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I was sitting along a deer trail yesterday evening with my bow letting my mind run wild as I watched for a late season deer with bad luck.

I let myself get halfway upset. Let me explain. As of now I live in a great state for deer hunters. We have a pretty liberal bag limit that allows us 8 does and 2 bucks if you hunt all the seasons and hunting methods. Quite a bit of public land for those not fortunate enough to have land or be able to afford a lease. Lots of opportunity, some form of deer season is open from October 1 thru Jan 15. A generally mild climate that makes it easy to get out and hunt without specialized gear plus it means good survival for fawn crops. Also we’re fortunate to get to hunt some portion of the rut with either a rifle or muzzleloader or both depending on the deer and the weather. While we don’t kill the multitude of giants like some Midwest states there are some really good bucks killed every year statewide and with some patience it generally isn’t too hard to get a shot at a nice buck if not an absolute monster.

Here’s the part that’s upsetting to me. There’s been a push that’s getting more and more vocal every year, I’m sure you can guess what crowd drives it, to get the wildlife department to make us a one buck state. It’ll improve the buck quality they say. We’ll be killing giants like Iowa and Ohio they say.

But if one looks closer these are the same guys and gals who spend thousands a year on feeders and supplements. Spend hours geeking out on their trail cam pics naming Ol’ Bentbrow and talking about management bucks. The same people who shoot Ravin crossbows that will put 3 bolts in as many inches at 100 yards. The guys who are using the smokeless muzzleloaders during “primitive” season that shoot 2” groups at 300 yards.

Not that my way is any more noble than theirs but when I bow hunt it’s with a recurve or longbow. Primitive season for me involves a sidelock muzzleloader with iron sights that I’m pretty confident in shooting out to about 70 yards. My standard of a “trophy” when using these weapons is not quite so stringent as I hold myself to during rifle season. Nobody makes me hunt this way, I enjoy it. But if they get their way I won’t be able to shoot a buck like the half rack one I missed with my longbow last week if I tagged one during the rifle season.

I guess this was all just to vent and say that I hate how competitive hunting has become with the advent of social media and cell cams, and the like. When I was a kid we had much lower bag limits but we could still shoot a buck with every method of take. And only the disabled were allowed the use of a crossbow. Optics of any type weren’t allowed on muzzleloaders. Nobody does anything the hard way anymore.

The wildlife department wants, practically begs us, to shoot does. 95 percent of guys won’t, period. Most people don’t eat deer or only do so grudgingly if it’s jerky or summer sausage so I don’t see this movement helping thin the does out. I just hope some egghead up there doesn’t get the idea this will help get people to shoot does.

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Amen, brotha.'

It's the same "QDM" crowd which has pushed for antler restrictions.

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I agree on the "competitive" aspect.

25 years or longer ago we just knew deer by 6, 8, 10 or however many points they had, nowadays its how many inches.

I have fallen into the trap in the last handful or so of years passing on several deer that even 15 years ago I would have tripped the trigger on without a second thought.

Probably start poking a few does and maybe even a smaller buck with my bow or front stuffer this year as we are closing on a piece of ground in 6 weeks. I won't have another landowner telling me how big of a deer or which deer need killed or need to let go.

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I guess we all hunt for different reasons and have our own way of doing things. I just get so put off by the score [bleep] and now they’re trying to change the way I’m allowed to hunt for their “benefit”. I know several guys, good friends even, who when it comes to talking deer hunting every buck seen or killed has a class, “ oh did you see the buck Joe shot, pretty nice 155” class”. My dad, who has a stack of racks thrown into a heap in his barn that would make lots of guys cream their jeans, has just started telling them they sound like morons when they pipe up with the inches lingo.

Like everything else in life people want it to be as easy as possible to win, succeed, or be the best.

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And I have no problem at all letting a buck walk if I don’t think he’s big enough or he doesn’t turn my crank. Don’t get me wrong I’m not ground checking everything with antler above the hairline. I like to shoot nice bucks and usually get a pretty good one with a rifle most years. I even passed an easy shot with my recurve for the first time ever this year because it was a button buck. And I guess it doesn’t make any sense after doing that but I’d happily smoke a forkie tomorrow evening when I’m sitting with my longbow.

I just think it’s BS for the crowd who primarily uses the most high tech methods and gear to decide that it’s now too easy to kill a buck using that kind of tech so let’s make the limit one buck so we’ll have bigger bucks to kill with our high zoot gear.

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You are 100% spot on.

It used to be that if you shot a deer with a bow, it was really something.

Now with all the deer farming, technology, and habituation taking place. It is too easy to shoot a deer with a bow.

Unfortunately, the only way to measure dick size is by measuring antler inches.

I have angered many people by stating that I hunt for me, not for anyone else. I shoot what I like, and like what I shoot. Sometimes I focus on mature deer, sometimes meat for the freezer, and sometimes for sanity.

