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Hurteau: Don’t Tell Me I Should Have Passed Him!

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October 29, 2010

Hurteau: Don’t Tell Me I Should Have Passed Him!

By Dave Hurteau

Of course none of you would be so tactless. But a friend and I were just discussing this topic Wednesday afternoon, and he was bemoaning the fact that in today’s antler-obsessed whitetail world, a hunter can be made to feel bad about shooting a small/young buck. I said, “I hear you."

But look. On the farm I’m going to hunt tomorrow morning, the first deer that walks into bow range—spike buck or doe—is going in the freezer. And anyone who doesn’t like it can….” Well, basically I said they can lump it. Point being, yes there are Big-Buck Nazis among us, but letting them get you down is, at least in part, a you problem.

On Thursday morning, at quarter to 8, this was the first deer that walked into bow range—and I’m absolutely ecstatic to have taken him. I have no problem whatsoever with QDM, in principal, where practical. I’ve let plenty of bucks walk. Last November, I passed a 140-class 8 pointer in Iowa. But east-central New York ain’t Iowa—especially the farm I hunt. I can’t tell you how much work and how many skunks have gone into this one little deer. I’m pumped about him, and anyone who doesn’t like it can…, well, you know.

Comments (76)

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I for one am proud of ya! I have never ate a set of antlers and I don't forsee myself or you for that matter eating a set of antlers. I just put 34 bags of small racked venison in my freezer this week along with 2 batches of jerky in my oven and I absolutly feel no shame for it whatsoever! Those inside tenderloin used to taste really good smothered in garlic and butter but this week they tasted pretty darn good on the charcoal grill. I have never let bucks walk by me, but I sincerly thank the fellas who do!

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bass2Buck wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

It aint all about the rack its all about the love of it and the meat. Thats the way God intended it to be.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from IowaGuy wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Congrat's on a successful hunt and a nice deer! This was your deer, your effort and your hunt, you have every reason to be proud of it!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big-Buk wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Your completely right! Who cares what other people think! IMO a deer is a deer. Great job and nice deer!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from pfettig77 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The smaller they are, the more accurate you have to be. Also, I think you may have shot the world record 4 pointer.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Hunting is hunting, and the animal you decide to harvest is your own. The people that get all up in arms over someone shooting a doe or a small buck, honestly should keep their mouths shut. My opinion anyway, but I don't hunt for the trophy, I'm out there for the experience itself. Doesn't matter if you come home with a limit, or a trophy, or if you are empty handed. Time outdoors is better than sitting at the desk any day. Except for the strictly fair weather hunter, they just aren't as committed. ;)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

That buck wouldn't have gone by my stand either. I like year-and-a-half old deer because they are the best eating. Nice rowing shirt, by the way. Maybe a new trend in hunting outerwear?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from LFS 10 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I live in eastern NY and there have been more than a few years where I would have been more than happy to harvest a buck like that. Walt Smith has it pegged, you don't eat the antlers, so enjoy the vension

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from iowahunter18 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

iowa is iowa, but i do like filling the freezer

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from flyer22 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Going to try something interesting here, don't get too mad at me:

I say that we, human beings, are the worst predators on the planet. We, as hunters, are horribly irresponsible. We have the ability to kill anything. Any species, sex and size. What makes us so irresponsible is that given the choice, 99.9% of us, .01% being that fine young man up there, take the BIGGEST, STRONGEST animal we can possibly take on the hunt. This is the opposite of nature. In nature the strongest survive. The strongest are the ones that breed to pass on their superior genetic material to the next generation.
We, as the anti-predator, have changed this. We kill the biggest bucks, keep the biggest bass, the biggest gators and bears, etc, etc....the list could go on.
How is this a good thing for the animals we are so keen on protecting for future generations?

Now, before you go on calling me all sorts of names, why don't we have a civilized discussion about this to see if the point made above is incorrect.

Nice 4 point, btw!!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

actually the animal looks fairly large for it's age, have to admit I'm not too familiar with white tails.

You know the heart, liver, and lungs all make good eating. Wonder how many pounds of usable meat if you save the bones for soup, and bake the ribs.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from dtownley wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Mine says hunting license also, git what the opportunity offers !

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Agreed. The guys who tell me (especially online) that i should've let that one go another year or two obviously aren't hunting the same places i am. As a public land hunter, i'm sick of eating tags. Today i sat and said, anything brown without spots is down. The 3 raccoons in range got a pass,... a spike might've(can't say for sure) but a good forkie wouldve been down. No doubt.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Aw ... he still has his baby curls. Just kidding ... I never kid anyone about what size/age animal they take (unless they ask for it, of course).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

great deer, even better blog post

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The county I hunt in Missouri has a 7 poiny antler restriction. This should be the year it really starts paying off with some bigger bucks. That being said, I have nothing against shooting a doe or a button buck (they count as antlerless in Missouri.)

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from mad_dog9999 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Congrats on the deer! Every deer is a good deer.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I too hunt NY and this season put an arrow threw a large doe the first deer to pass the stand filled the freezer.I feel the same as you and have taken many small antlered deer in N.Y.that filled the freezer and and then buckled down to hunt.The areas I hunt have a very large antlered deer population not to mention their whole population that is beyond carrying capasity.The bucks that I took over the years helped the heard and I too was very happy to have the venison.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsdog wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Congratulations on the nice forky. Good for you.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Ugh. Sorry. That's "in principle" not "in principal." Damned spell-check.
Anyway, thanks for the kind words, all.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TANKER wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

