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Shoot Me Down: Big Bucks Don't Create Bad Behavior

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October 23, 2013

Shoot Me Down: Big Bucks Don't Create Bad Behavior

By Scott Bestul

The buck in the photo above is dead, shot by a young hunter who was, of course, ecstatic. Shortly after the kill, however, things went sour. A neighboring landowner felt robbed because "his" deer—which spent much of its life on that property—was now going on someone else's wall. People started questioned the kill: Was it legit? Did a parent shoot it instead of the kid? Where exactly was the buck standing when it tipped over? 

Deer season is less than a month old in my region, and already things are turning ugly. Which is nothing new of course; virtually anyone who has shot a giant whitetail will tell you that the carcass is barely cold before the rumor mill starts churning. The green monster of envy is alive and well in every other human endeavor, why not deer hunting?

But there's a new thread running through the whitetail world lately; that is, blaming big bucks for all the rotten behavior—as in "if we didn't have all these monster deer running around, you wouldn't have all this trouble."

That's B.S. A nice set of antlers might be a convenient place to hang blame, but trust me, morons will emerge regardless of the mature buck population. I know because I grew up hunting areas where you couldn't buy a 2-1/2-year-old buck with a bag of gold. And guess what? There were idiots aplenty there, too. I had stands stolen, dealt with trespassing, and twice—when I was in my 20's—nearly had to break up fistfights about to erupt over a) a property line dispute and b) the possession of a forkhorn buck shot by hunters from different parties.

Let's be honest, folks: Some people are just rude, boorish, dolts. Assigning blame for their bad behavior on the deer just disguises a simpler, more uncomfortable, truth: that a jerk is a jerk, whether he's hunting the best property in southern Iowa or the crappiest deer ground on the planet.

Yes, there are more mature deer running around now. But idiots have been acting like idiots long before the boom in big whitetails. I've lived through "the good old days" when "a deer was just a deer" and before someone coined the phrase "you can't eat the horns." And know what? The bucks have gotten better, but the hunters are pretty much the same.

Stand with me, or shoot me down.

Comments (32)

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from TM wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Scott,

You're right. You observed the homo sapiens equivalent of antler bashing. Has nothing to do with the size of the prey's horns. May have to do with the size of the hunter's anatomy.

Some people are just jerks. They're the same ones who yell that their coffee is cold, their beer is warm, that x is too expensive, that they have a right to y, etc.

A jerk-detector test: have you raised your voice more than one time toward another human in the last 7 days? If so, and you are not a football coach or drill sergeant, there is an excellent possibility that you are a jerk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Can't shoot you down because I agree 100%.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Think I’m going have to stand with you on this one. Most people are nice enough, but some are just jerks. I know some guys who, if they heard you shot a trophy on their land, would probably be the first to offer to help you drag it out. I know other who would slit your throat over a forkie. I will say that bigger bucks do tend to draw the a-holes out of the woodwork, but they exist regardless.
One thing that bugs me is the “it’s my deer” thing. As my mom said while I was typing this sentence, “If you wanted it to be your deer, then you should have shot it.” Isn’t one of the tenants of the North American conservation model that it belongs to everybody? Apparently that’s hard for some to accept.
In any case, that’s a damn fine deer. Good job nameless kid!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Hi...

Excellent post, Scott.

Sometimes it seems like we're surrounded by idiots. I think that all of above posts were also 'right on'...!!

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from 24scottk wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Amen Scott. Things have really changed in the whitetail world the last ten years. I've been chasing deer for nearly 30 years and growing up, when a friend, family member or neighbor shot a buck, whether it was 80" or 180", it was high fives and hugs. So much of that is gone. Truly a shame...

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from TeamAsgrow wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

You can't fix stupid.

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from fozziee2 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I couldn't agree more. If it's the antlers that are making people jerks, then explain to me the guy that sets up 50 from me out on the duck pond.... A mallard is a real nice thing to have, but not generally considered a trophy animal. furthermore, i would argue that the "my deer" attitude is what makes it harder for EVERYONE. That attitude leads to more closed land and less access, which then leads to more fighting for space. Everyone needs to share the resources and realize that property lines don't make any game animal "yours"

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from MattM37 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

The saddest thing is, it's only going to get worse if things continue as they are. Many of the younger people coming up (not all, of course) have been infected with two diseases, both of which will apply to this issue: 1)a sense of entitlement, and 2)not a lot of unstructured activity during childhood, which means not knowing how to conduct yourself (or not caring to) when personal ethics and common decency are your only governing forces later in life.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

If you have neighbors with little or no sense of ethics or sportsmanship, you should expect poor behavior. What you can control is how you deal with the situation, and model your sportsmanship and sense of ethics. If that doesn't work, you send someone "to make them an offer they can't refuse".

