Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 16

Antler Restrictions in Pennsylvania Are they working?
By Dr. Christopher Rosenberry
PGC Deer & Elk Section Supervisor

A

NTLERS! Nothing captures the attention of a deer hunter more. Antlers appear in the dreams of many a hunter on the night before deer season. However, for years, most Pennsylvania hunters could only dream of harvesting a large antlered buck. Typically, bucks taken by hunters had lived long enough to grow only one set of antlers. Few survived long enough to produce the larger antlers of an adult deer. One way to change that situation was more restrictive antler restrictions.

Pennsylvania’s antler point restrictions. The primary goal of APRs was to increase the percentage of adult bucks (2.5 years of age or older) in the population. Doing so creates a more natural breeding ecology, and an older buck age structure, and greater hunter satisfaction might be realized. To achieve those goals, APRs needed to protect most yearling bucks (1.5 years of age) from harvest. This required two different APRs: a four points to an antler restriction in western Pennsylvania and a three points to an antler restriction for the rest of the state (excluding junior hunters). To assess biological and social aspects of APRs, the Game Commission initiated a multi-year study with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Penn State. This study included the capture of more than 2,000 deer and the surveying of more than 25,000 hunters. Additional information came from the Game Commission’s annual collection of deer harvest data. Why Antler Points? When defining antler restrictions, antler points or spread can be used. Although hunters can judge both criteria in the field, we chose antler points. APRs can be defined by any number of points; however, spread restrictions are usually judged on the distance between ear tips. In many areas of Pennsylvania, a spread restriction of 15 inches (a common ear tip width estimate) would have proGAME NEWS

In 2002, the Game Commission implemented new antler restrictions. Prior to 2002, the antler restriction was two points to an antler or a spike at least three inches long. Since 2002, the antler point restriction (APR) has been three or four points to an antler, depending on area of the state. A swirling of myth and reality has followed. Here are the facts about
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
First Archery Buck
Red Oak, White Oak
Just Like the Good Old Days
Step Back in Time
Antler Restrictions in Pennsylvania
What Goes Up . . .
First Time’s a Charm
100 Deer
The Brute
Flight 93
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
Fun Game
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - First Archery Buck
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Red Oak, White Oak
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Just Like the Good Old Days
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Step Back in Time
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Antler Restrictions in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - What Goes Up . . .
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - First Time’s a Charm
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 100 Deer
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - The Brute
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Flight 93
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - I1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - I2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2010 - Cover4
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