Black Gold Sights - Pure Gold
Public Land - Shoot or Pass?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
cnelk 03-Nov-19
yooper89 03-Nov-19
Bou'bound 03-Nov-19
Pyrannah 03-Nov-19
lv2bohunt 03-Nov-19
cnelk 03-Nov-19
JTV 03-Nov-19
Ambush 03-Nov-19
Treeline 03-Nov-19
midwest 03-Nov-19
Dakota 03-Nov-19
Reid 03-Nov-19
cnelk 03-Nov-19
Grey Ghost 03-Nov-19
fubar racin 03-Nov-19
Cazador 03-Nov-19
Grey Ghost 03-Nov-19
Michael 03-Nov-19
LBshooter 03-Nov-19
GF 03-Nov-19
PECO 03-Nov-19
Franklin 03-Nov-19
DanaC 03-Nov-19
Silverback 03-Nov-19
Grey Ghost 03-Nov-19
longbeard 03-Nov-19
Stoneman 03-Nov-19
Brun 03-Nov-19
Ghost425 03-Nov-19
Ghost425 03-Nov-19
LINK 03-Nov-19
Bowboy 03-Nov-19
drycreek 03-Nov-19
Elkoholic 03-Nov-19
GF 03-Nov-19
cnelk 03-Nov-19
Ambush 03-Nov-19
Grey Ghost 03-Nov-19
JL 03-Nov-19
Yellowjacket 03-Nov-19
WV Mountaineer 03-Nov-19
GF 03-Nov-19
Grey Ghost 03-Nov-19
Glunt@work 03-Nov-19
Ambush 03-Nov-19
Bloodtrail 03-Nov-19
GF 03-Nov-19
Grey Ghost 03-Nov-19
Rupe 03-Nov-19
PoudreCanyon 03-Nov-19
Lee 03-Nov-19
Zim 04-Nov-19
Rocky D 04-Nov-19
CSAL 04-Nov-19
TrapperKayak 04-Nov-19
Z Barebow 04-Nov-19
Vanish 04-Nov-19
BigStriper 04-Nov-19
ELKMAN 05-Nov-19
Grubby 05-Nov-19
12yards 05-Nov-19
Bowfreak 05-Nov-19
EmbryOklahoma 05-Nov-19
Dogg3250 05-Nov-19
KHNC 05-Nov-19
Cbfromnd 06-Nov-19
Will tell 06-Nov-19
Grey Ghost 06-Nov-19
Glunt@work 06-Nov-19
midwest 06-Nov-19
Duke 06-Nov-19
Nick Muche 06-Nov-19
LBshooter 06-Nov-19
ryanrc 06-Nov-19
cnelk 07-Nov-19
pointingdogs 07-Nov-19
carcus 07-Nov-19
Meat Grinder 07-Nov-19
Cityhunter333 09-Nov-19
GF 09-Nov-19
From: cnelk
03-Nov-19
If you were hunting public land, would you shoot or pass?

EDIT: Nebraska

From: yooper89
03-Nov-19
I’m passing unless it’s toward end of season, then all bets are off.

From: Bou'bound
03-Nov-19
Public land in Kansas or public land in Connecticut ?

From: Pyrannah
03-Nov-19
Public land where is the question

From: lv2bohunt
03-Nov-19
I would pass that buck.

From: cnelk
03-Nov-19
The state is Nebraska. A heavily hunted public land state.

From: JTV
03-Nov-19
depends on the property, time of the season and if there is meat in the freezer ...last year I killed one like that vid on state land, a 165lb 8 pt 2.5 yr old ... in 2016 I held off and killed a 190 lb fd 139" 8 pt....this year I said I'll pass a buck like that in the vid and I killed a big 205 lb 8 pt on Oct. 25th ..... my goal is always to kill a doe early, then I can hold out for a big buck and hopefully get one before gun season starts ... it dosnt always work out that way however... my long vacation starts Friday, so a Doe hunting I will go ..... I can always wave when the bucks come by ... ;0) ..... we are a one buck state (thank goodness) .. good luck

From: Ambush
03-Nov-19
Well since that might be the biggest archery whitetail I’ve killed, he’s getting shot at.

From: Treeline
03-Nov-19
That would be bigger than any whitetail I have ever shot in Nebraska!

