November 28, 2009 at 8:31am
I've hunted all over with many different management schemes, and really don't have a problem following whatever rules are in place.
However, there is one worry about a 4- or 6-point rule: High grading. Mississippi for several years had a state-wide 4-point rule, and finally they realized that they were killing the bucks with the best genetics. A 4-point is in all likelihood a 1 1/2-year-old buck, so you're still killing a young buck (no different than many spikes). However, you're killing the deer with the best chances of growing big racks while leaving the bucks that are proving to be genetically inferior.
Mississippi has since given up on that, and tailored their management to fit each area of the state: The Mississippi Delta has more potential than the Gulf Coast, so they have different management schemes.
So a one-size-fits-all approach really isn't the best bet.
That said, we now have some built-in management with the three-buck rule. Some might kill the first three bucks they see (which is perfectly leagal and fine), but many hunters will get more selective as they fill their tags. That means younger bucks are going to be allowed to walk and get some age on them.