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passed on a 10pt opening morning

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passed on a 10pt opening morning

Old 11-07-2005, 08:31 AM
  #1  
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Location: Georgetown, Texas
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Default passed on a 10pt opening morning

Well. . .just after first light opening morning a nice young 10pt walks out at about 220 yards. I would guess he was 2/3 years and scored about 120. I watched him for about 20 minutes until I got enough light to check out his rack real well. G-2's about 9" but the G-3 where only about 3", very symetrical but, I figured I should not burn my trophy tag so fast and I passed. My lease allows one trophy and one cull buck per paid hunter. My boys are allowed does and culls but that's it.

It would have ended up being the biggest Deer on the lease opening weekend, the only other buck that was considered big enough to shoot was a 9, just out past the ears with one of the G-4s but a little nub. He should have passed on him too, but he was a special guest and he may not get to hunt to many more times this season.

I am torn, should I have taken him or be patient (sp?) and hope I get the big dog later in the season. It ended up being the ONLY deer that I could have taken a clean shot on all weekend.

Did see a pair of foxes that played around me for about 20 minutes. Could not find a reason to kill one though so we just watched them.

Of the 14 shooters on this place they ended up with 4 does and the one 9. call me spoiled but I was not that impressed with this new lease. Yeh a couple of guys came back and talked about the huge Deer they shot and missed or the other guy about how the sun crapped up his veiw through the scope, but they are still out there so they don't count.
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:35 AM
  #2  
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

If you have any doubts on the shot, it's best to let it go!
Good decision!
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:36 AM
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

GTB you did the right thing. The first rule of trophy hunting (besides hunting where they exist in the first place!) is giving them enough time to become trophies in the first place. If you have ANY hesitation about a buck in the field then chances are he is to small and he will probably suffer the dreaded "ground shinkage" after you grab those antlers. Now if you REALLY wanted to shoot him and you have never killed a buck that large before and you only let him walk because you were worried about what others think (assuming your mgmt rules don't dictate otherwise) then yeah you probably are only fooking yourself and are setting yourself up for disappointment that will eventually result in your loss of desire to hunt.

What you have to first have is a general consensus and an absolute that is defineable and quantifiable (on paper and in the field) as to what the overall goals and mgmt philosophy of your particular club expects and plans for with regards to trophys (and even culls, which is equally important). What you just about can NOT have is a club full of all sorts of various level deerhunters because the experienced guys will not be happy when the newbies drop every 2 or 3 year old that they see.

I can speak from experience, once everyone in the club has a 150incher (or more) on the wall, the "need" to kill every decent buck you see goes WAY down and then you begin to see excellent results. But getting there takes time, you will loose some members (some guys just want to kill every 3 year old 8ptr that pops out) and some arguements will happen and sometimes you will ask yourself if it is all worth it? But if the land has the capacity (and history) to produce tremendous bucks (over 160inches IMHO) then in the end you will realize the hardwork is worth the trouble.

It isn't easy, that's why many don't do it in the first place. But like I said, it is of an absolute importance that you first put in writing and come too a general consensus among members as to what you think the absolute minimum is. For some a 130" or better buck is a trophy. BUT with all respect, in most decent locales that is NOT the biggest buck around and is well below most areas potential if you just give them a little time and manage them properly (let em walk, thin the culls, whack the does and make sure the foodsources are optimized).

I have hunted with my brother (and our family/friends and guests) for 20 years and naturally our expectations and desires have changed. 20 years ago we wanted EVERY buck that stepped out. 15 years ago we considered any 2yr or older buck a "trophy". 10 years ago we began letting them walk unless they were 130-140 class(typically 3 years or older). But over the last 5 years we have all taken 150+ inch bucks and have let some absolute BRUISERS walk. It's not because we are trying to show off or think we are any better than anyone else. It's because we realize that the herd is better off for it and you would be surprised how many good bucks you and grow, attract and contain with the proper mgmt philosophy. It's really not that hard, you just have to change you expectations and enforce some rules (yep we had to cut a few members for their un-willingness to go by the rules).