Or Colorado for that matter!!!

Still probably pass. Young buck.

From: midwest
03-Nov-19
He looks delicious! I might pass if my freezer is full of elk and antelope. But I might not because I like to kill stuff. ;-)

From: Dakota
03-Nov-19
He would get a pass.

From: Reid
03-Nov-19
Pass

From: cnelk
03-Nov-19
“ But I might not because I like to kill stuff. ;-) “

^^^ I’m the same. :)

From: Grey Ghost
03-Nov-19
I would pass regardless of where he lived. I like killing mature deer.

Matt

From: fubar racin
03-Nov-19
Yup that one will eat I’d choot him

From: Cazador
03-Nov-19
Not even a question getting a pass anywhere. I'd rather shoot a doe.

From: Grey Ghost
03-Nov-19
Imagine if every hunter subscribed to the "if I don't shoot him, someone else will" theory. Ask Pat how that's working out on his NY property.

Matt

From: Michael
03-Nov-19
I would pass. In 3 more years he could be a 208.

From: LBshooter
03-Nov-19
If your trophy hunting then pass, meat shoot. If your not going to shoot the. You should educate the deer by making noise up high and maybe he'll turn into a 170" class deer.

From: GF
03-Nov-19
I never saw a shot angle that I really liked.

So let’s see…

For me, that would be a non-resident tag in a state well-known for some real monsters. I’ve got plenty of racks in that size bracket out in the garage, and assuming that I get one tag on this deal, this would be the end of the hunt.

I’m just not seeing any real reason to take this one, unless it’s my last day, the freezer is empty, and I’m down to the last of shooting light.

But even then.... you never know what the next 5 minutes might bring.

From: PECO
03-Nov-19
I like what LB said, if your aren't going to shoot him, educate him. Maybe make noise and send and arrow high over his back. Teach him well!

From: Franklin
03-Nov-19
Definite pass. I would have to believe there are better deer than that and the rut is just getting cranking.

From: DanaC
03-Nov-19
I'm of the opinion that if it would be a shooter on the last day it is a shooter on day 1. Now, if I had only one buck tag, and a good expectation of seeing something bigger, ok, pass.

From: Silverback
03-Nov-19
I'm hunting deer so I'm shooting. If your hunting horns then pass.

From: Grey Ghost
03-Nov-19
My father was a meat hunter to the core, yet he always managed to shoot the biggest buck in camp. When asked if the meat or antlers were more important to him, he'd simply state "if I'm going to kill a deer for the freezer, I might as well kill the biggest one I can find."

I sure miss him....

Matt

From: longbeard
03-Nov-19
I’m hunting deer, with big antlers. Shoot a deer with big antlers and unbelievable there’s meat attached! That deer is a young deer he gets a pass for two more years. And yes Bou I’m hunting in Ct. if you want meat shoot a doe.

From: Stoneman
03-Nov-19
Shoot or pass makes me want to get my butt in a stand...

From: Brun
03-Nov-19
I have never hunted whitetails so I would probably shoot unless someone knowledgeable of the area told me there was a good chance of seeing something better.

From: Ghost425
03-Nov-19
Brad I think you made the right choice although let’s face it, Nebraska is not the big buck state that KS or Iowa is. He has a small (inside the ear spread) and short tines. It’s early November and you will likely find another opportunity at a buck equally as big or bigger

From: Ghost425
03-Nov-19
IMG_3762.mov

From: LINK
03-Nov-19
I’d pass that buck in every state except Connecticut. ;) I hunt deer for meat and horns , both parts make up the animal. If I shot the first 2.5 year old that came by there wouldn’t be much “hunting” to it. I like to hunt too much to kill the first thing that walks by.

From: Bowboy
03-Nov-19
He looks mighty tasty, but the shot choice is yours! I'd probably let him walk!

From: drycreek
03-Nov-19
I passed two like that in Iowa several years ago, and two like that in Kansas after that, so I expect I’d pass on that one also. I kill enough deer here to eat, so when I hunted out of state, it was for a bigger buck than what I normally get a chance to take.

From: Elkoholic
03-Nov-19
Only 10 packages of elk in the freezer right now. He’s going down. Like uncle Ted all I see is yummy back strappies.

