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View Full Version : Texas extends buck regulations to many more counties


fisherman66
August 11, 2009, 09:11 PM
Book released today.

Inside spread wider than 13" rule applied to many more counties. Spikes still cullable.

Per'aps we will see sum better quality bucks and an overall healthier herd.

Trust
August 12, 2009, 05:50 PM
The counties west of the DFW area where in need of the these restrictions do to people shooting anything with horns. It has worked well in other counties so hopefully it works out in these as well.


Plus the bonus is or at least was a couple years ago. If you took a spike to a check station you had a 50/50 shot at getting an extra buck tag.

hogdogs
August 12, 2009, 06:19 PM
Inside spread wider than 13" rule applied to many more counties.
I ain't sure but that would rule out many good eater deer. Big racks don't grow only on big body deer so it would do me and my meat needs any good at all. so do the large racks boil up a better soup than the little horns?
Are they now of the mindset that deer hunting should be limited to rack hunting sportsman?
There are a ton more 12 inch basket racks than 4.25 inch spikes around here...
Brent

fisherman66
August 12, 2009, 06:29 PM
Brent, you are right, but I'd prefer doe to be honest. I have a much bigger problem with counties that do doe days (usually the weekend following Thanksgiving only) than buck restrictions. Button bucks are still antlerless; if that weren't obvious.

Double Naught Spy
August 12, 2009, 08:08 PM
This affects my county, Montague. My fear is that hunters will shoot good looking bucks that turn out to be 12.25" instead of 13" and just walk away from them as opposed to risking getting fined. The inside spread requirement just seems to be an awfully difficult criterion to judge in the field if it is going to be close. Sure if you have a 15" inside spread, no problem.

Just curious as I didn't see it, what if you have a half spike buck? I have one that is three pts on one side and the other side is a deformed and laterally downward pointing spike. So does he count?

The pic is a cropped closeup from a Moultrie I-40 game camera, taken July 28, 2009.

Per'aps we will see sum better quality bucks and an overall healthier herd.
I don't know. If you take out the big healthy bucks and the spikes, then you are left with the mediocre bucks to pass on genes to the next generation.

fisherman66
August 12, 2009, 08:54 PM
You pict shows a spike (odd one fer-sher)...shootable.


I don't know. If you take out the big healthy bucks and the spikes, then you are left with the mediocre bucks to pass on genes to the next generation.

Good luck taking out the mature, big bucks. Easier said than done. It's the stupid 2.5 year old sex craved "teenager" that's often shot. The morbidity rate drops off pretty quickly as the more seasoned bucks go nocturnal.

Doodlebugger45
August 12, 2009, 09:14 PM
I don't know and I'm sure no expert about how to grow horns. I know it's caused a lot of controversy around here. Some hunt areas have gone to "4 point or better" rules (4 on each side out here). From what I've seen, it hasn't been a cure. It's still controversial from what I can see. Although I seem to see fewer areas all the time with the "size" limit, so maybe the G&F is thinking it's not the total answer?

Trust
August 12, 2009, 10:30 PM
The rules behind antler restrictions are to allow buck to mature. Pretty much any thing greater than a spike that has horns within 2 hours of DFW gets blasted. Most Game Wardens will give a hunter the benefit of .25-.50 inches regarding the spread. In the counties this was implemented in 6+ years ago there is a boom in mature bucks being taken.

The rules for spikes are at least 1 side of the rack can not be forked. This lets you take out the freaks that have a 3pts on 1 side and 1 on the other.

Whats gonna make it rough this season is the lack of rain.

I prefer a doe when going straight for meat, most if not all the counties with antler restrictions allow you to take at least 2 does.

Double Naught Spy
August 12, 2009, 10:39 PM
Good luck taking out the mature, big bucks. Easier said than done. It's the stupid 2.5 year old sex craved "teenager" that's often shot. The morbidity rate drops off pretty quickly as the more seasoned bucks go nocturnal.

You may be right, but the system seems to be somewhat self conflicted. Maybe if I had better insight into how TPWD came up with the standards, I might follow the reasoning for their system.

And YES, I have seen it on my cameras, the bigger bucks not showing in the daytime. Same for many of the does as well, that I assume are older.

Some hunt areas have gone to "4 point or better" rules (4 on each side out here).
Well, at least that is a criterion that many hunters will be able to assess fairly easily through their scopes, or with the unaided eye if fairly close.

Whats gonna make it rough this season is the lack of rain.
Where I am, the pastures are still green because the rain has come often enough to keep the plants thriving.

~kev~
August 13, 2009, 04:32 PM
I in Jasper County and hunt in Newton County, and I personally think the deer herds are smaller today then they were 10 years ago.

It used to be nothing to see 5, 6 or 8 deer at one time. Those walk on through and a little while later 4 or 5 more come through. But I have not seen herds like that in 5 or 6 years. It seems that in the past few years the sizes of the herds have taken a drastic downturn for what ever reason.

