The truth is very few of us do as much shooting as we should. I suspect even fewer among us do enough of the right kind of shooting to really prepare us for shots we will encounter in the field. These are busy times; even under the best of circumstances it’s difficult to budget range time. Many of us have challenges getting access to good ranges and few among us have ready access to the Continue reading Tune Up At SAAM
By Scott Mayer
It’s pretty amazing what professional wildlife managers can do to manipulate animal populations to meet specific cultural, economic, or geographic needs. For example, when I was growing up in rural Virginia, the rule when deer hunting was “bucks only,” as the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was managing the herd for growth. It succeeded. In fact, some would say they over succeeded as today Virginia has liberal antlerless deer opportunities as the Department works to either sustain or in some places even reduce deer populations.
Indiana is no different in managing its deer herd to suit that state’s needs as evidenced by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission recently approving an indefinite extension of a management tool commonly referred to as the “one-buck” rule. That rule limits hunters in Indiana to only one antlered deer during the regular archery, firearms and muzzleloader deer seasons.
The rule was first applied in 2002 and was set to sunset after a five-year period. I spoke with Chad Stewart, the deer biologist for Indiana, about the “one-buck” rule, its background, and the effect it has had on the deer herd and hunting in Indiana.
Stewart wasn’t with the Commission when the rule was implemented, but his understanding is that sportsmen and women lobbied for the rule to manage the herd for more mature deer. Steward explained that in 2001, the year before the one-buck rule was applied, 56% of the bucks harvested were yearlings. He recalls that at the time, there was some push-back from some groups of hunters, but the rule was renewed in 2007 and today 65% of Indiana hunters support the rule, and most of those support the rule “overwhelmingly.”
According to Stewart, the popularity has a lot to do with hunters seeing more bucks, and the bucks they are seeing are larger and more mature. In fact, in 2011 (the latest year for which there is data) the yearling buck harvest was only 39%. As Indiana’s one-buck rule demonstrates, when hunters and game departments work together and use sound wildlife management practices, great things can happen.
To flute or not to flute, that is the question.
The Bard didn’t have to grapple with that option back in the 17th century, but today’s hunters do. Without question fluted barrels are “in” and it’s been that way for well over a decade now. It’s really quite amazing Continue reading Flirting With Fluting
Kick off the summer with an opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new members at the SCI Tennessee Valley Chapter Summer Social, June 20, Saturday 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. A 5-stand shotgun course and lunch are open to all SCI Members at no charge. The event will be held at Dunaway Hunting and Fishing Club. Bring your shotgun and several boxes of shells, even if you are rusty or haven’t shot much lately, join the fun. There will be door prizes and drawing for a firearm.
RSVP to Keith Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org