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from ALJoe wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Can't disagree with you. I agree 100% It does seem like the number of idiots in the woods is increasing. I can't stand to be around someone who has no respect for the land or the game.

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from moswald wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Agree 100% and anyone who can shoot you down is probably one of those jerks.

My opinion is that the marketization of big buck hunting has grown so large that the culture now has people feeling that anything less than 180 inches is failure. Think about it, really old or poor genetic deer are cull bucks and does are for practice and freezer fillers. People need to show something tangible for their efforts, big racks hang on walls, does don't, the flock of turkeys, or the beautiful sunrise, or the majesty of nature don't and you can't show them off. I like all of you would rather spend a day afield with the sights and sounds and enjoy life.

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from jjas wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Big bucks don't create bad behavior. But....the insatiable need some have to kill big bucks does.

We have created a society of deer hunters that will spend thousands of dollars on leases,food plots, out of state hunts, $1,000 bows, and game cameras running 24/7/365 all in the quest to kill that "big buck". For many it's just part of the chase...but for some it creates an atmosphere of ownership in their minds.

In other words...many of these hunters consider the big bucks they may have passed (and certainly have fed and put minerals out for) theirs. And if someone who these same "hunters" feel doesn't "deserve" to kill "their" buck that's when the foolishness starts.

It's ridiculous......

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from njschneider wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Best way to prevent a lot of this is not to send out mass picture txts after you shoot a wall hanger, if they want to see the buck stop by and I will show it to you. Don't hunt in large party groups because is it the first shot or the last shot that killed the deer. People become possive when they get a trail camera picture of a big buck, people need to have realistic expectations with trail cameras.

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from Bryan01 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Yes, there are some people who will be jerks no matter what and there are others who will be reasonable, rational adults in all circumstances. But there are also some people who can be reasonable and rational adults when the stakes are small and they are not emotionally invested in the outcome but simply can't control their emotions when it comes to something they care deeply about - like a monster buck that they been dreaming of killing for the previous several months. So while, I think the general thrust of your post is on target, it is not entirely accurate.

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from ALJoe wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I have a follow up question to this debate. What is the ethical distance from property lines should you hunt? I have no problems with neighbors hunting but it does make me mad to find their stands on trees right on the line. I've had neighbors put up stands close to the line and the only way they can shoot is on me. Can't do much about it because they are on their own property but I would hope they would have a little more respect than that. Talking to them has not made any diffference.

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from themadflyfisher wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Agreed! I've ran into this problem on a stream before. I was fishing Pa's famous Spring creek when I caught a nice brown trout out of a run I was fishing. When a guy decided he too was going to fish the run right beside me I just laughed to myself and kept drifting my fly right past him. Well right in front of him I hooked into a nice trout to which he replied "you know that should've been my fish" I said "really buddy? so why didn't you catch it then" He then got mad at me and said some words I can't write on here and I replied with some words I can't write on here and he left. After it all I just shook my head. Some people truly are A-holes.

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from footbasebl wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I agree 100%. It is the same where ever you go. Its unreal how people act when it comes to shooting deer. I am fortunate enough to get some lands with good friends that just enjoy hunting. But I have been a part of a couple of different clubs in the past and people inside the club will get so angry because "that was the stand I was supposed to hunt," unreal how people act!! Does not matter where you go.

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from DAVIDE1333 wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Try shooting a deer out of season or without a license and tell the state it was "yours"

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from smccardell wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Wow...typically I just play devil's advocate to get some dialogue started. Usually there is some sort of redeeming quality about the other argument. In this case I can't find anything to disagree with, even just for arguments sake!

