Will you wait for a mature buck?

How can you become a better hunter? Find out here — and share your advice!
User avatar
Ben Sobieck
Posts: 443
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:29 am

Will you wait for a mature buck?

Postby Ben Sobieck » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:16 am

In this article, Dave Lee asserts hunters aren't doing themselves any favors when they don't pass on smaller bucks. Lee says waiting years for a chance at a big buck is more than worth the wait.

Click here to read the article.

Do you hold out for mature bucks? Or do you take the first so-so buck that comes by?

User avatar
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 2:12 pm
Location: Kansas and Missouri

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:33 am

Big being a relative term, I like to think I hold out for big bucks, or rather older bucks.  But understand, big to me is 140 class or better.
Last year I passed on several small bucks during bow season, but did take an older, small racked buck during rifle season.  Saw him through binoculars at 200 yards and the antlers looked wide and he looked old which caused me to mistake him for another deer we had on camera .  Ground shrinkage brought him down to 120 class though. 
So I guess I waited about 60 days to shoot a buck, given I had been hunting since September 15th and the buck I shot was killed in mid-November.  During that time a lot of 8 point small bucks did get a pass.
I don't think I would be willing to wait years for a big buck if I have a lot of older age class deer running around with small antlers.  I might wait for a couple of months for something big to show up, but eventually I'd want to shoot one of the older deer.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

User avatar
Posts: 767
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:26 am

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby 69Viking » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:38 am

I am not a Trophy Hunter by definition so I'll answer this the best I know how to explain.

When the season starts I am always looking for an older mature buck to shoot but in most cases my first shot is a mature doe If I get that doe early in the season then I might be more apt to wait on a bigger buck. If I get down to 2 or 3 hunts left in the season though and I don't have that bigger buck I may opt to take another doe or a buck that is 2+ years old but not considered by most to be a trophy.

It takes 2+ deer in the freezer to have enough meat in the freezer to feed my family of 4 for the year. I won't shoot spikes or young does to fill the freezer so that is why some years we run out of meat before the summer is over. That was the case last year when I only managed to shoot one mature doe. I'm still kicking myself though! I missed my biggest deer to date last season due to lack of patience and a case of buck fever! The good thing is it was the last day of the season and my camera's prove he is still around so hopefully I get a second chance this season coming up!

Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:20 am

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby wiqdma » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:03 am

Absolutely!  I average passing up about 50 opportunities at smaller bucks each year.  I take the video camera and film.  Last year I passed up a really nice three year old 8 point in hopes that one of my nephews would get a crack at him and they did!  At this point in my hunting career..... killing is a very minor part in the big scheme of things. I have more fun watching family, friends and neighbors harvest nice bucks than killing one myself.  Don't get me wrong, I always have a handful of bucks that are on my hit list and when one of those show up the blood starts to pump a little faster. 

User avatar
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:27 am

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby cutngut85 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:16 am

I hunt two properties in NJ, one of which is extremely pressured. At that property, seeing a 1 1/2 year old 5-pointer is few and far between. I would not pass him up because he wouldn't have far to walk before someone else shoots him. At the other property I hunt, it is surrounded by non-hunters and a State Park that prohibits hunting, therefore I will pass up young bucks because they will have a chance of another year or two or three. Finding any area in NJ that has the ability to practice QDM is very rare.

Posts: 142
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:49 am

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby cdn1 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:23 am

Ben this seems to be a difficult question for most everyone that I have spoken to. What constitutes a trophy to one may not to another. There in lies the hitch. For the first time hunter a bald headed doe is a trophy and for Bill Jordan it may be a 190class. Do you live in Georgia or do you live in Iowa.
If you ask me a hunter has to make a strict decission and live by it to the letter, if they want to harvest a larger than average deer. If not they will consistantly determine "that one will do attitude." or I might not see one bigger.
My one issue is that there has to be a trade off.. in when the hunting stops being fun, what is the point. Some of the pros can devote upwards of 100days or more to chase
big bucks in prime areas. The rest of us get a mere few weekends and a week in the rut.
I guess what i am trying to say is each hunter has to set a realistic goal based on time in the field, heard age structure, and what they accept as a mature animal.

User avatar
Posts: 2804
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:36 pm

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby Goose » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:31 am

I wouldn't say big like 150 or better, but I will hold out for a nice 2.5 or better. I have gone years without shooting any buck, and to me that is just where I am at right now......With the land I hunt, I will be happy taking a nice 2.5 or better.

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

User avatar
Posts: 979
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:23 am

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby OHhunter » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:46 am

I will not holdout for a bigger buck, I will however holdout for a older buck 3.5 or older.  I really don't care what a rack scores, as long as it's a mature buck.  If it scores really high that's just a bonus. 



User avatar
Cut N Run
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:21 am

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby Cut N Run » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:05 am

I'll hold out for a mature deer. We have a minimum size antler restriction at the lease I hunt. A mature adult deer is usually knocking on that minimum size anyway.  Last season, we only took one buck (a nice 10 point), but 12 or 13 does were harvested. In the past 5 years, there have only been 8 bucks taken. Two of those were under the minimum and resulted in fines that went toward lease up-keep. Of the rest, two scored over 140 inches and the majority were over 200 pounds (which is above average for this area). We see a lot of younger deer that are pretty nice & have lots of potential. You have to let them slide if you hope to take bigger ones. 100% of deer that are killed get no bigger. The county that property is in allows hunting with dogs, so the herd gets pretty stirred up and too many young bucks get shot.  I hate it, but that's the way it is there.
Luck Counts, good or bad

User avatar
Posts: 2980
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:28 pm

RE: Will you wait for a big buck?

Postby buckhunter21 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:47 pm

Now that I have a few years of hunting under my belt, I have set my sights on 3.5 or better.  There are some nice 2.5s as well.  When the author talks about waiting for a chance at a big buck is more than worth the wait, I'd have to disagree.  Yes, hunting and being able to be successful is one thing, but just being out there is another.  If I don't shoot a deer, so be it.  I love being in the outdoors and just seeing nature and deer running around as it is.  If they aren't big enough to shoot from my point of view, no biggy.  I still have a HUGE smile on my face!


Return to Best Practices

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests