agreed,,,,, Outdoor TV, such a joke,,,,, not because I do not like hunting shows, but they just do not have the heart, of a true hunter in many ways,,,,, I can not explain it, its just a feeling I get, from living in the woods all of my life.......
If Dorsey wanted to have a great show on the channel, it would be a serious film on how to, and how things are done,,,, so many hunters would like something, that they can learn on,,,,, For example, how are the horses packed, what does it take to do a back pack hunt, and what equipment is needed,,,,, how do you break down a moose etc,,, the list could go on and on,,,,, A how to show, that would really be something,,,,,
Watching someone shoot animals, never turned me on, its too personal, but learning about areas and terrain, you never have been in, or want to go too, would be some really good TV viewing,,,,,,
But that idea comes from a hunters perspective, not some marketing firm
Mixed feelings on this. I think it's 100% douchebag to criticize the size of anyone elses' legal kill under any circumstance. I don't care what age the deer is or where.
At the same time I think it's ok to be self-deprecating. I am more of a meat hunter but who doesn't like nice racks? I know there are big bucks around, but I won't exclusively target them at the expense of tag soup. That presents some interesting game theory when it comes to passing bucks and results in me shooting some bucks I am happy with, but certainly not going to brag to my buddies about. I think the whole situation is symptomatic of how narcissistic and self-important social media has made everything in society, hunting included.
I've been blessed in my life and have killed a bunch of deer, a few elk, bear, and hogs. I have yet to kill one that I didn't sincerely appreciate or, have to work hard for. In one way or the other. Any animal, with any weapon is a gift you were given by simply having the opportunity to even be there hunting it. So, don't degrade it by saying something stupid about its size, sex, or ranking in the books. God Bless men
I "think" it was this site quite a few years ago someone(s) were giving a young hunter some jazz over the size of the first buck he ever shot. The conversation drifted into something along the lines of "I wouldn't have shot it" and he should have "let it grow" comments. It may have been Pat that jumped in and shut it down quick with some warnings about shaming young hunters. Some folks may remember that? IMO the QDM/social APR approach some folks subscribe to plays a role in the shaming issue.
I remember seeing some TV Twit running down a buck he’d just shot ... talking about how it was a “good cull” and a “whole lotta nothin’”.... Better buck than most public land hunters will ever get a chance at.
What an ass. Talking about how that buck was good for nothing.... look in the mirror, Pal.
And yet...on this site, not long ago, when I said, "There is no such thing as a cull buck. That is just a term some use to justify killing a smaller one." I caught all kinds if grief. And yesterday...just yesterday on another site, there was a picture and a somewhat lengthy debate on this exact thing. It aint dead by any means...this sort of thinking. Now, let me open this can of worms. Why do some hunters think they have to justify a (maybe smaller),buck they shot by saying it was a public land buck? What does that have to do with it? Does a buck grow points and inches when they cross into private land?
When my son (22) shot a forkie this week in Alaska, we howled like a couple wolves. (Probably not all that smart given the bear density where we were.) Our priorities were "adventure" first, "meat to eat" second, and "antlers" third, and we got all we could ask for. Be thankful for what the Good Lord gives you and enjoy the day.
When a hunt for a trophy costs 4500 and you can do a 3 cull buck hunt for 3000, it’s hard to say there is no such thing as a cull buck. I label bucks of mine culls and usually those are the ones i try to get my nephew on. Nice deer that need taken out of the gene pool but to small for me to put a tag on.
50% of the genes in "the gene pool" are from the female side. There is a lot more to genetics on the Y side than rack size, most hunters have not had enough high level genetic classes to understand that concept.
Last night I shot the smallest buck of my life. I've been wanting some meat in the freezer. It's been a tough season so far with limited chances to get out and knee replacement surgery in less than 3 weeks. This was the first deer to give me a shot this year and I took it. No regrets. Nice fat little 4 point.
Thanks Jimmy, she was pretty happy and I got a good workout helping pack it out.
I did shoot a cull animal. It was an Alaska moose. Toughest wild game I ever tried to eat. I’m a little dense sometimes; couldn’t understand why Alaska required non residents to shoot 50+ inch bulls. Then I tried to eat one. Moose to them is like a beef to us. It’s about the meat, not the antlers.
Ha Ha I knew a few hunters who wouldn't be seen in a pic with a small deer,,I know one older kid who shot a small skipper for his first deer and posted the pic and caught so much crap for it his friends jokingly started calling him skipper and I think that's why he stopped going, but some people in these parts quit after their first kill cause they feel bad anyway so who knows.