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from James Holloway wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Happens with Elk Hunting too! A friend I knew had gone hunting over the weekend in Central Idaho. I checked in and asked how he and his son did. He told me of a big 5x5 that he shot at less than a hundred yards. They hiked down to the flat the animal ended up on and met some fellas that had been 500+ yards away. They claimed the Elk. He explained why it was his from the angle of the shot. That didn't matter it was theirs and they'd go to war over it...he said with his twelve year old there it was better to walk away than worry anymore about it. Funny thing, two weeks later some of the guys on my summer softball team were talking about a big Elk they had gotten. By the time he was through with his story and about running some idiot off with his bratty son I'd put it together. My respect for the guy that walked away was ten fold and my friend with the enormous ego and bragging rights I could care less about. I knew more about either of them than they knew about themselves. The guy that walked away nearly walked away from hunting. The other guy is just looking for more bragging rights and worse more bad PR among the hunting fraternity. I've seen it with pheasant hunt as well. Your story really hit home with me. The guy making the most noise is usually wrong!

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from DSMbirddog wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

You'll get no argument from me. Good post!

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from Tom-Tom wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

@ ALJoe---

Here in Missouri it is not illegal to shoot a deer on your neighbor's property. What is illegal is going on to your neighbor's posted land to retrieve it. If a person has been warned about trespass by a law enforcement officer and still trespasses on the land in question, then it become a Class D felony. My source was a state warden.

Mu problem has not been with my neighbors bordering my farm but with their relatives and friends that they let hunt their farm. I reported a problem with the son of a neighbor to our area warden since the fellow became beligerant and was waving his rifle in my direction. The warden made several trips to the subject's home, finally contacting the fellow. He also notified the sheriff's office in case another call came in. Turns out that another neighbor had had a problem with the same guy hunting over his land. As to the eight stands along my fence line, the warden said that the same principle applied, not much you can do unless you catch them on your posted property. I have counted 21 hunters that now hunt the five properties bordering our farm. As someone already posted, some people are just jerks.

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from Sarge01 wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

I will have to disagree just a little. Seems like guys that had it together most of the time when the word got out that there was a huge buck in a certain area couldn't rest until they killed it. I have spent many nights watching a particular buck knowing that one of these nights one of these guys were going to have to kill that big deer. It usually paid off and the guy spent several days and nights in jail and his pocketbook was much lighter when he got out of jail. The same guy wouldn't have done that for an average 6 or 8 pointer but the huge 10 or 12 pointer he just couldn't resist. This happened many times over my 35+ year career . When we received word of a big deer, we waited and watched and someone was going to jail.

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from Longbeard wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

I agree 100%. Watching bucks grow big is fun and fulfilling. But one must maintain perspective and civility. Although I've never run into this exact situation myself, I've certainly heard about some. A friend who hunts in VA tells me he always shoots to break the shoulder so as to drop the deer in its tracks or as near that as possible because more than once he made a classic heart/lung shot, had the deer run off, and ended up face-to-face with some hard scrabble low life who claimed the deer was his.

Another aspect of the "big buck" disease is the so-called trophy hunter who scoffs and denigrates anyone who shoots a deer smaller than "trophy" hunter's personal size requirements. I invited a cousin to hunt with me. He had killed a few deer but wasn't very experienced, and he shot a small buck. One of my fellow club members said "a grown man should be ashamed of shooting a deer like that". That same guy drove his UTV down a power line easement in full view of the stand my 12-yr old nephew and I were sitting in (knowing darn well we were there), stopped, walked into the woods across the easement, shot 2 does within 45 minutes, dragged them both out, loaded on the UTV that he'd left out in the open, and drove off. Needless to say, he and I had a few words later.

Some people are jerks. The trick is to avoid them as often as possible, sometimes easier said than done.

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from Nyflyangler wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

RE: Missouri Class D felony

So I suppose then it's okay in MO to just keep shooting deer until one dies on your own land if your neighbor won't allow you to retrieve ones that cross the property line, no matter how many it takes?

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from IND.hunter1966 wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

im gonna have to stand with ya on this I had a guy offer the farmer money to hunt his land just because he had seen a big buck on the property whitch ment I could not hunt the land that year needless to say im back on the land and the buck is still there

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from fallghost wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

I'd have to say that the big bucks don't create the bad behavior but the hunter does. Bottom line is the deer isn't 'yours' until he's in the back of your truck.

