A hot topic among many deer hunters across the country is concerning their state’s deer regulations. In recent years, there have been huge strides made in the science of deer management. Consequently, a lot of hunters are learning that allowing immature bucks to walk will ultimately lead to more trophy-class bruisers in the field. Various magazine articles, publicized studies and hunting shows are making the public aware of the amazing impact deer management practices can have on the herd. Currently, a lot of states are beginning to increase the amount of available doe tags and more hunters are harvesting does.
However, there is still a division among hunters and a difference of opinion between states on what deer harvest regulations are needed. For example, some hunters feel there are already too many restrictions on deer hunting and these limitations are responsible for lowering current participation numbers. The rising cost of hunting licenses and tags along with thick regulation books are turning a lot of people away from the outdoors. On the other hand, many other hunters feel that their states simply don’t have enough regulations, especially when it comes to harvesting bucks. These hunters would like to see more conservative restrictions concerning the amount of bucks that can legally be harvested and an increase in the amount of available doe tags. They are also pushing for stricter laws that would protect immature bucks from being tagged before these animals reach maturity.
Currently, my home state of Kentucky has dramatically increased the amount of does that hunters can legally harvest each season. In addition, the Bluegrass State has also stuck to a very conservative one buck limit per season regulation. We only have one modern gun season in November and two very short muzzleloading seasons. However, the southern bordering state of Tennessee has a completely different approach. In fact, a hunter can tag at least three bucks in most areas and there are many more opportunities to hunt with a gun or muzzleloader. Right now, places like Mississippi are making dramatic changes concerning their deer harvest regulations and it’s rumored that other states are discussing modifications as well. With that being said, I would like to get some feedback about your state’s current deer regulations. Also, do you think the current deer management practices in your particular state are working?