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The One Buck Rule: 4 years later.....

Discussion in 'Indiana Whitetail Hunting' started by Dean Weimer, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Well, again we (those who attended the Grant Woods seminar last evening) heard from a professional, unbiased whitetail, expert biologist that the One Buck Rule is good for herd management, etc. But, still, "experts" don't agree with a true professional...for whatever reasons.

    Things that others are saying and why....

    1) An age shift was evident prior to the OBR. No kidding....and it's just like Grant Woods said last night. When surplus does are harvested this pulls the sex ratios closer, causing the average age of bucks to slowly increase. Couple this with the fact that more bucks escaped harvesting because hunters were able to satisfy their need for venison with does. Pretty simple. If more hunters harvested does; beginning prior to the OBR, it only stands to reason that an age shift had started. Since the institution of the OBR this age structure shift has become even more so pronounced. Very simple stuff.....

    2) There is no discernible decrease in numbers of bucks killed annually since OBR. No kidding......As more bucks became present in the overall herd (see above) their availability increased. Folks, there are more bucks present in the overall statewide herd (as a % of the herd itself) now than ever before. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of bucks killed increased from here on out. Why??? Because there are so many more of them available in the herd. Also, lets not forget that more fawns and 1.5 year old yearlings are being recruited into the herd every year. Again, very simple stuff.....If more bucks are present in the herd then people will have better opportunities to harvest ONE.

    3) The One Buck Rule isn't having any effect on the age structure of bucks in Indiana. This one slays me!!!!! I've never, ever stated that hunters haven't become more selective in recent years. Mature buck management is more popular now than ever before. But, if anyone for even one second doesn't think that part of the reason that the age shift has improved even faster, and more visibly since its inception is just plain blind. It's really common sense. The OBR is working directly and indirectly.

    4) The deer hunters are changing as a result of maturity. I don't know anyone who is getting any younger, do you? Could we not say this about deer hunters in Indiana since 1951. Haven't hunters always been getting older annually? Despite all the doom and gloom from various individuals out there, kids are still taking up hunting. I hear countless times that hunters are losing numbers at an alarming rate. Sure wish someone would show me hard factual evidence to prove this.....

    5) Leasing will overtake our state if we become a "big buck" state. O.K. so leasing has its cons (as well as pros). Don't look now everyone, but Indiana is becoming a "big buck" state. But, don't forget that there are thousands upon thousands of acres that are NOT being leased here. And also, not all of Iowa and Illinois are (contrary to what others are saying) currently being leased. And the outfitters--yes, those groups in prime parts of the MW that are actually manageing their herds properly--aren't the evil that some try to portray them to be.

    6) Going back to a two buck limit won't change this age structure improvement. Please tell me that you don't really believe this. The thing that bothers me the most on this is that those who state this obvious falsity are some of the same ones who don't want to shoot does. "Being able to kill two bucks will help in herd management". Please also tell me that you don't believe this B.S. Again, common sense...or lack thereof. They say that the herd is growing fast now (but don't "survey" the herd any longer so how do we really know how many are out there?) how will being able to harvest a second buck do anything long term to herd management? This is backwards!!!!! Remember, proper, long term management of a deer herd is done through a sustained and continuing DOE harvest, not buck harvest.

    7) Indiana has always had big, mature bucks within its borders. Sure, there have always no doubt been some big bucks. But, why didn't large numbers of them turn up for the Hoosier Record Buck Program over the years? This is simple...they weren't there in any numbers, otherwise we would have seen more of them. Again, very simple, common sense stuff.

    The whitetail herd is in the best shape that it ever has been in the history of deer hunting in Indiana ever. We have plenty of deer with many more mature bucks to harvest; we're recruiting more button buck fawns than ever before, the buck:doe ratio is closer now than ever. Why can't people understand this and just accept this and realize that all these management changes are what brought this about?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2006

  2. Because, gol-darn-it, that's not how it used to be!
  3. I agree, this is one argument that I don't buy into either. Col. City isn't a big city nor is it all girls both hunt to one degree or another, and nearly all of their friends also hunt. It has actually been rather fun to watch and listen to the rivalry from two 11yr old girls talking about deer hunting. It is all about how we raise our kids, and what we expose them to, as well as how we expose them to it. You HAVE to make outdoor activities very enjoyable to young kids and understand their limits. Once the bug bites them, they'll be into just can't force that bug to bite 'em to fast.
    You gripe about tv and videos...use it as a tool, hunting games, ESPN on a Sat morning. If you don't work to promote hunting in our youth, than I think you give up the right to complain about it, period.
  4. I think you spelled gol-darn-it wrong....Mr. Engrish Teacher!!!!!!:bonk: !!!!