i agree, i hope the sign is there this am. off to the wods , i hunt central ny, s tier, moravia area.Not alot of sign last week.Iwould be proud to put that on meatpole at camp.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I took a buck with less than a half hour to go in the last day of shotgun season. I had been hunting with someone who was still weak from the flu and after dropping him off late in the day decided I had another 30 minutes or so and by god, I was going to use it. On the way out to the stand 2 does came crashing in behind me and everyone froze. As soon as I moved to shoot the does ran, and as I swung my gun here this bug buck appeared. I took a couple seconds to be sure of what I was seeing, shot it and it ran 100 feet and dropped. When I found him it was a small 6 ponter that only had half a rack! I got a good laugh at how much he had shrunk in such a short time. Gave the meat to a local guy who was out of work.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Danny Gholson wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Great buck, I always said you can't eat them horns. Again GREAT buck.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Swampdonkey8 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I say on your own land you can do whatever you want so enjoy your tenderloins!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I would have let him go at this point in my season, but at the beginning of October he would have gotten ride to the freezer. I got a spike on opening day of muzzleloader in Eastern NC and 2 big does last week so my freezer is set. For the first time in awhile I can afford to pass deer if I choose to do so and not live in fear of tag soup like last year when I didn't get a shot at anything until the last 2 days of the season.

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from Hank111 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I like it when my neighbors tag out on young bucks. We have a great buck/doe ratio and have plenty of young bucks. Got way more years invested in the mature bucks and that takes the pressure off of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TJ wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I'll make you a deal, I won't bash those who shoot immature deer, and they have the same respect for those of us after big bucks and don't refer to us as antler Nazis.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from turkey669 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Great buck. I agree with most, that is, a trophy buck has many different definitions. It's all about the hunt. Just this morning I saw a small buck probably a fork horn that never came into bow range. It is hard to say whether or not I would have shot him or not, but I can tell you that once he was out of sight I was just as nervous, jerky, and excited as I would have been if it was a 150 class buck. The point is this: Hunt for the experience and excitement not for the size of the rack.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

put it in the freezer and make a lamp out of the antlers!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I get sick and tired of all this "big" deer obsession. You see so many photos of big deer, that you start stop being impressed by them. That fine little deer will be good eatin. my tag say's deer hunting. Not record book trophy hunting.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER247365 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I'd shoot him if I could. I live in Missouri with the antler restriction (must have at least 4 points, an inch or longer, on one side)the days of shooting those guys are over for me. I personally like the restriction though. I'm seeing more and more bucks every year, each year bigger and bigger. But I'll never down a guy for taken a buck like that.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

TJ,
I'm as fascinated by big antlers as anyone. A mature buck is a magnificent sight to behold, and no one should have to apologize for holding out for a big buck. Like I said, I passed a 140-inch buck last year in Iowa. Liking big bucks does not make anyone a big-buck Nazi. What I'm refering to is the relative handful of guys who act like the size of the rack is only thing that matters in deer hunting.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

one good shot,one great post,congrats Dave.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dances with Deer wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Congrats Dave, I've also passed plenty of "good" bucks in hopes of a bigger one (sometimes it works, often times not) but have also shot smaller ones like yours whenever I feel like it. Every situation is different and I don't look down on anyone's deer. The worst is when parents have their kids pass up anything but a mounter. Arrgggh!

Flyer, you don't have to worry about targeting the giants. By the time those big bucks (or big whatever) are finally harvested, they've passed on their genes many times over already. Their genes are the same at 1.5 and 2.5 as they are when older, so it matters not. And science has proven even the young ones get some action in the wild, so it's not a big deal.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ADKHunter wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

if its ok sized and brown its down for me i just like the taste o venison

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from mountaindew732 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I would have shot a nice four point this year had it not been for Antler restrictions in Pa. Since then, I have been in the woods for close to thirty hours and haven't had a chance to shoot a deer since. I am all for the restrictions, but if their were none, I certainly would have shot the buck. Meat is meat, and i think thats the real trophy you get with a deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I like your post Hank! I'm sure you were griting your teeth hard when you typed it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Back strap is on the breakfast table!

I look at the Hunters face, if this isn't a "Kodak Moment", then you guys aren't the brightest bulbs in the Canon Bag!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Thanks Walt, but I am serious,I breathe a sigh of relief when my neighbors tag out and are done with a younger buck. I wish they all would shoot the first one they see.

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from iron giant wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

My Dad taught me that whatever you kill you eat(with the obvious exception being things like coyotes and prairie dogs that are hunted for management). While I would like to get at least one monster buck someday, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a small buck or doe. My first and thus far only deer was a button buck. I thought it was a doe when I shot it. It was the best tasting meat I have ever had too.

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from tony167n wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

anyone who waits for a big buck, good for em. because that means theres more deer out for the people who actually hunt just for the venison and not venison/antlers. My dad and grampa always say, "the only time ill ever shoot a big buck, is when its the first one i see" because the does and smaller bucks taste better

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Reply to Flyer22: If a deer or bear or whatever reaches record size, then his genetics are good, and it is likely that those genetics are now in the gene pool. So that gives the population the ability to reach the same size given the right set of circumstances. On the flip side you can argue that because only the big animals are being selected for harvest and that leaves the smaller animals int he population, then maybe our selective harvesting is having a negative effect by culling large trophy class animals from the population the genetics left behind are the smaller animals. Then females are more likely to breed with smaller less impressive males, and thus creating offspring that are less than appealing to the trophy hunter. But there is no real way to know this until we begin to see it in a population, but nature in the wild has shown that specific traits overtime coupled with pressures and certain conditions can shift the traits found in a population.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Hank-- Coming out of the mouth of a man who openly admits he makes money and his living through the exploytation of game animals, I don't doubt your words!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from upnorthmn wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Bravo!! well put, our sport is so focused on antlers it makes me sick, there's far more to hunting than a collection room full of bone. Congradulations on a fine deer!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I prefer to shoot mature bucks,... but i don't always see mature bucks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ilikehunting wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Anybody can hit a big buck. Takes a good shot to hit a little deer! That's always been my excuse. Best tenderloin I ever ate was on a button buck.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Walt, explain exploytation?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I'm 100% with you on this one Hurteau! good kill!