I passed on a button yesterday and I feel pretty good about that but I still have meat in my freezer,, If I have NO meat anything without spots is table fare..
Field photo while I contemplated getting my hands dirty or not.
Field photo while I contemplated getting my hands dirty or not.
Keepemsharp. Why ? For the same reason I artificially insemenate my cows and cover with a bull with the genetic qualities I want. I guess I’d rather look at 170” ten points then 120”7 points. Sure I understand the buck is only half the equation, unfortunately I can’t tell what antler genes a doe is passing on. Some say culling has no effect on genetics but I think done over several years it can. My neighbor for 4-5 years consecutive would kill a buck with 1 normal side and the other side screwballed. He could one like that every year for 4-5 years then hasn’t seen another one. Maybe the all came from the same doe or maybe he eventually culled that genetic out. Whether you believe in culling or not I? don’t understand why some care of an inferior buck is called a cull. Here’s a 4 year old I culled last year off a place that consistently produces 170” bucks and has produced bucks over 200”. Would you want him breeding does or the 145” 3 year old 10 pt that came by with him?
In response to Bowriter's question: I would say they clarify that statement of public ground because it is WAAAY harder to kill a mature whitetail on public land then on private for the obvious reasons. They just don't live as long on public because of more pressure.....people kill em when they are young. That's not a bad thing....That's a fact. You have to lower your standards/expectations when hunting heavily hunted public grounds versus's low pressure private. I know here in MT if you want to constantly have the opportunity at big WT you will need to gain some access to private. Obviously there are the outliers and you can kill some great deer on public but in my opinion a basket racked 110" public land WT in MT may be just as hard to kill with your bow as a 135" on private. During the rut anything can happen but I wouldn't be passing those kind of deer on public land as you very well may be passing the best buck you'll see!
Either way I do agree with the article! Kill whatever trips your trigger and be proud of it. Anything with a bow is an accomplishment. If you WANT to kill bigger deer, then you will have to pass on some deer but don't put that on others. It's all good.
We do not condemn DYI in the size debate so why public land. I have killed 180 to down on public land and I felt great challenge to take a 115. This the same when I see spot and stalk but I do not see the condemnation.
Some people are very fortunate to have great hunting and many are really good hunters but I would not get a feeling of superiority if I am not comparing apples to apples.
The other day there was post of a huge desert sheep that was gun killed yet no condemnation. For the guy that fully appreciates a doe or small six point from field to table may be the most fortunate of all. He hunts deer not a 140 or a cull buck or a doe. Humility is a gift and the level of those individuals appreciation is not contorted by others opinions or self righteous indignation.
Well i'm the asshole I guess. If you have to kill any buck to prove your manleyhood your not welcome in my camp. If you have to kill something and don't have the patience, persistence and skill to kill a mature buck, shoot a doe.
That music is terrible and how could you shoot such a small buck what a shame ! By the way don't even get me started on the use of game cameras you would think by using them you could have at least patterned a bigger worth while buck :P
I've never had to shoot anything to prove my manlihood. I've hunted farms that I wouldn't even take my bow off the hook if a buck like the one Blacktail Bob recently shot walked by and certainly not what I'm looking for if I was on a guided hunt. But hey, I'm sure it made Bob happy and I'm happy for him.
Nick Daedlow, Proud member of the Poke 'em Young Club. (and the other club, too.) ;-)
Bowriter, I killed the buck before he bred does that year. When/if his offspring show the same gene they get culled too. I’m not sure what gene he passes on for antler growth but like I said the other bucks were more likely to pass better genetics. Sure yow Ming can come from 5’ parents but the norm is a 5’ son.
I wouldn't say it makes you an asshole Bob but it's pretty clear we have different priorities and value systems when it comes to hunting. Measurements and book entries don't impress me at all, but I wouldn't personally insult those who hold that central to their hunting experience. You are welcome in my camp but you'd have to find some source of enjoyment other than records, that just ain't how hunting works in PA. Mature animals sure, I respect that pursuit, but that's a personal choice, not some dogma we should all adhere to.
Lots of people are into managing whitetails but it doesn’t apply as cross the spectrum of all game hunted. Personally, I used to get offended when someone would have a 60 inch Coues deer or rag horn bull elk but that is their animal not mine. It is their tag and the regulations determine what is legal so if they are good with it so am I.
I posted on the whitetail meat pole a mature whitetail and stated that I wished I would have passed. This was on public but I had plenty of time so I should have taken the time and let the animal walk. This was a personal choice that I should not wave a wand of arrogance and superiority making it the standard for others.
