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I wanted to discuss a topic that comes up from yime to time. Cull bucks. It has been ingrained in our brain from the t.v. that we must take inferior deer out of the heard if their antlers don't look normal or big enough and now our Game and Fish is considering a slot rule to deal with these cull bucks. It is my opnion that true cull bucks in Arkansas are few and far in between and most bucks given time would grow into nice deer. I feel like the term cull buck is just an axcuse for hunters to shoot young deer and not feel bad about it. Now, If you think that any buck is good enough then that is great but lets stop hiding behind the cull buck to feed our desire to kill. I hope that we do not go to a slot limit, this will result in many young deer being taken out. I am not a biologist but from my experience, big deer will grow anywhere they just need time. The only way to do that is to not hunt them as much and as long. Change is hard and the states that don't have long seasons, expecially gun, and have a limited buck harvest have the best oportunity to kill a big deer. I know that antlers are not for everyone.

Have you ever wondered what happened to all the spikes and buttons and forked horns that i saw last year. Well i would say that they are in the freezer after the first week of being a six point the next year.

If we had a two week gun season with an earn a buck and a one buck limit it would only take a few years and we would see a huge diff. You can feed, grow food plots, minerals fert trees but if we continue to have these long seasons we will not improve our herd.
 

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Many WMAs in Arkansas do not have the deer numbers to earn a buck. I do not want to see the deer managed for antler size on public lands. I would like to see public land managed for hunter opportnity.
 

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Same story--different thread. Folks wonder why there are so many big deer in the NE part of the state. Well.....let's see. Archery season Oct-end of February just like the rest of the state. Fairly low human population density as compared to other parts of the state, therefore likely less bowhunters/acre. (just a guess) Muzzleloader----NONE, unless you choose to use one during the gun season. Gun season---In some parts it's now 9 days straight, then the 3-day Christmas hunt, and in other parts it's one or two weekend gun hunts and the 3-day Christmas hunt. Gun hunting is shotgun with slug only or muzzleloaders. There was a time when there were NO deer in my area, but now there is a respectable population of good deer. When these limitations were first imposed, most folks were glad to have at least some gun hunting back----it had been completly eliminated for a few years. Thus began what we now have and have pretty much accepted as the way it is and will be if we want to continue to have the quality deer that we have. And yes, we are in a very intensive agricultural area, which is a big factor. Why don't the rest of the state do the same??? Politics, economics, and the "way of life" on a state level wouldn't be able to survive such a change.

Cull deer---somebody had a pic of a deer on here that in the last few years had what most would consider a deformed side that should be culled. But this year the "deformed" side was perfect. I remember seeing those pics for the last few years. This year's rack completely changed my thinking. I tend to agree with you that there are very few deer that are indeed culls, and given time, they have a chance of becoming normal deer. Yes, there are also some huge "cow-horned" spikes around, and some of them likely need to be removed. As in many things, education is the key, and just because someone has hunted for x number of years does not make them an expert---self included. I'm amazed at the number of people who think "once a spike, always a spike," and that simply is not true.

And by the way, I am very much in favor of the 4x4 slot.
 

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Same story--different thread. Folks wonder why there are so many big deer in the NE part of the state. Well.....let's see. Archery season Oct-end of February just like the rest of the state. Fairly low human population density as compared to other parts of the state, therefore likely less bowhunters/acre. (just a guess) Muzzleloader----NONE, unless you choose to use one during the gun season. Gun season---In some parts it's now 9 days straight, then the 3-day Christmas hunt, and in other parts it's one or two weekend gun hunts and the 3-day Christmas hunt. Gun hunting is shotgun with slug only or muzzleloaders. There was a time when there were NO deer in my area, but now there is a respectable population of good deer. When these limitations were first imposed, most folks were glad to have at least some gun hunting back----it had been completly eliminated for a few years. Thus began what we now have and have pretty much accepted as the way it is and will be if we want to continue to have the quality deer that we have. And yes, we are in a very intensive agricultural area, which is a big factor. Why don't the rest of the state do the same??? Politics, economics, and the "way of life" on a state level wouldn't be able to survive such a change.

Cull deer---somebody had a pic of a deer on here that in the last few years had what most would consider a deformed side that should be culled. But this year the "deformed" side was perfect. I remember seeing those pics for the last few years. This year's rack completely changed my thinking. I tend to agree with you that there are very few deer that are indeed culls, and given time, they have a chance of becoming normal deer. Yes, there are also some huge "cow-horned" spikes around, and some of them likely need to be removed. As in many things, education is the key, and just because someone has hunted for x number of years does not make them an expert---self included. I'm amazed at the number of people who think "once a spike, always a spike," and that simply is not true.

