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Old 12-07-2017, 02:42 PM   #1
Abctx
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Just received this from TPWD.


https://content.govdelivery.com/acco...letins/1c3d30a


In my opinion, this needs to happen. Reason??? Because many Panhandle landowners are simply putting too many hunters on their property. I've got a neighbor with 3 hunters on a half-section (320 acres). That's fine if you're in the Hill Country, but in the Panhandle, it ought to be ONE hunter per half-section, IMO. Discuss...
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:51 PM   #2
Shane
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In mule deer country, it should be 1 hunter to 1,000 acres (or more). You're right though. More and more landowners are wanting to cram way too many hunters on their land. I can't blame them for wanting to maximize revenue, but as a hunter I am not interested in paying to hunt a place that only has 1 shooter buck for every 3-5 hunters. People do it though, so I guess it isn't all the landowners' fault.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:55 PM   #3
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agree with above. AR or some other kind of limits should extend across the entire southern plains/panhandle.....deer numbers are generally too low in these areas (especially the southern counties - Gaines, Andrews, Yoakum, etc.).

something needs to be done....
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:59 PM   #4
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In mule deer country, it should be 1 hunter to 1,000 acres (or more). You're right though. More and more landowners are wanting to cram way too many hunters on their land. I can't blame them for wanting to maximize revenue, but as a hunter I am not interested in paying to hunt a place that only has 1 shooter buck for every 3-5 hunters. People do it though, so I guess it isn't all the landowners' fault.
I would not be surprised to see them eventually intervening with regards to the total number of deer (whitetail, specifically) that can be taken from a given acreage (i.e. smaller properties). Maybe we'll all be MLDP someday.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:01 PM   #5
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Doubt I'll ever hunt MD in any of the counties but sure sounds like a good idea to me
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:02 PM   #6
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I would not be surprised to see them eventually intervening with regards to the total number of deer (whitetail, specifically) that can be taken from a given acreage (i.e. smaller properties). Maybe we'll all be MLDP someday.
I doubt that...and would disagree with it if they did.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:03 PM   #7
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I got the email too and also completed the survey as I generally agree with the proposal. After eight years on my place, I think I've only seen one, maybe two bucks that would have remotely come close to being legal.

The only hang up I have is that I'm not sure to what extent, if any, the drought is taken into account within their data. The proposal reads as if over-hunting is the sole culprit for low numbers of quality bucks and I'm not sure that's the case.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Etxbuckman View Post
I would not be surprised to see them eventually intervening with regards to the total number of deer (whitetail, specifically) that can be taken from a given acreage (i.e. smaller properties). Maybe we'll all be MLDP someday.
They do have MLD for mule deer, but most ranchers aren't on it.

Part of the out of whack buck-to-doe numbers is that you can only shoot bucks and no does, unless you're on MLD. Packing in too many hunters where everybody feels like they need to kill something to get their money's worth, and all they can kill are bucks....and then factor in the huge die off from the drought a few years ago.... All that adds up to a lot of young bucks being killed.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:05 PM   #9
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I would not be surprised to see them eventually intervening with regards to the total number of deer (whitetail, specifically) that can be taken from a given acreage (i.e. smaller properties). Maybe we'll all be MLDP someday.
I'd hate to see it come to that. I think we all got spoiled for the last 3-4 decades with the hill country numbers of whitetail deer, though. Now that many of the prices have gone way up down there, and many places either cut up/high fenced/etc, lots of folks have started heading up towards the Panhandle, and the land simply cannot support the hunter numbers many other parts of the state can. I expect to see AR for whitetail up here, soon, if hunting pressure continues.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:08 PM   #10
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I'd hate to see it come to that. I think we all got spoiled for the last 3-4 decades with the hill country numbers of whitetail deer, though. Now that many of the prices have gone way up down there, and many places either cut up/high fenced/etc, lots of folks have started heading up towards the Panhandle, and the land simply cannot support the hunter numbers many other parts of the state can. I expect to see AR for whitetail up here, soon, if hunting pressure continues.
Instead of AR, I think it would be better if the state issued permits to each landowner, and that's all the deer that could be killed on that place. Pretty much the same as MLD, but just do it for everybody. If a place that is 1,000 acres only gets 1 or maybe 2 buck permits, then it'd be pretty hard to find 6 guys from Dallas to join the lease.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:11 PM   #11
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If they are basing it on the success of the whitetail program, why no unbranched MD?
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:12 PM   #12
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The drought back in 10-11-12 most certainly DID affect the fawn crop in those areas.

