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Why Maine will Never have Antler Restrictions


34 replies to this topic

#1 Male OFFLINE   Rusty

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Posted 12/06/17 - 07:55 PM

https://georgesoutdo...er-antler-size/

 

Interesting testimony by the Director of Division of Wildlife about why they will never implement antler restrictions in Maine.

 

Key points:

 

1. ARs significantly reduce hunter opportunity.

2. ARs result in High Grading.

3. ARs do little in terms of providing a positive impact to the population demographics, or abundance of the deer herd.

 

Interesting stat:  46% of bucks 2.2 - 6.5 years old would be protected by a 3 point antler restriction.   

 

In other states APRs are often implemented to allow bucks to grow older, and thereby larger, often with the ultimate goal of increasing antler size. However, some recent studies have shown that APR’s may actually be detrimental to antler growth as a result of increased removal rates of trophy antlered animals from the population. By only harvesting the larger yearlings and not allowing the harvest of the smaller mature males, an APR may inadvertently increase the abundance of the less genetically gifted animals, while simultaneously increasing harvest of the higher quality ones.


#2 Male OFFLINE   BenedictGomez

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Posted 12/06/17 - 08:02 PM

some recent studies have shown that APR’s may actually be detrimental to antler growth as a result of increased removal rates of trophy antlered animals from the population. By only harvesting the larger yearlings and not allowing the harvest of the smaller mature males, an APR may inadvertently increase the abundance of the less genetically gifted animals, while simultaneously increasing harvest of the higher quality ones.

 

 

Sad that they needed a "study" to determine what anybody who has a fleeting understanding of genetics already knows.    

 

This is like one of those "studies" of sex where they "determine" many men are attracted to women with large boobs.


Edited by BenedictGomez, 12/06/17 - 08:02 PM.

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#3 Male OFFLINE   dlist777

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Posted 12/07/17 - 06:38 AM

I've noticed some states are moving to 15 inch or 16 inch spread (DE/SC).  Their hunting digests's describe this as the distance between the tips of the ears at alert.  I wonder if there is science that shows this is better at distinguishing yearlings as opposed to the 3 points on one side or other APRs??


Edited by dlist777, 12/07/17 - 09:19 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   SPEARFISH

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Posted 12/07/17 - 07:48 AM

Their herd is already in bad shape if half the deer over 2 years are less than 3 pts.


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#5 Male OFFLINE   BHC

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Posted 12/07/17 - 08:02 AM

I didn't read the whole thing, but I see the words " reduce hunter opportunity" mentioned a few times, just another way of saying "MONEY"



#6 Male OFFLINE   newjerseyhunter

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Posted 12/07/17 - 08:34 AM

I didn't read the whole thing, but I see the words " reduce hunter opportunity" mentioned a few times, just another way of saying "MONEY"

 

A person buys their license and permits before they even go out into the woods. It isn't until they are in the woods will they have to make the decision to shoot or not based on ARs (if they exist). So it seems to me, unless I'm reading it wrong, this is actually better for hunters, more chance of actually putting the license/permit to use.



#7 Male OFFLINE   Farmshine

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Posted 12/07/17 - 08:38 AM

Sad that they needed a "study" to determine what anybody who has a fleeting understanding of genetics already knows.

This is like one of those "studies" of sex where they "determine" many men are attracted to women with large boobs.


Yea.... boobs....


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#8 Male ONLINE   1957Buck

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Posted 12/07/17 - 09:34 AM

Don't shoot the messager  :director:

Harken back to the days when NJ deer heard at nonexistent.  And deer were brought in from Virginia, Maine. both S-NJ and N-NJ were restocked. The herds took some time to get to the point of Hunting The farming Practices of the time proved good feeding and cover. 

It was after WW2 that hunting began to be a Sport many took to. After The Korean War, it really took off as the population was exposed to Fire Arms and The Economy Grew to make it affordable, 

For the following years of Buck Only 3" or better and 6 Days to hunt them Success was scattered. Hunters fought for the right to harvest Does so a Party Permit was put in place followed years later with a permit Doe day. To Hunters Choice.

The deer exploded as more lands Private and the public became available. They moved into Towns where there is no hunting more off limit Private Lands. 

 

The point as NJ puts more pressure on The Resource with 100 days more methods and Brown its Down The quality and numbers have grown. The numbers of Trophy Bucks has improved. As to the average age of Bucks harvested is by NJDFAG Stats 2 -4-year-olds

NJ compared to other states has a lot of Deer for its size. If I remember PA has more roadkill than Nj harvest during its deer seasons.

As far as Science in NJ it is Bookkeeping $$$$ The deer do just fine no matter how many Days and numbers are allowed. 

Enter The Bear -- Turkeys -- Geese that have exploded What Science was involved other than the Introduction natural or otherwise to the Point where Controlled Deer Hunts. to Thin deer in private areas are held. Turkeys Trapped and Destroyed Geese Trapped and Destroyed Now that is Science NJ Style. 

 

NJ does not manage its natural game resources for out of State income. Like other States Much Larger Be it Maine, Alaska Montana. 

