I wouldn't worry about "sticking your neck out".
Heck, all opinions matter.
Personally, I think "deer", should be available to the youth. There should not be any "requirements" for our young hunters, especially those that are limited to areas do not produce many 2.5+ year old bucks.
I also think the 4pt rule in MS was just a starting phase, to managing our deer herd in MS.. I think we are at the xroads now, that something else needs to be implemented. I would like to see them manage the deer on a smaller scale, like district by district, instead of "statewide" programs.
As far as taking a long time to see results in the genetics, well I think a lot of areas already have the potential for producing quality bucks. I think the overharvesting of all "younger" age bucks is what was keeping the numbers of "wall-hangers" down. I agree, you are NOT going to change genetics overnite. I think the deer just need the forage and age to show their genetic potential.... It seemed every year before the 4pt rule, there would still be a few huge bucks showing up. I think the 4pt rule has helped bring that number up some.
Regarding the arguement of "inferior" spikes: Well, I just dont know. I think there are some spikes that "could" be wall-hangers if left to mature, and I think some spikes will always be inferior... It all depends on why he was a spike to start with: Was he a late born deer ? Sick ? Too many factors. I dont think "protecting" spikes is a good thing though... I like what we have done for the last few years, and protect "yearlings".
Thx for the comments omegaman66.. You seem to have an "above" average knowlegde of deer ( or your like me, and have done a lot of reading)