[ul][*]Most hunters cannot age deer accurately, and those that can do it are for the most part are only good on deer 3.5 years of age or younger. So if we're only shooting the top 10-15% of deer by age class, that means if it's 3.5 then it's down because beyond that our aging skills aren't accurate. And if you're taking any 3.5 year old, then you may be getting beyond the top 10-15% of deer if you have a well managed property.
[*]Who among us has a truly accurate idea of how many and what age deer we have on our land, and even if we can get close to an idea, once deer start traveling in October and November, everything we know about the makeup of the herd on our property might go out the window. So how can I decide which deer is in the top 10-15% by age class, if they may have moved on when hunting season rolls around.
[*]Using our 100 acre property as an example, we usually capture 6-7 different bucks on game cameras during the summer, maybe up to 10 in a good year, but only a few of these make our place home. Of these deer, most are 1.5 year olds with a few 2.5's and maybe one or two 3.5's or older. So that doesn't leave much in the top 10-15% age class.
[*]If APR's were not in force in our area of Missouri, history indicates that nearly all the deer on our property would be 1.5's or maybe small racked 2.5's, so does taking the top 10-15% by age class have any real many in that type of situation?
[*]Saying we're going after older, mature deer makes QDM more palatable to some then saying we're going after deer with big antlers, but the two tend to go hand-in-hand. After all age is needed to get to big antlers. So are we just trying to fool ourselves by saying age is what we're basing our shooting choices on, when in fact it still comes down to what's considered big antlered for our area. [/ul]
Again, I think it's a great idea if you can control the herd on your property, but if you can't then I just don't think it's all that feasible.
... No matter what area you hunt, if you do your homework and get a general idea of what is in the area, then go after and get a deer that is in the top 10-15%, you did good IMO.
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