What do you get out of passing bucks???........my opinions on a lost season

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by atlasman, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Posts:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    4,214
    Dislikes Received:
    41
    Location:
    iowa
    Not hurting my feelings at all. I am the first to admit that a big part of why I have enjoyed success on mature bucks is because they are here. That being said, I know a lot of guys that live here and have hunted a lifetime without killing a 170's or better buck. But, I also know a handful of guys that do it on a very consistent basis. That number is pretty small. I have no doubt, that you and several others could do the same here. So, it sounds like you are seeing the top end animals for your area. I would suggest you start shooting them.

    There are exceptions to your location generalization. I think we could stick Troy in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot and he would still kill a top end buck. I know he is not around a lot anymore, but he is as consistent as they come and does it in an area where big bucks are few and far between. He could get it done anywhere. A lot of guys couldn't get it done in a petting zoo.
     
  2. atlasman

    atlasman Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    279
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uncertain

    Why is it a long game??..........that sounds like something that is just said instead of based on facts.


    If there was some factual evidence (what I'm searching for actually) that passing bucks will provide more encounters with bigger bucks in the future then I am all ears.
     
  3. atlasman

    atlasman Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    279
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uncertain

    Wait until this year...........NY is about to follow the proven failed model of PA by taking the cowards way out and doing what someone else already has so as not to stick their necks out and be responsible for their choice.

    Our DEC is full of those that claim to be forward thinkers when in fact they are nothing but cowards afraid to do what is right in the name of their supposed goals and instead will just play it safe and take the copy cat route..........even if that route has been proven to be a failure.

    NY will announce state wide antler restrictions this year that will mimic PA's 3 pt per side joke. This does ABSOLUTELY nothing in NY state other then protect spikes and 4 pts................The end result will be negligible for any hunter on public land and non existent for those on private land as they most likely don't shoot those small bucks anyways and if they do the DEC isn't going to stop them anyways.

    NY needs to shorten it's gun season by a full week at least AND go to a 1 buck per season limit if they ever want to see changes the average hunter will even notice. They will never do that though because the gunners run the state as they buy the most tags by far so the DEC fears their wrath and everyone is spoiled by the 2 buck tags they have grown up with that it will likely enrage everyone.

    One buck is the ONLY answer they have access to that will make a difference. It still allows anyone to shoot whatever floats their boat but will save tens of thousands of bucks a year.

    I have zero faith in them as they have always and will always be a joke.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  4. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Posts:
    28,146
    Likes Received:
    17,903
    Dislikes Received:
    119
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Have you had the bucks you shot in the past aged? Do you have pics of larger bucks on the property? You can't shoot what isn't there.
     
  5. atlasman

    atlasman Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    279
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uncertain

    We have some good pics over the years and some personal sightings of a couple big boys. We also are good friends with 3 of our 4 neighbors and together every year we have some sweet pics. Stories of encounters are not as plentiful of course.

    Nice pic............my brother arrowed the one on the left.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. atlasman

    atlasman Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    279
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uncertain

    I hesitated to even post that because most guys are so thin skinned that they can't handle the truth or somehow feel it diminishes their kills in some silly way. I knew you wouldn't take it the wrong way and I'm in no way implying anyone else that was named would either.............I would have much preferred to make that point in a thread where no one was named personally as my reply was meant in general but could be taken the wrong way considering I was answering a statement that was personal in content.

    That was a horribly blabbering way of saying I hope I didn't ruffle any feathers because it wasn't my intention.
     
  7. Lester

    Lester Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Posts:
    8,315
    Likes Received:
    2,306
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Buffalo Minnesota
    Like I said before where you hunt plays a big part of being able to kill BIG bucks year after year. I don't have a problem with most of what you said. The one thing that people say quite a bit though is if I lived where BIG bucks were I could kill them all the time too. That for the most part is just not true. It takes a lot more than having big bucks where you live to kill them all the time. There are very few hunters that can do that and that is why I only mentioned a few. Any one anywhere can just have dumb @$$ luck and kill a monster but it takes a lot of things working together to kill them all of the time. One other thing is for sure if someone wants to kill BIG bucks consistently and they kill 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year olds they will NEVER be able too.
     
  8. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    5,128
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Location:
    N. Illinois
    I can see your point to a degree here Atlas but in reality I'm hunting VERY differently out here in IL than I was in PA and NY. That's mostly because now I've actually been able to find and observe enough mature deer to understand how they prefer to bed. I can tell you with 100% certainty if I was hunting out here the way I was in PA and NY previously I wouldn't have killed the deer I did this year. Only time will tell but I'm about 99% confident I can take what I've learned in IL back to the northeast and kill more mature deer. I just didn't have enough to learn from when I was still in NY.

