• Help Support TNDeer:

On my soapbox again...

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,600
Location
Nashville, TN
I promised myself I wouldn't do this, but I can't hold my tongue.

To start, I almost never watch TV hunting shows because they're so unrealistic, and often present inaccurate biological/management information. To say they infuriate me would be an understatement. I also think they often present hunters in a poor light, but that's the topic for a different rant. This rant is about how overblown and misused the practice of "management bucks" has become. The concept of "management bucks," bucks that can be removed from a population because they will never meet the goals of the management program, comes from massive trophy ranches in Texas. On these ranches, very, VERY few trophy bucks per area are actually being removed each year, hence more bucks have to be removed to keep deer densities in line. Since more bucks have to be removed, they choose to remove bucks that are highly unlikely to ever become trophy bucks, such as very underperforming (well below average) 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year-old bucks. These are "management bucks" - bucks that are removed for total deer density concerns, and they are chosen because they are unlikely to meet management goals. But unless you have quite a few thousand acres to work with, and have near COMPLETE control over the local deer population, and ABSOLUTELY NEED more bucks removed than you currently are, few have any legitimate reason to actually be removing management bucks.

Well, I'm scrolling through the channels the other day and I come across a deer hunting program and I see the show's host talking about managing his small farm and all the things he's doing for the deer herd (and most of it is well thought out and appropriate), but then he gets on a kick talking about how important his management buck program is - removing "inferior" bucks. He talks about how he tries to take at least one management buck each year, and how that's just as important as taking enough does and habitat management.

So here's my soapbox opinion: I think "management buck" has become the new "cull buck" excuse for shooting a buck. Just claim the smaller than management goal criteria buck you shot was a management buck. Do so while sounding regretful that it has to be done. Explain how much good that buck's removal will do for the herd in the long run. Tada! You've just assuaged and hidden your inner guilt for the fact you really just like killing a buck or two every year. How about this instead? Admit you really want to kill at least one buck each year. You do your part by not shooting young bucks, but when the chips are down, you still want to take an older buck, even if it isn't a top-end older buck. So swallow your pride and do so. No harm to the herd done. Who cares what your buddies/peers think? Your hunting and management enjoyment is yours and yours alone, and should not be about what others will think. Shoot an older buck of choice, no matter his antler size, and enjoy the experience.
 
Last edited:

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,600
Location
Nashville, TN
And let me add, I am one of those hunters who likes to kill a buck every year! I'm not the least bit embarrassed by that. Yes, I teach others to practice Trophy and Quality Deer Management. I practice QDM on my own property. But I still like to kill a buck each year. I have the data to know exactly how many bucks, does and fawns I've got to work with each year. I know how many need to be removed and more importantly how many can be removed without caused long-term harm to the herd. If the hunters haven't exceeded the allowable total buck harvest in a given year, and I still haven't taken the type of buck I'm REALLY after, I'll happily take any older buck late in the season. I got to kill a buck, and I did no harm to the herd. Win-win, and I don't care what others think.
 

rukiddin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Messages
2,642
Location
E. Tenn
You missed the number one factor on those “management bucks” in TX. Those ranches don’t have to the population dynamics for every client to kill a “trophy” buck, so they do you a favor (wink wink) and charge you less for a management buck all the while hunters think they’re getting a deal and doing the ranch a favor but all its actually about is the ranch making more money.
I have friends who work those ranches. They get culled whether a paying hunter kills it or the hired help. So it’s nothing more than a money racket.
 

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,600
Location
Nashville, TN
You missed the number one factor on those “management bucks” in TX. Those ranches don’t have to the population dynamics for every client to kill a “trophy” buck, so they do you a favor (wink wink) and charge you less for a management buck all the while hunters think they’re getting a deal and doing the ranch a favor but all its actually about is the ranch making more money.
I have friends who work those ranches. They get culled whether a paying hunter kills it or the hired help. So it’s nothing more than a money racket.
Oh absolutely rukiddin. I've worked TX ranches as well, including the King Ranch. They make more money off "management" bucks than they do trophy bucks.
 

Snake

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
May 3, 2009
Messages
35,328
Location
McMinn Co.Tennessee U.S.
I promised myself I wouldn't do this, but I can't hold my tongue.

To start, I almost never watch TV hunting shows because they're so unrealistic, and often present inaccurate biological/management information. To say they infuriate me would be an understatement. I also think they often present hunters in a poor light, but that's the topic for a different rant. This rant is about how overblown and misused the practice of "management bucks" has become. The concept of "management bucks," bucks that can be removed from a population because they will never meet the goals of the management program, comes from massive trophy ranches in Texas. On these ranches, very, VERY few trophy bucks per area are actually being removed each year, hence more bucks have to be removed to keep deer densities in line. Since more bucks have to be removed, they choose to remove bucks that are highly unlikely to ever become trophy bucks, such as very underperforming (well below average) 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year-old bucks. These are "management bucks" - bucks that are removed for total deer density concerns, and they are chosen because they are unlikely to meet management goals. But unless you have quite a few thousand acres to work with, and have near COMPLETE control over the local deer population, and ABSOLUTELY NEED more bucks removed than you currently are, few have any legitimate reason to actually be removing management bucks.