yrs-
Evan!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from finnyk wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I tell ya' . . . I got my first 8-pointer this past week, but it was not much, if any, bigger than this deer. I got good meat in the freezer, and am working on a European mount for the skull. Honestly, I felt a little intimidated taking it to the processor because I was proud to get my first 8, but just knew I would get some sarcastic comments from the other folks bringing stuff in at the processor. Then the dangedest thing happened. Nobody said a word - except that they said it was the biggest deer they saw that day. Go figure. I say quit worrying about the antlers and eat!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ENO wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

First of all congrats!!! Nice deer. Second any deer with a bow is a trophy. A lot has to come together to make a good shot on a deer with a bow. Preparation starts as soon as the season ends.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mrwildlife13 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I couldn't agree with you more! My whole life, ever since I was a small child and was taught to hunt by my father and my grandfather, my family has always harvested deer based upon a strict meat-only criteria. We try to live off the land and save money in our household and I can guarantee that 80% of the meat we use to cook with is deer meat from bucks and does alike. I mean, sure we hunt trophy whitetail but by god if a nice body sized buck walked within shooting range, I won't hesitate and he gets dropped regardless of the size of his rack. Granted, this is on our land, and if we don't drop him, someone else will...however, if I'm hunting on someone else's property where they grow their deer, I respect that and let some bucks walk. But when it comes down to it, if it's my property and I make the assessment that the buck is a reasonable shooter buck, then the buck stops there, despite his size. It has never been about the size of the rack and how high my buck scores or some other competition, sure I've shot bucks with nice racks but my goal when I go hunting isn't to only bag a trophy buck, I hunt for food and solely for the love of the hunt.

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from Hank111 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Walt, are you saying that anyone who outfits for other hunters on farms managed for deer are exploiting the game? If so, thats assinine. I cant think of a job I would rather do, working around deer 12 months a year, other than maybe the same thing in Montana or Wyoming.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Some of the posts were talking about your little deer. I guess I must need my glasses changed because I think the deer looks nice sized to me. Our deer here in the mountains of WV are about the same as yours and we too shoot what we want to shoot. I suspect that on the meat pole at our camp during rifle season there may be a deer or two that looks like yours and the hunters will be extremely proud of them. They have killed bigger deer and they have killed smaller deer and will probably do so in the future. At our camp we haven't gotten the "Outdoor Channel Fever" yet and I hope we don't. Maybe one day I will get lucky and kill a big deer but until then I will kill my average deer that we have. Nice deer and safe hunting in rifle season.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve in Virginia wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

This is making me regret (just a little) the seven-pointer that walked to within ten yards of my stand last Saturday. I feel good about letting him walk (or do I?).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from outrunner13 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

congrats on a nice looking deer .if it makes you happy that all that counts, not what people say.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Antler Stew recipe:(as follows)

1 bottle of your favorite bourbon
1 large bottle of novocaine

Mix bourbon and novocaine in highball glass drink first glass of concoction. By the time you finish your first glass you should be feeling pretty good and numb. Continue to make second glass equal to the first. Once second glass is made start to gnawl on antler until your hunger is satisfied.

Anyhow I agree with everyone else!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris_hunt wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Thats a decent buck. I bet it tastes a lot better than your tag does!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Nice deer! Some of you would cry if you saw the mule deer I passed on last week. Suffice it to say that he was not as big as the 5x5 I took in 2007 at the same spot. I was being selfish waiting for bigger brother to happen along. I shot a cow elk to fill that elk tag and enjoyed my hunt the rest of the week looking for that big buck and giant bull, which I did not get! Freezer full, enjoyable hunt.

If I had 2 deer tags, the first full bodied fork horn or 3x3 goes down for the freezer, then hunt the rest of the season for horns. Git 'er done!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HossBuckMaster wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I think the key to remember is balance. I happen to think balance is the key to living a content life. There's two ends to this spectrum. Is hunting for the sole purpose of harvesting trophies wrong? Definitely not, and just because someone holds out for a trophy class animal (keep in mind this changes based upon location) doesn't mean they don't enjoy watching a doe or small buck walk by their set up. On the other hand, is it a lack of responsibility to constantly harvest smaller bucks? Definitely not, all hunters should be able to go out and fill their appropriate tags. For me personally, if I want to fill my tag for the freezer (which I love to do), I will simply shoot a nice, young doe rather than shoot a small buck. This is what I call a balance....I enjoy the hunt with all of my being but I also get to fill the freezer, balance the deer herd and buck to doe ratio, and I get to let the young bucks grow up to be big boys one day. I certainly wouldn't blame or look down on a single person for shooting a smaller buck; however, I would say, don't expect to shoot or for that matter, see many large bucks if it's your practice shooting anything that comes along.

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from vork23 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

my biggest buck is not much bigger than that one posted i am a meat hunter. were i am hunting in minnesota i dont have the option to shoot a doe this year so if a spike buck or a record walks infront of me i will do my best to bring it down not caring how big the horns are. any deer is a trophy to me!!!

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from JettPack wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Great buck! It took me years just to get a shot at a buck (I missed). And having been skunked the last two years, I wouldn't hesitate in taking that deer. I think the last deer I killed which was my biggest so far, an 8-pointer in 2007, put a curse on me. He kinda flipped me the proverbial finger as he fell down an embankment to the creek. I am looking to get some venison and snap the skid this year!

