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I just passed on the best buck of my life

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I just passed on the best buck of my life

Old 11-15-2011, 06:42 PM
  #11  
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You did the right thing.......When I was younger I'd shoot the first Buck I saw, then as the years went by I would'nt settle for nothing better than a 8 Point, then I went to only Mature Dominant Bucks, this was with MY Bow. Then if I did'nt see a Buck at least 130 Class with My Bow during Bow Season I'd SAVE that Tag for Late ML Season (We get 2 Tags for Archery and Late ML Season, a Antlerless Tag and a Either Sex Tag) you can use either during Early Archery Season or in Late ML Season.
So as I grew Older I Passed on Many Bucks that by the time I could use them Tags in Late ML Season I WISHED I'd see the Bucks I Passed on, sometime's I'd get Lucky and Score on a Nice Buck but most times I'd go Hime with Unfilled Buck Tags by the end of the Season.
Now I LOVE Deer Meat but My Wife also Hunts, so if She puts a Small Buck and a Nice Doe in the Freezer were doing Good and I can just Hunt for the Buck Im after, If I dont get Him I still usually have 2-3 Doe Tags and if I fill one of them then we have 3 Deer and that's all we need for the Year.
What Im getting at is it all comes down to what YOU as a Hunter feel Comfortable Taking during the Season, you know what Tags you have and how they have to be filled. In the back of My Mind I know that someday, somewhere that Big Buck will show and if I shoot a lesser Buck just to say I Got One then when that Big Boy Shows Im Crap Out Of Luck! If My Tag goes Unfilled It's NOT because I could'nt have filled it, it's because I Chose Not to Shoot a Deer that I was'nt going to be 100% Happy with after I had My Tag on Him.
I Learned My Lesson well 13 Seasons ago when I filled My Archery Buck Tag with a Decent 8 Point, then during our Gun Season I shot another decent 8 Point on Thanksgiving Day ( My Buck Tags were filled for the Season) Then for the rest of Gun Season I was HAUNTED By seeing nothing but BIG BUCKS and I could'nt shoot them as all I had left were Doe Tags, then during that Late ML Season when I was trying to fill a Doe Tag Mr. BIG came out into the Cut Corn Field, a 160-170 Class 10 Pointer, all I could do was watch Him. From that day on I Vowed to NEVER shoot a Buck that was'nt up to My Standards, no matter if I went Years without Filling Buck Tag or at least had another Buck Tag left.
Today I Dont feel bad going through Archery Season without a Unfilled Buck Tag, I know I could have taken a Buck, but it was'nt the One I Wanted, and if others picked on Me for Not getting a Buck with My Bow I Dont Care, and if that Tag went Unfilled during our Late ML Season I was still Satisfied in the end knowing that I COULD have but let them walk and Grow to be the one that I might get a carck at next year.
You'll Never get the Big One if you take a smaller one, My Freezer Always get's Full, and I Always have at least 1 Buck Tag to fill by the end of the Season for the One that Could Have Been, if that Tag get's filled it's because I saved it and was LUCKY to fill it, if it goes unfilled Im still a Happy Hunter and have No Regrets for Not filling it and Saving it for the one I Should have Saved it for.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:42 PM
  #12  
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ADV-don't feel bad, at least you had the opportunity!
I've taken a pass on nice deer before w/out the legal requirements: One opening morning a nice buck stood up from his bed & shook the dew off while looking sleepily around;it just didn't feel right to end his day then & there w/ a chunk of lead.
Go get a doe!
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:13 AM
  #13  
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Thanks for all the encouragement everyone. I am mostly recovered from the shock of last night. My wife's uncle told me the same thing that Breechplug said, you can't shoot the big ones if you don't pass the little ones. Problem is, I never see big ones. This is only the 2nd time I have had a big one in my scope. It was awesome to have him so close watching him trail the doe. At one point he grunted which is the first time I have ever heard a deer grunt.

I believe he will be around a while longer as he is in rut and we have a lot of does hanging around. I saw 4 this morning in the same field where I passed up the buck last night. Now I just have to get a doe very soon before the big guy moves on.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:59 AM
  #14  
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Great. Just great. I'm in VA too and just got a smallish 6 pointer last Friday and am going out again this Saturday. Just started thinking that I might regret taking that buck for the exact situation of this thread. Boy am I knocking on wood now.

Seriously, you showed some good restraint.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:32 PM
  #15  
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In my county in Maryland you have to shoot 2 does before you can take another buck.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:11 AM
  #16  
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Wow I never heard of these Earn a Buck program. Are these rules in place because of over population or to prevent people from taking only bucks?
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:43 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by chas0218 View Post
Wow I never heard of these Earn a Buck program. Are these rules in place because of over population or to prevent people from taking only bucks?
I am assuming they are in place to encourage people to not just take bucks. But if you look at the game harvest for VA, Franklin county is in the top 5 every year so it might be for population control too. Either way, it has cost me a buck twice now. This time it cost me the best buck of my hunting career.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:42 PM
  #18  
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The "Earn A Buck" rules are in place for population control. I can harvest 10 does during muzzle loader season alone in my county. There is "NO LIMIT" on the number of does that can be taken with a bow in my county.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:25 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by pluckit View Post
The "Earn A Buck" rules are in place for population control. I can harvest 10 does during muzzle loader season alone in my county. There is "NO LIMIT" on the number of does that can be taken with a bow in my county.
If I lived there I'd be Exhausted by the end of the Season from dragging all them Does out and My Food Saver would really get a work out too.
In all Seriousness are there that many Does there?
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:30 PM
  #20  
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Three counties in Northern VA have a crazy amount of deer. One of them (Fairfax) is just outside of DC. Despite a fair amount of woodlands, it is pretty much illegal to use guns leaving the bow crowd for population control. Not cutting it. Driving is pretty hazardous this time of year.

The other two counties with EAB have a lot farm land in between heavy woods. And lots of acorns.

Last edited by hubby11; 11-17-2011 at 07:31 PM. Reason: spelling
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