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broken horn legal? #7657277 11/10/19 02:21 AM
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Question: So if a scrappy 6 point inside-the-ear buck, which is not a legal shooter, has one horn broken off exposing a single 3 inch horn, is it now legal? Or does it need to be a original spike on 1 side?

A buck passed my stand today in this condition and I was curious if having a broken horn made it legal or not. I did not shoot him.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7657280 11/10/19 02:29 AM
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Technically legal, but you will get extra questioning because your guilt will show through. Let it walk. It’s just “a” deer


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7657281 11/10/19 02:31 AM
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There have been threads about this before, and if I remember correctly people got opinions from several different GW's and got different opinions. Going by the strict wording of the law it would be legal. Where it becomes dicey for me (ethically) is if you know it was branched and then got broke. I personally wouldn't shoot it.


Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Grizz] #7657289 11/10/19 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Grizz
There have been threads about this before, and if I remember correctly people got opinions from several different GW's and got different opinions. Going by the strict wording of the law it would be legal. Where it becomes dicey for me (ethically) is if you know it was branched and then got broke. I personally wouldn't shoot it.

This, depends on the individual game warden if they write the ticket, from what I've seen the guys out east are more likely to over look it the rest of the state not so much. You can fight a ticket for a shaved buck but depending on how chummy the judge is with the warden it may or may not get dismissed.

Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Grizz] #7657292 11/10/19 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Grizz
There have been threads about this before, and if I remember correctly people got opinions from several different GW's and got different opinions. Going by the strict wording of the law it would be legal. Where it becomes dicey for me (ethically) is if you know it was branched and then got broke. I personally wouldn't shoot it.


I agree there is an 'ethical' side to this.

As concerns the 'law' a legal deer can be one that has at least one un-branched antler. There is no provision for how this occurs (except that the hunter must not have had any hand in it).

A Game Warden can hold you to strict/technical wording of the Law for violations if they choose. I see no reason why we should not be able to hold them to strict/technical facts that work in our favor.

The ethical concerns I leave to each person, but personally I would not harvest a deer I knew (or suspected) had two branched antlers at some previous time.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Grizz] #7657295 11/10/19 02:52 AM
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I'd pass him.
Originally Posted by Grizz
There have been threads about this before, and if I remember correctly people got opinions from several different GW's and got different opinions. Going by the strict wording of the law it would be legal. Where it becomes dicey for me (ethically) is if you know it was branched and then got broke. I personally wouldn't shoot it.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7657320 11/10/19 03:36 AM
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Yes, it makes him legal under the unbranched rule.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #7657436 11/10/19 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Yes, it makes him legal under the unbranched rule.

Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7658107 11/11/19 01:53 AM
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I was researching all the new laws before going out this year since I haven't hunted for 30 years or more. One of the new laws that gave me great concern was the antler regulation. I took this image last year well before this guy naturally should have shed, but I have no idea how he lost it.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7658133 11/11/19 02:06 AM
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Why would you be concerned?

In an AR county a legal buck must have at least one unbranched antler or an inside spread of 13" or greater.

The buck in your picture does not have one unbranched antler or an inside spread 13" or greater.

Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7658175 11/11/19 02:47 AM
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I talked to a warden 2 days ago about a one antlered buck I have around and if I can shoot him as a spike. He said no but hope that he gets in a fight and shows up with a broken antler that would make him legal to shoot. There are no ethics involved, it is a friggin deer and you have a deer tag. Do not let people convince you it is not a good deer to shoot, that is foolish.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Rustler] #7658243 11/11/19 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Rustler
Why would you be concerned?

In an AR county a legal buck must have at least one unbranched antler or an inside spread of 13" or greater.

The buck in your picture does not have one unbranched antler or an inside spread 13" or greater.


Yep, in an A/R county that's about as 'safe' as a buck can get. It isn't anterless, it doesn't have an unbranched antler and doesn't have an inside spread of 13" or greater.

