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South Bend Tribune article

Discussion in 'Indiana Whitetail Hunting' started by pigeonflier, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. August 13. 2006 6:59AM


    Hoosiers seeing bigger bucks

    COMMENTARY

    LOUIE STOUT

    Is the experimental one-buck limit responsible for the mature deer hunters have been taking the past few years?

    That depends upon whom you ask.

    Biologists say no, that it's purely a social regulation to pacify hunters who want less hunting pressure on bucks.

    [​IMG] Hunters -- or at least some of them -- believe it does. They say that reducing buck harvest produces more big bucks over the long haul, and statistics indicate there are more heavy antlered deer roaming the countryside these days.

    The one-buck rule is now being discussed in Michigan. The concept was shot down this summer but will likely resurface again in 2007.

    It's 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 shoot only antlerless deer thereafter. Prior to the experiment, you could take a buck with a bow and a gun during the November season.

    Dr. Jim Mitchell, Indiana's deer biologist, says there are more older adult bucks roaming Indiana today.

    But not because of the one-buck rule.

    "This trend has been developing for 10 years," he said. "The rate of change has not been significant since the implementation of the one-buck rule."

    And now that there is only one year left on the experiment, Hoosier hunters are being asked their opinions of the one-buck law in a survey mailed to 15,000 licensed deer hunters.

    "We know there isn't a biological need for the regulation," Dr. Mitchell explained. "Is it having a biological effect? We won't know unless we go back to the former regulation (one buck with a bow, one with a gun). That could tell us if the increase in mature bucks is due to a natural trend or a result of the one-buck rule."

    Dr. Mitchell concedes that the percentage of young bucks in the antlered deer harvest has dropped from 65 percent in the 1990s to about 50 percent currently. That would suggest that more mature bucks are showing up in the harvest, and one might assume that's because fewer yearlings are being killed and given more time to mature.

    The record books also bear that out. The Indiana Deer Hunters Association, which oversees the Hoosier Record Book, says the number of qualifying deer it has received have doubled every year for the past two years.

    But Dr. Mitchell says there may be other factors.

    "Yes, we're seeing more two and a half- and three and a half year-old bucks in the harvest," he noted. "But we can't assume that is a direct result of the one-buck regulation."

    Mitchell believes that hunter experience is a bigger factor.

    In the 1970s and 80s, Indiana saw an increase in newcomers buying deer licenses. They were taking the first buck that walked by, therefore more yearlings showed up in the harvest.

    "Now that they have more experience under their belts and know how to hunt bigger bucks, they're more selective in the deer they take," Dr. Mitchell said. "Their desires and abilities have changed over time, and I think that is a big factor."

    Regardless of the reason for the increase, the biologist expressed concern that more mature bucks may lead to access issues for the general public and create management problems for biologists.

    "Look at states like Illinois, Iowa and Kansas with reputations for producing older bucks and you'll see a marked increase in leasing activities," Dr. Mitchell explained. "You get a lot of non-residents as well as residents using money to tie up private hunting land previously enjoyed by the average hunter."

    The biologist said that creates conflicts, displaces resident hunters from quality deer habitat and leads to dissatisfaction of license holders.

    "Statistics show a decrease in antlerless harvest as a result of leasing activities, and that impacts our job of trying to keep the herd under control," he added.

    Dr. Mitchell said leasing hasn't become a significant problem in Indiana, but the practice is on the rise.

    "I'm already hearing about it from hunters throughout the state," he said. "And it not only impacts deer hunters, but small game hunters, too." :evilsmile :evilsmile
     
  2. Brace yourself Dr. Flippin' Mitchell...............

    ...............You shut down the OBR and go back to a 2 buck rule...................... and you will see a LEASING BOOM like never seen before in this state. You will see those that are willing to spend $$$ like never before to protect those Mature Bucks that have been grown during the OBR..............AND.................You will see those that will begin spending $$$ to lease so they can be assured they will be able to shoot 2 bucks under a 2 buck rule program, and not be left on the outside looking in as the OBR proponents will lock them out............

    .............Simply a Leasing Boom to lock the "other guy out"........sad, but true.

    We are already preparing for this surge in leasing should OBR be shut down in the 5 northern counties we hunt and currently lease in...........

    ................plenty of others are ready and prepared too.
     

  3. That was good Dew, a different way to look at it. I think all of us has been to seminars and get togethers where about 80 to 85% have agreed that the OBR is and has worked in Indiana
     
  4. R.I.P. OBR, the boss has spoken.

    I would suggest to Jim Mitchell if everyone is that mature on the whitetail harvesting then we wouldn't need a bag limit or seasons, but I think the dumb SOB might actually listen to me for once and make it law.

