IDNR Report

Indiana State Parks is seeking volunteer hunters to participate in managed deer reduction hunts at 19 locations later this year.

Applications must be received by Aug. 20.

Properties where hunting is allowed with firearms only (any firearm legal to take deer on public land in Indiana) are: Brown County, Chain O'Lakes, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial state parks, and Cave River Valley Natural Area.


MDNR Report

Michigan Sets New Deer Hunting Regulations Designed to Fight CWD

Michigan's Natural Resources Commission approved new hunting regulations aimed at slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease.

At last weekís meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Lansing, the commission approved a series of deer hunting regulations aimed at slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease.


By John L. Sloan

(Editor’s note: John Sloan’s writing takes a no-nonsense, straightforward, informative -- and highly entertaining -- approach to hunting. His hunting articles are archived at www.targetcommbooks.com, along with other hunting how-to articles taken from the “On Target” series published by Target Communications Outdoor Books.)

Massive Rack

This rack is from the pending new world record, non-typical whitetail buck killed in Tennessee in November, 2016, during the muzzleloader season. Yes, it is a trophy. But it also is an anomaly. In the wild, you cannot manage to grow deer like this. Once in a while it just happens.

The term “trophy buck” has been around about as long as black powder. Or maybe a lot longer; like, since big antlers have been found in prehistoric campsites.

So what is a trophy deer, really? Without question, it can be a deer of many characteristics or even of either sex. Sure, there are trophy does. Ask any kid whose first deer is a fat doe. You think that isn’t a trophy to that kid?

But what do veteran hunters call a trophy. To most, it is probably a deer with antlers that score over a certain minimum. Three major scoring groups -- Pope and Young Club for archery, Boone and Crocket for deer taken with any equipment that score over a higher minimum, and the Safari Club International for African or exotic game. All have different minimum scores.

What do we mean by ‘scores?’

Score is basically the number of inches a buck’s rack totals – length of each point on each antler beam, circumference of antlers between points on each antler beam, and inches of inside spread between antler beams. All are totaled and then the difference in measurement between left and right beams and point totals is subtracted to get a net score. The minimum typical, net score for P&Y is 125 inches; for Boone and Crockett, it is 160.

So...what? Is that what a trophy is?

Is a trophy nothing more than a bunch of numbers? For some hunters, yes. For others, a trophy is in the age of the animal, not the antlers. If you subscribe to the thinking that the older a buck gets, the more difficult it is to kill, then yes, age is the measure of a trophy.

How about the smart old Madame Doe? Put as much pressure on a doe as on a big-antlered buck and she becomes every bit as hard to kill as an old buck. Maybe harder.