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from predator_one_s_one_k wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

I have a "relative" that is 15 or so years younger than I am, we both hunt the old "home place" 180 or so acres, mostly hardwoods.
Several years ago I built a stand in a severely leaning maple tree.
Over the next few years I "tagged out" nearly every year from that stand.
They were not "trophies", a few mature bucks and a lot more nice size does.
I went back a little early 7 or 8 years ago, the stand needed a step or two fixed, some minor repairs.
Within 70 yards of my stand, the relative had put three different stands in, one less than 40 yards away.
He isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, "ladder" stands on trees with no cover at all, one he had to walk the deer path to get in the stand right over top of it.
I "kept my cool" (family) and moved clear to the other side of the property.
I spoke with my uncle (owns the place) then cut the fence and custom built a 4-wheeler gate to fit between two trees to bring the deer out.
A log chain and a padlock to keep cattle in, thieves out.
Went in last year and someone had cut the end link out of the chain and snapped their lock into my lock and the end.
I assumed that my uncle had wanted access to check the fence, etc.
Got back to my stand..... two new stands, one on each side of my stand, the same relative.
I later learned that the same relative had cut the chain and it was his lock.
Had my 12yo grandson in later for "youth season", a doe came through, flipping her tail and looking back, I told him to "wait".
I could see the buck that was courting her about 100 yards away moving slow through the greenbriars.
A few minutes and he would have a good shot, all at once the buck snorted and blew past the stand running hard.
Out through the woods... same relative with a nephew of his.
It wasn't a trophy, not even a "medium" buck to me, to my 12yo grandson it would have been a dream come true.
I was pissed and didn't try to hide it, they walked past my atv to get there, they knew we were there.
He moved his stand a little later, it isn't just jealousy, "common sense" is long gone.
I replaced the chain with a "carbonite" cable and explained to my uncle that if the relative cut the lock off it was no holds barred.
Sometimes attitudes need adjusted, morals need to be taught, he is 35yo, not a "kid".

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from joejv4 wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

Totally agree on this one. A jerk is a jerk, and we've had them in the woods with us for decades.

Makes me glad that I am a strong believer in "you can't eat the horns". I hunt because I love to be in the woods and love to put meat on the table. If a monster buck were to present me with a nice clean shot, by all means, I would take it. However, I make sure I get my license before OCT 1st, so I get my doe permits, then swoop in on Nov 1st to see about picking up leftovers. Antlers? great chew-toys for the dog.

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from FirstBubba wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

Here's a story for you.

www.realtree.com/forums/deer-hunting/22506-new-oklahoma-state-record-non...

Spot on DH!

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from deadeyedick wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

DAVE. I GOT A PIC OF A HUGE OHIO BUCK ON FACEBOOK. HOW DO I SEND IT TO YOU???

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from Brian Trezak wrote 24 weeks 17 hours ago

As usual, it's basic maturity and your education as a hunter. The ethical hunter respects his fellow hunter, does not seek confrontation especially with other armed hunters and realizes that in the end that no animal is worth such stupid shenanigans. Presumably the reason any skilled hunter has a trophy room is to demonstrate to people that skill but if you had to be a jerk and injure your honor and personal reputation in the process, those trophies mean nothing.

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from nehunter92 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Think I’m going have to stand with you on this one. Most people are nice enough, but some are just jerks. I know some guys who, if they heard you shot a trophy on their land, would probably be the first to offer to help you drag it out. I know other who would slit your throat over a forkie. I will say that bigger bucks do tend to draw the a-holes out of the woodwork, but they exist regardless.
One thing that bugs me is the “it’s my deer” thing. As my mom said while I was typing this sentence, “If you wanted it to be your deer, then you should have shot it.” Isn’t one of the tenants of the North American conservation model that it belongs to everybody? Apparently that’s hard for some to accept.
In any case, that’s a damn fine deer. Good job nameless kid!

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from TM wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Scott,

You're right. You observed the homo sapiens equivalent of antler bashing. Has nothing to do with the size of the prey's horns. May have to do with the size of the hunter's anatomy.

Some people are just jerks. They're the same ones who yell that their coffee is cold, their beer is warm, that x is too expensive, that they have a right to y, etc.

A jerk-detector test: have you raised your voice more than one time toward another human in the last 7 days? If so, and you are not a football coach or drill sergeant, there is an excellent possibility that you are a jerk.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Can't shoot you down because I agree 100%.