I am fortunate I have killed big deer and at 60 still able to get back in deep enough to harvest mature deer. Likewise, a I do not want a cow elk tag and really when I go a 6x6 is my standard and I even turn some of those down. The key word is “MY” in that statement. Also, they are some animals that I have zero interest in hunting. I spent nine years in Alaska and never put in for a musk ox tag. I wouldn’t shoot one if it was in the backyard. Likewise there is no way that I would pay to go to Alaska to hunt Sitka deer. I have zero interest in these animals and no inclination in the grand slam of deer or North American 29. I hunt what I want wherever I I want and how I want. My choice, my money, and my time period. You all can do likewise and I will embrace your personal choice to hunt how you want the way you want a long as it falls whithin the legal limits of the law.
Justify killing 18 month old bucks all you want any way you want. It ruins an area's deer hunting for everyone regardless of their goals, meat or antlers. If it's soley meat you seak do the deer heard and your fellow hunter a favor and kill a doe instead of an immature buck.
Game regulations set the minmimum level of fairchase. The individual hunter can choose to invoke higher standards. Many Bowhunters do on a routine basis in Alaska every time they pursue game with stick and string. We have the choice of weapon. Just because it's legal doesn't mean you should or have to do it.
Bob, I hunt mature animals period. I am not condemning guys who hunt for fun and food.
You you hunt for fun and food. You choose the so called stick and string but that’s what provides you the most enjoyment period. I would not necessarily put yourself a higher ethical plane. That is exactly the persona of arrogance and self righteous indignation that I speak. You are probably a very good and Man and I enjoy your post immensely but on this one I see things differently. Hunting is not the same for everyone and that is a good thing.
Hunting is a good thing, regardless if it be by bow, gun or crossbow. Neither is a higher order in the grand scheme of things. If we fall victim to that thought process then we would all be shooting long bows.
Three basic reasons to hunt anything; meat, trophies, experience. Funny how the trophy-first crowd equates killing a larger-than-average antlered/horned, mature male of the species to proving anything (manleyhood???, LOL).
Seems like providing sustenance for ones family in the form of healthy protein is just a smidge more important on the list of life's priorities than compensating for one's shortcomings by "proving" the skill to kill a bigger than average critter.
Guess I won't be welcome in his camp to enjoy a big 'ol bowl of antler stew. Dang it!
I can’t believe that I have never heard of Spoon & Crockpot or Poke ‘Em Young before.
Requesting permission to use those! LOL
It amazes me how many people will hold the opinion that “as long as it’s legal, it’s ethical“ - feeders, food plots, trail cams, stands in a dozen spots to keep other hunters away from “their” deer, manipulated deer trails, high fences, QDM... As long as that’s what it takes to help them knock down a Big Enough Trophy to suit their own standards... But will then turn around and trash a guy who worked his ass off to take a spike on Public Land (where Legal to do so).
News Flash: Shooting 1.5 YO bucks does NOT “ruin the hunting for everybody else”; it only makes it harder (and thus a greater achievement, if you will) to kill a big-racked buck, if that’s what matters to you.
If you let all off the 1.5s walk, then everybody who would have shot a 1.5 can now take a 2.5. If you let all off the 2.5s walk, then everybody who would have shot a 2.5 can now take a 3.5. Pretty soon, everybody gets a Trophy just for showing up.
Another News Flash: You’ll never placate an Anti, but there are a LOT of Non-Hunters who have a great deal of respect for anyone who gets out and fills their freezer with meat taken under Fair Chase conditions. Not many of these people are all that positive towards Trophy Hunting, QDM, food plots, feeders, trail cams and all that other crap. These are the people we need to impress if we want to be able to fight off overregulation at the ballot box.
You all can shoot what you want on your ground, and I’m fine with that. My ground, my rules. Thinking about starting a thread called “Big buck shaming”. Seems to be as many guys on here that have no issues with trashing guys who try to manage the “quality “ of the deer that inhabit their property or area. (Notice I didn’t say THEIR deer. That would open a whole new can of worms!) I am first and foremost unashamedly hunting for the biggest buck on my property and won’t shoot a smaller buck. My choice. I also shoot does, plus I happily eat the meat from the bucks I do kill, plus, I’ve donated dozens of deer to needy families or to our HUSH program. I’ll also shoot a cull (in my eyes) to possibly help enhance the genetics in my area. I never get any Christmas cards from any of my neighbors about letting the potential monsters walk for a year or two before they reach their maximum potential (antlerwise). Disclaimer: every single one of them will complain about not seeing any big ones, so they aren’t hunting them only to kill “a” deer either. But they will shoot them when they are 2-3 yr olds and have “decent” racks but giving them another year or two would optimize their chances at a bigger racked buck. I’ll happily congratulate someone who kills any deer if they’re happy, but I refuse to feel guilty for how I approach things as well.