From: GF
03-Nov-19
“I'm of the opinion that if it would be a shooter on the last day it is a shooter on day 1. ”

I don't disagree with you AT ALL... But that said, there’s always the Meat angle.

There are really only a couple valid reasons to shoot a buck when you’re looking to fill the freezer:

1) There are no antlerless tags to be had.

2) You only get one tag a year and the pounds matter.

3) You’re about out of time for the year and it’s this or tag soup.

Under any other circumstances, that buck gets a pass from me.... In Nebraska, anyway.

Here in CT, public, this close to shotgun and an empty freezer.... unless it’s a bow-only area, I’d have to really be unhappy with the shot presented.

From: cnelk
03-Nov-19
Ill add a couple more reasons to GF's post above

4) You havent killed a WT buck before

5) You are a youth

From: Ambush
03-Nov-19
^^^ What if you’re old and you only see a whitetail every six or seven years and it’s not that big?

From: Grey Ghost
03-Nov-19
"^^^ What if you’re old and you only see a whitetail every six or seven years and it’s not that big?"

Find a new place to hunt.

Matt

From: JL
03-Nov-19
This would be things I take a look at:

1. Do my cams tell me there are bigger ones around?

2. At what point in the season...early, towards the end, last day, etc?

3. What I already have in the freezer?

4. How many doe tags are in my pocket?

5. Will I be taking the wife or kids out hunting?

6. Do I know someone who needs the meat real bad?

From: Yellowjacket
03-Nov-19
I'm shooting on the first day what I would shoot on the last. So yes I would shoot that deer. But Ialso haven't shot a whitetail that big.

03-Nov-19
Depends. No meat, he is getting it. Several in the freezer, he gets a pass. I like killing stuff a lot. But, if I have meat, then I will let bucks walk. I have drawn my bow three times this season and yet to release. To hot mostly but, I have some meat too. And, I have a 165" deer on camera. But, once November rolls through, if it is legal, it is getting put in the freezer.

From: GF
03-Nov-19
I’ll go along with Cnelk’s reasons; for a young or newer hunter, if a legal animal offers you a high-quality shot, you should take it.

And to Ambush’s point, if you know the area is not likely to offer you another shot, then what are you waiting for? My experience here in CT, late-season has been excruciating.

But then the success rates in second shotgun season and in ML are under 5%, so I don’t think I’m alone in my frustrations!

From: Grey Ghost
03-Nov-19
I like venison as much as anyone, but I like hunting more. I only get one either-sex deer tag in my area. We have a nice mature herd with good trophy potential, but we certainly are not over-run with deer. I'd prefer to see our herd grow in numbers more than my desire to fill a freezer. So, I don't shoot does and bucks have to be 3-1/2 years or older for me to kill them. But that's just what makes sense for me and my hunting views and values. I respect differing motivations.

Matt

From: Glunt@work
03-Nov-19
If its the same public NE land I have hunted several times, he is a shooter. But it would have to be early in the hunt because the first doe that walks by would be a shooter as well so my tag may be gone. Fun hunt but not a place to expect a big buck. Of course there is always a chance of a big one cruising through but after not seeing one on cam, in the headlights, or from the stand after several years...

In the place I'm hunting next week, he gets a pass.

From: Ambush
03-Nov-19
I like to hunt mule deer, but I like to eat whitetail. I'd rather eat Sitka blacktails than anything but they wander past my stand even less than whitetails. (as in, they don't)

So in this case, white(tail) privilege is not to his advantage.

From: Bloodtrail
03-Nov-19
In CT where I live, I’m shooting him. Every. Single. Year. In Nebraska, I’m passing.

From: GF
03-Nov-19
Rules are usually different on a trip. I once wrecked a perfectly good 12-day vacation by tagging out opening morning.

Like Greygoose Matt, I like hunting even more than filling a tag, but I sure do prefer the twofer....

From: Grey Ghost
03-Nov-19
Greygoose is over rated. Tito’s is a much better value, Girl Friend.

Matt

From: Rupe
03-Nov-19
Hard pass.

From: PoudreCanyon
03-Nov-19
I’d shoot him - he’s a pretty good one from my experience hunting state land in Nebraska. If Nebraska G&F really wanted big bucks on state land, they’d still allow us non-residents to use the Reduced price, season’s choice doe tags on public land. If that were still the case, I’d likely not even have a buck tag when he walked by...