Also, I get 2 muledeer MLD doe tags per year. They're good in bow season and the two weeks of mule deer rifle, only. I'm certainly not gonna risk scaring off a buck by shooting at a doe during rifle season, most of the time, when the season only lasts 2 weeks and I've got a limited amount of times to sit and hunt.

I often wonder if hunters would be MORE selective if they had MORE time to rifle hunt mule deer, or if it would simply be an opportunity for more hunters to shoot anything with antlers...
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Shane View Post
Instead of AR, I think it would be better if the state issued permits to each landowner, and that's all the deer that could be killed on that place. Pretty much the same as MLD, but just do it for everybody. If a place that is 1,000 acres only gets 1 or maybe 2 buck permits, then it'd be pretty hard to find 6 guys from Dallas to join the lease.
I agree with this. It's was also pretty easy to get mule deer doe tags. I think we were getting around 8 doe tags for 4K acres. But it was nothing to see 100+ does in our wheat field.

Last edited by panhandlehunter; 12-07-2017 at 03:17 PM..
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:15 PM   #14
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Instead of AR, I think it would be better if the state issued permits to each landowner, and that's all the deer that could be killed on that place. Pretty much the same as MLD, but just do it for everybody. If a place that is 1,000 acres only gets 1 or maybe 2 buck permits, then it'd be pretty hard to find 6 guys from Dallas to join the lease.
That's exactly what they do with the antlerless permits. I get one tag every year.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:16 PM   #15
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The drought back in 10-11-12 most certainly DID affect the fawn crop in those areas.

Also, I get 2 muledeer MLD doe tags per year. They're good in bow season and the two weeks of mule deer rifle, only. I'm certainly not gonna risk scaring off a buck by shooting at a doe during rifle season, most of the time, when the season only lasts 2 weeks and I've got a limited amount of times to sit and hunt.

I often wonder if hunters would be MORE selective if they had MORE time to rifle hunt mule deer, or if it would simply be an opportunity for more hunters to shoot anything with antlers...
I think there would be more deer killed if the season lasted longer.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:17 PM   #16
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NM issues a certain number of bull elk, cow elk and archery elk tags to private land owners that have elk on their property or have migrating elk, at least that is what they use to do when I ws guiding up there. All of this is done by survey and they can give the tags away, burn them or sell them as they usually do. I believe antelope is done this way also.

Might work for mule deer in the Panhandle to alleviate hunting pressure since all you can do is shoot bucks and can hunt as many people as you want on any size acreage.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:17 PM   #17
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Instead of AR, I think it would be better if the state issued permits to each landowner, and that's all the deer that could be killed on that place. Pretty much the same as MLD, but just do it for everybody. If a place that is 1,000 acres only gets 1 or maybe 2 buck permits, then it'd be pretty hard to find 6 guys from Dallas to join the lease.

