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From Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Point / counterpoint on deer management | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Outdoors notebook
Point / counterpoint on deer management
February 19, 2017 12:00 AM

By John Hayes / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
On last week’s outdoors page, biologist, outdoors writer and noted deer authority C.J. Winand said that while other deer hunting states are “envious” of Pennsylvania’s deer management policy, he had bones to pick with details of the plan. Nothing nasty, just his belief that the Game Commission’s antler restrictions were the result of a bad but necessary compromise, and enforcing a minimum 15-inch inside spread would better protect young bucks[/quote]
 

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I would encourage everyone to ready the entire short article in the link, including Rosenberry’s reply, instead of just this small cherry picked snippet.

I agree with Rosenberry instead of Winard. Anyone who thinks a 15 inch spread restriction would be better for Pennsylvania, or for hunters, is looking at it ONLY from a trophy perspective instead of a wise deer management or hunter satisfaction perspective.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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I agree with Mr. Rosenberry. I went to school (many years ago) and can count to at least 10 but would have a problem deciding between 14 or 15 inches. I have a couple of basket rack 8 points that are 10 inches or less.
 

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Very strongly agree spread restrictions are too difficult in real world hunting situations and the current system works by protecting most yearlings. That was and should be the goal, not creating a trophy destination. I would however be in favor of adding a spread provision, the key being in addition to the points. Where we hunt in 2D we've seen a couple deer reach maturity as very large 6 points but are illegal to harvest. Rare situation but those deer being mature should be legal for harvest.
 

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Personally, I don't think AR's even matter anymore. We are losing hunters on a continual basis. Fewer and fewer people hunting every year. And enough people practice their own AR, passing on sub 3 1/2 year old bucks, that the PGC's AR could be lifted and it won't affect much at all. At this point in time, it's just a feel good for some.
 

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Back before AR I went to Georgia on a so called trophy deer hunt. Dooley County Ga. at the time was a minimum of a 15" spread and the outfitter made his rule 16" to help out to be safe. If it you killed something under 15" he called DNR and fined you himself 500.00, under 16" and to 15" he just fined you 500.00. You signed a contract before hunting of this was the rules. The rule of thumb was the ears was 16" don't shoot under the ear size and you would be safe. I was asking him back then some details and he said the genetics had to be so good for a spread rule like this and I could agree. I kind of have my own 16" rule anything under I'm just not interested in. So needless to say I dont harvest a buck every year. I like horns but everyone else might not and to do something like this would be a disaster. Of course it would be a good money maker for PGC on fines. :D
 

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Back before AR I went to Georgia on a so called trophy deer hunt. Dooley County Ga. at the time was a minimum of a 15" spread and the outfitter made his rule 16" to help out to be safe. If it you killed something under 15" he called DNR and fined you himself 500.00, under 16" and to 15" he just fined you 500.00. You signed a contract before hunting of this was the rules. The rule of thumb was the ears was 16" don't shoot under the ear size and you would be safe. I was asking him back then some details and he said the genetics had to be so good for a spread rule like this and I could agree. I kind of have my own 16" rule anything under I'm just not interested in. So needless to say I dont harvest a buck every year. I like horns but everyone else might not and to do something like this would be a disaster. Of course it would be a good money maker for PGC on fines. :D
if you like horns then you have to hunt sheep or antelope, deer dont have any :D

and there are bucks in the record books with some really small, narrow spreads.
 

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Personally, I don't think AR's even matter anymore. We are losing hunters on a continual basis. Fewer and fewer people hunting every year. And enough people practice their own AR, passing on sub 3 1/2 year old bucks, that the PGC's AR could be lifted and it won't affect much at all. At this point in time, it's just a feel good for some.

I wonder the same thing myself.
 

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If there are still truly those out there who have the brown and down mentality, then spikes and forks would still be shot to some degree.

It would be an interesting poll. All those who are against ARs, would you shoot a smnall buck if it were legal again?
 

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if you like horns then you have to hunt sheep or antelope, deer dont have any :D

and there are bucks in the record books with some really small, narrow spreads.
Ahh man I dont know what to do then. I think antelope are ugly and would sooner watch paint dry hen to hunt them, and to old, fat, and lazy to hunt sheep. For most part I got in to wildlife photography and would sooner shoot them with my Nikons.
 

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It would be an interesting poll. All those who are against ARs, would you shoot a smnall buck if it were legal again?

I'm not against AR, but really don't care either way. If AR were lifted, I'd still continue to take whatever legal buck passed my way, just like I always have.
 

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AR should not be a "one size fits all" plan. I am retired many years, hunt bow, rifle, and ML seasons on an SGL and a state park. I have not seen a legal buck since 2009. I have seen numerous spikes and fork horns though.
 

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If it can work in Dooly County, Georgia, why not elsewhere?

Just posting what the outfitter told me. I haven't been there since 2001 so I don't know there program anymore. My full intention was taking a 16" or better since prior to AR I never did that hunting around here since 1975. Now with AR a 16" is quite common and I sure would not pay to harvest one. Back to my original I asked that guy when I was down there what it took, the genetics he said had to be good.
 

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Without antler restrictions even though some hunters would let the smaller bucks walk they wouldn’t walk very far until someone else killed them. In most parts of the state we would be right back to over harvesting our 1 ½ year old bucks and poor breeding rates the next fall.

Dick Bodenhorn
Any proof that it would result in poor breeding rates? I thought their was no significant changes in breeding after ar was implemented.
 

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Without antler restrictions even though some hunters would let the smaller bucks walk they wouldn’t walk very far until someone else killed them. In most parts of the state we would be right back to over harvesting our 1 ½ year old bucks and poor breeding rates the next fall.

Dick Bodenhorn

yes, it would take about 2 years to undo the past 15 years. I do some wildlife photography and last fall posted a nice 4 point on fb saying he needs one more year to be a Pa. shooter. I had all kind of friends from W.VA. saying they wished there state would go to AR of some kind. Of course everyone's theory there is I have to shoot that scrub 5 pointer so the next guy don't next to me. I think take the chance and let it walk anyway, those are the people that cant discipline themselves unless it becomes law. Not to be selfish but I do feel for the guy that enjoyed spikes and 4 pointers, I enjoy AR though.
 

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In many parts of PA now, there aren't enough boots on the ground to over harvest any age class of bucks. In the other parts of the state, there is enough posted ground to protect bucks. And if the BOC were truly concerned about breeding rates, they wouldn't be handing out such conservative antlerless license allocations these past couple years.
 

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Back to shooting spikes and Y bucks? Really. And as a side note I wonder how you will be able to hold it still long enough to put a tape measure on it's head? Seems ridiculous to me..


AR got started because bucks had a real shot at getting shot at 1.5 years old. Do you really want to go back to doing that?


All I can say, and have said again... Thanks Gary Alt. This state needed to cooperate 20 years earlier than they did.
 

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i believe one of the old bear regulations before Dr. Alt was that the canine teeth had to be an inch long ? we could go back to that.

as far as AR, i dont really care, i like venison regardless of the rack size. as far as HR.....it needs to stop completely and .....IMMEDIATELY.
 
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