I am very glad to hear that antler restrictions passed for the areas i hunt this year!!! Maybe now we can finally get some decent looking bucks instead of them all getting shot as spikes and 4 pointers.
Mandatory Antler Restrictions in More WMUs
Hunters in WMUs 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W are now prohibited from taking a buck during any season (bow, regular, and muzzleloader) unless it has at least one antler with 3 or more points. Youth hunters (ages 12-16) are exempt from the 3 point restriction. See Antler Restrictions in New York for more information.
Who is excited about the Expanded Antler Restrictions? I'm all for it.
Right now WMUs 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S and 4W have AR's. Added for the 2012 season were WMUs 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W.
I have a spot in 4S and 3H that I'll be hunting this year. Hopefully 4S will see the same benifits that 3H has seen over the past few years by letting the ~ 1.5's survive.
Just had this sent over to me...
Sportsmen announced today that they strongly support the expansion of Yearling Buck Protection for the 2012 season recently announced by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The adopted hunting changes will expand the existing Yearling Buck Protection with Antler Restrictions (AR) to seven additional Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).
David Hartman, President of New York State Whitetail Management Coalition (NYSWMC), stated, “We commend Commissioner Martens and the DEC staff for modernizing and improving deer management with the expansion of Yearling Buck Protection with Antler Restrictions into seven additional Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). We thank all our representatives inAlbany and the sportsmen for working together to adopt this modernization of deer management in New York. We hope that New Yorkers in the rest of the state will soon be able to benefit from this program.”
Joe Montalbano, from Ulster County, remarked, “We have really seen excellent results in our area. It used to be that a fork horn was the normal buck but now with antler restrictions the new normal buck is an 8 pointer. I have to admit when Antler Restrictions were proposed in 2004 I strongly opposed them at our federation meetings. To anyone that is opposed to it now I would say, Go for it 100%- it really works! Our club, Marbletown Sportsmen, for the first time in its 62 year history has harvested an 11 point buck and other clubs are having the same success”.
The majority of hunters in New York support Yearling Buck Protection with Antler Restrictions according to 2005 and 2010 Cornell Surveys commissioned by the DEC. And one need only look at the 2011 NYS Hunting Guide to see what the DEC is promising and marketing to hunters; adult bucks. Current management with the size limit from 1911 of one three inch antler results in most bucks in NY being harvested as immature juveniles before they can reach adulthood.
Bill Willis, of Delaware County Economic Development, points out, “As a result most NY deer hunters are dissatisfied with their buck hunting and this is clearly shown in the fact that NY is losing two hunters for every new hunter recruited. This will have large economic impacts to NY. NY deer hunters contribute over seven hundred million dollars to the economy and their license fees and excise taxes contribute million of dollars to fund NY state wildlife programs.”
Jay Martin, Big Game Chairman, Federated Sportsmen’s Clubs of Ulster County, remarked, “Protecting yearling bucks results in a large increase in the age of the bucks harvested. For example 3.5 year old buck harvest is up 258% in AR areas of Ulster and Sullivan Counties. Both Ulster and Sullivan Counties have harvested the biggest bucks since the late 1920’s in the Antler Restrictions areas and the overall buck take is up 5.7% over the pre AR harvest”
Hunters are enjoying the benefits of the Yearling Buck Protection. “I have never seen a single white-tailed deer management program that has invigorated and excited hunters more. Hunters in the current AR areas are hunting a deer herd that many generations of NY hunters have never experienced” stated Dick Henry, a recently retired New York DEC biologist.
Tom Yager of the Sullivan County Federation, explained, “The best results have been observed in WMU 3H, where buck harvest numbers have exceeded pre AR levels by 18.3%. According to the Cornell 2011 Survey continuing the Antler Restriction program was acceptable to 90.5% of Sullivan County Hunters.”
David Dirks, a columnist for the Middletown Record, stated, "I'm a big supporter of Antler Restrictions. I'd like to see them implemented on a statewide scale rather than the current hodge-podge of adding a few units at a time over many years. So, if we have to expand Antler Restrictions for now using the slowpoke method, I think adding 3M, where I do most of my deer hunting, is a good place to go next."
The interest in Yearling Buck Protection is very strong in NY where 350,000 hunters support it. For example, during the public comment on the regulation several thousand letters of support were submitted and only a few hundred in opposition. We are seeing a positive change in the interest in and support for yearling buck protection. Sportsmen know it results in better hunting and it is clear common sense to let immature animals reach adulthood. “Currently people are realizing the fact that Antler Restrictions result in more opportunity to see and harvest quality bucks” stated Charles Bevilacqua a Member of CFAB.
David Hartman, concluded, “The Antler Restriction expansion is a victory. The DEC is acknowledging the viability of Antler Restrictions in NY. Now we must turn our attention to bringing this improvement to the majority of deer hunters who support it. Yearling Buck Protection is vital to wildlife viewers and hunters alike”.
Sportsmen and wildlife viewers interested in improving the deer herds in their county should visit our website and join our group. www.nyswmc.com
The regulation adopted by the DEC to Protect Yearling Bucks with Antler Restrictions includes WMUs, 3A, 4S, 4G, 4R, 40, 4P, and 4W, located in Sullivan, Ulster, Delaware, Greene and Schoharie Counties. This program will require deer hunters in those areas to take bucks that have three or more antler points on one side, instead of the antiquated three inch spike antler law which has been in existence since 1911. Similar changes have been successfully enacted in 21 other states and are intended to provide a better balance to the buck age structure of deer populations by protecting yearling bucks from harvest. The over harvest of immature bucks is deemed to be biologically inappropriate by many wildlife biologists across the nation.
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