point restrictions “.........

From: Bowriter
10-Oct-18
LOL-Way too late Big Bear, big writing columns against that for several years. BTW- Although it has been proposed on several occasions, we do not have AR's, here.

From: BIG BEAR
10-Oct-18
I wish that was the case up here John...... The QDM guys are pushing for even more areas of antler restrictions in the thumb of Michigan.......

Those guys want their trophy racks and they want to make it illegal for anyone to shoot a smaller buck in order to grow their trophy racks.......

From: Rut Nut
10-Oct-18
PA went to Antler Restrictions years ago and it was the best thing that ever happened to the deer herd. VERY biologically sound! Before AR's almost 90% of the buck kill were 1.5 y/o(that never got into the older age classes). Really messed up the age structure of the herd and breeding. It's been well documented over the years. So I think Gary Alt would take exception to your notion that "The entire point restriction thing is not biologically sound" ;-)

10-Oct-18
Whats so wrong with giving a buck a chance to make it beyond a year and a half?

From: grubby
10-Oct-18
I know a lot of "meat hunters" that don't hesitate to shoot a deer on private property from the road, that still have last years meat in the freezer, that just take the prime cuts. Guys who love to cut down anybody passing young bucks as ruining the sport. I hate the term "trophy hunter" like if you take the antlers home you don't take the meat.

10-Oct-18

stick n string's embedded Photo
stick n string's embedded Photo
So many great columns

From: BIG BEAR
10-Oct-18
Grubby.... you want to shoot big bucks..... cool. But the problem I have is guys wanting to mandate that I pass on smaller bucks....... I say give out one buck tag only in my state of Michigan..... and shoot whatever buck you want to.

10-Oct-18
I'm confused by a couple things. What is the responsibility that goes with trophy hunting that doesn't apply to any other type of hunting?

You say "Let none of us decide what is a trophy animal for anyone other than ourselves. Let us all applaud the hunter with the doe in his truck or the spike in his truck for being a successful hunter." Couldn't agree more. However you follow that with "If we have passed up a dozen small bucks, let us keep that to ourselves. After all, we made that decision. It is only our business." So what you're saying is those that shoot does and spikes should be applauded, but those that choose to shoot mature bucks should hide that fact like a dirty little secret? I don't get it.

From: Bou'bound
10-Oct-18
Pulitzer worthy. Well stated John!

10-Oct-18

orionsbrother's embedded Photo
orionsbrother's embedded Photo
Of course, there's nothing quite as loathsome as "Trophy Vegetarians" !!!!

All they care about is size !!!

From: Bowriter
10-Oct-18
Big Bear answered Grubby dead on. I have nothing at all against anyone passing up any buck. I do it all the time. But I am opposed to anyone telling anyone else, what to pass up.

10-Oct-18
Bowriter, again I agree 100%, but please answer these two questions if you're going to publish an article that will, in essence, represent all hunters.

1) What responsibility does a trophy hunter have that other hunter's do not? 2) Why should those that chose to shoot does and spikes be applauded, while those that chose to hold out for mature males of the species keep it to themselves?

A trophy can be defined as "anything taken in war, hunting, competition, etc, ..., as well as a symbol of success" . If that trophy is a doe or spike, great. If that trophy is a mature buck, great. Why should one be applauded, while the other shamed? I'll answer for you. Neither should feel ashamed, both should feel proud. Each one achieved their goal of killing a trophy as defined by them, which is exactly as it should be.

Intended or not, your article presents those that choose to hunt for mature animals in a less than desirable light.

10-Oct-18
Agree that antler restrictions is a good thing. I used to be a nay sayer on the matter, but cannot deny the results I'm seeing now. Been seeing older, larger rack deer in areas where a basket rack was the norm. I still see young bucks that don't meet the antler restrictions, but I have learned more about deer and their behaviors by watching them. In the past, I wouldn't have hesitated to drop the string on them, and fill my buck tag. PA issues each hunter ONE buck tag, so you better make sure you shoot the buck you want to attach it to. Agree that every deer taken is a trophy, but antler restrictions undoubtedly help to increase the age structure and maturity of the deer herd.

10-Oct-18
Dont say “mature” wyo, that isnt the word the anti’s use to make what we do seem terrible. I mean, even though mature IS the word that should be used to describe the deer a lot of us want to kill, trophy is a much better word to get their agenda across....

From: Rut Nut
10-Oct-18
From: Bowriter 10-Oct-18

Big Bear-The entire point restriction thing is not biologically sound and I do not agree with it.

How is it “not biologically sound”???

10-Oct-18
I understand what you're saying stick n sting, but I'm not addressing an anti. I'm addressing the person that hopefully isn't.

I know this is accepted as a deer thread, but Bowriter said it concerned bowhunters in general. Let me address this as those of us in general.

These days, I hunt elk exclusively. For the first many years, all I wanted was to kill any elk. Things change. Then all I wanted to kill was what is generally accepted as a big elk, and yes, I passed up many cows and small bulls. Does that make me any less of a hunter, or something I shouldn't talk about? Hell no. It just made my goal different.

These days, I still like to kill big elk. Just did. But I take other things into consideration as a higher priority . It wasn't that long ago, I didn't worry about getting that 800lb beast out of the woods. These days, at nearly 65, I do. I'd still prefer to kill the big boys, but if I see a smaller bull bull near a road, he's toast. Sure as hell doesn't make me any better than someone that chooses to hold out for a 350" bull, 180" WT, or whatever number you want to assign.

10-Oct-18
I am in full agreement wyo. For someone to be a “hunter” and use the same words as the anti’s, it doesnt do the majority of hunters ANY good

From: BIG BEAR
10-Oct-18
Thankfully I can opt out of antler restrictions in my area . If I buy a combo tag I can shoot 2 bucks with antler restrictions....

If I buy a single deer license good for any weapon.... I can shoot a spike........ So I buy a single license and hope to see a spike or better.....

The QDM guys want to outlaw that......

From: Bowriter
11-Oct-18

Bowriter's embedded Photo
Bowriter's embedded Photo
The next column I will post is about a Bra Tree. Maybe y'all can debate the pros and cons of why someone would put a bra, on a tree. I feel sure SchtickandSing has plenty negative comments to make about that. It gets debated around the pool, a lot. :)

From: Lever Action
11-Oct-18
I have heard/read this countless times over the last dozen years and (for me and those like me) it is a foreign concept. The brain washing of the masses (to follow trophy hunting) is a very real thing that only a handful of the population shared 40 years ago. I read articles 50 years ago, where trophy hunting was explained in much the same way. In those articles, the attempt was directed at people who either didn't understand the concept or were against it.

What you see today (in the deer hunting community) is a social construct that is fabricated and relentless backed by manufacturers of all things related. Marketing is what is what the majority have been chasing for the last few decades, as was intended.

When taking a position of what is right and what is wrong and how one acts/thinks in a realm of make believe, you are feed into the delusion. You are concerning yourself with something as fake as a soap opera and taking a stand on a wisp of fog. The only reason anyone follows a crowd is because they want to be included. When it is an empty following (without true desire that comes naturally from birth) enforcement is required to make one feel better about those choices. Typically, attacking anyone who does not also involve themselves (in the club) reinforces a sense of righteousness and brings peace to those sheep who do follow the Sheppard.

Proving out the fact that Trophy hunting is nothing more than a pushed agenda and it's followers are brain washed sheep is very simple. One only has to look back a short time in the past at the majority of the hunting public. Starting perhaps 60 years ago, you can read outdoor life/sports a field magazines and see very clearly, Trophy hunting was tip toed around, not spoken of or condemned. From that point and back to the beginning of time, trophy hunting had nothing to do with hunting because people were not of that mindset....Because it did not exist in the majority. The few people who were trophy hunters were very real in their desires and they were few. Those few were viewed (by the majority) as a bit off in the head. These are the facts.

Reading forward of that 60 year time mark, we can see the creep of the manufactures, who needed something to spur on spending. A mindset that would spend and do anything to spend. This has come to a head in this decade.

Just like any craze (pet rocks and pokemons) it will come to an end as people step back and see the insanity of it all. Seeing the woods inspire of the tree's as it were.

From: 12yards
11-Oct-18
So how many people did you interview for this article?

"What has this overemphasis on trophy antlers done to deer hunting? It has spawned a group of young hunters who believe that unless they kill a "big buck", they are not good hunters. They want to emulate the television “Heroes” of the sport. They also believe that killing a doe is easy and in doing so they may ruin their chance to kill a big buck."

How do you know this is true? Did you interview a bunch of young hunters?

Again, how do you know this is true? Did you do a survey?

"What is to become of the young man or woman, who upon their first hunt is faced with the opportunity to shoot a young, fat, six point buck but due to a misguided trophy factor, refuses to do so for fear of ridicule for shooting a "little buck"? How long will that youngster continue to hunt if he or she cannot shoot something? That young person is not yet at the stage where enjoyment of the hunt, not the kill, is the primary reason for being in the woods. That person, as it is with all young people just starting to hunt, wants to kill something. If, in a certain amount of time, they do not, they tend to give up the sport. Can we afford that?"

In SE MN where there are APR, young hunters can still shoot small bucks. APR doesn't apply to them.

You assume there will be a lack of success.