And by the way, I am very much in favor of the 4x4 slot.
Excellent Post FC- I agree- I have seen in years past the cull buck theory and in almost every case these were young bucks not yet capable of producing the horns some expect- and we have aprocess to eliminate cull bucks now-its called take a kid!:thumb:
 

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Excellent Post FC- I agree- I have seen in years past the cull buck theory and in almost every case these were young bucks not yet capable of producing the horns some expect- and we have aprocess to eliminate cull bucks now-its called take a kid!:thumb:
x2......very nice post!!! Well said!!
 

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I think we have to think about the true reason for hunting ..........and that is to control population. Buck quality is an issue that is really a concern to people like you and I.

Arkansas has to manage it's herd different than other states because we don't have the hard winters that take a toll on the herd. Even though it's been mentioned about dogs and the mortality rate I don't think that is a high number at all.

Coyotes are harder than dogs are on the fawns. Maybe we should encourage more predator hunting.

If you look at the numbers for gun season the first week are the highest. Now from my experience most gun hunters stop after the first two weeks and after that it's for those like myself are out there to enjoy and hunt for the better buck with weapon that is more accurate and lethal.

I like the long season for firearms and this is one I will truely fight to keep if it becomes an true issue.
The long firearm season gives folks with busy schedules more chances to find the time.

The cull buck or inferior buck deal is something that the deer farms or better known as ranches came up with to try and produce better selling bucks.
They want big high scoring deer to sell clients with far more money than the avg.


Think about something if you will...................If your hunting ground or lease started producing B&C book deer or P&Y how long do you think you would keep it?

The owners would fold and boot you cause someone else would offer alot more money than you or I can afford.
Now I don't know your financial status but I do mine.


I believe in selective harvest but not gonna support a state mandate on it.........IMO we as hunters and wildlife managers can push ourselves out just by doing a good job!!!!
 

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The cull buck idea is stupid. Granted there are some cow-horned spikes running around out there that are 3.5 year old deer and do need to be shot, but turning the public loose on culls will never work and will be a complete cluster

I have no problem with the 3-point rule, and can't really say I would have a problem with a 4x4 slot rule.
 

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I keep hearing the AGFC is going to open up the predator seasons more liberally- should help allot of things besides the deer! Seems to me Arkansas had a great year this year with ALLOT of quality bucks:thumb: I could do a 4x4 probably but I also believe if it aint broke dont fix it! Opening up a cull buck season would be a disaster- as some one said above we would look back on it and call it a CullBuck Cluster!:smack:
 

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I've only hunted for 9 years now, but have tried to educate myself on the sport as much as possible. I have seen one 3.5-4.5 year old cow-horn buck that I wish had been legal. It was the biggest bodied deer I've ever seen easily outweighing the 183lb buck I shot 2 years ago. In a perfect world we would have a cull rule and I would have been able to put him in the freezer. I'm afraid your right on the point that the young buck population would be decimated and in a few years we would be wandering again where all the big bucks were. I think a 4x4 slot may do the same thing much as I hate to think it. I've become a little wish washy on this point.
 

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I am not sure about the slot idea. I think the buck kill would go up (IMO). That is not something that I think needs to happen. Many 6 points are the same age as 8 points. Why protect the big 6 point to kill the small 8 point when they are both 2 1/2 years old. I like seeing the 1 1/2 year spikes, 3 points, and 4 points protected.

I have heard over and over again that it all comes down to age. There aren't enough "cow horn spikes" or legitimate "cull bucks" to justify a "cull rule". I believe if we let them all grow to be at least 3.5, we will be fine. I don't think Iowa, Illinois, etc. have any better genetics, they just get nutrition and age.

I love the earn a buck idea. Many would get their one deer and quit. It might really help spread the QDM idea with that kind of emphasis put on killing does. Many old timers wouldn't know what to do if they had to kill a doe.
 

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I am not sure about the slot idea. I think the buck kill would go up (IMO). That is not something that I think needs to happen. Many 6 points are the same age as 8 points. Why protect the big 6 point to kill the small 8 point when they are both 2 1/2 years old. I like seeing the 1 1/2 year spikes, 3 points, and 4 points protected.

I have heard over and over again that it all comes down to age. There aren't enough "cow horn spikes" or legitimate "cull bucks" to justify a "cull rule". I believe if we let them all grow to be at least 3.5, we will be fine. I don't think Iowa, Illinois, etc. have any better genetics, they just get nutrition and age.