Alaska put Millions into Managment NJ Collects Millions to exterminate the resource in many areas due to Local Pressures to do it. 

 

NJ management is surveying Testing and Hoping. The Highest costs are Raising Trout & Pheasants with many Failures over many years.   As far as Maine experimenting with Deer management.  Alaska Managing a Billion Dollar Game industry.  Time will tell.

 

Antler Restrictions  :banghead:



#9 Male OFFLINE   hammer4reel

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Posted 12/07/17 - 09:51 AM

All the worry about hygrading is inaccurate.
Just because a buck is a four point or a spike jis first year dorsnt mean he came from an inferior buck .
Thats why better outfitters want a deer to be 4/5 to decide on his potential.
Even bucks having the best genes available may not show them the first two years based on their growth and availsble forage .
Then throw is a part of their genes is also based on their mother .

.
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#10 OFFLINE   GhostBear

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Posted 12/07/17 - 10:06 AM

I was part of a highly controlled hunt on 2000+ acres, a management hunt where we had an APR of 6 or better, I was part of this hunt for 15 years, by year 10, only mature sub legal bucks were the norm with a few legal but taken, at the time all deer where physically checked on site, and aged, most legal bucks taken then we're 1.5-3.5 years old, and I saw some monsters there, by 2010 my last year there, most bucks seen where monster 4's and 5's and very few legal bucks, this was tightly monitored, so IMO, APR's do infact lead to high grading. Seems logical that if guys are shooting legal bucks regardless of age, you will over time wipe out the genetics you are looking for, as many bucks can be legal to shoot at just 1.5-2.5 years old, case in point was the 1.5 year old basket 12 point that was shot the second year of that hunt, I saw this deer and was shocked a buck that young could have that many points!! Since I could care less about antler size, i really don't have a dog in the APR fight, other that to say that from purely from a management stand point IMO they are a bad idea over time.
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#11 Male OFFLINE   Haskell_Hunter

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Posted 12/07/17 - 10:13 AM

All the worry about hygrading is inaccurate.
Just because a buck is a four point or a spike jis first year dorsnt mean he came from an inferior buck .
Thats why better outfitters want a deer to be 4/5 to decide on his potential.
Even bucks having the best genes available may not show them the first two years based on their growth and availsble forage .
Then throw is a part of their genes is also based on their mother .

.

 

What about those 4/5 year olds that only ever develop forks?

 

I have a good population of forks running around zone 3 right now.  They are what I refer to as "the protected class".

 

That's not to say we don't have better racks in this zone, we do.  Most of them get harvested in bow season prior to the rut.

 

Check out the numbers from last year.  Although zone 3 borders zones 2 and 6, as well as Sterling forest in NYS, 10 bucks were taken during 6-day last year.  There's at least 15,000 acres of huntable land in zone 3.

 

How many trophy deer have you seen coming out of zone 3?  You actually don't see many deer being harvested from this zone at all.  This is why I am so very cynical about APRs and QDM.  Something is wrong with the management of the herd in this zone.  Or maybe this is exactly what the state wants.  I don't know.  But look at the harvest numbers and the surrounding lands and help me understand why the harvest count is so low and the quality of the herd is so poor.


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#12 OFFLINE   rocky

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Posted 12/07/17 - 10:36 AM

I never went to Maine to shoot a spike or fork horn myself. That being said I only shot one big buck up there in about 10 years of hunting. It was when I was young dumb and not a knowledgeable deer hunter. 


Edited by rocky, 12/07/17 - 10:36 AM.


#13 Male OFFLINE   Rusty

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Posted 12/07/17 - 11:01 AM

What about those 4/5 year olds that only ever develop forks?

 

They are permanently protected and they get to live a good long life and pass their 4 point genes on to lots of future bucks.  



#14 Male OFFLINE   JHbowhunter

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Posted 12/07/17 - 11:28 AM

What about those 4/5 year olds that only ever develop forks?

 

I have a good population of forks running around zone 3 right now.  They are what I refer to as "the protected class".

 

That's not to say we don't have better racks in this zone, we do.  Most of them get harvested in bow season prior to the rut.

 

Check out the numbers from last year.  Although zone 3 borders zones 2 and 6, as well as Sterling forest in NYS, 10 bucks were taken during 6-day last year.  There's at least 15,000 acres of huntable land in zone 3.

 

How many trophy deer have you seen coming out of zone 3?  You actually don't see many deer being harvested from this zone at all.  This is why I am so very cynical about APRs and QDM.  Something is wrong with the management of the herd in this zone.  Or maybe this is exactly what the state wants.  I don't know.  But look at the harvest numbers and the surrounding lands and help me understand why the harvest count is so low and the quality of the herd is so poor.