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from olinger302 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

i agree with the first comment. i have this argument with my cousin every year because he is the type of hunter that won't shoot anything unless its big enough for the wall. he get's upset with me when i shoot a small buck or doe on the property we hunt but he also complains at the end of the season when he has an unfilled tag and i have 4 deer in the freezer. imo i never know which deer will be last so i am going to take advantage of every chance i get.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Thats bigger than my first bow deer/buck which was a 1x2
about 10 in in length.... then yesterday morning the 31st is shot my second bow deer/buck a 125 8 point
GOOD FOR YOU!
Love that deer hunting

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Silverback wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Clay has hit the nail on the head. The man's smile tells the story. To be honest, that smile is all that really matters. From a doe to a 200" plus buck, if you smile like that, you shot the right deer. Some of us are just HUNTERS and not deer managers. Some of you call yourself hunters, but your not.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The only folks I pick at for shooting a young buck are the ones that blow hard about big antlers then shoot the first forkie they see.

I live in an area blessed with an abundant deer population and a high harvest limit for does therefore I don't shoot the young guys to fill the freezer. If we had a two deer limit it would be another story. Hunt as you like and enjoy!

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from country road wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The real trophy from that hunt is the big smile on the hunter's face. If it makes you happy, then shoot it, by doggies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HoytHunt87 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I shot my first buck with the bow last season. I named him Devil Horns because he was a spiker with 8in. tines, and it was one of the greatest feelings in the world to down him. My family has been hunting for three generations now and my father and grandfather have shot some monster bucks; they have both also shot plenty more smaller bucks. Not to sound lame, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Devil Horns is a beauty to see every morning hanging on my wall knowing that me and my Hoyt took him down in 1 smooth shot. If I would have passed on him in hopes of something bigger, I might not have gotten a buck at all last season. Also, for every 1 small buck that you shoot, there are plenty other smaller bucks on your property that will survive this season and grow into the next. Happy hunting!

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from Lucas Paul wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

its meat in the freezer and if your pumped then im happy for ya congrats

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from ThomasB wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Right... It isn't about the rack. I served in the military for the past 8 years and every hunting season I only had 2 weeks to hunt, so waiting for the big one doesn't happen. Anything, and I mean anything is game for me. I've shot two yearlings in two years. This year I can take my time because I separated and moved back home, but I still take whatever the good Lord gives me.
Yesterday I was sitting in the stand (second day out) and about 0900 am I rattled a little and instantly a small 7 point came walking into the woods. My heart was pounding cause it has been a few years since I've got a buck (about 9 years). I didn't care what size he was, all I knew was he was meat in the freezer. I waited for him to come into the clearing. Unfortunately I have a shoulder problem and my shoulder slipped out of place as I pulled back on my bow. I grunted in pain and he ran about 10 yards. I put my shoulder back into place and prayed he would come back. About 5 minutes later he came circling back in. I drew back as he looked away. He moved broad side to me. As my shoulder started slipping again I released hitting him in the vitals. He ran about 100 yards and died. Great day out and no matter the size it is always great to hunt that area. Hopefully my dad (who was out there with me) gets the big one but still a dear is a dear.

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from Matt Esterle wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Fellas, I hear what your saying. Nice deer and all, I've harvested plenty of similar ones. But nowadays I'll let him pass. Here in Ohio we are working hard on being selective and taking more does. There is a 1 buck limit on residents and non-residents alike. Thus, it forces you to make certain the buck you take is the only one you get. If a deer that size appeals to you, by all means snap him up. But, as you can see by the large number of pictures on this site, you have to let those guys walk in order to get older, mature bucks. If your hunting for freezer meat, most research shows that harvesting a doe is far better for the herd. In fact, the farm I've hunted for the past 5 yrs has started to show the benefits of letting smaller bucks pass as I harvested a 150 class 10 ptr in 2009 and have seen 3 bucks this year at least that big. With that said, nice buck, any buck you take with archery equipment is a trophy.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

im going to go against the grain here and say that i dont shoot does. everyone that has taught me how to hunt grew up in an area where when you go into the woods you shoot a buck. ive taken my share of small bucks and i would now consider myself to be a trophy hunter even though im only 18. i let the small bucks and does walk, im out there to shoot a big buck, but by all means, if your a meat hunter or you just want to shoot a small buck, go for it.

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from papabear412 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Nice buck , its always nice to harvest an animal of such with a bow. Especially in New York its hard to harvest something of record magnitude in this state with a bow . I also don't pass up on anything with the bow its all about the freezer lol , u could be a little more picky with the rifle . Good kill and many more
Jim

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from Rusty Davis wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

In my opinion it is all relative. This is what I keep telling my 10 year old who deer hunted with me this weekend for his first time. So far he has passed on a spike, a decent buck with a broken rack & 2 does that stayed within 50 feet of us for 10 minutes 2 different times. He decided to pass on these deer even though I had given him the green light to take them. He is waiting on a 10 we have game camera photos of & who came through 2 times this weekend but stayed out of range. We live on 30 acres with several other small farms around us but it is in the suburbs of Louisville. We have a good size herd but no monsters due to our location. So what you can take is relative to where you hunt. Early in the season with a large herd you let the small ones pass by waiting for the big one. Late in the season or with a small herd you take what the good lord provides. Congratulations on your buck.

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from jtbeck wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I'll be spending tonight watching Monday Night Football and finally trimming up the venison that I harvested Saturday morning. I took a big-bodied 3 pointer that decided to stick his head up at the wrong time, as well as a medium-sized doe that walked in front of my stand right after the sun started coming up. I'm not ashamed of either one of them, and I bet that my family won't know the difference at the dinner table.

You take what you can when you can. The herd on our property isn't stellar and I feel darned lucky to have taken the two that I got.

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from milsky24 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Good kill. Its your land you kill what you want. Any day hunting is better than a day of work.

