[quote="Mountaineer"]The problem is not spike bucks..the problem is when the yearling racks fall into the "Unsave" category...Having alot of spike bucks in your area may be a good thing...For they are protected...The entire system the PGC has in place is a total contradiction. They claim there was too many deer and small antlers diameters...They institute AR/HR...They claim the lower deer pops will increase antlers diameters and size..So..if yearling bucks are healtheier due to AR/HR and growing better antlers with 3 or more points to a side at 1.5 years of age then whats being protected?
You dont seem to understand what the reason was for initiating antler restrictions and obviously have no idea just how many bucks really are being protected as a result of the antler restrictions.
First of all antler restrictions were put in place to protect ONLY about 50% of the 1 ½ year old bucks in each management unit. It had nothing to do with a goal or attempt to increase the antler size though it was known that older bucks do have larger antlers. It was simply to bring the age structure of the bucks back to a more natural balance and improve the breeding ecology and success of the deer herd. It is working pretty much as intended too, even though so far it hasnt suppressed the younger bucks participating in the breeding as much as had been expected.
Your comments about the quantity and quality of the food supply increasing the antler size to where more bucks are antler legal is valid and correct but studies prove that still isnt resulting in a large number of those bucks being harvested. With several hundred collared and monitored deer being tracked through the past few hunting seasons we know what percentage of each sex and age class are being harvested in the various habitat types and areas of the state. There were bucks being monitored in WMUs 2D, 2G, 3C and 4B over the past few years so I will post the percentage of those monitored bucks that were harvested last year. I am also going to post the percentage of adult bucks (those 2 ½ and older) and does that were harvested.
.% of monitored yearling bucks harvested
.% of adult bucks
% of does
I must add though that the sample size of adult bucks both in the population and harvested in WMU 3C was too low to have any confidence in the adult buck harvest percentage for last year in that unit. The samples sizes of all the other units was sufficient though to provide a good representation of what percentage of the deer in each sex and age class are being harvested by hunters.
The facts simply prove that hunters are not over harvesting any sex or age class of the deer herd in ANY of the areas of the state where radio tracked deer are being monitored.