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Discussion Starter #1
I couldn't post a link because its in pdf format...
Its a good read though and may be an indicator of whats happening here with our statewide AR's.
The yearling bucks saved aren't really showing up in the harvest as older buck and there may be some high grading.

READ ON>>>>>>>>>
APR Data Summary from April 2010 Deer Hunter Forums
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife hosted a New Jersey Deer Hunter Forum on three
evenings in April on Antler Point Restrictions (APR). Fish and Wildlife deer biologists presented
deer data for south Jersey deer management zones (DMZs) that currently have APR, and for
DMZs 28, 30, 31, 34, and 47, where the South Jersey branch of the Quality Deer Management
Association (QDMA) has requested APR regulations.
The forum allowed deer hunters who hunt south Jersey DMZs to see data for existing APR zones
and deer data from the DMZs proposed for APR. The information provided at the forum may be
helpful for deer hunters when completing an upcoming survey Fish and Wildlife sent to solicit
deer hunter opinion on the QDMA proposal to implement APR in DMZs 28, 30, 31, 34, and 47.
The APR Survey data will be analyzed and presented to the Fish and Game Council during the
June 8 meeting held at the Central Region Office on the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area.
The following is a summation of the data presented at the forums.
QDM
Antler Point Restrictions are but one part of a philosophy called Quality Deer Management,
which also espouses the adequate harvest of antlerless deer to maintain a healthy deer population
in balance with habitat and landowner desires, and habitat management in the form of food plots
and proper forest management.
EXISTING APR PROGRAM
Antler Point restrictions have been in place in NJ
in selected zones (dark blue) since 2000 where
only a buck with at least 3 points on one side is
legal for harvest. The proposed zones are in light
blue. Zone 6 was removed from APR in 2007 at
the request of local sportsmen.
For the purpose of this data analysis, only the
southern APR zones were considered, as the
northern APR zones differ in human population
densities, land use, habitat, and deer hunting
regulations.
2
Southern APR Antlered Harvest
0
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Existing APR Zones 27, 29, 35, 63 Combined Data
-------------------
----------------------------------
Figure 1. APR starts
For all south APR zones, the combined average harvest before APR was 1,876 bucks per year.
After the institution of APR, the combined average harvest was 1,289 bucks per year (Figure 1).
This is a 31% decline in the antlered harvest due to APR. A decline in the antlered harvest is to
be expected, since APR is an impediment to the harvest of an antlered deer.
Figure 2 shows the percentage of each age class of bucks composing the antlered harvest over
time in all the south APR zones. Because APR saves the majority of yearling bucks from harvest
by making them illegal, we save a large percentage of that age class and see a decline in that
segment of the antlered harvest, and a corresponding increase in the 2.5 yr old and 3.5+ yr old
segments. Note that the older age classes increase purely as a response to the decline in the
yearling segment of the harvest, even if the actual numbers of older age class bucks do not
increase.
3
Figure 2. APR starts
Now let’s look at each age class harvest for all the APR zones. These numbers are all
summarized in Table 1.
The average yearling harvest pre-APR was 1,325 bucks per year. The post-APR average yearling
harvest is 613 bucks per year for all the south APR zones.
The average 2.5 year old harvest pre-APR was 456 bucks per year; the post-APR average harvest
of 2.5 year olds is 486 bucks per year.
The average 3.5+ year old harvest pre-APR was 95 bucks per year. The post-APR average
harvest is 179 bucks per year.
On average, each year we save 712 yearling bucks from harvest, and gain 30 2.5 year old bucks
and 84 3.5+ year old bucks. In other words, we harvest 712 less yearling bucks but gain only
114 older age class bucks as a result of APR.
Southern APR Zones
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
1.5 yr old 2.5 yr old 3.5 yr old
4
That means that 84% of the yearlings saved from harvest every year do not show up in the
harvest as older age class bucks. Another way of putting it is that for every 6.25 yearlings saved
from harvest, we get 1 older age class buck in the harvest.
Therefore, 598 yearling bucks saved
from harvest in the south APR zones
do not show up in the harvest as older
age class bucks every year.
Table 1.
WHERE DID ALL THE YEARLINGS GO??
Are they being checked in as older age class bucks during times of the season when Division
biologists are not aging deer?
To answer this question, antler point data in these zones was analyzed to set if the number of
points per buck significantly changed during the bow seasons, or overall throughout the year.
