Is Counting Inches Killing Deer Hunting?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Bowhunting.com Staff, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Posts:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    7,532
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    GET OUT OF MY PUBLIC LAND RIVER BOTTOM!

    Just kidding! That bucks looks incredibly close to a big six point I had broadside at 12 yards on Nov 12. Unfortunately, he stay behind trees and never gave me a ethical shot. Young oaks amid tall grass. Strikingly similar setting. As you can see, I am still a little bitter about it. :bigcry:
     
    gri22ly likes this.
  2. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    5,075
    Likes Received:
    863
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Location:
    N. Illinois
    I've never seen a 130" 1.5 or 2.5 in IL, WI, or KS. Our average 2.5 in IL is around 100". And I'd say our average 3.5 is maybe 120-130"? Genetics are def different between Northeast and Midwest, but not as big of a factor as many back east believe. Most mature bucks out here in the midwest will never break 150 regardless of age. But because there are so many more mature bucks, the chances of you bumping into a genetic freak here is much higher.

    The biggest problem the Northeast has is age class. If the hunting culture was the same in NY as it is in IL, you'd see a lot more of those 125-140" deer. The genetics nearly everywhere in NY would support that if the hunters would stop shooting all the 1.5-3.5 y/o deer. It would only take 3 years.

    NY as a whole has made some improvements in reducing the 1.5-2.5 bucks killed. Since 2006 the percentage of total buck kill that is 3.5+ has increased from roughly 8% state wide to 15-20% depending on region. With that said, 80-85% of the buck kill each year is still 1.5-2.5 bucks and until that gets down in the 60-70% range like most Midwest states (per QDMA's annual Whitetail report) we'll never see New York's real potential.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
    CoveyMaster, dnoodles and trial153 like this.
  3. Fix

    Fix Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Posts:
    6,333
    Likes Received:
    7,326
    Dislikes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Western NY
    And right back to my point, if I and my crew waits until we see P&Y and bigger it doesn't nothing but ensure it's a older buck taken and allows all of bucks that our tags weren't filled by grow yet another year. Bone does not definitively equate to maturity but it's the fastest gauge and accurate enough for most.
    It began with BS posturing anyways. Its changing verbiage to assuage the ignorant masses.
    First it was done say kill its harvest
    Then dont say trophy
    Now its degraded to unless you are feeding the poor with this magnificent beast that sacrificed itself to you than you are infact the monster.
    I love bow hunting, I love the hunt, the challenge of outwitting a big racked beast, the sound of the arrow when it makes contact. All of it.
    You are damn right I measure a rack after and I wont give me friend even a 1/8 inch more than his buck scores. I'm never disappointed with a deer though because I don't rush to kill the first buck that comes by.
    NY has a crazy amount of hunters per sq mile. Most deer that get seen get shot. But aren't I doing my part by being a elitist then?
     
  4. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Posts:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    931
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Mouth of a holler
    He's an old coal mine buck...spoil bank, strip pit and reclaims.

    This one was a river bottom buck....I stopped keeping up with him after 2016....he never hit the 130 mark.
    PRMS0002Outwood.JPG 10200107RockCCTraveler.JPG
    WGI_0005.JPG
     
  5. w33kender

    w33kender Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2016
    Posts:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    632
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ash, NC (but I hunt SC)
    To the original question, inches have never stopped my eager participation in deer hunting or in pursuing the fairer sex of our species. :)
     
    dnoodles likes this.
  6. Okiebob

    Okiebob Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Posts:
    4,257
    Likes Received:
    8,688
    Dislikes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    That mom is nuts, plain and simple. I swear my mother has been genuinely excited about every last deer I have ever "harvested", lol j/k I killed them suckers dead. I would give anything to have my grandparents around one more season, didn't matter if it was a nice 140" ten, a scrawny 4 point or a doe, if I shot it, it was big time excitement and picture time. We still joke about how many pictures Grandma would take.
     
    Sota likes this.
  7. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Posts:
    6,850
    Likes Received:
    806
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NW Missouri
    Obviously there are extreme situations like this where people need to get a reality check, but in general I don't think there's really that much "buck shaming" going on. Now, I'm most likely not going to blow smoke up your a** when you post a pic of your fork horned year and a half old buck. Sorry, just not going to do it. Shooting young bucks is like a grown man playing one-on-one basketball against a middle schooler. It doesn't present much of a challenge. Young bucks are dumb, curious and inexperienced. Same way I'm not going to congratulate a guy that shoots a 200" buck off a deer farm. Just not really a challenge, so I don't feel the need to praise them either.
    We act like this is something that is limited to deer hunting, but if you look around, we see it in all aspects of life. We are competitive and judgemental people. Judgement's are made by how someone dresses, what they drive, the type of house they live in. Deer hunting is no different, right or wrong.
     
    Aces11, Okiebob and Fix like this.
  8. airenlow

    airenlow Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Posts:
    2,599
    Likes Received:
    3,755
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    How many of us would shoot this buck?
    20181218_063502.jpg

    I'm just being a pain. :evilgrin:
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
    dnoodles, cantexian and early in like this.
  9. Justin

    Justin Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    9,641
    Likes Received:
    4,496
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Algonquin, Illinois, United States
    I would disagree with this. For most experienced bowhunters with a lot of passion for what they do, you're 100% correct. But I know plenty of people who have a difficult time killing any deer with archery tackle, even if it's a young buck. So often in life, we use ourselves as the measuring stick by which we judge others, not fully appreciating everyone else's situation.

