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#3094951 - 12/25/12 12:38 PM An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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This pic is from 11-27-2010 of a particular Stewart Co., TN buck I was monitoring. I'd say the rut peak was about a week or so earlier than the pic, but notice he appears to be out "cruising" in the late morning.

Also notice he has only one antler. I believe he broke it off fighting another buck in late October. I also believe his having only one antler is why he survived the 2010 deer season, as he did provide multiple hunters with high-probability shots, and some were about to pull their triggers, only stopping upon realizing he "only had one antler, so I let him walk".

Not only has this particular buck played into "Wesley's High Grading Theory", but he (and a few others) have interjected much about the few above-average-antlered 1 1/2 to 3 1/2's that survive to maturity (4 1/2 and older).

Will add more to this thread later.

But for now, what would you guess his age to have been in the Fall of 2010 when this pic was taken?


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#3094954 - 12/25/12 12:40 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 07/26/99
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Loc: Atoka, TN

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Based on this pic, 2.5.
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#3094961 - 12/25/12 12:45 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Andy S.]
Pine Ridge
4 Point


Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 183
Loc: Homestead, Fl/Lewis Co. Tn.

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looks on the younger side to me 2-2.5
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#3094997 - 12/25/12 01:28 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Pine Ridge]
primos32
6 Point


Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 863
Loc: Savannah, TN

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I would say 2 1/2
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#3094999 - 12/25/12 01:28 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Pine Ridge]
W.Seay
14 Point


Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 8467
Loc: Collierville,TN.

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2.5
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#3095008 - 12/25/12 01:35 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: W.Seay]
Master Chief
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Registered: 10/11/11
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2.5 Would you mind telling me what exactly your theory is?
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#3095046 - 12/25/12 02:26 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Master Chief]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


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 Originally Posted By: Master Chief
2.5 Would you mind telling me what exactly your theory is?

Let me preface by saying, over the past decade or so, most areas of TN have seen a noteworthy increase in mature bucks. A multitude of factors have contributed to this, including but not limited to, changes in statewide regs and widespread QDM (both great imo). So why have we not seen a comparative increase in 150-plus-class bucks? And, could the answer to this question be much of why certain counties (like Henry County) have such a relative poor showing when it comes to producing 150-plus-class bucks? (Am picking on Henry Co. because it is usually near the top in annual deer harvests, great soils, lots of agriculture, and may have had more deer harvested in it than any other TN county over the past 50 years.)

"Wesley's High Grading Theory" is that those particular bucks surviving to maturity (in most of TN where hunting is moderate to heavy) are mainly those with below average antlers when they were 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 years of age. These particular bucks would always be expected to have smaller than average antlers for whatever age they might survive. And they are, on average, the bucks that most modern-day deer hunters have no desire to kill. Not to say many hunters wouldn't consider these bucks great trophies once they reach maturity, but rather to say it's mainly those with sub-trophy antlers when younger, that live to be older.

Those bucks 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 with above average antlers are killed off (by human hunters) at a much higher rate, meaning relatively few of the "above average" bucks are among those bucks surviving to 4 1/2 and older. Should you notice most of the harvested 4 1/2 and older bucks are scoring LESS than most of the 3 1/2's, you probably are experiencing a high level of "antler high grading" of the best 3 1/2 & younger bucks in your hunting area.

This "antler high grading" is probably made much worse by most of the "reasonable" antler restrictions that are used by some WMA's and hunting clubs. While antler restrictions typically allow for a lot more bucks to live another year or two older, they shift the kill more onto the largest antlered of the younger bucks, which can be killed off at a much higher rate than would have occurred had the hunters not been under any antler restrictions at all.

The bottom line becomes this:

We may have had more 150-class-plus "older" bucks in TN several years ago than we have now, even though we have many times more mature bucks today. In the past, bucks were killed more randomly, whereby it's possible more of the above averaged antlered younger bucks were included in those that survived to 4 1/2 or older. But today, those smaller antlered ones are repeatedly passed up by many different hunters, as each hunter "holds out" for something better, with the hunters collectively often just killing off the very best top-end yearling and 2 1/2-yr old bucks in the hunting area. That leaves only the smallest antlered ones to become "older".

IMO, the only way to mostly eliminate this high-grading issue would be to kill no bucks younger than 4 1/2. This would not be practical for most hunters, but perhaps a growing number are seeing the benefits (assuming their goal is to take more larger antlered older bucks).

