Age Restriction on Bucks

Thread starter #1
I know we have all heard about antler restrictions, but how many clubs in Georgia practice age restriction on bucks??

Example: Club rules state the buck must be at least 3.5 years old. Regardless of rack size.

Would this be better than antler restrictions??
 

JBowers

Senior Member
Tom Borck said:
I know we have all heard about antler restrictions, but how many clubs in Georgia practice age restriction on bucks??

Example: Club rules state the buck must be at least 3.5 years old. Regardless of rack size.

Would this be better than antler restrictions??
Yes, that is what it is supposed to be about.
 

GeauxLSU

Senior Member
My club's rules state we strive to take 'mature game'. That includes deer and turkey. We use antler size as ONE of the characteristics to determine if a deer is a shooter or not.
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
 

Dean

Senior Member
Great in theory

but generally speaking forget about it in pratice! Pure speculation on my part (based on many years of hunting and being around different deer camps), but a very large majority of hunters can not accurratly judge bucks on the hoof for antler score (P&Y, B&C) - no way they can judge age. How many hunters do you know that can tell if a buck is 115" or 120" or 130"? Antler score should be easire to get than age. How in the world can they tell the difference in a 2.5 yearold buck and a 3.5 year old buck on the hoof? A 2.5 year old buck with a "nice rack" is going to get busted almost everytime. My skeptical feeling is that around here the only way this would work is to strive to harvest 5+ year-old sway back, pot bellied bucks......the problem is, probably less the 5% of Georgia hunters have ever seen a buck this old on the hoof.
 

JBowers

Senior Member
Tom Borck said:
JB, are you aware of any clubs in Georgia that practice this?
I have heard some that say they do. I do not know any that do for fact.
 

Jorge

Senior Member
Mine does. As I in mentioned in your other thread, we only want buck 3.5 years and older harvested and we use a minimum spread to help regulate this. The only way a buck with a spread less than the minimum can be taken is if it is at least 4.5 years old.
 

Bucky T

GONetwork Member
It's a pretty good idea, but......

I'd say for the most part, most everyone here is an experienced hunter. I've got 15yrs of chasing whitetails under my belt. Some of you guys have been hunting deer longer than I've been around!

It takes a pretty long time to be able to roughly tell a mature (age wise) buck in the wild. Looking for his block head, sort of sagging back, sagging belly, large muscular build. But, it get's kind of tricky when that deer is just moving through an opening or two and your trying your best to get a good look at him even for us experienced guys.

Man, if I were a kid on a club like that I'd be scared to death to pull the trigger on anything!! Might not make the 16" spread rule, the 3.5yr rule, and who knows what else!

Antlers are IMO the easiest and most pratical way to judge a buck. Where I hunt, I doubt I'm going to be seeing any 120 class 2.5yr olds.

Seems that the age rule would cause a lot of problems on a club, mainly intimitating the younger guys who aren't as experienced as some of us.

I would say keep it at antlers and that's it. Hunting is already getting complicated enough. Wouldn't want any more new twist to scare off hopeful new hunters.

This is just my view on it. I could handle it myself, but I'm just thinking about the beginners and younger hunters out there.

Tommy
 

GeauxLSU

Senior Member
Thomas Lackey said:
Seems that the age rule would cause a lot of problems on a club, mainly intimitating the younger guys who aren't as experienced as some of us.
In my club, first buck for a kid (or adult) can be anything.
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
 

Jorge

Senior Member
I will agree that aging bucks on the hoof is very difficult. I certainly don't think I can accurately do it. That is why we use a minimum spread rule as well. In the last two years there have been two bucks killed on our club that did not meet the minimum but were both aged at 5.5 years old. The members who saw them on the hoof were very confident that these were mature deer and not 2.5 year old deer based on the antler mass and body characteristics. Almost all of us have let barely legal bucks walk because they were either too close, we were too uncertain or they just were not what we were looking to take.
 

Bucky T

GONetwork Member
That's a good rule Phil. That's how it should be.

After the first deer is the rule, same as everybody else?

That's how it is on our club.

I think younger or beginner hunters can more easily reconize a deer's spread than body characteristics when judging potential age of a deer.

Tommy
 

GeauxLSU

Senior Member
Thomas Lackey said:
That's a good rule Phil. That's how it should be.

After the first deer is the rule, same as everybody else?

That's how it is on our club.

I think younger or beginner hunters can more easily reconize a deer's spread than body characteristics when judging potential age of a deer.

Tommy
Yep. Truth is, we have an intentionally sort of vague rule that tries to give guidance on body characteristics and rack characteristics. I'm pretty sure noboby is going to get any grief for an honest effort at taking a mature deer and making a mistake. Somebody shoots a nice 10 point that happens to be a 2 1/2 year old, I'm sure it will be nothing but congratulations all around.
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
 

Swamprat

Swampbunny 🐇
hard to age a 18" wide buck trotting thru a clearcut 200 yards out.

i think the majority guage it by width and tine length. i think horn size and mass give you a better indicator than age but granted at times they do go hand in hand. i think most people would pass up the 15" wide basket 8 that was 5 years old than the 18" wide with good tine length that was 2.5 years old.

every area is different and some areas due to alot of bucks being close to the same size body wise it is difficult to judge age. not every mature deer will have a big rack and with a lot of clubs and counties with antler restrictions it makes it harder to harvest these deer unless you had big acreage and spent all your time there to know what bucks you are seeing year after year.

to me if it it is legal per club and county rules then it should not be looked down upon. i know a guy who harvested a buck in emanual county that was only 14" wide but had great mass and tine length scored around 135 and was 5 1/2 years old but the whole club gave him a hard time cause he broke the 16" minimum rule they had. that deer was not going to be much better than when he shot it. the deer was broadside when he first saw it and shot it, hard to judge width. he ended up leaving the lease cause of the hard time he received. yes big horns are a plus but the overall experience is what matters in my book.
 

duke13

Senior Member
Hey buck! Lemme check that ID! :rofl:

With the limited amount of time and visibility to gauge a buck, age structure is a mighty hard thing to judge. Grnted if he's in the middle of a food plot and you can get a real good look at him you may be able to tell. But when he's slipping thru a clear cut and all you can see is that big rack coming up to a hole judging age don't work!
 
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