I don't think you could convince a GW that the bucks spread is 'infinity' wink.....so I'd say that buck in home free until next year.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7658310 11/11/19 11:43 AM
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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7658341 11/11/19 12:42 PM
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I had a weird situation a few years back similar to this. A 10 point came out and it appeared about 16" inside spread. My son shot him, the deer jumped, did a circle, fell, thrashed and spun around on the ground a few times. when we got to him, one antler had broken off about three inches above the skull. It was in a muddy wheat field, and we couldn't find the broken piece. I stuck a stick where we retrieved the deer , and went back the next day and looked for the broken piece, and never found it. I ended up plowing it up the following fall, and saw it when I was planting the wheat.

Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7658499 11/11/19 03:46 PM
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So...if you shoot a deer that does not have a legal spread, you can just break off one side to make it legal? After all, the GW can't prove it was not broken when you shot it.

That is the ethical conundrum I would wrestle with. I would not want anyone to think I broke one side to make it legal, so I would pass.

Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Adchunts] #7658622 11/11/19 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Adchunts
So...if you shoot a deer that does not have a legal spread, you can just break off one side to make it legal? After all, the GW can't prove it was not broken when you shot it.

That is the ethical conundrum I would wrestle with. I would not want anyone to think I broke one side to make it legal, so I would pass.


No, in an AR county a legal buck must have at least one unbranched antler, or, both antlers branched and an inside spread of 13" or greater.

Unbranched antler = An antler having no more than one antler point.
Antler point = a projection that extends at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or another tine, the tip of a main beam is also a point.

If a buck has a single unbranched antler = legal.
An unbranched antler on one side and any number of points on the other side = legal.
There is no minimum width requirement for a buck with at least one unbranched antler.
No reason to break off an antler if one side is unbranched.

A buck with a single branched antler is not legal, because it does not meet any of the AR requirements for a legal buck and there is no way to measure inside spread with only one antler.

Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Rustler] #7658645 11/11/19 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Rustler
Originally Posted by Adchunts
So...if you shoot a deer that does not have a legal spread, you can just break off one side to make it legal? After all, the GW can't prove it was not broken when you shot it.

That is the ethical conundrum I would wrestle with. I would not want anyone to think I broke one side to make it legal, so I would pass.


No, in an AR county a legal buck must have at least one unbranched antler, or, both antlers branched and an inside spread of 13" or greater.

Unbranched antler = An antler having no more than one antler point.
Antler point = a projection that extends at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or another tine, the tip of a main beam is also a point.

If a buck has a single unbranched antler = legal.
An unbranched antler on one side and any number of points on the other side = legal.
There is no minimum width requirement for a buck with at least one unbranched antler.
No reason to break off an antler if one side is unbranched.

A buck with a single branched antler is not legal, because it does not meet any of the AR requirements for a legal buck and there is no way to measure inside spread with only one antler.



He's talking about shooting a buck with two branched antlers which are less than 13" wide and breaking one side off partially to make it an unbranched antler. That would make it a legal buck on the surface.


Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7658667 11/11/19 06:07 PM
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This makes the 3rd year in a row I've watched this buck. Every year the same thing- 3 points on 1 side, a single vertical on the other- with a very low-to-the-skull kicker. The last 3 years, the kicker gets longer- but nothing else changes. He needs to go but hands are tied.
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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Grizz] #7658693 11/11/19 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Grizz
Originally Posted by Rustler
Originally Posted by Adchunts
So...if you shoot a deer that does not have a legal spread, you can just break off one side to make it legal? After all, the GW can't prove it was not broken when you shot it.

That is the ethical conundrum I would wrestle with. I would not want anyone to think I broke one side to make it legal, so I would pass.


No, in an AR county a legal buck must have at least one unbranched antler, or, both antlers branched and an inside spread of 13" or greater.

Unbranched antler = An antler having no more than one antler point.
Antler point = a projection that extends at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or another tine, the tip of a main beam is also a point.

If a buck has a single unbranched antler = legal.
An unbranched antler on one side and any number of points on the other side = legal.
There is no minimum width requirement for a buck with at least one unbranched antler.
No reason to break off an antler if one side is unbranched.

