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How important are antlers to you?

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How important are antlers to you?

Old 12-13-2011, 08:26 AM
  #11  
Spike
 
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horns are everything. We can't shoot does in n. Califirnia. fork horn or better.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:38 AM
  #12  
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I have gone through the cycle. When I started deer hunting, there were not many. Just seeing a deer was something. So I just wanted to kill a deer. My first one came in 1957. A medium eight-pouint was running in front of three dogs. I shot hiim with an L.C. Smith double barrel. His head,(remounted three times) is on my wall today.

From that I progressed to wanting to kill my limit. That was possible when the limit was two. Then I wanted to kill a "big" buck. I did that.

When deer hunting became both my vocation and my avocation, my goal was a deer that would meet exceed P&Y minimums even thouogh I had and have no intention of ever sending one in. After several years of that, I came back to passing up young bucks and shooting a lot of does.

Today I kill 3-4 does for every buck. However, I no longer give a hoot what size antlers they carry. This year, during bow season, Ipassed up a small six-point three times. He walked by me during rifle season and I shot him.

I hunt today for the enjoyment of hunting. I kill several deer each year because I eat them and I provide some other families with meat. I am a firm believer in letting each hunter shoot whatever is legal and makes them happy. That is what hunting is about, not antlers. Antlers is what the industry is about.

Below is my Thanksgiving double. A fat doe and the six-point that tempted me one time too many. Two nice trophies.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:40 AM
  #13  
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I have gone through the cycle. When I started deer hunting, there were not many. Just seeing a deer was something. So I just wanted to kill a deer. My first one came in 1957. A medium eight-point was running in front of three dogs. I shot hiim with an L.C. Smith double barrel. His head,(remounted three times) is on my wall today.

From that I progressed to wanting to kill my limit. That was possible when the limit was two. Then I wanted to kill a "big" buck. I did that.

When deer hunting became both my vocation and my avocation, my goal was a deer that would meet or exceed P&Y minimums even though I had and have no intention of ever sending one in. During that period, I was almost totally a bowhunter. After several years of that, I came back to passing up young bucks and shooting a lot of does just to work on the sex ratio in my area.

Today I kill 3-4 does for every buck. However, I no longer give a hoot what size antlers they carry. This year, during bow season, I passed up a small six-point three times. He walked by me during rifle season and I shot him.

I hunt today for the enjoyment of hunting. I kill several deer each year because I eat them and I provide some other families with meat. I am a firm believer in letting each hunter shoot whatever is legal and makes them happy. That is what hunting is about, not antlers. Antlers is what the industry is about.

Below is my Thanksgiving double. A fat doe and the six-point that tempted me one time too many. Two nice trophies.


Last edited by scribe; 12-13-2011 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:12 PM
  #14  
Fork Horn
 
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i hunt for the horns. i like shooting bucks. and will pass small bucks and does all day long to shoot a good buck. it has to be 130" and older then 3 1/2 years old before i think about shooting it. unless it has a cool looking rack like the one i shot this year that scored 126. but it still has to be 3 1/2 years old or older
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:26 PM
  #15  
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I love the meat and enjoy the steaks all year long. I really like to make and eat the sausage and in fact will be having some home made Pennsylvania Dutch Sausage tonight.That being said I like to kill bucks but don't get them mounted. I have a wall full of scull plates and horns at my deer camp and a growing pile of some deer, elk and caribou in the basement. My wife doesn't like to look at dead deer on the walls at our home and it has been that way for the 41 years we have been married. I have been an avid outdoorsman all those years and gladly acccept her wishes especially since she encourages me to hunt and fish as much as I want. I hunted 3 states this year which is similar to most years. Buck or doe when they get to the freezer is when I like them the best.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:30 PM
  #16  
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I am with most everyone else here in this matter.
With over 35 yrs of deer hunting and have taken over 20 that will make book, both P&Y and B&C, I have yet to enter one for they were just a gift from god and good patience.
Here in Illinois, we can take all the does we want with bow in our 3-1/2 month season and only take 2 antlered deer within all of our 5 deer seasons.
I let deer walk that most would be very happy to take. I am now mostly herd management and will take does all day long. If I burn a buck tag, it is on a scrub buck for the herd gene pool. I donate deer to people I work with for their freezer after I put a few in mine.
I guess what I am saying that as a new hunter, YOU be pleased with whatever your heart feels is a trophy to you and don't get caught up in what others say or what the TV pros say is good or not. It is your hunt and heart is what you have to please.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:37 PM
  #17  
Typical Buck
 
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I like to take at least one deer a year. It will be an adult deer. My first deer was a button buck, and that made me sad. I killed next a potential buck for the next season.

I will admit, I prefer to shoot bucks, but if the gun season is moving to a close with no dead buck a doe will suffice.

I'll just hopefully shoot the doe closer to where I park than where I have been the last two years. It's a 2.75 mile drag from my stand to the truck. I don't want to drag a doe out that far if I can avoid it. I hunt paper mill land, so no powered method of getting the deer out is legal.

The catch for me is, that I don't need a monster buck. The average bucks, like the three I have taken off of my stand in the last two years, are good enough. I get meat, and horns for decoration. Putting antlers on a plaque is pretty darn cheap compared to having the head mounted.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:38 PM
  #18  
Spike
 
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Horns tend to be rough measure of age and age tends to be a measure of difficulty when hunting deer. (Old mature bucks lose the game ALOT less often then does and young bucks) So at SOME point I started uping the ante... Intentionally making the game harder, by holding out for older mature bucks.
Ill still shoot a doe pronto when its the order of the day and I respect that a "trophy" is always in the eye of the beholder... But after enough deer are under the belt we tend to desire a greater challange and chasing "bigger" horns is ONE way to accomplish that....
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:47 PM
  #19  
Spike
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Thanks for the fantastic discussion, guys

I can definitely appreciate the "challenge of the hunt" aspect. Bigger antlers indicating an older and smarter animal that is harder to hunt. Perhaps I'll eventually seek that particular challenge, but even then, I'd be hunting a buck for the pleasure of the challenge, not the trophy itself.

And yes, my little doe fawn was a trophy to me, haha. I have a picture of me with her, and I'm beaming with my little deer. I can't imagine taking literally hundreds of deer, or several a season like some of you hunters. I'm still so green at the whole thing, I'm *still* excited about my doe fawn even several weeks later and think about the experience often. My trophy is opening the freezer and seeing tons of meat, hehe.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:57 PM
  #20  
Spike
 
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Sounds like your being very responsible and only taking what you need. Those yearlings are very tender.

For me I try to take mature does or a nice buck if they come around. I'm trying to fill the freezer and I have many family members that I give my extra venison to. I try to get the bigger does just to get the extra meat.
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