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from fishy man wrote 3 years 19 weeks ago

Way to go man, i shot my first buck with a bow while i was tracking a doe i had shot earlier, it was a little 7 pointer, but my dad was right behind me and watched me sink a arrow into his heart, so that was special for me.
i was nervous and shaking all over but i still managed to hit him, and it brightened my day too.
Never did find that doe though.......

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I for one am proud of ya! I have never ate a set of antlers and I don't forsee myself or you for that matter eating a set of antlers. I just put 34 bags of small racked venison in my freezer this week along with 2 batches of jerky in my oven and I absolutly feel no shame for it whatsoever! Those inside tenderloin used to taste really good smothered in garlic and butter but this week they tasted pretty darn good on the charcoal grill. I have never let bucks walk by me, but I sincerly thank the fellas who do!

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from Bass2Buck wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

It aint all about the rack its all about the love of it and the meat. Thats the way God intended it to be.

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from IowaGuy wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Congrat's on a successful hunt and a nice deer! This was your deer, your effort and your hunt, you have every reason to be proud of it!

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from Big-Buk wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Your completely right! Who cares what other people think! IMO a deer is a deer. Great job and nice deer!

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from flyer22 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Going to try something interesting here, don't get too mad at me:

I say that we, human beings, are the worst predators on the planet. We, as hunters, are horribly irresponsible. We have the ability to kill anything. Any species, sex and size. What makes us so irresponsible is that given the choice, 99.9% of us, .01% being that fine young man up there, take the BIGGEST, STRONGEST animal we can possibly take on the hunt. This is the opposite of nature. In nature the strongest survive. The strongest are the ones that breed to pass on their superior genetic material to the next generation.
We, as the anti-predator, have changed this. We kill the biggest bucks, keep the biggest bass, the biggest gators and bears, etc, etc....the list could go on.
How is this a good thing for the animals we are so keen on protecting for future generations?

Now, before you go on calling me all sorts of names, why don't we have a civilized discussion about this to see if the point made above is incorrect.

Nice 4 point, btw!!

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from pfettig77 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The smaller they are, the more accurate you have to be. Also, I think you may have shot the world record 4 pointer.

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from bberg7794 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

That buck wouldn't have gone by my stand either. I like year-and-a-half old deer because they are the best eating. Nice rowing shirt, by the way. Maybe a new trend in hunting outerwear?

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from mad_dog9999 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Congrats on the deer! Every deer is a good deer.

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from kelmitch wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I too hunt NY and this season put an arrow threw a large doe the first deer to pass the stand filled the freezer.I feel the same as you and have taken many small antlered deer in N.Y.that filled the freezer and and then buckled down to hunt.The areas I hunt have a very large antlered deer population not to mention their whole population that is beyond carrying capasity.The bucks that I took over the years helped the heard and I too was very happy to have the venison.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Back strap is on the breakfast table!

I look at the Hunters face, if this isn't a "Kodak Moment", then you guys aren't the brightest bulbs in the Canon Bag!

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from derik wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Hunting is hunting, and the animal you decide to harvest is your own. The people that get all up in arms over someone shooting a doe or a small buck, honestly should keep their mouths shut. My opinion anyway, but I don't hunt for the trophy, I'm out there for the experience itself. Doesn't matter if you come home with a limit, or a trophy, or if you are empty handed. Time outdoors is better than sitting at the desk any day. Except for the strictly fair weather hunter, they just aren't as committed. ;)

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from LFS 10 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I live in eastern NY and there have been more than a few years where I would have been more than happy to harvest a buck like that. Walt Smith has it pegged, you don't eat the antlers, so enjoy the vension

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from rock rat wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

actually the animal looks fairly large for it's age, have to admit I'm not too familiar with white tails.

You know the heart, liver, and lungs all make good eating. Wonder how many pounds of usable meat if you save the bones for soup, and bake the ribs.

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from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I get sick and tired of all this "big" deer obsession. You see so many photos of big deer, that you start stop being impressed by them. That fine little deer will be good eatin. my tag say's deer hunting. Not record book trophy hunting.

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from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

TJ,
I'm as fascinated by big antlers as anyone. A mature buck is a magnificent sight to behold, and no one should have to apologize for holding out for a big buck. Like I said, I passed a 140-inch buck last year in Iowa. Liking big bucks does not make anyone a big-buck Nazi. What I'm refering to is the relative handful of guys who act like the size of the rack is only thing that matters in deer hunting.

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from Dances with Deer wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Congrats Dave, I've also passed plenty of "good" bucks in hopes of a bigger one (sometimes it works, often times not) but have also shot smaller ones like yours whenever I feel like it. Every situation is different and I don't look down on anyone's deer. The worst is when parents have their kids pass up anything but a mounter. Arrgggh!

Flyer, you don't have to worry about targeting the giants. By the time those big bucks (or big whatever) are finally harvested, they've passed on their genes many times over already. Their genes are the same at 1.5 and 2.5 as they are when older, so it matters not. And science has proven even the young ones get some action in the wild, so it's not a big deal.

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from ADKHunter wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

if its ok sized and brown its down for me i just like the taste o venison

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from upnorthmn wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Bravo!! well put, our sport is so focused on antlers it makes me sick, there's far more to hunting than a collection room full of bone. Congradulations on a fine deer!

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from iowahunter18 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

iowa is iowa, but i do like filling the freezer

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from dtownley wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Mine says hunting license also, git what the opportunity offers !

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from steve182 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Agreed. The guys who tell me (especially online) that i should've let that one go another year or two obviously aren't hunting the same places i am. As a public land hunter, i'm sick of eating tags. Today i sat and said, anything brown without spots is down. The 3 raccoons in range got a pass,... a spike might've(can't say for sure) but a good forkie wouldve been down. No doubt.