A buck with a single branched antler is not legal, because it does not meet any of the AR requirements for a legal buck and there is no way to measure inside spread with only one antler.



He's talking about shooting a buck with two branched antlers which are less than 13" wide and breaking one side off partially to make it an unbranched antler. That would make it a legal buck on the surface.


Obviously that's not the way I understood his meaning.
There wasn't enough detail for me to make that connection, didn't get the ' break one side off partially ' anywhere.
Antlers just don't break off where you want them to, it would take some thought & practice.

If someone is going to go to that much forethought & effort to 'make' a legal buck they're exactly who a GW needs to meet up with.

Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Rustler] #7658721 11/11/19 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rustler
Originally Posted by Grizz
Originally Posted by Rustler
Originally Posted by Adchunts
So...if you shoot a deer that does not have a legal spread, you can just break off one side to make it legal? After all, the GW can't prove it was not broken when you shot it.

That is the ethical conundrum I would wrestle with. I would not want anyone to think I broke one side to make it legal, so I would pass.


No, in an AR county a legal buck must have at least one unbranched antler, or, both antlers branched and an inside spread of 13" or greater.

Unbranched antler = An antler having no more than one antler point.
Antler point = a projection that extends at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or another tine, the tip of a main beam is also a point.

If a buck has a single unbranched antler = legal.
An unbranched antler on one side and any number of points on the other side = legal.
There is no minimum width requirement for a buck with at least one unbranched antler.
No reason to break off an antler if one side is unbranched.

A buck with a single branched antler is not legal, because it does not meet any of the AR requirements for a legal buck and there is no way to measure inside spread with only one antler.



He's talking about shooting a buck with two branched antlers which are less than 13" wide and breaking one side off partially to make it an unbranched antler. That would make it a legal buck on the surface.


Obviously that's not the way I understood his meaning.
There wasn't enough detail for me to make that connection, didn't get the ' break one side off partially ' anywhere.
Antlers just don't break off where you want them to, it would take some thought & practice.

If someone is going to go to that much forethought & effort to 'make' a legal buck they're exactly who a GW needs to meet up with.







Your last sentence is exactly what I meant. If a GW stopped a fellow with what looked to be an undersized deer, but had a broken rack that made it "legal", I am going to say he will be having a long conversation with that hunter. I'll bet the GW has heard every conceivable story about how a rack ended up like that. That is why I would pass a deer in this situation.



Last edited by Adchunts; 11/11/19 06:58 PM.
Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7659830 11/12/19 07:51 PM
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What I was referring to above is the word of the law compared to spirit of the law. I'm a retired LEO, and I did what I could during my career to deal with people according to the spirit of the law. Even though I would stop and detain for the letter of the law, my desire was to enforce the spirit of the law more strictly. As an example, the law doesn't want you to have operating tail lamps/stop lamps on your vehicle just because, they want your vehicle equipped with them for safety. So the letter of the law is that you have tail lamps/stop lamps working, but the spirit of the law is that you are seen by fellow motorists and to warn them when you are braking - all in the name of safety. I stopped a multitude over my career for numerous traffic violations, but I gave more verbal and written warnings than citations.

The letter of the antler regulation is what it is. The image I posted clearly shows a buck with one antler that, with its missing symmetrical side, would be in regulation for at least 13". I would never tell anyone to violate this regulation or others. I was simply stating that I would have an internal dilemma with this buck since it is a 'spirit of the law' buck as opposed to a 'word of the law' buck. For the record, I would not have taken this buck.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Ftttu] #7659872 11/12/19 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ftttu
What I was referring to above is the word of the law compared to spirit of the law. I'm a retired LEO, and I did what I could during my career to deal with people according to the spirit of the law. Even though I would stop and detain for the letter of the law, my desire was to enforce the spirit of the law more strictly. As an example, the law doesn't want you to have operating tail lamps/stop lamps on your vehicle just because, they want your vehicle equipped with them for safety. So the letter of the law is that you have tail lamps/stop lamps working, but the spirit of the law is that you are seen by fellow motorists and to warn them when you are braking - all in the name of safety. I stopped a multitude over my career for numerous traffic violations, but I gave more verbal and written warnings than citations.

