Quality Deer Management, Hunting Accidents

Jim F. from New York writes to ask about quality deer management and hunting accidents. “The other day a guy told me that if we practiced quality deer management on our 1,000-acre farm, it would be safer for all the hunters who hunt there. Can that be true?”

Dr. Dave Samuel
Dr. Dave Samuel

That’s an interesting question and timely as well. And the answer is “yes” and “no.” The latest issue of “Quality Whitetails” (a super magazine that goes to all members of the Quality Deer Management Association) has an article by Patrick Durkin on that exact issue. It discusses data collected in Pennsylvania where they have an antler restriction regulation.

Accidents where hunters mistake another hunter for game, shoot in the line of fire, or are hit by stray or ricocheted bullets dropped rather significantly the first two years they implemented an antler restriction (in Pennsylvania that means shooting either a buck with 3- or 4 points on a side depending on where you live).

Two years later, when there were a lot more bigger bucks out there and recognizing a legal buck was easier, hunters didn’t have to sit around and study to make sure the buck had either 3- or 4 points so they could shoot quicker.

This resulted in an increase in accidents compared to the first two years of antler restrictions. The article is worth reading, so join QDMA and ask for the February 2008 issue.

Don’t forget to visit Sportsman’s Guide for the full collection of hunting gear.

Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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