The data did not show a significant increase in the number of bucks with more points being
checked in during the early seasons, or during any time in the hunting season.
Are sub-legal bucks being taken in the APR zones,
and then checked in as deer from surrounding zones
with no APR regulation?
Analysis looked at both yearling buck age class and
overall antlered harvest in the 4 adjacent zones to the
APR zones.
The surrounding zones showed an average increase of
106 yearlings post-APR compared to pre-APR. Even if
all these deer could be attributed to sub-legal APR deer,
they don’t come close to the 598 that were saved from
harvest.
When total antlered harvest was looked at, there was a
net gain of 7 bucks post-APR.
Age Class Pre-APR Post-APR N change
1.5 1,325 613 -712
2.5 456 486 +30
3.5+ 95 179 +84
Total 1,876 1,278 598
5
Southern APR Antlerless Harvest
0
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
3,500
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Are the “missing” yearlings due to an overall reduction in the statewide deer population?
New Jersey’s estimated deer population reached a high during the late 1990s at around 200,000
deer. Today’s estimates are down to 130,000 deer. The reduction in the overall statewide
population was mainly the result of aggressive deer management tactics, namely the Earn-ABuck
regulation, which did not impact these zones.
When the south APR zones’ antlered harvest is compared to similar zones for the same time
period, we see an 8% increase in the antlered harvest in the comparable zones versus a 31%
decrease in the APR zones.
WHERE DID ALL THE YEARLINGS GO??
ANSWER: Cars, refugia, smarter!
On 361 square miles of deer range that these 4 APR zones comprise, our “missing” 598 yearlings
translates into 1.7 bucks per square mile, many of which could be easily attributable to deervehicle
collisions.
Older animals are smarter animals and may seek refuge on lands closed to hunting during the
season. Older bucks are also much more difficult to bag because they are that much smarter
(except during the rut!).
SOUTH APR ZONES ANTLERLESS HARVEST Figure 3.
6
The pre- and post-APR average antlerless harvest were virtually unchanged, going from a yearly
average of 2,785 before to 2,637 afterwards.
EXISTING APR ZONES INDIVIDUAL DATA
Zone 27 Age Class by Number
Zone 27 saves an average of 188
yearlings from harvest each year and
gains 36 older age class bucks.
152 yearlings saved do not show up
in the harvest as older age class
bucks, which translates into 1.5
bucks per square mile.
Zone 27 has had a 29% decline in the
antlered harvest due to APR.
Zone 29 Age Class by Number
Zone 29 saves an average of 215
yearlings from harvest each year and
gains an average of 47 older age class
bucks.
168 yearlings saved from harvest do
not show up as older age class bucks,
which translates into 2.5 bucks per
square mile.
Zone 29 has had a 29% decline in the
antlered harvest due to APR.
Age Class Pre-APR Post-APR N change
1.5 335 147 -188
2.5 142 145 +3
3.5+ 17 50 +33
Total 494 342 -152
Age Class Pre-APR Post-APR N change
1.5 367 152 -215
2.5 92 122 +30
3.5+ 46 63 +17
Total 505 337 -168
7
Zone 35 Age Class by Number
Zone 35 saves an average of 237
yearlings from harvest each year, and
gains 16 older age class bucks.
258 deer saved from harvest do not
show up as older age class bucks,
which translates into 1.5 bucks per
square mile.
Zone 35 has had a 31% decline in the
antlered harvest due to APR.
Zone 63 Age Class by Number
Zone 63 saves an average of 111
yearlings from harvest each year, and
gains 6 older age class bucks.
105 yearlings saved from harvest do
not show up as older age class bucks,
which translates into 1.5 bucks per
square mile.
Zone 35 has had a 37% decline in the
antlered harvest due to APR.
Will Antler Point Restrictions Produce Trophy Bucks?
As seen in NJ’s data as well as data from other APR states, APR results in savings a large
percentage of yearling bucks from harvest, with increases in the 2.5 year old age class and very
modest increases in the 3.5+ year old age classes. So predominantly you will get a slightly older,
larger buck, but trophy bucks will probably not be the result for the following reasons:
1 – Age at Maturity. Bucks mature (maximum body weight and antler mass) at 5.5 to 7.5 years
of age. Properties with high hunting pressure, especially public lands, will not allow for bucks to
reach that age and stage of development.
2 – “High-Grading”. A term taken from the timber industry which means to take the best and
leave the second-rate. When we do antler point or spread restrictions, we protect the worst of that
age class and harvest the best of that age class. A study in Mississippi after 10 years of a 4-point
Age Class Pre-APR Post-APR N change
1.5 508 271 -237
2.5 210 173 -37
3.5+ 34 50 +16
Total 752 494 -258
Age Class Pre-APR Post-APR N change
1.5 154 43 -111
2.5 46 46 0
3.5+ 10 16 +6
Total 210 105 -105
8
Zone 28 Antlered Harvest by Age Class
