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#6384775 - 07/27/16 02:57 PM Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest
BuckFodder Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 06/29/16
Posts: 5
I a new to Texas, born and raise in Louisiana. I moved to east Texas and found a hunting lease in Tyler County. I was really excited until I found out there is a thirteen inch spread limit on bucks. From what I have been told, the deer in east Texas rarely reach a thirteen inch spread. I know it Louisiana pineywoods, they would never reach thirteen inch spread, although there are no size limits on them to allow them to grow.

I will follow the size limit rules, because that is just what I do. I am just wondering if everyone else does. The law has been changed for several years now. Do you consistently see mature deer that have the genetics to allow their horns to spread outside the ears (thirteen inches)?

I make the assumption that the habitat that I hunt in east Texas described as piney woods, low mast crops, high yield yaupon understory does not produce the nutrients required for deer to produce racks that will reach thirteen inch spread.

And guys, come on, I know there are people that killed deer with thirteen inch spread in east Texas. I want to know if rule change consistently produces deer getting into the thirteen inch spread or is there a bunch of mature basket racks running around eating everyone corn.

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#6384783 - 07/27/16 03:02 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
BigPig Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 9521
Loc: Forney, Tx
Before, they killed anything that walked out with horns because they couldn't kill does. Now, they have to wait until it's big enough, and in most of ETX there is a couple weeks of doe season.

Yes the bucks are reaching 13 inch inside spread and for the most part, it is working
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#6384805 - 07/27/16 03:19 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
cheese20 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/15/15
Posts: 6
Loc: Nac Co.
Have lived and hunted in east texas for all of my 30 years and the 13 inch rule is working for sure. There are plenty of bucks that reach at least the minimum spread limit thanks to this rule where before they would be just been killed as 1 or 2 year olds. You will have to hunt harder in east texas to find a nice buck but they are out there. These came off leases in Angelina and Nacogdoches Co.


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#6384987 - 07/27/16 05:28 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
Pitchfork Predator Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10833
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
The rule is not perfect. There are mature bucks that are under the 13 minimum. But I've never seen the quality of bucks East Texas has produced the last 5 years before that, because most hunted with the mindset "if it's brown it's down".

I guess the good news for you is your not that far from Louisiana if you want to shoot any buck you choose.
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#6384989 - 07/27/16 05:29 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
Russ79 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 390
Loc: Nacogdoches, Tx
The only reason the bucks in east Texas rarely reached 13" was before the AR's if it had horns it went down. Because of the rule we are having to let them walk and with some age they will exceed 13". Do we have bucks under 13" that need to die? The answer is yes, but what I have seen is that the AR's are working.

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#6385001 - 07/27/16 05:46 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
rabbit_jack Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/13/16
Posts: 293
Loc: Central Texas
I live in one of the original counties that implemented the 13" rule. It has made a world of difference and in my opinion the good far outweighs the bad. I can't promise that you will see any legal bucks but I do think your chances of seeing some good bucks (or any buck for that matter) are greater than they were before the rule was implemented. Good luck!








Edited by rabbit_jack (07/27/16 05:49 PM)
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#6385015 - 07/27/16 05:57 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
sqiggy Online   content


Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 1878
Loc: Franklin, Tx Hunt in Panola ...
Originally Posted By: BuckFodder
And guys, come on, I know there are people that killed deer with thirteen inch spread in east Texas. I want to know if rule change consistently produces deer getting into the thirteen inch spread or is there a bunch of mature basket racks running around eating everyone corn.
Where I hunt, I'm about 30 min from the La line. Just in the last few years, our bucks are outside the ears. The only basket rack bucks we see are the young ones. Haven't seen a mature buck 13 or less (other than some 3 points, which are legal) on camera yet.

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#6385089 - 07/27/16 06:54 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
rifleman Online   crying
Sparkly Pants

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 43786
Loc: Kingwood
Where at in Tyler Co? Away from the river you shouldn't have a problem.

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#6385165 - 07/27/16 07:42 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: Russ79]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11265
Originally Posted By: Russ79
The only reason the bucks in east Texas rarely reached 13" was before the AR's if it had horns it went down. Because of the rule we are having to let them walk and with some age they will exceed 13". Do we have bucks under 13" that need to die? The answer is yes, but what I have seen is that the AR's are working.


IMO, it will some time to see if the 13-inch restriction has created any high grading of the herd. High grading occurs when only deer with a certain characteristic are removed, while leaving deer without that characteristic. Many have said that it's impossible to high-grade in a free ranging environment. However, the MDWFP saw it happen in Mississippi after implementing a four-point rule that allowed hunters to take the best of their younger bucks, while protecting every spike. I'm sure that failure, along with research results here in Texas, is what led the TPWD to create the 13-inch rule to protect that same class of deer that is left unprotected with points-based restrictions. Still, common sense would point that high grading would still be possible if you protect deer with ANY specific characteristic, in this case, that being narrow-racked deer. To remedy that, the TPWD took the position that hunters should take the lesser spikes, as these are the deer that are likely to lag their peers in developing wide racks.

Yes, before the 13-inch rule, hunters in East Texas did not see as many wide racked bucks. However, we also NEVER saw any tall, antelope-looking deer that we weren't allowed to harvest.
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Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6385433 - 07/27/16 11:44 PM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
Pitchfork Predator Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10833
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
That's because you never saw mature bucks narrow or wide like you do now.
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Retirement Planner

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#6385548 - 07/28/16 07:40 AM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: Pitchfork Predator]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11265
Originally Posted By: Pitchfork Predator
That's because you never saw mature bucks narrow or wide like you do now.


No arguement there. We were taking more younger bucks without regard to what type of rack they might develop in future years. Now we're taking just one class of deer while leaving and protecting the other. Not sure that's a good thing. It would seem logical that a solution that would allow hunters to take ANY older buck would remedy that. I guess I'll always be in that group of hunters who doesn't like having to pass on a deer that "needs killing".
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6385577 - 07/28/16 08:25 AM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
dgilbert Offline
6 pack abs

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 18705
It's about time we had an AR thread.

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#6385672 - 07/28/16 09:58 AM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
Pitchfork Predator Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10833
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
I'm in that group as well Dan. Hopefully they will enhance the program in the future to allow mature bucks that don't meet the 13 to be harvested. up
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Marc C. Helfrich
Retirement Planner

www.insured-wealth.com
469-323-8920

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#6385705 - 07/28/16 10:25 AM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: BuckFodder]
Russ79 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 390
Loc: Nacogdoches, Tx
Yes, before the 13-inch rule, hunters in East Texas did not see as many wide racked bucks. However, we also NEVER saw any tall, antelope-looking deer that we weren't allowed to harvest.

Texas Dan, probably never saw those type deer because they never got old enough to get to that point before they were in someone's freezer.

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#6385739 - 07/28/16 10:49 AM Re: Thirteen inch spread-low quality forest [Re: Pitchfork Predator]
JJH Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 3434
Loc: Katy
The problem would be devising a way to define "mature" in a way that is enforceable and obvious for "inexperienced" hunters.

Otherwise the GWs will always be dealing with the "well, he looked mature to me" senario.

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