I totally agree, IL has dropped the ball with qdm, hopefully with a larger doe harvest in the future,that can be corrected. The "brown is down" type hunters, are limiting my chances at harvesting mature bucks on my property. I have no problem with a hunter harvesting small antlerd deer, but the buck should atleast be allowed to reach a mature age before killed. If hunters shoot the young bucks, the buck herd will never reach the mature age class.ORIGINAL: Online Editor
Editor's note: This reply to the original post was provided by author Les Davenport this morning. We hope this helps clear the air on this topic. We would also like to remind all users to refrain from personal attacks on this forum.
Jeff B: First, I have no clue who you are or what I may have said to intimidate you in front of friends. Second, I would never -- even on my worst day -- have chastised you for shooting a "upper 120-inch buck," especially if it were not taken on my property or lease (which had a 125-inch minimum, and later a 130-inch minimum).
I do remember a hunter who was embarrassed about shooting a smaller buck. This hunter sadly commented that he was "never lucky enough to kill a true trophy." This implied that he was not satisfied with the buck he killed. Very sad! I may have taken the opportunity to tell that hunter (in a subtle, educational manner) that he was inhibiting his chances of ever killing a "true trophy" (his standards) by shooting immature bucks. If that hunter felt like "crap" in front of his friends, he probably felt that way before I ever came on the scene. He probably felt like "crap" because he also inhibited his friends from their chances of taking "a true trophy." If "my hunter" would have asked the fine-per-inch on that 115-inch buck, it's likely I would have answered that question. The fine, by the way, would have been $50/inch and no return invitation.
Am I a trophy hunter? Yes! More importantly, though, I believe and practice QDM. Without it, deer can not survive the poor management that is practiced by the State of Illinois' Department of Conservation or most states. Here is the profile of the two individuals who I have problems with:
1) The guy/gal who shoots an immature buck "because I needed the meat."
There is no problem or comment from me if this was the only opportunity at a deer the entire year. However, most of these hunters had already passed up several does. Simply, they do not care about herd management and the future of deer hunting.
2) The hunter who shoots a small buck and complains about it after it's dead by saying things like, "I never get the chance at a trophy buck.."
Bucks don't get mature when they are killed at one or two years old.
For every buck, I shoot at least three or more does.
I will apologize to you, Jeff B, for anything that you may have taken out of context. Though I'm a trophy hunter, I would never belittle another hunter for shooting a legally-taken deer. I will always, however, take the opportunity to constructively criticize the hunter who does not appreciate an animal that is dead at his feet.
By the way, of the six years that I guided deer hunters, only three of those hunters killed sub-minimum bucks. I did not fine even one of them and invited each back with the words, "Next year you'll need to raise your standards by 10 inches." [/size]
--Les Davenport, D&DH Contributing Editor
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