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from jjas wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Big bucks don't create bad behavior. But....the insatiable need some have to kill big bucks does.

We have created a society of deer hunters that will spend thousands of dollars on leases,food plots, out of state hunts, $1,000 bows, and game cameras running 24/7/365 all in the quest to kill that "big buck". For many it's just part of the chase...but for some it creates an atmosphere of ownership in their minds.

In other words...many of these hunters consider the big bucks they may have passed (and certainly have fed and put minerals out for) theirs. And if someone who these same "hunters" feel doesn't "deserve" to kill "their" buck that's when the foolishness starts.

It's ridiculous......

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Agreed! I've ran into this problem on a stream before. I was fishing Pa's famous Spring creek when I caught a nice brown trout out of a run I was fishing. When a guy decided he too was going to fish the run right beside me I just laughed to myself and kept drifting my fly right past him. Well right in front of him I hooked into a nice trout to which he replied "you know that should've been my fish" I said "really buddy? so why didn't you catch it then" He then got mad at me and said some words I can't write on here and I replied with some words I can't write on here and he left. After it all I just shook my head. Some people truly are A-holes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from footbasebl wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I agree 100%. It is the same where ever you go. Its unreal how people act when it comes to shooting deer. I am fortunate enough to get some lands with good friends that just enjoy hunting. But I have been a part of a couple of different clubs in the past and people inside the club will get so angry because "that was the stand I was supposed to hunt," unreal how people act!! Does not matter where you go.

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from smccardell wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Wow...typically I just play devil's advocate to get some dialogue started. Usually there is some sort of redeeming quality about the other argument. In this case I can't find anything to disagree with, even just for arguments sake!

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from Pathfinder1 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Hi...

Excellent post, Scott.

Sometimes it seems like we're surrounded by idiots. I think that all of above posts were also 'right on'...!!

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from 24scottk wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Amen Scott. Things have really changed in the whitetail world the last ten years. I've been chasing deer for nearly 30 years and growing up, when a friend, family member or neighbor shot a buck, whether it was 80" or 180", it was high fives and hugs. So much of that is gone. Truly a shame...

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from TeamAsgrow wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

You can't fix stupid.

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from fozziee2 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I couldn't agree more. If it's the antlers that are making people jerks, then explain to me the guy that sets up 50 from me out on the duck pond.... A mallard is a real nice thing to have, but not generally considered a trophy animal. furthermore, i would argue that the "my deer" attitude is what makes it harder for EVERYONE. That attitude leads to more closed land and less access, which then leads to more fighting for space. Everyone needs to share the resources and realize that property lines don't make any game animal "yours"

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from MattM37 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

The saddest thing is, it's only going to get worse if things continue as they are. Many of the younger people coming up (not all, of course) have been infected with two diseases, both of which will apply to this issue: 1)a sense of entitlement, and 2)not a lot of unstructured activity during childhood, which means not knowing how to conduct yourself (or not caring to) when personal ethics and common decency are your only governing forces later in life.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

If you have neighbors with little or no sense of ethics or sportsmanship, you should expect poor behavior. What you can control is how you deal with the situation, and model your sportsmanship and sense of ethics. If that doesn't work, you send someone "to make them an offer they can't refuse".

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from ALJoe wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Can't disagree with you. I agree 100% It does seem like the number of idiots in the woods is increasing. I can't stand to be around someone who has no respect for the land or the game.

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from moswald wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Agree 100% and anyone who can shoot you down is probably one of those jerks.

My opinion is that the marketization of big buck hunting has grown so large that the culture now has people feeling that anything less than 180 inches is failure. Think about it, really old or poor genetic deer are cull bucks and does are for practice and freezer fillers. People need to show something tangible for their efforts, big racks hang on walls, does don't, the flock of turkeys, or the beautiful sunrise, or the majesty of nature don't and you can't show them off. I like all of you would rather spend a day afield with the sights and sounds and enjoy life.

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from njschneider wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Best way to prevent a lot of this is not to send out mass picture txts after you shoot a wall hanger, if they want to see the buck stop by and I will show it to you. Don't hunt in large party groups because is it the first shot or the last shot that killed the deer. People become possive when they get a trail camera picture of a big buck, people need to have realistic expectations with trail cameras.