In early 90s my son shot a small doe, gut shot it and he got on the trail to early. We ended tracking till 1 am then went back in the morning and found it. When we walked up to it, I seen the coyotes had ate both hams gone. I told him we had 2 choices. 1 walk away or 2 tag it as is. His comment was he made that when he shot. I was proud! We took it to the check station and 4 guys were there to check a 6 pt. They came over and started laughing at to half eaten doe. I said let's go! My son had more integrity than they had. After he said what they thought didn't matter! Boy was I proud! He is 40 now and still has integrity that humbles me. Because you see someone's deer doesn't mean you know the story!
Ive killed my share of true P&Y AND B&C animals [all on public land] to know I dont have to justify to anyone what I kill. I hunt 3 states every year, all diy public land. Those licenses I buy set the boundaries of what I can shoot. Not anyone on an online forum.
My days of needing to impress anyone have long been over.
Over the years, every fawn, calf, spike, forkhorn, raghorn, doe, cow, buck, bull have all fed my family and other families. And they all tasted great!
Up next, I have 2 antlerless WT tags for Nebraska. If a button buck gets whacked, so be it :)
t-roy, I've hunted farms like yours. They had the same rules and I was happy to abide by them. On that farm last year, I let the biggest buck I've ever had within shooting range....10 yards!.... walk away. And I let him walk again when I was invited back for gun season. Truth is, I didn't want to kill any buck off that farm. It wouldn't mean anything to me because I didn't do anything but show up. Like a free guided hunt. I was happy to just sit back and enjoy watching the rut on a really cool Iowa farm.
This year I was invited to hunt a coworkers place. He owns 60 acres of mostly tillable ground with a frequently flooded, wooded creek bottom running through it. Crappy timber and pretty open, maybe 10 acres. Not ideal for holding deer on a consistent basis but they travel through occasionally. I told him my freezer was empty. He said shoot whatever you want but if you shoot the doe that hangs around my yard all summer with her twin fawns, don't bring it by the house for the wife and kids to see. Oh geez.
First deer I see is a doe with twins....great. Smells me, comes through anyway. Gets a pass. The next morning, the buck pictured above comes through. There's more to the story but he's getting butchered today. Can't remember the last time I killed a 1-1/2 year old but I was happy, it was fun, he's delicious, and I'm not gonna let some sanctimonious ass hat make me feel bad about it.
If and when I shoot at a buck, he IS the one I want... no shame in it at all and dont treat it as such ... Ive passed a handful of bucks this year on state land (better than last season sight wise, even though I killed a big one last season, but I was done before Halloween ...), Ive already passed bucks I'm sure some other would have been happy to kill... I know what I want, I know what I'm looking for ( I'll know it when I see it, dosnt have to be YYuuuge, but what I want)... I dont hunt bucks for meat, thats what Does are for...that dosnt mean I dont want it, but Ive killed enough deer to hunt for larger deer, and pass on the smaller bucks... Does are my meat deer .. Ive got one big Doe in the freezer, so now I buck hunt (thats 30 straight years of BOW killed deer)... where I hunt now that may mean a good 120" 2.5 year old or a 140" 3.5-4.5 yr old or older/bigger .... When I kill a buck, it is the one I want, there will be no denigration of that deer .... if by the end of the season (late Dec./Jan), and all my vacations are exhausted (this is the last one, ends on the 18th), I may try and pop another doe for the freezer... I dont HAVE to kill a buck to have a successful season....
One interesting thing I’m noticing here… Seems that a lot of guys are getting very defensive about the fact that they focus on large, mature animals. I don’t think anybody really has a problem with that. The problem is when people feel that it’s necessary to make some kind of excuse for having shot something that will make a record book.
If a deer doesn’t measure up to your personal Standard, then don’t shoot it. But what the next guy wants to shoot is up to him. He’s free to do so… As long as he doesn’t feel the need to make an excuse for it.
This thread reminds me of the text exchange I had with a young man Saturday. He sent me a trail cam pic of a buck and asked what I thought it would score....I said 115 or so. He was extremely disappointed as he thought it was bigger. Now he doesn't want to shoot it because he wants to kill a 160" or 170" buck. He has killed 4 deer in his life.
I told him that he is truly missing out on what makes hunting fun and that he watches too much outdoor tv. I told him to shoot what he wants and don't worry about what others think.
....and Bob I think you are living in a bubble and your own success has numbed you to the fact that many guys are just happy to kill any deer and many of them would agree with you regarding your self assessment.
