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Old 11-30-2007, 04:27 PM   #1
ADK Tank
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Antler restrictions

I know this had been touched on a little in a previous thread but I was curious how people felt about some type of antler restriction in the adirondacks. At my camp in the southern adirondacks if it had a legal antler we would shoot it, we even shot a unicorn buck one time. The only problem is most of the area around us has very heavy hunting pressure and everybody in the area had the same philosophy as us. Well now deer numbers are declineing in the area and so are the numbers of nice bucks being taken and seen. I am not a trophy hunter but personally I would much rather take an 8 pointer than a spike. So for the last few years at our camp we have decided not to take any small bucks. Our definition for a small buck is it's not a shooter unless it has bowed rack. Could be a larger 4pt but our goal is to not obviously shoot spikes and bucks that have there first set of horns. Since we have been doing this we have been shooting the biggest bucks (12-15" spread 8pts) out of anyone in the immediate area around our camp but have still been seeing fewer deer or at least no increase in the amount of deer overall. The only problem is that most of the camps around us still shoot everything which I have no problem with because that's their choice, but one gang had 15-20 guys every weekend and shot 7 bucks, all of which were bucks that we would have passed on and now this year they are complaining because they aren't seeing any bucks. So basicly I am for antler restrictions but I just wanted to see how everyone else felt about the issue. I also know that there are a lot of guys who go for years without seeing a buck in the adirondacks and if they see a spike they are going to shoot it and I understand that point of veiw also.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:07 PM   #2
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Well from the states point of view, they mostly care about population regulation, and aren't really interested in game quality per se. I think it would take some grassroots action by the hunting community to make this happen.
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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I like the idea of habitat management rather than antler restrictions. Though I've read that a nearby state (PA?) it worked well.

Can anyone reply with the state of the ADKs before the fires and excessive timbering? I understand that the nut bearing trees generally come in after the evergreens...Evergreens tend to block the browse. Right?

When hunting in MT, though eyesores when large, the clearcuts were some of the best areas to hunt. Oh and the burns...the years that follow a fire are good, too.
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:33 PM   #4
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I like the idea. In fact we started doing this where I hunt. We won't take anything less than a 4 pointer. Unfortunately the other groups that hunt in that area don't do the same, so the bucks don't get a chance to really mature.
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:52 PM   #5
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I'm with AlSara, habitat management is the answer. Some selective harvesting or controled burns. I know that it'll never happen inside the Blue Line but it sure would help the deer.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:46 PM   #6
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Our rule is 4 or more & so far it is working- More quality bucks- right AlSara?

Hey- If you kill every buck you see, a good share of the 1 1/2 year olds never get a chance to get bigger. The big ones you already have get shot & pretty soon all you shoot is 1 1/2 year olds because that's all that's left.

The only problem now is our doe to buck ratio is somewhere around 10 or 11 to 1 (way out of wack). We see this both on preseason trail cameras & during drives. We document every hunt.
I'd go for something like a 3 year plan/agreement.
ie. harvest a doe one year in place of a buck, then the next 2 years harvest only an 8 point or better. I know this would work on the honor system & I know that is a fantasy. Filling tags etc.-totally unenforcable but something should be done.

I don't own a muzzle loader. Maybe I should, however, one week way before & one week way after rut doesn't seem to give much time to do quality hunting.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:26 AM   #7
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I'd like to see some doe permits for regular season. I agree the buck / doe ratio is way out of wack. I think that many of the hunters that end up shooting the young ones are just trying to get some meat in the freezer. Easy to start lowering ones buck standards after a few years of unfilled tags.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:00 AM   #8
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The southern zone where the hunting pressure is greater has larger numbers of deer, also younger due to that same hunting pressure. The reason is probably twofold, food and milder winters. I've noticed on Long Islands eastern section of Suffolk county , the deer are smaller by weight, but have huge racks.This could possibly be due to salt and minerals in thier feed?
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:03 PM   #9
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I think some kind of ADK reg gun doe permit would work wonders out there.
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADK Rock Farmer View Post
The only problem now is our doe to buck ratio is somewhere around 10 or 11 to 1 (way out of wack). We see this both on preseason trail cameras & during drives.
I don't own a muzzle loader. Maybe I should, however, one week way before & one week way after rut doesn't seem to give much time to do quality hunting.
how many folks do you think take a doe with a muzzle loader or bow ?
it's my understanding a deer of either sex with a bow or loader, north zone
i may be wrong because i'm not 100% on the hunting regs , north

i bet not many, as thats the way it is bow season below the blue line
shame because thats when mgmt. should happen but everyone (myself included) want's to get that early big buck, which most times never happens
on the flip side we (southerners) get the chance to harvest a female during reg season
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Old 12-02-2007, 03:27 PM   #11
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There is an antler restriction here in PA There has to be at least 3 points on one side. So basically nothing really smaller than a 6 point