    Catch and release bass fishing has been huge for the last 2 decades and guys everywhere are throwing them back and wanting bigger ones. Then why do I see the catch limit drop from 6 to 5 and the size limit increase from 12" to 14" across the state? Because the "mature" fishermen who want the big bass can't practice Quality Bass Management on their own either.

    How is our whitetail any different than our largemouths? We all want a few to fry and a big one to keep us coming back.
     
  5. I don't think this article should shock anyone, really. We've known that the IDNR wasn't in favor of the OBR from day one. Since the first year the rhetoric has been anti-OBR. The problem is that the IDNR doesn't look at all the mature, trophy classed bucks that have come through the program. Nor, do they age enough deer at the check in stations. We all know that eruption toothwear isn't a good way to accurately age deer.

    John Olson, Can you please explain to me why Kentucky's biologists are so excited about the OBR and it's subsequent responsibility for their recent upswing in record class bucks being produced, but our state seems so against it?? If leasing is such the concern to eliminate the OBR, how can these other states continue to produce big bucks??? Kentucky's antlerless harvest continues to be strong year to year also. Why has Ohio chosen to go to a OBR???? Why can't Indiana be more progressive??? Going back to a two buck limit will do little for herd management long term, and I think that you guys know this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2006
  6. My reply.....

    "Biologists say no, that it's purely a social regulation to pacify hunters who want less hunting pressure on bucks."

    Now how can it be? If we are passing more bucks,we are hunting more, more hunting pressure. We are killing the same number of bucks, where is the less pressure...... must be those 6000 archers we hear about all the time. I'm one of them and never missed a day hunting deer! is it pressure? License sold? or kill numbers? What is Pressure Dr Mitchell?

    "The one-buck rule is now being discussed in Michigan. The concept was shot down this summer but will likely resurface again in 2007. "

    Should have added in other States also, Traditional Management is out and QDM WILL be in every whitetail State.

    Dr Mitchell> "This trend has been developing for 10 years," he said. "The rate of change has not been significant since the implementation of the one-buck rule."

    What is signifigant Dr Mitchell? NEVER have you recorded a year of 50% or less 1 1/2 year old bucks, you have 2 consecutive! Show us where you have had three consecutive years of less than 55%. Dr Mitchell knows how to use words....."signifigant".

    "Is it having a biological effect? We won't know unless we go back to the former regulation (one buck with a bow, one with a gun). That could tell us if the increase in mature bucks is due to a natural trend or a result of the one-buck rule."

    Dr Mitchell, Why not use the six years data prior to the OBR? Is it not valid? Or how about Kentucky's data, not their shooting two with any weapon but their "hunter satisfaction survey" The latest one. Shouldn't that be the criteria as you say.....""We know there isn't a biological need for the regulation," ?

    "Yes, we're seeing more two and a half- and three and a half year-old bucks in the harvest," he noted. "But we can't assume that is a direct result of the one-buck regulation."


    Let's see we have hunters, cars, and disease. What disease or illness have we contolled in our deer herd, fewer miles traveled and fewer deer auto collisions? we are killing the same number of Bucks Dr Mitchell, but the age structure has went to lows (or high's) your department has never seen before? Who or what did it?

    Dr Mitchell is the herd accelerating in population at such a rate that we can no longer control numbers hence the male deer are getting an older age structure?

    Dr Mitcvhell> "Look at states like Illinois, Iowa and Kansas with reputations for producing older bucks and you'll see a marked increase in leasing activities," Dr. Mitchell explained. "You get a lot of non-residents as well as residents using money to tie up private hunting land previously enjoyed by the average hunter."

    Dr Mitchell, did Indiana have leasing of hunting land prior to 2002 season? Dr Mitchell, are you saying you should and would manipulate the deer herd by bag limits to control the age structure? heck let's open the season year round and in a few years no one would want to come to Indiana or lease land for hunting!

    Dr Mitchell> "Statistics show a decrease in antlerless harvest as a result of leasing activities, and that impacts our job of trying to keep the herd under control," he added.

    Yes sir go back to a two buck limit and as stated above, watch Hoosiers lease land and protect what five years has changed. Dr. Mitchell, please explain the record harvests under the OBR......... a decrease?

    Dr Mitchell> "I'm already hearing about it from hunters throughout the state," he said. "And it not only impacts deer hunters, but small game hunters, too."

    Now we really have a problem here, if you are already hearing it from hunters, who created the need to lease? You say the OBR had no "signifigant" impact. If that is true then I suggest you alter the way you have managed in the past as YOUR DEPARTMENT is the cause.

    No cake and eat it also Dr Mitchell!

