Halloween Buck down!...but...

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by wibowbros, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. wibowbros

    wibowbros Weekend Warrior

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    I had an awesome Halloween hunt in SE Minnesota and got to seal the deal on a nice mature Minnesota 9 pointer, my biggest buck to date! Here's how it went down.

    I'm with my Dad on a trip and it's our first day of hunting, we unfortunately got rained out for the morning sit but got settled in just as the rain was stopping (about 2pm) and the deer were definitely moving. My dad and I were sitting about 800 yards apart and he had texted me 10 minutes after getting settled in that he already had seen a nice 8. I was seeing a few does filter by but my spot was in a little thicker draw so deer had to be close to get a look at anything. Then my dad texted that he had seen a heavy shooter 9 chasing a doe, so I'm getting pumped! Our first sit and it seems like the deer are really running after the rain all day. So it's about 6:00 and I hear grunting off to my left, I look over and immediately see horns. It's thick but I get my binos on him and instantly think shooter. Then I see the doe in front of him. She stops, pees and he continues to bump her around, they cross in front of me at 40 but I pass the shot and am thinking they are gone. JUST then she makes the turn and heads up hill, past my stand at 15yards! I pick my shooting lane and get ready for him to follow...and it all happens textbook. He follows he trail and I give him a "Mehh" just as he stops I sent one right behind his shoulder. He took off and stopped about 50 yards on the next ridge and started to wobble, he then disappeared over the ridge but I had a pretty good idea he was done. I sent out a text to my dad, wife, and buddies and told them the good news. To be safe I backed out and we waited a good 2 hours before taking up the trail. sure enough, there he was 80 yards from where I shot him! Needles to say it was a good night of celebrating and sharing pics. I was more than excited to harvest my biggest whitetail buck!


    Now here comes the but...

    We're out here hunting with an outfitter.Its the first time we have ever done a hunting trip, but I got a really nice hook up with a reputable outfitter here and thought it'd be a lot of fun to try and get ourselves a nice buck! I would still consider myself pretty novice when it comes to bowhunting. This is probably my 4th season taking it very serious and I can say I'm learning more and more every year. I've been fortunate to harvest some decent bucks on my home farm (Wisconsin) but none that I thought were big enough to score. My guess is they were all between maybe 80"-100".

    That being said, this outfitter has a 125" minimum. Something I understand and respect, you have to manage what is shot in order to give people opportunities at big deer. I'm sure almost all outfitters have a minimum. Anyways, from the moment I saw the buck on the hoof I thought he was big enough. Heck, he was a lot heavier and had 2 more points than anything I've shot before so he's gotta be at that 125" mark. Even when we recovered him, I knew he wasn't a monster buck, but he sure as heck looked nice to me! I definitely still thought he would meet that 125" mark.

    Well...the next day the owner of the outfitter came by the cabin and wished me a big congrats but said he didn't think the buck would meet the minimum...(a $500 penalty). This took the wind out of my sails a little bit, if you know what I'm saying. It's still my biggest buck and I'm super happy and blessed to have taken him, but if be lying if I told you it didn't suck to hear that.

    He said I could have it professionally scored and we could see what it comes to, but that's my call. So, here's my question to you guys..

    What would you do in this situation? Does he look close to 125"? Should I have a P&Y scorer come out and score him? Or should I just cough up the $500 and chalk it up as another learning experience?
    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     
  2. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Die Hard Bowhunter

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    nice buck and congrats but no, he's not 125
     
  3. Matt Jensen

    Matt Jensen Weekend Warrior

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    I don't think he's quite 125, but I would definitely have him scored. I've scored mine by myself, just need to Google how to do it. Wasn't too hard, and then you would know if you are close or not. No matter what congrats, he's a good one
     
  4. ShaneB22

    ShaneB22 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    It looks really close to me. Find a soft tape measure and measure yourself first then make a decision. To me it looks like he might be right at the 125" mark if he makes it or he might be a few inches short. But it's harder to guesstimate over a screen than it is when it's right in front of you.
     
  5. emgepi

    emgepi Weekend Warrior

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    It's not really hard to score them yourself and see if it comes close. The outiftter doesn't score them? He just goes on a best guess? He's probably seen enough to know but I'd want him to have a number to tell me exactly what he scored if I'm paying a penalty for it. I hunted with an outiftter that had a minimum score a few years back and they measured him. The penalty would be $100 per inch that he was under.

    It's hard looking for a buck of a certain size if you have never layed eyes or your hands on a buck that big before. When I went, we needed to shoot 130" or bigger. My biggest buck at that point was barely 100" so I didn't really know what a 130" would look like on the hoof necessarily. Mine turned out to be 151" but after the shot I was questioning myself and wondering if he was big enough.
     