    With that said, the problem you have is that there simply aren't enough mature deer in your area to force them to start settling for sub par bedding and it doesn't sound like you have perfect bedding for a mature buck. When you have a lot of mature bucks, they won't tolerate each other, and the subordinate bucks (still mature just not top dog) will start to bed in areas that aren't perfect. That's what we see in many parts of IL (not all, many parts of IL are actually the same or worse than western NY). With 350 acres you simply don't have enough control of your herd to see this happen. The one in a million that do get 4 y/o+ can basically pick to bed anywhere. From what I've seen in IL you need 1000+ acres to control where everyone is passing the 3+ y/o bucks for a several year period of time to really see a difference.

    With that said, I guess the short version of what I'm trying to say is that you have a honeyhole for NY. You won't have enough land to keep and hold 4 y/o+ deer on a consistent basis though. Someday you might have one that really likes your place and if you do, get aggressive and put a full court press on him. Otherwise kill your 120-130" bucks and enjoy that slice of heaven you have built/earned, you are leagues ahead of most of NY so enjoy it!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  9. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Posts:
    6,363
    Likes Received:
    4,666
    Dislikes Received:
    104
    Location:
    Southeastern, Pa
    There's you problem. Your brother didn't hold out for that beautiful 10pt! lol
     
  10. atlasman

    atlasman Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    279
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uncertain
    That's what we bust his nads about too :lol:

    In all seriousness though neither of the other two bucks was ever seen by a hunter in the woods that we know of and the buck my brother killed was actually with a smaller but nice buck the day he was shot and my other brother killed him late the same season.

    Only day any of those three deer was seen and he got killed.
     
  11. atlasman

    atlasman Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    1,925
    Likes Received:
    279
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uncertain
    Of course you hunt differently man.........you are hunting different herds. I can take you out on my boat and show you how to find and catch kings all summer over 25 lbs. I can do that because I live close to one of the best salmon lakes in the world and the Kings are there to be caught so figuring out how to catch them is a whole lot easier then dragging gear though water where none swim.

    Give yourself a little more credit man.........you obviously had the skill necessary to tag bigger bucks (most guys here do)........you just needed a canvas to paint on.

    I am SUPER interested in your idea that stuff you pick up in your new sweet spot will translate into you being able to tag more mature bucks in areas you could not before as that implies you simply didn't posess the skill to kill them when you lived here and numbers had nothing to do with it. I personally don't think that's true but as always no matter where you are hunting man I hope you tag a beast!!!

    Keep putting 'em down out there bud :)
     
  12. Schultzy

    Schultzy Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Posts:
    9,692
    Likes Received:
    5
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I believe you're spot on here Atlas. Give yourself more credit RJ. You can't always kill what's not there.
     
  13. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Posts:
    6,363
    Likes Received:
    4,666
    Dislikes Received:
    104
    Location:
    Southeastern, Pa
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  14. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    5,128
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Location:
    N. Illinois
    I'm interested to see if this theory holds up too. I'll be moving home in a few years and we'll know for sure then.

    I'm not saying numbers don't have anything to do with my lack of success in NY and PA. They certainly do. I'm just saying what I have learned out here will help me to eliminate 99% of the property that I previously was wasting time on. I could always identify and hunt a rut funnel with the best of them, it's the bedding and non rut behavior stuff I think I've learned out here that I hope I can apply back home.

    The part of IL I hunted last season is very similar hill country with topography and layout comparable to where I hunt back home in NY and PA. I can't wait to see if what I've learned will translate.
     
  15. NY Bowhunter

    NY Bowhunter Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Posts:
    4,547
    Likes Received:
    341
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Well, it sounds like you are no farther ahead by passing on your 120's and 130's as you were when you were killing them. Percentage wise of increasing your chances of killing/seeing more 150ish deer has increased by .... zero by the sounds of it. So you're basically back in the same boat you were 5 years ago. Take a 130 and have a remote chance of cringing when a 150 by some very remote chance is standing 20 yards broadside?

    Like I said, I'm in the same boat as you with similar results. I've passed deer over recent years that I would never in my wildest dreams think about passing. I've had mixed emotions about it. Painful at first lol. Then I was alright with it knowing I've killed a ton of bucks and "high end" bucks for NY. Also, knowing the thing was dead as could be if I wanted it to be was ok with me. But, then, yes at some point you question what you're out there for and want to lay some bone down and not cook tag soup. The only difference with me is I try to set my son up on one of the ones I see or pass on to let him kill them. I am currently still in the holding out for the ghost of our land but tilting to going back to killing some really nice bucks for what we have.
     
  16. Swamp Stalker

    Swamp Stalker Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Posts:
    13,778
    Likes Received:
    25,146
    Dislikes Received:
    42
    Location:
    CT
    [​IMG]


    LMAO!!!!
     
  17. Xoutdoors

    Xoutdoors Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    Posts:
    577
    Likes Received:
    18
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MINNESOTA
    I strongly agree with grommel. A 100 inch is a decent size. 120 is big. I grind my teethe when I hear folks tell you why don't you let that nice buck go and wait for a 140 or bigger. I wanted to say you're out of your mind. In my 10 years of hunting. I've always wanted to get a 140 or bigger like those folks on tv. But I now understand. If you're planning on chasing a 140 or bigger or the hitlist. I'd understand early season. But when it's the week before gun season. It's either a nice size buck or one of the hitlist you got on camera.
     
