The results are in.
The topic is antler restrictions.
What hunters should expect
More young bucks surviving to older age classes. The actual proportion of young bucks protected is dependent upon the appropriateness of the antler criteria selected, coupled with the degree of hunter compliance.
Significantly lower buck harvest initially, with somewhat lower buck harvest long term.
More and older bucks on the landscape may increase competition for breeding and may increase the intensity of the rut.
The population management goal (and thus overall deer numbers) for a unit would not change, but herd composition and harvest opportunity would change.
Are they needed?
NY’s deer population has shown rapid growth potential and shows no evidence of compromised breeding success. No significant change in herd productivity should be expected with antler restrictions.
Because the rut is largely dictated by seasonal day length changes, significant shifts in the timing of breeding should likewise not be expected.
In light of the above, DEC sees no compelling biological or management need for mandated antler restrictions.
If a clear biological or management advantage was to be expected, DEC would certainly support mandatory restrictions. Lacking such evidence, we believe that over whelming hunter support should be present before pursuing further mandatory restrictions.
The real key to successful deer management and a healthy herd is the right level of doe harvest.
Seems like someone has learned from the experiment conducted just south. Waugh!
AR is only a pacifier.You will never grow if it's not in your genes.