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#6135226 - 01/14/16 09:30 AM Managing for Quality
kmartinusa Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 04/09/11
Posts: 214
Loc: SW Oklahoma
Guys-

I've been on here for years, I'm originally from Texas but I live in Oklahoma and have for 20+years.

A friend of mine is one of our Wildlife Comissioners and he told me yesterday that change is now possible relative to deer hunting regulations in Oklahoma. I'm unclear what has previously prevented this but nevertheless the topic of managing the state for quality vs. quantity will likely be discussed and there may be change.

It is his belief that Oklahoma has been managed for quantity vs quality. We currently have a 2 buck limit, only one may be taken with a rifle and our rifle season is about two weeks, or spans three weekends. It usually (always?) starts the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Here's his exact question:

"Ok group.....I have a question for you. We have always managed for maximum quantity for deer in the state, but I've been getting calls and know many hunters that want to start managing for quality as well. Who can solve this dilemma? Can we designate areas for a more mature deer harvest and leave other areas for the "if it's brown it's down group? it's a shame that many of our hunters feel compelled to have to go hunt Texas, Kansas, or Iowa to shoot a monster. Who has the answer?"

This is the most thoughtful and experienced group that I'm a part of. Y'all always have good insight and I know that there are areas of Texas that have different restrictions but I don't know what the results have been.

So you're now responsible for setting the Oklahoma deer hunting regulations. What will you do?


Edited by kmartinusa (01/14/16 09:51 PM)
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Originally Posted By: LandPirate
We kept it as a pet for several months until it got run over by a truck. Then we ate him.

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#6135288 - 01/14/16 09:55 AM Re: Managing for Quality [Re: kmartinusa]
Bbear Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/24/13
Posts: 598
Loc: West Texas
Some 15-20 years back, Indiana went to a 1 buck limit and changed the # of doe allowed to be taken. The doe numbers were based upon population in that county. There was a lot of grumbling and griping about it but now, the odds of seeing a quality buck are much, much greater. And there are still plenty of does to be taken in most of the 90-some odd counties in the state.
Arkansas went with antler restrictions and have seen an increase in the quality of their bucks.
East Texas has antler restrictions as well but someone from there will have to chime in to let you know how things are working out.
At a lease I was on in the hill country, we weren't allowed to plant anything nor put out protein feeders. We did work with the lessees on the two neighboring tracts and all of us started keeping the numbers in shape - we plain had too many deer.
Total acreage we had between the three of us was right at 3500 acres. We started by taking out does, lots of them. Our game count showed we had one deer for every 3 acres when we started. When I left the lease, 5 years later, we were 1 for 7 acres. Average 8 pt field dressed weight went from 74 pounds to 105 (2 years after I left, the average weight went up to 122 pounds).
As you can see, there are a number of ways that states have managed their herds. There isn't a one-size fits all method. Not having hunted much in Oklahoma, I really couldn't tell you what would work. And what works in one part of the state wouldn't necessarily work in another.
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#6135601 - 01/14/16 12:40 PM Re: Managing for Quality [Re: kmartinusa]
jshouse Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 6238
Loc: Rockwall
Just implement the antler restrictions we use here, you'll be good to go in no time.
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#6136253 - 01/14/16 07:11 PM Re: Managing for Quality [Re: kmartinusa]
huntwest Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 1763
Loc: Albany
Let the deer grow up. 5.5 years old. Do t shoot 1.5 year old spikes. Shoot does that have nubbins buck fawns with them. Keep free voice protein available Febuary through August.
Your deer will grow.

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#6136310 - 01/14/16 07:33 PM Re: Managing for Quality [Re: jshouse]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41118
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: jshouse
Just implement the antler restrictions we use here, you'll be good to go in no time.


Oklahoma isn't managing for quantity no mater what any one says. It's quality. Hence the short gun seasons.


Oklahoma is producing gaints. Quality will always be an individual land owner choice.

Now if they want to move to MLD type program like Texas. I don't think it will hurt, but no part of Oklahoma is exceeding CC like Texas.

What they need to do it toss the current landowner pronghorn drawing out the window, and issue tags to landowners with pronghorns just like TX.

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#6136539 - 01/14/16 09:53 PM Re: Managing for Quality [Re: jshouse]
kmartinusa Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 04/09/11
Posts: 214
Loc: SW Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: jshouse
Just implement the antler restrictions we use here, you'll be good to go in no time.


How long have they been in place and what are we seeing?
_________________________
Originally Posted By: LandPirate
We kept it as a pet for several months until it got run over by a truck. Then we ate him.

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#6136581 - 01/14/16 10:26 PM Re: Managing for Quality [Re: kmartinusa]
jsplinter Offline
Tracker

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 794
Loc: Copperas Cove
Wisconsin used a method when I was growing up called earn a buck. We were not allowed to harvest an antlered deer until we killed and registered a doe first. I am not sure what it did for quality of the deer but it definitely helped keep the numbers down. If I was to guess though I would say it would help with the size of the Bucks also because normally the only bucks you saw were before you got a doe and couldn't shoot them...lol. Hunters and other organizations got together though and got into the ears of the politicians and they made it to wear that management program can no longer be used.
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#6136652 - 01/15/16 01:53 AM Re: Managing for Quality [Re: kmartinusa]
Txduckman Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11719
Loc: Big D
Anything to keep numbers down helps. Each part of the state is different. My buddies in OK shoot anything they see with a bow. They will be more selective if given a longer rifle season. They are very good hunters and can judge age very well. The doe before buck would be a great idea anywhere.

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#6137113 - 01/15/16 11:01 AM Re: Managing for Quality [Re: kmartinusa]
jshouse Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 6238
Loc: Rockwall
Originally Posted By: kmartinusa
Originally Posted By: jshouse
Just implement the antler restrictions we use here, you'll be good to go in no time.


How long have they been in place and what are we seeing?


sorry, I was just (partly) being sarcastic, BUT, they have been in affect for around 10 years now and I think MOST would say that the deer quantity and quality have both been improved in their areas since AR's. too bad AR's don't make venison taste any better thought, that's the next thing we need TPWD to work on....
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