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#3095055 - 12/25/12 02:34 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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Let me also state that this antler high grading has been an issue with the modern-day deer hunters all along. It's not anything new, but may be becoming a greater factor, as more of the hunter harvests are shifting away from just "any" buck to only those bucks with "larger" antlers (most of which are 2 1/2 years old when killed).

Most hunters consider a 6-point yearling to be a better "trophy" than a spike yearling. Consequently, many hunters began voluntarily passing up spike bucks. As hunters (collectively) killed more 6 to 8-pt yearlings, they started holding out more for a "nice" 2 1/2-yr-old buck, or ANY buck with 8 or more points. Problem was, the bucks with the greatest genetic make-up for growing high-scoring antlers would commonly have 8 points as yearling bucks. The end result quickly became (with those "4 on a side" and/or "8 points or better" antler restrictions) that the very best yearlings were near 100% killed off. Yet in times past, ANY that survived was more than the "near none" experienced with these "reasonable" antler restrictions.

Similar can be said for an antler spread rule such as "15 inches", although imo, there is much less high-grading with spread rule restrictions. The very worst antler restriction (regarding this high-grading) may be "9 or more points", although "3 on a side" can slaughter the above average yearlings.

That said, sometimes antler restrictions can do more good than harm, but they may not be benefiting hunters as much as many believe. Most antler restrictions have basically just shifted the buck harvest more from yearling bucks to 2 1/2-yr-old bucks, which automatically insures that more survive to 3 1/2 and older. At issue, is which particular bucks do this surviving to 4 1/2 and older?

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#3095063 - 12/25/12 02:43 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
Master Chief
10 Point


Registered: 10/11/11
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Loc: Henderson County

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Very interesting Wes. Quite logical as well.
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#3095119 - 12/25/12 03:42 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Master Chief]
Diehard Hunter
CRAMP
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Do a little research on the results of Mississippi's antler restrictions and you will find exactly what you have "theorized". There are more mature bucks with their antler restrictions, but they are smaller than the mature bucks they were killing before the antler restrictions.
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#3095179 - 12/25/12 05:55 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Diehard Hunter]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Diehard Hunter
Do a little research on the results of Mississippi's antler restrictions and you will find exactly what you have "theorized". There are more mature bucks with their antler restrictions, but they are smaller than the mature bucks they were killing before the antler restrictions.
Have read.

Unfortunately, we're seeing these results all across Tennessee in places that don't have any antler restrictions. My "theory" is that this antler high grading is happening in most places, just worse where there is antler restrictions.

So how old does that buck in the above pic look to you?

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#3095194 - 12/25/12 06:07 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Diehard Hunter]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
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Loc: Franklin TN

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he looks 2.5 to my inexperienced eyes. If he were mature I'd have shot him with one antler.... did that this year, don't regret it.
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#3095306 - 12/25/12 07:35 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: catman529]
Master Chief
10 Point


Registered: 10/11/11
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Loc: Henderson County

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I'm dying to know how old this deer is.. everything about it says 2.5 but I feel like Wes is tricking us somehow!
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#3095317 - 12/25/12 07:39 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Master Chief]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Master Chief
. . . . . but I feel like Wes is tricking us somehow!

Not at all.
Just sharing some of my experiences (and frustrations!) with a few bucks.

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#3095379 - 12/25/12 08:11 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
156p&y
10 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 4318
Loc: Franklin Tn

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Wes I would think high grading would happen anywhere regardless, but some areas the effects would be more intense simply based upon hunters lack of knowledge in aging an animal or even caring to age an animal. The rack is usually the first thing a hunter looks at before he decides to harvest an animal if they are hunting a buck. Most hunters unless trained from the beginning of their hunting career would have to reverse the process their mind goes through at decision time to eliminate high grading all together.
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#3095404 - 12/25/12 08:24 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: 156p&y]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: 156p&y
The rack is usually the first thing a hunter looks at before he decides to harvest an animal if they are hunting a buck.

I agree, and many hunters, just as they wouldn't kill a spike buck or a small antlered one, will also quickly rule out killing a buck with only one antler.

Actually meant for the antler high grading to be more a side issue on this thread, just noting that this buck survived a barrage of hunters because he only had one antler. Very unlikely he would have survived November 2010 had he not broken off his antler in October.

So how old does he look to you? Do you think there's any possibility he was a very top-end yearling in 2010?
What is it BSK says, "A yearling buck looks like a doe with antlers."?

