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January 23, 2008


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Wow, I would have to say there's some proof that the one buck rule in Indiana is working. Any idea of what county these monsters came out of? Congratulations to both hunters.

As a resident of Indiana, it's great to see such good bucks coming to light.

The state has always produced good deer, but due to more hunters planting food plots, culling does and being more selective in killing bucks, plus the one buck rule, there are more big bucks than ever.

Some would have the state change the gun season (shorten it and move it out of November) but gun hunters pay the bills and I don't see that happening any time soon. Indiana gun tags are buck only and the state could change that to either sex and save more young bucks that way. But doing so would mean a drop in revenue as bonus tags cost extra.

Before the debate begins (Dean Weimer will be all over this post) Kentucky has had a one buck rule in effect since '89 (I think) and their gun season is a week early than Indiana's and Kentucky hunters put plenty of good deer on the ground as well.

As time passes, I see tags becoming more expensive to offset lower hunter numbers, out of state tags going up substantially to reflect the prices of Iowa and Illinois out of state tag prices and leasing becoming as huge in Indiana as it has in other Midwestern states.

The landscape of hunting in Indiana is changing rapidly and the average guy may find himself priced out of the game.


To ebrown-

If you believe the stupid One Buck Rule, (OBR), is making a difference in Indiana, then you believe in the tooth fairy too, oh, and by the way, I have some real estate for sale.

For years before the OBR, Indiana was in the top ten in both B&C, and P&Y entries, so you`re dreaming, and reaching to claim that the OBR is the reason. The data show that MORE bucks are being killed today than before the OBR took effect, so it just isn`t possible.

And Mike, c`mon man, lay off the pub for the Indiana monsters. We don`t need MORE leasing outfits turning up, buying prime hunting real estate.

I live in southern Indiana and there is some great bucks down here. What county were they killed?

Reply to Greg

It has been 5 years now, let it go. As for the more bucks being taken now, of course there are. There are more hunters and more deer in the woods than there were prior to the obr. Not real complicated.

You just keep on getting your info off of the net, and I will sit in a tree. In the last two years my buck siteing's have doubled. There have been at least 4 B&C bucks taken in the last two years in my county. That I know of there were 4 in the last ten years prior to that. These are the facts that I know.

Why are you so worried about the leasing up all the good land in Indiana? Our deer arent getting any bigger, right?

The tooth fairy has been pretty good to me, I'll buy all the land you want to sell.

How complicated is it? Seriously? I`ll try to say this reeeeaaalll slow-more bucks are killed each year in Indiana than before the OBR-so, NO more bucks are surviving-therefore, no more bucks are reaching maturity.

Take your shoes of if you have to count past 10-the OBR is fuitle.

You don`t drive do you?


forgot to mention-hunter numbers across the country-Indiana included-are dropping, not rising as you want to claim.

Let what go? The falicy that the OBR is making any difference towards trophy hunting in Indiana? Hardly. I`ll keep blasting holes thru your false claims as long as you`re silly enuf to try to make them.

I have been hunting Indiana since 1992. From my past experience and memory, I have definitely witnessed an increase of mature bucks since the inception of the OBR, particularly in the past 3 years. If it remains the same, things can only get better. So take it easy G. Russell!

It`s definately disappointing that so many are so easily swayed with anything but facts. The OBR is nothing more than snakeoil-sold by those who have a hidden agenda. And again, cherish your integrity and your reputation. Understand the facts before you jump onboard the wagon-how more plainly can it be said? More bucks are killed now than ever before, with less hunters in the field. Do the math.

"More bucks are killed now than ever before, with less hunters in the field. "
Ok, so with that being said how can a one buck rule be a bad thing?!? IF fewer hunters are shooting more bucks then it seems the one buck rule is the only way any of them can have a chance to grow older.
Greg, you seem to talk a lot about facts, but I haven't seen any yet, can you give us some numbers and their source(s)?

I make a couple of observations here:

Levi, glad you found me and the new blog, welcome aboard.

great discussion keep it up, that is why I write a blog so we can hash this all out in a good and civil way--I do not expect everybody to agree with me or you, but we all respect everybody's opinion

Greg, I do fight with that, posting big bucks from the various states can sometimes cause more hunters to pile into your joint; most of the time I try to leave out the counties and not be too specific; but the internet/blog thing is a sign of the time--if I don't post these bucks and grow the biggest and baddest buck blog on the Web, my competitors will.

thanks to everybody for your support and passionate love of hunting

Not gonna argue the OBR with anyone.