  18. TJF

    TJF Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    4,664
    Likes Received:
    836
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ND
    This might come across as harsh but you want reality. Unless you have a lot of things going for you... you are screwed in killing big bucks on a consistent basis. I can tell you right now you don't have a lot of things going for you from reading your posts.

    1. You need 4 year old bucks and older. That is the bottom line to kill big bucks. It killed you in 1 year to pass 3 year old bucks. You are ready to quit and start killing them again. Again you need older bucks to kill bigger racked bucks.

    2. You have small acreage to hunt. There are at least 3 of you probably over hunting it. Your neighbors could be over hunting their property. 4 year old bucks and older feel pressure and avoid it more then younger bucks. You need a good percentage of your land as a sanctuary that is off limits to everyone. You need to hunt the property smart to keep the pressure off.

    3. You are over run with does. The bucks don't need to run during the day. There is no competition and the bucks will avoid pressure and move at night. If you really thin the does out on your small acreage and your neighbors don't... the bucks will just hide out and run the does at the neighbors at night. Your big buck hunting is still going to suck.

    The only thing you can change is passing all bucks 3 and under to get more older bucks to increase your odds. With your small acreage... you will more then likely just increase the neighbor's odds at killing the bucks you pass.

    Three names have been thrown up so let's figure out why they do or did so good this year or in years past. From reading their posts over the years or talking to them in person... this is my take on their success. Granted it is the skimmed version to keep it short.

    Rick James... Hunted a better area then previously. Hunted a bigger population of deer then previously. Hunted a less pressured area then previously. Hunted an area where some 3 year old deer can reach 140 since they have better nutrient, less pressure, milder winters and so on.

    Fletch... hunts a great area for "big" and big, older bucks. Hunts his property smart so there is no pressure. He has posted many times how he hunts it and why he hunts it like that. Most guys would over hunt it. Take your 3 and hunt it like you do your property... you probably would never accomplish what he has. That is reality. Most guys don't understand pressure.

    Shed33 ( Troy )... hunts a very tough area but a lot of acres. Some years he is hunting 3 different states. Puts a tremendous amount of time into scouting and trail cameras. While he might not have a large population of older bucks... he covers such a large area that he is hunting quite a few older bucks. He spends a lot of time hunting and logs in more hours then most. He hunts smart to keep the pressure off. He goes in and hunts a big buck's area verses hunting a spot and hoping a big buck will eventually walks by.

    If I am wrong on any of the three... hopefully they will correct me and/or add to it.

    You really need to figure out what works for you. We generalize way to much on here and compare. You need to see what works by breaking everything down for your area and property. You need to find out what you need to improve on to accomplish your goals. Maybe there is nothing that you can do to improve it. It might not be worth it to you and you are finding out the way you have been hunting is the most rewarding. In the end it all falls on you.

    Good luck !!

    Tim
     
  19. dukemichaels

    dukemichaels Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    3,155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Illinois..
    What's up dudes.. Remember me?


    i admittedly did not read most the posts in this thread.. But since I hunt poor ground in Illinois I feel that many can learn from my experiences with trying to control a wild deer herd so one can harvest larger quality deer.


    first, 350 acres is large enough to see results on.. But one year is not going to do it.. On the farm I consider home I have to let the bucks go to age 5 in some cases and age 6 or more in most cases before they have at least 140 inches on their head and I consider them a shooter. And this didn't happen overnight atlas.. Justin and I have been practicing this for the last 5 or 6 years on this particular farm.


    I'm sure I'm repeating the obvious.. You'll have to give them age and in most cases lots of it to see greater results.


    What do I get from passing younger deer? Actually quite a bit.. For me.. The fun is in getting to know the bucks personally over the years through scouting and the like. However, it's bittersweet moment once you take one. Almost like loosing a friend.. It's a Buck you looked forward to pursuing and getting up in the morning to pursue. But.. If you're tired of killing smaller deer.. You have to let them walk.


    on another note.. About 90% of the bucks I pass at younger ages I never see again. But that's just a part of hunting.. When one chapter closes another always opens.


    I can get more specific if you have questions.


    Btw.. The location argument is old and tired everybody. Give it a rest. It's an excuse and a crutch for most. Make your spot better or find a new spot. Period.
     
  20. TEmbry

    TEmbry Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Posts:
    6,325
    Likes Received:
    16
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    My opinions on this are simple... Shoot what makes you happy as a hunter. If you get no joy out of killing smaller bucks, then don't shoot smaller bucks. If you would be much happier shooting average bucks than eating your tag, then shoot average bucks. Why should your goals match everyone else as a hunter? Do what you want, and forget about the rest. I like shooting animals way too much to be a top end trophy hunter when it comes to archery. Gun? Sure. I approach a hunt on what I expect to be a decent buck for the area and that is my goal. Some spots that is 150+, some it is 110. It isn't defined by state lines by any means.
     

Share This Page