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Big Buck Barometer

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Big Buck Barometer

Old 07-02-2008, 11:14 AM
  #1  
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Default Big Buck Barometer

4 guys in camo, all sitting around the OUIJA board. "Oh Mighty OUIJA - Hallowed Be Thy Name - Show Us The Way."


B-O-O-N-E-R

Stupid, right?

But is that really any different than a guy sitting behind the mouse, clicking until he has carpal tunnel, just dreaming up huge numbers and telling his homeboys that he's holding out for a 170?

We all do it. Our little hearts flutter with whims of whopper whitetails. We assign numbers and set limits, as if we know the code.

So how do you do it? How do you know what makes a "big" deer for your area?

Some guys glass. Some pick sheds. Some run spotlights. Some run lines of cameras. Some have no fugging idea, and go in blind.


Seriously?

Let's talk about big bucks. "Mature" bucks. Are they really there?

15 years of bowhunting in the Archery Mecca that is Southwestern Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia, and I don't even know if I've ever even seen one.

"The big boys are there, you just have to find 'em." I had a guy tell me this last year. Isnapped my neckaround, looking for some kind of verification of this bold proclaimation and (amazingly)the biggest buck on his wall might go 120 on a good day, with a liberal scorekeeper. Apparently he's not "finding 'em" either. Two months later, dudeforks out $3200 for a week in the Golden Triangle, and comes home with a 180. Whaddya know. He found one out there. In 4 days, he accomplished what he couldn't accomplish in 20 years on his home turf. Did he really become that much of a better hunter in 4 days? Pot luck?

Are they really there? If these mysterious, reclusive, enormousdeer do, indeed exist everywhere- then shouldn'twe allbe seeing them? Or at least signs of them?
[ul][*]We put cameras out - Dink City. Maybe acouple solid2.5's to give you some patheticglimmer ofhope.[*]We run spotlights all summer/falland see some nice deer, but nothing outside the bounds of normalcy. Thousands of deer every year. Thousands. No joke.[*]8-12 dayshoofing it in the woodseach spring,picking sheds - all Dinks. Dink. Dink. Dink.[*]The "big boys"don't really show up at the local big buck contest. Apparently they're avoiding everyone else, too.[*]Nobody ever seems to get one of these deer that everyone seems to insist "are out there."[*]No booner skulls.If you find anything that would scare150, you get your picture taken with it.[*]Lots of whale's tales, butas far as substantiated evidence goes, it's severely lacking. [/ul]So, if these deer do, indeed exist - shouldn't they drop their antlers? If they're dying of old age, shouldn't somebody find them? Maybe they bury their sheds to avoid detection. Maybe the does cremate the carcasses.

I mean, they are there, right? Or are they?



I have a theory. Color me stupid, because maybe I'm way off base here - but maybe, just maybe,I'm right. But it goes something like this:
[ul][*]If you're seeing big deer and finding big sheds - you're in an area with lots of big deer, and you should be able to get one.[*]If you're NOT seeing anybig deer, and you're looking hard, but stillNOT finding any good sheds - you're simply hunting an area where there justAREN'T any big deer, and you're wasting your life away trying.[/ul]Maybe "Any" isa bit strong... But you get the point.


Pennsylvania is Booner Country.


So seriously - what makes a big buck for YOUR area?

Now, I'm not asking for the biggest buck in your county. Just wondering what class of deer that you think you have a very realistic chance of harvesting. Not the statistical anomaly. The average top-end deer.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:24 AM
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

I would have to say 110-125 up in Northwest Pennsylvania Erie County. That is about the biggest i have ever seen in my years of hunting.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:25 AM
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

Southern New Jersey is deffinately lacking in the big deer. Although there have been sightings of 140+onch bucks they are jsut to smart for hunters around here i guess. once in a blue moon you will see someone come up with a nice one
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:25 AM
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

Anything over 125-130" taken with a bow turns some heads around here. There are much bigger deer than that here, but thats what most here call a big buck.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:28 AM
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

Did he really become that much of a better hunter in 4 days?
LOL

If these mysterious, reclusive, enormousdeer do, indeed exist everywhere- then shouldn'twe allbe seeing them?
Not according to "some". I'm told, every year, of the ones that I'm just "not seeing".

