This came up in another thread and it got me thinking.
I came up with 5 questions initially:
1) How many not quite legal bulls are killed and not reported? Probably
2) Is it a significant number? Requires some serious data mining
3) How many of unreported, illegally killed bulls are harvested vs abandoned? My guess is most are harvested
4) Is there a reasonable way to address it? Possibly
5) What loopholes could be created by any changes to the current rules
So my idea is an amendment to the S-F/50 rule:
Allow hunters who kill sub-legal bulls to report them without being fined BUT in exchange for being prohibited from hunting that unit for the next two license years.
Yes, you pay for your mistake by being restricted from that specific area or sub-unit for a while but you don't get a wildlife violation AND the meat is harvested without fear of penalty.
The gray area to be determined is where to redraw the line. Is it 49" or 48" or 40"? and on the other side is it a paddle bull with a just barely definable 3rd point or is it a 24" bull or 36" bull? So there is certainly a legal opportunity for someone to just plug the first bull they see and claim a Mulligan. And it could lead to a spike in "middlin" bull kills the first year. So, I realize you can't seal up one can o' worms without opening another but my thinking here is to ensure all game meat gets harvested and to allow for a way to compensate for honest mistakes.