I understand what you're saying. I'd just hate for it to get SO limited, that it ends up being like Texas Pronghorn hunting, which is so limited that it's dang near impossible for most hunters to do. My hope is that the AR would perhaps improve things enough to avoid that, but perhaps not. I wouldn't be surprised to see more and more of the landowners up here allowing day hunts, like down in the Hill Country, and really start hammering the population..
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:22 PM   #18
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You can get doe tags, but like David said, lots of them don't get used because they're only good during the buck season and most hunters don't want to shoot a doe before they get their buck. Under MLD for mule deer, you get a longer season. Regular landowner doe permits don't come with any extra season dates though, right?
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:25 PM   #19
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I understand what you're saying. I'd just hate for it to get SO limited, that it ends up being like Texas Pronghorn hunting, which is so limited that it's dang near impossible for most hunters to do. My hope is that the AR would perhaps improve things enough to avoid that, but perhaps not. I wouldn't be surprised to see more and more of the landowners up here allowing day hunts, like down in the Hill Country, and really start hammering the population..
It's a limited resource though. They're trying to balance hunter opportunity, landowner revenue, and health/growth of the deer herd. It seems to be leaning too far toward landowner revenue lately. If they don't do something different, numbers will continue to decline, and that would suck for everybody. Limiting opportunity sucks, but fewer deer numbers limits opportunity for sure. No easy answers.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:29 PM   #20
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People shoot way way too many mule deer and really young bucks that don't get a chance to breed. One trophy per 3000+ acres would be more ideal In some areas. All depends on where you're at. I agree 100% with the restrictions. Western Gaines county gets absolutely hammered by anyone that owns any land.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:29 PM   #21
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In hall county where we hunt i have only seen 2 deer in 9 years that would be legal then plus we have not harvest on the doe unless you try to get special permit .
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:32 PM   #22
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In hall county where we hunt i have only seen 2 deer in 9 years that would be legal then plus we have not harvest on the doe unless you try to get special permit .
That's a pretty good argument for the ARs. All those yearling and 2 yr old forks and 3x3s getting killed young every year means no mature bucks with decent racks.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:34 PM   #23
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If they are basing it on the success of the whitetail program, why no unbranched MD?
That's not the successful part of the program. Plus they want to increase the buck population and age class.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:41 PM   #24
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I hunted this past weekend. I was covered up in Mule Deer does. Had as many as 16 at the feeder at one time. They have just about run off all of the Whitetail deer. I only had two Mule Deer bucks both look like the middle picture and have looked like that the past 3 years. Never going to be anything but a cull. Although the restrictions would not effect our county I think if you could harvest either a doe or buck many would choose a doe. I know next year when bow season starts I am waging war on Mule Deer does. I did take one of the cull bucks, it weighed a little over 200#.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:50 PM   #25
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First, I think that the antler restriction would certainly be a good thing. Secondly, I think that extending the season through the month of December for Bailey, Lamb, and Cochran counties would be even better! Our season is only 9 days long and A-LOT of young deer are killed because of that. There are only 9 days to hunt and nobody wants to go home empty handed. If the season was extended to include even part of the rut, when the old big boys come out of hiding, a lot of the younger deer would get a pass early in the season.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:51 PM   #26
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I'm in Hall County. I haven't seen one yet that would make the proposed ar. I'm all for bigger mature deer with wider racks. If they do implement the restriction I would like to see the season extended out. Some of the bigger mature bucks don't really start showing up until late November into December.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:54 PM   #27
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A hunt during the rut would bring higher success for sure. Might mean even more bucks got killed though if they kept it open ended on how many deer could be killed on a place. If they'd issue a fixed number of permits for each ranch, they could extend the season through the rut to allow better opportunity on the mature bucks without worrying about too many bucks getting killed.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:56 PM   #28
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I'd also like to see them allow unlimited year round hunting of whitetail in mule deer country, but that's just me. There's plenty of places to hunt whitetail. Mule deer need all the habitat they can get.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:56 PM   #29
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Name:  IMG_0282.jpg
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Here's one that needs to go on our place
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:00 PM   #30
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Attachment 886892

Here's one that needs to go on our place
For sure. Dang!
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:01 PM   #31
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We call him school bus
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:03 PM   #32
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i own land in three of the counties mentioned. i took the survey and and i agree with the antler restriction 100%. i am an avid hunter and it pains me to see what people are willing to kill on the last day of the season just to kill something. plenty of hogs and coyotes around if you have an itchy trigger finger! i have looked over at least 20 mule deer bucks this year and none of them would meet the requirements. i do understand people wanting to get something for their money, but arent you really "leasing" the experience anyway? if you wanted to buy a big deer, there are plenty of places around that will sell you one. i actually wish they would manage the WT up here more stringently as well.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:05 PM   #33
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A hunt during the rut would bring higher success for sure. Might mean even more bucks got killed though if they kept it open ended on how many deer could be killed on a place. If they'd issue a fixed number of permits for each ranch, they could extend the season through the rut to allow better opportunity on the mature bucks without worrying about too many bucks getting killed.
Yes sir. Our TPWD Biologist won't even talk to a landowner about MLD if they have less than 10,000 acres though. Another issue: while calling coyotes I have counted 188 mule deer on 160 acre wheat field that was adjacent to a 20,000 acre ranch. I don't have a clue how you plan for that. I think that a combo of AR and extended season would give some hunters enough hope that they might actually have a chance at a 200" deer that they would hunt for the trophy to the last day of season. Some will be successful and some won't. I'm probably off my rocker, but I know that the quality of deer has dwindled in this whole area because of the plan that's currently in place.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:06 PM   #34
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Attachment 886892

