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Bogsucker

Buck management

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Bogsucker

Would a "No party hunting for antlered whitetails" rule, be a useful management tool for increasing the population and quality of bucks in Minnesota? Based on the content of another post I can see there would be some opposition to it but what do you think?

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BLACKJACK

It would help but it would also be unenforceable.

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Mark Christianson

I wouldn't say unenforceable.
I would say tough to enforce.

I know someone that got busted, party hunting with the all-season license.

Would it increase the quantity and quality of bucks? I think its very clear it would.
But today, MN is trying to lower the deer herd, so adding a rule that would reduce overall deer harvest won't be coming any day too soon.

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EXTREME

If you were the type that made deer drives I bet it would be tough. Can you imagine trying to ID a 4" spike buck running with 2 does at 50 yards through trees. I doubt that this state would ever make any changes to their "buck" rules. At least they have reminders in the manual about trying to shoot bigger bucks and letting the little one's walk. Speaking of the manual, did I read in it that it is legal this year to party hunt with a all season tag? I will look after doing this post. It doesn't really matter; I don't party hunt anyway. I am selfish with my buck tag smile.gif

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Mark Christianson

Extreme
If you are party hunting, and you don't have any buck tags as a group left, you still have to be careful what you shoot at.
You cant just be whacking deer, and then go figure out what you shot.
That exact scenario occurs with the rules we have today.
One of the 10 hunting commandments, is to positively identify your target before pulling the trigger.

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EXTREME

You have a point there. I was just stating a scenario. I have never shot a deer doing deer drives. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that deer drives ruin an area. But this is my opinion. I have been involved with them, and they can be fun, but they are never on land that I hunt on a regular basis. A person should really know their target and also know what is behind their target, so point well taken!

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bigbucks

We make many drives each year. The situation with tags & number of deer harvested already, determines whether you need to ID the deer prior to shooting or not. We take that a little farther per hunter too. If we've gotten quite a few deer & I've already shot one with the gun & maybe gotten 1 or 2 with the bow, then often I'll hunt with the stipulation of big deer only, or whatever. It might get to the point where I'd say put me in the middle of the drive, so someone won't be mad if I don't shoot unless it's a big buck.

If your party is doing drives they usually need all of the hunters & it's frustrating to have a drive work & then the deer don't even get shot at because they happened to go by someone who didn't want to shoot anymore deer. You can predict where deer on a drive are most likely to go & on most of the drives they'll go 1 or 2 places probably 70% of the time, but the other 30% they'll go back, squirt out a side, you name it, especially the bigger deer.

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Stratosman

Why not manage deer the same way we manage fish and implement an antler size minimum on bucks, shoot as many does as you have tags and let the little guys grow up, this would help the quality of bucks for everyone. It would at least be interesting to do it in a test county for a couple years to see what happens. There would be alot of resistance from some hunters but after the first few years when everyone is seeing more and bigger bucks consistantly than ever before, I bet we would see other counties begging to have this set forth on them also. Look at Buffalo county Wisconsin and Pike County Illinios, both are managed for big deer, granted most the land is leased by outfitters, but that's a whole different subject, they kick out the biggest deer the in U.S. every year, and not just a couple. I think that Buffalo County WI has the most POpe and YOung entries for one county. And if you have ever been there it's not unlike a lot of land we have here in Minnesota, mixed crops with ample wood cover. I'm sure there are other factors involved but I wouldn't be opposed to it.

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bigbucks

Sorry got off on a tangent. No party hunting for bucks would be a nightmare to enforce & they're trying to cut the deer herd, like someone said, so it won't happen.

You have to remember some guys, not me personally, see any buck as a trophy. I appreciate any deer I shoot even if it turns out to be smaller than I thought. I think if the state really wanted to cut buck harvest, other than just by education which I'm in favor of, it would have to be one of two ways:

1) move the season to after the rut
2) lottery for buck tags

I don't like either of them, but #1 would be more preferable. My biggest horror is to be out hunting during season & have a monster go by that you aren't allowed to shoot at, that would really suck!

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PerchJerker

My opinion is that a "no party hunting for bucks" rule would get broken so often that it wouldn't be effective for increasing the age/size of bucks.

I think the best ways to get bigger bucks are to:
1) Move the season to after the rut
2) Impose a 6 point minumum antler restriction
3) Have a lottery drawing for buck tags instead of doe tags
4) Make the seasons longer so hunters don't feel pressured to shoot the first deer or they see (or every deer they see if they're party hunting)

Personally, I support just about any idea that encourages the harvest of does and lets some bucks get another year or two older.

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stockchopper

I would like to get rid of pary hunting. I know guys who have shot 4 plus bucks in one season. I got 3 once. I don't think it's fair to others. We will sooner or later have to go to a drawing for bucks, it works. I hope sooner.

