View Poll Results: Do you believe the state should have antler restrictions for bucks?

Voters
9. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes - I would favor a restriction on antler points.

    3 33.33%
  • Yes - I would favor a restriction on antler spread.

    0 0%
  • Yes - but havent decided on which way would be better.

    3 33.33%
  • No I dont believe any changes should be made.

    3 33.33%
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Virginia Deer Hunting - How old is our herd - are antler restrictions needed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Midlothian
    Posts
    12,638

    Default Virginia Deer Hunting - How old is our herd - are antler restrictions needed?

    Data released by VA DGIF shows some troubling data with regards to the average age of bucks taken by hunters. How young is the average buck taken - the answer might just shock you - 90% of all bucks harvested are between 6 months to 2 1/2 years of age. In the wild and not hunted the average whitetail deer can live 6 to 10 years. So with so many young bucks taken out of the deer herds what can we expect longer term?

    With this data in mind, VA DGIF certainly has to consider the long term management of the whitetail deer in Virginia. I hunt in PA during buck season and one piece of property we hunt has antler restrictions of at least 3 points on one side, while the other piece of property has a minimum of 4 points on one side.

    The management philosophy in PA is that the younger bucks which may have been harvested under other management guidelines have been able to mature to at least say 2 1/2 years before being harvested. Other states have antler size restrictions rather than points. Each systems has its pro's and con's even though the goal is the same. With points based management young deer can still be harvested as a 1 1/2 year old deer can still have at least 3 points on one side from good genetics. For antler size based management, the downside to this is that most hunters have difficulty in judging size of the deers spread. However the deers spread in relation to its age is a much safer way to go if the desire is to let the bucks mature.

    Currently there are over 20 states that have restrictions either based on points or antler spread in an attempt to let deer mature. Many argue that the state has an obligation to protect the deer herds and to look at a safe balance of mature deer, therefore the state should update antiquated game laws.

    At the same time I believe outdoors men have an obligation to herd management as well. Many private landowners and hunt clubs have shifted more towards trophy management implementing many QDMA guidelines. Thus insuring that the bucks are allowed to mature and balancing doe populations. Landowners can work together to insure the success and maturity of the herd. I also believe the state should review game management practices and potentially look at antler restrictions in order to provide a greater opportunity for younger bucks.

    Do you believe the state should have antler restrictions for bucks? Please be sure to vote above and comment below and tell us what you think.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bridgewater, VA
    Posts
    682

    Default

    i think that the restrictions would be good if and only if the state and federal governments would do something to replace the food sources on department owned lands. Here when they clear cut they don't have the logger replant anything so the mast that was cleared is not replenished thus forcing the deer and other wildlife to relocate. So in turn the deer move to private lands. It was my understanding that when the VDGIF asked to raise the cost of the licenses that the money would only be used to support wildlife improvement efforts. In doing some research you can find that what actually happened was that they were the only VA State agency to be in the black ink. Well the past governor got the state to allow him to tap that money for short falls in the budget. Anyway if the state would put some money into helping with the deer herds in forests it would go a long way in making this a better sale. Has of now if you hit public land here you will have a very hard hunt for either bucks or does. Which was evident in the deer kill numbers last year from private to public lands.

    on most of the private land that I hunt we have a agreement to leave the little bucks and does and take the mature ones. Which is good but we also have plenty of food for them. Not sure that the general public will be in favor but would really help with getting more trophy size deer. The farmers are going to go nutz when this goes to public debate.

    We are told that we shouldn't judge all Muslims by the actions of an extreme few. Why can't we offer millions of law-abiding American gun owners the same consideration?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Midlothian
    Posts
    12,638

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Berryville, VA
    Posts
    404

    Default

    I bought my place in 2004. I have 80 acres and with my "neighbors" we manage our 200 total acres the best we can. Yhis past season I took my 1st buck off my property and a buddy a 2nd. I can tell you first hand a buck must get age on it (3 1/2 +) as well as nutrition and genetics. The absolute biggest hurdle though is age!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    170

    Default

    I would be completly for some sort of state management program. But there are and would be several huge hurdles in the way. Most of these states that have a good management plan do not allow dog hunting, Virginia does, and me personally, I do not think it will be going away any time soon. The dog hunters probably consist of 75% of all Virginia Hunters and generate a huge amount of income to the state and businesses. I know that some clubs have gone to a bucket rule or have minimum requirements to harvest a buck; but some if not most are still in the "if it's brown, it's down" philosphy.... unfortunatly, the club I am in is of the latter and I argue every year to no avail. On the other farms I have to hunt and use for guide trips, it is amazing to see the growth that can happen if you let the deer grow up. I wish eveyone would jump on board the management deal, but I don't see it happening here. just my 2 cents.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •