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Originally Posted by gehajake
I dont think the big, old, smart ones will hit a feeder out in the open very much, Might make a little difference if they been feeding at it since they were born.

Getting them out in the open is pretty hard but my theory is, if you have the does, the bucks will be there, and when they are in full rut, with competition from other bucks, they tend to do stuff that they would not normally do, I think that's how most of them get killed.

That leads to another question that I have. We have all kinds of open ground, plum thickets, and mature tree forests (but small acreage).

Would any of the trophy bucks perhaps be more likely to go to a feeder that is not in the open, but is actually in pretty thick cover?

If so, I have lots of "junk" trees that I can clear to make some narrow paths into a deep cover feeder and also clear a few shooting lanes for the deer's most like approaches.

I already have two feeders out in the open that draw plenty of smaller deer for my nephews and buddies to harvest.

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Great rack on that deer, SetterGuy.

Looking at his face, he does look like an old buck.

Probably would be a good year to harvest him. I hope he wanders back into your hunting ground!

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Angie is correct regarding my brown is down comment. Lots of experiences with people shooting exceptional young bucks that would have been true trophies if they'd waited a couple more years. If you just w a nt to shoot a deer, shoot a doe. We have lots. If you want a trophy, let the young ones walk.


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Originally Posted by Rangersedge
Angie is correct regarding my brown is down comment. Lots of experiences with people shooting exceptional young bucks that would have been true trophies if they'd waited a couple more years. If you just w a nt to shoot a deer, shoot a doe. We have lots. If you want a trophy, let the young ones walk.

Spot on RE, Why cant people grasp that concept? They shoot their biggest nicest herd bull and leave the scrubs to reproduce, and then cant figure out why there are no genetics in the area.
I am pretty lucky in that aspect, together, me and my neighbor have 160 acres, square plot, and he is of the same opinion as me, leave some good bloodlines to reproduce,
Luckily we have another landowner adjoining us, she has like 350 acres and barely allows hunting, I think she lets one guy bow hunt it but he is trophy hunting only, unless its some huge old deer with a unique rack hes not shooting it either. which is pretty great, we have enough area to let some nice ones survive, that being said, we are going to have to thin out some does and young stock, they are getting too thick.

I wish I could find a family that just wants the meat, I could and would sure load them up, we are talking about taking our limit of them to the share the harvest thing that they have here in Mo, they grind them up for the food pantry if you want to donate them.


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On the hoof, how do you distinguish between young bucks that will be trophy bucks in a few years and older bucks that should be culled? (Assuming you are trying to create trophy bucks based on antlers and body size.)

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
On the hoof, how do you distinguish between young bucks that will be trophy bucks in a few years and older bucks that should be culled? (Assuming you are trying to create trophy bucks based on antlers and body size.)



Just my opinion because I fully admit I suck at judging age unless I have years of experience with a certain buck. But... here are a couple of things I look for:
One of the bucks pic'd has a deep sag in his neck, and a paunch right in front of his back legs. The other has much less of a throat sag and a tighter belly. Plus if you look at the musculature in the shoulders and if it tappers back to the hips you can see a difference. Both are nice bucks, but one is more likely to get culled if you are into that sort of thing.

I tried to pull up two pics from the same camera, with deer in the same position. So you can get a better idea of the differences between the two.

[Linked Image][Linked Image][img]https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?

Last edited by catscratch; 11/20/23 06:40 PM.
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Thanks catscratch.

I am used to getting good advice on Pond Boss. Your post is like "text book level" advice with the side-by-side pics!

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Thanks catscratch.

I am used to getting good advice on Pond Boss. Your post is like "text book level" advice with the side-by-side pics!


Lol! Thanks but you should always take my advice with a grain of salt, and "text book level" should NEVER be used in the same sentence!

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Good points. I have a bunch of deer related books including Aging and Judging trophy whitetails by Kroll, a couple by Leonard Rue III and others; but still wouldn't want to bet much on being right. One thing that helps here in the midwest is just their overall appearance. Do they look like a doe with antlers or do they look like an old man with a bigger chest, sagging belly and skin, etc?


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My bow hunters reliably (to my estimation) know the age of desirable bucks on our farm. They do this by having game camera pictures of the same buck year after year.

Maybe some dedicated trophy hunters here can confirm this practice or profess that its a bunch of hooey.


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Originally Posted by Theo Gallus
My bow hunters reliably (to my estimation) know the age of desirable bucks on our farm. They do this by having game camera pictures of the same buck year after year.

Maybe some dedicated trophy hunters here can confirm this practice or profess that its a bunch of hooey.

Certainly possible to know the age of deer that you have history with! The bucks I posted above are "yard deer" that I have extensive history with. I plant food plots and fruit trees around my house, run trailcams, and hunt. The wide 7 is on his 3rd year of me being able to recognize him for certain. I probably didn't have him specifically identified as a 2.5yr old or maybe even a 3.5yr old. So I likely can age him around 5 or 6. Antlers aren't the only identifiers though. In fact they may be very misleading. I like to look for color patterns such as the white throat patch, ripped or notched ears, scars, deformed hooves, etc.


With all that said, if I didn't have history with the wide 7 and he suddenly appeared chasing a doe in during the rut and I had to guess his age, I'd probably say between 4.5 and 6.5, but he could easily be 7+ and I wouldn't know different.

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Cat, I also wouldn’t know the difference unless I see one that I just know is really old.

I’ve only been able to hunt twice and seen only youngsters with potential. And, these guys are definitely young.

Where do they go? I and grandsons are the only hunters in the area and I’ve watched bucks that needed one more year for several years. Then, they’re gone. So far, I’ve only seen 3 year olds; even on cams. And, their racks aren’t wide enough to even be legal. Only one doe.

Grandson hunted last week and saw 8 turkeys, one pig and one young buck.


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This one was shot about 1.5 miles from my house.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

A friend's daughter shot a buck in Oklahoma on their farm. He said he's seen it for a few years and said it was a 6 year old. They had the jaw aged. It was 4.

So, I don't have the answer, but what would the guess be on this deer age wise?
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I am not a deer hunter, so I don't know too much of deer habits. I found this scrape (I think) near the pond. What surprises me is the size of the tree. It is a aspen/poplar about 10" in diameter. I have never seen a scrape on such a big tree before. I know that bigger the tree, bigger the buck. So, did a monster buck leave his mark?

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Originally Posted by Knobber
I am not a deer hunter, so I don't know too much of deer habits. I found this scrape (I think) near the pond. What surprises me is the size of the tree. It is an aspen/poplar about 10" in diameter. I have never seen a scrape on such a big tree before. I know that bigger the tree, bigger the buck. So, did a monster buck leave his mark?
A scrape is on the ground where they mark ( pee) to let it be known who is around, a rub is on trees and brush to mark territory. Usually the bigger the tree the bigger the buck… but not always
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^^^ I've watched spikes and basket racks rub big trees, and monster old bucks rub little trees. About the only thing I'd say for certain is that a rub that goes high up the trunk of a tree is likely from a bigger buck that has longer tines and possibly stands taller. Those are some pretty deep grooves, he much have been getting after it!

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Esshup: that was a nice buck close by.

I'll guess 4.5. Do you know actual age?


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Yes, a rub, not a scrape. Thanks for the clarification!

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Originally Posted by Rangersedge
Esshup: that was a nice buck close by.

I'll guess 4.5. Do you know actual age?

That bottom buck is on my hit list for this year. Last time it was seen on cam was July 19th when the rack was less than 50% developed. IF I can get him I will get an age.


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Originally Posted by esshup
Originally Posted by Rangersedge
Esshup: that was a nice buck close by.

I'll guess 4.5. Do you know actual age?

That bottom buck is on my hit list for this year. Last time it was seen on cam was July 19th when the rack was less than 50% developed. IF I can get him I will get an age.

Good luck getting him, he's got it all!

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I finally got around to posting a picture of the 9-point a got Monday afternoon. I got him at about 90 yards with my Ruger 77/44. (240 Grain Hornady HP/XTP over 23.0 grains of H110, Starline brass, for any reloaders here).
He can be seen here (deer #2) in the Image Gallery.


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Good job, Theo.

That is a handsome lad!

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I thought this was a well written article (at least from the perspective of a nonhunter but who is trying to learn everything I can along with my 16 yr old son who is hunting in his 2nd season).

It gives good tips about how to use caution and strategy to think about what the deere might do next. It also emphasizes the need to have knowledge about your local herd (surveillance) and know when a deer is best harvested (patience). I thought several pro level tips were embedded in the story even though I understand the phrase 'she checked her arrow and headed home' Does that mean that she found the arrow after it exited the deer? What was she checking it for?

Enjoy:

What is a Double Palmate?

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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
I thought this was a well written article (at least from the perspective of a nonhunter but who is trying to learn everything I can along with my 16 yr old son who is hunting in his 2nd season).

It gives good tips about how to use caution and strategy to think about what the deere might do next. It also emphasizes the need to have knowledge about your local herd (surveillance) and know when a deer is best harvested (patience). I thought several pro level tips were embedded in the story even though I understand the phrase 'she checked her arrow and headed home' Does that mean that she found the arrow after it exited the deer? What was she checking it for?

Enjoy:

What is a Double Palmate?

You can read quite a bit from the arrow after a shot; is there blood on it, is it dark red or pink and foamy, is there hair and is it brown or white, does it smell like guts, etc?

Good article and a great buck! Those palmated antlers are cool!

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Good buck Theo! Have you found any difference in accuracy if you swapped primers?


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