Here's one that needs to go on our place
this is another problem all together. how many immature 8pts were killed instead of this deer to let him get to this point. few people are willing to "take one for the team" when it comes to hunting!
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:07 PM   #35
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I'd also like to see them allow unlimited year round hunting of whitetail in mule deer country, but that's just me. There's plenty of places to hunt whitetail. Mule deer need all the habitat they can get.
Ha! I've heard of places where that is allowed. Probably by some sort of special permit.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:13 PM   #36
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They do have MLD for mule deer, but most ranchers aren't on it.

Part of the out of whack buck-to-doe numbers is that you can only shoot bucks and no does, unless you're on MLD. Packing in too many hunters where everybody feels like they need to kill something to get their money's worth, and all they can kill are bucks....and then factor in the huge die off from the drought a few years ago.... All that adds up to a lot of young bucks being killed.
^^^^^This is spot on. It should be implemented in the Trans Pecos area as well. We hunted 35K acres north of Van Horn and most of the guys that hunted with us were from Arkansas. They drove a long way, spent a lot of money on tags, fuel, etc. and on more than one occasion I heard some of them say "I'm going home with something!" And then they complained about not seeing any big bucks. Myself and a couple others kept telling them it was because they shoot all the young bucks, but most of them never listened.

The TPWD biologist for the area is a good friend and she mounted one of them guys from Arkansas for killing a young deer. It was awesome to hear.

Fro several years you could kill mule deer does, but that went away (don't remember the year). For several years we asked the biologist for doe permits, so those knuckleheads that just HAD to kill something, but she wouldn't give them to us. It didn't matter to me. I always worked/hunted harder for a deer than all those guys and I killed some pretty good ones over the 25+ years I hunted there.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:15 PM   #37
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this is another problem all together. how many immature 8pts were killed instead of this deer to let him get to this point. few people are willing to "take one for the team" when it comes to hunting!
I would have gladly taken this guy. Would have had summer sausage for two years.

Your right though. So many young deer are taken every year that have potential to be a trophy animal.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:19 PM   #38
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FWIW, I own a section and a half in Hall. Brother took one muley this year (that wouldn't have met AR). Only mule deer he's ever shot. That's the ONLY mule deer buck taken on the place in the 4 plus years I've owned it. I saw ONE mule deer buck (2 years ago, after end of rifle season) that would have met AR in the 4 years I've had the place. Nothing on camera, and nothing seen by my family that would meet AR.

I had hoped that, getting further out from the drought, I'd start seeing some large 3.5+ year old deer. It hasn't happened. Plenty of does. No big bucks. I'm for it if it can give these bucks some time to grow.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:20 PM   #39
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NM issues a certain number of bull elk, cow elk and archery elk tags to private land owners that have elk on their property or have migrating elk, at least that is what they use to do when I ws guiding up there. All of this is done by survey and they can give the tags away, burn them or sell them as they usually do. I believe antelope is done this way also.

Might work for mule deer in the Panhandle to alleviate hunting pressure since all you can do is shoot bucks and can hunt as many people as you want on any size acreage.


Iíve bought landowner tags the last few years in NM. I feel itís more of a landowner subsidy than based on science. Landowners with 80 acres can apply for unit wide tags- so the subject property is likely not going to be hunted.

The Ranch Only approach, in which the tag is limited to the ranch is definitely in line with what you are suggesting. Antelope is similar in which tags are assigned on A ranch basis.


