The reason I brung this up is to see if you all practice QDM. If you don't thats cool, did not mean to step on anyone's toes here and make them feel like they should take mature bucks only. Thats the way I hunt and always will. Its the trophy in the eyes of the beholder, I support deer hunting in every way shape or form. I hope I didn't upset anyone, I thought this was a great topic to bring up.
'scool spotedskunk. I agree that this is a good conversation and I think you are bringing a lot into it. But I want to challenge you with a few questions.
You state that you "take mature bucks only". How mature are we talking here? Earlier you said that bucks in the 3 year range are on your "hit list". Biologically speaking, 3.5 year old bucks are not fully mature, so how and why do you arrive at this decision?
Secondly you said, "Thats the way I hunt and always will." I don't know how old you are but that could be a long time. Could you envision a time when you might change and take a younger buck, stop taking bucks or hold out for an older one? I can think of a lot of scenarios that would alter my buck harvest goals.
Finally (and understand that I am QDMer myself), if someone chooses to kill bucks of a younger age class than what you target, are they automatically no longer doing QDM?
Mature bucks in my opinion is a 4 year old or older. Maybe 5, to me a mature buck is when he is done growing. There are some bucks out there that won't grow after its third year. I really could care less about points and scores. I would love to be a PY or Boone N Crockett, scorer so I can score em better in the stand, but points and scores don't matter.
Second Question: I don't know if I will ever change, in my opinion a old wise buck is a whole different deer. They get big and get to an old age for a reason. For the last two years I've been buckless. To me, its more of a challenge to go out and hunt for those old bucks. But thats my opinion. Could I see myself change for a younger buck, maybe. I won't say yes or no.
When I have kids, they can shoot whatever they want, they can make the decision on what they want to shoot. Like I said, the trophy is in the eyes of the beholder.
The 3rd question is a little broad. In certain areas of the country, QDM is different in each and every other state. I don't think its the same in each area. QDM to me is allowing those three year olds to walk one or two more years. In other areas it might be taking out several does. Other areas it might be taking out the management bucks. It all differs where you hunt. QDM to me in my part of the woods I hunt is taking out a few does, to keep those young buck fawns in the area, then to also get those bucks up and moving. I know most of you know that if you have to many does, bucks won't travel at all to find a hot doe. They won't have to travel far.
JPH, I apologize, guess I typed it wrong, but yes a 3-3.5 year old is what I tend to pass up.