So seriously - what makes a big buck for YOUR area?
ANY buck over 100". I've hunted 3 seasons and seen exactly TWO. I have one more (that MIGHT go 100") on game cam.

THIS is the result of TWO YEARS of shed hunting. Yet....they're "out there".....lol





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Old 07-02-2008, 11:34 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

In my home area if you passed on a 100 inch buck you would be a fool! The best hunter I have ever known and I have known some very good one's has killed one buck in a life time of hunting that exceeds 125 inches.He is deceased,he died in a vehicle accident while hunting elk out in Idaho a couple of years ago.This man hunted and scouted in excess of 100 days a year,had a life time of great spots accumulated in our area,was as knowledgeable and shrewed a hunter as I have ever known.In addition to these hunting characteristics he was big and raw boned tough.The point of all this is if this guy couldn't get it done nobody was or is getting it done in our area.He was routinely killing 110 to 115 inch deer.
I am 50 years old (recently turned)hunt very hard and spend a decent amount of time at it,I have seen one buck that would make Pope and Young in my life and that was early in the morning while driving.
We have had antler restrictions for two years,time will tell if that changes the circumstances.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:35 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

For my area in NC, 25 miles North of Jeff, any deer over 100" is a BIG deer. People can say what they want, about location not being a factor but I've put in 18 years thus far and the biggest I've seen no the hoofis the one on my wall @ 112". I've hunted the prime locations with acres upon acres of soy beans and corn, giant thickets to bed in, in other words the kind of place you dream of and still not seen anything that would touch P&Y. The ONLY deer that was killed in my area that scored P&Y last year, in which I've posted pics, is rumored to have been an old photo of the same guy with an OHIO deer.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:40 AM
  #8  
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

I think by my personal experiences and trail camera images my best chance score wise would be around 125- 140. I had three 140 plus on one of my trail cameras last year but just couldn't close the deal on them. Because of them I passed on many mid to high 130's last year. There is one buck that I had missed last year that probably would of only score in the mid 120's, but he had a third main beam and that was the only reason that I took a shot at him. (missed at 18 yds[:@]) He was a solid 3.5 so he should be extra nice this year. Quick, I do believe they are out there and just because youhaven't seen them doesn't mean that someone else hasn't seen them. I know if I came across a "BOONER" either finding his sheds or seeing in person, I wouldn't tell a soul around my parts. I love bow hunting and I love being out in the woods and that is what gets me excited for the upcoming year. Not wondering if I will get a booner or not. That's just icing on the cake.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:41 AM
  #9  
 
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

I live/hunt north central WV. I voted 110-125, although it might be closer to the 95-110. The biggest buck that I have seen hunting was the buck I killed, a 9 that would score mid-90s. Usually thereare a couple a year killed in my area with a rifle that would go 110-125or so, but usually don't hear of anything killed of that caliber with a bow. My dad back 20 years or so killed a buck that would go mid-150s with a rifle.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:46 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Big Buck Barometer

If you're NOT seeing anybig deer, and you're looking hard, but stillNOT finding any good sheds - you're simply hunting an area where there justAREN'T any big deer, and you're wasting your life away trying
A big deer, even relatively speaking for a given region, may be a statistical anomaly in a particular area. So you may have to do everything right and still get really lucky to kill a deer that MOST would consider big.

Also, I believe you have to define "area". A "big" buck may indeed only set foot on the particular area you hunt once in a coon's age (just traveling thru perhaps). Still, there may be a "big" buck regularly hanging around the "area" in which you live (let's say county, for instance). Just because there may be a few big bucks in your "area" doesn't mean one will show up in your hunting "area"

Another thing to consider is that if you measureyour hunting by the end result as opposed to the total experience, you may experience enough disappointmentto consider your time afield "wasted".Hope few, if any, use that barometer.
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