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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: 19448
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: 19448
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: 18507
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
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
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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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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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: 19448
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: 6636
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: 4309
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).
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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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: 2697
Loc: Bartlett, TN

content Online
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: 18507
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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