Deer, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Indianapolis Boat, Sport
& Travel Show, and Hoosier Outdoor Writers (HOW) are not-so-strange
And so it was that the last weekend brought about some interesting--even
beautiful--encounters involving this quartet, all of which may be of interest
to Hoosiers who hunt deer and some who don’t.
Perhaps I should explain that the Hoosier Outdoor Writers Association
(HOW), a very diversified group of scribes, for many years has staged its
annual meeting in conjunction with the Sports Show. Said scribes also are
on speaking terms with the Division of Fish and Wildlife--most of the time,
and the aforementioned others are concerned with deer.
However those things may (or may not) play out, scenarios they brought
about over the past weekend are of interest to Hoosiers, especially those
who hunt deer, or those who merely enjoy the beauty of a hefty set of antlers.
It all started Friday, opening night of the Sports Show’s 10-day run
at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. That was also the opener of the three-day
Indiana Deer & Turkey Exposition.
Although the eighth annual Deer & Turkey Expo only lasted three
days, seminars, exhibits, rack-scoring services, and the Hoosier Record
Buck Program “Wall of Fame” (some 70 huge deer head mounts) lured thousands
from the legions of Indiana deer hunters.
The wall, alone, by far the greatest collections I have seen, is an
awesome sight. Unfortunately, it will not be present at the Sports Show
the remainder of its 10-day run.
And though the Hoosier Record Buck Program’s (HRBP) deer rack (antlers)
scoring services played to a smaller audience, it is important for those
who have taken Hoosier deer over the years and are interested in learning
how big their antlers are.
One of the largest racks scored at the Expo this year was a 190 3/8
(three eights) non-typical taken in Parke County by Michael Fowler of Terre
But as impressive as Fowler’s rack was, John Bogucki, head of scorers
for the HRBP, said it would be the third or fourth best non-typical rack
taken in the state in the 2004-05 seasons. At mid-afternoon Sunday Bogucki
said more than 230 racks had been scored at the Expo.
Still another facet of the Hoosier deer picture unfolded in a panel
discussion of the DFW’s “one-buck rule” at the HOW meeting at The Garrison
of Harrison State Park.
The one-buck rule has been a much cussed and discussed subject since
its implementation three deer seasons back. It provides that a hunter may
take only one antlered deer per year. For many years hunters were allowed
to take one antlered deer with bow and one with firearm.
The one-buck rule was championed by the Indiana Deer Hunters Association
(IDHA) and many hunters, although biologists of the DFW maintained it would
not achieve a purpose of bringing about more and larger racks on Hoosier
The discussion by Dr. Jim Mitchell, deer biologist for the DFW; Joe
Bacon (IDHA), and Gene Hopkins (Indiana Bowhunters Associaton) proved interesting,
the panel could draw no conclusions on the value of the rule. It is scheduled
to run through at least two more deer seasons.
Click on thumbnail
image for enlarged view.
Terre Haute, took his huge non-typical in Parke County.
of deer head mounts on the Wall of Fame at last weekend's Indiana Deer
Exposition at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show awed thousands
of Hoosier show patrons. The exhibit is no longer on display, but the Sports
Show continues through Sunday [February 27, 2005]. All are Hoosier deer,
most of them taken in recent years.