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Discussion Starter #1
True scenario that happened five or six years ago.

Group out pushing in late flintlock. Couple inches of fresh snow on the ground. A small basket rack steps out in front of one of the posters, 30 yards broadside. BOOM! Deer tears off through the brush down the hill. Shooter sees glimpes of it and thought he sees it fall. Heads directly downhill to that area, not bothering to follow the tracks, just went straight to it.

About 100-150 yards from the shot, deer is down. No antlers. Two bloody spots on the head. Guy knows it had a rack when he shot.

The Question - do you tag this deer as a buck or a doe?

Foremost is what is LEGALLY required? Our morals and ethics are a different question.

As the group gathered, some guys backtracked the exact path the deer ran through the snow, found one antler and then the other. The deer had knocked them off running through the brush.

Now, a deer running through the woods and knocked off the antlers, to me, that seems "naturally shed". Is there a difference of a deer running spooked by a grouse hunter or non-hunting hiker and knocks them off, verses running after being shot at?

A hunter walks up to his dear deer, it has no antlers. Then others find the shed antlers and give them to him as a gift. Is it legal to tag that deer with an antlerless tag and still have your buck tag and continue hunting for an antlered deer?

Before the chaos starts, the buck was tagged with the buck tag, and the tagged deer and shed antlers were put into the truck along with his flintlock, and he was just a driver for the rest of the day. Didn't need another deer so his doe tag went unused. And, that buck tag was on that deer BEFORE the sheds were found.

But LEGALLY, could he have tagged that deer as a doe, and also kept possession of the naturally shed antlers, and then shot another buck?

Is your deer defined as antlered or antlerless based upon when you pulled the trigger or when you recover the dead animal?
 

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Since you found the antlers you would tag it as a buck,if no antlers are found ,use a doe tag and on you Harvest card there is a place to check that it was a shed antlered buck,if no antlers are found.
 

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Agreed with Retired. If you couldn't of found the antlers you would naturally use you're antlerless tag as the deer was antlerless. This does not specify sex because its been known to happen where does have antlers not often but it does happen.
 

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i think it could have been legally tagged either way, but at the time of the tagging it was an anterless deer....i'm sure john s will chime in soon.......bob

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It was an antlered deer when it was shot, you found the antlers and properly tagged it with the antlered tag. However, you could have legally taged it with the antlered tag anyway because you can tag an antlerless deer with an antlered deer tag in flintlock season if you had any doubt.
 

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Same scenario happened to a friend a few years back. One antler fell off after the shot, and the other once we started to drag it out. He tagged it as a buck and had a family member who works at a museum fix the antlers back on to the skull.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just to clarify, it wasn't me personally, and I wasn't even out that day, home with the flu bug.

The guy who shot it tagged it as a buck, even though he had a buck tag and antlerless tag. He knew it had bones when he shot at it.

After some joking about "what were you smoking when you saw antlers", thank goodness there was some snow and others backtracked and found both. One was right in the path, and the other one was a little bit off the path. Had there been no snow unlikely they find one, or very deep snow probably only find one. Just enough to follow the exact path, but not obscure the shed antler that flew off to one side.

Some good karma. He knew his "intent" was to kill a legal racked buck when he fired the shot, that's how he tagged it.

Just wondered if he would have been legal with the antlerless tag, since it was other guys who found the "sheds". I'm sure most have heard stories about guys going to start dragging, and antlers come off in their hands. In the days before concurrent seasons, that would look bad and better not lose them or you have some explaining to do!

Weird story, and some strange bragging rights about how he "hits 'em so hard he blows the antlers right off of 'em."
 

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I read an old Field note by a WCO in the Pa. game news one year where a hunter saw a buck during the three day doe season and when it started to run it's antlers hit some limbs and fell off and he shot it as an antlerless deer after the antlers fell off.He found the antlers and took them home.
 

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John S said:
It was an antlered deer when it was shot, you found the antlers and properly tagged it with the antlered tag. However, you could have legally taged it with the antlered tag anyway because you can tag an antlerless deer with an antlered deer tag in flintlock season if you had any doubt.
If he had used a doe tag, would he be in trouble?
 

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I would say he should have tagged it with his backtag because that's what he intended to use when he pulled the trigger. If it was a big deal to him to have the rack attached, I bet he could have contacted a WCO and they would have allowed him to use his antlerless tag and issued him a new antlered tag.
 

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I can't imagine him being in trouble under the circumstances described. There are circumstances where it would be a problem but I am operating under the assumption the OP is truthful because I have no reason not to.
 

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I think legally he would have to tag as a buck. How would you explain to WCO if you used your doe tag on a deer than clearly had male characteristics and a set of antlers with you at the same time. But in flintlock you can use your buck tag as a doe tag as well. It's better to be honest.
 

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I think the hunter did the right thing tagging it as a buck, it was a buck when he shot it. What do you think would have happened if a WCO came upon the situation if he tagged it as a doe? espically if he admitted it had a rack when he shot it?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's the essence of the question. Legally, do you tag the deer as you find it dead, or when you shot at it?

Having male plumbing does not define "antlered" and "antlerless" deer. A shed buck is a legal antlerless deer, just as a racked doe is a legal antlered deer.

Look at another theoretical case. Guy shoots one with three on top on one side and a fork on the other. When running, the deer sheds the larger antler. Now on the ground it's a sub-legal buck.

Morals or ethics are a separate question. Our shooter in this case used his buck tag (legally, on an antlerless deer in flintlock) prior to knowing the sheds had been recovered.

Remember, the antlers were "naturally shed", not as a result of some shed-trap or man-made device. They were found by other individuals who gave them to the hunter as a gift.
 

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They were found by other individuals who gave them to the hunter as a gift.
Why do you keep calling them a "gift" ? Did they wrap them in chiffon paper and put a bow on them before handing them to him ?
They simply bactracked the Deer's death route a few yards, and gave the guy the horns that were on the Deer a few yards, and a few minuites before.

OR.... was he hunting with the Three Wisemen ?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's a "gift" because it's legal only to possess "naturally shed" antlers, and I'm not sure it's allowed to sell whitetail deer parts.

The hunter who killed the deer did not find the antlers. Others did and gave them to him. No money exchanged hands, and to me, that is a gift, and also the legal definition of a gift.

We have a lot of WCO-wannabes and lawyer-wannabes lurking out there, so I wanted to be clear that "Person A found Item X and GAVE it to Person B". It was Person A's legally possessed object, and he gave it to Person B at no cost.

To me, no tax laws violated nor no game laws violated.
 

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I dont know the legal answer.But get a kick out of statements like "i think legally". Well do you think or is it legal.Also what if this happened in the concurrent buck / doe season?
 

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They made the correct and legal decision, I can't believe this is still going on.
 
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