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from MLH wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Aw ... he still has his baby curls. Just kidding ... I never kid anyone about what size/age animal they take (unless they ask for it, of course).

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from Bryan01 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

great deer, even better blog post

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from woodsdog wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Congratulations on the nice forky. Good for you.

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from TANKER wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

i agree, i hope the sign is there this am. off to the wods , i hunt central ny, s tier, moravia area.Not alot of sign last week.Iwould be proud to put that on meatpole at camp.

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from ricefarm wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I took a buck with less than a half hour to go in the last day of shotgun season. I had been hunting with someone who was still weak from the flu and after dropping him off late in the day decided I had another 30 minutes or so and by god, I was going to use it. On the way out to the stand 2 does came crashing in behind me and everyone froze. As soon as I moved to shoot the does ran, and as I swung my gun here this bug buck appeared. I took a couple seconds to be sure of what I was seeing, shot it and it ran 100 feet and dropped. When I found him it was a small 6 ponter that only had half a rack! I got a good laugh at how much he had shrunk in such a short time. Gave the meat to a local guy who was out of work.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

put it in the freezer and make a lamp out of the antlers!

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from WATCHINDEER247365 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I'd shoot him if I could. I live in Missouri with the antler restriction (must have at least 4 points, an inch or longer, on one side)the days of shooting those guys are over for me. I personally like the restriction though. I'm seeing more and more bucks every year, each year bigger and bigger. But I'll never down a guy for taken a buck like that.

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from mountaindew732 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I would have shot a nice four point this year had it not been for Antler restrictions in Pa. Since then, I have been in the woods for close to thirty hours and haven't had a chance to shoot a deer since. I am all for the restrictions, but if their were none, I certainly would have shot the buck. Meat is meat, and i think thats the real trophy you get with a deer.

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from iron giant wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

My Dad taught me that whatever you kill you eat(with the obvious exception being things like coyotes and prairie dogs that are hunted for management). While I would like to get at least one monster buck someday, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a small buck or doe. My first and thus far only deer was a button buck. I thought it was a doe when I shot it. It was the best tasting meat I have ever had too.

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from ilikehunting wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Anybody can hit a big buck. Takes a good shot to hit a little deer! That's always been my excuse. Best tenderloin I ever ate was on a button buck.

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from finnyk wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I tell ya' . . . I got my first 8-pointer this past week, but it was not much, if any, bigger than this deer. I got good meat in the freezer, and am working on a European mount for the skull. Honestly, I felt a little intimidated taking it to the processor because I was proud to get my first 8, but just knew I would get some sarcastic comments from the other folks bringing stuff in at the processor. Then the dangedest thing happened. Nobody said a word - except that they said it was the biggest deer they saw that day. Go figure. I say quit worrying about the antlers and eat!

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from ENO wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

First of all congrats!!! Nice deer. Second any deer with a bow is a trophy. A lot has to come together to make a good shot on a deer with a bow. Preparation starts as soon as the season ends.

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Some of the posts were talking about your little deer. I guess I must need my glasses changed because I think the deer looks nice sized to me. Our deer here in the mountains of WV are about the same as yours and we too shoot what we want to shoot. I suspect that on the meat pole at our camp during rifle season there may be a deer or two that looks like yours and the hunters will be extremely proud of them. They have killed bigger deer and they have killed smaller deer and will probably do so in the future. At our camp we haven't gotten the "Outdoor Channel Fever" yet and I hope we don't. Maybe one day I will get lucky and kill a big deer but until then I will kill my average deer that we have. Nice deer and safe hunting in rifle season.

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from chris_hunt wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Thats a decent buck. I bet it tastes a lot better than your tag does!

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from Lucas Paul wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

its meat in the freezer and if your pumped then im happy for ya congrats

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from ThomasB wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Right... It isn't about the rack. I served in the military for the past 8 years and every hunting season I only had 2 weeks to hunt, so waiting for the big one doesn't happen. Anything, and I mean anything is game for me. I've shot two yearlings in two years. This year I can take my time because I separated and moved back home, but I still take whatever the good Lord gives me.
Yesterday I was sitting in the stand (second day out) and about 0900 am I rattled a little and instantly a small 7 point came walking into the woods. My heart was pounding cause it has been a few years since I've got a buck (about 9 years). I didn't care what size he was, all I knew was he was meat in the freezer. I waited for him to come into the clearing. Unfortunately I have a shoulder problem and my shoulder slipped out of place as I pulled back on my bow. I grunted in pain and he ran about 10 yards. I put my shoulder back into place and prayed he would come back. About 5 minutes later he came circling back in. I drew back as he looked away. He moved broad side to me. As my shoulder started slipping again I released hitting him in the vitals. He ran about 100 yards and died. Great day out and no matter the size it is always great to hunt that area. Hopefully my dad (who was out there with me) gets the big one but still a dear is a dear.

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from Dave Hurteau wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Ugh. Sorry. That's "in principle" not "in principal." Damned spell-check.
Anyway, thanks for the kind words, all.

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from Danny Gholson wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Great buck, I always said you can't eat them horns. Again GREAT buck.

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from Swampdonkey8 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I say on your own land you can do whatever you want so enjoy your tenderloins!!

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from turkey669 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Great buck. I agree with most, that is, a trophy buck has many different definitions. It's all about the hunt. Just this morning I saw a small buck probably a fork horn that never came into bow range. It is hard to say whether or not I would have shot him or not, but I can tell you that once he was out of sight I was just as nervous, jerky, and excited as I would have been if it was a 150 class buck. The point is this: Hunt for the experience and excitement not for the size of the rack.

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from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

one good shot,one great post,congrats Dave.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I like your post Hank! I'm sure you were griting your teeth hard when you typed it!