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
1.5 2.5 3.5+
Zone 28 Antlered Harvest
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
restriction showed a decrease in the gross Boone & Crockett scores of 5 to 9 inches for 2.5 year
olds, and 10 to 17 inches for 3.5+ year olds.
Proposed APR Zones
Zone 28
Zone 28 exhibits a
typical buck age class
structure for a zone
with no APR: a high
percentage of
yearlings, with a
smaller percentage of
2.5 yr olds, and fewer
3.5+ yr olds harvested
each year.
-----------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------
The current average annual buck harvest in Zone 28 is 465.
The predicted annual buck harvest if APR is added is 321.
If APR is added, we would expect to save ~144 yearlings from harvest per year, and see a net
gain of ~23 older age class bucks per year.
9
Zone 30 Antlered Harvest by Age Class
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
1.5 2.5 3.5+
Zone 30 Antlered Harvest
0
50
100
150
200
250
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Zone 30
Since 2004, Zone
30 shows a decease
in the yearling
segment of the
antlered harvest,
and an increase in
the percentages of
older age classes.
Since this is not
regulation-driven, it
is indicative of poor
antler development
in the yearling age
class of the herd.
--------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------
The current average annual buck harvest in Zone 30 is 200.
The predicted annual buck harvest with APR is 138.
If APR is added we would expect to save ~62 yearlings from harvest per year, and see a net gain
of ~10 older age class bucks per year.
10
Zone 31 Antlered Harvest by Age Class
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
1.5 2.5 3.5+
Zone 31 Antlered Harvest
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Zone 31
Zone 31
continues to
show erratic
antler
development
in the yearling
segment of the
buck
population, as
indicated by
the fluctuating
blue line.
------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------
The current average annual buck harvest in Zone 31 is 139.
The predicted annual buck harvest with APR is 96.
If APR is added we would expect to save ~43 yearlings from harvest per year, and see a net gain
of ~7 older age class bucks per year.
11
Zone 34 Antlered Harvest by Age Class
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
1.5 2.5 3.5+
Zone 34 Antlered Harvest
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Zone 34
The
percentages of
age class buck
harvests in
Zone 34 is
indicative of
very poor
years of antler
development,
as shown by
the graph
fluctuations.
----------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------
The current average annual buck harvest in Zone 34 is 447.
The predicted annual buck harvest with APR is 308.
If APR is added we would expect to save ~139 yearlings from harvest per year, and see a net
gain of ~22 older age class bucks per year.
12
Zone 47 Antlered Harvest by Age Class
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
1.5 2.5 3.5+
Zone 47 Antlered Harvest
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Zone 47
Zone 47’s
yearling
percentage of
the harvest
indicated years
of very poor
antler
development, as
indicated by the
low percent of
harvest of that
age class.
-------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------
The current average annual buck harvest in Zone 47 is 127.
The predicted annual buck harvest with APR is 88.
If APR is added we would expect to save ~39 yearlings from harvest per year, and see a net gain
of ~6 older age class bucks per year.
13
The poor antler development in Zones 30, 31, 34 and 47 is attributable to a mast-dependent herd
on average to poor habitat. The following parameters are used to determine overall herd health
and habitat condition, based on yearling antler beam measurements in millimeters. Habitat best
suited to an Antler Point restriction program are rated above- or substantially above standard.
Of the five proposed zones, only Zone 28 has habitat that truly meets this criteria (see table on
left).
The existing APR zones (table on right) all have habitat that is rated substantially above
standard.
substantially above
standard
>19.0
>17.0<19.0 above standard
>15.0<17.0 standard
<15.0 below standard
Aaron Moen
Yearling antler beam Condition rating
diameter
Zone 47 17.03
Zone 34 13.03
Zone 31 16.67
Zone 30 14.99
Zone 28 19.31
5 yr
avg
Proposed
Zones
Zone 63 21.296
Zone 35 21.382
Zone 29 19.962
Zone 27 20.814
5 yr
avg
Existing
Zones
14
In Conclusion:
The Division of Fish and Wildlife supports Antler Point Restrictions on private
lands where bucks have a chance of reaching a significantly older age because of
limited hunting pressure, and where supported by quality habitat suitable to
producing annual antler growth in yearling bucks.
The Division encourages private landowners and managers to work cooperatively
on a regional basis to meet these goals, but does not see a biological or
management imperative to impose APR on all hunters.
 