    And, yes, I heard the dueling banjos there!!!!!
  5. Last night I ran into one of the boys that played on the 6th grade basketball team I coached last year. Both of my girls ran last night, 6 year old ran the mile and 8 year old ran her first 5K. I asked the boy what he had been doing all summer, expecting him to say he'd been playing a lot of basketball as I think he has a lot of potential. The first words out of his mouth were, "I've been skateboarding all summer." Skateboarding? OK. I asked him which race he was running in. Wrong again...he was driving one of the Kawasaki Mules following the racers to make sure nobody got lost. Oh well, the kid still has potential.
  6. Well we can all see it real plain, that there is way to much and we give to much to our kids, like skateboarding, 4 wheelers, computers and games and the list goes on. WAKE UP AMERICAN, things do change but lets look what some of things that has changed, both parents works and long hours too, so we take our kids to babysitters and they have our kids more than we do. We are just not spending enough time with our kids so the kids are finding something or someone else to spend time with. Please lets all of us say, I am going to take a kid fishing or hunting or just out in the out doors and I will turn off the TV, computer, and pick up the 4 wheeler and skateboards. Kids are just take kids and we need to do our part. OH yes this thread is about what some others think about the OBR. Lets face it if we don't change and keep on killing those small bucks, does and yes fawns we will always have trouble finding a big buck because dead deer don't grow. Dean OBR does work and we have seen and been to seminars that have shown us the truth. Thank you Dean for that information
  7. Dean - "Sure wish someone would show me hard factual evidence to prove this....."

    Certainly kids are still taking up hunting but not at the rate they used to. I compiled some data for the IDNR to justify starting the youth seasons that are becoming effective this year. The data shows this:

    In the period from 1983-2003 hunting licenses changed as follows:

    Indiana -31.3%
    Ohio -13.4%
    Illinois -10.7%
    Michigan -3.0%
    Kentucky +10.4%

    Indiana is in a crisis situation. Our license sales have dropped almost a third and only Kentucky has shown an increase among the contiguous states. If we don't reverse this trend there won't be any hunters in 40 years. Indiana fell from 338,994 in 1983 to 232,819 in 2003.

    Here's the link to the NSSF site where the data was collected:

    This is an excellent article that everyone should read. Has a lot of individual state info both resident and non-resident.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2006
  8. Jack, I'm so glad you put this info. on here. I've long heard it, but have never seen any data to back it up. Without reading any of the other links that you've provided (that I definately will) what do you account this decline in license sales and hunters too? Just curious.....

    Also, Jack, what type of licenses are these studies dealing with? Individual deer licenses?

    This is interesting to say the least.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2006
  9. In a 2004 general survey of hunters the reasons given for hunting less are as follows:

    Lack of time/get out less 32%
    Health/age 24%
    Work obligations 16%
    Other 12%
    Family obligations 4%
    Hard to find a place to hunt 4%
    Using other equipment 3%
    Less game to hunt 3%
    No one to go with 1%

    The numbers I referenced include ALL licenses (small game, deer, turkey, etc.)

  10. Jack, I find this very interesting.....

    1983 338,994 Starting point of data...
    1984 320,894
    1985 305,100
    1986 282,571
    1987 291,876
    1988 298,165
    1989 303,140
    1990 317,486
    1991 321,616
    1992 339,066
    1993 330,846
    1994 332,150
    1995 335,438 Very near to starting point numbers.....and then in 1996 the
    1996 297,330 the bottom falls out (in one season almost 40,000). What
    1997 287,443 happened here?
    1998 300,755
    1999 300,732
    2000 292,694
    2001 282,781
    2002 285,573
    2003 232,819

    It seems that the numbers could perhaps be cyclical in nature? Or, is something causing the numbers to rise then fall, etc.? How does the increase in individual license prices correlate with this drop from approximately 1993? And, does the sale of lifetime licenses correlate with the drop at all?

    Does anyone know what year that individual license cost was raised nearly 100%( i.e. deer licenses went from 13.75 to 24.00 dollars, etc)? Also, any theories on why these numbers look like a roller coaster? I'm less inclined, after seeing each years' totals, to think that loss of hunters is soleley responsible for this decrease of license purchasing....What do you all think?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2006
  11. Dean,

    I don't have any facts in front of me, but the time you show the drop in licenses seems to correlate to a few years after antlerless permits came out. In the two years or so before the two you highlighted, there was an increase up to about 339,000. I remember when the first antlerless tags came out and I know there were people suddenly hunting deer who hadn't before. I also think they went away after a couple of years because they found out it wasn't as easy as they thought. Where do the state park hunts come in on this? If I remember correctly you had to have a deer tag to participate in the state park hunts because they were afraid nonhunters would apply for the drawing to win spots and keep some other people from going. By making them buy a tag, it was thought to keep some of that from happening.
    If this is a total number and includes all deer tags then it should cycle with each county's bonus quota, how many crops were left in the fields and therefore fewer does taken, etc. etc. Bad weather on opening weekend so cousin Jimmy didn't buy that second doe tag, etc.
  12. I would think some of it has to do with the purchase of lifetime licenses. I can't believe the numbers would fall off that drastically especially when we now have youth licenses being sold also.
  13. 2002 was the year of the deer tag increase you are referring to.
  14. Is this info going off the youth license sales?? becuase i think you could see a severe drop because of lifetime sales being bought as gifts for children. For a kid that is 10 that is a major investment into the future. Only wish i could have had the change to purchase one for my children in advance.