I think part of the issue is that we tend to equat big deer with better hunters and that is often not true (but can play a part). It often has more to do with opportunity (and sometimes decisions) than skill. When I kill a little one that I put in a lot of time and effort for I feel a little jealous of the guy living in a great whitetail location that can walk out back and kill a 150" without a lot of work. I know that that is my own attitude problem, but part reality. When I kill a little one I want to make excuses so people know I could have done better if I wanted to.
PLENTY of huge deer are killed every November by people with almost no clue what they’re doing.
Just in case anybody needed the reality check.
Apologizing for the size of the buck that you shot makes about as much sense as apologizing for your spouse’s, ummm.... Endowments. Or your spouse apologizing for yours. Ain’t nobody’s business but yo’ own.
For me, it has nothing to do bragging rights GF. It’s about the personal challenge of trying to kill a mature animal that is usually a lot smarter than a younger animal, not the size of my wiener or my wife’s tatas. Gimme a break! No different than choosing primitive archery gear instead of compounds. It’s all about the challenge for me, not about trying to impress you.
Some people also need to flame other people for their accomplishments; ie Randy Ulmer, Blacktail bob, etc., to make themselves feel better.
What is the biggest buck in the area you hunt? Is the population well below carrying capacity? How likely are you to get a shot at a better buck? On this question there are no easy answers. Where I hunt the deer kill hovers around 8%. I asked one of the more successful hunters about his best trophy. He told e it was a 100# spikehorn taken on Thanksgiving. It was the first buck he saw after ten days of first light to last light hunting. You can't measure the effort put in. Some of my best trophies are not in contention for biggest antlers on the wall.
Randy Ulmer wouldn't come on here and degrade those who choose to shoot a younger animal than what he would take.
I picture a guy sitting on a huge chunk of posted private land managed for growing big WT bucks. Food plots, cover plots, sanctuaries, etc. Letting several, virtually unpressured bucks walk by waiting for one of the target bucks the landowner/outfitter has trail cams of to walk by.
A neighboring bowhunter who only hunts weekends if he's not working, might only see a handful of deer every season. He finally gets a nice fat 6 pt. in close range on a small piece of public land and makes a perfect shot on the deer. He's happy to be bringing some meat home this year and as he's toting his hard earned deer back to the truck. He happens by the guided hunter sitting near the property border. The guided hunter points at the guy heading home with his little buck, yelling, "You're ruining hunting for everyone else!!!"
Bob, I don't think you have any clue what bowhunting reality is like for 95 percent of guys hunting in the Eastern time zone (the other 5% hunt private refuges). It's just like a flaming Manhattan liberal telling rural Alaskans how they should live their lives.
It's really a bad look and greatly diminishes a long standing respect I held for you as a blacktail badass.
We contend with bowhunter densities upwards of 5-10 per square mile. That's just bowhunters, gun season that multiplies. It takes a ton of time and effort and the willingness to eat tags to kill 3+ year old deer, and even most of those don't make record books in my specific area. I really can't fault a guy for whacking a decent two year old, and those just aren't deer you are going to brag about, especially when a guy in Iowa can whack a 2 year old that makes PY. That's why measurements and books mean zilch to me and I carry the perception that they've inflicted far more harm than good for bowhunting.
Grousenut that is why these discussions are totally stupid. Deer hunting is different in every area and private land has certain opportunities which public land may not offer. I have always felt it exciting to hunt semi-mature deer of the standards I have available to me in a particular locale. To be real truthful, for a nominal price anyone can have opportunity to kill a very large book type (and even named) deer. It does not take a high fence to increase your odds, just money. I always have appreciated the true northwoods hunters like you, deer hunting at it's best.
I am fortunate enough to live in an area where a slightly above average hunter has good odds of taking a P&Y whitetail most years if they are willing to hunt hard and hold out. So, I do respect the guys capable of that. I consider myself a decent deer hunter, but have never been good enough to figure out the mature ones on a consistent enough basis to be considered good at it.
I do take what will make me happy, and have stand up friends who don't give me any grief about it, though most of them are good enough to take mature specimens on a regular basis. Growing up in the city I hope I never lose the marvel of a totally unsuspecting wild animal under my stand, whether that be a fawn or a mature buck. When that happens, I probably will stick to habitat management and give up hunting.
To some of the guys here who do it on a regular basis with multiple qualifying animals in the same year, my hats off to you. I am not capable of that, even with the same circumstances you have.
I see very little shaming going on in either direction from most crowds. IMO this is not a giant problem.
