Antler Point Restrictions in MI – Detailed Audio Interview to Answer Your Big Questions

There are a lot of questions regarding antler point restrictions (APRs) in MI. There’s also a lot of misinformation out there.

Some hunters are hesitant to embrace the idea of APRs because they assume it will limit their opportunities to harvest a buck.

Antler Point Restriction InterviewEarlier today, Jim Brauker of the LPDMI was interviewed by Outdoor Radio host Jamie McKibbin on ESPN Radio 1450 to answer some common questions surrounding APRs in MI.


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8 Responses to Antler Point Restrictions in MI – Detailed Audio Interview to Answer Your Big Questions

  1. Don Becker says:

    I would love to see the 3 on a side restriction. We have been trying to do this on a Mile section in Osceola County for 3 years. I think that it would be a benifit to the hole state and it would drive the hunter population back up. Hunters would not go other states if we had bigger bucks in are state to hunt.

  2. nate ross says:

    I personally back this proposal 110%! Michigan needs this! so lets stop shooting babies an start giving the local taxidermist an this state the financial boost they/it needs!

    • LPDMI says:

      Nate, while we appreciate your enthusiasm, it’s important to note that these regulation proposals are not an attempt to create a “trophy management” plan. While increased age class inevitably leads to bigger antlers on older bucks, it is a far cry from what could be termed “trophy management”.

  3. Matthew Roberge says:

    Just got back from the public meeting in Shelby about this and I could not be more excited about this proposal.

    I am a life-long bow and rifle hunter. A significant part of my rifle hunting has been done in eastern Iron County in the UP where there has been an experimental DMU with a 3 point on one side restriction for some years now. My experience there has been GREAT. The experience of our camp (we hunt a mix of public and private land) is that before this experiment we would always get a few deer as a group. We still always get a few deer as a group. Overall, the number of deer shot is the same, they are just bigger deer. Instead of mostly 1 1/2 year old spikes and forks with an occasional 2 1/2 year old 6 or 8 point, we shoot mostly 2 1/2 year old small 6-8 points with an occasional bigger 8 or 10 point. We are not trophy hunters by any means, but how could anyone not like that? WE SHOOT THE SAME NUMBER OF DEER ONLY THEY ARE BIGGER!

    In addition to SHOOTING bigger deer, we also SEE more deer which is fun. The heart still races to see the fork-horn come by, even if you don’t get the chance to pull the trigger. It is honestly quite fun to see a spiker, to know you could have had him, and to know that there is a decent chance you might have a crack at him next year as a 6 pointer because the guy the next camp over is not going to shoot him either.

    I was quite disappointed tonight to hear a few people against this. When I told “you see more bucks, and bigger bucks” to the gentleman behind me, he replied “who cares?” I do. What hunter wouldn’t want to see more and bigger bucks?

    Regarding the concerns people had, here is my experience/opinion for what it is worth.

    What about the kids? Isn’t a spike a trophy to a 15 year old?
    –Sure, but so what. There is no rule that a kid needs to get a buck their first hunt. These rules make it MORE likely that a 15 year old will see a buck, and get a crack at a nice buck, they may just need to wait one year.

    Isn’t it hard to count the points?
    –This is probably a legitimate concern. You may need to pass on a barely legal buck at twilight or running. I do not think it is generally hard to tell a 1 1/2 year old buck from a 2 1/2 year old buck. The concern is mostly with the 1 1/2 year old tiny 4 vs 5 point and do they have a brow tine or not, I honestly would like if they threw in something like “or 15 inches total on one side” so you could shoot at one running through the swamp at dark, but hey —If you let one go on accident-so what? Next year he is clearly a nice legal 8 point.

    What are you a trophy hunter?
    –No, but someday I would like to shoot a trophy, who wouldn’t? If I had to choose between before the antler point restrictions, when we would say ridiculous things like “I saw a BIG spike horn today” or “He had a really nice fork”, or afterwards when we are routinely shooting 6 and 8 pointers, I like it better now.

    What about the meat?
    –It’s only one year man, can’t you see? Shoot a doe if you are desperate.

    I would like to add that I think these rules have bettered the hunting in a way that was not addressed tonight. Passing up (most of) the 1 and 1/2 year old deer, throws another age class of deer into the woods, it essentially doubles the number of bucks. This makes the bucks more active. They compete. I hear more bucks grunting and chasing does. I have shot deer by grunting and rattling. This was not happening prior to quality deer management when their were 2 spikehorns to 75 does on a given property.

    Please vote yes if you get a survey! I hope we can see down here in the lower peninsula what I have seen up there.

    • LPDMI says:

      Matt, Thanks for your comment and attending the meeting in Shelby.
      You’re right, some of the statements made by those against APRs can be a head scratcher. But like in other areas where APRs have been implemented, more and more hunters come around to favoring them after they experience hunting a deer herd with more bucks roaming around. Like you wrote, it only takes one year to get there, and you don’t have to worry about your neighbor shooting that 1.5 yr old buck that you watch and let go.

  4. Doug Hall says:

    In the matter of LPDMI and APR, I am totally opposed! In my family, of three generations of hunting deer, the main focus has been family being together and sharing the hunting event. That event has always been based on “family”, feelings,support and sharing, not on measuring calcium projections from the skull of the animal. Each family takes great pleasure in sharing meals prepared in the homes, to meals sent off to college to be shared with room mates both male and female. For a group of hunters to impose their mentality on others as to what makes a successful hunt smacks of a totalitarian management and is as close to unAmerican as anything I can think of. If a group of hunters wish to compete for “points” let them. However, let us who wish to enjoy tradition and family do it in our own way. This is after all “America” the land of the free. What gives ANYONE the right to dictate to a land owner, who has paid for the acreage, pays annual taxes, and maintaines the woods, how to hunt that land as far as points go. It has always been referred to as “deer” hunting, not point hunting. From a long time satisfied with the DNR management and rules.

  5. JASON says:

    Doug, the DNR has that right HAHA. You want meat shoot a doe, lots of them all over the place. Last year I was very fortunate, I harvested a 1.5 year old 6pt. in Sterling and a 2.5 year old 7pt in Emmitt county. Both ate the same. the 2.5 year old deer yielded about 25lbs more meat then the 1.5 year old buck. I would LOVE the chance of taking a trophy buck in northern MI, I hunt in Emmitt county. Problem is when I pass on the little guys (which I always do up there) I take a look at the neighbors bucks pole and it always consists of all the little bucks I let go, which is their right. I guess what I’m getting at here is: you want meat shoot a doe; especially if you don’t care about antlers! let the little guys go so the RACK HUNTERS have a chance at tagging a trophy. There shouldn’t even be an argument.

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