Jeff Murray did a good job of presenting both sides of the antler restrictions issues for New York and Pennsylvania buck hunters.
As a senior citizen homemaker in Bradford County, I’ve had a lot of hunting time in the last 50 years and even got a bear last year.
I was privileged to have 40 years of hunting before antler restrictions began and I harvested many small-antlered bucks as long as they were big-bodied deer. Success rates were fairly high and most hunters seemed happy. A trophy hunter could hold out for large antlers if he/she chose to do so.
Since Pennsylvania antler restrictions began in 2002, I have only harvested two bucks; both are big eight-points, my largest by far, and they are mounted in my living room. Most hunters would agree that a healthy, balanced deer herd is a top priority and bodes well for the future. Do I sound like a convert?
Regardless of your personal feelings, on this subject, there’s one thing we can all do to improve hunter success and satisfaction: Get rid of the poachers. Report the road-hunters, night shooters and all other violators to the authorities.
Hunting is for hunters, not criminals. Set high ethical standards for yourself and all members of your hunting party and enjoy the great privilege of hunting.