"Lack of success breeds discontent and discontinuation. The hunter hit with the barrage of trophy deer hunting tips and stories becomes reluctant to shoot anything that will no impress his friends. He is led to believe that killing big, trophy deer is easy and he should be able to do it. But does he or she realize how small the number of really big bucks there are? The chances of killing one of these "trophy animals", is slim in most areas. So after a period of not killing anything, the hunter quits. We lose another one. Then of course, as I previously mentioned, there is the adverse public opinion by the non-hunters. That needs no explanation."

In SE MN, when APR was first put into effect, the buck harvest dropped as would be expected. After a couple years, the buck harvest was right back to where it was previously. So the thought that opportunity will be decreased is a myth. Also, in areas where there are big bucks such as IA, IL, OH, MO, etc., is the non-hunting public outraged that hunters are shooting bigger bucks (trophies)? No, public against trophy hunting whitetails is also a myth.

Face it, you just don't like it. You don't like change. IMO nothing keeps a young kid more excited than seeing game. So healthy deer numbers is what will keep hunters hunting. Having more big deer will be icing on the cake and will lure even more hunters into the game.

From: Rut Nut
11-Oct-18

Rut Nut's Link
Thanks for the Private Message Bowriter................................

Bowriter: RutNut-yes, it will be great for a few years. However, I suggest you do a little research. AR's are not a new idea. They were first started in MS, many years ago. The antler restriction idea was spawned in MS. It came about because they had NO restrictions of any kind. It was not meant to increase the age or number of bucks. It was thought to be the cure-all. Now, in many of the WMA’s it has been discontinued and is now being viewed with skepticism. Same thing happened in AR. Long-term, it is proving to be a mistake. First couple years, it seems to be “the answer”. But long term, the opposite is true. You are killing the better bucks and rack sizes/body weights, over a ten-year study, are decreasing. In short, good genetics are being slowly, killed out.

Well, in PA we have had AR's for 16 years. Here is the research.(see link) Take special note where it talks about Biology: Genetic Impacts. In PA most of the buck kill is POST-Rut(during the firearms season)- thus the bucks are breeding BEFORE being shot, and thus ARE passing on their genetics. So it seems to be working quite nicely here.

From: 12yards
11-Oct-18
Great link Rut Nut! Pretty much supports my opinion and mirrors results seen in SE MN.

From: South Farm
11-Oct-18
"We, all of us, must remember that to a young hunter, a small buck or even a doe, is a trophy. And that is just exactly as it should be. No organization or record book should decide for anyone what constitutes a trophy."

I almost agree with you, but you need to remove the word "young" and insert "any". I've always hated the inference that only "young" hunters are given this pass, as if they're not up to the task of shooting a "trophy"...when in reality there's a lot of hunters, old and young, that could give two shits what the next guy thinks of what deer we shoot, including me. Likewise, I don't care what deer you shoot.

Also, I'm sure you know when you quote studies and surveys you're supposed to cite your sources..

From: Crusader dad
11-Oct-18
Thanks for posting rut nut. I am a firm believer that aprs benefit both the deer herd and overall hunter satisfaction. I like the idea that junior hunters are exempt from aprs.

From: Bowriter
11-Oct-18
Rut nut should have posted the rest of my message to him. The part where I mentioned the difficulty in getting state biologist to...never mind. That may have been a separate message to someone else.

Anyway, I'm sure y'all a right. My bad.

From: BIG BEAR
11-Oct-18
Funny..... The QDM guys don’t want to let go of their combo tags in Michigan that allows them to kill 2 bucks.......

Limit everyone to one buck all season and you would improve your ratio of big bucks simply because a lot of guys would pass on smaller bucks voluntarily......

Then guys like me who don’t give a rats ass about horns can kill that trophy delicious perfect eater size 4 pointer when it presents itself......

From: Boreal
11-Oct-18
I learned alot from that article :

1) A healthy deer herd is based on population alone and not on age structure or buck /doe ratio.

2) Despite what Federal and state governments claim, hunting license sales are increasing.

3) Tennessee apparently legalized smoking weed.

From: Bowriter
11-Oct-18
Boreal-if that is what you learned, you are a very intelligent man. Perhaps you should consider a life in politics.

From: Rut Nut
11-Oct-18
No problem guys- glad I could bring some hard facts to the discussion instead of just hear-say and/or opinion.

bowriter- you sent me 2 private messages actually, both kinda similar, but slightly different. I focused on what I could prove thru the research in the link I posted. You lost me with that stuff about the world renowned biologist friend that went from state to state to state during his career, and his opinions on AR's.................................................

From: GF
11-Oct-18
Getting back to the problem of public/non-hunter perception of Trophy hunting...

They're against it because they don't understand it. They think we're just a bunch of knuckleheads who get our rocks off killin' stuff and putting stuffed heads on the wall. But as Bowriter said, they tend to be OK with killing for consumption (can't exactly call it subsistence hunting these days now, can we??).

Honest to God - I have had a fair number of people ask me "So when you kill these deer... can you actually eat the meat?" These people are not idiots and they're not snowflakes or libtards or whatever insult you care to hurl at anyone who doesn't share your entire worldview; they simply have no concept of what it is that hunters DO out there in the woods because they've never had any exposure to it. Any notion they might have would come from one of the Camo infomercials, all of which feature a lot more fist-pumping, high-fiving and back-slapping than gutting, quartering and packing out meat. It's all about inches of bone on the wall, rather than food on the table.

APRs... JMO, any state with an above-target deer herd should go to a strict, 1-buck/year policy and enforce it vigorously. Anybody who wants a full freezer can shoot does.

If the number of 1.5 YO bucks is still high enough that the managers can't hit their age structure and sex ratio targets, then minimums might need to be imposed for a few years until the rank & file hunters learn to exercise a little voluntary restraint.

11-Oct-18
Lever Action, I couldn't disagree more. Your words are no better than an anti, IMO. As grubby points out, it's not like those that "trophy" hunt take the antlers and leave the meat behind. It's obvious you don't comprehend, but there are those that actually enjoy the added challenge of killing mature animals that have alluded other hunters for many years. Doesn't make them better or worse, just means their goals are different. Those that choose to do so enjoy the meat just as much as the next guy, but it's also pretty special to look at those antlers on the wall and relive the hunt.

As far as this "trophy hunting" being something new...BS. Look at antlers hanging on barns, porches, etc. They aren't spikes. I remember when American Sportsman first appeared back in the 60's. They actually showed kill shots. Once again, they certainly weren't showing kill shots on spikes. Don't remember any pics in Outdoor Life back in the 60's that showed pics of Jack O'Conner with a nanny. So please spare me the crap about "trophy hunting " only being a new phenomenon.

I hate to break it to you, but this isn't a craze. Guys have been enamored with "bigger" since the dawn of time. I don't know any normal guy that'll stop looking at a 36D walking by to turn their gaze to a 32A.

I agree there are those that "trophy hunt" for the wrong reason, just like there are those that do anything for the wrong reason. Doesn't mean someone should condemn the 99% for the 1% that are A-holes.

As has been said many times on this thread...shoot what YOU what to shoot, and to hell with those that disagree with what you shoot, as long as it's legal.

From: BIG BEAR
11-Oct-18
I have a one and a half year old spike in front of me....... and a one and a half year old 8 pointer...... For you APR guys....... I am going to shoot one of these deer...... Which one is better for me to shoot to improve the quality of bucks in the herd ?????

Please answer.

11-Oct-18
Big Bear, if you wait as long as I've been waiting for Bowriter to answer my two questions, you'll be waiting a long time. Just sayin'. ;-)

From: BIG BEAR
11-Oct-18
Next question..... Why is it that traditional archers have not bought in to the horn porn ??? Look over on the Leatherwall..... Each and every deer.... small or large.... buck or doe.... is celebrated there..... That’s the way it should be.

On this side of the Bowsite world..... I saw a guy reply that he sees no cause to celebrate the killing of a doe when someone posted their kill picture of a doe.

11-Oct-18
one person doesnt make a group of people something

From: Lever Action
11-Oct-18
wyobullshooter…. No better than an Anti? Really?!

OH MY! LMAO!

11-Oct-18
Lever...”really”? Yep, really. At least I expect it from an anti.

From: JL
11-Oct-18
For Rut Nut: That PGC link you posted is an old copy/paste article someone at the PGC pasted together. It has some factual errors and myths in it. The PGC has to claim APR's are a total success otherwise they will look incompetent. I have been following the PA APR thing for some time. I would suggest to anyone DO NOT use PA as the gold standard for APR success. The PGC does not always give you the full story on APR's and IMO hasn't done PA hunters any favors with their over harvest of does. Another IMO....any state that uses MAPR's and sells unlimited OTC antlered tags is counterproductive. It places too much pressure on the older age class bucks.

I'm not a fan of special interest groups (like QDMA) lobbying for social "trophy" regulations on others. I'm old school....a trophy (if there is such a thing) should be in the eye of the hunter and not by someone else's definition.

11-Oct-18
APR's should be a personal thing one does on their own private land. Leave everyone else alone to make their own choices. Mandatory APR's are government horn porn.... to hopefully sell more future licenses to horn porn seeking nonresidents.

