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Improving the current antler restrictions #2875075 12/28/11 04:26 AM
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There have been several discussions here in months and weeks past that focused around hunters who have seen increasing numbers of older deer in East Texas with narrow racks that don't satisfy the 13-inch rule. After being very skeptical myself, I have since joined this bandwagon after seeing the same thing myself. Just this weekend I watched a nice buck with excellent mass, that as best as I could tell, had no more than a 12-inch spread.

How about adding a rule that ANY buck is legal if the outside spread is at least 3 inches wider than the inside spread? In other words, any deer with mainbeams that are at least one and one-half inch in diameter would be considered a legal buck.

What I fear most is that because an increase in these tall, narrow-racked bucks cannot be identified because the cuurent restrictions don't allow these deer to be taken (you can't track what you cannot legally harvest), these deer are going to continue to spread their narrow-racked genetics for generations to come.

Keep in mind too that the current restrcitions were not intended to create deer with wide racks, but only to increase the age class for bucks. The buck that I saw this weekend was definitely a more mature buck and wel within the target group the current restrictions were desgined to achieve.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875084 12/28/11 04:32 AM
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Pretty sure that if folks are having trouble with determining width, determining mass is going to be a cluster.

But what the heck popcorn



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: txshntr] #2875098 12/28/11 04:37 AM
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Well, based on what I have seen so far, we may very well end up "shooting out" the wider-racked bucks in East Texas, while at the same time, protect and grow a lot of tall, narrow-racked deer.

Again, don't miss the point that any evidence of this happening is not going to be found because these deer are not harvestable/countable.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875109 12/28/11 04:41 AM
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Just curious, How and when did the narrow genetics get started? Did it it just appear in the last few years? popcorn



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: stxranchman] #2875151 12/28/11 05:09 AM
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Make the AR rule 13" wide or 13" tall and were all good



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: stxranchman] #2875394 12/28/11 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Just curious, How and when did the narrow genetics get started? Did it it just appear in the last few years? popcorn
I may be wrong and I probably am, but to me it would seem that when you start taking out one class and leaving another it may not be good for the over all herd. Shooting every wide horn deer leaves the majority of other types to breed. If the law stated that you could only shoot deer with brow tines then eventually you would only have those without. I think AR's are just an experiment that in the future may not turn out the way a lot of people hoped it would.


Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: stxranchman] #2875403 12/28/11 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Just curious, How and when did the narrow genetics get started? Did it it just appear in the last few years? popcorn


The genetics have always been there. The current antler restrictions have simply allowed hunters to better see the genetic potential of East Texas deer. And it appears, based on what I and many others are reporting, that many East Texas deer just don't grow wide racks.

Keep in mind the current restrictions are based on studies of deer in the "trophy rich" areas of the state and South Texas especially. These are not the same deer from a genetic perspective as East Texas deer.


Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875428 12/28/11 01:52 PM
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Really??? confused2
Man if just a few out of the thousands of y'all that hate ARs would spend the time and effort to express your feelings to tpwd versus ranting on here maybe just maybe one day they would listen.


Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Aboud] #2875481 12/28/11 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: Aboud
Really??? confused2
Man if just a few out of the thousands of y'all that hate ARs would spend the time and effort to express your feelings to tpwd versus ranting on here maybe just maybe one day they would listen.


Who said anything about not liking the current restrictions? Like anything else, they're not perfect and beyond ever needing improvement.

We obviously thought that if you just give every East Texas enough time to grow, they would all develop wide racks. I'll be the first to admit that I did. But after seeing what many others are reporting, I realize that's like saying every boy will eventually grow 6ft tall?

When a buck reaches the target age class, the laws should allow his harvest, with or without a wide rack.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875490 12/28/11 02:16 PM
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You me you actually thought at one time a genetically narrow deer would turn into a genetically wide deer. Or by we are trying to speak for tpwd.


Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Aboud] #2875514 12/28/11 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted By: Aboud
You me you actually thought at one time a genetically narrow deer would turn into a genetically wide deer. Or by we are trying to speak for tpwd.


I didn't believe there were that many genetically narrow-racked deer in East Texas. And again, until AR's were implemented, there was no way to know for sure.

I didn't want to believe the first hunters who reported seeing a lot of narrow-racked bucks. But just as I did yesterday, I began seeing them myself. That was an excellent, mature deer that I watched yesterday and well worthy of harvesting by a licensed hunter.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: txshntr] #2875542 12/28/11 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: txshntr
Pretty sure that if folks are having trouble with determining width, determining mass is going to be a cluster.


The current spike rule requires hunters to watch for points that are at least an inch long. Why not allow them to shoot large bucks with main beams that just a little larger than that? In fact, I would go with a one-inch requirement for the main beams, meaning any buck with an outside spread that is at least two inches wider than the inside spread would be legal.

So just to summarize, I am suggesting that a legal buck be any deer with at least a 13-inch spread, or ANY buck in which the outside spread is at least two inches wider than the inside sread.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875543 12/28/11 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Just curious, How and when did the narrow genetics get started? Did it it just appear in the last few years? popcorn


The genetics have always been there. The current antler restrictions have simply allowed hunters to better see the genetic potential of East Texas deer. And it appears, based on what I and many others are reporting, that many East Texas deer just don't grow wide racks.

Keep in mind the current restrictions are based on studies of deer in the "trophy rich" areas of the state and South Texas especially. These are not the same deer from a genetic perspective as East Texas deer.

So TPWD never TTT deer in from South Texas to stock the area years ago? popcorn



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: stxranchman] #2875573 12/28/11 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
So TPWD never TTT deer in from South Texas to stock the area years ago? popcorn


Unlike TPWD biologists, I don't have bias to protect conclusions made from previous efforts. I'm just commenting on what I and many other East Texas hunters are seeing today.

Consider too that after Mississippi implemented its "four-point" rule, the average width of harvested bucks went down. It was later found to be the result of "high grading" the herd and taking the best of the younger bucks. By protecting these mature, narrow-racked bucks, aren't we setting ourselves up for the same result? Granted, the TPWD position is that if hunters just shoot enough spikes, that's not going to happen. But here again, the common sight of these mature, narrow-racked deer says that isn't working.

The "spirit" of the 13-inch rule was to allow bucks to simply get older. All I'm asking is for the TPWD to add a way to allow EVERY older buck to be taken, and especially those with tall, narrow racks.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875586 12/28/11 02:54 PM
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Can it be proved that narrow deer only reproduce narrow deer? popcorn



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: stxranchman] #2875605 12/28/11 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Can it be proved that narrow deer only reproduce narrow deer? popcorn


Just as easily that it can be proven that not every boy will grow six feet tall.

My own observations have shown that common genetic traits can be seen in free-ranging bucks within a given area. We have taken multiple bucks with racks that were amazingly similar to one taken during the previous season. And I have also watched bucks that, based on the very close similarity of their racks, appeared to be older and younger siblings of each other.


Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875622 12/28/11 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Can it be proved that narrow deer only reproduce narrow deer? popcorn


Just as easily that it can be proven that not every boy will grow six feet tall.

Just as easily as it can be said that many are more than 6 feet tall, the same can be proved that narrow deer reproduce wide offspring. popcorn



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: txshntr] #2875626 12/28/11 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: txshntr
Pretty sure that if folks are having trouble with determining width, determining mass is going to be a cluster.

But what the heck popcorn


This^^^^

I'm all in favor of the "If it's brown, it's down" management method.

Txhntr, pass the popcorns.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: stxranchman] #2875641 12/28/11 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
the same can be proved that narrow deer reproduce wide offspring. popcorn


Now you sound like someone trying to say that high-grading is just not possible with the 13-inch rule.

Absolutely it is, if you only harvest wide-rack bucks while protecting the genetics of everything else.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875674 12/28/11 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
the same can be proved that narrow deer reproduce wide offspring. popcorn


Now you sound like someone trying to say that high-grading is just not possible with the 13-inch rule.

Absolutely it is, if you only harvest wide-rack bucks while protecting the genetics of everything else.

If you think that is true then you need to spend some time reading the B&C records to see what the average inside spread is on a buck killed. Might suprise you that it is narrower than you would imagine. You can take a look at controlled breeding herds and see that wide sires produce narrow offspring and narrow sires produce wide offspring. You are forgetting the doe has half the genetics. What would you say if she controlled the gene that dictated if a buck had narrow antlers or wide? popcorn



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: stxranchman] #2875686 12/28/11 03:30 PM
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so you're saying with the status quo it's a good idea to pass up <13" booners popcorn


Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: stxranchman] #2875697 12/28/11 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
You can take a look at controlled breeding herds and see that wide sires produce narrow offspring and narrow sires produce wide offspring. You are forgetting the doe has half the genetics.


I agree.

But do you also believe that if you continually remove every wide rack buck from that herd and allow only the narrow racked deer to continue breeding, you'll end up with just as many wide-racked deer?

As was the case in Mississippi, only time will tell who is right and wrong in this debate.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875726 12/28/11 03:41 PM
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East Texas deer have narrow racks out of necessity; how else are they supposed to get between the pine trees??? bolt


Last edited by HuntnFly67; 12/28/11 03:42 PM.
Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: Texas Dan] #2875761 12/28/11 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
You can take a look at controlled breeding herds and see that wide sires produce narrow offspring and narrow sires produce wide offspring. You are forgetting the doe has half the genetics.


I agree.

But do you also believe that if you continually remove every wide rack buck from that herd and allow only the narrow racked deer to continue breeding, you'll end up with just as many wide-racked deer?

As was the case in Mississippi, only time will tell who is right and wrong in this debate.

You need to define "wide racked bucks". As far as B&C, someone years ago took all the bucks in the book and averaged their inside spread and it was just over 16" for all the bucks in the "book". That was the average so that tell me that at least half of them had less than a 16" inside spread. Spread is not a high heritalble genetic trait. It is moderate as far as heritability. You are discounting the genetic varietablity of two deer breeding. Just to many possibilities can come from a breeding in WT deer.



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Re: Improving the current antler restrictions [Re: HuntnFly67] #2875766 12/28/11 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: HuntnFly67
East Texas deer have narrow racks out of necessity; how else are they supposed to get between the pine trees??? bolt

The same way that those bucks in South Texas worked thru that thick Black Brush. popcorn



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