What is an acceptable drought to you???

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by atlasman, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. atlasman

    atlasman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I was talking to a hunting buddy neighbor of ours the other day and he was going on and on about big bucks and lots of the usual chatter after the dust settles on a season.

    He is pretty rigid about only killing large deer and respectfully he walks the walk as he has filmed lots of bucks he lets walk that most guys would be slinging arrows at gladly. He never sees a valid reason to stray from his idea of a "shooter".

    He has only killed one big buck in the 6 years I have hunted with him and it was with a rifle which is something that brings him very little joy.......in fact he asked his wife if she wanted to shoot it instead but she declined (155" 12 pt). He wants to shoot big bucks with a bow.........who doesn't right??

    He often asks why we shoot bucks in the 100-120" range instead of waiting on a bruiser and my answer always is because I don't want to shoot 1 freakin' deer a decade LOL........we are out there to hunt, not watch. He believes it is or will be worth it when he finally tags that slammer........I just can't see how.

    All the good natured jabs aside I asked him how long is he OK with waiting to tag a buck?? He really didn't have a specific answer but I tried to put it in perspective for him and said at his current pace he will only tag maybe 4-6 bucks for the rest of his life (he's late 30's). That really didn't seem to bother him. Screw that. No way am I investing the kind of time, effort and money I do to only fill a buck tag once a decade.

    I couldn't care less what a deer is killed with so I would say my max tolerance is 2 years without a buck........anything more and I become overly critical of what I'm doing and start to over analyze. Even though any drought I endure is self inflicted as I could tag out in days if I just wanted a deer on the tag.

    What is the tipping point for you?? Are you willing to wait a decade between bucks??........more??
     
  2. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    I don't think I could care less if I never kill another big deer or any deer at all to be honest. I enjoy building an environment conducive to big bucks and deer in general and watching them on the trail cameras more than I enjoy seeing them hanging on the wall. I think more than anything I'm just a little burnt out on killing and cleaning animals. I don't hunt for the experience of killing, I hunt for the immersive interaction and observation of the world. My blood lust was sated many moons ago.

    Now don't get me wrong, I still get excited over the prospect of hanging a bruiser on the wall, it's just not something that keeps me awake at night thinking about.
     
  3. atlasman

    atlasman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I didn't mean for this to be about big bucks.......that's just one of many possible reasons a drought may occur.

    It could be as simple as killing ANY deer period. Just wondering whatever someone's goal is for a season..........how long of a dry spell are you OK with not cashing in before you get antsy.


    I like to tag a buck every other year or so........which is a nice balance for me because I could easily tag out in a couple days or eat tag soup for years waiting on slammers. It's a nice happy medium. If I went 2-3 years with no bucks of any kind I would start to question what I was doing. I usually take 2-3 does a year as well so there is never an absence of action all together.

    I have come to enjoy the entire experience very much myself as well. We are going out on Wednesday to mark some new areas for stand placement this summer.........it really is a year round event now with the food plots and cameras and so on. I would also add that the butchering aspect of hunting has lost some of its luster for me. I used to look forward to carving up a pile of deer almost as much as hunting them.......not any more. It has become a chore. We have every tool you could want to make the process smooth and a 1 HP grinder to make short work of mountains of trimmings but the mess, the clean up and the disposal of carcass after carcass is getting old.

    Never really had much of a blood lust...........quite the opposite actually. The fact that a life was just ended by my hands has never been lost on me. I find it disturbing that someone would enjoy killing anything. Balance of that dichotomy as a hunter is not easy.

    Couple things bring me the most joy now..........every day I get to hunt with my dad is a blessing. We are still hoping he sees a slammer some day but no matter what we laugh, and enjoy every second of it. My most treasured hunts this year were sitting in a double ladder with dad a few times down near a nice buck area early season.......can't even remember if we saw a deer. I also enjoy when our plans and efforts come together for success. Seeing our food plots full of deer and taking a buck or two from spots we have cleared and built elevated blinds in all make the long days of summer seem worth it.
     
