WI sean 2009

Got this from Sean on Facebook yesterday:

“Just wanted to share a story and some photos with you about a buck I was lucky enough to harvest in the 2009 bow season in Wisconsin. This old guy scored 188 6/8″ non-typical and was aged at 9 years old by the taxidermist. Because this buck was shot with a ‘lighted nock’ it is not eligible to be entered into the Pope and Young book. In the end I could really care less because it is the trophy of my lifetime. But what is your take on that ruling?”—Sean G.

First off, that is a dream buck. Look at the incredible mass. The 3 drops that I so desire, 2 of them off a third beam. Beautiful dark antler coloration. Just awesome man, one of the coolest racks we’ve ever posted on Big Deer, and we’ve posted a bunch of cool racks the last 6 years.

Now to the P&Y rule of fair chase that Sean is talking about: An animal is not eligible for the archery record book if killed “by the use of electronic devices for attracting, locating or pursuing game or guiding the hunter to such game, or by the use of a bow or arrow to which any electronic device is attached.”

I told Sean that while I commend the club’s commitment to “ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit of free-ranging wild game animals in a manner which does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the animal” I do believe this “technology rule” is outdated, vague and arbitrary. Does an illuminated nock really give an honest and skilled hunter like Sean an unfair advantage as he holds it together and makes a lethal shot on a 9-year-old 188” monster of a lifetime? No. And I would argue that a lighted nock is not an electronic, at least not in the common sense of the term.

What if you use GPS to pin and guide you to your tree stands…trail cameras to pattern bucks… a laser rangefinder to range a big deer before you shoot it?

Bowhunters have been discussing and fussing about the P&Y rules for years. This comment from a hunter at an archery forum pretty much sums it up for me:

“This discussion will go on forever. The P&Y rules have become ridiculous and do not flow with how hunting is done nowadays… Is a trail camera a part of it? If I use a flashlight to find the deer does that mean it can’t be put into P&Y? Almost all of the bows out there are set at 70% let off and above… The rules are dumb and I think the folks running it need to get with the times. Maybe more people would like it.”

What do you say?