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from Bryan01 wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

Yes, there are some people who will be jerks no matter what and there are others who will be reasonable, rational adults in all circumstances. But there are also some people who can be reasonable and rational adults when the stakes are small and they are not emotionally invested in the outcome but simply can't control their emotions when it comes to something they care deeply about - like a monster buck that they been dreaming of killing for the previous several months. So while, I think the general thrust of your post is on target, it is not entirely accurate.

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from ALJoe wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I have a follow up question to this debate. What is the ethical distance from property lines should you hunt? I have no problems with neighbors hunting but it does make me mad to find their stands on trees right on the line. I've had neighbors put up stands close to the line and the only way they can shoot is on me. Can't do much about it because they are on their own property but I would hope they would have a little more respect than that. Talking to them has not made any diffference.

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from DAVIDE1333 wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Try shooting a deer out of season or without a license and tell the state it was "yours"

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from James Holloway wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

Happens with Elk Hunting too! A friend I knew had gone hunting over the weekend in Central Idaho. I checked in and asked how he and his son did. He told me of a big 5x5 that he shot at less than a hundred yards. They hiked down to the flat the animal ended up on and met some fellas that had been 500+ yards away. They claimed the Elk. He explained why it was his from the angle of the shot. That didn't matter it was theirs and they'd go to war over it...he said with his twelve year old there it was better to walk away than worry anymore about it. Funny thing, two weeks later some of the guys on my summer softball team were talking about a big Elk they had gotten. By the time he was through with his story and about running some idiot off with his bratty son I'd put it together. My respect for the guy that walked away was ten fold and my friend with the enormous ego and bragging rights I could care less about. I knew more about either of them than they knew about themselves. The guy that walked away nearly walked away from hunting. The other guy is just looking for more bragging rights and worse more bad PR among the hunting fraternity. I've seen it with pheasant hunt as well. Your story really hit home with me. The guy making the most noise is usually wrong!

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from DSMbirddog wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

You'll get no argument from me. Good post!

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from Tom-Tom wrote 25 weeks 2 days ago

@ ALJoe---

Here in Missouri it is not illegal to shoot a deer on your neighbor's property. What is illegal is going on to your neighbor's posted land to retrieve it. If a person has been warned about trespass by a law enforcement officer and still trespasses on the land in question, then it become a Class D felony. My source was a state warden.

Mu problem has not been with my neighbors bordering my farm but with their relatives and friends that they let hunt their farm. I reported a problem with the son of a neighbor to our area warden since the fellow became beligerant and was waving his rifle in my direction. The warden made several trips to the subject's home, finally contacting the fellow. He also notified the sheriff's office in case another call came in. Turns out that another neighbor had had a problem with the same guy hunting over his land. As to the eight stands along my fence line, the warden said that the same principle applied, not much you can do unless you catch them on your posted property. I have counted 21 hunters that now hunt the five properties bordering our farm. As someone already posted, some people are just jerks.

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from Sarge01 wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

I will have to disagree just a little. Seems like guys that had it together most of the time when the word got out that there was a huge buck in a certain area couldn't rest until they killed it. I have spent many nights watching a particular buck knowing that one of these nights one of these guys were going to have to kill that big deer. It usually paid off and the guy spent several days and nights in jail and his pocketbook was much lighter when he got out of jail. The same guy wouldn't have done that for an average 6 or 8 pointer but the huge 10 or 12 pointer he just couldn't resist. This happened many times over my 35+ year career . When we received word of a big deer, we waited and watched and someone was going to jail.

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from Longbeard wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

I agree 100%. Watching bucks grow big is fun and fulfilling. But one must maintain perspective and civility. Although I've never run into this exact situation myself, I've certainly heard about some. A friend who hunts in VA tells me he always shoots to break the shoulder so as to drop the deer in its tracks or as near that as possible because more than once he made a classic heart/lung shot, had the deer run off, and ended up face-to-face with some hard scrabble low life who claimed the deer was his.

Another aspect of the "big buck" disease is the so-called trophy hunter who scoffs and denigrates anyone who shoots a deer smaller than "trophy" hunter's personal size requirements. I invited a cousin to hunt with me. He had killed a few deer but wasn't very experienced, and he shot a small buck. One of my fellow club members said "a grown man should be ashamed of shooting a deer like that". That same guy drove his UTV down a power line easement in full view of the stand my 12-yr old nephew and I were sitting in (knowing darn well we were there), stopped, walked into the woods across the easement, shot 2 does within 45 minutes, dragged them both out, loaded on the UTV that he'd left out in the open, and drove off. Needless to say, he and I had a few words later.

