recently attended a conference on white-tailed deer genetics and management at Texas A&M University with several of our staff. I was simply surprised by an apparent disparity of opinion between landowners of Texas and Oklahoma over the issue of deer hunting.
Once again, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) Commission has approved, and then reversed, the addition of seven days to the deer rifle season.
Antlers. For some folks-they are the stuff that dreams are made of. To many hunters, harvesting a large antlered buck represents the ultimate accomplishment. However, many people hunt their entire lives without getting the opportunity to realize this goal. Why is this so?
Many hunters and deer managers in our area have accepted the necessity of doe harvest to effectively manage toward the common deer management goal of increasing buck body and antler size. Some, however, still object to this practice.
Without records, most land managers are unable to tell. Livestock managers are trained to monitor forage availability and body condition of their herd. Except in extreme cases, deer forage conditions are subtle, and body condition observations are limited to the check station.
The Boone and Crockett score of your biggest buck? The pounds of venison you put in the freezer? The number of deer you harvested? The number of days you spent hunting? There are probably as many answers as there are hunters.
This article was revised in 2007. The eight point rule is the primary harvest strategy of some managers trying to increase buck antler size. Managers using the eight point rule allow harvest of bucks...