I'm an indiana resident, and the size and number of bucks has dramatically increased statewide over the last 5 years.

Arguing about it doesn't matter.

It's here for 5 more years. And after that...forever...

Deal with it...



One fact this is going to be irrefutable is that out of state hunters are going to pour into Indiana like stink on sh*t.

Cheap, over the counter tags and big leasing operations looking to get in on a good thing will make the average Hoosier have to look harder for places to hunt.

Mike is right. If he doesn't post it, it'll end up in a magazine or on another website. Hornography is a BIG part of hunting today. People are willing to invest huge amounts of time and money to kill a big deer.

Look @ how hunting has changed in the last few years. Food plots, leasing (throughout the midwest), scouting cameras, hunting shows on multiple networks, $1000 bows, $4.00 slugs, 200 yard muzzleloaders, not to mention the multitude of scents, odor reducing clothing and all the other gadgety (is that a word) crap that so many of us carry into the woods today.

Hunting with dad and grampa is quickly being replaced by hunting with Bob's guide service. It's a big money game now and to play in this sandbox means you either are wealthy, have sponsors or know people who own land and will let you hunt with them.

Otherwise, it's off to public ground for with the rest of us.

I don't like it myself, but it's too big a beast to stop it now. It will be fed.



I HAVE been posting facts, based off information from the Indiana DNR-
IF you want actual numbers, I CAN provide those. Let me know which numbers you want, and I`ll give you factual data compiled from the Indiana DNR`s biologists.

No fluff here, it`s all fact-unlike the cult who follow the Indiana OBR. THey have no FACTS, becvause no facts exist to support their pie-in-the-sky OBR.

I get quite the chuckle out of people who think the OBR helps only the affluent hunter.

If anything, the OBR has helped the low budget hunter MORE.

That guy across the road can't kill all the bucks he has in his woods anymore. He can only get one. Leaveing more for the surrounding area.

Spots that wouldn't have been worth hunting 10 years ago are now legitimate hunting spots.

The OBR is an equal opportunity improver. Plenty of people can't afford food plots, trail cameras, large hunting tracts or leasing. But they can still benefit from the OBR.

And those people who would rather see them have a chance at a second deer, than someone else have a chance at ONE. Well, those people are for more "selfish" than the hunters they accuse of the same thing for approving of the OBR.

Don't feel like a man taking only one buck? Sorry for your luck. But you have far larger problems than the OBR...

AMEN JSTREET!! That last post was dead on..I enjoy killin deer but I pass up a ton more than I actually kill..in 6 years I ve only shot 7 deer(all bucks).. 2 a year twice, others years only one, one year with nothing bc I didn't see any I wanted to shoot..I try to consciously let the smaller bucks walk and harvest nicer deer and have shot a great 8, really really really respectable 8, and a respectable 6, and of course some smaller ones when I was younger..my cousin and brother have both tagged out on bucks in the last 4 yrs(in Va there is a 3 buck lmit a yr) and would shoot everyone they see if they could..with that being said, I kind of wish that Va would put a OBR into action..I think it would help grow more mature bucks bc people, like my brther and cousin who still hove that blood thirsty gotta kill somethin attitude, would only be able to take one a year and would want to be a nicer one..I think in the next couple of years though there will be an EAB rule before you can shoot the second buck you have to take a doe..i think is that right Mike? I think Chris B. is in Va too so if either of you know please fill me in..but I think I would definitely support a OBR in Va..I think..If the time ever comes I may change my mind though lol

Thought i would add too..I think my infatuation with shooting larger bucks comes from watching all the hutning shows on tv..Seeing them shoot B&C class deer makes me want one and so I hunt for something similar..if it werent for that, Im sure I owuld feel differently..however Im kind of glad I feel the way I do bc Ive been able to take some nice deer in my young age with very little hunting experience..

Great bucks right there Robert! Indiana has always had the genetics, soils, and nutrition to produce many giant bucks like these. The One Buck Rule in conjunction with the increased annual doe harvest is what is mostly responsible for the increase in giant bucks statewide. Also, the increase in buck recruitment has helped also, as the annual buck fawn percentage has declines annually in recent years.