And as another sidebar . . . . . . \:\)
Back in the day when I was more focused on antlers than age,
I killed a "nice" 8-pointer with a 16-inch spread. Turned out to be only a yearling buck. Have often wondered what that one would have looked like had he lived to 4 1/2 or older.

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#3095438 - 12/25/12 08:42 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 07/26/99
Posts: 8090
Loc: Atoka, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Wes Parrish
What is it BSK says, "A yearling buck looks like a doe with antlers."?
I agree with this, however, I cannot remember a doe that I've seen or killed that had a neck the size of the buck above. Not that it is big by any means, just bigger than the skinny necks that I'm used to seeing on does.
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#3095449 - 12/25/12 08:48 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Andy S.]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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Andy, again, just sharing some of my experiences (and frustrations!) with a few bucks! \:\)
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#3095461 - 12/25/12 08:58 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 07/26/99
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Loc: Atoka, TN

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I totally understand and agree with you, like I always have. Just as 156 pointed out above, most deer hunters would have to retrain their brains to focus on other external characteristics of the buck in the heat of the moment. This is something I do not think will ever happen with the majority of every day deer hunters, which is ok, and something I've came to accept.
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#3095513 - 12/25/12 09:39 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Andy S.]
A.Hall
Formerly "Spoon"
Non-Typical


Registered: 10/05/04
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I believe it's a 2-1/2, front end is too big for a yearling
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#3095516 - 12/25/12 09:44 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Andy S.]
hunter drew
14 Point


Registered: 06/16/07
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Loc: henderson county TN Lexington

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When I'm in Ohio. I started shooting any buck that's 4.5 and older. Now for me to shoot him I would want both sides. In Tn I shoot 3.5 and older. I have passed up a 4.5 one time and he was a beast. But he only had one side of his rack. So yes I know what your saying



I would think that buck in the pic is 2.5
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#3095645 - 12/26/12 05:38 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: hunter drew]
RUGER Administrator
Bambi Killa
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Going by that picture the deer looks to be a 2 year old to me.
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#3095688 - 12/26/12 06:25 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: RUGER]
Football Hunter
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Registered: 10/22/07
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2.5 to me,yeah,he would get a pass from me too.with one horn.at any age
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#3095839 - 12/26/12 09:18 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Football Hunter]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Classic 2 1/2 year-old.

To add to Wes' high-grading theory, with more and more hunters/managers running trail-cameras over a number of years, more picture sets are available of individual bucks over their lifetimes, and although nothing about antler growth over a lifetime is guaranteed, I'm noticing that most very large-antlered mature bucks started out as large-antlered 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old bucks. If hunters kill the largest-antlered 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old bucks, they are removing the very bucks that have the highest odds of being spectacular bucks at maturity.
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#3095869 - 12/26/12 09:34 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
Bayou Buck
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Registered: 05/11/09
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Looks 2.5 to me.
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#3095899 - 12/26/12 09:47 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


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I'd also have to say 2.5 years old. I agree with everything you've said but I don't see a remedy. I don't think that the majority of hunters give a flip about how old a buck is when they shoot him or even learning to age a deer on the hoof. The only way that will change is if there's some type of restriction placed on bucks forcing them to have to start learning and I don't know what that might be???? Maybe some type of earn a buck tag whereby the state limit is 2 bucks but if either of your 2 are 4.5+ you get a third tag. I doubt anything like that would ever happen.

I also have to admit I'm guilty as charged. I look at a buck's rack first because no matter what age he is I don't shoot if I'm not impressed with the size. Given the time I then try to determine his age. If his rack is my borderline shooter I really try to scrutinize his age. In the last several years I haven't shot but 2 bucks and 1 of those was shot on age accessment. I've passed on several because they only had 1 side but if they'd have had both matching sides a few of them would have hit the ground. I've passed alot of bucks that were 4.5+ simply because they didn't have the headgear I wanted.