I love the earn a buck idea. Many would get their one deer and quit. It might really help spread the QDM idea with that kind of emphasis put on killing does. Many old timers wouldn't know what to do if they had to kill a doe.


I definitely agree with taking more does. I think you control that segment and the boys will come right on..............
 

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To me, the slot rule provides maximum opportunity. For those who want any buck, they have the option to choose one with just a few points and for many folks---especially kids---they're happy with that. The slot class saves a few for later, providing opportunity for those who want the more mature bucks with more points.
 

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If we had a two week gun season with an earn a buck and a one buck limit it would only take a few years and we would see a huge diff.
I agree with Gracemass on this. If I counted correctly, we currently get (at least in zone 6) 35 days to ML or gun hunt. Add that to the current bow season of 117 other days and that is a truck load of hunting days.

I'd bet the majority of deerhunters only hunt the first weekend/week of the modern gun season and are done. The rest of the time is primarily spent by the die hards; like those on this board (including myself).

I bowhunt for the most part and wouldn't be offended if the AGFC closed the season at the end of the year. I know most of you will think I am "touched" for saying that.

I also would like to see the internet game checking abolished. It is another tool for the cheaters out there to cheat. I'd be willing to bet that, at a minimum, 5% of harvest every year goes unchecked.
 

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I usually go with the flow of whatever the biologists have to say is what I tend to listen to since they should know more about it then I.

Deer Management is simple, very simple...the problem is people make it too complicated.

Trigger Management is all you need, don't shoot bucks until they are mature to me that's 4.5 here and shoot the does that need to be shot in said areas.

Fact of the matter is you cannot control genetics, you cannot control nutrition but to a certain degree...the only thing you can control is that trigger.

I dont care where you live or hunt in this state a 4.5 year old deer is usually gonna be a dang fine buck, he may only be a 7 point or a have a trashed up rack but he will be a good deer.

We all hear the same thing every year, "I knew he was a young deer, but if I did'nt shoot him my neighbor would have" You know maybe not, maybe he would have lived, there's only one way to find out.

That's just my opinion and I know lots of people hunt for lots of different reasons, but I've met a lot of people that will complain about not having big deer and then turn around and shoot a 2.5 y/o buck.

I love to eat deer and shoot does for that.
 

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You're exactly right about cull bucks. Most spikes will grow big enough, given a chance, to go on any of our walls. Now, those high fence operations in TX, that's a different story... They're looking to grow only HUGE deer, that's why it's a valid and widely used practice there. Hopefully, "deer management" will never reach that state in Arkansas.
 

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Same story--different thread. Folks wonder why there are so many big deer in the NE part of the state. Well.....let's see. Archery season Oct-end of February just like the rest of the state. Fairly low human population density as compared to other parts of the state, therefore likely less bowhunters/acre. (just a guess) Muzzleloader----NONE, unless you choose to use one during the gun season. Gun season---In some parts it's now 9 days straight, then the 3-day Christmas hunt, and in other parts it's one or two weekend gun hunts and the 3-day Christmas hunt. Gun hunting is shotgun with slug only or muzzleloaders. There was a time when there were NO deer in my area, but now there is a respectable population of good deer. When these limitations were first imposed, most folks were glad to have at least some gun hunting back----it had been completly eliminated for a few years. Thus began what we now have and have pretty much accepted as the way it is and will be if we want to continue to have the quality deer that we have. And yes, we are in a very intensive agricultural area, which is a big factor. Why don't the rest of the state do the same??? Politics, economics, and the "way of life" on a state level wouldn't be able to survive such a change.

Cull deer---somebody had a pic of a deer on here that in the last few years had what most would consider a deformed side that should be culled. But this year the "deformed" side was perfect. I remember seeing those pics for the last few years. This year's rack completely changed my thinking. I tend to agree with you that there are very few deer that are indeed culls, and given time, they have a chance of becoming normal deer. Yes, there are also some huge "cow-horned" spikes around, and some of them likely need to be removed. As in many things, education is the key, and just because someone has hunted for x number of years does not make them an expert---self included. I'm amazed at the number of people who think "once a spike, always a spike," and that simply is not true.

And by the way, I am very much in favor of the 4x4 slot.

:applaud: I beleive it was Arkygal that had the post of the deer that was deformed and then ended up a perfect buck. I was amazed and would have never thought that buck would end up like that. It showed me a lot.

On the other hand.....a friend of mine killed the biggest 6 point I've ever seen. He's a trophy for sure and if the 4x4 slot had been in, I guess he would have died of old age. Do y'all think once a six point with no brow tines always?
 
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