From: Bill Obeid
11-Oct-18
APR’s were science based. Here in PA. We had an outstanding biologist ,Gary Alt. He implemented APR’s and increases in doe licenses. We had a ridiculous buck to doe ratio.... something like 1:15. 90% of our bucks were yearlings.

APR’s meant developing a healthy heard to Alt. It had nothing to do with more “trophies” to dole out to hunters. You need a healthy buck to doe ratio and you need a healthy age structure in the herd.

You don’t hire a plumber to put on a roof. And you shouldn’t hire a hunter to manage your deer herd.

Biologists should manage our herds. There’s science behind their decisions .

From: BIG BEAR
11-Oct-18
And you shouldn’t cram APRs down our throats because 51% of hunters want them so they can shoot bigger bucks.... Like you said...... hunters aren’t biologists.....

11-Oct-18
Goodness big bear, you’d think the AR was 140” or something. IF YOU NEED TO SHOOT A SPIKE THAT BAD, SHOOT A FRIGGIN DOE

From: BIG BEAR
11-Oct-18
I can’t....... and this whole subject is a thorn in my ass...... The damned DNR caved to the damned gun hunters who pushed to outlaw does in the U.P. Of Michigan where my property is. So now I am mandated by law to pass on does ..... That I could legally shoot 3 years ago. The Deer Biologist for the DNR said it was a BS politically motivated decision by the NRC. (Elected jerks who are not biologists but make all the laws).......

Then there’s the APRs....... The damned QDM guys want to dictate what buck we shoot......

I’m damned near ready to sell my land and quit deer hunting..... But for now I can still buy a single deer license and shoot a spike or better on my property..... So the first 3” horned buck I see is on my HIT LIST....... if I luck into a racked buck I’ll enjoy the meat and throw the freaking rack in the fire to show how little I give a damned about shooting a SHOOTER BUCK.............. Headed to my property at 7 AM tomorrow.......

From: Bill Obeid
11-Oct-18
Good luck tomorrow Bear. Hope you fill your freezer. Sounds like it’s not easy in the UP.

From: BIG BEAR
11-Oct-18
Bill...... Thanks.... I’m 52 and my whole bowhunting life my goal has always been to kill one deer a year..... a nice doe or any buck will work just fine for me. I sure as heck am not putting any noticeable dents into the deer herd......... now recently there’s folks from all sides of the table trying to dictate what deer I can legally shoot....... So they can perceive that they made the deer herd better to give them a better chance at their big shooter buck..... I’m going to quit ranting now and get back to packing so I can drive 6 hours to my place to pass on does...... Peace.

11-Oct-18
Good luck Chris. Enjoy all of it..

12-Oct-18
In all seriousness, AR’s are as stated by bowriter. Very unsuccessful in certain areas. Mississippi not being the only one of those. They’ve helped other states. But, they aren’t a catch all guarantee. And, also impact the demographics of hunting beyond the good and bad used as supporting examples of the side you favor.

Big Bear, I hate your situation man. When Horn management starts driving the bus, the long term loss in effect, is greater then the short term gain in hunting participation. Good luck. I hope your freezer buck is a good one. And, you got an open invitation to hunt here with me at anytime. You can shoot upto 8 deer.

I wish everyone here their best season. God Bless men.

From: Bowriter
12-Oct-18
HOME MY BOWSITE FEATURES My Column This Week: Whitetail Deer ADD TO FAVORITES Contributors to this thread: Bowriter10-Oct-18 Bowriter10-Oct-18 HUNT MAN10-Oct-18 BIG BEAR10-Oct-18 Bowriter10-Oct-18 T Mac10-Oct-18 stick n string10-Oct-18 Inshart10-Oct-18 BIG BEAR10-Oct-18 Bowriter10-Oct-18 BIG BEAR10-Oct-18 Rut Nut10-Oct-18 stick n string10-Oct-18 grubby10-Oct-18 stick n string10-Oct-18 BIG BEAR10-Oct-18 wyobullshooter10-Oct-18 Bou'bound10-Oct-18 orionsbrother10-Oct-18 Bowriter10-Oct-18 wyobullshooter10-Oct-18 PAbowhunter106410-Oct-18 stick n string10-Oct-18 Rut Nut10-Oct-18 wyobullshooter10-Oct-18 stick n string10-Oct-18 BIG BEAR10-Oct-18 Bowriter11-Oct-18 Lever Action11-Oct-18 12yards11-Oct-18 Rut Nut11-Oct-18 12yards11-Oct-18 South Farm11-Oct-18 Crusader dad11-Oct-18 Bowriter11-Oct-18 BIG BEAR11-Oct-18 Boreal11-Oct-18 Bowriter11-Oct-18 Rut Nut11-Oct-18 GF11-Oct-18 wyobullshooter11-Oct-18 BIG BEAR11-Oct-18 wyobullshooter11-Oct-18 BIG BEAR11-Oct-18 stick n string11-Oct-18 Lever Action11-Oct-18 wyobullshooter11-Oct-18 JL11-Oct-18 Missouribreaks11-Oct-18 Bill Obeid11-Oct-18 BIG BEAR11-Oct-18 stick n string11-Oct-18 BIG BEAR11-Oct-18 Bill Obeid11-Oct-18 BIG BEAR11-Oct-18 orionsbrother11-Oct-18 WV Mountaineer12-Oct-18 From: Bowriter 10-Oct-18Private Reply EDIT

Bowriter's embedded Photo THE OTHER SIDE OF TROPHY HUNITNG. All deer hunters and I suspect hunters of all big game, dream of killing a trophy animal. Include me in that statement. To some degree, that is a natural progression. Hunters and fishermen begin wanting to just kill something. From that they progress to wanting to kill a limit. The next step in this evolution is the desire to kill a trophy size animal. There is nothing wrong with that. But there is another side to trophy hunting, one that needs examination and consideration. A survey of non-hunters, not anti-hunters or hunters, just people who do not hunt, indicated that 88-percent of those surveyed were strongly opposed to the taking of animals for trophy purposes. At the same time, those same people had no problem with hunting for consumption. In other words, the non-hunters did not object to hunting if the game was eaten and the trophy aspect was not of paramount importance. Keep in mind it will be the non-hunting public that will decide the future of hunting. They compose the majority of voters. That is one consideration. But to better understand the whole situation, I feel we must examine the makeup of the hunting society in general and whitetail deer hunters in particular. First, let's go back several years. In the early days of modern sport hunting, back when the deer herd was just developing and to see a deer was of front page importance, hunting was by necessity, limited to bucks only. The does were protected to increase the numbers of animals. That was as it should be. Hunters who would kill a doe were poachers-fined and ostracized. That was as it should be. Youngsters were taught that a real hunter would not shoot a doe. That was as it should be.

The deer herd grew. Through sound management, deer populations increased. The killing of does became important in the sound management of the entire herd. This was now being taught to young hunters. But at the same time, as deer hunting grew in popularity and became not just a sport but an industry, I and my fellow outdoor writers began to do a disservice to the sport. Yes, I accept my portion of the blame.

Pick up any deer hunting magazine on the newsstand. Count the number of articles about hunting trophy bucks. How many articles are there about hunting or killing smaller bucks or does? I believe you'll notice a severe disparity. What has this overemphasis on trophy antlers done to deer hunting? It has spawned a group of young hunters who believe that unless they kill a "big buck", they are not good hunters. They want to emulate the television “Heroes” of the sport. They also believe that killing a doe is easy and in doing so they may ruin their chance to kill a big buck.

To begin with, should not the definition of trophy belong totally to the one doing the hunting? What is to become of the young man or woman, who upon their first hunt is faced with the opportunity to shoot a young, fat, six point buck but due to a misguided trophy factor, refuses to do so for fear of ridicule for shooting a "little buck"? How long will that youngster continue to hunt if he or she cannot shoot something? That young person is not yet at the stage where enjoyment of the hunt, not the kill, is the primary reason for being in the woods. That person, as it is with all young people just starting to hunt, wants to kill something. If, in a certain amount of time, they do not, they tend to give up the sport. Can we afford that?

We, all of us, must remember that to a young hunter, a small buck or even a doe, is a trophy. And that is just exactly as it should be. No organization or record book should decide for anyone what constitutes a trophy.

Lack of success breeds discontent and discontinuation. The hunter hit with the barrage of trophy deer hunting tips and stories becomes reluctant to shoot anything that will no impress his friends. He is led to believe that killing big, trophy deer is easy and he should be able to do it. But does he or she realize how small the number of really big bucks there are? The chances of killing one of these "trophy animals", is slim in most areas. So after a period of not killing anything, the hunter quits. We lose another one. Then of course, as I previously mentioned, there is the adverse public opinion by the non-hunters. That needs no explanation.

Am I against trophy hunting? NO. If the hunter accepts the responsibility that goes with trophy hunting, I am in favor of it. I applaud the hunter who passes up the small buck and takes a doe instead. I applaud the hunter who goes a year or two or three and kills only does, waiting for the big buck. And for the traveling hunter with several hundred dollars invested in an out of state hunt and only one tag, sure, wait for the big boy. But let us all strive to reach the maturity to say, "If there is to be a healthy deer herd and growing numbers of hunters then I must do my part." Let none of us decide what is a trophy animal for anyone other than ourselves. Let us all applaud the hunter with the doe in his truck or the spike in his truck for being a successful hunter. If we have passed up a dozen small bucks, let us keep that to ourselves. After all, we made that decision. It is only our business.