Edited by Mike Belt (12/26/12 10:02 AM)
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#3095909 - 12/26/12 09:54 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Mike Belt]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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I agree Mike, I doubt there is a solution, except for those managing large properties where mature bucks with large antlers is the goal. In those situations, the hunters will have to learn to specifically protect the largest antlered 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old bucks.
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#3095949 - 12/26/12 10:12 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
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At Ames the original goal was to advance buck age structure. We've done that and have a good percentage of mature bucks in our herd. Even with a select group of hunters I believe that quite a few of them see impressive headgear and shoot away hoping that the deer will measure legal minimum and never give age a second thought. Quite a few of our deer don't meet minimum size restrictions but do meet the "or 4.5 years old or older" requirement so they simply luck out on a legal buck. I'm betting in the last 4 years not over 3 bucks were shot based on age.
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#3095959 - 12/26/12 10:17 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Mike Belt]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
...quite a few of them see impressive headgear and shoot away hoping that the deer will measure legal minimum and never give age a second thought. Quite a few of our deer don't meet minimum size restrictions but do meet the "or 4.5 years old or older" requirement so they simply luck out on a legal buck. I'm betting in the last 4 years not over 3 bucks were shot based on age.


Interesting observations Mike.
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#3095965 - 12/26/12 10:19 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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Normally, I don't add to local high-grading because I will shoot any buck 3 1/2 or older, no matter his antler size (or even whether he has both antlers intact).

However, this year we were major contributors to antler high-grading!
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#3095972 - 12/26/12 10:22 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19470
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
. . . . . . although nothing about antler growth over a lifetime is guaranteed, I'm noticing that most very large-antlered mature bucks started out as large-antlered 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old bucks. If hunters kill the largest-antlered 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old bucks, they are removing the very bucks that have the highest odds of being spectacular bucks at maturity.

Simply worth repeating. \:\)
Thanks for your input, BSK!

 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
I agree with everything you've said but I don't see a remedy. I don't think that the majority of hunters give a flip about how old a buck is when they shoot him or even learning to age a deer on the hoof.

Seems the most effective "remedy" would be to purposefully shoot off one antler! \:D

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#3096000 - 12/26/12 10:43 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19470
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Wes Parrish
. . . . again, just sharing some of my experiences (and frustrations!) . . . . . \:\)

OK, when I saw the above trail cam pic in 2010, my first thought was, "looks 2 1/2."
But like I said, this is an "exercise" in aging a particular buck. ;\)

Any of you ever pulled both sides of the lower jaw bones in accessing a particular deer's age, only to note that one side looks 2 1/2 and the other side looks 3 1/2, or even 4 1/2?

Well, guess what?
Having a single or limited number of pics of a particular buck can also be misleading and confusing. Honestly, I don't know how old this buck was, but he did appear as a "classic 2 1/2" in the above pic.

Below is a pic of the same buck, taken about 15 minutes before the above pic, different cam about 1/2 mile away from the other. All I can say for certain is that this buck was really covering some ground during the late morning, and that he survived the 2010 deer season due to having only one antler!


And this pic is from 11-14-2010!

Hard to believe this is the same buck?



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#3096027 - 12/26/12 11:10 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 18623
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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Believe me Wes, I've thought of that idea also. See a buck that ought to get another year....aim for an antler. It might also give you an opportunity to age him while he's temporarily knocked unconscious.

Edited by Mike Belt (12/26/12 11:10 AM)
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#3096032 - 12/26/12 11:13 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Mike Belt]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
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Loc: Nashville, TN

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Wes,

The one-antlered buck from 2010 is not the same buck as the one-antlered buck from 2012. Look at his black chin-strap. That's a coloration pattern that stays the same for life, and the two bucks have very different chin-straps.
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#3096034 - 12/26/12 11:15 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19470
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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BSK, all 3 pics above are from 2010, and of same buck.
I had accidentally typed "2012" before correcting.

I don't see what you're talking about regarding the black chin strap.

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#3096648 - 12/26/12 07:12 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
BigGameGuy
TWRA Biologist
12 Point


Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 6642
Loc: Nashville

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
I agree Mike, I doubt there is a solution, except for those managing large properties where mature bucks with large antlers is the goal. In those situations, the hunters will have to learn to specifically protect the largest antlered 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old bucks.


