One buck rule...
The one buck rule brings to my mind the old saying about 'the road to hell being paved with good intentions'. While I think that it is great in theory, fact is it will do little or NOTHING to effectively raise the age structure of Indiana's deer herd. In fact, even the IN State deer biologist told them basically the exact same thing! Amazing that they (WE!) pay this man for his knowledge and advice, yet when it is given they cursorily reject it. What would have the desired effects that this measure was enacted to accomplish is to adopt something akin to what KY has in their WMA (Wildlife Management Areas). Impose a spread limit of 15" on bucks, but allow a hunter to take one with a bow and one with a firearm as it was before. Some states have tried the point restrictions, but I don't like this idea AT ALL. It is far too difficult to count points in the field, however it is simple to know if it is 15" or not…if it isn't out to it's ears (or further!), let it walk!!! I figure that if a hunter has the skill/ability to take TWO mature deer, then more power to him/her!!!
Also, I think that we need to move modern firearms season out of the peak rut and/or shorten it. Along with this, I think that they need to increase the fines for any infractions and actually get judges to enforce it! These measures would go much further, and in a much quicker fashion to achieving the goals they are looking for with the one buck rule. As it is, most 'hunters' with a $25 dollar tag in their pocket MIGHT be selective in the early stages of the season, but when it gets crunch time the first buck with 3" of antler is done. Period. So basically we still have the same problem of not enough bucks being allowed to reach maturity. If you look at the harvest reports, the age classes of deer taken has changed VERY little (if at all!) since this rule went into effect. Most are still 1-2 year old deer. Unfortunately, IN will continue to regulate deer on a quantity rather than quality basis, despite feel good measures like this one. To increase the quality of hunting we need a more balanced herd, with a substantial increase in the buck to doe ratio, with the majority of these bucks being mature and therefore actually competing for does.
Just my humble 2¢…so count me as a thumbs down.