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11% of deer shot are button bucks


lakevet

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Is this a problem? Evidently not because that is what happens in Iowa, the land that some wish Minnesota was like for deer hunting.

Here is the quote from the Iowa dnr website on the 2010 season (most recent report available):

"Antlered bucks made up about 39% of the total kill, while does made up 50% of the kill. Button bucks made up about 11% of the reported harvest and shed-antlered bucks accounted for less than 1%."

located at: www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/DeerHunting/PopulationHarvestTrends.aspx

Does this mean you can shoot a lot of button bucks and still have a lot of book bucks? According to Iowa the answer is yes.

I am not saying to selectively target button bucks, but those who look down on and criticize those who harvest a button buck, seem to be acting more on emotions than evidence.

lakevet

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Are you trying to validate comparing MN to other states? We are too different to compare in just about any way.

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Are you trying to validate comparing MN to other states? We are too different to compare in just about any way.

As far as comparisons, I look at habitat and genetics as things that are "fixed". Especially habitat REGION. Hunting regulations (and the boundaries that are not related to habitat regions called "state lines" )and land usage are man made and changeable. In other words you can't make a spruce bog in northern minnesota into the same habitat/climate as in the whitewater area in SE MN. However I believe it is valid that if you have differing seasons/regulations in the same habitat type/region and are getting different results, to propose adopting the regulations of the area that has the results you desire is reasonable to consider.

In this case, I believe it is sound reasoning to compare deer regulations and the results of those regulations between all the states that have part of the "Drifitless Area" habitat of the Upper Mississippi river basin. This includes SE Minnesota, SW Wisconsin, NE Iowa, and NW Illinois. The areas in these different states are MORE comparable with each other than major areas of Minnesota are with each other (example Ely area canadian shield/severe winters vs. transition area hardwoods by Brainerd/moderate winters vs. prairie now row crops down by Worthington/milder winters)

Here is a link to map of " Driftless Area" :

www.driftlessareainitiative.org/images/Driftless_Area_Overview.jpg

Same habitat, same climate. Things basically unchangeable or close to unchangeable. Different regulations and seasons and hunter mindsets (social effects) which are changeable. And different sections of the Driftless Area, depending on the state controlling that part, are more desirable for buck hunters.

To compare different parts of Driftless Area is reasonable, especially when they are literally right next to each other (MN/Wisc, Mn/Iowa)

Same could be said for south central MN and north central Iowa, or east central Minnesota and neighboring NW Wisconsin, or North Dakota side of Red River valley vs Minnesota side.

Mainly wanting to show that if some button bucks are shot, especially by those who are very happy doing so (kids, first time deer hunter, etc.) there is scientific basis to cut them some slack and still get your big buck production. At least in the areas of Mn with similar habitat as Iowa.

lakevet

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Is this a problem? Evidently not because that is what happens in Iowa, the land that some wish Minnesota was like for deer hunting.

Here is the quote from the Iowa dnr website on the 2010 season (most recent report available):

"Antlered bucks made up about 39% of the total kill, while does made up 50% of the kill. Button bucks made up about 11% of the reported harvest and shed-antlered bucks accounted for less than 1%."

lakevet

Great Point LV! But we all know that not everything on the internet is true, and statistics can be deceiving....

If you are feeling up to it.... i think what sets These TWO Great states apart is not the minuscule button buck harvest, but in fact its the average age of buck shot...

I think you'll find a severe contrast between our states, and without blowing a bunch of steam....basically, In minnesota we devastate our Button buck and Yearling population each and every fall. Leaving very few to reach, 2 1/2yrs old, and so on....

HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING smile

100 bucks born each year

We shoot 10% as fawns (like they do in IOWA)

Then next fall we shoot 50% of those 90 1.5yr olds left

Then Next fall we shoot 45% of those 45 2.5yr olds left

Leaving....less than 25% of that particular years bucks to reach 3.5yrs

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There is no comparison to any other state to Minnesota. Have a nice trip when you go to these states hunting and fishing. Don't try to change Minnesota so a few can have what they want, at the expense of depriving others. The little bucks taste great.

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Reguardless of what Iowa was like in 2010, it only seems logical that the fewer button bucks shot, the better, if trophy deer is what your pushing for?! There are always going to be some shot by young hunters or by accident or by hunters who dont care, thats just the way it is.

Heres my formula:

1 dead little buck = 1 buck that wont ever be big

Now whether your for it or against it, ive found this formula to be accurate 100% of the time, no matter what state youre in! grin

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My problem with this whole debate on shooting button bucks is that at typical gun ranges, 75 yards plus, you can't tell a fawn doe from a fawn buck/button buck, so why even debate the pros/cons of shooting them??? And if you tell me you can tell a fawn doe from a fawn buck at 100 yards I'm throwing the "B.S." flag. Even telling a big fawn from an adult doe is tough if they're not together, if the fawn shows up by itself.

Bowhunting is a different story, your ranges are under 30 yards, but even then it gets tough.

The gun hunters that are lookng for a doe to shoot aren't going to be able to tell what sex it is if it doesn't have horns.

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I'm not in favor of APR, but the discussion of button bucks seems irrelevant. At least to me, a button buck is a buck shot by a hunter with an antlerless tag who wasn't able to identify it as a buck until he/she went to retrieve it.

A yearling is a spike, fork, etc - a deer with a large enough rack for the shooter to know it was a buck.

The only way to really impact the number of button bucks shot would be to reduce the number of antlerless tags.

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I too am bothered by how many buck fawns get harvested in MN. I have never suggested it be illegal, though. I think 1 page in the regs explaining that this years buck fawns are next years antlered bucks, and a little verbage that encourages people to try to take doe fawns or mature does instead would go a long way.

That being said I still don't have a problem with kids or people trying to kill one deer shooting a buck fawn. Those losses are negligible and some of them are going to happen anyway via cars, winter, predators, etc. But when people buy multiple doe tags and stack button bucks like cordwood, that tends to rustle my jimmies. full-26478-22072-rustledjimmies.jpg

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If they are stacking multiple button bucks per year then they really should get a lesson in aging deer on the hoof. Period.

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Mainly wanting to show that if some button bucks are shot, especially by those who are very happy doing so (kids, first time deer hunter, etc.) there is scientific basis to cut them some slack and still get your big buck production. At least in the areas of Mn with similar habitat as Iowa.

Forget all the habitat stuff, we are talking about age here and a button buck or five year old buck is the same age in Iowa as they are in MN.

Iowa doesn't shoot many young 1.5 and 2.5 year old bucks once they get past that fawn stage. So forget the 11%, what happens the following two seasons dictates the older buck population.

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