Won't you do your part?

Cutline:-Let him decide what a trophy is.

From: Bowriter 10-Oct-18Private Reply EDIT Anyone who may wish, is free to share this column so long as it is not for compensation and proper credit is given. It is under copyright. From: HUNT MAN 10-Oct-18Private Reply Who does the credit need to go to? From: BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18Private Reply I don’t agree with everything you wrote John..... I for one have never progressed or evolved to a point where I’m hunting for a big rack........... A six point buck is a trophy to me...... as is a doe...........

Maybe you can influence hunters and deer managers even more as a writer to plea with them to stop trying to cram antler point restrictions down our throats.........

Or to make it legal again to shoot does with our bows in the Northern part of my state..... The gun hunters have lobbied to outlaw the harvest of does there during archery season.. and were successful.......

I talked to a deer biologist in my state and was told that the restrictions on no does is not biologically necessary.... rather politically motivated....

I do agree with your point.....”Let none of us decide for others what a trophy is”.....

From: Bowriter 10-Oct-18Private Reply EDIT Big Bear-The entire point restriction thing is not biologically sound and I do not agree with it. In most instances, it is more politically motivated than biologically. A group of "trophy" hunters want it, they lobby for it and it gets enacted. Biologically, it has no basis because sound biology does not consider antler size as important. As for the killing of does, again, that should be based on population and sex ratio. But, understand, most wildlife management is not done as purely as it should be. Any time, biology and politics meet, biology loses. From: T Mac 10-Oct-18Private Reply My son is starting only his 3rd bow season and I have never told him not to shoot. He gets his tags and only he decides how he fills them. From: stick n string 10-Oct-18Private Reply Hunt, credit goes to the GOAT.... From: Inshart 10-Oct-18Private Reply You know it's funny that over the years I've invited quite a few "never killed a deer before" (hunters?) to hunt my property. Their first question (all of them!) "are there certain deer that you don't want me to shoot" (or something very similar to that). My answer is always "if it's bigger than a grey squirrel and looks like a deer you go ahead and take it". I've also invited a few seasoned hunters who have killed many deer to hunt my property. "what kind of restrictions do you have?" I've told them basically the same thing, "None, you take what makes you happy."

I agree with Bowriter, the trophy is in the eye of the beholder.

From: BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18Private Reply So if you want to ruffle some feathers next week John.... write part 2 to your column........ “Down with antler point restrictions “......... From: Bowriter 10-Oct-18Private Reply EDIT LOL-Way too late Big Bear, big writing columns against that for several years. BTW- Although it has been proposed on several occasions, we do not have AR's, here. From: BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18Private Reply I wish that was the case up here John...... The QDM guys are pushing for even more areas of antler restrictions in the thumb of Michigan....... Those guys want their trophy racks and they want to make it illegal for anyone to shoot a smaller buck in order to grow their trophy racks.......

From: Rut Nut 10-Oct-18Private Reply PA went to Antler Restrictions years ago and it was the best thing that ever happened to the deer herd. VERY biologically sound! Before AR's almost 90% of the buck kill were 1.5 y/o(that never got into the older age classes). Really messed up the age structure of the herd and breeding. It's been well documented over the years. So I think Gary Alt would take exception to your notion that "The entire point restriction thing is not biologically sound" ;-) From: stick n string 10-Oct-18Private Reply Whats so wrong with giving a buck a chance to make it beyond a year and a half? From: grubby 10-Oct-18Private Reply I know a lot of "meat hunters" that don't hesitate to shoot a deer on private property from the road, that still have last years meat in the freezer, that just take the prime cuts. Guys who love to cut down anybody passing young bucks as ruining the sport. I hate the term "trophy hunter" like if you take the antlers home you don't take the meat. From: stick n string 10-Oct-18Private Reply stick n string's embedded Photo So many great columns From: BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18Private Reply Grubby.... you want to shoot big bucks..... cool. But the problem I have is guys wanting to mandate that I pass on smaller bucks....... I say give out one buck tag only in my state of Michigan..... and shoot whatever buck you want to. From: wyobullshooter 10-Oct-18Private Reply I'm confused by a couple things. What is the responsibility that goes with trophy hunting that doesn't apply to any other type of hunting? You say "Let none of us decide what is a trophy animal for anyone other than ourselves. Let us all applaud the hunter with the doe in his truck or the spike in his truck for being a successful hunter." Couldn't agree more. However you follow that with "If we have passed up a dozen small bucks, let us keep that to ourselves. After all, we made that decision. It is only our business." So what you're saying is those that shoot does and spikes should be applauded, but those that choose to shoot mature bucks should hide that fact like a dirty little secret? I don't get it.

From: Bou'bound 10-Oct-18Private Reply Pulitzer worthy. Well stated John! From: orionsbrother 10-Oct-18Private Reply orionsbrother's embedded Photo Of course, there's nothing quite as loathsome as "Trophy Vegetarians" !!!! All they care about is size !!!

From: Bowriter 10-Oct-18Private Reply EDIT Big Bear answered Grubby dead on. I have nothing at all against anyone passing up any buck. I do it all the time. But I am opposed to anyone telling anyone else, what to pass up. From: wyobullshooter 10-Oct-18Private Reply Bowriter, again I agree 100%, but please answer these two questions if you're going to publish an article that will, in essence, represent all hunters. 1) What responsibility does a trophy hunter have that other hunter's do not? 2) Why should those that chose to shoot does and spikes be applauded, while those that chose to hold out for mature males of the species keep it to themselves?

A trophy can be defined as "anything taken in war, hunting, competition, etc, ..., as well as a symbol of success" . If that trophy is a doe or spike, great. If that trophy is a mature buck, great. Why should one be applauded, while the other shamed? I'll answer for you. Neither should feel ashamed, both should feel proud. Each one achieved their goal of killing a trophy as defined by them, which is exactly as it should be.

Intended or not, your article presents those that choose to hunt for mature animals in a less than desirable light.

From: PAbowhunter1064 10-Oct-18Private Reply Agree that antler restrictions is a good thing. I used to be a nay sayer on the matter, but cannot deny the results I'm seeing now. Been seeing older, larger rack deer in areas where a basket rack was the norm. I still see young bucks that don't meet the antler restrictions, but I have learned more about deer and their behaviors by watching them. In the past, I wouldn't have hesitated to drop the string on them, and fill my buck tag. PA issues each hunter ONE buck tag, so you better make sure you shoot the buck you want to attach it to. Agree that every deer taken is a trophy, but antler restrictions undoubtedly help to increase the age structure and maturity of the deer herd. From: stick n string 10-Oct-18Private Reply Dont say “mature” wyo, that isnt the word the anti’s use to make what we do seem terrible. I mean, even though mature IS the word that should be used to describe the deer a lot of us want to kill, trophy is a much better word to get their agenda across.... From: Rut Nut 10-Oct-18Private Reply From: Bowriter 10-Oct-18 Big Bear-The entire point restriction thing is not biologically sound and I do not agree with it.

How is it “not biologically sound”???

From: wyobullshooter 10-Oct-18Private Reply I understand what you're saying stick n sting, but I'm not addressing an anti. I'm addressing the person that hopefully isn't. I know this is accepted as a deer thread, but Bowriter said it concerned bowhunters in general. Let me address this as those of us in general.

These days, I hunt elk exclusively. For the first many years, all I wanted was to kill any elk. Things change. Then all I wanted to kill was what is generally accepted as a big elk, and yes, I passed up many cows and small bulls. Does that make me any less of a hunter, or something I shouldn't talk about? Hell no. It just made my goal different.

These days, I still like to kill big elk. Just did. But I take other things into consideration as a higher priority . It wasn't that long ago, I didn't worry about getting that 800lb beast out of the woods. These days, at nearly 65, I do. I'd still prefer to kill the big boys, but if I see a smaller bull bull near a road, he's toast. Sure as hell doesn't make me any better than someone that chooses to hold out for a 350" bull, 180" WT, or whatever number you want to assign.

From: stick n string 10-Oct-18Private Reply I am in full agreement wyo. For someone to be a “hunter” and use the same words as the anti’s, it doesnt do the majority of hunters ANY good From: BIG BEAR 10-Oct-18Private Reply Thankfully I can opt out of antler restrictions in my area . If I buy a combo tag I can shoot 2 bucks with antler restrictions.... If I buy a single deer license good for any weapon.... I can shoot a spike........ So I buy a single license and hope to see a spike or better.....

The QDM guys want to outlaw that......

From: Bowriter 11-Oct-18Private Reply EDIT

Bowriter's embedded Photo The next column I will post is about a Bra Tree. Maybe y'all can debate the pros and cons of why someone would put a bra, on a tree. I feel sure SchtickandSing has plenty negative comments to make about that. It gets debated around the pool, a lot. :) From: Lever Action 11-Oct-18Private Reply I have heard/read this countless times over the last dozen years and (for me and those like me) it is a foreign concept. The brain washing of the masses (to follow trophy hunting) is a very real thing that only a handful of the population shared 40 years ago. I read articles 50 years ago, where trophy hunting was explained in much the same way. In those articles, the attempt was directed at people who either didn't understand the concept or were against it. What you see today (in the deer hunting community) is a social construct that is fabricated and relentless backed by manufacturers of all things related. Marketing is what is what the majority have been chasing for the last few decades, as was intended.

