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#6521730 - 11/01/16 12:32 PM A possible solution to "top hat" bucks
Texas Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11230
Much has been shared about how the current AR's protect what some might call "Top Hat" bucks, these being older bucks with tall, narrow racks that don't satisfy the 13-inch rule. They are bucks at the same age (or even older) as their wider racked peers that now qualify for harvest.

Since a buck's brow tines (G1's) typically grow longer with age, perhaps the current AR's could be updated in the future to allow hunters to take ANY buck with brow tines of a minimum length.

Such a rule update might also result in hunters being able to judge mature bucks as being legal more quickly.


Edited by Texas Dan (11/01/16 02:13 PM)
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#6521744 - 11/01/16 12:43 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: Texas Dan]
PMK Offline
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Registered: 09/10/12
Posts: 4942
Loc: Central TX (Gtown/Austin)
guessing that second paragraph first sentence should have been "Since a buck's brow tines (G1's) typically grow LONGER (NOT older) with age,"???

the place I have out near Ozona (non-AR county) would be the reverse of an AR rule ... lots of mature bucks without or very minimal G1 (brow tine, dog catcher, etc.) ...


Edited by PMK (11/01/16 12:44 PM)
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#6521882 - 11/01/16 02:09 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: Texas Dan]
pegasaurus Online   content
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Registered: 07/19/08
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Loc: South Denton County
TPWD says the antlers are supposed to grow wider with age but that doesn't always happen either.
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#6521887 - 11/01/16 02:14 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: PMK]
Texas Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
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Originally Posted By: PMK
guessing that second paragraph first sentence should have been "Since a buck's brow tines (G1's) typically grow LONGER (NOT older) with age,"???


Good catch!
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#6521891 - 11/01/16 02:15 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: Texas Dan]
postoak Online   content
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Registered: 08/19/09
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Loc: The Woodlands, Tx
How about you can shoot any buck if you are sure it is at least 3.5 years old. If you are wrong then you have to pay a fine.
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#6522042 - 11/01/16 03:44 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: Texas Dan]
rickym Online   content
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I think for 5 years they should change to the 4 on one side rule and then switch back to current ar rules.
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#6522064 - 11/01/16 04:04 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: postoak]
Texas Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
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Originally Posted By: postoak
How about you can shoot any buck if you are sure it is at least 3.5 years old. If you are wrong then you have to pay a fine.


I could go with that.
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#6522066 - 11/01/16 04:05 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: rickym]
Texas Dan Offline
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Originally Posted By: rickym
I think for 5 years they should change to the 4 on one side rule and then switch back to current ar rules.


This would not protect the younger basket-racked bucks we need to protect most.
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#6522092 - 11/01/16 04:20 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: Texas Dan]
rexmitchell Offline
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Registered: 02/11/13
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: rickym
I think for 5 years they should change to the 4 on one side rule and then switch back to current ar rules.


This would not protect the younger basket-racked bucks we need to protect most.


Nope, but it would knock out some of the genetics for high and tight racks.
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#6522114 - 11/01/16 04:34 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: rexmitchell]
rickym Online   content
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Loc: texas
Originally Posted By: rexmitchell
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: rickym
I think for 5 years they should change to the 4 on one side rule and then switch back to current ar rules.


This would not protect the younger basket-racked bucks we need to protect most.


Nope, but it would knock out some of the genetics for high and tight racks.


Exactly, nothin is gonna be perfect. You cant expect everyone out there to be able to judge age so that wont work. Everyone can count, and for a short period you could get rid of alot of your mature deer that will never make 13" and stop them from breeding. I doubt as many young promising deer would get shot as you think if they opened it up to shoot all those big narrow racked bucks.
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Originally Posted By: Roll-Tide
Any ideas how to make it hard?

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#6522151 - 11/01/16 04:54 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: Texas Dan]
QuitShootinYoungBucks Online   content
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Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 6438
Loc: Lubbock, TX
I think the 'top hat' bucks are an over-blown problem. Are there some? Sure, I believe it, but hunters from those areas would have you believe they're under every rock and behind every bush. If the problem is as regional as suggested, maybe they should do a test scenario on a few counties and see what happens.

If you allow 3.5 yr old bucks to be shot, you're going to get a whole bunch of burly 2.5 yr old deer killed by guys that have no idea or don't care.
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#6522538 - 11/01/16 07:52 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks]
Texas Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
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Originally Posted By: QuitShootinYoungBucks
If the problem is as regional as suggested, maybe they should do a test scenario on a few counties and see what happens.


Without a mechanism in place (outside of LAMP-managed properties) so that hunters can report harvest data, there's no way to detect if high-grading is occurring.
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#6522701 - 11/01/16 09:11 PM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: pegasaurus]
Curly Offline
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Registered: 08/08/08
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Loc: Sittin on my butt on the THF
Originally Posted By: pegasaurus
TPWD says the antlers are supposed to grow wider with age but that doesn't always happen either.



preach!
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#6522918 - 11/02/16 04:55 AM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: Texas Dan]
decook Offline
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Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1209
Loc: Montgomery, TX USA
I think TPWD should allow a "field tag" for non AR deer in addition to your deer tag. Call it an AR tag. The hunter should have to provide a photo to either a warden or a TPWD biologist who makes the call based on the picture. To keep it honest, there should also be a check in after the shot.

I don't think there is a better way to make ARs work then this - there has to be some exception process to the hard rule that makes up for mother nature's exceptions.


Edited by decook (11/02/16 04:56 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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#6522937 - 11/02/16 05:54 AM Re: A possible solution to "top hat" bucks [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks]
Texas Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11230
Originally Posted By: QuitShootinYoungBucks
I think the 'top hat' bucks are an over-blown problem.


Ironically, the claim by those who are most opposed to AR's would support this. According to them, you can't change the genetic makeup of the herd on LF settings through selective harvesting. If that's true, then it's impossible to high grade or shoot the width out of the deer in a given area.

In the end, it would seem what is most important on LAMPS managed properties, is that these "top hat" bucks be allowed to walk, just as they are everywhere else where AR's are in place. Otherwise, evidence of high grading will never be confirmed.
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