Mandatory antlerless restrictions don’t work

A report of violations for antler restriction in Michigan shows clearly what other states have experienced. They tried AR and abandoned them after finding the results were contrary to what were expected. Last year in Michigan fines and penalties were up to $1,000 restitution, 90 days in jail,loss of license for 3 years, $250 fine and loss of your weapon. Next year failure of AR increases in these costs sky-rocket and set by law. One small area in Michigan had 112 AR violations and many others were unreported. Other states experienced for every deer shot meeting the AR, one other was shot that failed the AR and were left in the woods. That resulted in fewer deer in subsequent years meeting the AR, less weight and smaller antlers. Hunters have great difficulty in counting points because of excitement, weather, poor light, moving animals and heavy cover. That results in “shoot and sort” and many hunters failing AR are faced with violating the law and the chance of heavy financial losses or leaving it to rot. Read Deer & Deer Hunting, August 2006 for detailed information how AR destroyed hunting in other states. Practice voluntary AR and there are neither financial losses nor wasted deer. Mandatory AR is wrong.

Howard French