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Passing on deer...


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On 10/30/2020 at 12:15 AM, Birdcountry70 said:

I was thinking about this thread tonight when my son and I were hunkered down in an old irrigation ditch in the woods and a small 4x4 whitetail walked 30 yards in front of us. When we first saw him I asked Evan if he wanted to shoot it and he said "No, I want to wait for a chance at a bigger one"  I hoped he would get that chance and we didn't regret it later. It only took another hour and a half until he got his chance. This one stepped out of the brush at 65 yards with 10 minutes of shooting light left.  While we were  heading to the truck I mentioned how he had learned a lesson about passing up deer. "If you shoot the first deer you can, odds are you won't kill very many bigger ones in your life ".  He said next year he's going to hold off for a really big one.  Ha! He's hooked!

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Congratulations  Evan. You da man👍

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I am fortunate to live where there are big deer.  Not the Canadian monsters that we see huge body weights from but rather a "hybrid" mixture. Deer in Illinois were gone until the IL DNR reintroduced a

I was thinking about this thread tonight when my son and I were hunkered down in an old irrigation ditch in the woods and a small 4x4 whitetail walked 30 yards in front of us. When we first saw him I

My approach is like many here, and that's if you want meat, shoot a doe. I also think a doe is usually better to eat than an older buck. Whacking a good buck is always exciting, but I like to let them

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Does came blasting through the woods and stopped right under my stand.  I know there’s good bucks in here and as desperate as I am to fill the freezer, I just couldn’t shoot, had to wait to see if they were being chased.  Turns out momma was just weening.  Those skippers are running her ragged.  Hope I don’t regret not knocking one down.

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My deer season starts next Saturday.  The goal over the last couple of years is to provide venison to those friends who for health reasons can no longer hunt.  Accordingly if its a decent sized doe its down.  I won't shoot fawns and its pretty easy to figure those out because they have little snouts and piggy ears.  Everything else is fair game, although I will admit I shoot more old spikes then anything else.  A nice deer around here is 180 lbs on the hoof for a buck and 120 lbs on the hoof for a doe. 

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The season opened Oct 10th and I was out for the first time yesterday. After smoking a wild turkey breast and the thighs, I walked our property in search of a whitetail buck, in the afternoon. I walked more or less the perimeter and sat in some of the more open areas for a bit and still hunted through some of the more heavily timbered areas. I saw 7 deer total, all does from what I could tell, and passed on all. I did see two elk, a cow and a calf shortly after starting out.

 

I'm hoping to hold out, until crunch time, for a buck.

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On 10/6/2020 at 11:55 PM, Huntschool said:

I have "managed" deer on mine and adjacent properties for almost 40 years.  Those that hunt it legally have agreed to not take any bucks until we are pretty sure they are over 4.5 and that takes a bit of doing.  We do have some "sneak in hunters" which we have caught a few and pressed charges.  That seems to have slowed it down.  Well hidden/placed  trail cams have helped a bunch.  

 

When I want meat its a doe without fawns.

Absolutely. 

Hunting crowded public land makes this sort of thing very difficult without proper rules.

There are a number of good things about the "Texas" way of deer hunting/management and one of them is that the deer herd is properly managed, relatively disease free, and the bucks grow to a decent age to be a good representative of a mature white tail buck, instead of a puny 4 point under 100 pounds.

At my last deer lease we had to shoot 2 does before we took a buck that was an estimated 4 or 5 years old. The exception is that everyone got one "management" buck that was in some way a poor specimen. The last one I shot had no brow tines for example.

There were videos and sets of deer teeth to show newbies how to age deer on the hoof. Wasn't perfect, it was good enough. 

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I think I learned more about passing deer up in one week (last week) than in 30 years!  I think it was so enjoyable because I had the plan that taking a deer was secondary to the experience as a whole.  Not that I don't enjoy hunting when I'm 500 yards from my house in my deer stand, but when I was 1500 miles and in a totally new setting it was really about just taking it all in.  Now don't get me wrong, I plan on taking a doe for the freezer soon, but as for passing bucks up, I think many of the ones I would have shot at in the past are pretty safe now.  I've taken my share of 2 1/2y/o bucks and really don't feel the need to add to that.  Time will tell I suppose but not shooting a small buck is unlikely to ever ruin my hunting season at this point in life.

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Now that my sons deer hunt with me I pass on a lot of deer. The running  joke is the "old man" sleeps in his stand couldn't be farther from the truth.  Truth is the "old man" passes on deer in hope's that his sons will fill their tags first so the "old man" can spend more time in the woods with his sons. Very selfish of me !

 

Virgil 

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On 10/18/2020 at 1:14 AM, MAArcher said:

Sometimes they get a pass, but its not my choice.

 

 

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Kinda funny story.  I don't care who "passes" what, everyone needs to get what they want out of hunting.  No one should be telling anyone how best to have fun.

Got one buddy though, the one I hunt with the most.  His brother and I chuckle all the time because he is shooting everything and anything. 

So any time he tells us "he passed" such and such deer the joke is that after he ran out of arrows he decided to pass on that one. 

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2 hours ago, Virgil Kane said:

Now that my sons deer hunt with me I pass on a lot of deer. The running  joke is the "old man" sleeps in his stand couldn't be farther from the truth.  Truth is the "old man" passes on deer in hope's that his sons will fill their tags first so the "old man" can spend more time in the woods with his sons. Very selfish of me !

 

Virgil 

👍  I "passed" quite a few over the last few years, mostly because they were headed in my son's direction. 

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If you want to kill a trophy you must pass on everything else, it really is that simple

 

but what a “trophy” is up to the individual  

 

when I was a kid every deer was a trophy and a five point buck I killed was my most exciting deer of my lifetime 

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7 hours ago, bobman said:

If you want to kill a trophy you must pass on everything else, it really is that simple

 

but what a “trophy” is up to the individual  

 

when I was a kid every deer was a trophy and a five point buck I killed was my most exciting deer of my lifetime 


I saw a quote once that said your first deer is the most memorable, the second most memorable, is when you help someone else get their first.

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shoot-straight

Can't stomach writing the details but I've accidentally "passed" both these mature deer in the past week. So sick. 
 

 

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When a younger man I shot some pretty decent bucks by Maine standards; (weight, not necessarily rack score), but one of the deer I remember most was the first deer I successfully tracked in the snow and killed. I took up the track just out behind my house, and kept on him and a doe he was with all morning. It was a smallish 5 pt. I’ll never forget that buck checking his back trail, nose in the air, or sliding him like a sled all the way back to my house.

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On 9/27/2020 at 12:41 PM, Brad Eden said:

Highly dependent on what state you are hunting. IMO. Hunters who pass up too many deer in much of Maine eat tag soup. We don’t exactly enjoy huge bag limits.  I don’t pass up any deer in early management bow season except for spotted fawns. And come November and at end of that management hunt in early December they are plenty big and fair game. I don’t generally bow hunt the statewide October season since I’m bird hunting, But love rifle deer hunting too, so if Ive killed any deer with bow earlier and have meat I might pass on a small buck or two with rifle early but that has come back to bite me too many times. Brown is down must have been coined in Maine.

 

This for sure, when I lived in eastern IA I passed on lots of deer because any given day there was at least a 50% chance I would have a shot at a deer, I could pass for a month then decide to fill a tag and be almost certain I could have one in a weekend. Now hunting in NW WI I cant be picky, many years I saw I will shoot any deer I see and never see a one during gun season. I bet if I were hunting near my house on public land I would be somewhere in between, a bit crowded for my taste though right here and I mostly lost interest in deer hunting. 

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