I love to hunt, love to eat venison, and love the outdoors.


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Count me IN guys. I agree 100%

I’m not a trophy hunter even tho I like to shoot
the best bucks I have an opportunity to kill.

Personally I won’t shoot fawns or yearling deer/bucks.
We also have the 3 pt on 1 side rule SO fawns & yearlings normally aren’t legal anyway.

I DO kill Does, they are the OVEN fawns are cooked in. Around me, we have Many more Does than bucks so the ratio is out of whack.

We EAT venison not antlers so Does are fair game.

I agree about the double standard using modern
firearms/cartridges in Primitive weapon seasons.
It’s not fair AFAIC.

Jerry

Last edited by jwall; 01/10/22.

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I live in a 1 buck state.

Doesn't bother me, the supposed reduced opportunity.

We have doe tags and limit is by county.
Reg tags, plus doe tags, I can kill 6 deer (with 1 being a buck) in my main spot.
Can hunt other counties to get more antlerless.

Im older, haven't killed the numbers many here have.........but honestly, I just don't want to kill that many deer.
Hell its hard enough to drop the hammer or zip a doe.

And most times I hunt recurve.

My current hunting spot does not have the doe numbers to play the "fill all my tags" game.
Some people still blast a few.

I don't get it. My area is low on population. Yet people keep shooting the does.

If one's area has a surplus, by all means, have at it. But my area doesn't.
DNR adjusted county allotment, as it was ridiculously high, and then they adjusted it again.

Too late, damage done.

Buddy got a 145" deer off our spot this yr. I think that decent. First time we ever saw it too, and got him.
Hes taken 2 deer over 140" in 10 yrs and only seen four that big.

They aint common.

Think the 1 buck rule has helped in some areas, and maybe not in others. Prev to the rule, I hunted a great spot and saw bigger deer numbers, and bigger deer racks.
There's more to it than just the DNR rules IMHO.

I have no idea how many folks cheat the system, how many wives/GFs get a lesser buck checked in, and pops gets a bruiser. We have instant check online now.


Anyway, I just hunt and nowadays, 1 buck is enough for me.
Hell it gets harder and harder to pop em.

Getting soft in my old age.

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FWIW I run a TC side hammer, had it since '95.
Have grown to dislike BP stuff so won't be "upgrading" LOL

Been running mostly BW recurves since '87. Functional art is what I call em.

These are my choices and IMHO have not been influenced by DNR rules.
Used to be able to take a buck w bow and a buck w gun.
That changed years ago.

Can only take 1 buck during regular seasons.
Can also take one on special hunts (urban zones or mil refuge hunts).

I don't put in for special hunts. Guess am not that hardcore.

The one buck rule doesn't really affect me. The quota on does I think is still too high.
And that IMHO affects the deer hunting experience...........in my area we just don't see very many deer.


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I agree Kid. The size stuff put me of trophy hunting in the 90s. I have shot far nicer deer since that time.


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I'm not much into doing things the hard way anymore. As you age you realize to do what makes you happy. Through the years I've shot some really good Georgia bucks. I enjoy hunting older mature deer with a body weight over 200lbs. It's been 3 years since I've shot a buck, but I've enjoyed seeing lots of deer. We legally get to kill 12 deer so we never go hungry and get plenty of target practice.


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Can't say I disagree with anything you've posted. We all hunt for similar reasons but for dissimilar reasons as well.
And zealots will always be the most motivated and vocal for change to get their way – often to the dismay of the general population.

In my home state (WI), I would actually love to see a one-buck rule instituted – mainly due to intense hunting pressure in the lower half of the state.
We likely have a half-million more hunters for a state roughly the same land area as OK.


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I see guys here crying to change us from a 2 buck state to a 1 buck state. Funny thing is those crying the loudest usually also post 2 bucks per year to their social media accounts.

I don't care what others do. Just don't tell me what I can do. This state is constantly trying to increase hunter participation. I'm certain 95% of that effort revolves around funding, but regardless. Taking away hunting opportunity is not the way to increase participation IMO.

Along the same lines, I own 78 acres of pretty good deer hunting country so I tend to be a little picky on what I shoot, but I also have a couple friends who only get 1 or 2 weekends a year to hunt if they are lucky. I've always told them they are welcome to shoot any buck they want on my place. Same for any kid who hunts here.


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I did things the hard way for many years. It was fun and I enjoyed it. Now that I'm in my mid sixty's I find I just can't do what I used to. Although I hate to admit it. I did and still do a lot of my hunting solo. Its getting harder to climb trees, place stands, cut shooting lanes, etc. I did buy a crossbow last year and I also bought a smokeless muzzleloader. I took one deer with each. At my age easier is better for me. Where I hunt you can legally kill 10 does and 2 Bucks a year. Personally I don't agree with 10 does a year. I think 2 does would be OK. I am still happy to just be able to get out and hunt. Hopefully I'll be able to get the grandkids started deer hunting next year. Then I'll have some little helpers. But there gonna have to cut grandpop some slack.