Some people are jerks. The trick is to avoid them as often as possible, sometimes easier said than done.

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from Nyflyangler wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

RE: Missouri Class D felony

So I suppose then it's okay in MO to just keep shooting deer until one dies on your own land if your neighbor won't allow you to retrieve ones that cross the property line, no matter how many it takes?

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from IND.hunter1966 wrote 25 weeks 1 day ago

im gonna have to stand with ya on this I had a guy offer the farmer money to hunt his land just because he had seen a big buck on the property whitch ment I could not hunt the land that year needless to say im back on the land and the buck is still there

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from fallghost wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

I'd have to say that the big bucks don't create the bad behavior but the hunter does. Bottom line is the deer isn't 'yours' until he's in the back of your truck.

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from predator_one_s_one_k wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

I have a "relative" that is 15 or so years younger than I am, we both hunt the old "home place" 180 or so acres, mostly hardwoods.
Several years ago I built a stand in a severely leaning maple tree.
Over the next few years I "tagged out" nearly every year from that stand.
They were not "trophies", a few mature bucks and a lot more nice size does.
I went back a little early 7 or 8 years ago, the stand needed a step or two fixed, some minor repairs.
Within 70 yards of my stand, the relative had put three different stands in, one less than 40 yards away.
He isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, "ladder" stands on trees with no cover at all, one he had to walk the deer path to get in the stand right over top of it.
I "kept my cool" (family) and moved clear to the other side of the property.
I spoke with my uncle (owns the place) then cut the fence and custom built a 4-wheeler gate to fit between two trees to bring the deer out.
A log chain and a padlock to keep cattle in, thieves out.
Went in last year and someone had cut the end link out of the chain and snapped their lock into my lock and the end.
I assumed that my uncle had wanted access to check the fence, etc.
Got back to my stand..... two new stands, one on each side of my stand, the same relative.
I later learned that the same relative had cut the chain and it was his lock.
Had my 12yo grandson in later for "youth season", a doe came through, flipping her tail and looking back, I told him to "wait".
I could see the buck that was courting her about 100 yards away moving slow through the greenbriars.
A few minutes and he would have a good shot, all at once the buck snorted and blew past the stand running hard.
Out through the woods... same relative with a nephew of his.
It wasn't a trophy, not even a "medium" buck to me, to my 12yo grandson it would have been a dream come true.
I was pissed and didn't try to hide it, they walked past my atv to get there, they knew we were there.
He moved his stand a little later, it isn't just jealousy, "common sense" is long gone.
I replaced the chain with a "carbonite" cable and explained to my uncle that if the relative cut the lock off it was no holds barred.
Sometimes attitudes need adjusted, morals need to be taught, he is 35yo, not a "kid".

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from joejv4 wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

Totally agree on this one. A jerk is a jerk, and we've had them in the woods with us for decades.

Makes me glad that I am a strong believer in "you can't eat the horns". I hunt because I love to be in the woods and love to put meat on the table. If a monster buck were to present me with a nice clean shot, by all means, I would take it. However, I make sure I get my license before OCT 1st, so I get my doe permits, then swoop in on Nov 1st to see about picking up leftovers. Antlers? great chew-toys for the dog.

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from FirstBubba wrote 24 weeks 6 days ago

Here's a story for you.

www.realtree.com/forums/deer-hunting/22506-new-oklahoma-state-record-non...

Spot on DH!

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from deadeyedick wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

DAVE. I GOT A PIC OF A HUGE OHIO BUCK ON FACEBOOK. HOW DO I SEND IT TO YOU???

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from Brian Trezak wrote 24 weeks 17 hours ago

As usual, it's basic maturity and your education as a hunter. The ethical hunter respects his fellow hunter, does not seek confrontation especially with other armed hunters and realizes that in the end that no animal is worth such stupid shenanigans. Presumably the reason any skilled hunter has a trophy room is to demonstrate to people that skill but if you had to be a jerk and injure your honor and personal reputation in the process, those trophies mean nothing.

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