Rack vs Age

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DEER30
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:01 pm

Rack vs Age

Postby DEER30 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:23 am

To me, the "trophy" is in the eye of the beholder. I remember my first buck was a basket racked 7pt. It was mounted and presented proudly in my parents home where it remains to this day. Despite having harvested several bucks much larger in size, it is still one of, if not the first one I point out to visitors and start telling the story about. I have mentioned my "standards" for shooting a buck on here before, but if you missed it you can find them at www.deer30outdoors.com/meat-vs-trophy-hunting/ This approach has saved the life of many young bucks and I suppose was my own way doing a little herd "management." But I found an even greater sense of accomplishment in having harvested an old buck than a younger buck with a bigger rack. Something about the idea of going into his world and catching a wiley old experienced buck off his guard, and keeping it together to pull off the shot that has really stirred my blood.

Telling a buck's age can be a tricky task if you are not sure what to look for. So I listed what I look for when the buck is still on his feet that helps me estimate his age and I found a great publication from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. that discusses aging harvested deer by their teeth. I also included several photos of bucks of different age classes. If your interested, check it out at www.deer30outdoors.com/how-old-is-he/ and drop a comment about the age estimated for the photos, any other helpful clues to a deer's age, and whether you hope for a big rack vs an old deer.

We love hearing from you all, and thanks.

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Gafrage
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: Rack vs Age

Postby Gafrage » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:24 pm

You're still meat hunting even if you are trophy hunting, you're just accepting the fact that your meat might be a little tougher. :)
It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight.

DEER30
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:01 pm

Re: Rack vs Age

Postby DEER30 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:05 pm

You know I never really bought into the older deer tougher the meat scenario on its own. I think it can be a factor but I have found that diet and environment play bigger roles. I had the good fortune to take a huge bodied broken off 10pt last year in MD. This deer field dressed over 200 lbs and was estimated to be at least 5 1/2 if not older. But he was corn and alfalfa fed and the meat was as tender as some of the younger does taken the same year. www.deer30outdoors.com/maryland-rut-in-full-swing/
But I have also taken a buck of similar age in the mountains of VA. This deer fed on acorns and browse and had to climb a mountain everyday of his life. Without extensive tenderizing, his steaks would have been like chewing on shoe leather.


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