A proposed Oklahoma deer hunting law that would make it illegal for hunters to shoot bucks with less than six points on either side was incorrectly written, and the state’s hunters are not happy
NewsOK reported that the author of House Bill 2978, state Rep. Colby Schwartz, who is a hunter himself, intended for the law to read that hunters could not shoot bucks with less than six total points on their antlers. Schwartz drafted the bill in response to complaints from some of his constituents about too many young bucks in Oklahoma being killed by the state’s hunters. But even with correction to the bill, many Oklahoma hunters believe that hunting restrictions based on antler points are misguided attempts to save young bucks.
“In a healthy deer herd, a year and a half old buck will at least have eight points,” said Alan People, an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation official. “Why would you target the age class you are trying to save? At least in Oklahoma it would be biologically unsound to manage with an antler point restriction.”
Several hunters have sent angry emails to Schwartz’s office demanding changes to the bill.
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Schwartz’s staff has said that the hunting law was intended to start a public discussion about deer hunting regulations.
“We are by no means trying to take away the sport of hunting and keep people from hunting in any way,” said Schwartz’s assistant, Caitlin Harwell. “At this point we are not even sure if the bill will be heard in committee. We just wanted to start the conversation.”
Schwartz is not planning on presenting the bill to the House agriculture and wildlife committee, which is overseeing the hunting law.
What do you think of a hunting law that regulates deer hunting by antler points? Continue the conversation in the comments section below.