I just wanted to go over a few 2016-2017 deer hunting regulation changes that have been approved already in a few different states. One thing is for sure you can’t make everyone happy all of the time. Some people may view the changes as good and some may view them as bad.
2016-2017 Deer Hunting Regulation Changes From Various States
- Wisconsin: ten deer management units will not have an antlerless quota (each within the Northern and Central Forest zones), while the rest of Wisconsin will have a quota of 256,775 antlerless deer (compared to 224,735 in 2015), The issuance of bonus deer hunting permits, in addition to farmland zone permits included with each deer hunting license, will include 22,775 permits valid on public access lands (compared to 18,450 in 2015) and 136,875 permits valid on private lands (compared to 125,375 in 2015). As a reminder, bonus antlerless permit sales for the Forest zones begin Monday, Aug. 24 to Jan. 16, and Southern Farmland Zone bonus permits will be made available Aug.15 at 10 a. Central Farmland Zone permits will go on sale Aug. 17. A Holiday Hunt will be held in 13 counties and provide for an additional antlerless-only opportunity for firearm hunters from Dec.1. In addition, junior license holders in Ashland, Sawyer and Forest counties will not be allowed to harvest antlerless deer – these councils exercised their right to submit this recommendation in an effort to encourage increased herd growth.m.
- Missouri: Maintain current timing of the November portion and reduce the length from 11 to 9 days, expand the late youth portion to three days beginning the first day after Thanksgiving, reduce the length of antlerless portion from 12 to 3 days and begin on the first Friday in December, eliminate the urban zones portion
- Texas: AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a suite of changes to this year’s deer hunting regulations that includes expanding white-tailed deer hunting into 14 counties across the western Panhandle, and creating additional deer hunting opportunities in East Texas. Implement both a general and special archery-only season for white-tailed deer in Winkler County, with a bag limit of three deer (no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless, with the take of antlerless deer restricted to the archery-only season or properties issued MLDP antlerless tags). The new season is identical to adjoining/nearby counties that currently have a season. The Commission adopted the following changes to the 2016-17 Statewide Hunting Proclamation, the details of which will be incorporated into this year’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual: Elimination of the Antlerless and Spike-buck Control Permit due to lack of demand; Define “unbranched antlered deer” to clarify what constitutes a legal buck across seasons and to alleviate confusion among hunters, and replace the “Special Late Antlerless and Spike-buck Season” with a “Special Late Season” to accommodate the inclusion of “unbranched antlered deer” in the bag limit; Allow the take of antlerless deer without a permit on certain U.S. Forest Service Lands during youth-only seasons; Clarify that white-tailed antlerless deer harvest during the archery-only season does not require a permit and harvest of antlerless deer during youth seasons is restricted to persons 16 years of age and younger including on properties issued Level 1 Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits; Implement both a general and special archery-only season for white-tailed deer in Andrews, Bailey, Castro, Cochran, Gaines, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Parmer, Terry and Yoakum counties, with a bag limit of three deer (no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless), which is identical to adjoining/nearby counties that currently have a season. Establish four “doe days” (time periods in when antlerless deer may be taken without a permit in parts of the state where antlerless harvest regulations are conservative) in Bell (east of IH35), Burleson, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, Kaufman, Limestone, Milam, Navarro and Williamson (east of IH35) counties;–Increase the number of doe days to 16 in Anderson, Brazos, Camp, Gregg, Grimes, Henderson, Lamar, Leon, Madison, Morris, Red River, Robertson and Upshur counties; and–implement a muzzleloader-only late season in Anderson, Bell (East of IH 35), Brazos, Burleson, Comal (East of IH 35), Delta, Ellis, Fannin, Falls, Franklin, Freestone, Grimes, Hays (East of IH 35), Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Smith, Titus, Travis (East of IH 35), Van Zandt, Williamson (East of IH 35), and Wood counties.
- Arkansas: Added a youth modern gun permit hunt for Rick Evans Grandview Prarie WMA, add a private lands antlerless-only deer hunt in deer zones 4, 4a, 4b, 5, 5B,7 and 11
- Ohio:White-tailed deer hunting season changes include moving the two day gun season to Saturday and Sunday December 17-18, and muzzleloader season to January 7-10, 2017
These are just a few of the states approved changes so far that I could find. Make sure to check the official 2016-2017 deer hunting regulation changes for the appropriate state you will be hunting.
The one thing I would really like to see in Georgia and I know everyone won’t agree with this but I think the Georgia rifle season is just too long. Most but not all that I talk to in Georgia seem to think the buck to doe ratio is way more does than bucks in Georgia. It was just so refreshing when I was transferred to Kansas and started hunting there to see the bucks able to reach their mature age and get big and to actually have a decent chance at getting a buck of a lifetime. I’m not sure if that is actually the case because I haven’t hunted in Georgia for several years now.I grew up hunting in Georgia and recently moved to Kansas and now Kentucky and it was an eye opener to see different game regulations and how they went about deer hunting in different states. It seems like it would make sense for Georgia to limit hunters to one buck in a shorter rifle time period and let hunters still shoot does with a rifle if they needed meat. I think they could shorten the season for when you could shoot a buck with a rifle but still let hunters that wanted meat to have ample opportunity to shoot does. That would help the bucks reach a mature age and give Georgia hunters a better chance at mature bucks.