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from tony167n wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

anyone who waits for a big buck, good for em. because that means theres more deer out for the people who actually hunt just for the venison and not venison/antlers. My dad and grampa always say, "the only time ill ever shoot a big buck, is when its the first one i see" because the does and smaller bucks taste better

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from Steve in Virginia wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

This is making me regret (just a little) the seven-pointer that walked to within ten yards of my stand last Saturday. I feel good about letting him walk (or do I?).

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from outrunner13 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

congrats on a nice looking deer .if it makes you happy that all that counts, not what people say.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Nice deer! Some of you would cry if you saw the mule deer I passed on last week. Suffice it to say that he was not as big as the 5x5 I took in 2007 at the same spot. I was being selfish waiting for bigger brother to happen along. I shot a cow elk to fill that elk tag and enjoyed my hunt the rest of the week looking for that big buck and giant bull, which I did not get! Freezer full, enjoyable hunt.

If I had 2 deer tags, the first full bodied fork horn or 3x3 goes down for the freezer, then hunt the rest of the season for horns. Git 'er done!

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from JettPack wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Great buck! It took me years just to get a shot at a buck (I missed). And having been skunked the last two years, I wouldn't hesitate in taking that deer. I think the last deer I killed which was my biggest so far, an 8-pointer in 2007, put a curse on me. He kinda flipped me the proverbial finger as he fell down an embankment to the creek. I am looking to get some venison and snap the skid this year!

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from olinger302 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

i agree with the first comment. i have this argument with my cousin every year because he is the type of hunter that won't shoot anything unless its big enough for the wall. he get's upset with me when i shoot a small buck or doe on the property we hunt but he also complains at the end of the season when he has an unfilled tag and i have 4 deer in the freezer. imo i never know which deer will be last so i am going to take advantage of every chance i get.

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from Silverback wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Clay has hit the nail on the head. The man's smile tells the story. To be honest, that smile is all that really matters. From a doe to a 200" plus buck, if you smile like that, you shot the right deer. Some of us are just HUNTERS and not deer managers. Some of you call yourself hunters, but your not.

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from country road wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The real trophy from that hunt is the big smile on the hunter's face. If it makes you happy, then shoot it, by doggies.

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from Matt Esterle wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Fellas, I hear what your saying. Nice deer and all, I've harvested plenty of similar ones. But nowadays I'll let him pass. Here in Ohio we are working hard on being selective and taking more does. There is a 1 buck limit on residents and non-residents alike. Thus, it forces you to make certain the buck you take is the only one you get. If a deer that size appeals to you, by all means snap him up. But, as you can see by the large number of pictures on this site, you have to let those guys walk in order to get older, mature bucks. If your hunting for freezer meat, most research shows that harvesting a doe is far better for the herd. In fact, the farm I've hunted for the past 5 yrs has started to show the benefits of letting smaller bucks pass as I harvested a 150 class 10 ptr in 2009 and have seen 3 bucks this year at least that big. With that said, nice buck, any buck you take with archery equipment is a trophy.

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from Jerry A. wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The county I hunt in Missouri has a 7 poiny antler restriction. This should be the year it really starts paying off with some bigger bucks. That being said, I have nothing against shooting a doe or a button buck (they count as antlerless in Missouri.)

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from vtbluegrass wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I would have let him go at this point in my season, but at the beginning of October he would have gotten ride to the freezer. I got a spike on opening day of muzzleloader in Eastern NC and 2 big does last week so my freezer is set. For the first time in awhile I can afford to pass deer if I choose to do so and not live in fear of tag soup like last year when I didn't get a shot at anything until the last 2 days of the season.

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from Hank111 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I like it when my neighbors tag out on young bucks. We have a great buck/doe ratio and have plenty of young bucks. Got way more years invested in the mature bucks and that takes the pressure off of them.

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from TJ wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I'll make you a deal, I won't bash those who shoot immature deer, and they have the same respect for those of us after big bucks and don't refer to us as antler Nazis.

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from Hank111 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Thanks Walt, but I am serious,I breathe a sigh of relief when my neighbors tag out and are done with a younger buck. I wish they all would shoot the first one they see.

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from derik wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Reply to Flyer22: If a deer or bear or whatever reaches record size, then his genetics are good, and it is likely that those genetics are now in the gene pool. So that gives the population the ability to reach the same size given the right set of circumstances. On the flip side you can argue that because only the big animals are being selected for harvest and that leaves the smaller animals int he population, then maybe our selective harvesting is having a negative effect by culling large trophy class animals from the population the genetics left behind are the smaller animals. Then females are more likely to breed with smaller less impressive males, and thus creating offspring that are less than appealing to the trophy hunter. But there is no real way to know this until we begin to see it in a population, but nature in the wild has shown that specific traits overtime coupled with pressures and certain conditions can shift the traits found in a population.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Hank-- Coming out of the mouth of a man who openly admits he makes money and his living through the exploytation of game animals, I don't doubt your words!

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from steve182 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I prefer to shoot mature bucks,... but i don't always see mature bucks.

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from Hank111 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Walt, explain exploytation?

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from ejunk wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I'm 100% with you on this one Hurteau! good kill!

yrs-
Evan!

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from mrwildlife13 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I couldn't agree with you more! My whole life, ever since I was a small child and was taught to hunt by my father and my grandfather, my family has always harvested deer based upon a strict meat-only criteria. We try to live off the land and save money in our household and I can guarantee that 80% of the meat we use to cook with is deer meat from bucks and does alike. I mean, sure we hunt trophy whitetail but by god if a nice body sized buck walked within shooting range, I won't hesitate and he gets dropped regardless of the size of his rack. Granted, this is on our land, and if we don't drop him, someone else will...however, if I'm hunting on someone else's property where they grow their deer, I respect that and let some bucks walk. But when it comes down to it, if it's my property and I make the assessment that the buck is a reasonable shooter buck, then the buck stops there, despite his size. It has never been about the size of the rack and how high my buck scores or some other competition, sure I've shot bucks with nice racks but my goal when I go hunting isn't to only bag a trophy buck, I hunt for food and solely for the love of the hunt.