From: Lee
03-Nov-19
Nope - young deer.

Lee

From: Zim
04-Nov-19
Pass every time

From: Rocky D
04-Nov-19
I passed a 140 yesterday on public land.

From: CSAL
04-Nov-19
Pass all day long. I would do exactly as you did and take a little video for fun...

From: TrapperKayak
04-Nov-19
With very limited opportunity to hunt these days, I am shooting. If I had a month or two of every day hunting in a state that had big bucks consistently (not in NY , not in my area) and or opportunities to hunt several states, etc. I'd hold out. For where I live and hunt, that is a decent buck. Wish I had time and flexibility to do more than a few out-the-back-door hunts per season. So I would shoot. If in Montana or somewhere else where big bucks are plentiful and not extremely educated (like here), with one-three months to hunt every day, I'd pass.

From: Z Barebow
04-Nov-19
Yes. They look a little better with an x in their side than a bullet hole. (IE Gun season starts on Friday/Saturday [ND/MN]) If someone with a rifle sees him, he will be just as dead as me shooting him. (My freezer is empty also) If it was a doe, I would be shooting also!

From: Vanish
04-Nov-19
For public land especially, I don't subscribe to the "Don't shoot on the last what you won't on the first" maxim. If you've hunted the time you have available and never had the opportunity at a bigger buck, take home what makes you happy.

I spent 6 days in Nebraska earlier this year and passed on one like that twice. I was about to shoot one in that range on my last night, but the fickle wind ended that. Hoping I can get back out there again this year, but its not looking likely.

From: BigStriper
04-Nov-19
Everybody has there own reasons for shooting, I'm getting older and don't need but 1 or 2 deer per year at the most. I like to shoot either a Nice Buck or an older Doe, that's just my choice. If it was a Wife or Girl friend, New or First time hunter and they were happy with that Buck then that would be fine. Guess i'm getting to picky or don't need to kill a Buck that bad, I'm passing on that one and let him grow. Good luck to All. Kurt

From: ELKMAN
05-Nov-19
I would do the same thing I do anywhere else. I would shoot him if I wanted to. Ego and inches don't make my decisions for me regardless of where I'm at...

From: Grubby
05-Nov-19
Over the years I have had much more remorse for shooting than I did for not. I like to kill but time spent hunting is always limited.....

From: 12yards
05-Nov-19
If I regularly saw 3.5 year olds, I would pass that one (assuming he is 2.5). If a 2.5 year old is about all there is on the top end, I'd shoot him. In IA or SD I'm looking for 3.5+ year olds on public land.

From: Bowfreak
05-Nov-19
I've shot plenty of deer that size....so I am not above shooting one that size. Typically I would pass now, but if it was late in the season, I didn't have a deer in the freezer or I just wanted to shoot....I'd shoot.

05-Nov-19
Really that's yours to answer. So much has to do with where you are in your whitetail hunting and ultimately, what floats YOUR boat.

Me, 20 years ago, I probably would kill him. Natural progression has taken ahold and now I wouldn't shoot that buck anytime, or anywhere. Again, ultimately it's your call.

From: Dogg3250
05-Nov-19
I have passed and taken that size, So I guess depends on if I have a freezer doe or not

From: KHNC
05-Nov-19
I have killed a couple 100 whitetails, at least, in my lifetime. I have hunted NE a bunch over the years. Some terrific bucks in that state for sure. Shot a few monsters there. The public land can produce some big WT in different areas too. If its a youth hunter, i vote to shoot any buck you want to stick an arrow into. I dont subscribe to talking kids into "passing" deer. I used to do that occasionally, however, now i wish i had just told to shoot if they wanted to. For myself, i kill whatever i feel like shooting that day. On some hunts, i just get the urge to kill one and i do. Right now, i am in big buck mode only, as i have plenty of meat in the freezer. And , i have not killed a really big buck since the 2016 season. A couple of my truly big whitetail came off public land in Kentucky and Kansas. So, they saying that you cant kill a big one by shooting a small one does apply as well. Good luck on whatever you decide is right for yourself, and dont let anyone else decide for you. Just like you do on those Colorado elk! ;)

From: Cbfromnd
06-Nov-19

Cbfromnd's embedded Photo
Cbfromnd's embedded Photo
He gets a pass in my book.. I passed this guy this season while it's hard to do because I am surely not looking forward to what North Dakota weather has to offer in the next week or so.. cold!

