Records support rule COMMENTARY LOUIE STOUT John Bogucki says there's no better time to kill a trophy buck in Indiana. "I'm convinced that the one-buck rule is responsible in the increase in the trophy deer being killed in Indiana," says Bogucki, a biology teacher at Clay High School. Bogucki points to the Hoosier Record Book as proof. He's been the record keeper for the Indiana Deer Hunters Association record program for the past eight years. He's also an official scorer for several other deer record books and a statistical nut. The one-buck rule has been an Indiana law for four years of a five-year experiment. Presently, if you kill a buck during the early bow season, you can only shoot antlerless deer thereafter. Prior to the experiment, you could take a buck with a bow and a gun during the November season. Bogucki refutes Division of Fish and Wildlife contentions that the one-buck rule has had little impact on the quality of deer in Indiana. While biologists admit that there are more older bucks roaming the state today, they contend that it's a trend that began 10 years ago. Bogucki says record book entries show otherwise. "Yes, there was an increase before, but there has been a profound increase since the law went into effect prior to the 2002 season," he said. For example, the number of Hoosier Record Buck entries for the three years prior to the law rose from 212 in 1999 to 240 in 2001. In 2002, the first full season, entries rose to 285, 345, and 371 in subsequent years. The final 2005 tally isn't completed, but Bogucki suspects it will exceed 300 again. "There's additional proof in the number of Boone and Crockett record deer taken in Indiana," said Bogucki. "The first year of the one-buck rule there were 11, then 19, 18, and in 2005, I've counted 20 even though we're not finished tabulating those. And that's only the ones that were entered in the Hoosier book." Boone and Crockett's minimum scoring standards are higher than those established for the Hoosier Record Book. "We've been killing more Boone and Crockett deer in Indiana than they do in Michigan," said Bogucki. "And it's been happening ever since the one buck rule went into effect."