We could try an Earn-a-Buck program. Hunters could earn their second or third buck by first harvesting a 6-point or less. ;\)

Who said Tennessee doesn't lead the way in innovative thinking!!! \:D
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#3096977 - 12/26/12 11:01 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BigGameGuy]
156p&y
10 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 4318
Loc: Franklin Tn

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I would think that high grading would be nationwide, and not a factor in determining the trophy status of the state. I even know of high fence places that high grade some serious bucks with major potential right here in TN. So in my opinion there is absolutely no solution to high grading. It is completely in the hands of the hunter at the time of the encounter. There are very very few hunters that are only going to shoot "bodies" instead of "antler". I consider myself as one that shoots bodies but I have without a doubt high graded and let some deer go that I knew were older than my objective and I have shot some deer that I knew were below my age objective. Nearly all the deer I shot below that bracket; I honestly thought they were of age until I walked up on them. Never once have I passed a deer and thought man I knew that deer was older, because I knew he was at the time; I just chose not to burn a tag on him or let someone else have a chance at him. About a week ago I almost passed up a true trophy because he was facing me until I recognized his rack; if I had it would have been an example of down grading. \:D

The farm I hunt has great neighbors but we still have tons of neighbors that high grade and shoot the absolute best 2 year olds we have almost yearly but we still have a few deer get to 4.5 that turn out to be monsters. We also have a lot of deer that don't amount to squat when they reach 4.5

The deer I shot last season was a great example of Wes's one side theory. He broke off half his rack when he was 4.5 and we even had cell phone pics of him from the stand that year. I know of 4 different hunters that could have and would have shot him that year if he had both sides but our trail cameras had warned us early on that he was broken so none of us took the shot. At that point in the deer's life we just wanted him to breed as much as possible. We never imagined that he would actually survive a whole next hunting season without anyone seeing him and then I got the incredible opportunity to harvest him as a 6 year old giant two years after we passed him up. That was a one in a million chance that things would happen the way they did.

BigGameGuy please don't do that to us!!! \:D

I think BSK is talking about the black chin strap that wraps under the chin. But we are looking at two different sides of the deer. I have deer that the chin strap fades out and doesn't wrap all the way around but look like they do from one side. I think it is the same deer though


Edited by 156p&y (12/26/12 11:10 PM)
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#3097278 - 12/27/12 09:13 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: 156p&y]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: 156p&y

The farm I hunt has great neighbors but we still have tons of neighbors that high grade and shoot the absolute best 2 year olds we have almost yearly but we still have a few deer get to 4.5 that turn out to be monsters. We also have a lot of deer that don't amount to squat when they reach 4.5


And I think that's going to be true everywhere. High-grading isn't going to prevent mature bucks from having large antlers; it's just going to reduce the percentage of mature bucks with large antlers.


 Quote:
So in my opinion there is absolutely no solution to high grading. It is completely in the hands of the hunter at the time of the encounter.


Agreed. There is nothing that can be done on a state or region-wide level to prevent high-grading. The only solution is a property by property solution (which will be imperfect because bucks cross property lines) and the solution will completely reside with the individual hunters making wise harvest decisions (if large antlered mature bucks is their goal).
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#3097321 - 12/27/12 09:40 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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This phenomenon occurs with lots of deer traits, I bet...not just antler size.

This isn't an original thought of mine, I just haven't heard it brought up in a while...

There are some deer that appear to be more nocturnal in nature than others. Assuming we aren't all poaching at night, this means that we are obviously skewed more towards killing deer that move in the day time. This would mean that, over time, we are "skewing" the population towards nocturnal behavior based on genetics.

We could use this same analogy for lots of other things...
"intelligence/wariness", preference for long-distance travel, preference for certain food types, who knows...

We all speak in generalities about deer behavior, but we also know that deer have little idiosyncracies that cause one to behave differently than the norm.

I've read before that the deer we hunt today is smarter and tougher to hunt than those of our grandfathers' generation.
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#3097915 - 12/27/12 05:30 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Crosshairy]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 18623
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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I don't know if nocturnal tendancies are genetic as much as they are learned.
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#3098203 - 12/27/12 08:02 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Mike Belt]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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Valid point that I doubt is easily determined. My point being that it seems that hunting may be altering the genetics of our herd over long periods of time more than we realize. Interesting to think about, but probably exceedingly difficult to document.
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#3098216 - 12/27/12 08:10 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Crosshairy]
Master Chief
10 Point


Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 3075
Loc: Henderson County

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 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy
Valid point that I doubt is easily determined. My point being that it seems that hunting may be altering the genetics of our herd over long periods of time more than we realize. Interesting to think about, but probably exceedingly difficult to document.