    Agree 100%

    IMO "inches" aren't killing deer hunting. Lack of access to quality lands, the cost barrier, the unwillingness of hunters to recruit new people to the sport, and the general public perception that we're killing animals "for fun" is what's killing hunting. Hell, if anything the pursuit of inches is the only thing keeping hunting alive. That one thing fuels an entire industry. Let's not kid ourselves into thinking people are spending millions of dollars buying land, farm implements, food plots, box blinds, trail cameras, high-end clothing, new bows etc just so they can "put some meat on the table".
     
  10. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Posts:
    24,308
    Likes Received:
    13,900
    Dislikes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Well said Justin what ever happened to any deer taken with a bow is a trophy?
     
    w33kender likes this.
  11. trial153

    trial153 Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Posts:
    8,358
    Likes Received:
    1,780
    Dislikes Received:
    29
    Location:
    NY
    NY seasons and regulations are main factor that limits NYS potential, from a trophy and quality perspective. No way to over come our seasons and bag limits with habitats of the typical NY hunters.
     
  12. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Posts:
    6,850
    Likes Received:
    806
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NW Missouri
    I wasn't specifically thinking about bow hunting, but your right bow hunting in it's self is difficult. I was just thinking about hunting in general and there are hundreds of thousands of yearling bucks taken with a rifle every year. I also give new hunters a pass, don't really care what they shoot, but how many times have we heard eperienced hunters say "Can't eat the horns", "He's not very big, but he will taste great", "I'm a meat hunter". Blah Blah Blah, if you're a meat hunter, shoot a doe, and I don't mean a fawn!
     
    dnoodles likes this.
  13. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Posts:
    8,942
    Likes Received:
    10,446
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Location:
    People's Republic of IL
    the main thing I disagree with here is this theory that deer hunting is "being killed."
    I know I kind of live in a bubble and in general avoid most people outside said bubble; but within my circle of family, friends, and associates deer hunting is if anything growing in popularity. In the past 8 years or so, I have introd my wife, 2 work buddies, and even my FiL to the sport. Introducing new hunters has even gotten me re-interested in gun hunting a bit (with tweaks- handguns and MZs instead of 30-06s.)

    While not all have made The Leap to bowhunting, I'm pretty sure most will at least give it a try.

    I also see a significant number of people interested in sustainability, farm to table, etc becoming favorable to and even actively participating in the Food Chain (ie as in hunting personally or at least being supportive of those who do.)

    I know hunting numbers as a percentage of the overall population are diminishing, and that's nothing new. But the survival of hunting is based on 2 worlds- industry and tradition. So long as we have both, hunting will survive. From both perspectives, I would rather see a solid core of die hards with the rest being casual participants rather than a small core of die-hards with a large percentage of casuals. Something like a 1/3 - 2/3 split would be healthy from both industrial and traditional standpoints.

    While I understand the need to maintain our numbers as a percentage of the population just to withstand pressure at the ballot box from an increasingly rabid anti-hunting faction; if we grow too much it will put even more pressure on our access to hunting lands which, IMO, is the single biggest threat to hunting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
    airenlow likes this.
  14. trial153

    trial153 Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Posts:
    8,358
    Likes Received:
    1,780
    Dislikes Received:
    29
    Location:
    NY
    If anything is killing deer hunting it’s the over monetization of the sport. Counting inches is contributing to that however it isn’t the only cause of it.
     
  15. ruck139

    ruck139 Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Posts:
    621
    Likes Received:
    49
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Technology used by poachers is killing hunting. They set trail cams all over the place, trespassing wherever the hell they want in the process. Eventually they find a big buck, then they set up over bait piles at night with LED spotlights mounted to their stands, or night vision. If you find such a setup, and call conservation police, maybe an officer shows up a week later, if at all. And/Or they are hunting before the season opens, and tag the deer with an out of state license where the season opens earlier. At least that is the major issue I see. Guys like me who play by the rules don't stand a chance.
     
  16. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Posts:
    8,665
    Likes Received:
    3,635
    Dislikes Received:
    40
    Location:
    iowa
    Counting inches became the terminal illness of deer hunting about 15 years ago. It's currently on life support and we are reaching for the plug. Mother nature is going to have the final say with CWD.
     
  17. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Posts:
    22,285
    Likes Received:
    26,225
    Dislikes Received:
    24
    I have maybe taken pictures with a third of the deer I've killed. I went back and looked at some those little bucks and smiled with great pride today. Some of those deer took me over week 4 to 5 weeks of hard hunting to kill on public land. Even though they are young and "dumb" according to some, they made me work hard and I was very proud to arrow them.

    Here is one of them that might score 70 inches. Killed him as my hunting vacation was almost over. Was exhausted but kept pushing and ended up arrowing this buck right before dark.

    Buck2008creek.jpg
     
  18. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Posts:
    22,285
    Likes Received:
    26,225
    Dislikes Received:
    24
    Ty to this 0 inch doe for this meat!

    [​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
    axtell343, fletch920 and gri22ly like this.
  19. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Posts:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    931
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Mouth of a holler
    And it looks like that big 6 has made it through yet another gun season.
    MFDC0922.JPG
     
  20. GregH

    GregH Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Posts:
    13,557
    Likes Received:
    34,045
    Dislikes Received:
    22
    I don't really buy this Fletch. If counting inches equals hunting for mature bucks like a lot of us here do, it's not a bad thing. Done right it is probably good for the deer herd by giving the younger bucks a chance to grow.

    What we have is a people problem. People need to be re-trained on ethics and why we hunt. It's suppose to be fun. The only competition is between you and the deer, nothing else.

    As for Mother nature and CWD having the final say...... I doubt it will be in our life time if it happens at all. From what I've seen the deer are out producing the death the disease is causing. FWIW, I've never seen a case of CWD,EHD or any deer related diseased animal in person.
     

Share This Page