13-Inch Rule, Nov. 28, 2011

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Cathy 4 years ago.

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  • #4508

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    jacksrbetter
    Sounds like that is serious enough penalty to have some teeth. The reason I ask is there was a post awhile back from I believe an east Texas member trying to resolve lease management problems. He mentioned the hunt club adjacent to him led the county in antler restrictions tickets. That made it sound to me like the penalty wasn’t very severe. Maybe if he reads this he can reply about his current situation.
    Vendaloco’s posts definitely shows it is working in some areas.

    #4509

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Hotrod413
    That was another post by me. I am not sure what has gone on in the area of fines so far this year. I do know there has been at least one 10 pt killed on a neighboring land and 1 shooter seen on our land. I hunt on my step das land. He saw this last one while he was walking to his stand and said it was the second largest he has seen on the land and he has hunted there for 30+ years. My mother saw a good buck right at dark one evening but wasn’t sure it was a shooter. As for my wife and I, all I have is the pics of 2 that fit the antler restriction but that I would love to see in a year or two. The problem this year has been before season about 300 pics under feeder to last week only 2. Some of this has been the crazy weather but tons of acorns have fallen since the start of season. My step dad is a police officer and was told by the game warden that they found two illegal buck carcasses at the end of the road with just the back straps cut out. So I guess either: 1:) someone messed up and was scared or 2:) they just don’t care. I had heard the fines were fairly steep so hopefully that will deter a lot of this. The restriction was placed on our county just last year. It does seem that maybe the herd is getting a little more balanced by the pics , that I have been getting. However, the problem this year was seeing does dring doe season. We usually harvest several, this year only 2. Hopefully some of nthis colder weather will push the deer back towards the feeders. On a side note, i have had a major hog problem at my stand the last few years. This year with the drought I have very few pics of hogs. There is some sign near my stand but there is definitely fewer around.

    #4510

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Hotrod413
    That was another post by me. I am not sure what has gone on in the area of fines so far this year. I do know there has been at least one 10 pt killed on a neighboring land and 1 shooter seen on our land. I hunt on my step das land. He saw this last one while he was walking to his stand and said it was the second largest he has seen on the land and he has hunted there for 30+ years. My mother saw a good buck right at dark one evening but wasn’t sure it was a shooter. As for my wife and I, all I have is the pics of 2 that fit the antler restriction but that I would love to see in a year or two. The problem this year has been before season about 300 pics under feeder to last week only 2. Some of this has been the crazy weather but tons of acorns have fallen since the start of season. My step dad is a police officer and was told by the game warden that they found two illegal buck carcasses at the end of the road with just the back straps cut out. So I guess either: 1:) someone messed up and was scared or 2:) they just don’t care. I had heard the fines were fairly steep so hopefully that will deter a lot of this. The restriction was placed on our county just last year. It does seem that maybe the herd is getting a little more balanced by the pics , that I have been getting. However, the problem this year was seeing does dring doe season. We usually harvest several, this year only 2. Hopefully some of nthis colder weather will push the deer back towards the feeders. On a side note, i have had a major hog problem at my stand the last few years. This year with the drought I have very few pics of hogs. There is some sign near my stand but there is definitely fewer around.

    #4511

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Hotrod413
    I should have stated that there has never been many quality bucks killed or seen on this small piece of land and it does seem that this has imoproved even after just one year.

    #4512

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, December 01, 2011

    Skipper
    The problem with the TPWD rules are that they also allow for the harvest of a buck with an unbranched antler. These bucks tend to be 1.5 years old or some type of injury which they can grow out of. So this rule contradicts the intention of trying to increase the age of the herd. In my 37 years of aging deer, I have never aged a 2.5 year old spike on our lease. It may be different in West/South Texas, but I have not seen it here.
    Interested in Macy’s thoughts on the unbranched antler rule.

    Let Em Go Let Em Grow

    #4513

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, December 01, 2011

    Skipper
    The problem with the TPWD rules are that they also allow for the harvest of a buck with an unbranched antler. These bucks tend to be 1.5 years old or some type of injury which they can grow out of. So this rule contradicts the intention of trying to increase the age of the herd. In my 37 years of aging deer, I have never aged a 2.5 year old spike on our lease. It may be different in West/South Texas, but I have not seen it here.
    Interested in Macy’s thoughts on the unbranched antler rule.

    Let Em Go Let Em Grow

    #4514

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, December 01, 2011

    Skipper
    On opening day of our season, a female hunter came in to the club check station with her first Buck a heavy beamed 10 pointer, she was so proud and smiling and excited about having her buck mounted.
    Then I measured the inside spread of her beautiful 10 pointer. 12 inches, there was not other way to get any more than 12 inches. This lady left my camp crying. What should have been a memorable day turned sour and bitter. She forfited the rest of her opportunities as punishment and was through hunting on opening day. Because we are MLD 3 she does not face a big fine from TPWD, but she was severly punished anyway. She was honest and brought the deer in.
    The 13 inch rule ruined what should have been a joyous day for this Female hunter. I just hope it did not discourage her hunting future.
    I wonder how many deer are not brought in to check stations at clubs throughtout the state?

