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How important are antlers to you?

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How important are antlers to you?

Old 12-13-2011, 05:55 AM
  #1  
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I'm a brand new hunter. I fired my first rifle this year, I learned the difference between a bolt action and a lever action this year, I went on my first hunting trips, and I took my first doe fawn this year. I'm a newb, through and through. Nobody in my family ever hunted or ate game meat when I was growing up even though we live in beautiful Northern Wyoming. I finally took matters into my own hands this year and got myself out in the field.

I went on several hunting trips before I ever even thought about shooting my own deer. We saw several bucks, several does, and tons and tons of fawns. For every grown deer, we saw several fawns. On my first trip out when I was planning on actually hunting, I passed up a buck. He was probably a 6 or 8 pointer, a decent size especially for a first buck. I passed him up, he was just too big, too much meat, and I couldn't care less about antlers. When I finally shot my deer, I was set up and had the choice between two doe fawns and a doe. I took one of the fawns. It's just me who will be eating the venison, and I have limited freezer space. I'm a 125lb girl who maybe eats meat once a week, lol. The 31lbs of tender yummy fawn meat I got off my deer is plenty, and I couldn't be more thrilled with it.

Anyways, I'm just curious. I'm not sure if it's because I'm such a new hunter or if it's a common sentiment to be so apathetic about antlers. I was hunting for meat only. I truly think that if I was set up to take a massive trophy buck, I'd probably pass. For one, because I know somebody would be much more excited about taking him than me, and also, just too much meat. When I was looking at that buck that I passed up through my scope, all I could see was waaay too much meat for me, lol. I have no desire to keep a trophy, mount a trophy, or anything else.

In no way am I implying that antler/trophy hunters or meat hunters are more legitimate, I'm just curious to see if I'm the only hunter out there that truly honestly can't get myself to care about the antlers, lol.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:00 AM
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You know what they say about the horns......
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:16 AM
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I think most new hunters probably fall along the same line as you. For me 30yrs ago when I was new...I just wanted to get a deer, and couldn't have been happier when I did (a doe). At some point that changed for me....maybe it will for you. Now I do hunt for horns, but also shoot several does for meat each year.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:20 AM
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It's true and I say it all the time, "You can't eat the antlers".

However; if a 250# 8 pointer, at 125# spike and a 200# doe were to materialize in front of me with a hunting implement in my hands, I'd take the 8 pointer.

That said and with a single either sex deer tag, I will not wait on a chance at a buck if a 125# doe presented herself.

My $.02
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:55 AM
  #5  
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We get almost a 3 month deer season for bow hunting.We get one tag.I used to shoot the first decent size deer that came in, it sucked afterwards because there was still most of the season left and you were done, usually in the first week.

After a couple years of tagging out early and being done I decided to wait for a buck.There wasnt a lot of bowhunters around back then as it hadnt caught on yet so there really wasnt anyone to show me what I was doing or tell me if it was right or wrong, certainly wasnt all the info there is today or all the equipment.So actually getting close enough to kill a buck with a bow seemed like a pretty decent challenge.And it was for awhile but after a few years of that I had it figured out down to whereI could kill a buck the first week of season most years and was back where I started, tagged out and sitting at home.

My patience level grew every year and about 5 or 6 years after I started bowhunting I was letting smaller bucks walk past me, not really after a trophy just extending my time in the field, I never actually hunted the rut those first years because I was done early.That year I caught a glimpse of my first decent buck, a gnarly racked non typical 12 pointer.I started hunting him and let all the other deer walk.2 months later on a property a mile and a half from where it started I finally put an arrow in him.I had hunted most of the season, had a blast doing it, and had some really cool stories to tell of things I seen and close encounters where the deer won.

These days I still like to hunt for a good buck, Ive killed a ton of deer since I started and ate a few deer tags in the process.But since that year I can tell you where, when and how every set of antlers I own came from, they all have thier own story, some I persued for months, some I got lucky on, and some fall in between, but they all mean something to me if nobody else
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:00 AM
  #6  
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I mostly hunt for the meat. But it is nice to fill my buck tag with a nice one. I shot a good one this year, 9 points and a non scorable point. So it was basically a 10 to me. I was pleased to get the chance to take a mature buck this year. In my area of the Indiana there is quite a alot of hunting pressure so I usually take the first buck I can. I will then take up to 3 does if possible to fill the freezer.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:01 AM
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I have deer hunted for about 20 years now and I still don't care about antlers. Would it be nice to get a big buck? Sure, but for the most part I am a meat hunter and I enjoy the hunt. So getting a deer, any deer, is fine with me. I do try to avoid the small ones though, but for your first deer or two, small ones are fine. My first deer was a button buck.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:13 AM
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This was my tenth season. I've shot 7 buck in those ten years. Although horns aren't my priority, it is nice to get a buck. I have passed up smaller bucks, especially during archery season. Last year I let a six and a small 8 point walk past so I could shoot the doe that was with them. That day I just didn't care about shooting horns, and I figured the doe would be better eating. There's nothing wrong with someone who hunts the horns, It just isn't my thing. I hunt for the meat, the time in the woods, and the time with family.
-Jake
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:41 AM
  #9  
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To each his/her own. I have been hunting a long time and for me I'm more interested in outsmarting a mature buck. The antlers are reminders of my adventures. I get the meat too as a bonus. The great thing about hunting is you can adjust your hunt to get maximum enjoyment. Maybe your a meat hunter, maybe your a trophy hunter. Maybe you want the first deer that comes along or maybe you choose a method that makes tagging out a challenge. That's the fun of it. Welcome to hunting!
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:56 AM
  #10  
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I grew up hunting and eating game...I've hunted over 45 years and have killed over 300 deer...I could care less about antlers as well, after you have a few dozen what are you going to do with them???

I love to cook and kill several does each year, I'll kill a buck if it's a nice one for my area but I usually pass as well...Since we have several farms and need to control the population we need more does killed than bucks anyway...Through the years I've put other members of my family or friends on the bucks that I've passed on and see that it means so much more to them than me that I prefer to let them have them...

I guess some folks like to brag about the big bucks they've killed as it makes them feel good...I've never looked at hunting as a reason to go into the woods to collect antlers but to bring back food...I believe that's why early man started hunting so I'm staying with my roots...The time alone to reflect and think, being outdoors and seeing what God created is payback enough for me even if I don't see deer...I thank Him for each and every hunt...
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