The letter of the antler regulation is what it is. The image I posted clearly shows a buck with one antler that, with its missing symmetrical side, would be in regulation for at least 13". I would never tell anyone to violate this regulation or others. I was simply stating that I would have an internal dilemma with this buck since it is a 'spirit of the law' buck as opposed to a 'word of the law' buck. For the record, I would not have taken this buck.


I'm failing to understand your dilemma / point.

The picture of a Buck you posted is clearly missing all of one antler, there is no way to measure an inside spread with one antler.
So he does not meet AR's definition of a legal buck. If you were to kill that buck it would be a clear violation.

Originally Posted by Ftttu
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I was researching all the new laws before going out this year since I haven't hunted for 30 years or more. One of the new laws that gave me great concern was the antler regulation. I took this image last year well before this guy naturally should have shed, but I have no idea how he lost it.


This Buck is protected by AR, he does not meet any of the requirements of a legal buck.

If, what you mean is if he had both antlers he would then be legal because of the 13" inside spread, yes it appears he would be or very close to.

Obviously a young buck, it has nothing to do with age as long as he is 13" old.

Just another fine example of AR's short comings.

Re: broken horn legal? [Re: Rustler] #7659913 11/12/19 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rustler
Originally Posted by Ftttu
What I was referring to above is the word of the law compared to spirit of the law. I'm a retired LEO, and I did what I could during my career to deal with people according to the spirit of the law. Even though I would stop and detain for the letter of the law, my desire was to enforce the spirit of the law more strictly. As an example, the law doesn't want you to have operating tail lamps/stop lamps on your vehicle just because, they want your vehicle equipped with them for safety. So the letter of the law is that you have tail lamps/stop lamps working, but the spirit of the law is that you are seen by fellow motorists and to warn them when you are braking - all in the name of safety. I stopped a multitude over my career for numerous traffic violations, but I gave more verbal and written warnings than citations.

The letter of the antler regulation is what it is. The image I posted clearly shows a buck with one antler that, with its missing symmetrical side, would be in regulation for at least 13". I would never tell anyone to violate this regulation or others. I was simply stating that I would have an internal dilemma with this buck since it is a 'spirit of the law' buck as opposed to a 'word of the law' buck. For the record, I would not have taken this buck.


I'm failing to understand your dilemma / point.

The picture of a Buck you posted is clearly missing all of one antler, there is no way to measure an inside spread with one antler.
So he does not meet AR's definition of a legal buck. If you were to kill that buck it would be a clear violation.

Originally Posted by Ftttu
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I was researching all the new laws before going out this year since I haven't hunted for 30 years or more. One of the new laws that gave me great concern was the antler regulation. I took this image last year well before this guy naturally should have shed, but I have no idea how he lost it.


This Buck is protected by AR, he does not meet any of the requirements of a legal buck.

If, what you mean is if he had both antlers he would then be legal because of the 13" inside spread, yes it appears he would be or very close to.

Obviously a young buck, it has nothing to do with age as long as he is 13" old.

Just another fine example of AR's short comings.


Yes, it is the shortcoming of this law, but it understandable since an antler can be broken off by an unscrupulous hunter if the one side doesn't allow the buck to be taken legally. The internal dilemma is that this deer should be allow to be taken as I stated above because its other side would be at least 13". I don't see the law changing just for me, and i will continue to not take one unless legal. I had to pass on two bucks, which I would have taken pre-a/r back in the day.


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Re: broken horn legal? [Re: sillyhorses] #7659933 11/12/19 09:19 PM
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The image I posted clearly shows a buck with one antler that, with its missing symmetrical side, would be in regulation for at least 13".


That the other side was symmetrical would be a huge assumption.


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