    Let Em Go Let Em Grow

    #4515

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, December 01, 2011

    lamuralla

    Man that sucks, Skipper. Clearly there are examples of mature deer that should be old enough to harvest but cannot because of the 13 inch rule. I think Macy’s point, however, is still a good one and that is: a very large majority of the time the 13 inch rule protects young bucks and promotes doe harvest and has proven to improve sex ratios (and in turn the overall health of the deer herd). While in my mind there should be exceptions for deer that don’t make the 13 inch rule but are proven to be mature, as well as some sort of exception for deer that make the 13 inch rule but are proven to be immature, again that would in effect be a straight up age restriction and virtually impossible to implement/enforce. It would probably also create more controversy than the presumably rare situation the gal below found herself in.

    #4516

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, December 01, 2011

    lamuralla

    Man that sucks, Skipper. Clearly there are examples of mature deer that should be old enough to harvest but cannot because of the 13 inch rule. I think Macy’s point, however, is still a good one and that is: a very large majority of the time the 13 inch rule protects young bucks and promotes doe harvest and has proven to improve sex ratios (and in turn the overall health of the deer herd). While in my mind there should be exceptions for deer that don’t make the 13 inch rule but are proven to be mature, as well as some sort of exception for deer that make the 13 inch rule but are proven to be immature, again that would in effect be a straight up age restriction and virtually impossible to implement/enforce. It would probably also create more controversy than the presumably rare situation the gal below found herself in.

    #4517

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, December 01, 2011

    Macy

    Skipper, you are on a great roll man, I love your questions and comments and I thank you for them all.

    Antler restrictions are like speed limits–they are the legal boundaries inwhich you have to work with. You can drive slower than 70 mph but not faster. You CAN harvest a buck wth unbranched antlers IF YOU LIKE, but you don’t have to. TPWD has more than 36 years of penned deer research in their Kerr WMA in central Texas and they are convinced (but I am not for the record) that spike yearling bucks are inferior animals. So, they (because they have the authoritative power to do so given to them by the Texas Legislature) to include their research findings and implement them into regulations. So, TPWD makes the rules with the best knowledge they have (or believe in) and so we have to live with them whether or not we agree.
    So, if the antler restrictions say you can POTENTIALLY harvest a buck with an unbranched antler but you don’t believe in it, why in the world would do it? As landowner and herd managers, we have to obey the boundary rules and regs but have the flexibility to work WITHIN those rules and boundaries.
    So, for example, you could ask your lease folks or landowner NOT to allow unbranched antlered bucks to be harvested as a part of the ranch rules ans simply don’t shoot them and the problem is solved.
    Another example. My personal ranch is in central Texas and TPWD tells me and my hunters we can legally kill up to two bucks and three does. As a landowner and herd manager, I tell the hunters on my ranch that they CANNOT harvest two bucks but rather only one and it must be mature. This is based on current surveys and not a knee jerk thing, using only current and changing data to respond to the ever-changing herd. Notice TPWD didn’t tell me how old the bucks should be but that I could kill two total bucks each. As a manager, I made the landowner decision to further limit that and make only one buck and he MUST be mature and you MUST shoulder mount him if you kill him. Because of the numbers, I then mandated that my hunters MUST shoot the other four does in order to better manage the local deer herd. So I limited my hunters by one buck and force them to harvest does whether or not they want to—it is part of the lease and part of the priviledge of hunting my land. They play by the rules or leave and it makes me no difference. But for the record, my hunters have been with me for 13 years and I consider them as part of the family now. Each year, they kill the biggest buck of their lives and they pay the extra $650 for a shoulder mount and are loving it and we are now growing some of the largest low fenced open range bucks in the county.

    So, all of this explanation is to show you that you are not FORCED to shoot an unbranched antlered buck if you don’t want to. TPWD is convinced they are evil but you and I are not so don’t shoot them because you have that legal right as a landowner.

    #4518

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Monday, December 05, 2011

    Skipper
    I agree and we have not allowed the harvest of Spikes or unbranched on my lease in 15 years. This decision was based on recommendations from Ben Koerth and others. I was just pointing out the dicotomy of TPWD restrictions. We allow 1one buck and 2 does on my lease they have to be 13 inches inside, have 4 point on one side and be at least 3.5 years old. Remember, the lease I manage is in East Texas. We have to work up to the stricter antler restrictions.The biggest issue is getting them give us the opportunity to field judge them in the small firing lanes between Pine rows. The farmers that border our lease love us because they get to shoot the deer we let go.
    My Hunters are great and try to help keep our lease a Quality hunting experience. It is hard with the rules and regulations (tags) and the continuos price increases by the Land owner. It can’t all be about the dollar, sometimes it has to be about heritage.

    #4536

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Trying a photo.

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