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bmc

I firmly believe that the only way we are going to improve the quality of bucks in this state is to implement an antler restriction. I feel that a harvestable buck should have to have a minimum of 3 pts per side, so a 6 ptr or better. Also I believe that if you get an antlerless tag, you have to shoot an antlerless deer. I was talking to a guy the other day and he said Minnesota is the only state in the Union to allow a person with an antlerless tag to shoot whatever they want. That just doesn't seem like a sound management tool to me. I feel the DNR should be able to have a pretty good idea of the buck to doe ratio in certain areas and allot the appropriate amount of tags for does and bucks. I'm a die hard bowhunter and have rifle hunted maybe 5 years I believe. I'll be the first to admit that I've shot some bucks that are basket racks, both with bow and rifle. Now that I've been deer hunting for 18 years, I'd like to see the quality and quantity of bigger bucks improve. On my dad's property starting this year, we're gonna pass on all bucks under 8 pts and try to thin out the large doe herd we have. We have 120 acres to hunt on with private and county land around us, so sure some of the little bucks we pass up may get shot off our property, but there'll be a few that hang out and grow decent racks. I really don't believe in the party hunting scenario. As far as the antler restriction, let the kid's say 12-15 years old shoot what ever they want. We have to remember that they are our future and if we don't have them, our future looks pretty dim! If we don't get more kid's hooked on the outdoor life style, be it big or small game hunting, or even fishing for that matter, the future doesn't look good for our outdoor life style.

Brian

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PerchJerker

Hey bmc, I agree with most of what you're saying. Except the part about Minnesota being the only state that lets you shoot what you want if you have an anterless tag. I've hunted in 3 other states where I've had anterless tags, and in those states I could shoot either an antlered deer or an anterless deer on those tags, or shoot one of each. Very similar to Minnesota.

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bmc

Thanks PerchJerker.

I believe when I used to bowhunt Iowa, whatever sex tag you got was what you shot.
This November 4 of us are heading out to Medora, N.D. for an archery hunt. We can shoot one deer. It can be a buck or doe, either specie. I'm hoping to get an arrow into a nice muley buck, but then again if it's late in the trip, I'm going home with some venison.

Brian

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Rost

It's not party hunting that makes your bucks die at a young age! It's the fact that anyone can simply walk in and by a buck license in MN. You see, Minnesota manages the deer population, not the buck population. A drawing is your answer.

I grew up hunting in SW MN. I moved to Eastern SD two years ago. Same terrain, crops etc.. and I have seen more wallhangers in the last two years then the previous 15 years combined hunting in MN.

I have a buddy that films quite a bit out in the field. He has two years of bowunting on a tape. Two years worth of huge bucks! When I showed the tape to my brother and dad, they were shocked at the size of the antlers here. (Just 30 miles accross the border from them).

In SD, we send in for a drawing each year. Most counties, you will draw a buck every other year. A sacrifice I gladly take to improve the odds of shooting a big one.

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PerchJerker

I think Rost makes some good points, but I think you might be missing one too. I don't remember the dates for SD's gun deer seasons, especially the difference for East River and West River, but I think SD's gun deer seasons are in late November after the peak of the rut. I wish Minnesota's gun season was after the peak of the rut - I think a lot of 1.5 year old bucks get shot while their all hyped up to find a doe. I think just postponing the season a few weeks would save a lot of those young bucks.

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stockchopper

I agree with SD having far better hunting, their state actually manages the deer herd. Our state just gives unlimited tags and expects to manage itself. It's clear that this system is not working. We have far to many deer, and are buck to doe ratio is out of whack. I don't know if anything can be done since traditon is hard to end. But these things need to be done.
1. Start gun season the 3rd weekend of Nov.
2. Limit the number of buck tags. Drawing.
3. Increase doe tags. Drawing.
4. The state needs to manage the deer herd.
We know this already works, other states do this. And they are very happy with it.
I read something pretty funny last month. Mn is doing a study to find out why the deer hunting in NE Iowa is so much better than SE MN. Can anyone quess?

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Rost

Thanks PJ
Yes, your are right. The Northern part of the state season is Nov. 20-27, South is Nov 27-Dec 5.

I am not sure why MN draws for doe tags? It seems weird doesn't it? Maybe the guy that made up that rule was the same guy who insists that I have a shelter licence for my portable fish shack smile.gif

It's common sense! If you let everyone shoot a buck, they will. Most people are excited to just say they got a buck. And they are not too picky either.

Either educate people-let them know that you can't catch and release a buck. Pass them up. Or write your congressman.

It's funny, I grew up in a small MN town where word travels fast. And when there was a buck lucky enough to get big, EVERYONE knew about it. And everyone flocked to that area come opening morning. In SD, I see a big deer and maybe mention it to people, they usually shrug their shoulders and think "Obviously Rost has not seen my wall."

