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How often do you kill a "good" buck?

Snake

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Joined
May 3, 2009
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32,804
Location
McMinn Co.Tennessee U.S.
Too many variables for me to answer this honestly . When I had my prime leases I would kill what I consider good bucks every year now with that being said not all mountable so a good buck had different standards than some here I know . Like Lade said all are good but not trying to be fecious what some consider a good buck I probably would consider a great buck . But the Lord has blessed me with probably 10- 12 mounted with one not even remotely good but a pie-bald eight . Now with my leases sold it's been three years since killing a good buck but did miss a really good one on my property a couple years ago . Now hunting strictly easy Tennessee the hunting is not nearly as good and those guys who hunt the mountains and kill good bucks are the true hunters IMO not excluding those who put in the work on good property and only kill mature bucks because that's a different animal passing many decent bucks in the process . Long winded I know but I try to respect all hunters and what they kill because we all are different in our quests .
 

iowavf

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Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
6,548
Location
southwest iowa
Been reading the post and thought I'd talk about a little more on the topic. I've been hunting for about 48 years in Iowa and within a thirty mile range of where I live. Been blessed with some great hunting land and seen my share of great bucks. In the early years we just filled tags and only had two gun seasons in which you could only hunt one of them. I don't bow hunt and just never got into it. At first if it had horns it was shot , then went through a few years when anyhting over 120" I killed. The later years I was just looking for big deer so call me a trophy hunter. I don't have any deer mounts and propably won't unless I get one around 200", but have shot some great bucks I'm proud of. I have several over 150" and a really nice 170" ten point and blessed to have been able to see a lot of great bucks several at the 200" plus, just couldn't close the deal. This is why I choose to not kill just any buck and don't need to kill a buck or even a doe every year to feel like I'm a deer hunter. I just live for deer hunting, not deer killing and have a great time doing it.
 

Malo1ke

Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
139
I killed 1 good buck in the 140s about 15 years ago. I’d say every other year I may kill a decent 8 point. But really now days by “good” I factor in the variables of the hunt. Was it a beautiful crisp morning? Snowing? Buck making a scrape, chasing a doe, responding to my call etc. I don’t really care about the size of the rack anymore. Bowriter wrote some good stories about details like these when he’d kill a buck. Guess it comes with age....
 

rem270

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Joined
Nov 15, 2002
Messages
32,089
Location
Northwest Tn/Dardanelle AR
Been reading the post and thought I'd talk about a little more on the topic. I've been hunting for about 48 years in Iowa and within a thirty mile range of where I live. Been blessed with some great hunting land and seen my share of great bucks. In the early years we just filled tags and only had two gun seasons in which you could only hunt one of them. I don't bow hunt and just never got into it. At first if it had horns it was shot , then went through a few years when anyhting over 120" I killed. The later years I was just looking for big deer so call me a trophy hunter. I don't have any deer mounts and propably won't unless I get one around 200", but have shot some great bucks I'm proud of. I have several over 150" and a really nice 170" ten point and blessed to have been able to see a lot of great bucks several at the 200" plus, just couldn't close the deal. This is why I choose to not kill just any buck and don't need to kill a buck or even a doe every year to feel like I'm a deer hunter. I just live for deer hunting, not deer killing and have a great time doing it.
You've killed some great ones buddy! For me I'm still hunting 140" or bigger for my preference. I'm also in a 1 buck state (Ky) and it doesn't bother me to eat a tag instead of shooting one just to feel like I had to because I bought my license. In the early years growing up it was obvious different but the past 15 years I've really worked on letting bucks grow and luckily my dad and brother I hunt with along with our adjoining neighbors are all on the same page.

Speaking of Iowa my cousin and I plan on putting in for our late Mz tag for next year and going to SE Iowa if we're drawn. He dove hunted with an outfitter there and we are wanting to come deer hunt there next year.
 

Lost Lake

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Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
2,361
Location
Middle Tn
I didn’t start targeting specific bucks until about ten years ago. Since then, I’d say every couple of years.

I’ve gotten lucky on a few hunts in between though.
 

clwg97

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
295
Location
Munford
When I was in college in 5 years of engineering school I killed 3 bucks over 120 with my bow. I would consider those good bucks. The biggest was 138”. I still haven’t gotten a deer mounted. Since then I have shot a few 8 points and other smaller bucks and does, but nothing else that big. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old now. I am not as picky as I once was but I do shoot more does now than I did then.
 

bwgarrett3

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Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,167
Location
East TN
I guess I would define a "good" buck as one that is mature for the area(3.5 or older). Over the last 15 years it would average out to 1 every two years. The past 5 years I've worked harder on killing mature bucks and have killed one each year and occasionally two in a year.

I only have two mounted but three more that several people tried to convince me to mount. My rule is "if it isn't bigger than my biggest then I'm not mounting it". haha
 

MUP

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Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
74,262
Location
Just North of Chatt-town
I think I've killed a "good" buck every year since 2006 when I killed my 1st 10 pt that scored close to 140. Since then I've killed above average bucks each season(for my area), except for the dismal 2013 season I had, where everything went wrong that could go wrong, even tho I had my chance at a big buck that year as well. I messed up my opportunity, and even with a 2nd chance, had a misfire from a hard primer at even closer range, and had to watch that buck trot off. I've kept telling myself that there's no way I can ever expect to kill a bigger better buck, but I've proven myself wrong a few times now. :)
 

Greg .

Active Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
11,279
Location
NC Piedmonts
A "good" buck is very subjective. It all depends on the hunter and the area they are hunting. All I will say is that I finally started seeing big bucks on my land when the neighbor who shot every danged thing with horns he saw moved away. I wonder if he left because 'there were no big deer around here ...' ?
 

infoman jr.