I see the least shaming going on from two crowds: experienced hunters that chase mature animals have been through the phases of being a hunter and have no issues with anyone else doing what they want and recognize the enjoyment and the graduating phases of hunters. New hunters also never shame anyone because they are in the pure enjoyment phase where everything is awesome. Generally it is the "middleground" where people like to look down at those "below" them in their minds. While they aspire to be what they think is the top, sometimes the only way they get there in their mind is to make fun of people "below" them.
I put all those words in quotations, because there is no heirarchy in hunting. It is not an olympic sport. There is no "First place hunter" for each state that goes on to nationals. In the scoring system there are top animals that get recognized every year. And amongst hunters that pursue top animals there are certainly hunters that attain that goal more than the average.
People are evil. There will always be people putting each other down for one reason or another. If you let it get to you, that really sucks. It's not worth losing sleep over. Hunt as if you're the last person on this planet and you won't have a soul to tell about it. Enjoy yourselves gentlemen, and be thankful that our issues in life have to deal with the potential shaming of the extra food we take in a pastime that we do with the extra time since our physical needs are already taken care of. Life is good!
Guys who hold out for good bucks don’t bother me in the slightest.
Guys who take the first one to walk past don’t either.
The people who get to me are those who talk big, shoot small, and then excuse their lack of self-control by way of some BS about having taken an “inferior” specimen as some kind of noble self-sacrifice for “the good of the herd”....
Yinzer - try CT public land sometime, where they use a lottery system to keep shotgun hunter density down to 1 for every 10 or 20 acres and the adjacent private land is either baited or owned by an anti.
Shoot what you want if its legal and makes you happy. When I first started I was taught any clean kill with an arrow is a trophy and tell that to all my friend as they learn to hunt. Yes I pass small bucks but I believe there is an evolution to your hunting style and am perfectly happy with a nieghbor or friend taking one that I passed. I don’t hunt with a gun but go to camp for a day or two to hang out and help. I think a small buck or doe with an arrow at archery range is far more impressive than a big scorable buck shot at long distance with firearm. Again shoot what you want and be proud of it. If you’re happy I’m happy for you. Enjoy!!
There is no denying that the striving to achieve is built into us. From the early hunters that were celebrated in cave paintings, where the best hunter got the females of his choice. To the Masai tribes where true manhood was achieved by killing the lion with a spear. NA Indians wore bear claws, when they killed one, to show their strength and bravery. They told and retold the days bison hunt around the fire as the women cooked. (ah, they had it made!)
Who gets the hottest cheerleader, the star quarterback or the bench warmer?
99,98% of people want to be recognized for achievement. It's human.
Where it breaks down is when a small percentage at the "top" use that perch to denigrate others. Or when someone not on that pinnacle, but desperately wishes to be, starts lobbing rocks in an attempt to bring others down from the height that they cannot achieve on their own merit.
I don't care what people shoot. But I don't like hunters that belittle other hunters. I don't like hunters that make excuses for what they shot as away of apologizing. I shot an antelope this fall that I shouldn't have. I was disappointed in me, but certainly not in the antelope. That buck had nothing to do with my hasty decision and I'm pretty sure he would have been just fine with me passing him.
It's not about what you shot. But it is about attitude!!
A lot of great posts here, some really disappointing ones as well. As others have said, APauls nailed it. Elk yinzer's last post was SPOT on in my opinion too. Tough to have someone you dont know but respect a ton based on their posts post a couple things that trash that respect. You are a killer. But dang, this thread hasnt shown you in very good light as a human/man/fellow hunter. I know, that doesnt matter to you and thats okay.
"Justify killing 18 month old bucks all you want any way you want. It ruins an area's deer hunting for everyone regardless of their goals, meat or antlers" I don't agree with your logic. If someone goes to the Buck Shack and kills 2 bucks, the impact on the buck population is exactly the same regardless of whether they are spikes or Pope and Young animals.
Most of this entire thread has no logic. Logic is generally in short supply when emotions and competition enter the game. Loprofile is correct. In fact, if I was a true large rack hunter I would be ecstatic other hunters filled their tags with smaller bucks rather than the ones I was after. How many book, horn porn animals do you think are running around in most areas?