From: Will tell
06-Nov-19
At my age there are three thing you don't pass up. A chair to sit in, a toilet and a legal buck.

From: Grey Ghost
06-Nov-19
It's interesting to compare and contrast the opinions on this thread versus those expressed on Pat's live Iowa hunt. The overwhelming opinion on Pat's thread was that he should hold out for a mature trophy deer. On this thread, it's about 50/50 whether or not to shoot the 2.5 year old deer in the video.

OK, so the obvious difference is public land versus managed private land. My question is what's the difference? Doesn't QDM apply to all land? I get that you can't control other hunters on public land, but you can do your own part. You can also influence other hunters to do the same.

I guess I just don't think tag soup is as toxic as some of you. I don't need to kill a deer every year to enjoy hunting them. I won't starve if my freezer isn't full of wild game. I don't think I've failed, somehow, if I pass on young deer and never get a chance at a mature one.

I'm not saying my way is the best way, but I can't help noticing the conflicting opinions based purely on private versus public land.

Matt

From: Glunt@work
06-Nov-19
If tag soup was toxic, I would have been long gone years ago. QDM is fine but on popular public land it can be like trying to drain the ocean with a teaspoon.

I dont think everyone who would opt to shoot thinks its a failure to not get one or that tag soup is toxic. They just enjoy getting a deer and may not have the time or access that allows a reasonable chance at a big one.

From: midwest
06-Nov-19
Some people don't have unlimited time to hunt and actually prefer the meat over antlers.

From: Duke
06-Nov-19
Simple—all depends on the hunter. If it excites you and you’re content with tagging out, let it loose! If he’s just another buck to chop off his antlers and hang in the back of the garage let him go...He’ll undoubtedly be a bigger deer next year if he doesn’t get shot.

From: Nick Muche
06-Nov-19
Grey just likes debating now that he can’t on the Community Forum.

From: LBshooter
06-Nov-19
I practice QDM all the time. Quality deer meat, antlers are always secondary. Once the freezer is full then I might hold out but not likely.

From: ryanrc
06-Nov-19
Everyone is going to have their own reason one way or another. Would I shoot that deer? Yes. But only because I am busy with work and 3 young kids and I get a couple weekends usually at best to hunt and have an empty freezer. But, have i passed on deer like that before? Countless times, but it was when i had way more time to hunt. My new rule given my time restraints is pretty much shoot the first thing that gives me a chance, at least if i was in NE. But, if i was in your situation with a couple of animals killed already this season, i wouldn't shoot. I would probably hold out for a mature deer or eat the tag. Not all the 1.5 year olds get killed, even on high pressured land. I am sure you have a chance for a rutted up buck to make a mistake this season, even on state land.

From: cnelk
07-Nov-19
Note: this isn’t my video nor am I archery hunting WT deer this year.

This thread is nothing more than a discussion item and what I have or haven’t put in the freezer this year has no bearing.

From: pointingdogs
07-Nov-19
Pass. Just at the ears. Too young.

From: carcus
07-Nov-19
Pass every time

From: Meat Grinder
07-Nov-19
He gets a pass from me. I'l'll shoot a doe if it's meat I'm after. I haven't killed a lot of big bucks, and never will if I take young bucks like this one. Especially in a one-buck state like Indiana. Good Hunting to all.

09-Nov-19
If u are happy to punch your tag then so be it!! If a fellow is happy with his kill that is what it's all about!!

From: GF
09-Nov-19
“Doesn't QDM apply to all land? ”

Nope. Unless you can completely control an area larger than the home range of several bucks, you’re out of your mind to think that you can “manage” ANYTHING.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t pass on younger bucks if you’re so inclined, but to think that you’re really going to do more than get a warm fuzzy out of the deal is pretty, uhhh..... Optimistic.

Where Pat is has about as much to do with this thread as the man in the moon; he’s on a whole different planet from public land, ANYWHERE...

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