Well, I'm scrolling through the channels the other day and I come across a deer hunting program and I see the show's host talking about managing his small farm and all the things he's doing for the deer herd (and most of it is well thought out and appropriate), but then he gets on a kick talking about how important his management buck program is - removing "inferior" bucks. He talks about how he tries to take at least one management buck each year, and how that's just as important as taking enough does and habitat management.

So here's my soapbox opinion: I think "management buck" has become the new "cull buck" excuse for shooting a buck. Just claim the smaller than management goal criteria buck you shot was a management buck. Do so while sounding regretful that it has to be done. Explain how much good that buck's removal will do for the herd in the long run. Tada! You've just assuaged and hidden your inner guilt for the fact you really just like killing a buck or two every year. How about this instead? Admit you really want to kill at least one buck each year. You do your part by not shooting young bucks, but when the chips are down, you still want to take an older buck, even if it isn't a top-end older buck. So swallow your pride and do so. No harm to the herd done. Who cares what your buddies/peers think? Your hunting and management enjoyment is yours and yours alone, and should not be about what others will think. Shoot an older buck of choice, no matter his antler size, and enjoy the experience.
Hoorah for your post especially the part about not caring what others think . Most , me included don't have a clue what our deer herd density is except for trail cam pics which IMO can be off . But by following state guidelines I don't think you could damage your deer herd .
 

huntinkev

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
6,269
Location
Humphreys
Spot on. Want to kill a buck, forget what others think and stop calling it something it's not. Shoot the buck and be happy. I hear excuses all the time; it wasn't as big as I thought or I really needed to take a buck or I wouldn't have shot it.
 

Andy S.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 1999
Messages
20,180
Location
Atoka, TN
Amen brother. The one I hate from hunters is when their text, email, post, thread, etc starts out with "This isn't my biggest buck, but.........". Stop it already. Quit trying to defend the darn buck before you have had time to share it with friends/family. Be proud and thankful you have the health and opportunity to hunt period, and extra proud for success in the woods, regardless of what you come out with.
 

DoubleRidge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
3,335
Location
Middle Tennessee
Totally agree with your rant....and what really drives me crazy is when someone shoots a 1½ or 2½ year old and says "his rack ain't much....but he wasn't ever gonna make anything anyway"..... seriously?....so I agree....if you wanna kill a younger buck.....own it.....be proud.
(But if your stacking young bucks up.....don't hang around the break room or local sporting goods store complaining "there are no big mature bucks in my area"....but that's another rant for another day)
 

Rackseeker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2002
Messages
7,632
Location
Franklin County
Hunting shows have ruined hunting for alot of people. They buy into the BS that they see and hear. Then when they don't see and kill a big buck they feel let down. The only deciding factor when I pull the trigger is if I like the way the buck looks and acts when I see him. I have let good deer walk just because I just enjoyed watching him do his thing. The hunting shows I don't like is the ones when they do kill a buck they start hyperventilating and thanking God for letting them kill the buck over and over. Don't get me wrong, I thank God for letting be able to in nature and enjoying what he created but not for killing a deer.
 

BSK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 1999
Messages
68,600
Location
Nashville, TN
2018 season I had been hunting hard all during our rut (November) waiting on a good 3 1/2 year-old or better buck. Never could put an MZ or rifle on one. Weekend after Thanksgiving, with the rut winding down, a 6-point 2 1/2 year-old walked right under my stand. It was the 4th time I had seen him and I had already passed him up 3 times. I shot him at 8 yards. It was a thrilling, point-blank kill! I'm still glad I killed him. Don't regret it a bit. His European mount is proudly hanging on the wall with all the others.
 

jag1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
440
Location
Fayette County
The hunting shows I don't like is the ones when they do kill a buck they start hyperventilating and thanking God for letting them kill the buck over and over.
This may offend but ok, I can't hardly stand to watch hunting shows. Too much advertising crap I don't need & too many "canned" hunt IMO. One guy, who I saw in concert once...awesome show w/Skynard...is the worst IMO. Watched him shoot a young buck over a corn feeder once and act like it was the grandest thing ever. Last one of his I ever watched.
 

beefydeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2013
Messages
347
Location
NW TN
By choice, I haven't killed a buck in three years and I am ok with it. I have had many opportunities to kill and I too would like to kill a buck every year, but in my more mature years I am very selective. Likewise, I do not care what other hunters think. I could kill as many as DA if I wanted to. I just choose not to. I do not see anything wrong at all with people killing a lot of deer, I just choose not to.

The only hunting show I watch is Catman!
 

jag1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
440
Location
Fayette County
By choice, I haven't killed a buck in three years and I am ok with it. I have had many opportunities to kill and I too would like to kill a buck every year, but in my more mature years I am very selective. Likewise, I do not care what other hunters think. I could kill as many as DA if I wanted to. I just choose not to. I do not see anything wrong at all with people killing a lot of deer, I just choose not to.