I think this has helped. There were a lot of big deer taken this year.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:15 PM   #12
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there is also the same in parts of NY
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:58 PM   #13
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how many folks do you think take a doe with a muzzle loader or bow ?
it's my understanding a deer of either sex with a bow or loader, north zone
i may be wrong because i'm not 100% on the hunting regs , north

i bet not many, as thats the way it is bow season below the blue line
shame because thats when mgmt. should happen but everyone (myself included) want's to get that early big buck, which most times never happens
on the flip side we (southerners) get the chance to harvest a female during reg season
You are correct with one exception I would say less than not many. A doe hanging in this country is almost unheard of ( unless they made a trip south ) The bow hunters all go south. Bow hunting in the north country is a farse. I can't believe that DEC even has a season for it. Can you see yourself hiking the backcountry for days with a bow to never see a deer?

If you don't drive 'em you don't see 'em. that is unless you have an Adirondack Pine-Apple tree.

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Old 12-02-2007, 07:19 PM   #14
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Deer are tough enough to see, let alone shot in the adirondacks (northern zone). I only saw 3 deer in the northern zone this year, all 3 of them were does. So I would not be for any antler reguations or doe tags. Most of these bucks grow up anyhow in the big woods due to limited hunting pressue.

In the southern zone however, where there are many hunters, I feel antler restrictions would be a huge help in increasing buck antler size. Too many young deer are taken in the southern zone (thats all I ever see on my land, Wash Co.). Many yearlings 1 1/2 year old bucks. I like the idea of the "3 points on one side rule." I saw plenty of deer in the southern zone this season.....all does and tiny bucks.....many yearlings. We have to let them grow up down in the southern zone if we want big bucks.
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:58 PM   #15
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On any of the FP leases it is against FP lease rules to shoot a doe.Period. They don't care if the State says its ok during muzzleload or bow seasons. I suspect it is a safety thing, you have less of a chance of shooting your cousin if he has to have antlers.Didn't see any deer this season, but had them walking in my tracks,repeatedly....to and from one of my stands and right up to our camp,they stood there and looked at the camp while I sat in the woods freezing....well next year....
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:32 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=chairrock;82937]On any of the FP leases it is against FP lease rules to shoot a doe.Period. They don't care if the State says its ok during muzzleload or bow seasons. I suspect it is a safety thing, you have less of a chance of shooting your cousin if he has to have antlers.QUOTE]

In general this is true for the Finch/Nature Conservancy lands, but they do make exceptions to this rule. I don't know what all of the requirements are but a group near us that leases around 2,000 acres asked about doing some kind of deer management and be allowed to take does during the legal seasons, their response was if you are willing to not shoot anything under a 6 pt they would be willing to consider giving them nuisance permits to shoot a number of does throughout the year. I also know of another club where you can't shoot anything smaller than an 8 pt and are told how many doe's they have to take and if they fale to take the number specified they lose the option and finch has hired hunters come in and shoot the numbers that they want.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:17 AM   #17
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I don't know which areas of the adks are being talked about here but I can tell you, in my neck of the woods you're lucky to see does so I won't shoot one during any season and forget about a small buck unless its REAL close to camp. Not that I've actually laid eyes on a buck by my place yet. Lots of good sign of really quality bucks though. The work involved in dragging a deer to me doesn't justify a smaller buck. I think simply having your own personal limit on size not official limits is the right thing. Lots of locals in my area depend on that deer and if a spike is all they see they should be able to shoot. Theres enough DEC regs on the books already.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:28 AM   #18
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In the southern zone however, where there are many hunters, I feel antler restrictions would be a huge help in increasing buck antler size. Too many young deer are taken in the southern zone (thats all I ever see on my land, Wash Co.). Many yearlings 1 1/2 year old bucks. I like the idea of the "3 points on one side rule." I saw plenty of deer in the southern zone this season.....all does and tiny bucks.....many yearlings. We have to let them grow up down in the southern zone if we want big bucks.[/QUOTE]

I agree 100% Alex. This was the first year in quite a while that I shot a spike and that was due mainly to just not connecting on meat does at the time. My SZ hunting partners and I generally let the young bucks go in favour of the racked bucks that we scout and specifically hunt and take the females for meat. We have WAY too many deer down home.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:56 PM   #19
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we use self management on the 800 acres (not state land) which i hunt near Oneonta (southern zone)
we (4) also shoot doe and the weaker strain bucks to acomplish this
that is what good management is about
i'll have to dig out my photo's from previous years, but here is the only buck taken this year by my son who is a first time hunter
no does taken...
this only works if the surrounding areas are not over hunted, harvested
while all my time in the woods this year i only heard 4 long distance shots fired.

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Old 12-04-2007, 09:21 PM   #20
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2 doe and 0 bucks were taken last year but this monster was taken very close to the above buck in 2005

sorry for the blurry picture of a picture

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