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I’m for as much choice as possible in how people hunt. QDM is fine on private ground where it’s possible to pick and choose, but those folks can do it just fine on their ground by being selective and leave others to hunt as they please, especially on public land where it can be tough just seeing a deer sometimes after the first few days of the Orange Invasion.

Landowners and clubs can marshal a lot of support for their notions, like the hound hunters in VA. Perhaps the non-affiliated hunters should get organized. Venting on the Web won’t accomplish much.


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Originally Posted by bbassi
I see guys here crying to change us from a 2 buck state to a 1 buck state. Funny thing is those crying the loudest usually also post 2 bucks per year to their social media accounts.

I don't care what others do. Just don't tell me what I can do. This state is constantly trying to increase hunter participation. I'm certain 95% of that effort revolves around funding, but regardless. Taking away hunting opportunity is not the way to increase participation IMO.




You're not wrong in that seeking participation likely does revolve around funding. Without it, there are less programs, enforcement etc.

I know there are zealots whose sole purpose is to produce larger deer but perhaps we can see a bigger picture beyond that self-interested group. One can argue a one-buck rule is not taking away opportunity but rather actualizing it for others; more antlered deer around for a longer period of time gives more opportunity for more people to shoot an antlered deer. Success for more people = more interest = more long-term participation. Like it or not, we need that for our sport.

Obviously different states and regions come with their own special set of circumstances and there isn't a one-size-fits-all remedy. But in many states, the buck-to-doe ratio is severely out of whack and there's never been a solution to make it en vogue to shoot more does to fill the freezer rather than a (or another) buck.

And because we've had it one way for so long doesn't mean it's the right way. I'm surely not saying it's the answer, merely asking we take a look at things as a collective because in the end, no matter where we sit on the subject and how hard we try, we're still all wearing tinted lenses in how it'll affect us individually.


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I let two nice ones get away from me this year playing the score on the hoof game. I should have been shooting deer instead of looking at horns. Next year I am probably going to go on and blast the first 8 or better I see and then get picky, especially on National Forest.

I like the antler restrictions here because we are allowed two bucks. One of them can be whatever, the other has to have 4 on one side. I have seen a nice uptick on the size of racks since they were put in place around 2012-2013. I live in meat hunter central though where people "feed their families" on deer. It keeps the honest ones from blasting the spikes and at least gives them a chance.

When they decided on the antler restrictions, I had brought up a kill a doe any day idea in meetings with the DGIF at the time wildlife manager. They do it for the kids already, why not do it for the adults? I called it a floating doe day. If you can shoot a doe, you kind of don't really have a great reason to shoot a spike in my mind. There are designated antlerless days, but on NF there are only like 2 doe days total in the season in our zone. Makes it a little unfair on a guy with no private and limited days to hunt. I would probably shoot a spike at that point too.

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I have a cousin who’s a good guy and a good deer hunter. He rarely kills a buck nowadays and when he does it’s usually with a bow and usually a wall hanger. He’s expressed some support for the one buck movement due to his neighbors being brown down types that shoot any basket rack that comes along. I understand where he’s coming from to an extent. But having hunted in his neighborhood I also doubt it’ll help anything. In that part of the state regulations are not really important to many of the locals, I’ve witnessed one neighbor hunting with a Marlin 336 during muzzleloader season.

Heck with Echeck now I guess I can just do what lots already do and shoot whatever I want and check it in as a doe if I don’t feel like being done buck hunting.

I’m all for increased opportunity, as long as your increase isn’t my decrease. Maybe it’s due to my primarily hunting private land with nobody else hunting it outside of rifle season that skews my viewpoint.

Like I stated earlier I hate the idea of taking every advantage and then suddenly wanting to change the rules to counteract the results of those advantages. Leaves those of us who like the opportunity to do it the harder way out. I’d rather see the state restrict primitive weapons back to actual primitive weapons than to cut the limit on all of us. Heck let them have an unlimited weapon antlerless hunt to use the crossbows and smokeless muzzleloaders if they want to use them and want does killed. Somebody will find a way to corrupt that too I’m sure.

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Originally Posted by TheKid
Somebody will find a way to corrupt that too I’m sure.


laugh laugh This is true.

In some respects, I sure wish I could revisit the days of my yute - things sure seemed a lot more pure in those days. I am indeed turning into my father. grin


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I didn't get to hunt near as much this season as I typically do, mainly illness. This season still was not unlike many seasons past. I saw a grand total of 29 deer hunting this year, 28 were bucks and one was a yearling doe.

If we went to one buck a year, I'd be out of deer meat by March. I'm typically overrun with doe all summer early fall, yet I seldom see them during rifle season, but I see lots of bucks.

The only thing that would happen if they changed it to 1 buck is to make me an outlaw.

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