AR - Stay the Course?? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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AR - Stay the Course??

Well the PGC has admitted that AR didn't do squat to the breeding cycle. Yes it did supply more "ate pointers" (2 1/2 yro) but I know that wasn't the reason for the increased AR requirement.

Many wish to go back to the 3-inch rule and others like the current AR rule.

I personally liked the old 3 inch but that's just me. If we had the old rule doesn't mean you have to whack a "3 incher", you could wait for an "ate pointer" to show-up.

So what do you folks think?
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post #2 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 03:07 PM
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

3 inch rule my eyes are getting old, and the area I hunt does not allow time to ponder weather there is brow tines or not
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post #3 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

I hear you Hopper. AR hasn't been nice to me either...seen many bucks with horns but legal ones???
None stay around long enough to tell.

No biological reason for keeping it. FT
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post #4 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 04:26 PM
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

I would like to see it go back to the way it was as well. Could of shot quite a few more bucks over the years that I has to pass on trying to study points.
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post #5 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 04:41 PM
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

1. Where was it ever stated by the PGC or in the 2003 deer management plan that changing the breeding cycle was the purpose of AR? Something about breeding was included the breeding cycle was only part of it.

I fell for this argument for a while (mainly due to misinformation/misinterpretations from posters on this forum) but then read the plan and saw what it actually said. Many PA deer hunters read much more into this that was actually stated in the original goals. If you look at the results and the actual goals of AR, then AR was successful in reaching the goal.

2. So, AR didn't change the breeding cycle but would the failure to implement AR when it was implemented have widened the breeding cycle? Remember, at the time AR was implemented to increase the buck population, HR was also implemented to reduce the doe population. What if there were even fewer buck to breed fewer doe? Would it take those fewer bucks more time to get around to all of the doe? Would this cycle increase even more if doe were healthier and had more eggs to fertilize by these fewer bucks?

I'm not saying this is true or false, but it is something that needs to be considered as it was not empirically evaluated by the PGC. Just kind of food for thought.

3. Considering #2 here, just think how many more deer were available to be seen by hunters under AR than there would have been without AR. The buck harvest would probably have been 30% greater the first year then deer sightings would have been far worse then most experienced after HR and AR were implemented because there would be even less bucks.


I personally think even that the folks that would support the old 3-inch rule would initially like seeing the return of this rule but would ask for either HR to be dropped first and if that was not done, ask for AR to be reinstated.
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post #6 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 07:56 PM
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

Up it to 3 points up top state wide! Buck to doe ratio continues to improve year after year.
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post #7 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassBlaster
Up it to 3 points up top state wide! Buck to doe ratio continues to improve year after year.
And that means what??

Prior to AR we had deer coming out of our a??. Apparently there where enough to get the job done. Right?
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post #8 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiz
2. So, AR didn't change the breeding cycle but would the failure to implement AR when it was implemented have widened the breeding cycle?
Why?? Less doe (HR) need less buck...right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiz
3. Considering #2 here, just think how many more deer were available to be seen by hunters under AR than there would have been without AR. The buck harvest would probably have been 30% greater the first year then deer sightings would have been far worse then most experienced after HR and AR were implemented because there would be even less bucks.
Yep, that was the plan,(HR) reduce the herd. Killing 1 1/2 yro males would have reduced the herd too.
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post #9 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 11:32 PM
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freytown
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassBlaster
Up it to 3 points up top state wide! Buck to doe ratio continues to improve year after year.
And that means what??

Prior to AR we had deer coming out of our a??. Apparently there where enough to get the job done. Right?
What's a better buck to doe ratio mean? Are you on a fishing expidition or have you avoided the woods during the rut for the last decade?