    By the way The IDHA did not say the HRB numbers doubled every year, but 277(2002) to 426(2004) is a nice increase in 3 years!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2006
  7. :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: YEA THAT
     
  8. I had to laugh when Dr. Mitchell stated that the OBR was shot down in Michigan this summer. The leadership of the Michigan DNR is opposed to a OBR because they think that it will cause a large drop in revenue. Most of our hunters purchase a combo license which is good for two bucks (one 4 pt. antler restricted). By going to a OBR they think there will be a large drop in revenue. So are we managing the herd on an economic or scientific basis?

    The DNR conducted a series of Hunter meet & greets around the State last year. They were surprised and amazed by the groundswell of support for the OBR that there is among the hunting community. In Michigan our license decisions are made by a Natural resources committee (NRC). The vote this summer was tied 3-3 on the OBR and one member of the panel was absent from the meeting. He is thought to lean towards trying a OBR so it was a very close thing. My prediction is that the next time the OBR issue is in front of the NRC it will pass.
     
  9. Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh,heh!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why don't you answer this for us Munster.......LOL!!!! LOL!!!!!

    Solution: Jack up the price of individual deer licenses nearly 100% ??????
     
  10. Don't think I need to, it's kind of obvious. We have some of the lowest most rediculous prices for deer licenses that there is. Our buck licenses are only $15 and antlerless licenses are $10. I'd like to see these increase to $30 each. My guess is that they could raise the rates to that amount and see almost a zero decrease in sales.
     
  11. Scarlet Dew
    Brace yourself Dr. Flippin' Mitchell...............

    Scott Werstler
    I would suggest to Jim Mitchell if everyone is that mature on the whitetail harvesting then we wouldn't need a bag limit or seasons, but I think the dumb SOB might actually listen to me for once and make it law.

    Boy, I am glad that this site is much more courteous and less biased than “the other site”.


    Dean Weimer
    John Olson, Can you please explain to me why Kentucky's biologists are so excited about the OBR and it's subsequent responsibility for their recent upswing in record class bucks being produced, but our state seems so against it?? If leasing is such the concern to eliminate the OBR, how can these other states continue to produce big bucks??? Kentucky's antlerless harvest continues to be strong year to year also. Why has Ohio chosen to go to a OBR???? Why can't Indiana be more progressive??? Going back to a two buck limit will do little for herd management long term, and I think that you guys know this.


    State management policy will vary from state to state. What gets one person excited may not excite another. Some states believe in trophy management, others believe in managing for maximum opportunity. Indiana believes that giving the hunter (Weekend Warrior?) more opportunity to go out in the woods and more opportunity to harvest a deer of his choice is more important than trying to put a “booner” behind every tree. Coincidentally, the more reason we give the hunter to stay out in the woods, the more likely he is to shoot does hence assisting in the management of the herd.

    Many state’s policies are strongly influenced by “avid influentials” (I have other names for them) rather than the plain old hunter. As far as the second part of the question (it's subsequent responsibility for their recent upswing in record class bucks being produced). I am not convinced that the OBR is responsible for an upswing in the number of record bucks produced. Nor do I believe that it is as important as the overall health of the herd.

    Going back to a two buck limit as a test period (much the same that the OBR was approved) should prove beyond your wildest dreams that you were correct or crash your beliefs in to a burning pile of rubble. Too many variables were changed during the first test period to allow for intelligent analysis without the confounding effects. Hopefully there would not be changes that would make analysis impossible again. Oh yes progressive is in the eye of the beholder just like beauty.
     
  12. OBR and...what other variables were there?
     
  13. hmmmmmmmm...........

    Then Mr Cervid, we could also extend the OBR another period without changing any rules and we should see another improvement if the OBR works?

    Why not try that?

    LMAO..........doesn't fit the economic impact?

    john:

    How can you validate this statement..."Coincidentally, the more reason we give the hunter to stay out in the woods, the more likely he is to shoot does hence assisting in the management of the herd."

    We didn't change seasons or season lengths, are you saying you have data that supports a higher antlerless harvest under the two buck system?

    "Likely"... nice word but show us the numbers.
     
  14. john Cervid

    I need you to clarify

    "I am not convinced that the OBR is responsible for an upswing in the number of record bucks produced. Nor do I believe that it is as important as the overall health of the herd. "

    Please explain what you consider the "overall health of the herd".

    1.) Do we have a disease issue today?

    2.) Do we have a carrying capacity issue today?

    3.) Do we have a social carrying capacity issue today?

    4.) Is there an age structure issue?

    5.) Sex ratio issue?

    Or do we manage deer like cattle and only need a certain number of breeder (male)deer to maintain a revenue source?

    I'm confused on the overall health...... educate me and others......
     
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