 

I am not familiar with the overall habitat of zone 3, but it almost sounds like it is over-mature canopy with no undergrowth for deer browse?     Does the area have enough FOOD to sustain a much larger deer per square mile than it already is?  Deer don't need agriculture to grow big bodies and big antlers and grow a healthy herd, but they sure as hell need good browse and the more acorns supply the better as well.    I see many areas around Z5 like this, especially near Jay but there is always some good ag nearby to feed them as well as a zillion bait piles...  But then again - a whitetail cannot survive on corn alone, good browse is much more important...     Just sounds like zone 3 might be more of a habitat issue than an APR/bag limit issue?  I guess my point is, APRs can only do "so much" good or bad - diet and nutrition and genetics impact antlers the most.   In mineral rich environments(like where I hunt in Ohio), I see deer easily exceed 200# dressed with massive racks living on nothing but browse with a mixture of acorns when available. No ag in sight.   What helped those deer on that property the most was fact it was logged about 6 years ago.

 

I bet if zone 3 had a better forestry plan, it would explode in within 5 years.


Edited by JHbowhunter, 12/07/17 - 11:31 AM.


#15 Male OFFLINE   Haskell_Hunter

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Posted 12/07/17 - 11:35 AM

I am not familiar with the overall habitat of zone 3, but it almost sounds like it is over-mature canopy with no undergrowth for deer browse?     Does the area have enough FOOD to sustain a much larger deer per square mile than it already is?  Deer don't need agriculture to grow big bodies and big antlers and grow a healthy herd, but they sure as hell need good browse and the more acorns supply the better as well.    I see many areas around Z5 like this, especially near Jay but there is always some good ag nearby to feed them as well as a zillion bait piles...  But then again - a whitetail cannot survive on corn alone, good browse is much more important...     Just sounds like zone 3 might be more of a habitat issue than an APR/bag limit issue?

 

All good observations.  The canopy is older and unmanaged.  The dominant oak is chestnut oak, which is not a top acorn on the deer preference list.  There is a good amount of homes, like any other place in NJ, so there is edge browse.  You could be right.

 

I'd love to see the state produce a report of the health of the herd and ecosystem in QDM zones.  To your point, Jack, maybe there are other factors that are adversely affecting the herd and therefore opportunities in this zone.  I don't have that information and may be wrongly accusing QDM for the deficiency.  I'm open to that, all I need is a wildlife biologist to evaluate what's going on here.

 

Rusty, what's your class doing this semester?  Lots of hiking trails up here and waterfalls to ogle.  Sounds like a great exercise for your students to get some extra credit!   :)  (Oh, and there's free homebrew in it for the adults who are supervising.)


Edited by Haskell_Hunter, 12/07/17 - 11:35 AM.

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#16 Male OFFLINE   hammer4reel

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Posted 12/07/17 - 11:38 AM

What about those 4/5 year olds that only ever develop forks?

 

I have a good population of forks running around zone 3 right now.  They are what I refer to as "the protected class".

 

That's not to say we don't have better racks in this zone, we do.  Most of them get harvested in bow season prior to the rut.

 

Check out the numbers from last year.  Although zone 3 borders zones 2 and 6, as well as Sterling forest in NYS, 10 bucks were taken during 6-day last year.  There's at least 15,000 acres of huntable land in zone 3.

 

How many trophy deer have you seen coming out of zone 3?  You actually don't see many deer being harvested from this zone at all.  This is why I am so very cynical about APRs and QDM.  Something is wrong with the management of the herd in this zone.  Or maybe this is exactly what the state wants.  I don't know.  But look at the harvest numbers and the surrounding lands and help me understand why the harvest count is so low and the quality of the herd is so poor.

 

I would guess its possible to have an area where you have just horrible genetics. so not much is goin got help in that area,

growing up it was always believed the Poconos had those bad genetics as most deer were spikes and fork horns.

but what a change there has been in the quality of deer taken there.

do we see spikes and forkhorns there , sure, but usually they are just young bucks.

I get to watch a pretty good area up there, and the quality of bucks there is 10 times better  in the same areas I have hunted since 1974


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#17 Male OFFLINE   JHbowhunter

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Posted 12/07/17 - 11:39 AM

HH  - if the state could just turn a blind eye on Rusty and his hinge-cutting chainsaw for a few days, I bet he could single-handedly fix zone 3 and the affects will last a very very long time....   I stand by this statement with 100% confidence.


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#18 Male OFFLINE   Rusty

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Posted 12/07/17 - 11:42 AM

HH  - if the state could just turn a blind eye on Rusty and his hinge-cutting chainsaw for a few days, I bet he could single-handedly fix zone 3 and the affects will last a very very long time....   I stand by this statement with 100% confidence.

 

I approve of this message.  


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#19 OFFLINE   SPEARFISH

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Posted 12/07/17 - 12:20 PM

 

 

They are permanently protected and they get to live a good long life and pass their 4 point genes on to lots of future bucks.  

 

 

Is there any study that shows a 4 point can't produce offspring with bigger racks?  I have seen human fathers with sons much smaller than them and visa versa.



#20 Male OFFLINE   JHbowhunter

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Posted 12/07/17 - 12:27 PM

Is there any study that shows a 4 point can't produce offspring with bigger racks?  I have seen human fathers with sons much smaller than them and visa versa.

 

 

same with women too  :)






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