Have you done this?

How can you become a better hunter? Find out here — and share your advice!
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JPH
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby JPH » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:02 pm

Here is another way for you guys to look at this. It might just help you to deal with the feelings you are having. I go into the season with a general idea of what class of buck I am hunting for and a basic intention to pass on anything "less". But I also promise myself that if a legal buck offers me a shot while I am waiting for the shot at a big one, and I pass that shot, I forfeit my right to complain or feel negative for the rest of the season. Now, If I cannot accept that, then I will take the shot.

Please take my Iowa bow hunting season as an example. I set out to kill a 3.5 yr old buck. Early in the season I passed several 2.5's and a lot of 1.5's. I was cool with that. Then I had a 3.5, in the 120" range work a scrape at 20 yds and I passed him too. I decided it was still early and that there might be an even bigger or older buck yet. I was cool with that too. Then on the morning of Nov. 5, I blew a golden opportunity at a really nice 9pt. A great deer. I bumped my quiver in the tree as I was coming to full draw, at 15 yds. Suddenly my attitude shifted. I was still okay with the deer I had passed on, but I was not going to give any second chances. That night a deer who was either a great 2.5 or a small 3.5 offered me a 30 yd. broadside. Thwack! He was under 120" but I felt great about the whole season. No regrets.

One of the things I love about hunting is the emotional roller coaster. Enjoy the ride guys!

loneranger
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby loneranger » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:14 pm

You hunt in Iowa? Me too. You are fortunate to have seen that many bucks at all those ages. As peviously stated. I spent two wks at it and saw 8 deer total. Two, 2 yr olds, and one probably 3 yr old,,one doe,4 yearling bucks. Iowa is still better than where I moved from,, for hunting, but not the IOWA I heard so much about.

pschuh32
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby pschuh32 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:20 pm

I had this happen to me three years ago. I was bow hunting in a hardwoods and a 2-1/2 year old 8 pt stepped out about 150 yards away. I was trophy hunting for the past three years and eat a tag three years in a row. I said to myself, I'm not going to call but if that deer steps within 30 yards I'm gonig to take it. As it closed the distance I kept changing my mind back and forth, I know what the deer was. At 25 yards he had to go around a maple top, I said if he came on my side I'd shoot if he went on the other side I'd pass. He came on my side and I took the shot. The second I shot I regretted it, it was a nice young buck with a lot of potential. Every time I look at the buck I think of what it could have been, although I regret the shot, he's allways a reminder of why it's worth eating that tag! I've eat a tag the last two years and have enjoyed every second of it!!

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JPH
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby JPH » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:33 pm

ORIGINAL: loneranger

You hunt in Iowa? Me too. You are fortunate to have seen that many bucks at all those ages. As peviously stated. I spent two wks at it and saw 8 deer total. Two, 2 yr olds, and one probably 3 yr old,,one doe,4 yearling bucks. Iowa is still better than where I moved from,, for hunting, but not the IOWA I heard so much about.


I hunt Warren and Madison Counties in Iowa. How about you?

Iowa is a big state. Only a small portion of it, mostly the professionally managed portion, lives up to the hype. The region of Iowa I hunt in has a very healthy deer population and a good number of mature bucks. But most of us do not watch a regular stream of 120-140" bucks walk by every time out like the DVD's would have you think.

I was able to kill 6 does and one buck over three properties during my Iowa bow season. I hold one tag for the Thanksgiving antlerless season and two tags for the 1st shotgun. I'd love to take two more adult does and a big buck before I'm done, but who wouldn't? I'll just have to see where the hunt takes me.

loneranger
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby loneranger » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:14 pm

I have 40 acres in Wapello county, near the Jefferson, VanBuren county lines. The area sure looks good for deer. Lots of timber and lots of farming, but the numbers have not been ,,what I consider high, since I came there. And they only go down more each season. I relate to what the poster said before ,,sorry forgot his posting ID now, but he said he looked at his 2 1/2 yr old and thot of the potential many times since. I do the also when looking at the 2 yr olds I've taken. But always a new yr to come and a New Vow, to hold the line!

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Wanderer
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby Wanderer » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:04 am

loneranger,
Thanks for the story about the kids and the marshmallows. We now have a new term to use. In the future, if I (we) kill a buck that maybe we should have let pass, let's just refer to the animal as a "Marshmallow Buck". It's as good a term as anything else I've heard.

sappersayce
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby sappersayce » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:26 pm

I shot my first deer last year. Was a 142" 12Pt. This after three seasons of MANY hrs and not even seeing a deer (but they were there). Put more time into this last off season than ever, thought I had a legitimate chance at a mature buck (trail cam evidence). So I planned to pass on all small bucks.
Well I passed on a couple small bucks and then saw zero for six days. During this time I started to second guess myself on everything.
Then at 7:30 on the 16th another small buck popped out. I decided quickly to take him. The only regret is my season ending because I love hunting so much. Guess this is the type of hunter I am and will be.


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Sappah

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Woods Walker
 
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Location: Northern Illinois

RE: Have you done this?

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:32 pm

Short answer....no. I pretty well know what I will or won't shoot when I first see it for whatever reason.

The only deer I've regretted killing where those where I made a poor shot on. Fortunately that's not too often, but when it does happen, I try to learn as much as I can from the experience so I can make sure it never happens again. Maybe one deer's suffering will result in many more having a quick death.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

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JPH
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby JPH » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:16 am

Here's how this is working out for me right now. I've filled two buck tags this season. Bow in Iowa and rifle in Missouri. Both of them were modest bucks by local standards but I was happy with them. My final act is the 5 day Iowa shotgun season, so I decided to hold for something big.

Well, within the first 30 minutes I decided to pass an easy shot on a big bodied buck with thin antlers. That evening I passed a little tougher shot on a respectable 8 pt. who looked young. Now I can live with that, but each outing after opening day has gotten tougher. With an educated deer herd and one, maybe two, evening sets left in my season, I'm about to put my "any deer" tag on a doe for the conservation benefit.   

I really don't know if I made the "right" decision.

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Have you done this?

Postby Cut N Run » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:57 pm

I have suffered from ground shrinkage once because on my lease we have a self-imposed antler size restriction. (16" inside spread & 8 points or better). I shot a buck just below the minimum width and had to pay a fine, which went right back into making improvements on the property. That restriction was put in place just to make everybody take a closer look before they pulled the trigger. We also have a two doe minimum requirement. Most years we only take a buck or two off the property, and 13-16 does are removed as well. The guys who hunt beside us shoot anything that moves. It makes passing up smaller bucks tough, but if we don't, who will? Enough bucks survive that there are some big ones out there...not as many as we'd like, but more than if we were less selective. We are able to get plenty of meat and do our best to keep some young bucks in the mix. We always make it a point to show the neighbors what can happen if they just let the little ones grow up. No meat gets wasted and every deer is celebrated, even if it was too small. The fine will only make the lease better.

To date, my biggest buck came off public land as has another buck in my top 5. It is hard hunted land, though some bucks grow to maturity. The best thing is that they get to do a lot of breeding, which only makes more deer over time with the possibility of a few to get big.

We always have a post-season party at the cabin on the lease to reflect, relax, and enjoy each other's friendship. It leaves us all in a state of mind ready to make improvements and decide what to focus our efforts on the following year. Then before you know it turkey season is here(!).

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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