Northwest Michigan Antler Restrictions Observations

Discussion in '12 County NW Michigan APR's discussions' started by Whit1, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. Whit1

    Whit1 Premium Member

    Messages:
    21,607
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Michigan
    I'm not sure how many regulars to this forum know me, but a few do I'm sure. I rarely come on the site these days, but was a long term moderator of this forum and am very familiar with the various issues that are debated in here and the raucous discussion that can go on. For a few years now the NW portion of the Lower Peninsula has had a 3 pt. on a side antler restriction regulation. My wife and I built this house in 1974 and we've lived here ever since and I have been an avid deer hunter and deer observer for all of those years. I know what's been going on in this area of N. Manistee County.

    When antler restrictions were first brought up in the old QDM Forum (yes, I know that ARs are not the same as QDM) I was not in favor of them for reasons that are not worth being brought up. The bottom line was that I didn't like the added restrictions of new regulations. Since NW Michigan went to a 3 pt. per side I have seen a marked improvement in the age structure of the deer in my neighborhood. While I had taken my share of decent bucks over the years, the biggest measuring 111+, and the number of decent 8 pt. racks are too numerous to remember. I am not a neophyte in taking decent bucks. Last year, the evening after I took a 2.5 yr. old 8 pt. buck I had the pleasure of watching three other 8 pt. bucks move in and out of my hunting area off and on for over an hour. I can assure you that I do not own a vast track of perfect deer country, but rather a mere 25.5 acres most of which consist of pine trees of various sizes plus other trees. Yes, I have worked on the property to improve its deer holding capacity, but not to the point of overcrowding. Most of the property I consider to be a sanctuary into which I rarely trod.

    It is now the norm to see a variety of age classes among both bucks and does, but of course it is more noticeable with bucks due to those antlers.
    Yes, I know that you can't eat antlers and I am not what could be called a trophy hunter so please spare me these and any other names/types that you might think apply. I'm 72 years old and I have much experience. Certainly I am no deer biologist, but rather a lifetime learner of things that interest me and deer ares one of those.

    The bottom line is that I've found that antler restrictions do work as advertised and are not a regulation that restricts or hinders hunters.....of any age....from taking deer. By the way my friends who hunt public land to the east say the same thing. Have a find day and a fine deer season. Remember it's not about the kill, but rather about the experience.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    35,401
    Likes Received:
    13,803
    Location:
    Wellston
    Great to hear Milt. Glad you are having success.
     
    Bloodrunner likes this.

  3. bucko12pt

    bucko12pt

    Messages:
    10,747
    Likes Received:
    5,517
    Location:
    Leelanau Co.

    Good to hear from you Milt and good to hear from someone who has lived the entire spectrum of APR's in the NWLP. Many of us that have been here since the beginning knew they would work and knew that hunters like yourself and others would be convinced after experiencing them for a few years.

    Thank's for an honest appraisal of APR's in the NWLP and how they have made everyone's hunting experience more exciting and rewarding.

    Still better things are yet to come.
     
    kingfisher 11 and mustang72 like this.
  4. barnaby43

    barnaby43

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    51
    Thank you for a honest evaluation of what your experience has been living there for so many years!
     
  5. kroppe

    kroppe

    Messages:
    9,416
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Location:
    Indiana; MI native
    Whit, great to see you on the site! Remember the good ole days with the campfire on this site? Fun times!
     
    kingfisher 11, jr28schalm and Steve like this.
  6. QDMAMAN

    QDMAMAN Premium Member

    Messages:
    30,773
    Likes Received:
    17,815
    Location:
    Vermontville Michigan
    Glad to see you back for a visit Uncle Milt! Thanks for your "take" on the MARs in the NW12!
    On a side note....The wife and I bought a place in Zephyrhills, maybe we can connect and you can introduce me to all the "cool" kids in the neighborhood! :cool:
     
  7. HuntingTimeYet

    HuntingTimeYet

    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Muskegon
    I am believer in the changes that APR brings! I am one person but can speak for close to 30'ish hunters that i know in the area. The antler size and quality of deer has significantly improved. The hunting experiences have all grown as well. We own private but prefer hunting public due to all the new areas and challenges it presents. In fact i pulled a big 12pt. Off public land yesterday that i have been after since oct. It was an awesome experience that i say is a direct result of APR. I am guessing 5.5 to 6.5 years old. We are seeing more and more big ones like this. On a negative point i feel APR's need to be expanded since hunter pressure has significantly increased most likely do to the knowledge bigger healthier deer are available. Very pleased with APR
     
    kingfisher 11 and Steve like this.
  8. Bomba

    Bomba

    Messages:
    4,292
    Likes Received:
    1,643
    Location:
    Birch Run
    Congrats on the buck, got any pics of the monster?
     
  9. HuntingTimeYet

    HuntingTimeYet

    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Muskegon
    Yes i will be posting soon...
     
  10. bheary

    bheary

    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    1,015
    Wow! Saw pics of a really nice Buck from Antrim taken during archery. It's paying off, just need the rest to follow suit to even out the pressure
     
  11. HuntingTimeYet

    HuntingTimeYet

    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Muskegon
    That's my thoughts as well. It allows for some true whitetail hunting experiences rather than the lotto experience.
     
  12. bheary

    bheary

    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    1,015
  13. HuntingTimeYet

    HuntingTimeYet

    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Muskegon
    I'm fairly cautious about putting that out...its in an APR county. I would not mind saying if there were a lot more counties with same regulations. I have seen a surge in hunting pressure because the word is getting out.
     
    wildness and bheary like this.
  14. GRUNDY

    GRUNDY

    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    1,572
    Location:
    West Coast
    Its definitely adding pressure to the APR counties.