Prior to the AR there was an overabundance of deer and there still is today in many areas. Not sure what kind of job you're trying to perform in the woods but the size/quality of bucks continues to rise across the state so I fail to see how anyone could oppose AR at this point.
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post #10 of 198 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 02:09 AM
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Re: AR - Stay the Course??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freytown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiz
2. So, AR didn't change the breeding cycle but would the failure to implement AR when it was implemented have widened the breeding cycle?
Why?? Less doe (HR) need less buck...right?
Sort of but you have to look at more than just population numbers and buck to doe ratio.

First, to make it clear, AR was implemented to improve the breeding ecology, which is more than just improving the breeding cycle. This requires a 2 part answer.

Part 1: Before AR, the buck population age structure was skewed heavily towards younger bucks which did most of the breeding. After, AR, The proportion of younger bucks in the population decreased and the proportion of bucks greater than 1.5 years old increased, although the overall number decreased as a result of HR. This means that more older bucks, which are more developed and better equipped to handle the stresses of breeding, participated in breeding although the younger bucks still did the majority of breeding simply because they are always more numerous. The take home though is that these older bucks take some reproductive pressure off of the younger bucks. Based on some data from our hunting camp, buck weight increases substantially until they reach their third year after which growth slows. We have seen up to 20% increase in weight from 1.5 to 2.5 years old and around a 12% increase from 2.5 to 3.5 years. After 3.5 years, average weight gain drops below 8% for each additional year.

Part 2: Decreasing the population without improving the buck to doe ratio does leave the same proportion of bucks to do the breeding but it also increases the potential area that a buck must cover to find a doe. For instance, maintaining a 1:3 buck to doe ratio while dropping the overall deer density from 40 deer/square mile to 30 deer/square mile would mean a the average buck would have to potentially cover about 21 more acres (33% increase) to breed than it would have before HR. If one of those bucks was harvested by a bow hunter or hit by a car, the average buck would actually have to cover about 35 additional acres (~50% increase) than it did before HR.

However, if the B ratio was changed to 1:2 as HR is implemented, the average buck would only have to cover about 0.5 acres more than it did prior to AR and HR being implemented and ultimately mean much less stress on younger bucks than they have previously been exposed to without AR and HR. Balancing the B ratio to 1:1 would mean the average buck would have to potentially cover 30% less area than before HR and AR were implemented.

Why is this important? 1. Decreasing the doe population without increasing the proportion of bucks in the population (using AR) could have increased the time needed for all doe to be bred as the bucks would have had to cover more ground to do so. Thus, the breeding window could have increased rather than stayed the same. 2. It likely increases the annual survival rate of bucks slightly because younger deer are not losing as much weight that may be needed to make it though winter. Some studies show that a buck may lose upwards of 25% of its body weight during the rut. That can be upwards of 40 lbs. on a 150 lb. buck. (About the same amount of meat you could get off of a harvested 130 lb. spike!!) 3. There is also some recent research suggesting that adult bucks may be more susceptible to predation during the post rut due to getting worn down during the rut. Keeping these older bucks more involved in breeding may keep the younger and less developed bucks from getting stressed to the point of being as vulnerable to predation.


A good way to put this into perspective is did it take less time, the same amount of time, or more time for the average hunter to harvest a doe after the doe density was lowered due to HR? Now think about it from a buck's perpective: would it take less less time, the same amount of time, or more time for a buck to breed all available does when the doe density is lowered. What about if you increased the number of hunters (and bucks)?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Freytown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiz
3. Considering #2 here, just think how many more deer were available to be seen by hunters under AR than there would have been without AR. The buck harvest would probably have been 30% greater the first year then deer sightings would have been far worse then most experienced after HR and AR were implemented because there would be even less bucks.
Yep, that was the plan,(HR) reduce the herd. Killing 1 1/2 yro males would have reduced the herd too.
For years, 80% of the bucks harvested were 1 1/2 yr old and and the herd still continued to grow. Take HR and subtract 30% more bucks and deer sightings would have been far worse than experienced during the peak of HR. Grumbling among hunters would have been far higher as well.
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