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Joined
Oct 5, 2003
Messages
8,277
Location
Louisville, KY
My definition of a "good" buck changes every couple years it seems. A good buck is one that falls within my goals. At one time it was a 2.5 year-old 8 point. Recently it's ranged from a 3.5 year-old velvet deer to a 5.5 year old with a mediocre rack. I seem to kill a good one every year or two. A 1-buck limit, which I've been hunting under for the past 10 years, makes the decision to shoot an elder/dominant deer with a smaller rack very difficult when there are a number of mature deer with big racks on your cameras. You can't just "kill one then hold out for a big one" like I see with many TN hunters. I wish I could hunt that way.
 

tickweed

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Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
6,067
Location
medon,Tn.
I started deer hunting in 1974, as a 14 yr old. no help, just learn as you go. as I progressed, finally took my first deer in Nov, 1978, a small framed 8 pt. Then I began to steadly take more and more deer. As yrs went by, I began to think about taking a nice deer, my dream in Tn., was a 140 class, although even now not many on average. I never even seen a 140, much less had a chance at one. Each yr, Id think this is the year, I just had that feeling, yet, Id find myself at the end with still not haven taken a nice buck. 35 yrs passed, and to be honest, Id really dismissed it, didn't seem to be as important. In Nov. ,2009, I had went to Illinois, public land, as I had done many yrs, no success, camped by myself, hoping to take just one nice buck. Low and behold, had a small doe come running down a slew, a solid 150 class 10pt behind her. He stopped at 15 yds, broadside, and the rest was history. This was a wed. Tennessees rifle season opened just 3 days later, so I got home on the Fri before our opener. Ran to check my trailcams, got a pic of a really nice non typ., hunted him one day, although I did sit from daylite to dusky dark, killing him late that evening. Unbelieveable, 32 points, 183 an 1/8 inchs. Two dream bucks in 4 days. That chapter seemed closed, finally. Then, took a mid 150 class 10 pt at reelfoot in 2012, a mid 140 class 10 pt in 2014, and hunted last yr 5 minutes, climbed into a set, no history, killed a great 140 class 8. So, Ive taken 5 solid bucks in my life. A word of wisdom. Don't get so set on taking a big deer, especially here in Tennessee. We do have some dandys, but odds are still low. just go, hunt, enjoy the gifts god has given us in the outdoors. I lost so many years, lost site of what it was all about. If it happens, it happens. Feel blessed. I hope all of you guys can take the buck of your dreams. Don't ever give up. it can, and does happen. Now, with that being said, my passion is ducks. always was, always will be.
 

fairchaser

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
6,437
Location
TN, USA
I average one buck per year. Some years I kill two and some zero. Some of those killed aren’t as good as I hoped and a few a better. But, I haven’t killed a 2.5 year old in several years. So they are usually 4.5 year olds. Rack sizes vary but I’d rather kill on age. This will change due to CWD and will likely result in more 3.5 year olds killed. But, I will still try to kill 4.5 year olds if I can find one. I guess I’m one of those hunters who unashamedly wants to kill something which causes me to kill something more often but maybe less quality than available. If I can’t find an older bucks I might shoot a 3.5 year old but I’ll pass any 2.5 year old.
 

Kevin

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Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
2,402
Location
Medina, TN
I will tell you a true story . There was a youngster who did not care very much for baseball , football , soccer etc. when he was young. His brother was into playing ball of any kind and was on several teams and was as good a ball player as any. Every time the parents went to a ballgame the younger son would head toward the creeks or pond or whatever woods were nearby. When it was time to go the youngster would come to the truck with frogs , snakes , fox pups etc. He grew up in the woods instead of the ball fields. Fast forward to today . That young man grew up to be a true outdoorsman. He is in Colorado Mule deer hunting as I write this. The walls of his house cannot hold another animal mount as there is no room. He harvests big game animals every year even when the majority does not. He lives and breathes hunting and the outdoors. He is successful beyond belief . I have heard people state on several occasions " he is the luckiest guy I know " but I am hear to tell you he is not lucky , luck does not have much to do with it. What he is , is good. He has studied and learned the ways of wildlife. He has spent more time getting ready for the season than most everybody. I have seen him cater to other hunters and put them on game instead of going for himself. He works with young hunters spending time and his own money to insure they get to have a quality time outdoors. TWRA has called him and requested him to take a group of youngsters squirrel hunting with his championship dogs. He travels to the gulf and fishes with friends and catches fish like you would not believe ........ How often do you harvest a decent buck ? Two or Three every year. I know this all to be a fact, why ? Because I raised this guy .

I got some unmarried friends like that :p:p:p
 

megalomaniac

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Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
9,079
Location
Mississippi
I kill a 4.5 y/o or older buck every year, some years a couple, last year was the best year I've had and I killed 4. Im not really picky about antlers, so most of the mature bucks I kill are in the 105-125in range.

For me a 'good' buck is anything over 140in or so. I usually only kill one of those once every 4 or 5 years on average.
 

Dbllunger

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Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Messages
9,383
Location
Middle Tennessee
I kill a good buck almost every year. Now the disclaimer. That doesn't mean anyone else would think it's a good buck but I certainly do. I'm not the it has to be outside the ears and 150" minimum to consider it good. To me it has almost always been about the experience. Every buck I have ever shot is a story and a memory. The buck in my avatar here is what I think most everyone would consider a good buck. Yes it was a brute of a middle Tennessee deer but that isn't necessarily what made it a good buck to me. It was the backstory and how I zero'd in on him. I would say I have been blessed with good deer. Everyone you see on this wall has a story and what is probably the smallest set of horns on the top left is probably the most memorable of that group and I consider it my best archery kill in my 40 years of archery hunting. Not best by antler size but best by experience.


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