  4. montec

    montec Weekend Warrior

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    No drought is acceptable to me since my wife and I eat a lot of deer in a year. We try to get 3-4 tags between the two of us and all have been filled since 2008. I understand where you are coming from. I had my eye on a half dozen bruisers in my area that would all score above 150....but that never happened. As the season progressed, I felt as though I would be eating tag soup so I dropped the first decent buck to come along....around 90 inches. Funny thing , I let that same deer go 3 weeks earlier.
     
  5. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    Perspective is an interesting thing.

    I hunt to hunt. I have cameras all over the farm and spend a lot of time on the ground.
    I pretty much know what is around each year for deer. Unfortunately on the farms around me the attitude is still, "if it's brown, it's down," which isn't conducive to growing big deer. I do plan on shooting at least one deer a year to keep some meat in the freezer but if I'm looking for a wall hanger, I head out of state. I have yet to hang a deer on my wall but some day I hope to have that experience.
     
  6. Matt D

    Matt D Newb

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    It depends on a lot of factors. 2 years is when I start getting itchy and start questioning holding out. If you are hunting an area where your know your deer herd and know there are big ones around or you have a management plan, then passing is just part of your hunting strategy. That probably makes it easier.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
     
  7. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    I usually have a goal, I think every year if I have not used my tag by thanksgiving day I will fill my tag with a mature doe rather than a mature buck. My family and I enjoy eating venison and we will every year.
     
  8. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

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    Maybe every 5 years or so?

    Last drought was 5 years. Had the season of a lifetime last year, and it's looking like I'll eat tags this year.

    It used to bother me, but shooting does takes the edge off. As long as I'm seeing big deer and passing ones that most would shoot I almost look at eating the tag as something I'm proud to do, knowing others don't have the self discipline. Now I film the small and borderline bucks instead of shooting and that has made it a lot more fun as I still get to take something with me from those encounters.

    I know the feeling of walking up on one that I just wasn't proud of knowing I should have held out for a giant and just don't wish to do that anymore.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  9. Coop

    Coop Grizzled Veteran

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    I only bowhunt, but until this year, and between hunting both OH and PA I at least killed a doe for the freezer every year. I had a bad year in archery this year. I won't lie, I'm a little bummed I wasn't able to even tag a doe but not so much I considered going out in rifle. I HATE PA rifle season and didn't even consider it. So I'll say a drought is acceptable to me if it means using a weapon I take no pleasure in using.
     
  10. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    The last buck I killed, prior to this year, was an 8pt that I deemed big enough to meet MY standards in 2012. I hunt Public land almost exclusively, but I still let barely legal bucks walk, like I did again this year. For me, a buck needs to be bigger than my previous kill, otherwise I'm happy just taking a doe. I'll wait as long as it takes for me to get what I consider a shooter for my woods. This season I was blessed to kill my best buck from this Public land, which is at the taxi being mounted. He's not what most folks would consider a big buck, but he is very unique and I was proud to take him.

    I don't have to shoot a buck every year to be a happy hunter, but I at least like to see deer while I'm hunting to justify my sitting for 12 hours at a time during the rut. lol Big bucks are rare in my area, so I try to kill what is realistically considered a "good" buck for my woods. If I have to wait another two or three years to kill a buck here in Pa, I'm OK with that. I'll just have to go to Ohio to get it done! lol
     
  11. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I would rather have a prolonged drought of not killing a big buck than to shoot a buck I wouldn't be happy with. I'm not shooting a buck that I'm not willing to have mounted and put on my wall. Not necessarily because I need some massive trophy room, but more out of respect for my quarry. I haven't killed a ton of deer like some folks, but I've killed enough that I don't feel the urge to have to kill something to consider myself a successful hunter. Self filming helps with that because I can focus on filming those marginal bucks. I'm only picking up my bow for a buck that I know I would be proud of hanging on my wall. It's not about inches necessarily but more about the right buck. My standards on my property are probably a little different that they are if I'm hunting public land, but I'm still probably not shooting any bucks that aren't at least 3.5 years old and they will have to score over 135ish unless it's some old brute. I'm not lowering my standards to shoot just so I can sit behind any buck.
     
