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PA Antler restrictions

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by mdj1, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. mdj1


    Jul 22, 2002
    washington pa
    Antler restrictions

    The last 2 years PA has had new antler restrictions in place. In most of the state a buck must have at least 3 points on one side to be harvested, but in some of the more populated areas (SW PA and SE PA) it must have at least 4 points. My understanding of the restrictions is to allow the younger bucks to mature. What I don’t understand is why the more populated areas have a higher standard. The more populated the area the more deer/auto collisions, the more over population of deer, and it would seem the more “inter breeding” of genetics. Would it not make more sense to have the restrictions reversed so that the smaller deer could be harvested in the more populated (people wise) areas?
    I’m asking because while hunting we saw many 6 point or less (legal for most of the state but not where I was hunting). Most hunters I talked to didn’t fill their tags in this area due to the restrictions.
    Other than trying to draw in out of state hunters for trophy sized buck ($100+ for a tag compared to $20 for residents) I can’t see how this is helpful to the deer population.
    What are your thought on this. If you are a PA hunter were you successful in filling your tag under these restrictions?
  2. In NY, you just need one antler to be at least 3" long. Basic purpose, I think, is just to distinguish cleary between bucks and does (with button bucks being the gray area that are left as does).

    Lots of hunters don't get a good look at their deer, it's all they can do to tell that yes it has antlers. And if they saw that, then it was probably greater than 3".

    If they had to count points? I can't imagine it. Counting points is something bowhunters are more likely to do, but not many gun hunters. With gunhunters, it is shoot first, count later ;a

  3. jchast

    jchast Draw Yer Gun!

    Sep 23, 2003
    Western PA
    I live in Washington county... western PA. I filled my tag this year with a 9 point but only one other guy I know filled his tag this year... everyone else bagged a doe. Wash county is a 4 point restriction area but that... from what I saw... isn't really the problem this year... The problem this year is that there were hardly any buck around for some reason... most of the guys I know didn't even see a buck during rifle season. I did hear of a couple of instances where hunters shot deer that weren't legal (6 points) and tagged them Forest county which is a 3 point limit area. :( I also don't understand why densly populated areas have the 4 point limit in place... especially when you can purchase an unlimited number of bonus tags from allegheny county (the land developers capital of PA) because they want the deer gone so Johnny developer can buy up 1000 acres and build million dollar houses. Did you happen to see all the deer killed on the roads this year? All this developement is pushing them out of their habitat into the path of our vehicles. It's ashame. The point restriction can be a good idea to make bigger bucks, but what about the bucks with faulty genes? there are some bucks approaching 5ys old or more that will never be anything bigger than a 4 point because of faulty genes.. they will looose to bigger bucks in the rut, but they can still mate with rogue doe and continue their blood lines... with point restrictions, how are we supposed to get these deer out of the population? Are we supposed to rely on junior hunters since they can shoot anything? I don't know. I think the game commission should lift the restriction for a year every couple of years to let people harvest the smaller bucks that could have the faulty genes to get them out of the pool. I agree that archery hunters more than likely count points more than rifle hunters do, but not matter what style of hunting you choose you need to be ABSOLUTELY SURE of your target before you pull that trigger or release that arrow. I'm anxious to see the harvest reports for western pa's deer season this year... I bet it's not impressive when it comes to harvested buck.

    **Edited for spelling errors**
  4. JimM_PA


    Sep 26, 2001
    Last year--yes, this year--no. I did see plenty of deer this year though, a fair number with spikes and 4-points.
    I did see more bucks last year and this year than in years past, so the next couple of years may answer the question. The ratio of bucks to does seems be increasing in the area I hunt, but maybe I was just in the right place at the right time.