How do we determine what's right and wrong when it comes to antler point restrictions?
Maine does not have any restrictions on what a "shootable" deer is.
Maine's deer herd took a hard hit in the 2007-2008 winter season, when 15-20 feet of snow pack melted in the spring and flooded the northern half of Aroostook County.
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It was a hard winter with lots of snow and a healthy coyote herd targeting deer across the state.
Since then, there have been significant efforts made to rebuild the population across the central, western and northern parts of Maine.
Last season, 24,795 deer were harvested, which is up from the 18,839 deer taken in 2011. Maine hunters harvest about 20 percent of our total deer population each year - including some impressive big bucks.
Clearly, what we have been doing is working.
Recently, I have been doing some research on the topic of antler point restrictions and asking my friends on Twitter if they have restrictions like this where they hunt. If so, do they think it is an effective method for growing and creating a healthy herd. Maine does not have any restrictions on what a 'shootable' deer is.
Here are some of the comments:
Kentucky - No, but if it's less than 3 inches, you can check it as doe if I remember the regs correctly. Never been as issue for the guys I hunt with.
Idaho - No, we don't have any restrictions like this.
Georgia - Ga. allows counties to set antler restrictions if they desire and those that have service pt. and/or restrictions have much better bucks! Point & spread restrictions are best. Dooly County has min. 8 pt. & 15" spread. It has made an incredible difference in their herd but is difficult to bring in more areas because we have more killers than trophy hunters.
Oklahoma - No. There are no antler restrictions like "must be 3x3 to shoot". I think it would do a lot to help there be more mature deer on public land if there was a restriction. Private land hunters hold themselves to their own standards where I would never take less than a 3x3 due to maturity, others might.
Missouri - The APRs have definitely increased the number of quality bucks in some areas, but I can also understand why the APRs frustrate some hunters.
Tennessee - Not here in Tn. It's still important law or not to harvest appropriately to ensure future game
So, here is my question: If you are not in Maine, are there restrictions where you hunt and are they effective? If you are in Maine, do you think this would help us rebuild our herd?