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It looks like they answered their own question.

"Are the “missing” yearlings due to an overall reduction in the statewide deer population?
New Jersey’s estimated deer population reached a high during the late 1990s at around 200,000
deer. Today’s estimates are down to 130,000 deer. The reduction in the overall statewide
population was mainly the result of aggressive deer management tactics, namely the Earn-ABuck
regulation, which did not impact these zones.
When the south APR zones’ antlered harvest is compared to similar zones for the same time
period, we see an 8% increase in the antlered harvest in the comparable zones versus a 31%
decrease in the APR zones."

Herd reduction means less bucks born in the first place. The reason why not all units were the same is just that. Because every zone was not reduced equally.

When you reduce the herd, with ar or without ar you are going to harvest fewer bucks. Same thing here in Pa.

Thats how I see it. I don't see any reason to make it more complicated than it needs to be.
 

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Interesting read as far as hi grading is concerned, as much as I like AR'S it has always bothered me that the PGC didn't set up a measuring system from the start to determine weather hi grading was occurring. This laissezfaire attitude is the same as their attitude towards HR. A few inches loss this decade and a few inches loss next and by the time it's noticeable it's to late.
 

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comparing different states is always apples to oranges. different laws, different seasons, less hunters, more hunters, ect, all affect things differently. imo, the number of hunters here in pa makes this a different ball game than any other state.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yellodog said:
comparing different states is always apples to oranges. different laws, different seasons, less hunters, more hunters, ect, all affect things differently. imo, the number of hunters here in pa makes this a different ball game than any other state.
Jersey deer hunting basically goes from sept to the end of January.
We have a lot more hunters and a lot more ground to hunt.
There are many similarities in the harvest patterns though that make them comparable.
A 10 year timeline is more than enough material to study.
It does appear as though high grading is occurring in the jersey APR zones.
Also where are the yearlings bucks going??
 

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well, at least you're not trying to compare our results with mississippi this time. but imo it's still apples to oranges. first thing that comes to my mind is how many buck tags do you get in nj?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't believe anyone was trying to compare Pa to Jersey.

I just posted the results of there study.
What is happening to their yearling bucks if there not being shot as yearlings?
Is high grading occurring?
 

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clearfield12 said:
I don't believe anyone was trying to compare Pa to Jersey.

I just posted the results of there study.
What is happening to their yearling bucks if there not being shot as yearlings?
Is high grading occurring?
I didn’t see anything there that suggests high grading. I suspect New Jersey hunters and Pennsylvania hunters alike are passing on more legal 1 ½ year old bucks with antler restrictions than they did when all bucks were legal.

I also suspect that a fair number of the older bucks in the antler restriction areas of both states are avoiding harvest because hunters have to look at them long enough to count points instead of just shooting at the first shot opportunity. I know from experience that I have had a number of bucks that I didn’t shoot because by the time I was able to figure out that they were legal I no longer had a shot opportunity.

Just having antler restrictions will protect more of not only the illegal but also an often-unknown percentage of the legal bucks as well.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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clearfield12 said:
I don't believe anyone was trying to compare Pa to Jersey.

I just posted the results of there study.
What is happening to their yearling bucks if there not being shot as yearlings?
Is high grading occurring?
What is happening is they aren't being born in the first place. Less doe = less buck.
 

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keystone-hunter said:
clearfield12 said:
I don't believe anyone was trying to compare Pa to Jersey.

I just posted the results of there study.
What is happening to their yearling bucks if there not being shot as yearlings?
Is high grading occurring?
What is happening is they aren't being born in the first place. Less doe = less buck.

Come up with something new. Your same old spiel gets old quick.
 

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More and more evidence all the time of high grading in an AR setup. I just dont understand whats so hard to grasp that if you are killing your best bucks that meet AR restriction you will see a downward trend. Not all fawns are born late.

Two seperate studies have shown it now and its like... well it could never happen here and were not comparing apples because we have many more hunters.

Its all relative, jersey being very close to home and showing it should be reason enough to watch it and expect it. Sure they have less tags and less hunters because its also a VERY small state.
 

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The deer farmer doesnt spend big bucks for the fawn buck whos a spike, he buys the 1.5 year old whos already pope and young.

People will say to that... deer farming is in a controlled environment, which it is. However it might happen on a smaller scale in the woods but the buck whos a legal 8 at 1.5 is the one with potential to go big.

From a pure killing perspective it doesnt make a lick of difference if youre just worried about seeing bucks and keeping them into the next older age class. From a book buck perspective it matters much.
 

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keystone-hunter said:
clearfield12 said:
I don't believe anyone was trying to compare Pa to Jersey.

I just posted the results of there study.
What is happening to their yearling bucks if there not being shot as yearlings?
Is high grading occurring?
What is happening is they aren't being born in the first place. Less doe = less buck.
Obviously. Maybe after another year or two and extensive studies from outside peers New Jersey will understand that complex concept. I guess alternate far out explanations make for a little more drama.
 

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The yearling bucks saved aren't really showing up in the harvest as older buck and there may be some high grading.
Although I'm for it (AR that is), this was my concern at the onset of AR's. Folks, that otherwise were happy to shoot a 4 pt, 6pt, (in 4 pt land) are pretty much relegated to wait for a more mature Deer instead of taking a smaller one and exiting the woods. Logic tells me that we will take wayyyyy more 2 1/2 yr olds than in the past because there are more out there. Logic also tells me we are likely to have less 3 1/2, 4 1/2, 5 1/2 etc..... because there are more hunters (forcibly) vying for that older age class.
 
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