The only hunting show I watch is Catman!
I've been hearing ya'll talk about him. How does one go about watching his stuff, Youtube?
 

megalomaniac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
9,683
Location
Mississippi
I dont enjoy hunting unless I can kill a buck. I dont have to kill one to have fun, but I need to at least have a chance for hunting to be enjoyable. Problem is, we can't afford for everyone I allow to hunt to shoot 2 bucks every year, so I have a 1 buck limit. That caused a new problem. Noone wanted to shoot the old deer at the bottom end of the gene pool. They kept getting passed up by all the adults, kept fighting and injuring my top 3.5yos, and just generally ran the place.

After a few years of that style management, I added my 'cull' buck as a 2nd tag. I am the judge, jury, and executioner. I make the call based on trail camera pictures and past sightings if a deer meets the 'cull' buck list. To make the list, it has to be a mature buck scoring less than 120 gross inches. We usually have 2 or 3 each year, and anyone can shoot one of those bucks and it not count as your 'buck of choice' tag. Its a good way to ensure the highest scoring bucks are spread out amongst all that hunt my farms, while still allowing those to keep hunting for a cull even after they have shot their buck of choice.

Am I deluding myself thinking that killing these culls is improving local genetics? Of course not. But these heavy deer provide a lot of sausage, additional hunting opportunity, and may save some middle aged bucks from injuring their pedicles and negatively impacting their rack at maturity.

The problem with 'management' bucks is that whats killed in the actual hunting world, 50% have pedicle injuries and there's nothing wrong with their genetics, 45% are too young to even begin to express their genetic potential, and only 5% are actually genetically inferior bucks.

Here's a few examples of my 'culls' in the past few years

The first is a 5.5yo, 245lb 5pt that scored 116in

The second is a 4.5yo, 192lb 8pt that scored 106in

The third was an oops... I misjudged him as 4.5 when I passed him up earlier in the year,, but he was only 3.5, 165lbs. Injured in 2019 with base of skull below pedicle broken, surprised he survived.
 

Attachments

  • 20210215_191557.jpg
    20210215_191557.jpg
    26 KB · Views: 180
  • 20210215_184417.jpg
    20210215_184417.jpg
    75.6 KB · Views: 162
  • 20210215_184233.jpg
    20210215_184233.jpg
    93.2 KB · Views: 191

buckbstr_1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2008
Messages
816
Location
TN
I have been antlered shamed by a game warden and my hunting acquaintances. They say you can’t eat the antlers and say I can’t eat it if I don’t shoot it. I grew up in a time when it was really something to harvest a spike or four pointer. Those days are long gone. A bunch of guys that I know sound like Stan Potts during the season. I just tell them I like to shoot and the smell of gunpowder is intoxicating to me.
 

tnanh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
478
I promised myself I wouldn't do this, but I can't hold my tongue.

To start, I almost never watch TV hunting shows because they're so unrealistic, and often present inaccurate biological/management information. To say they infuriate me would be an understatement. I also think they often present hunters in a poor light, but that's the topic for a different rant. This rant is about how overblown and misused the practice of "management bucks" has become. The concept of "management bucks," bucks that can be removed from a population because they will never meet the goals of the management program, comes from massive trophy ranches in Texas. On these ranches, very, VERY few trophy bucks per area are actually being removed each year, hence more bucks have to be removed to keep deer densities in line. Since more bucks have to be removed, they choose to remove bucks that are highly unlikely to ever become trophy bucks, such as very underperforming (well below average) 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year-old bucks. These are "management bucks" - bucks that are removed for total deer density concerns, and they are chosen because they are unlikely to meet management goals. But unless you have quite a few thousand acres to work with, and have near COMPLETE control over the local deer population, and ABSOLUTELY NEED more bucks removed than you currently are, few have any legitimate reason to actually be removing management bucks.

Well, I'm scrolling through the channels the other day and I come across a deer hunting program and I see the show's host talking about managing his small farm and all the things he's doing for the deer herd (and most of it is well thought out and appropriate), but then he gets on a kick talking about how important his management buck program is - removing "inferior" bucks. He talks about how he tries to take at least one management buck each year, and how that's just as important as taking enough does and habitat management.

So here's my soapbox opinion: I think "management buck" has become the new "cull buck" excuse for shooting a buck. Just claim the smaller than management goal criteria buck you shot was a management buck. Do so while sounding regretful that it has to be done. Explain how much good that buck's removal will do for the herd in the long run. Tada! You've just assuaged and hidden your inner guilt for the fact you really just like killing a buck or two every year. How about this instead? Admit you really want to kill at least one buck each year. You do your part by not shooting young bucks, but when the chips are down, you still want to take an older buck, even if it isn't a top-end older buck. So swallow your pride and do so. No harm to the herd done. Who cares what your buddies/peers think? Your hunting and management enjoyment is yours and yours alone, and should not be about what others will think. Shoot an older buck of choice, no matter his antler size, and enjoy the experience.
One of the best posts I have read in a really long time and goes with what I mean when I have typed "shoot what makes you happy." Thank you BSK.
 

Latest posts

Top