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from Hank111 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Walt, are you saying that anyone who outfits for other hunters on farms managed for deer are exploiting the game? If so, thats assinine. I cant think of a job I would rather do, working around deer 12 months a year, other than maybe the same thing in Montana or Wyoming.

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from Dcast wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Antler Stew recipe:(as follows)

1 bottle of your favorite bourbon
1 large bottle of novocaine

Mix bourbon and novocaine in highball glass drink first glass of concoction. By the time you finish your first glass you should be feeling pretty good and numb. Continue to make second glass equal to the first. Once second glass is made start to gnawl on antler until your hunger is satisfied.

Anyhow I agree with everyone else!

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from HossBuckMaster wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I think the key to remember is balance. I happen to think balance is the key to living a content life. There's two ends to this spectrum. Is hunting for the sole purpose of harvesting trophies wrong? Definitely not, and just because someone holds out for a trophy class animal (keep in mind this changes based upon location) doesn't mean they don't enjoy watching a doe or small buck walk by their set up. On the other hand, is it a lack of responsibility to constantly harvest smaller bucks? Definitely not, all hunters should be able to go out and fill their appropriate tags. For me personally, if I want to fill my tag for the freezer (which I love to do), I will simply shoot a nice, young doe rather than shoot a small buck. This is what I call a balance....I enjoy the hunt with all of my being but I also get to fill the freezer, balance the deer herd and buck to doe ratio, and I get to let the young bucks grow up to be big boys one day. I certainly wouldn't blame or look down on a single person for shooting a smaller buck; however, I would say, don't expect to shoot or for that matter, see many large bucks if it's your practice shooting anything that comes along.

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from vork23 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

my biggest buck is not much bigger than that one posted i am a meat hunter. were i am hunting in minnesota i dont have the option to shoot a doe this year so if a spike buck or a record walks infront of me i will do my best to bring it down not caring how big the horns are. any deer is a trophy to me!!!

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from Nebraskahunter18 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

Thats bigger than my first bow deer/buck which was a 1x2
about 10 in in length.... then yesterday morning the 31st is shot my second bow deer/buck a 125 8 point
GOOD FOR YOU!
Love that deer hunting

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

The only folks I pick at for shooting a young buck are the ones that blow hard about big antlers then shoot the first forkie they see.

I live in an area blessed with an abundant deer population and a high harvest limit for does therefore I don't shoot the young guys to fill the freezer. If we had a two deer limit it would be another story. Hunt as you like and enjoy!

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from HoytHunt87 wrote 3 years 24 weeks ago

I shot my first buck with the bow last season. I named him Devil Horns because he was a spiker with 8in. tines, and it was one of the greatest feelings in the world to down him. My family has been hunting for three generations now and my father and grandfather have shot some monster bucks; they have both also shot plenty more smaller bucks. Not to sound lame, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Devil Horns is a beauty to see every morning hanging on my wall knowing that me and my Hoyt took him down in 1 smooth shot. If I would have passed on him in hopes of something bigger, I might not have gotten a buck at all last season. Also, for every 1 small buck that you shoot, there are plenty other smaller bucks on your property that will survive this season and grow into the next. Happy hunting!

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

im going to go against the grain here and say that i dont shoot does. everyone that has taught me how to hunt grew up in an area where when you go into the woods you shoot a buck. ive taken my share of small bucks and i would now consider myself to be a trophy hunter even though im only 18. i let the small bucks and does walk, im out there to shoot a big buck, but by all means, if your a meat hunter or you just want to shoot a small buck, go for it.

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from papabear412 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Nice buck , its always nice to harvest an animal of such with a bow. Especially in New York its hard to harvest something of record magnitude in this state with a bow . I also don't pass up on anything with the bow its all about the freezer lol , u could be a little more picky with the rifle . Good kill and many more
Jim

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from Rusty Davis wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

In my opinion it is all relative. This is what I keep telling my 10 year old who deer hunted with me this weekend for his first time. So far he has passed on a spike, a decent buck with a broken rack & 2 does that stayed within 50 feet of us for 10 minutes 2 different times. He decided to pass on these deer even though I had given him the green light to take them. He is waiting on a 10 we have game camera photos of & who came through 2 times this weekend but stayed out of range. We live on 30 acres with several other small farms around us but it is in the suburbs of Louisville. We have a good size herd but no monsters due to our location. So what you can take is relative to where you hunt. Early in the season with a large herd you let the small ones pass by waiting for the big one. Late in the season or with a small herd you take what the good lord provides. Congratulations on your buck.

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from jtbeck wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

I'll be spending tonight watching Monday Night Football and finally trimming up the venison that I harvested Saturday morning. I took a big-bodied 3 pointer that decided to stick his head up at the wrong time, as well as a medium-sized doe that walked in front of my stand right after the sun started coming up. I'm not ashamed of either one of them, and I bet that my family won't know the difference at the dinner table.

You take what you can when you can. The herd on our property isn't stellar and I feel darned lucky to have taken the two that I got.

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from milsky24 wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

Good kill. Its your land you kill what you want. Any day hunting is better than a day of work.

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from fishy man wrote 3 years 19 weeks ago

Way to go man, i shot my first buck with a bow while i was tracking a doe i had shot earlier, it was a little 7 pointer, but my dad was right behind me and watched me sink a arrow into his heart, so that was special for me.
i was nervous and shaking all over but i still managed to hit him, and it brightened my day too.
Never did find that doe though.......

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