If the law says "no" and they do it, it is poaching.
Your poll makes two statements: one about the law and so a statement of fact, other other a question of ethics and so opinion, so already while a person may feel it is right to do, it will still be poaching....
Aside from that, there is an aspect to the scenario that I don't fully agree with.
as a result over generations the female population rises and natural selection takes hold and since all of the healthy, larger males are being harvested while the smaller sickly ones are left in the gene pool all of the male offspring are also smaller and harder to distinguish from juveniles.
Firstly, "juvenile" and "small and sickly" are not the same thing.
There is nothing to say that the juveniles of today will not grow into fully developed, strong males in their time...
IMO, if there are small and sickly bucks, that has nothing to do with the law: a rifle bullet is not drawn to only healthy bucks, but whatever you sight in the crosshairs.
If, in hunting, people target the biggest buck they can find, then that is the cause of the dwindling gene pool. They are the ones being shot, when in fact, in the wild they'd be the most likely to survive.
If only "sickly" bucks are left around to breed, then the healthy male population is being over-hunted
. Otherwise those smaller bucks wouldn't get to see any "action" with the big guys still around....
Seems to me that there are two plausible solutions to this scenario:
1. Allow for hunting of some of the female population, rather than the males. As one male can impregnate multiple females, then the females are the ones to control.
2. Reintroduce the region's and the deers' natural predator; presumably the wolf. That would ensure that only the strongest bucks and does are available for breeding, because even with option 1, hunters are likely to go for the fine specimens (strong genes) as opposed to the weaker ones (which is what the wolves would target).
For me that seems to be one disadvantage of rifle hunting as a means of pop control: it does not seem to target the weak, but the strong, given that the range and speed of a bullet is such an advantage for the hunter. A big prize is more appealing than a small one, a big target easier to shoot than a small one etc
So, ultimately, there probably will be a weakening of the gene pool, unless hunters actively look for deer that are not prime examples of the species...