When taking a position of what is right and what is wrong and how one acts/thinks in a realm of make believe, you are feed into the delusion. You are concerning yourself with something as fake as a soap opera and taking a stand on a wisp of fog. The only reason anyone follows a crowd is because they want to be included. When it is an empty following (without true desire that comes naturally from birth) enforcement is required to make one feel better about those choices. Typically, attacking anyone who does not also involve themselves (in the club) reinforces a sense of righteousness and brings peace to those sheep who do follow the Sheppard.

Proving out the fact that Trophy hunting is nothing more than a pushed agenda and it's followers are brain washed sheep is very simple. One only has to look back a short time in the past at the majority of the hunting public. Starting perhaps 60 years ago, you can read outdoor life/sports a field magazines and see very clearly, Trophy hunting was tip toed around, not spoken of or condemned. From that point and back to the beginning of time, trophy hunting had nothing to do with hunting because people were not of that mindset....Because it did not exist in the majority. The few people who were trophy hunters were very real in their desires and they were few. Those few were viewed (by the majority) as a bit off in the head. These are the facts.

Reading forward of that 60 year time mark, we can see the creep of the manufactures, who needed something to spur on spending. A mindset that would spend and do anything to spend. This has come to a head in this decade.

Just like any craze (pet rocks and pokemons) it will come to an end as people step back and see the insanity of it all. Seeing the woods inspire of the tree's as it were.

From: 12yards 11-Oct-18Private Reply So how many people did you interview for this article? "What has this overemphasis on trophy antlers done to deer hunting? It has spawned a group of young hunters who believe that unless they kill a "big buck", they are not good hunters. They want to emulate the television “Heroes” of the sport. They also believe that killing a doe is easy and in doing so they may ruin their chance to kill a big buck."

How do you know this is true? Did you interview a bunch of young hunters?

Again, how do you know this is true? Did you do a survey?

"What is to become of the young man or woman, who upon their first hunt is faced with the opportunity to shoot a young, fat, six point buck but due to a misguided trophy factor, refuses to do so for fear of ridicule for shooting a "little buck"? How long will that youngster continue to hunt if he or she cannot shoot something? That young person is not yet at the stage where enjoyment of the hunt, not the kill, is the primary reason for being in the woods. That person, as it is with all young people just starting to hunt, wants to kill something. If, in a certain amount of time, they do not, they tend to give up the sport. Can we afford that?"

In SE MN where there are APR, young hunters can still shoot small bucks. APR doesn't apply to them.

You assume there will be a lack of success.

"Lack of success breeds discontent and discontinuation. The hunter hit with the barrage of trophy deer hunting tips and stories becomes reluctant to shoot anything that will no impress his friends. He is led to believe that killing big, trophy deer is easy and he should be able to do it. But does he or she realize how small the number of really big bucks there are? The chances of killing one of these "trophy animals", is slim in most areas. So after a period of not killing anything, the hunter quits. We lose another one. Then of course, as I previously mentioned, there is the adverse public opinion by the non-hunters. That needs no explanation."

In SE MN, when APR was first put into effect, the buck harvest dropped as would be expected. After a couple years, the buck harvest was right back to where it was previously. So the thought that opportunity will be decreased is a myth. Also, in areas where there are big bucks such as IA, IL, OH, MO, etc., is the non-hunting public outraged that hunters are shooting bigger bucks (trophies)? No, public against trophy hunting whitetails is also a myth.

Face it, you just don't like it. You don't like change. IMO nothing keeps a young kid more excited than seeing game. So healthy deer numbers is what will keep hunters hunting. Having more big deer will be icing on the cake and will lure even more hunters into the game.

From: Rut Nut 11-Oct-18Private Reply RUT NUT'S LINK Thanks for the Private Message Bowriter................................ Bowriter: RutNut-yes, it will be great for a few years. However, I suggest you do a little research. AR's are not a new idea. They were first started in MS, many years ago. The antler restriction idea was spawned in MS. It came about because they had NO restrictions of any kind. It was not meant to increase the age or number of bucks. It was thought to be the cure-all. Now, in many of the WMA’s it has been discontinued and is now being viewed with skepticism. Same thing happened in AR. Long-term, it is proving to be a mistake. First couple years, it seems to be “the answer”. But long term, the opposite is true. You are killing the better bucks and rack sizes/body weights, over a ten-year study, are decreasing. In short, good genetics are being slowly, killed out.

Well, in PA we have had AR's for 16 years. Here is the research.(see link) Take special note where it talks about Biology: Genetic Impacts. In PA most of the buck kill is POST-Rut(during the firearms season)- thus the bucks are breeding BEFORE being shot, and thus ARE passing on their genetics. So it seems to be working quite nicely here.

From: 12yards 11-Oct-18Private Reply Great link Rut Nut! Pretty much supports my opinion and mirrors results seen in SE MN. From: South Farm 11-Oct-18Private Reply "We, all of us, must remember that to a young hunter, a small buck or even a doe, is a trophy. And that is just exactly as it should be. No organization or record book should decide for anyone what constitutes a trophy." I almost agree with you, but you need to remove the word "young" and insert "any". I've always hated the inference that only "young" hunters are given this pass, as if they're not up to the task of shooting a "trophy"...when in reality there's a lot of hunters, old and young, that could give two shits what the next guy thinks of what deer we shoot, including me. Likewise, I don't care what deer you shoot.

Also, I'm sure you know when you quote studies and surveys you're supposed to cite your sources..

From: Crusader dad 11-Oct-18Private Reply Thanks for posting rut nut. I am a firm believer that aprs benefit both the deer herd and overall hunter satisfaction. I like the idea that junior hunters are exempt from aprs. From: Bowriter 11-Oct-18Private Reply EDIT Rut nut should have posted the rest of my message to him. The part where I mentioned the difficulty in getting state biologist to...never mind. That may have been a separate message to someone else. Anyway, I'm sure y'all a right. My bad.

From: BIG BEAR 11-Oct-18Private Reply Funny..... The QDM guys don’t want to let go of their combo tags in Michigan that allows them to kill 2 bucks....... Limit everyone to one buck all season and you would improve your ratio of big bucks simply because a lot of guys would pass on smaller bucks voluntarily......

Then guys like me who don’t give a rats ass about horns can kill that trophy delicious perfect eater size 4 pointer when it presents itself......

From: Boreal 11-Oct-18Private Reply I learned alot from that article : 1) A healthy deer herd is based on population alone and not on age structure or buck /doe ratio.

2) Despite what Federal and state governments claim, hunting license sales are increasing.

3) Tennessee apparently legalized smoking weed.

From: Bowriter 11-Oct-18Private Reply EDIT Boreal-if that is what you learned, you are a very intelligent man. Perhaps you should consider a life in politics. From: Rut Nut 11-Oct-18Private Reply No problem guys- glad I could bring some hard facts to the discussion instead of just hear-say and/or opinion. bowriter- you sent me 2 private messages actually, both kinda similar, but slightly different. I focused on what I could prove thru the research in the link I posted. You lost me with that stuff about the world renowned biologist friend that went from state to state to state during his career, and his opinions on AR's.................................................

From: GF 11-Oct-18Private Reply Getting back to the problem of public/non-hunter perception of Trophy hunting... They're against it because they don't understand it. They think we're just a bunch of knuckleheads who get our rocks off killin' stuff and putting stuffed heads on the wall. But as Bowriter said, they tend to be OK with killing for consumption (can't exactly call it subsistence hunting these days now, can we??).

Honest to God - I have had a fair number of people ask me "So when you kill these deer... can you actually eat the meat?" These people are not idiots and they're not snowflakes or libtards or whatever insult you care to hurl at anyone who doesn't share your entire worldview; they simply have no concept of what it is that hunters DO out there in the woods because they've never had any exposure to it. Any notion they might have would come from one of the Camo infomercials, all of which feature a lot more fist-pumping, high-fiving and back-slapping than gutting, quartering and packing out meat. It's all about inches of bone on the wall, rather than food on the table.

APRs... JMO, any state with an above-target deer herd should go to a strict, 1-buck/year policy and enforce it vigorously. Anybody who wants a full freezer can shoot does.

If the number of 1.5 YO bucks is still high enough that the managers can't hit their age structure and sex ratio targets, then minimums might need to be imposed for a few years until the rank & file hunters learn to exercise a little voluntary restraint.

From: wyobullshooter 11-Oct-18Private Reply Lever Action, I couldn't disagree more. Your words are no better than an anti, IMO. As grubby points out, it's not like those that "trophy" hunt take the antlers and leave the meat behind. It's obvious you don't comprehend, but there are those that actually enjoy the added challenge of killing mature animals that have alluded other hunters for many years. Doesn't make them better or worse, just means their goals are different. Those that choose to do so enjoy the meat just as much as the next guy, but it's also pretty special to look at those antlers on the wall and relive the hunt. As far as this "trophy hunting" being something new...BS. Look at antlers hanging on barns, porches, etc. They aren't spikes. I remember when American Sportsman first appeared back in the 60's. They actually showed kill shots. Once again, they certainly weren't showing kill shots on spikes. Don't remember any pics in Outdoor Life back in the 60's that showed pics of Jack O'Conner with a nanny. So please spare me the crap about "trophy hunting " only being a new phenomenon.