As a life long hunter/resident of Michigan I have seen a gradual trend of letting smaller bucks go and yes I do see bigger deer in my area of central Michigan. But honestly, my family and I have talked in recent years about this and the fact that hunting was more "fun" when any buck you saw was a target...but we like big bucks too. A coupe years ago my neighbor lambasted me because I shot a 2.5yr old 8 point that he "let walk every day for the past two weeks". It was the biggest deer I had seen all year. I bit my tongue and didn't respond. Same year another neighbor was lamenting my brother shooting a "little 8". Again, biggest buck my brother had seen all year. That made me think about my previously held opinions and I came to the realization that I never want to act like that, ever. I had said some similar things prior and now I knew how it felt. My opinion since then is this-I buy my tags and shoot what I want. You do the same and we will both be happy. As soon as someone wants to pay the $100 plus in license and tag fees for me then I'll play by their rules. Until then they can shut up and sit down. Now the only deer that I really don't want shot is button bucks-again tho that's my opinion only. I love shooting and eating deer and when that becomes no fun it's time to quit. Complaining or bemoaning what my neighbors may or may not kill is a complete waste of time and energy. Life is too short and fragile to worry about who kills what.
Bob does have a point in a few regards, one being the fact that has been shown in studies that having a completely out-of-whack age-strata of males in a population does widen the rut which results in young being dropped over a wider period of time which results in more young being taken by predators. Additionally, while there are pure meat hunters and pure trophy hunters, a lot of people are a mix of both and kill younger males while hoping for a mature animal. The trophy hunters and what I would guess is the bulk of hunters, the group that kills smaller animals but hopes for something bigger, together, these two groups do get disaffected in a way by people not being patient and holding out for a mature animal.
But Bob, I think you're failing to realize or give importance to a couple things:
First off, it's still hunting and the origin of hunting has everything to do with meat and nothing to do with antlers. You say that, then, people should kill does. That's not always possible. Many places don't have doe tags. If someone has the hope for killing a mature male but needs meat, they often times don't have a choice but to kill a young male.
I'm a proud P&Y member and it's my goal that every animal I kill makes the book, but in the end, I need over 300 lbs of game meat to fill my freezer every year and I won't be denied that right... so while I kill some mature animals, I also end up killing more babies than Planned Parenthood. I went to Kodiak this year and made up my mind that only book animals would be taken because the expense and nature of the trip/destination made it an adventure/trophy hunt, not a meat hunt. I ended up shooting a 5 year old goat which I'm very proud of, but left without a deer (my one book deer I shot fell off a cliff and was unrecoverable). I ate tag soup trophy hunting in AZ, then ate tag soup in WY elk hunting in part because I focused on killing one specific mature bull. I then came back to California and needed to fill the freezer. I wanted a book deer, but I killed a 2 year old buck (no doe tags available) because that's what I was given the opportunity to shoot. I then went to WY and wanted a book deer and almost had one, but with 2 hours left in the hunt, shot a 2 year old deer (no doe tags available). My last hunt of the season will be AZ Coues in January and because of those two young deer, I now have enough meat in the freezer to hold out for a book Coues, so I'm glad I shot those two deer.
Secondly, patience often times has very little to do with someone's small animal. Many people don't want a mature animal, many people don't have the time to wait, and many people don't have the luxury to spend several months hunting. In fact, the vast majority of hunters hunt less than 15 days per year. If all those people who only hunt 3-10 days per year held out for mature animals, they'd never get anything and at least white tail management by hunters as we know it, would fail. Additionally, I think your personal abilities have skewed your view of this some. I'll try, but will probably never attain your level of success, even if I held out like you do and hunted as much as you do. And that goes for a lot of folks out there. What you're asking us to do is deny ourselves the satisfaction of some of the things we get out of bowhunting, which include excellent meat and the satisfaction of a filled tag.
Until I'm good enough of a bowhunter to fill the freezer with book animals, I'm not going to deny myself attaining my goal of raising my children exclusively on game meat nor am I going to deny myself what I truly enjoy: adventure bowhunting and killing big game animals with my bow. Last year I trophy hunted a lot more and ended up needing to go to Nebraska and slaughter tons of deer to fill the freezer. But I'm not going to do that every year. I'm going to go on hunts and try and kill trophies because life is short and that's what I want to do. But I'm going to fill the freezer one way or the other and have a blast doing it.
I understand where you're coming from, but I respectfully disagree.
"Justify killing 18 month old bucks all you want any way you want. It ruins an area's deer hunting for everyone regardless of their goals, meat or antlers. If it's soley meat you seak do the deer heard and your fellow hunter a favor and kill a doe instead of an immature buck."
I totally agree with Bob. Obviously, every land owner has the right to kill whatever is legal and he is happy about. However, killing every 1.5 year old buck that you see sure doesn't help the herds genetics or big buck population. Let the young ones go and you will have older, wiser bucks that are better at surviving and thus you will have more genetically superior breeding going on in your area. You will also have a lot more big buck in your area to hunt for in the furture.
