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What is the best way to get quality bucks?

Back To "Ask The Biologist?"QUESTION: Our club just went to 6 point or better. I'm not sure this is going to work since a big deer on our land would be an 8 or 10 point in the 130 to 140 B&C range.
- Glenn

ANSWER: The best way to get quality bucks is to practice quality deer management. That includes improving habitat quality, harvesting a sufficient number of female deer to maintain a healthy population in balance with habitat conditions and protecting young bucks (yearlings and some 2.5 year-olds).

Presumably, your 6 point rule was instituted to address the latter. Without a lot more information, it is not possible to discern whether that is the right prescription for your property. Antler point restrictions can be very effective under the right circumstances. They can also do more harm than good under the wrong ones.

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There is no one size fits all solution. In order to be most effective, antler restrictions should be tailored to the specific conditions and objectives of the area in question. Conditions and prescriptions can vary within a state, region and even a township. In some cases a simple point restriction, like yours, is adequate. Other circumstances might call for a combination of point and spread minimums.

The best case scenario would be to educate all hunters in your club so they can identify a mature buck with reasonable confidence (even the experts can’t always tell). Combine that with point or spread restrictions, or both, and let youth hunters shoot whatever they want and you should do alright.

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