I hate to break it to you, but this isn't a craze. Guys have been enamored with "bigger" since the dawn of time. I don't know any normal guy that'll stop looking at a 36D walking by to turn their gaze to a 32A.

I agree there are those that "trophy hunt" for the wrong reason, just like there are those that do anything for the wrong reason. Doesn't mean someone should condemn the 99% for the 1% that are A-holes.

As has been said many times on this thread...shoot what YOU what to shoot, and to hell .

From: wyobullshooter 11-Oct-18Private Reply Big Bear, if you wait as long as I've been waiting for Bowriter to answer my two questions, you'll be waiting a long time. Just sayin'. ;-

I'm sorry, what were your questions? I could not find them. Ask again. I'm hunting this morning but will sure answer them when I get back.

From: Bowriter
12-Oct-18
"I'm confused by a couple things. What is the responsibility that goes with trophy hunting that doesn't apply to any other type of hunting?" This question was asked by wyobullshooter. This is the only question I could find from him.

#1- First is the responsibility to keep his personal hunting philosophy to himself and not impose it on others. He must recognize that all hunters are not overly concerned with antlers. #2- Second is his responsibility to insure that hunting does not become a sport in which the entry-level hunter is not discouraged by an unrealistic goal such as one the "trophy" hunter may set. #3- Next is the responsibility to recognize the damage the "impression of trophy hunting" does in the eyes of the non-hunter. When hunters are portrayed as being concerned only with one, genetic trait-antlers, we lose the respect of the non-hunter-the majority of voters. 4- Finally, there is that responsibility of sound management. As habitat shrinks, herd population numbers must controlled. That is done, not by an antler restriction, but by killing does. The "Trophy" hunter will, if he is to do his part, not just wait for the monster buck. He will kill, when legal, a doe or two.

This column was not about the good or bad of trophy hunting. As I clearly stated, I am not opposed to trophy hunting. I have, as I said, killed my share. This is about the rest of the responsibility and it is not just for "Trophy" hunters. It is for all hunters.

As so often happens, a percentage of readers get only what they want from any writing. They don't actually read and comprehend. Their main goal seems to be to find fault. Some did not even understand the title, "The Other Side of Trophy Hunting." They did and do not even understand, THE OTHER SIDE. Many do not understand, this is a newspaper column designed to reach the hunters in a particular geographic portion of one state. In that portion, hunters are allowed to kill three does per day for over 100-days. There is a reason for that. It is a management tool. We have, in this area, too many deer. For that reason, it is important to encourage all hunters to do their part-accept the responsibility, if you will, and shoot a doe or two, not just be concerned with antlers. Happily, some did get it. Most in this area, did. This column, best I can determine, has been shared on seven other web sites or "pages", so far. Now-as for antler restrictions. I have addressed that on other occasions on this site and quite frankly, am too lazy to do it again. I have noticed, others have already done that. I will simply say this: Any measure that deals only with one biological or genetic trait is not sound management. When you only consider antlers, unless you have penned deer, it is a biological mistake. Why? Simply because antlers are not a sign of good genetics or dominance. When you impose an AR, in the guise of advancing deer one age class, all you do is over time, kill out the good antler genes. Instead of killing them at 1.5-years of age, you kill them at 2.5 years and in the process, kill the very best 1.5-year old deer, (high-grading.) If you want to advance your buck age class and have more bucks in the woods, you restrict the killing of all bucks and increase the killing of does. You do not TARGET the best bucks, in terms of antlers. One of the biggest problems is getting a state employed biologist to tell the truth about AR's. Most are in fear of losing their jobs and some have. One of the best, maybe the best, that I know, rather than "doctor" a report to show false results, quit and went to work for the Feds. Others were forced into retirement. As for Gary Alt-he was one of the good ones...a very good one. Now, I am going doe hunting. Y'all argue and detract to your hearts content.

From: Bowriter
12-Oct-18
Just had to. I missed this: "Dont say “mature” wyo, that isnt the word the anti’s use to make what we do seem terrible. I mean, even though mature IS the word that should be used to describe the deer a lot of us want to kill, trophy is a much better word to get their agenda across...." From Stick and String.

For once, he is right. Mature is the word that should be used. Now, if the goal of a "Trophy" hunter, is to kill a mature deer, why target only bucks. if age is the mark of a trophy, why are antlers the gauge used to classify them? Why is a Mature buck prized more than a Mature doe? In my opinion, where does are pressured as much as bucks, (the land I hunt,) a 5.5-year old doe is every bit as hard to kill as a buck of the same age. Back in 1984, when I wrote "The Trophy Doe", published in Bow and Arrow Magazine, they wanted to lynch me. So, S&S, maybe you can explain that mystery. Why is a 5.5-year old buck more prized than a 5.5-year old doe?

12-Oct-18
"Now, if the goal of a "Trophy" hunter, is to kill a mature deer, why target only bucks." - Bowriter

Great point, John. I'll gladly pass on every yearling doe, fawn with faded spots, and (although not legal in PA for non-youth or senior hunters), every spike or small forkhorn I see. Why? Well, I consider myself the FURTHEST thing from a "trophy" hunter, and I don't pride myself on shooting young, immature, mostly inexperienced, deer. I know some guys well into their 40's and 50's who just have to kill something, that enter the woods with the "brown it's down" mentality. I like to think that I've matured as a person and a bowhunter, that I can restrain myself from sticking an arrow through the first thing that happens to walk by me. I've spent countless hours and seasons without filling my tags, because all the deer I could've shot didn't meet the APR. I would've gladly shot that 5.5 year old doe had she entered one of my shooting lanes. In those unfilled tag years, I learned way more about deer and their behaviors, because I had the chance to watch and observe....not just kill.

"Every deer is a trophy."...those are the words my father told me when I got my first deer, a small doe. I am still a firm believer in that, but I also feel that as we age and mature, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. I won't speak for others, but I've never seen a 5.5 year old spike or forkhorn. Agree that antlers are not the only gauge of a deers maturity or age, but anyone here on this forum should be able to tell the difference between a 1.5 year old buck and a 3.5 year old buck.

I'm not here to change anyone's mind or opinions... happiness is in the eye of the beholder. I have an old monarch doe who keeps coming in to my stand, knowing something isn't quite right....damn near picked me out of the tree last Saturday, right before I put a Rage through the biggest buck I've ever killed. I'll be in that tree again this evening, hoping to meet up with her. I'll post a trophy pic of her for ya, John.

From: Rut Nut
12-Oct-18
From: Bill Obeid

11-Oct-18

APR’s were science based. Here in PA. We had an outstanding biologist ,Gary Alt. He implemented APR’s and increases in doe licenses. We had a ridiculous buck to doe ratio.... something like 1:15. 90% of our bucks were yearlings. APR’s meant developing a healthy heard to Alt. It had nothing to do with more “trophies” to dole out to hunters. You need a healthy buck to doe ratio and you need a healthy age structure in the herd.

AMEN Bill! In my area of the Poconos 20 years ago you would see on avg 15 deer a day. 14 doe and 1 spike or forkhorn buck. It was ridiculous. You would be lucky to see 1 or 2 six points or better in an entire season. Now we see less deer, but you see way more mature, healthy older bucks(6 pt or better) in a season.

From: Rut Nut
12-Oct-18
From: JL

11-Oct-18

For Rut Nut: That PGC link you posted is an old copy/paste article someone at the PGC pasted together. It has some factual errors and myths in it. The PGC has to claim APR's are a total success otherwise they will look incompetent. I have been following the PA APR thing for some time. I would suggest to anyone DO NOT use PA as the gold standard for APR success. The PGC does not always give you the full story on APR's and IMO hasn't done PA hunters any favors with their over harvest of does. Another IMO....any state that uses MAPR's and sells unlimited OTC antlered tags is counterproductive. It places too much pressure on the older age class bucks. I'm not a fan of special interest groups (like QDMA) lobbying for social "trophy" regulations on others. I'm old school....a trophy (if there is such a thing) should be in the eye of the hunter and not by someone else's definition.

JL- how does someone from Michigan know so much about the inner workings of the PA Game Commission? And would you care to elaborate on your claim of "errors and "myths" in that PGC link?

12-Oct-18
I fully believe that a 5-1/2 yr old doe is harder to kill than a mature buck(especially after about mid october) and therefore is a bigger challenge. Why ppl dont target them? My guess is there are so many more doe than buck and GENERALLY you have many more doe tags than buck tags, that any doe that is over 1 year old is an opportunity to put meat in the freezer that you dont want to pass up. I can guarantee you though, there are plenty of ppl that would be super proud in fooling a cagey old doe, i’m one.

You argue that the readers dont “realize” that what you wrote is aimed at a specific region or group of people and that they dont understand what you are writing, they just want to find fault. Well, A) you didnt specify this column was only for a small group of people, not for the majority of you here that i am presenting this to....B) on the flip side, you gotta understand that you maybe dont understand things from the perspective of the people who dont agree with you. Its a two way street....

