to shoot or not? too late now.

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by baitchunker, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    the rut is in full swing now. i watched countless lil to medium bucks chasing does. noses to the ground running in circles, fllat out running them down. it was quite a sight to behold this last weekend. but, i have been holding out for a breathtaker buck. i had an easy good shot on a pretty heavy 8-point saturday morning. we had a staring contest for about 45 minutes. i studied his rack. his belly was sagging a lil bit, he was prolly a 4-4.5 year old deer. his horns were thick and dark, very very tall rack. but, only about 15 inches wide. he was a nice buck and a shooter for sure. but, i promised myself that the next buck i shoot is going on the wall, and he just wasnt the one i wanted. that is, untill he slowly stepped out of sight. i immidiately questioned my judgment. you cant pull a bullet back, but you cant kill thin air either. we have much bigger bucks on the property. some that would score, and have scored in the 150-160 range. with inside spreads up to 22.5 inches. of course they dont make as many mistakes as the younger deer. in south alabama, the buck i let walk was admirable. he just wasnt spectacular.

    my questions for yall are simple. with hunting season winding down (finally) should i have taken him? have any of yall ever second guessed the decision to shoot? or not to shoot?
     
  2. 1sporticus

    1sporticus Active Member

    Messages:
    1,006
    State:
    Iowa
    It's a hard decision, but in all reality if you wanted a big buck, and you don't need the meat, hold out for what you want. Later Andy
     

  3. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    J.D., I have all my life been a meat hunter. It was just the mentality of growing up with 9 brothers and sisters. Now there is just me and the wife so i don't need as much meat as i used to. The last 4 years i have been letting some decent bucks go without taking a shot. At first I second guessed myself but knew i was making the right decision. By having a staring contest with this buck for 45 minutes then I would say you already know you made the right decision.
     
  4. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Eaters, or wall-hangers only lol. If you were after a wall-hanger, and he wasn't worth the money to have it mounted, and you are not starving to death, you indeed made the right decision. Maybe next year he will fit the bill and still be a bit nieve as to what all those booms, and bangs are in the woods in the fall and winter lol.

    You saw my buck. Me, when time runs out...deer beware because I will shoot you regardless of size. I will pass on a decent buck on the first day or two, but that last day I get trigger happy. I don't think I could kill a spike, then again the opportunity hasn't presented itself yet.

    I had one of those staring contests a few years ago with a large 6 pointer. Had a nice rack for a 6. I had him in the crosshairs several times...said BANG to myself, then waved him off. Sometimes it's just as good a feeling that you had the opportunity to watch a deer like that, and not kill it, as it would have been if you did imo.
     
  5. catfishbills

    catfishbills New Member

    Messages:
    630
    State:
    Tennessee
    If you have 150-160 class deer on the property, you did the right thing "if" you feel like he will make it till next year!!! In other words the other folks hunting with you are TROPHY hunters also, cause there's nothing worse than a hunting "buddy" killing next years deer!!!:angry:Trophy is in the eye of the individual hunter! A 140 class 8-point is a pretty BIG deer anywhere! I dont know how big of 8-point you seen, but I have a 173 5/8 deer on my wall (25 scoreable points, 156 net 8 point frame) and I killed 2 140 class 8 points this year that are too nice to let walk and they were both at least 4 1/2, so there you have it. Sounds like you have some wide inside spread genetics on your place and if the 8 point was narrow, then maybe another year he'll spread out.....my 1st 8 point this year is 18" inside and the 2nd is 23 1/4 inside and they score within 3" of each other!
     
  6. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Shoulda, woulda, coulda, ifs, ands and buts.

    Don't know ya JD other than what you present yourself as here. I have a good impression. You have been there and done that. Chest hair to chest hair with danger in your military career. Decision making at work. Father to be.

    You were presented with a decision. You made it. You have made them before. You are a young man. A long life ahead of you. A lot of deer to see, a lot of kills to make. The important thing is not to second guess yourself.

    Might mean I am saying you are grown up a little. Please don't take that as an offense. Now when you can turn your back on a bar fight with a smile on your face, you got the world by the a$$. LOL I am 63 and still haven't learned that. That is why I have so few teeth.

    John.
     
  7. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    As they say, you can't eat "horns".
    I am primarily a meat hunter but don't get me wrong, if I can get meat and "horns" I am right there!

    The biggest difficulty round here is in convincing folks to manage the herds. A bit of selective shooting for a few years could help raise the odds that we could all get more impressive racks.

    Between the "shoot anything" crowd, and the "shoot only the big ones" crowd, the average size and quality of racks suffers.

    If you were looking for size and your herd is "where" you want it, I 'd say you did right.
     
  8. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    thanks for the input. i didnt realize i was growing up... damnitt!

    those bar fights hurt more the older you get.

    i am used to letting deer and bucks especially walk away. im just not used to letting quality "shooters" walk away. the sad part is that there is a good chance one of the customers will shoot him. if he gets stupid.

    another factor in my decision was that i have seen a much larger deer in that exact place 2 years in a row. and missed him 2 years in a row. he is the only buck that has given me the shakes since i was a teenager. :embarassed: i dont normally get rattled. but this guy has had me shoot the clouds... i dont know for certain that he is still alive or how big he is. i just know that he is the biggest racked deer i have ever seen in real life. :embarassed:
     
  9. ladyfish50

    ladyfish50 New Member

    Messages:
    4,182
    State:
    Louisiana
    It's one of those "woulda coulda shoulda" moments; I feel for you! I've had a few myself, & you always wonder. But if he wasn't the one you wanted for the wall, your first instinct is probably the right one. I hope someday to kill a bigger buck than the one in my avatar, but we're getting it mounted because it was my best one, killed on the same day my husband got his best one. But yep, it's sure hard to second guess them. It's amazing, isn't it, how those 4 legged critters can play with our minds?!!!
     