Genetics has littls meaning in the wild IMO. Especially in terms of which bucks are killed.
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#3098716 - 12/28/12 08:42 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Master Chief]
Winchester
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Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 27878
Loc: TN

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I will have to agree that buck is likely 2.5 and just a lil above average for his age and the area he lives in. I also agree that high grading is something that happens anywhere deer hunting is taking place on a wide scale public frame. Too many hunters dont care anything about age and simply are happy with any deer having antlers that fit their agenda. I also disagree that we have, and are killing, less truly big bucks (150+) now than we were several years ago before so many started passing yearlings. I think hunting in TN is the best it has ever been in modern times RIGHT NOW, big antlered bucks included. Actually no comparison, as we are killing WAY more truly top end antlered bucks right now than we ever have in TN.
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#3098958 - 12/28/12 11:55 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Winchester]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3522
Loc: Franklin County

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How do you guys get bucks to stop running long enough to make an accurate judgement of their age?? My typical buck encounter lasts about 5 seconds if that and I shoot most on the run just before they vanish into thick cover.
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#3098971 - 12/28/12 12:10 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Winchester]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3522
Loc: Franklin County

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 Originally Posted By: Winchester
I will have to agree that buck is likely 2.5 and just a lil above average for his age and the area he lives in. I also agree that high grading is something that happens anywhere deer hunting is taking place on a wide scale public frame. Too many hunters dont care anything about age and simply are happy with any deer having antlers that fit their agenda. I also disagree that we have, and are killing, less truly big bucks (150+) now than we were several years ago before so many started passing yearlings. I think hunting in TN is the best it has ever been in modern times RIGHT NOW, big antlered bucks included. Actually no comparison, as we are killing WAY more truly top end antlered bucks right now than we ever have in TN.


I agree. We do have more big/older bucks than ever before as far as total numbers. However I can see what they are talking about on the potential negatives of High Grading. Practically though, I don't see it being as bad as it might sound on "paper". The very significant increase in numbers of older bucks in the past 15-20 years more than makes up for them being somewhat smaller than they could be. 20 years ago finding a 4.5yr old buck was something as unattainable as winning a major lottery. What difference does it make that they were bigger on average when there weren't hardly any? I guess if you are wanting to get one in the record books it's important but even if I did kill one that big, I sure wouldn't tell or register it. Who would want that kind of attention on his favorite hunting spot?

And 150" deer are going to be very rare in TN even if you pen fed a herd like cattle. They are like Arnold Swarzenegger in humans. Take 1,000 men and let them follow Arnold's training exactly down to the finest detail and you probably wouldn't get any that would equal him. \:\)

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#3100093 - 12/29/12 12:10 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19470
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Wes,

Look at his black chin-strap. That's a coloration pattern that stays the same for life, and the two bucks have very different chin-straps.

BSK,

Could you elaborate more please?
I've believed all the above pics to be of the same buck.

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#3100355 - 12/29/12 05:15 PM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Hunter 257W]
Master Chief
10 Point


Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 3075
Loc: Henderson County

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 Originally Posted By: Hunter 257W
How do you guys get bucks to stop running long enough to make an accurate judgement of their age?? My typical buck encounter lasts about 5 seconds if that and I shoot most on the run just before they vanish into thick cover.


Corn piles, duh! Kidding.. Try the most obvious technique.. "MAAAAAAA!!!" If that doesn't wotk simply yell "if you don't stop, I will kill you." He should listen ;\)
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"It's not whatcha got, it's what you give." -Tesla

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
-John Muir

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#3104085 - 01/01/13 10:19 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Master Chief]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3522
Loc: Franklin County

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 Originally Posted By: Master Chief
 Originally Posted By: Hunter 257W
How do you guys get bucks to stop running long enough to make an accurate judgement of their age?? My typical buck encounter lasts about 5 seconds if that and I shoot most on the run just before they vanish into thick cover.


Corn piles, duh! Kidding.. Try the most obvious technique.. "MAAAAAAA!!!" If that doesn't wotk simply yell "if you don't stop, I will kill you." He should listen ;\)


Hmmm, I'll have to try that one. \:\) I guess when they are running, you got nothing to lose....unless he decides to run even faster!

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#3105812 - 01/02/13 11:49 AM Re: An Exercise in Aging a Particular Buck [Re: Wes Parrish]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19470
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Wes,

Look at his black chin-strap. That's a coloration pattern that stays the same for life, and the two bucks have very different chin-straps.

BSK,

\:\) True, but what you're seeing is a shadow. \:D

 Originally Posted By: Wes Parrish
 Originally Posted By: BSK
Wes,

Look at his black chin-strap. That's a coloration pattern that stays the same for life, and the two bucks have very different chin-straps.

BSK,

Could you elaborate more please?
I've believed all the above pics to be of the same buck.

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