Mo. rule on deer hunts leads to bigger bucks

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri conservation officials say restrictions on hunting bucks has helped produced a herd of mature trophy animals.

The Department of Conservation adopted a rule in 2004 barring hunters from taking antlered deer unless the animal had at least four points at least one inch long on one side. The rule was intended to get hunters to take more does, because reducing the number of females better controls deer population.

The agency's top deer biologist says the buck rule also has resulted in larger and more mature bucks. The size requirement means that most bucks are at least 2 1/2 years old before they can be hunted.

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