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Old 12-07-2017, 04:22 PM   #40
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The TPWD biologist for the area is a good friend and she mounted one of them guys from Arkansas for killing a young deer. It was awesome to hear.
Wow. She really went all out on that one.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:26 PM   #41
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Huh?! What kinda restriction does Matador have now, last time I was there to be a legal muley buck had to have at least 4 points on one side, don't remember if they had any restrictions on whitetails. The way the biologist Chip talked that 4 point on one side rule was going to adopted across all the panhandle counties that had mule deer, guess he was wrong.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:28 PM   #42
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I doubt that...and would disagree with it if they did.
Great way to encourage poaching!
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:37 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Etxbuckman View Post
I would not be surprised to see them eventually intervening with regards to the total number of deer (whitetail, specifically) that can be taken from a given acreage (i.e. smaller properties). Maybe we'll all be MLDP someday.
I am pretty sure that is the way TPWD is headed as the human population increases, if true the small acreage guys are gonna get the short end of the stick. They want to eventually manage the deer by GMU (game management unit) like other states where the boundaries are more drawn by eco-region rather than by county like we currently have. The way disscussions were going several years ago I thought this would have been down the pike for 2016 or 2020 as they seem to look at major deer regulation changes every 4 years but it looks to be on the back burner for now.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:47 PM   #44
myway
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This would be a great thing. The numbers are rebounding and I saw and have photos of more up and comers and twin fawns this year then the last 5 years so they are making a rebound. The problem is that the #s are still extremely low especially compared to what was there before the drought.
As Shane mentioned people jamming WT # of hunters per acres for MD will not help but I believe these are land owners thinking it has rebounded to what it once was and $. They will need to figure something out on the does eventually but I personally do not believe we are there yet.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:49 PM   #45
bossbowman
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Instead of AR, I think it would be better if the state issued permits to each landowner, and that's all the deer that could be killed on that place. Pretty much the same as MLD, but just do it for everybody. If a place that is 1,000 acres only gets 1 or maybe 2 buck permits, then it'd be pretty hard to find 6 guys from Dallas to join the lease.
This honestly might be a better idea for mule deer. I am a fan of the AR and have seen positive results from them in the counties I hunt but , but like Philip-TX said I really hope they are not basing this reg change off the success of the antler restricions in the eastern third of the state that would be a mistake, just because it works for whitetail doesn't mean it will for muleys

Last edited by bossbowman; 12-07-2017 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:52 PM   #46
myway
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I'd also like to see them allow unlimited year round hunting of whitetail in mule deer country, but that's just me. There's plenty of places to hunt whitetail. Mule deer need all the habitat they can get.
Now will agree to disagree there😊. There areas and range of where they travel hang out are totally separate and I believe it can sustain both with the limited#s there are. Kill all sheep as well?
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:57 PM   #47
txarcher
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Now will agree to disagree there😊. There areas and range of where they travel hang out are totally separate and I believe it can sustain both with the limited#s there are. Kill all sheep as well?
I have no doubt that this is true in certain areas, but here, they all commune in the same places.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:57 PM   #48
WItoTX
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Mule Deer population is way down in general across the west though. It's not just local to Texas. There are other things killing them off, some of it whitetails moving into Mule Deer territory, along with whitetails breeding with MD does (That's why so many 3x3's). We watched a couple of whitetails run off MD bucks in New Mexico and breed the MD doe. Crazy scene.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:58 PM   #49
Cowpolks-TR
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I agree with this 100%. We have more Mule Deer on our lease that we do whitetail. But most of the numbers of Mule deer are made up of does. It's not uncommon for me to see 15-20 Mule deer does in one sit. Some of the Mule deer does we have are very old and very poor body condition. I have often thought they should keep the Mule deer buck season the same 2 week length ( to help control the number of harvests) and then have an extended for season where there would be able to be at least something that resembled management for Mule deer.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:58 PM   #50
WItoTX
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I have no doubt that this is true in certain areas, but here, they all commune in the same places.
Yep. And once the whitetails breed with MD does, the racks stay tiny. Gotta keep em separate.
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