In the end it is WELL worth it. We don't go out and see 150" bucks everytime out but rarely do we not see decent 2-4 year olds besides all the small bucks and numerous other deer. It makes for a much more overall enjoyable season in our opinions. Our guests are typically just thrilled to get to see that many deer, especially that many bucks. Even though they know they can't shoot them unless one of us is with them to give them the go ahead. I know that sounds harsh in some respects but when you understand that bucks over 4 yrs old typically only have a 1% survival chance (that meaning that only 1 in 100 bucks will even make it too maturity begin with) you begin to understand the importance of letting them walk no matter the temptation to let a guest (or even harder, a child or first timer) take them.

I had a good buddy from high shool (we've been out for 16 years) that decided to take up deer hunting and began hunting with me about 4 years ago. It just so happened that he decided to hunt the very year we decided to take NO BUCKS unless they were culls. Needless to say everyone had large deer allover them all year long! [:@]He had NEVER taken a buck and yet his first season he had to let 1 over 160", 2 over 150" and several over 140" go because "that's the rules". It frustrated him and I really appreciated his determination and acceptance of our rules. But he will be the first to tell you that he learned more that first year as a result of watching those animals vs shooting them at first sight and he now has a much deeper appreciation for those magnificent animals. He never got to shoot one that big but his desire to just "shoot hair" is tempered by the high number of does and an occasional cull buck that we take from time too time.

Now with all that being said, if you think what I just told you is NOT reasobable and you are NOT willing to stick too such restrictions then whack away on the first deer that comes along. Just don't complain after a few years because you don't take (or even see in the first place) a truly giant buck every few years. BIG bucks don't happen with consistency on mis-managed lands. Sure the occasional monster slips in every now and then, but I mean with any degree of predictibility or annual chances.

Deer hunting is about fun and enjoyment, for some it's shooting the animals without care too the rack. For others it's about the fun times with buddies and camp. While with others it's more the mgmt, philosophies and just seeing what in deed you CAN produce!

Good luck and enjoy my favorite state! I always say that God is a deerhunter and TX is his evidence for that,
RA
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

Red. . .thanks for the positive note. . .while I have only hunted for 4 years now, moved to Texas from way out west,LA, sorry, I have taken a few reasonaly nice Bucks already 135/145 ish. I have seen photos at the local feed store and this area is very capable of producing 150 or better. This lease is new to me and all theguys on it too. I just hope the rest of the guys let em walk, if I see them start to shoot the ones I let walk them all bets are off, sad but true. The manager is asking us tobe smartwhen taking that trophy but, he also said if you wish to burn your trophy tag on a youngster then your loss.So the 10 I let go is big enough by ranch rules but. . . .hopfully not by much. . .
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Old 11-07-2005, 10:29 AM
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

Did right I think ,especially at that distance
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:16 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

Cardeer. . .the distance was no problem, 7RM, shooting 139gr using a 14X scope and a good rest. I think I could have dropped him pretty easy, still had a bit of a heart beat going that first buck of the year and all. But like Red it's good to hear I am not getting ribbed for letting him walk. . .
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:47 PM
  #7  
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

You did the right thing. You did what I think a smart, responsible hunter would do. The goal is not to kill them all. Larry
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:16 PM
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

That's how they get big!! In most areas, you have to worry about someone else shooting anything...but if you don't pass on those bucks, you'll never fully know their potential. I definitely thing you did the right thing.
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Old 11-07-2005, 05:28 PM
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

Tough decision. I probably would have wasted it, but thats me...based on my experience and where, when, and how often I hunt. In my humble opinion it's not what other hunters think..it's what you think. There is a case for both sides of the argument - but in the end, the decision to squeeze the trigger rests solely with the person with the gun to his shoulder.

Are you comfortable with your decision?

In the end thats the only opinion that counts. It sounds like you are. I hope you are blessed with a 175+ next year!


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Old 11-07-2005, 05:45 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: passed on a 10pt opening morning

shows a lot of poise ... heck I cant even SEE 220 yards LOL

Roll Tide
DD


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