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Bogsucker

Heres' what has happened, at one time not so long ago there weren't very many deer in MN and around 1970 they actually did not have a deer season. The reason for the doe lottery was a to utilize a mangement tool to control the harvest of does which just happens to be the controlling factor in a deer population, from a herd population management perspective bucks are insignificant. Thus to increase the deer herd size the MN DNR implemented the antlerless lottery. Guess what, it worked. Now they are trying to manage an over-abundant herd of deer.

Now, how might we increase the quality and number of bucks in minnesotas herd without dictating what size buck a person might shoot. By disallowing party hunting for bucks, less bucks will be shot, yet no fewer hunters will shoot bucks, thusly increasing the number of bucks and in turn providing the opportuntity for more bucks to grow larger.

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Rost

When you say "Party" hunting, you mean hunting in groups or tagging each others deer?
Making party hunting illegal would be a tough law to enforce. Impossible to eliminate grey areas with that law.

A lottery is cut and dry. This way,you can either shoot a buck, or you can't. Plus, a lottery actually breaks up "party" hunting a bit. EX: The party I used to hunt with had about ten guys. If only 5 guys drew a buck, the rest does, I can guarentee that the five that did not draw will be pheasant hunting.


[This message has been edited by Rost (edited 09-06-2004).]

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DUCKBOAT21

I think I could live with the party hunt restriction a lot easier than any other ones. Yeah, It would be hard to enforce but I think it would give some incentive not to shoot the small one that comes by on opening morning, or maybe put a damper on one member of a party getting the hot stand and shooting several small bucks just for the meat pole. We also should keep in mind we are only a harsh winter or two away from doe permits being scarce again and with a buck lottery we would have to tell some hunters that they are going to have to sit the season out. We have alot more deer hunters in this state than IA or SD and I really like the current system that gives us the opportunity to hunt every year and have a buck tag. We all don't hunt in large parties either where we can count on a tag being available, if buck tags were limited. Even with our curent population, as stated earlier, somne people would not hunt if they didn't have a buck tag- this would result in less does being taken at a time now when we should be trying to take more.

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Bogsucker

What I mean by "party" hunting for buck is tagging a buck shot by another hunter or intentionally shooting more than 1 buck with the intent that someone else would tag it. I have no problem with party hunting in general as it pertains to the harvesting of deer for the "meat pole" and as a management tool for harvesting does. I just think it would really help the buck population and quality without getting into the minimum rack size or quota issues.

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ikes71

I have listened to most of the different arguments about this issue for the last couple of years. My old home state, Missouri, has come up with a plan that I would endorse. You can have as many doe tags that you want, but they have an antler restriction of 4 points per side, or an 8 pointer. According to the survey on the web site 51% of the deer hunters voted for this over four other management plans. I have to admit since moving to Minnesota, the attitude toward deer hunting is unusual.

I hunt with a group, and most of the group only gets buck tags. They will shoot any buck that walks by, which is usually a spike or forkhorn. Then when I come in with a quality buck about every other year, they think I am just lucky. I try and tell them that if they would just shoot does for the meat pole, and leave the small bucks alone, they would have opportunities to shoot the type of bucks I get. I know that they will never change their ways, that is why the buck to doe ratio is so screwed up, so this year I will be making sure all of the doe tags are filled. I do this every other year, when I don't buck hunt. If more people would concentrate on does for one year, you would be suprised at the size of the bucks you would have running around.

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Bogsucker

One of the problem I've heard with antler restrictions is that high grading occurs, the genetically superior younger bucks are harvested at a higher rate, and the end result is actually a genetically inferior buck population.

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jlm

This is a very sensitive subject for many of us who are passionate about deer hunting. I am pleased to see that this discussion has gone so well, usually these threads end up in cyberspace because it gets out of hand.

I have managed the deer on our land for approximately eight years now and the results have been pretty good. There is no question that antler restrictions and limited buck harvests will help. However, you need to understand one thing. Even with the best heard in the country and perfect buck to doe ratios, not everyone will be happy with what we have. All public land holders will further their restriction on access to their land and public lands will continue to get pounded. Not everyone will harvest a nice buck, that just the way it is. One other problem I see is that we are only shifting the age of harvested deer. instead of spikes and forks we are now taking small eights and tens. Sure they are better bucks but we will still have a poor buck to doe ratio.

I could go on forever on this. I do support QDM but it does have its pitfalls as well. Its that grass is greener on the other side thing that we are all guilty of. We need realistic expectations on this or we will be disappointed.

In my opinion, QDM should be voluntary. The movement has begun and it will be a few years but it will catch on through peer pressure and education. Remember when filling out meant all bucks. A group would go out and harvest 15 bucks. I thik that is a thing of the past. We have changed our ways and others around have as well. Anyway, good luck all!

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