Big Bear, i apologize. I did not read your quote earlier in the thread about not being able to kill doe in archery. As i just stated above, i was obviously looking at what you are saying as what i hear from the anti-AR people here in PA. Some wanna bitch up and down about not being able to kill a spike, yet they pass up doe after doe because they dont want to screw up a chance to kill a buck that may be just behind her....Who is coveting horns now????..... To only be able to kill a doe in Michigan with a rifle? Is that a real thing? Good gracious, if so i couldnt be more sorry for you. Thats beyond asinine. I get how that would be a thorn in your ass that turns you against any regulation, whether is is a benefit to the herd or not. Obviously, you cant just pick up and move life for deer hunting, but i can promise you, id be working on that because i never had a reason to live in Michigan, but now knowing this, theres not one reason i ever could....

This is a regional thing. You are right John, there is no blanket guaranteed right or wrong. But there will certainly be opinions both ways and people are gonna argue their side. Good thing for differing opinions, otherwse you wouldnt have had a job.....

From: Jethro
12-Oct-18
Rut, I don't think JL realizes we don't need the PGC to tell us the APR are working. We can see it for ourselves. Anybody that has been hunting for over 20 years can see the improvement in our herd.

From: Bowriter
12-Oct-18
Rut is dead on.

From: Bowriter
12-Oct-18
Okay- Here is something to ponder or discuss. Antlers should play no part in deer management. In a good management plan, no consideration is given to antlers. Antlers only become part of deer management, when the manager selects that trait. That then, becomes trophy management.

There is, of course, a relationship between age of bucks and antler development and that begins the debate concerning Antler Restrictions. However, no state should in any way manage for what are commonly called,"trophy antlers". That should be left to private land managers who routinely see their bucks and can evaluate them.

There is, as far as I know, no relationship between large antlers and superior genetics. That cannot be determined by selecting for just one trait. If deer had no antlers, I feel certain we find would another basis for determining a trophy and then, a segment of the hunting population, would begin to lobby for the selection of that trait.

From: BIG BEAR
12-Oct-18
No one can kill a doe in most of the UP. A gun hunting organization pushed for that because they thought bowhunters were killing too many of their deer. Not true.... as John Ozoga said..... you cannot stockpile deer in the UP of Michigan..... I talked to a Michigan Deer Biologist who agreed and said the moratorium on does is not necessary. I would be thrilled to be able to shoot a doe once again on my land.

From: JL
12-Oct-18
Rut Nut asks: JL- how does someone from Michigan know so much about the inner workings of the PA Game Commission? And would you care to elaborate on your claim of "errors and "myths" in that PGC link?

Seeing as how you asked...because I have been in numerous discussions on Michigan and Maryland websites about APR's and the go to example pro-APR folks use is usually PA. What they fail to do is get inside the numbers. The PGC plays a shell game of sorts. When you look at the numbers the PGC puts out in different reports and what your fellow PA hunters say in their own surveys...one has to question those who claim PA as the gold standard of APR's.

PA has their own unique deer management problems. IMO the PGC messed up and continues white washing their mistakes. If one looks at the PA hunter surveys you can see what PA hunters are saying. They still like APR's but in the same survey will say the clear majority are not satisfied with the number of bucks and quality of the bucks they see. The last two surveys that were put out show only about 18% of the hunters got a buck. That means a little over 4 out of 5 hunters got buck skunked. The 2.5's were/are getting hammered pretty heavy in the total buck harvest makeup. They became the old 1.5's. The age classes within the total buck harvest went up a bit BUT (important)....contrary to what the PGC said in that older copy/past article, the total buck harvest has dropped alot since APR's have been around and never recovered. In defense of that, the PGC did not do PA hunters any favors wiping out the doe population years back and still keeping it low. So goes the does...so go the bucks. Keep in mind the surveys cover all PA hunters...private and public land hunters. I would use caution with anything the PGC says and research it.

If you look into the PGC reports closely, you will notice they most always group 2.5's and up into the same group in the total buck harvest vs breaking it down the harvest by individual age class. The reason being is by including the 2.5's and up in the group, it inflates the true results of the harvest and by extension APR's. When you get inside the numbers....It's something like 11.75% of 3.5+ make up the total buck harvest. 2.5's and below make up the other 88.25% of the total buck harvest. You would not know that unless you drill down into the PGC reports.

If you consider your own hunter surveys as truthful.....is an 18% buck harvest rate, respondents not happy with the number or quality of the bucks seen confirm APR's are a success? I guess you guys will have to reconcile that between yourselves.

Below is the link to the PGC's surveys and reports. The PGC was supposed to post up the 2016 hunter survey but haven't yet. One thing I thought the PGC did that was deceptive.....in the 2012 survey, question 21 asked hunters about the quality of bucks they seen. 36% were satisfied, 26% were neutral and 38% were not satisfied with the buck quality. The PGC removed that question from the 2014 survey. I'll speculate it was because it didn't support their manaegment or APR agenda.

I always tell folks do not listen to me or anyone else....stay away from group-think. Do your own research into the reports and surveys and then decide.

https://www.pgc.pa.gov/InformationResources/MediaReportsSurveys/Pages/default.aspx

The 2014 Hunter Survey: https://www.pgc.pa.gov/InformationResources/MediaReportsSurveys/Documents/2014%20PA%20Deer%20Hunter%20Survey%20-%20Report%20-%20Statewide%20Results.pdf

The 2012 Hunter Survey: https://www.pgc.pa.gov/InformationResources/MediaReportsSurveys/Documents/2011%20PA%20Deer%20Hunter%20Survey%20-%20Preliminary%20Statewide%20Results.pdf

12-Oct-18
JL....in PA, we have many hunters. Many of PA hunters hunt public ground and wont walk farther than 1/4-1/2 mile from the truck....And because of the APR results seen firsthand by a lot of PA hunters, there are a lot of other guys are willing to pass up even 2.5 yr olds in hopes of getting a crack at 3.5+ deer because we know that A) there are plenty out there if you are willing to hunt and B) that 2.5 yr old has a chance to be 3.5 or older next year.

There is no denying that when numbers results are posted, the info is PROBABLY going to be shown to favor what they are trying to achieve. But dont take the harvest numbers in this “survey” and use it in favor of what YOU are trying to achieve, because the facts are, many PA hunters are not “very good” hunters. Now, my hunting circle may not be nearly as big as some, but i know more than enough people that kill a fair amount of deer and most with the bow. Most of them(and I) hunt public ground. So, what my experience AS A PA RESIDENT that ACTUALLY HUNTS HERE tells me is that you are painting a picture u want to paint as much as you think the PGC may be painting it how they want....

From: 12yards
12-Oct-18
If it would increase the number of 2.5 year olds in MN's population it would make hunting 200% more interesting. As it is, 2.5 year olds are rare.

12-Oct-18
Missouribreaks wrote, "APR's should be a personal thing one does on their own private land. Leave everyone else alone to make their own choices. Mandatory APR's are government horn porn.... to hopefully sell more future licenses to horn porn seeking nonresidents."

This is precisely my position as well. QDM's original purpose was to assist private land owners in managing their property for "quality deer". While some defer to the buck to doe ratio, carrying capacity and other biological jargon, the people I have personally spoken to or read opinions on QDM has been all about antler size as the determiner of "quailty" deer. Whatever their position on antlerless deer.....kill a bunch or leave them be.....the bottom line has been about producing big bucks through food plots, water holes, supplemental feeding and minerals.

All that is well and fine, as long as a private citizen was dictating what was legally happening on their own property. However many of the QDM proponents soon realized that they didn't own/control enough land to significantly effect the longrange plan of producing superior deer (IE antlers) in their area. If they passed "lesser" deer that their neighbor or folks allowed to hunt the vicinity were killing, their efforts were for naught. Especially so if their land was in proximity to public land where the heathen hunted in the dreaded "brown and down" manner.....in perfect stereotype. Thus the astute insight that they must control ALL property in an area so the mantra, "let them go so they can grow" would be fully effective. Along with lobbying for APR's, there was also a push for only shooting "mature" deer, which began this phase of 4.5 or old deer are so much better to hunt.

For those of us who do not own property and rely on highly pressured public ground, the reality of APR's is a double whammy. Most of the bucks we rarely encounter must legally be passed, because the guy a half mile down the road is into "quality" deer in his heated box blind for a couple weeks a season. Secondly, as Big Bear aptly stated, those who are not possessed by the "horn porn" craze are subjected to the whims of others.....rather like feudal Europe where landowners dictated policy to the "have nots". In his case, he cannot shoot a doe on his own property in the UP......and all because a group of others have howled loud and long enough to get their way.

In short.......if you want to kill big deer then either learn to hunt them as an exclusive club that is willing to eat many tags in pursuit of your personal "trophy".....or travel to places like IA or KS. Imposing your will upon others for your personal benefit is the very reason immigrants left their home countries to come to America. Doesn't that just make you proud???

From: Boreal
12-Oct-18
If you have the need to shoot a young buck, a spike, fork or basket rack over a doe than you are by definition trophy hunting. "Any buck will do" is just lowering your standards from the people who are being criticized for "trophy" hunting.