  10. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    J D,I think ya got it goin on ,You have passed into the trophy huntin stage ,get er done .
     
  11. Johny Buck

    Johny Buck New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    virginia
    I would have pulled the trigger and been tickeled to death. I love tall heavy antlers. I actually think taller is better than wider but thats just me. If your happy by letting him walk then thats great to. I have a couple on the wall in the 20, 21, and 22 inch wide catagory but the one that everyone always looks at the most is only 15 1/2" inside but he has the tall tines and mass that gets yor heart pumping.
     
  12. katcatchingfool

    katcatchingfool New Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    State:
    illinois
    you did good... i shot an 8 pointer this year i wish i would of let him grow another year but i couldn't take the shot back. everything happened so fast and he didn't give me a chance to size him up. when i saw him he was only 35 yards and closing the distance fast by the time i seen the inside spread reached down to grab the bow and put the release on the string and bleat with my mouth to stop him he was only 18 yards and there was brush covering his head gear i decided to shoot first and ask ?s later. here is a pic of that deer.
     

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  13. Nomdic1

    Nomdic1 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    virginia
    In my opinion, you already had your trophy. You met a mature buck, on his terms, and could have taken him if you chose to. That memory will be with you as long as any trophy on the wall. I believe you did what your gut said, and that was the right thing. Killing, for the sake of killing, usually leaves one empty. Letting a mature buck walk through your sights and never pulling the trigger... That is the sign of a hunter that has respect for the game he pursues. Good Call!
     
  14. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv

    like me. im hunting for venison. if a deer gets hit by a car by a buddie or someone who knows me they come tell me and im right out to get it. i got 1 last year 2 the year before and 2 so far this season.

    if its bigger than a fawn i shoot. it. if it has horns great. thats a bonus. sorry to the trophy hunters but its like this. i dont waste a scrap butcher my own and eat every bit. i dont care if its a basket rack, fork, or spike. i shoot it. i pay for my liscense my tags and pay my dues in stands and putting them up,looking for runs and rubs while squirrel hunting. i could care less what he "would" look like next year. after someone else gets him. i think the ones i shoot taste better than one i wish to get next season.

    and imho someone who shoots a 20 point deer cuts off the head and leaves the rest in the timber isnt much of a sportsman, (like the chinese cutting off the fins of a great white shark and tossing it back for dead and killing a bear for the gallbladder). donate the meat to the hungry. just my poinion but like it or not. there are REALLY 2 types of hunters.:wink:
     
  15. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    I let a nice buck that had a very good rack walk and the next year a friemd found the rack.(still on the skull)I didn't get to score it but it was wide,high and heavy and a lot bigger than I thought it was. I had the cross hairs on him with him in a standing broad side 75yd shot and me with a 3006 and I let him go so somebody could make a bad shot and lose him.Never again!!!!
     
  16. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    i love deer meat, but i allready have enough in the freezer to keep me and amy from having to buy beef untill next sep. the more i think about it the more convinced i am that i did the right thing.
     
  17. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    Good post Jeremy, I couldn't agree more. I'm like JD and i have all the deer meat in the freezer that I need for this year. I have nothing against someone killing all the deer meat that they can eat. If and when I let a deer walk theres a good chance that somone else will kill that deer but it might be a kids first deer or someone that needs that meat more than me that kills it so thats O.K. with me. It's just me and the wife and I'm a diabetic and can't eat as much fried foods as I would like to and I like my deer meat fried the best. I keep some quarters to smoke myself and have summer sausage made. I grind all my own burger mixing it with beef fat and breakfast sausage mixing it with pork fat, debone and tederize all my own steaks. I still eat a lot of deer meat just not as much as I used to so for me I have made the decision to let the smaller bucks go. But that is just me and for me only and will never judge another person. As I mentioned on my first post on this thread I grew up being a meat hunter and will always be a meat hunter at heart.

    I also agree about the trophy hunters that kill a big buck and cut off the head leaving the meat to go to waste or to feed the vermin. We went to Kansas this year on a whitetail hunt and one of the first things we seen was a really big bodied buck laying in a field with each horn cut off leaving about 2 inches of the bases attached to the skull. The time it would have took them to cut each horn off individually they could have skinned and quartered that deer. I talked to another member of this site that is from the area and he said that was a commen practice in the area. The wardens were having a hard time catching them. Sorry SOB's like that don't deserve the right to hunt or to be in the outdoors.
     
  18. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    ifm you were stocked then ya i agree.
     
  19. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    it is a cryin shame that ppl in this world would waste all of that meat, and just cut off the horns. i allways know someone who would take and need the meat. heck, around here there is usually someone willing to clean your kill for a ham, shoulder, and a beer.

    have any of yall ever cut your burger with smoked bacon? i tried that this year (with the processor guys) and that stuff makes the best dang cheeseburgers i have ever had. i usually debone the first deer of the year myself to make roasts and steaks and small cuts for the smoker. after that i have all of it ground for either sausage or burger. we use the burger for EVERYTHING all the way from sgetti to hamburger helpers lol. amy likes it cause its healthy and i like it cause... well, i dunno, i just allways have. i really like the fried stuff too, but Amy being from california health food country doesnt let me fry much these days.
     
  20. Zing

    Zing Member

    Messages:
    327
    State:
    Tennessee
    I have always thought of it like this, if I have to ask myself, is it a shooter, then it most likly isnt. A monster is a monster no matter how you look at it. I think next year when you see him you'll be glad you let him walk. It does sound like a nice buck though. I think if your waiting for a wall hanger and it does not show wait tell next year.