Greg, I'm not going to argue with you. But I will tell you this, the number of bucks harvested has remained steady, or increased in recent years because there are more bucks in the overall herd now than ever before. What you say is true. But, how can less hunters (if this is really true) be harvesting more bucks?

If indeed the hunter numbers have remained stable, or declined, this is the only plausible explanation of why more bucks are being killed. There are simply more bucks in the herd now; consequently there are more of them available for hunters to harvest.

Indiana has been in dire need of improved management for a very, very, very long time now. We are now seeing the benifit of 21st Century Deer Management.

I'm an Indiana hunter and a firm believer in the OBR. The quality of the bucks I see now, versus 6-7 years ago is all the proof I need to see that it does work. It's a shame some refuse to recognize what a success it is. Guess you really can't teach some old dogs a new trick.

Great bucks there, Thanks for bringing them to us Hanback! I support Conservation efforts that allow statically data to be compiled for future guidelines. Wouldn’t more bucks being harvested by less hunters mean that they could start to see an increase in the amount of hunting licenses sold there for more support for wildlife conservation which hunting is a part of?

I grew up hunting MD and have been doing so for 12 years. I can tell you that for years my buddy and I saw larger bucks in the field and in the meat freezers at check in stations. In the last 8 years the average bucks have gotten significantly smaller at the check in stations. Sure we have some wonderful areas where groups are practicing QDM as we are on our farms but that is the exception. With the new call in check system there has been an even larger decrease in the amount of buck sign and mature bucks at the butchers.

Why? Deer populations are overabounding in MD. We teeter the edge on bellow and above carrying capacity. As you know when you are bellow carrying capacity you have more successful fawn crops and a healthy deer herd. When you are over carrying capacity your whole herd suffers. MD tries to influence the numbers with aggressive harvest limits. We can shoot 6 bucks in most areas and an unlimited amount of does in many areas. Crazy right? The guidelines are designed to decrease deer numbers but in areas of concentrations of deer and closer to city limits Sharp shooters are the ones doing the culling. The limit for bucks is 2 with archery, 2 with muzzleloader, and 2 during regular gun season. I personally would like to see MD harvest goals changed to a grid like structure and change the phone in your harvest program.

For example – Howard County is a great place to hunt in MD but only certain areas yet the harvest limits are the same for the whole county. I would support a change in MD the genetics are obviously here.

Greg, I think the main point of my question is, if more bucks are being killed and there are fewer hunters then allowing hunters to only take one buck can only help the bucks that are left. What is your alternative suggestion to the one buck rule? Letting people shoot more than one isn't going to help grow them any bigger, is it? I just want to know what you think would be better, any of you.

I`m of the school of thought that says, I don`t care about B&C or P&Y bucks. I don`t deer hunt to kill trophy bucks-I deer hunt, for what are the reasons we all started deer hunting in the first place-to be in the field, to see deer, any deer, and to eat venison-so in regards to your question about what`s going to grow bigger bucks, my response is, I don`t give a damn.
In fact, and all due respect Dean, and others, (although you`re all wrong about the OBR), the obsession with trophy bucks is what`s going to kill deer hunting for the average guy even quicker than loss of habitat.
QDM, OBR, all be damned-these animals are worth a ton more than the inches of bone on their heads. And damn all the greed towards the trophy racks too.
I said it before, the OBR is snake oil-and I suppose abetter way to say it is, it`s a placebo. The fools who believe it`s responsible for bigger bucks in Indiana are taking the placebo, and believe it`s working, so for them it is. The reality is something far different however.
I do believe I`m done with this thread.

Dang it Mike, you`ve got to get edit buttons for these posts-
Levi-absolutely last thing I`ll say about the damned OBR-the top white-tail biologist in the state, Dr. Jim Mitchell agrees with me on this. He`s been a foe of the OBR since it`s inception, and to this day, disputes it`s had the effect it`s proponents claim.
Okay-I`m out.

Been hunting deer in Indiana for 27 years and I've always seen nice deer but the number of nice deer does seem to be increasing. I took the photos posted here and that's not the biggest buck we got. We use our own QDM as well and don't harvest young deer or any deer under 125. I ate a tag sandwhich this year because I let some smaller ones walk. These big deer have lots of sons walking around and I'm hoping the smaller ones are them. The deer in the snow photo was only 4 1/2 years old. The deer in my neck of the woods are getting bigger and bigger.

Those are great bucks, I wish New Jersey would reduce the number of buck tags, I think that would be a big improvement for us.

