Protecting Buttonbucks

Discussion in 'Indiana Whitetail Hunting' started by ddw, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. I understand the OBR and the impact it can have on our hunting mature bucks in indiana, but don't we need to protect the yearling bucks as well? at a couple of the check stations nearby a quick scan of the deer brought in shows a significant number of buttonbucks being harvested. With the doe tags available in some counties a person could potentially kill several yearling bucks and still be able to harvest an antlered deer...i think i saw a poll about buttons counting towards the OBR but support was low...any thoughts?
  2. Couple of things. First, yearling bucks are 1.5 year olds and will be at least a spike by that age. Button bucks are male fawns of the year, typically 7-9 month old deer.

    Regardless of the management style that a State embraces button bucks make up around 15-20% of the antlerless harvest. This is not a consequence of QDM or OBR, it's just that a lot of hunters are not educated about how to identify a button buck. Education is the key to reducing this percentage. While it would be nice to reduce the number of buttons that are harvested remember that they tend to have the highest natural mortality of any type of deer. That is why mother nature makes half of the fawn crop male even though not that many bucks are needed to propagate the herd. The overall positive impact of harvesting does and balancing sex ratios more than outweighs the minor negative impact of harvesting some buttons mixed in with the does. Not worth losing sleep over in the greater scheme of things. Harvest adequate numbers of does and pass on the smaller antlered bucks and things will work out in the end.

  3. I think most guys on here would prefer not to shoot buttonbucks. I feel that most buttonbucks that are taken are done so by mistake. I shot my first buttonbuck this year and did not realize it until I turned him over.
  4. :protest_e shooting buttons! Can somebody :help: Saturday morning get here a little quicker?:bash:
  5. What Ive heard to do is never shoot at any antlerless deer that is by itself. This year one of my friends was hunting and a group of 3 antlerless deer come in and he shot the lead one, which was also the biggest one. He wasnt pleased when he walked up on a button buck. So the only way to help reduce button buck harvest besides taking it away from your "one buck", in my opinion is to have to pay a small fine which will make people not want to shoot them. The only bad thing about this is that I could go out this weekend and shoot a button buck just as easy as anyone else...and I know I will screw up and do it sooner or later.
  6. Shooting button bucks is a NO NO for me and should be a NO NO for you. I have heard guys say WOW I didn't know it was a button buck. What we need to do as OBR hunting and QDM members is to watch and make sure it's not a button buck, you don't need to be shooting does at 150 yards because they will come closer. Please lets just say to ourselves we will make sure what it is before we shoot. BE SAFE and lets protect those button bucks.
  7. Once again to Munster...very intelligent and excellent post. The more I hear from you the more I think you should become a deer biologist. We all know not to shoot buttons, but it all comes back to the "brown is down" segment of the hunting world. A lot of people don't care what they're shooting at.....

    I'm with you Eric.
  8. Hear saturday was supposed to be WINDY. Windy = tough huntin.
  9. Besides the buttons on its head, are there any other identifying markings that will help you destinquish between a button and a doe? I passed on 3 buttons this year during bow season, but it is a lot easier to distinquish when they have to be that close. During gun season, it may be hard to tell at 75-100 yds out if it has buttons or not.
  10. Buttons are easy to identify if you know what to look for. They have short thick, necks compared to does. They also have a triangular or wedge shaped head with a short nose. A does head is more elongated and streamlined and a does neck will be long and slender. Many buttons have long legs, which gives them the apeareance of being a good sized doe. This is what causes a lot of hunters to mistake them for a mature doe, they think the deer is too big to be a fawn. Here is a picture of a Button that I took last year while hunting. He stood in front of my blind, 40 feet away, for over half an hour, totally oblivious to the fact that he was on candid camara.


    Now compare him to this picture of a mature doe from my deer cam. Note the shape of the neck & head.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2006
  11. Thanks for the input munster. Great discription with good photos. I will looks for these things next time out.
  12. right on munster this is a very good thread and i could support the button as your buck for the year but i really could support that all counties go to the A county and that gives you the op for 3 days to take does or just reduce the doe tag system i know everyone is into this qdm but before the big push on this and the raise in doe tags we had more deer and i still saw some big bucks taken if they could reduce doe tags and keep the obr i think in my opinion it would be good for everyone
  13. In general button fawns taken by bow hunters is around 16% of the overal doe harvest, and for gun hunters it is 18 to 20%. The reason that bow hunters harvest fewer is the fact of the range the animal is when it is taken is much closer and the time can be taken to look them over. Education is the key to reducing these numbers, which we can improve upon. Although many hunters aren't in it for the QDM thing they just want a deer and they went hunting.
    It would be nice to pass on a couple of more of these bucks to the future as it would improve the sex ratio for the future. It is as simple as using your eyes and optics to make sure of what you are going to shot before pulling the trigger. learning to identify button bucks is just part of being a more knowledgable hunter and having the maturity to wait until you are sure of the target.
    The button buck is the dumbest deer in the woods. If you see a lone deer come to the field, early it is probly a button buck. They tend to be a bit larger then doe fawns the same age. They also tend to have a more flattend head in comparison to doe fawns or does in general.
    You can learn more by checking out theQDMA at
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2006
  14. Hey, Bob is the "great lakes" director, this is an Indiana forum! Can't we at least be solicited by the correct director? Bring on the "heartland" guy from Illinois!:bonk:
  15. Of course it is easy to tell a button buck from a mature doe. But at 80 yards, try to tell the difference between a button buck and a young doe. Young does also have short necks and faces.

    I would never intentionally shoot a button buck. I have never accidently shot a button buck, until this year. The reason I did was that I had already harvested a buck with my bow and I was trying to harvest a doe with my shotgun. I probably wouldn't have tried to harvest anything, except for the fact that I had my 5 year old daughter with me on her first ever hunting experience. I wanted to harvest something on our hunt. When the button buck came out, it was 100 yards away on an overcast and slightly foggy morning. I glassed him to verify if it was a young doe or a button buck and could not tell. In a few seconds a young 6 pointer came out to check behind the first deer. That convinced me that it must have been a doe and that young buck was checking her out. When the deer got to 80 yards I shot it. I didn't know until I got pretty close that it was a button buck. Normally, I would have been pretty disappointed, but since it was mine AND my daughter's deer, I was still happy.

    So I guess I should have my hunting rights stripped for harvesting a second buck this year, huh? I ought to be ashamed of myself, huh? My daughter should turn her back on the sport because daddy poached an illegal buck on her very first hunt, huh?

    Guys, we have to be very careful when we start trying to legislate every little aspect of our sport. Why can't we just leave it at, use your best judgement and if an occasional mistake happens, realize that MOST people are capaple of making a mistake. Not everyone is perfect.