I bought my land from a guy that listed it saying it was managed for big bucks. Here is the reality of it that I found after a few years. His management plan was to shoot every buck they see and otherwise only shoot doe fawns to "save the herd". It is this kind of stupidty that runs rampant. When we first started hunting there the doe outnumberd the buck by I bet at least 20 to 1. Good luck seeing any rut action. So if he knew anything about herd management, he would know you have to reduce your adult doe herd sigificantly. Also, how does only shooting meatless doe fawns help. The remaining adult doe that should have been thinned will drive all their bucks fawns out of the area. He might have been better off only shooting buck fawn as there are likely bucks for areas > 5 miles away as they mature. He wonders why I am upset with him for saying he managed for trophy bucks and I was dealt this mess to hunt on. He still is killing every little buck that he can. When we started to thin the doe a bit, and mind you only many 2 to 4 per year, he would shake his stupid pin head at us and tell us we were damaging the herd. OMG, he totally thinks his management plan is a plan? I asked him if he ever read any management plans such as QDM and he scoofed that the very idea. What an A Hole! Again, he can shoot what is legal on his land but don't lie to my face when I am buying land from you .... That all being said, hunting is for fun but you can have fun and do a little bit of smart management of the herd at the same time.
"Let the young ones go and you will have older, wiser bucks that are better at surviving and thus you will have more genetically superior breeding going on in your area. You will also have a lot more big buck in your area to hunt for in the furture."
So easy for a guy to say who owns his own land for hunting and has control over what's killed. The majority of hunters out there don't give a rats ass about trophy racks.
"I guess the professional wildlife managers who invoke age/antler restrictions in states they manage should forget what they have learned" These professionals generally have goals of allowing bucks to reach their maximum antler size. No doubt it is effective for those who have the same goal. It is an irrefutable fact that a dead buck is one less buck in the world, regardless of how big his antlers are. If a person is happy/excited/satisfied with shooting a legal buck of any size, I say congratulations.
Hunting becomes exponentially more fun when you can sincerely celebrate everyone's success, regardless of the size of the antlers. I feel sorry for those that frown on other people's success. They are missing out.
I don't know who Bob is or what he's shot, but he doesn't sound like a guy I'd like to share camp with. I'd rather judge someone's character on how they treat others than the size of deer they shoot.
I don't agree with Bob but that doesn't mean some of what he says is not true. 1-Many of us do not have the privilege to practice QDM only because of where we are able to hunt. 2-We are not all horn hunters 3-With all the food plots, baiting, game cams, Fair Chase does not have the same meaning as 30 years ago. I mean who the hell names WILD Deer & Makes a HIT LIST unless they are privy to some "real special" hunting areas that others will only dream of. I've been blessed & starting my 61st year of bowhunting biggame (I started in 1956 when bowhunters were REAL-that will get some started). I guess my 1st 30 years was shoot what the man upstairs sends down the path (no bonus tags back then & yes, Ive filled my ONE & ONLY either sex tag with a DOE at times) The next 20 years I was more selective in what size Buck I would try for & with an extra Doe tags being available would take one on occasion. NOW, for at least 10 years I set a personal goal on my next Whitetail Buck in my home state & no longer shoot ANY Does. I seem to take more photos for sure & get satisfaction having fooled many Whitetails on their home turf. Whitetails at home is the only restriction I have put on myself. If I were in Elk Country & legal a Cow or Spike might have an arrow sent their way. I killed ONE Antelope Doe on my 1st Antelope bowhunt & due to bad winters on these critters said I would never shoot another. 2 more trips for Antelope & each time I could have killed (or at least shot at them) Does & let them drink in peace. ANY Antelope Buck was fair game. Different strokes for different folks. I would never belittle any bowhunter for any legally taken animal. To me that is just wrong. I have 2 Adult bowhunting children & currently 4 bowhunting G-kids. I try to teach them & tell them, until you become proficient at getting that shot on an animal with your heart pounding & your breathing, adrenaline going crazy, don't worry about the head gear. You can become more selective anytime you want but I suggest you not worry to much about it but where your going to place that arrow. I have 2 sayings 1-I have experienced in Archery/Bowhunting what most will only dream of & 2-Kills will be long forgotten but memories of camp fire friends will last forever. Now, I'll close with a part of what pigsticker said. Over the years, every fawn, calf, spike, forkhorn, raghorn, doe, cow, buck, bull have all fed my family and other families. And they all tasted great! . Oh, I never felt I had to prove myself as a man & having worn Navy, Marine & Army uniforms taught me that.
Dang, there are some fantastic posts on this thread. TRUE hunting feelings and thoughts that make me proud to be a hunter and would do great to show hunting in a very positive light to those who are on the fence about hunting.