Greg, I know you said you're done with this thread, and that's your prerogative. There's no reason for grown men to argue over deer management. But, you really should get ahold of Kentucky's Deer Biologists to see what they have to say about their One Buck Rule down there. You've received your information from people who are obviously biased against the One Buck Rule...so obviously you're going to believe them. And, again, that is your prerogative.

You say that Pro-OBR folks can't convince you that it is working. With all due respect, there is nothing you, or any other person could ever do to convince me to show it isn't working. The IDNR has no way of tracking the improved age structure that we've been experiencing the last several years. Mitchell and others have tried to convince Indiana's deer hunters that the age structure had improved prior to OBR. The only way they can track age structure is by doing random jaw bone "aging" methods at DNR check stations statewide by DNR personel using (Eruption Toothwear Method of Aging). This method has been proved to be less than 45% effective in aging deer correctly. The margin for error is tremendous.

Unfortunately, there is no way for them to prove this. The "survey" they produced last year was utterly, and grossly biased against the One Buck Rule; but the results spoke for themselves. The "authors" of that survey tried to manipulate the wording of it so they could "prove" that the One Buck Rule wasn't having anything to do with the age structure improvements of our bucks ( of which they have no reliable means to do so). The results showed otherwise. 71% of Indiana's deer hunters voted to continue the OBR for at least 5 more years. The only way to really see if the OBR is working on our bucks is through empirical evidence. The increase in record buck racks is staggering in the last few years.

Call Kentucky's Head Whitetail Biologist and hear what he has to say about the One Buck Rule in that state.

It's quite possible that you may have been misled by people who are ultra-biased against the One Buck Rule.

Again Dean, no disrespect intended, but.....

Believe you, an OBR proponent, or Dr. Mitchell, a PROFESSIONAL white-tail biologist...... hmmmmmmm..............

Seriously, Indiana hunters want trophy bucks, and they`ll believe ANYTHING that tells them they`re getting what they want. Indiana has always had plenty of B&C and P&Y bucks, so the only thing that`s changed is the snake oil that the hillbillies in the IDHA, and the others are selling them. I`m not so gullible as Frank and Bubba`s Huntin` club, so no, I`ll not nuy into the OBR myth.

Oh and Dean, that burden of proof swings BOTH ways-Perhaps the IDNR can`t prove beyond a doubt that the OBR hasn`t been responsible for tropy deer in Indiana, (although I dispute that), but the hillbillies at the IDHA, along with the other OBR proponents, can NOT prove that the OBR HAS made any difference either.
As you might suspect, I do believe the age structure was changing already anyway, and would be the same today, with or without the OBR-remember, MORE bucks are killed each year today than before the OBR.

Greg, what if other un-biased professional whitetail biologists understand that it's working?

Information on Harvest date for Indiana.


Year Males (%) Females
1987 29,530 (57) 11,139
1988 34,358(57) 13,170
1989 40,503 (51) 19,464
1990 43,080 (48) 23,680
1991 41,593 (42) 31,211
1992 43,508 (46) 25,387
1993 44,424 (44) 27,704
1994 50,812 (45) 32,466
1995 47,098 (40) 40,946
1996 47,315 (38) 39,913
1997 42,537 (41) 35,163
1998 44,955 (45) 30,711
1999 46,371 (46) 30,474
2000 44,621 (45) 31,986
2001 48,357 (47) 31,806
2002 47,177 (45) 35,357
2003 49,533 (46) 36,303
2004 54,743 (44) 41,749
2005 52,488 (42) 44,286
2006 49,097 (39) 45,257

So in the past 5 years harvest statistics were readily available, the yearly average of male deer harvested is 50,607. In the 15 years before that, with more hunters in the field and no OBR, hunters harvested an average of 43,270 bucks a year. What is your reasoning for the annual increase in buck harvests if not the awareness OBR brings to hunters? Maybe it’s the large decline of fawn bucks harvested since 1997, a mere 10% of the annual harvest for 2003, 2004 and 2005 when OBR was first brought in. Even though the annual harvest of bucks for the past 5 years is more then the previous 15, buck harvest numbers have declined since 2004 with less hunters in the woods. This information is from the IDNR website and is public information.

More specifically I got the information from the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife. I guess with few hunters in the woods and more a larger average of bucks harvested with OBR, less hunters are eating antlered tag soup?

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