Some people say its from over hunting, some people say its poaching, some people say its the wild hogs eating the deers food supply, some people say its an increase in the coyote population,,,,,.

I dont know if the 13 inch limit is going to make a difference in the deer population. It will help if over hunting is the problem. But if hogs and poaching is the problem, its not going to help.

What we really need, is the ban lifted from butchers being able to process wild hogs. The Parks and Wildlife Department needs to make it easier for someone to trap or kill a hog, take it to the butcher and have it processed. But from what I heard, its illegal to transport a wild hog?

We also need stricter laws on poachers.

The minimum of 13 inches might help increase the deer population, but I dont think its going to help a lot.

dwwhite
August 13, 2009, 05:47 PM
I have hunted on my in-law's in Colorado county since the regulations first went into effect. I firmly belive that it has resulted in overall healthier herds and more mature bucks.

One thing to remember is that the TPWD literature allows for using the deer's alert ears as a yardstick, i.e. if the antlers extend past the ears, it's a legal buck. This results in some leeway in the measurements. Also, in speaking to a local game warden, he stated that except in cases of blatent, intentional violations, fines are generally not assesed, more often than not, the rules, and their reasoning are explained to the offender, and that is the end of it.

I will acknowledge that the rules can result in some ambiguous cases, but for the most part, they promote a positive result, and again, there seems to be some leeway in the interpretation, as long as the spirit of the law is followed.

Dearhunter61
August 14, 2009, 04:39 PM
One of the main reasons for the restrictions is because the average age of the bucks shot was less than 2 years old and the mentality of the hunters...especially those of us who hunted public land in E TX was if you see one with antlers you shot it...no matter what...why you ask? Because most years you will only get one chance to shoot something with antlers and back when I was hunting in E TX we could not shoot does. It made it a lot harder to wait for the big one simply because we did not see much anyway. I remember one year when I deer hunted probably 14+ days and I saw deer only once. We always wondered why there were so few deer and we believe it is and was because of poaching. I am glad they have increased the penalties for poaching but I am still not sure they are applied to the folks that live out there that step out on the back porch and shoot them a deer for some venison.

Back to the restrictions. I do believe they will help. I believe the honest hunters will abide by the rules and the average age of the bucks will increase which will allow those 2 year olds to live and breed as 3,4 and 5 year olds. So in the end you will see more bucks and the ones you see will have better antlers.

I hunted on a lease in W TX for the first time this past year and I will tell you it is a totally different experience hunting out there. I got the best buck I have ever gotten and I saw 20 BUCKS at the same time on one hunt. I can not ever remember seeing more than two anytime I ever hunted in E TX at the same time.

hogdogs
August 14, 2009, 04:52 PM
So in the end you will see more bucks and the ones you see will have better antlers.
I doubt the overall antler quality will improve by letting all them average genes flow freely. You gotta figure in how many deer just won't grow massive limbs that would have been shot as young twigger junk bucks. Now they will live for years with mediocre genetics while the ones you want in the herd breeding are the ones that will have a 13 inch rack at 2 or 3... They will be dumb enuff for the average joe to see them and kill them before they ever get to breed.
It may help the overall population numbers though... Just my opinion on it.
Brent

Dearhunter61
August 14, 2009, 05:25 PM
hogdogs,

If you will look at the beginning of my post..."Most of the bucks taken are 2.5 and younger" or something to that effect. Once these regs are in place for a few years then the bucks you see should have better racks. No where did I say anything about genetics. And you are correct that this will not address the genetics but it will allow the bucks to mature and therefore the opportunity to see and get a MATURE buck with a larger rack will be better. I agree these regs do not address bucks that need to be culled from a herd but do you actually believe that most of the hunters hunting now can really tell the difference between an eight point that is a cull and one that is not? I believe this has more to do with allowing the young bucks to grow up and mature than it does to create a TROPHY hunting state. Once this has been in place for 10 years and you get to see the changes...if any then you can adjust the restrictions to perhaps allow hunters to take a cull but really before allowing this hunters would probably need to go through a class so they would actually know the difference between a cull and one that is not....

hogdogs
August 14, 2009, 05:48 PM
All I know about it is that I am totally happy I am not restricted from getting the little ones for my freezer. I doubt it has much to do with hunting pressure at all...
The deer population here in florida is wonderful. We have a 2 deer per day limit that runs for near 90 days and a single 4 inch spike is the antler restriction. We have a large hunting population as well.

Like I said in my first post... I feel it is a measure with more faults that even a redneck like me sees as well as making it far harder for a meat hunter to fill the freezer with cheap meat. If wild game costs me more per pound than store meat, I simply cannot afford to hunt. As it is now I can stay under a dollar per pound easily But it wouldn't take too many hunting days spent watching young 4 pointers walk past getting skunked for my meat costs to rise markedly.
Brent