What the new deer hunting regulations will do to produce bigger racks
and more of them will have to be speculation until the concept has been
tested, but the deer hunting fraternity will have a tough time beating
last year's performance.
John Bogucki tells me that Hoosier bowhunters took six Boone & Crockett
(B&C) typical bucks last year to chalk up what he believes is
the best year ever for bowmen. He should know because he conducts the Hoosier
Record Buck Program (HRBP) for the Indiana Deer Hunter's Association. In
addition, the high school science teacher from North Liberty says three
other bowbenders took non-typical (NT) racks that fell shy of B&C standards,
but still were very big. Thus, if the harvest of trophy racks is to be
improved by the new regulations, deer hunters will have some good shooting
B&C minimum standards for typical racks is 170. For NT racks
it is 190.
Bogucki points out that other big racks taken last year and any time
in the past, still could be enrolled in the HRBP, but as of now the top
typical rack last year was taken by William M. Hart, Jr., of Kendallville,
from Noble County. Hart's 12-point typical has been scored at 178 5/8.
He took his prize rack in Noble County.
Other bowbenders bringing down B&C typical bucks last year were
Joseph R. Marlow, Merrillville, 173 1/8; Dustin Prewitt, Columbus, 172
2/8; Guy Euler, North Vernon, 172 flat; Nick Robenstein, West Harrison,
171 3/8, and Jesse Yeryar, Jasonville, 170 6/8.
To this point, Bogucki says the top NT rack taken last year by bow was
a 15-pointer that scored 185 flat after being taken in Marion County by
Jason Losee, Indianapolis.
It is interesting to note that Marion County is traditionally the worst
county in the state in terms of deer harvest. This, of course, is a perfect
example of Dr. Jim Mitchell's (deer biologist) theory that some pretty
good deer hunting may be found anywhere in the state.
Mitchell also maintains that the one-buck regulation will do little--if
anything--to create more and bigger racks on deer.
Second best among NT racks last year was 178 3/8 rack taken by Larry
Deacon, Bremen, and the third best was a 175 5/8 taken by Jeremy Davis
Bogucki was not aware of any huge racks taken by firearms last year,
but the nine deer taken by bowhunters last year make a statement that the
Indiana deer herd is producing plenty of big racks. They are a strong hint
that the new "one buck" regulation probably will not do anything to bring
about bigger racks and more of them in Indiana.
They also are a clear-cut indication that the DNR and the Division of
Fish and Wildlife needs to spend more time managing wildlife for the good
of wildlife, than to appease armchair whiners.
Frankly, I can see no reason for anyone ever taking more than one deer
per year, buck or doe, unless the family of the hunter needs more
venison than one deer will provide.
Today, if venison, or the meat of any other game bird or animal is not
used for food, there can be little justification for taking it.
RANDOM RECONNAISSANCE--Many things
can happen between blooms and maturity of the products of plants, but if
the blooms of some plants can be used as a yardstick, it would seem that
we will have a fair wild strawberry crop later this month and a bumper
crop of paw-paws next fall.
Our mushroom hunting trips in central and northern Indiana recently
have shown a very good bloom on wild strawberries and an even better bloom
of paw-paws. Black raspberries are just starting to bloom in the central
part of the state.
The wild strawberries should be ripe in the central part of the state
by Memorial Day. It could be a week or so earlier in the south and that
much later in the north.
Of course, the paw-paws won't ripen until the leaves are falling, but
the crop is looking good now.