  6. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Congrats on the buck, sucks if it costs you an additional $500 but at least you have the deer.
     
  7. wibowbros

    wibowbros Weekend Warrior

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    No he didn't score him, which I thought was weird but hey, not my rules. That's mainly why I'm looking for estimates from all the experienced hunters on here. He's at the processor now but as soon as I get the rack back I will measure him myself and if he comes out close then I will have it done professionally!

    But yeah, I can be happy I have him. Very fun hunt for me!
     
  8. vermontwhitetail

    vermontwhitetail Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I'd score him myself. I think he's probably 115-118, but it's hard to tell the mass from a photo. He's close enough that I would score him and if your score is close to 125 then I'd bring out the P&Y guy. Nice buck though, don't be discouraged. I haven't shot one that big in a long time. Congrats.
     
  9. ShaneB22

    ShaneB22 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Good luck. Hopefully he scores 125" so you can save $500.
     
  10. fingerz42

    fingerz42 Weekend Warrior

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    If I were to guess, I would say he misses 125" by just a few inches. Score it yourself and see what you come up with.

    What I don't like is that this guy thinks he can just assume it's less than 125" and make you pay without actually having it measured, and the only way to counter it is if YOU have it officially scored. If he is taking your money, why doesn't HE have it officially scored. Seems like a bunch of crap to me.
     
  11. smctitan

    smctitan Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Congrats on a great buck however it looks more like 115 to me. He's got decent mass but misses a little in tine length.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. purebowhunting

    purebowhunting Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I don't think he has the tine length for 125. Is the rule net or gross score?
     
  13. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    First off, congrats on a successful hunt. I could feel your excitement and enthusiasm by reading your post. That's what hunting is all about - not scores of deer. :tu:

    Now unfortunately since you're with an outfitter that has antler minimums, you do need to deal with the consquences of not following those rules. My guess is he's in the 110-115" range - pretty short of that 125" minimum. Sucks, but it is what it is. Those minimums are put there to protect their business and ensure the future of their deer herd.

    A general rule of thumb is that a deer needs 19" of vertical tines per side to hit 125" - assuming he has average sized mass, beams and spread. A quick count of the smaller side would give you 10-12 inches and the larger side 13-14 inches. It only takes a few seconds to do that math when a deer is coming in and can make your life a lot easier.

    When it comes to antler minimums a great rules is that if you have to ask yourself if he's big enough - don't shoot. When you see a bonafide shooter you'll know it and there won't be any questions.

    Although you're out $500 you had a great hunt and it's memory you'll never forget. Congrats again!
     
  14. wibowbros

    wibowbros Weekend Warrior

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    It is a gross score..
     
  15. cls74

    cls74 Legendary Woodsman

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    That's what i don't like about outfitters like that.

    Unless they are high fenced they do not own the deer on the property they own. The deer are property of the state, ie taxpayers.

    I would love to see trophy penalties and fines challenged in court. That would be like putting a 20 mph speed limit on the road in front of your house and issuing tickets for your own gain.

    Might not be the popular opinion, but it is BS they can do such. People do it and pay it so it's on them and their choice to partake, but as I said it is why I would never hunt with such an outfit.
     
  16. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    :lol:

    When you hunt with an outfitter you typically have to sign a legal contract along with waivers. Part of that contract states if the deer you shoot isn't of a certain size you must pay a fine. My guess is that you're going to pay for more than $500 in legal fees trying to fight it.

    You have to recognize this is a business for these people and they have every right to try and protect that business. Generally speaking people go hunt with an outfitter to have an opportunity to shoot an animal they may not otherwise have the opportunity to shoot. Likewise the outfitter only has access to so much land with so many deer on it. If their clients come in and shoot every 120" buck that walks in front of them there won't be any 150's which are the bucks that sell the hunts.
     
  17. cls74

    cls74 Legendary Woodsman

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    Point taken and truth told. I didn't say it would be a popular opinion, only that it was mine.
     
  18. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    I hear ya. It certainly isn't fun when you're writing that $500 check but it is what it is. By protecting the younger deer they provide clients an opportunity to harvest that "buck of a lifetime" which is what they're there for.
     
  19. Shane0709

    Shane0709 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thats an awesome deer. congrats on the hunt and the deer regardless. best of luck
     
  20. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

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    The outfitter owns the access to the deer on that ground. Your speed limit analogy only works if you are stopping random people in a public land parking lot and imposing fines. The road in front of your house was paid with tax dollars. The outfitters business and the service (access) he provides is out of his own pocket. Big difference.

    To the OP. Lots of guys would be willing to pay an additional $500 kill fee for any sized animal. Enjoy your deer and lesson learned. Congrats.
     

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