It is illegal to hunt within 150 metres of an occupied apartment building, warehouse, industrial or commercial building, school or playground without residents` permission. It is also illegal to shoot in a safe zone, even if you are stationed outside the zone. Antler! Nothing attracts the attention of a deer hunter anymore. Antlers play the main role in the dreams of many hunters the night before deer season. For years, however, most deer hunters in Pennsylvania could only dream of harvesting a large antlers. As a rule, males taken by hunters had only the chance to raise a set of woods. Only a few had the largest antlers of an adult goat. One way to change this was to implement restrictions on timber. Attaching “discs” for deer in a safe zone is illegal even without permission, even if you don`t carry a gun. The main objective of the APR was to increase the number of adult dollars (2.5 years or older) in the population. In this way, the benefits of a more natural breeding ecology, an older age structure and greater hunter satisfaction could be realized. To achieve this goal, APRs had to protect most one-year-old males (1.5 years old) from the harvest.
This required two different APRs: a 4-point wood-point restriction in western Pennsylvania and a 3-point wood-point restriction in the rest of the state (excluding junior hunters). Increasing the harvest of adult males does not necessarily mean more “pound of records” dollars. Although the age structure and the number of adult males in the harvest have increased, about 75% of them are only 2.5 years old. In other words, most Pennsylvania males are still harvested before growing their largest antlers. Odors from estrus, bait, and other non-food sources are legal for deer, except in chronic wasting disease management areas. Perfumes or baits that contain any form of natural or artificial food traces, including but not limited to corn, apples and acorns, are not legal. Dr. Gary Alt, then head of the agency`s deer management department, believed the antlers restrictions protected about 40,000 more aer deer, nearly twice as many as those who had normally survived in past deer seasons. In addition, hunters welcomed about 70,000 more antlerless deer than in 2001, which helped balance the herd. Electronically heated drips and fragrance dispensers are legal as long as they contain legal fragrances. Raising the standard for harvesting a legal dollar with APRs could have reduced the number of successful hunters. Tracking hunter success rates over the past 3 decades has shown that the percentage of successful hunters has hardly changed.
Today, Pennsylvania`s licensed hunters are just as successful at raising a dollar under the APRs as their predecessors were 20 years ago under the old adlock restriction. The age structure of timber harvesting before the RPA was about 80 percent one-year-old males and 20 percent adult males. With the increase in the survival of one-year males under the APR, the age structure of the timber harvest changed to about 55% of one-year-old males and 45% of adult males. This increase in the adult goat harvest occurred at a time when overall deer populations were declining. “Typical of the behavior of mature males, it seems that the only time these males get up and move during the hunting season is during the rut, in front of storm fronts or when they are pushed out of cover by other hunters,” Steve added. “My neighbour gave up deer hunting on the last Friday of the season because he hadn`t seen any legal money on his property during the days he was hunting. He filled his feeder Saturday morning in front of his house and within a few days, no less than four different pointers were discovered by the man and his wife at the feeder. Since 80 percent of the males were harvested before the APR each year, most males survived only one breeding season. Only a few older dollars were present in the population. Could APRs change the reproductive ecology in the Pennsylvania deer herd? In 2002, the Pennsylvania Game Commission changed the restriction on antlers to harvest a consecrated deer.
Prior to 2002, the restriction of wood was 2 points to a wood or a tip at least 3 inches long. From 2002 to 2010, wood point restrictions (APRs) ranged from 3 or 4 points to one wood, depending on the territory of the state. From 2011, the range of 4 points increased to 3 points for a wood, without the stem of the forehead. The 3-point wood-point area has not changed. Since the beginning of the effective annual period, a whirlwind of myths and reality has followed. Here are the facts about Pennsylvania`s wood point restrictions. Steve argued, “It just shows you that hunting mature males is very different from hunting 111/2 year olds, and that`s something hunters in Pennsylvania need to be prepared for if they want to fill out their labels.” Bob had to work harder than ever after the end of the 2006-2007 season. Almost every newspaper in the state that had an open-air page and every hunting magazine in the state brought photo after photo of big dollars. The Pennsylvania Game Commission`s website received dozens of images of big dollars from all over the state.
(To see some of these awesome photos, visit www.pgc.state.pa.us and click on the Hunter and Trapper Scrapbook section.) You can literally see the increase in the number of big dollars raised from year to year.