  12. TheRiverBottom

    TheRiverBottom Weekend Warrior

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    I'm a killer. I kill stuff all year long. Sorry...harvest. May not get a big buck, but I will put an arrow in a doe and that satisfies the urge. I feel sorry for people that are slaves to the horn.
     
  13. remmett70

    remmett70 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    As long as I am seeing deer, in order to make the choice to pass or shoot, there really isn't a specific amount of time. I like eating venison, but I like Beef and Pork as well and have a freezer already mostly full with the 1/2 cow and 1/2 pig I bought this summer so food isn't a major factor either.

    This year has been rough, saw a button buck early, than nothing until this last Sunday when I saw 2 does (no where near shooting range).

    The next couple years, I am going to be working especially hard to be able to at least see deer, because I hope to be breaking my daughter in and don't want her to lose interest because of not seeing anything. Once she starts hunting, I would be more worried about how often she gets a chance to shoot, more than how often I do.
     
  14. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    You harvest crops and you KILL deer. jmo
     
  15. NCcrittergitter

    NCcrittergitter Weekend Warrior

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    1 season is about all I have in me to eat a tag. Between OH and NC I average 1 deer at the taxidermist a year. This year has been a good one as I have 2 at the taxi now. I can probably go through 2016 and be ok without filling a buck tag.
     
  16. davidingle

    davidingle Weekend Warrior

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    I'll wait as long as it takes to shoot a buck that makes me happy. Passed bucks up the last 2 years, some that I got crap from people for not shooting because they were only 3 year olds. But why shoot something you're not proud of, if shooting 120's every year is your kind of thing, more power to you. I hunt how I hunt and as long as your hunting doesn't affect that, I couldn't care less. I get plenty of does so my freezer is not empty
     
  17. frenchbritt123

    frenchbritt123 Grizzled Veteran

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    I don't understand the mindset of wanting (50+, or more) 120" deer on the wall? Nobody wants to look at them but you and after your gone your wife will sell them at a garage sale for $5.00 a piece. If your wanting to kill a buck every year maybe start shooting 50" bucks and letting the 120" deer walk? I think it would help your cause.

    As for myself, I have satisfied my need to put the big one down and could care less moving forward if it ever happens again. I am happy getting meat by the way of does, geese, rabbits, etc. I will continue to hunt my *** off because it is what I love, not because I need another big buck down. It is more fun hunting without pressure on yourself.
     
  18. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    Your last sentence here should answer your first question. Because many folks HAVEN'T satisfied that need yet. A 120" buck just might be somebody's "big one"? Just a thought.
     
  19. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    I will never shoot a buck that doesn't trip my fancy....granted my fancy may be tripped sooner or later than some. I will never shoot a yearling and strive to shoot only 4 year old deer...some years I hold out for a specific deer...some years I take the first mature buck I can.

    I hunt for one person, me. I don't care what others think of what I harvest, if I'm happy than I am happy...if you are not happy with it than I am still happy.

    Eating buck tag soup or tag soup in general isn't a bad thing, to me it is a growth every hunter goes through...I don't doubt someday I'll not get excited as much as I do when a solid mature 8 pointer that only scores 120 steps out...I hope not though as I want to ride the wave of going after maturity not inches as long as I can.
     
  20. Jeremy/PA

    Jeremy/PA Weekend Warrior

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    It's been a few years. For either buck or doe actually. I have seen a lot of deer but not in bow range. I have let little but legal buck go by. I have passed on does hoping a buck was trailing. I have ended the last few years season by saying "why didn't I shoot?"

    However, this year I have had the sh*ts of thinking that next year is another year. So hopefully something will happen the next two weekends of late season or..... next year's another year.
     
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