From: Rut Nut
12-Oct-18
From: JL

12-Oct-18

The age classes within the total buck harvest went up a bit BUT (important)....contrary to what the PGC said in that older copy/past article, the total buck harvest has dropped alot since APR's have been around and never recovered.

OK- so I did a little research JL. In 2001(the year BEFORE AR's were instituted) the buck harvest was 203,247. After AR's were instituted(2002), It dropped steadily to a low of 108,330 in 2009. But since then has been steadily rising to 163,750 last year(2017). That is less than a 20% drop from the pre-AR (2001) levels. ANd considering that we have 10% less hunters than we did in 2001, I would say the buck harvest has recovered pretty well. ANd I think most would trade a slight drop in buck harvest for having a healthier, more mature deer population.

From: JL
12-Oct-18
Rut.....thanks for taking the time to do some research. You would have to ask your fellow PA hunters that fall into that 80% skunk category how they feel. What is of interest is APR's are still popular but only 36% of the 2012 survey respondents stated they liked the quantity and quality of what they see. The other 64% didn't care or weren't satisfied. Seeing as APR's have been around for a while there, one would expect the satisfaction numbers to be the other direction. The survey suggests some type of conflict with the respondents. I hope the PGC puts up the 2016 hunter survey one of these days.

One problem I see with PA which is the same with Michigan....they do not control hunter numbers over the different seasons. In Michigan.....the DNR sells unlimited res and NR tags to generate as much revenue as they can. I've always felt they are addicted to revenue and they sacrifice the traditional hunt quality for revenue. That puts alot of hunters in the field at once targeting certain age classes of bucks. Most the deer harvest here occurs the first part of the 15 day gun season. Anyone that hunts here...especially public land, can get overwhelmed by the number of hunters roaming the woods all at once. Me personally....I'm starting to love the ML and late bow season that occur in December. Once it gets real cold and/or the snow hits....the woods empty.

Anyway.....I've had the great opportunity to hunt Iowa. Wow!! I've never seen so many deer and big ones too. They (and Kansas) sold me on the idea you do not need APR's to have a decent chance to see something nice. What I like about their management approach is they control the NR hunter numbers via quota's/draws. I think I read somewhere they have alot more deer than resident hunters?? I'm of the opinion if Michigan (or any high hunter state) controlled the hunters (spread out the hunting pressure/harvest) via quotas like Iowa or Kansas, they could offer a much better hunting experience. APR's would be an afterthought. I have submitted a proposal to our DNR/NRC on how they could do this and not loose too much revenue. I think it fell on deaf ears but I'll keep pushing it because I think it is a good approach to reign in an out of control situation. If the baiting ban does indeed go into effect next year, I would expect our harvest numbers to take a hit.

From: Bowriter
12-Oct-18
Rut nut-What was the percentage of 3.5-year old bucks. How was it impacted. Wait-never mind. The only way you could reply would be with their-PGC-figures.

Just about 30-months ago, I wrote a newspaper column taking our game commission to task for "adjusting" figures to support a change they made in our regulations. It was, to say the least, vehemently denied. Then...a whistle was blown. In sort, they got caught with their pencils down. In many states, facts are "adjusted" to fit a hypothesis so that a theory may be justified. It is quite common in state game management. Any time politics meet biology...biology loses.

From: JL
12-Oct-18
For Stick-n-String......I'm not painting anything....just putting out the data when asked. Folks can make up their own mind. What YOU may see as good on public land (or private) may not translate to the other folks who also hunt on public land. If you are satisfied...good deal. One thing any hunter needs to consider is what exactly are they happy with? What one is happy with for their hunting experience or what they see may be seen as mediocrity or bad to the next hunter. Has the happy hunter accepted lower results and called them good.....and does the unhappy hunter have the bar set too high or unrealistic expectations? If a hunter wants to hold out for a 3.5+....they should go for it. However if a hunter is satisfied with any buck...they should go for what they are happy with. Of course the long standing APR rub is folks dictating what others should shoot.

12-Oct-18
Im not puttin a lick of time into any survey of PA hunters until i know who is being surveyed. By using those numbers to say APR aint workin, yeah you are attempting to paint a picture

12-Oct-18
While I really have zero dog in this hunt, Alaska at Heart nailed it.

From: Trial153
12-Oct-18
A nostalgia for the good old days when the hunters would measure spikes with their scopes to make sure they make the 3" legal buck requirements. Trophy six pointer every four years, that was grand! And lest we forget seeing 67 does a season for every legal buck we saw...oh how I miss those days!

Remind me what rags the op writes for so I put them on the do not read list.

From: BIG BEAR
12-Oct-18
That Sparta-T guy (Alaska at heart) is a smart guy.

From: Bowriter
13-Oct-18
I agree-Alaska at Heart is pretty much dead on.

From: BIG BEAR
13-Oct-18
Tom. You’re assessment is SO SPOT ON !!!! That post should be printed in deer hunting magazines nationwide.

One only has to look at the thumb area of Michigan right now to know what you say is true. For years,,, The QDM folks have posted huge signs all along the highways and roads urging people to “Let them go and let them grow”

But that wasn’t enough to further their agenda. Now they have convinced the DNR that if two thirds of the people polled vote to implement antler point restrictions.....then it will become law there......

From: Rut Nut
13-Oct-18
From: JL 12-Oct-18 Rut.....thanks for taking the time to do some research. You would have to ask your fellow PA hunters that fall into that 80% skunk category how they feel. What is of interest is APR's are still popular but only 36% of the 2012 survey respondents stated they liked the quantity and quality of what they see. The other 64% didn't care or weren't satisfied. Seeing as APR's have been around for a while there, one would expect the satisfaction numbers to be the other direction.

JL- exactly! As a Representative of our state Bowhunting organization and committee member of our church’s large annual sportsmen’s dinner, I HAVE talked to a lot of Pa Hunters and the overwhelming consensus is AR’s ARE working.

As for that hunter survey, you are trying to paint a picture- only 38% of respondents were dis-satisfied, NOT 64%! (You can’t lump in neutral responses with the negative ones) And in this day and age, of everyone wanting more, I think any group would be satisfied with only a 38% negative response- just ask any politician! ;-)

Of course, you have to also take into account that it is generally accepted that those that are dis-satisfied are more likely to respond to surveys. Those that are satisfied and neutral are much less likely to respond. Which will skew the results.

But like I said, of all those I have actually talked to who hunt in PA, the VAST majority ARE satisfied.

From: Rut Nut
13-Oct-18

Rut Nut's Link
Why don’t you guys ask Pat what he thinks about AR’s! ;-)

From: Rut Nut
17-Oct-18
That's what I thought......................................... ;-)

From: TXHunter
17-Oct-18
If you are not aware that many ARs are more about improving the age structure of the herd than “trophy” considerations, then you have more to learn.

The ARs are simply the best of many (admittedly imperfect) tools to accomplish this goal. They are not perfect, but down here in east TX they have basically transformed the deer herds in a very positive way that benefits all hunters.

17-Oct-18
That TXHunter is a pretty smart guy, too! ;-)

17-Oct-18

17-Oct-18

From: 12yards
17-Oct-18
So why should the hunters who want to shoot anything they want, dictate who shoots what? It can be turned around that way too.

From: BIG BEAR
17-Oct-18
Funny.... The QDM guys trying to force antler point restrictions down our throats in Michigan don’t want to give up having 2 buck tags in their pocket.... They want me to pass up a spike because it’s good for us all... but they don’t want to sacrifice one of their buck tags...... wouldn’t that be for the better of the herd and all deer hunters ?? Damn hypocrites.

17-Oct-18
Yes it would, Big Bear. Going to one buck a year would certainly help things. Still can't believe they won't allow you MI guys to shoot doe....thats crazy!

From: BIG BEAR
17-Oct-18
That’s in most of the Upper Peninsula. I can’t shoot a doe on my own property in Michigan....

From: Rut Nut
17-Oct-18
Yeah, I have to admit that sounds strange.................................................you can shoot 2(two) bucks in the UP but NO(zero) antlerless??? Makes no sense. If the deer herd is doing that poorly, then you should only be able to take one buck.

From: 12yards
17-Oct-18
When I hunted the UP in the 80's it was 1 buck. Lower MI was two. Then the UP went to 2. My Yooper buddies were surprised when they backed off allowing a doe during bow season this fall. I would have made a trip over there if I could have shot a doe.

From: Rut Nut
17-Oct-18
So you CAN shoot antlerless now in the U.P.?

From: BIG BEAR
17-Oct-18
Does are still off limits across most of the U.P. ,, Except in a few select zones in the lower part of the UP where you can apply for doe permits. My property falls where does are illegal for all weapons. As stated...... Hunters can buy 2 buck tags.

From: Rut Nut
17-Oct-18
Well, that’s unfortunate..........

From: 12yards
18-Oct-18
Big Bear, if they went to 1 buck tag, I can guarantee the number of wives hunting would increase dramatically! LOL.

From: Bowriter
18-Oct-18
If they closed the season completely, for one year, except for the riot, it would solve a lot of problems. Perfect example of biology and politics meeting. Biology, loses.

From: Bou'bound
20-Oct-18
everytime

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