I decided that this year I was going to take my hunting to the "next level" and try and only shoot bucks that are 3-1/2 or older. Well, I shot an 8 pointer last Friday night that I had to judge from the treestand, and wanted a little help either validating my choice, or helping me learn from it for future hunts. Let me say first that I am not disappointed in any way with my decision. I made it because I thought it was right, and I am very happy with the buck I shot.
Here is the scenario. I had a buck come out of the timber to the North of me and walk the edge toward my tree. As he was coming towards me, I was trying to determine if he was 3-1/2 or not. His face seemed to be fairly mature (kinda boxy), and even had some grey in it. His back didn't seem to have a sag in it, but it was hard to tell from above. Same thing with the belly...hard to tell from above. I don't know if this will make any sense, but he seemed to walk like an older deer. Thinking he was at least 3-1/2, and his rack was nice, but not what it should be for a 3-1/2 year old...I decided to take him. After showing around some pictures, I have had opinions that are varied. Some think he is only 2-1/2...and some think he was a mature deer. Since I took pictures after I gutted him, it is hard to tell about the body...but if any of you can tell by his head...let me know what you think. I have been told that bucks don't start getting that grey tinge to them until they are 3-1/2...but obviously...there are differing opinions on that too. I plan on checking his teeth to find out for sure.
Just wanting to get better at this...so I appreciate any input.
here are a couple pics...