200" Bucks & 400" Bulls

Elknut33

Member
Messages
82
I think it is fair to say that most average hunters have killed neither a 200" buck nor a 400" bull. When did we as hunters deem this to be the benchmark that a trophy must be measured by? I would much rather have healthy herds and be able to hunt mature bucks that may score 170+ or bulls 320+. Being proud of an ethical hunt, hunting with family or friends, or posing with your "trophy", without ridicule from the internet trolls is more important of the inches of antler.
Unfortunately, too many people are only interested in the headgear rather than the rest of the hunt situation (herd health, time spent afield, etc.). Our deer and elk herds are hurting for a myriad of reasons (predation, highway mortality, drought, etc.), if something doesn't change fighting about inches of antler will quickly become moot. We need to invest in our herds, come up with better management strategies and stop fighting over who uses what weapon, guide, kind of hat, etc.
Sorry if this comes off as a rant that was not my intent.
 

bigbull

Active Member
Messages
216
So what I'm seeing from your post is that trophy hunters aren't the cause of any of that stuff you listed but that's what you based your thought process off of to write this?

Those trophy hunters kill way less animals vs the average guy just shooting any buck. Trophy hunters kill a lot more of the older class animals that are past their prime. Trophy hunters generally spend more time in the field than the average guy just shooting any buck. Then to end your post with we need to all stop pointing fingers (while pointing fingers at a group that doesn't cause any of the issues you mentioned) is kind of weird.

I agree with your point about everyone needing to work together and get along to help the animals but lost me with how you got there.
 

StickFlicker

Active Member
Messages
135
bigbull, you forgot to mention that the older animal produces far more meat for the hunter than the young animal, all while taking the same amount of animals from the field.
 

idahomuleyhunter

Active Member
Messages
427
I think the unrealistic expectation of what goes into making a 400" bull or a 200" buck plays in. Even with the right genetics it still takes a lot of luck to maximize that. No droughts, good feed, low predation, game management. I see too many comments about the one thing the will fix everything. You can do everything perfectly and the fact of the matter is not every bull will reach 400" given the opportunity and not every buck will reach 200". I think that's kind of what elknut is saying. Maybe on any given year in any given place 180" is good enough and we shouldn't *****.
 

AZGuy

Active Member
Messages
502
So what I'm seeing from your post is that trophy hunters aren't the cause of any of that stuff you listed but that's what you based your thought process off of to write this?

Those trophy hunters kill way less animals vs the average guy just shooting any buck. Trophy hunters kill a lot more of the older class animals that are past their prime. Trophy hunters generally spend more time in the field than the average guy just shooting any buck. Then to end your post with we need to all stop pointing fingers (while pointing fingers at a group that doesn't cause any of the issues you mentioned) is kind of weird.

I agree with your point about everyone needing to work together and get along to help the animals but lost me with how you got there.
Trophy hunters routinely settle late in hunts, least I do.
 

Ultimag

Active Member
Messages
699
I shoot the first legal animal i see doesn't matter to me if ita, a buck, doe, bull, cow calf or fawn normally my wife and i are done within 3 hours on opening day
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

Very Active Member
Messages
2,237
That's why I kill what looks good to me. I like wide bucks, trashy bucks, or heavy bucks. Basically old bucks. I can give a rats ass what it "scores". I also love to stock the freezer every year, because we love our game meat in our family.
This is what it’s all about. Not stretching that tape measure out to get another 2/8” on the Gram.
 

hawkbill

Very Active Member
Messages
2,303
Well why don’t you drop into the hunt Expo next month and tell me about all the average animals you saw. Or will you run to the mossback booth to see the big old Bull Elk killed by the Governor’s tag hunter. Thank God we know what 400” and 200” represents. I have a lot of unfilled tags and that’s my choice, but I will not except today’s hunter telling me 160 to 170 Buck is a throphy, a 330 class Bull a not a trophy either in my Book. I will keep looking for the jaw droppers.
 

Vanilla

Very Active Member
Messages
2,640
Most hunters haven’t killed a 170+ buck or a 320+ bull either. The same question could be asked why we use those as substitute benchmarks for a trophy?

But I agree we need less hunter management and more herd management.
 

legacy

Very Active Member
Messages
1,943
My hunting buddy drew a LE deer tag in Utah in 2017 with 17 points. My wife happened to luck out and draw the same tag the same year with 11 points. He was pretty fired up and his expectations were very high and he publicly stated "200" club here I come!" (a day before the hunt started 🤦‍♂️ ). I knew he was already in big trouble at that point. Needless to say he hunted hard every single day, had some opportunities on some bigger bucks, but ends up killing a 180" buck on the afternoon of the last day of the hunt. He still loses sleep over it. I've tried to convince him that his buck is a very respectable buck and that he should be very proud of. He's having a hard time buying that. To pour salt in the wound, my wife had never killed a deer and had some major time constraints with work, kids, school, etc... so she couldn't hunt very many days, and she ends up killing a 180" buck after day 3.
The 2 bucks score almost identical. For him, he considers it a failure. For my wife and I, her buck exceeded our expectations and she couldn't be more happy.
I absolutely think perspective & expectation has gotten out of hand. With that being said, I can understand having fairly high expectations having applied for a tag for 20+ years (I currently have 19 points). But I agree that the expectation of a 200" buck or 400" is absolutely crazy.
 

hawkbill

Very Active Member
Messages
2,303
This is exactly what I am saying, don’t be talking the big 200 or 400 go out and hunt hard if you see an animal your happy with, take it . If your serious about going big or going home empty, why do you kill 180 class deer the last day of the hunt and go home bitching. I took a lot of pictures on my 25 year hunt this year, enjoyed everyday out, saw a190 class Ram which was very cool. I guess I didn’t need Deer meat that much. One thing I do know is everyone loves seeing big mature animals. A lot of so called meat hunters are lazy trophy hunters.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,479
For those of us who started hunting well before social media ruled the day, a successful hunt was measured by whether or not you got a legal animal or not. A "4 pt buck" or a "6 pt bull" was always a trophy and most hunters never even knew there was a B &C way to measure antlers.
Fast forward several decades and most are now constantly looking at their phones for instagram posts of the latest and greatest heads out there. Social media has made coveters of us all!
This year I spent a lifetime of points on a bull elk tag in a prime unit, but I went with the main goal of having a great elk rut experience. I still hunted for a big bull and I passed on the best bull I saw the first day, because I hadn't yet had the experience I wanted. Ultimately I had numerous elk rut encounters, hunting a whole week, and in the end I still came home with a nice bull. He doesn't even sniff 400"s. I could have hunted a few more days trying to find the holy grail, but in no way was that necessary to me.
I don't look down on the "real trophy hunter" or the "meat hunter" either one, but like everything else in society, competition now pits us against each other because of what we see and say on social media.
In many ways, I long for the more simple and civil days gone by.
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
8,401
For those of us who started hunting well before social media ruled the day, a successful hunt was measured by whether or not you got a legal animal or not. A "4 pt buck" or a "6 pt bull" was always a trophy and most hunters never even knew there was a B &C way to measure antlers.
Fast forward several decades and most are now constantly looking at their phones for instagram posts of the latest and greatest heads out there. Social media has made coveters of us all!
This year I spent a lifetime of points on a bull elk tag in a prime unit, but I went with the main goal of having a great elk rut experience. I still hunted for a big bull and I passed on the best bull I saw the first day, because I hadn't yet had the experience I wanted. Ultimately I had numerous elk rut encounters, hunting a whole week, and in the end I still came home with a nice bull. He doesn't even sniff 400"s. I could have hunted a few more days trying to find the holy grail, but in no way was that necessary to me.
I don't look down on the "real trophy hunter" or the "meat hunter" either one, but like everything else in society, competition now pits us against each other because of what we see and say on social media.
In many ways, I long for the more simple and civil days gone by.
fact.gif


I remember those early days quite well.
 

Ultimag

Active Member
Messages
699
For those of us who started hunting well before social media ruled the day, a successful hunt was measured by whether or not you got a legal animal or not. A "4 pt buck" or a "6 pt bull" was always a trophy and most hunters never even knew there was a B &C way to measure antlers.
Fast forward several decades and most are now constantly looking at their phones for instagram posts of the latest and greatest heads out there. Social media has made coveters of us all!
This year I spent a lifetime of points on a bull elk tag in a prime unit, but I went with the main goal of having a great elk rut experience. I still hunted for a big bull and I passed on the best bull I saw the first day, because I hadn't yet had the experience I wanted. Ultimately I had numerous elk rut encounters, hunting a whole week, and in the end I still came home with a nice bull. He doesn't even sniff 400"s. I could have hunted a few more days trying to find the holy grail, but in no way was that necessary to me.
I don't look down on the "real trophy hunter" or the "meat hunter" either one, but like everything else in society, competition now pits us against each other because of what we see and say on social media.
In many ways, I long for the more simple and civil days gone by
Bullseye excellent post
 

idahomuleyhunter

Active Member
Messages
427
For sure man, nothing better than someone else telling you if you have a trophy or not. I’d challenge that a room with 5 330 class bulls looks better than 1 400. But I’m just one man with one opinion.
This👆
I had a buddy who trapped his first wolf two years ago. Spent the rest of the winter grinding to get another one. I asked him why he worked so hard to kill a wolf. His answer: "I had to prove the first one wasn't a fluke."
 

Ultimag

Active Member
Messages
699
Well why don’t you drop into the hunt Expo next month and tell me about all the average animals you saw. Or will you run to the mossback booth to see the big old Bull Elk killed by the Governor’s tag hunter. Thank God we know what 400” and 200” represents. I have a lot of unfilled tags and that’s my choice, but I will not except today’s hunter telling me 160 to 170 Buck is a throphy, a 330 class Bull a not a trophy either in my Book. I will keep looking for the jaw droppers
Each of us have different views as to what a trophy is, everyones views are different
 

bigbull

Active Member
Messages
216
For sure man, nothing better than someone else telling you if you have a trophy or not. I’d challenge that a room with 5 330 class bulls looks better than 1 400. But I’m just one man with one opinion.
That's the difference between us. I wouldn't shoot a 330 bull on the last day of a hunt. I suppose we can say any bull over 300 is a "trophy" to make us think we're trophy hunters.
 

AZGuy

Active Member
Messages
502
That's the difference between us. I wouldn't shoot a 330 bull on the last day of a hunt. I suppose we can say any bull over 300 is a "trophy" to make us think we're trophy hunters.
There’s all kinds of trophies man. Some of my smaller racks mean more to me than the big ones. The company, comradeship, camp and experience sometimes grow them on the wall.
Keep knocking down the giants here and there!
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,330
"But I agree we need less hunter management and more herd management."
[/QUOTE]

Can one exist without the other?
 

elkantlers

Very Active Member
Messages
2,901
That's the difference between us. I wouldn't shoot a 330 bull on the last day of a hunt. I suppose we can say any bull over 300 is a "trophy" to make us think we're trophy hunters.
You've posted 2 pictures during your time on MM, Both are of other people's deer.

Until you put up, shut up.
 

Vanilla

Very Active Member
Messages
2,640
Can one exist without the other?

We will always have to manage hunters. We can’t just have open season 365 days per year by any means necessary. So no, they can’t exist without the other. That said, 99% of what we do any more is manage hunters. All the while we watch the resource dwindle, and so we manage hunters some more expecting that dwindling resource to all the sudden bounce back. When it doesn’t, we manage hunters a little bit more. And wouldn’t you know it…nothing changes! So what do we do? We manage hunters some more!

Go look at bessy’s “HELL RIGHT” and tell me what percentage of it has to do with the animals and helping them be healthy versus what percentage of it has to do with just managing hunters. He talks about the 40+ years of mismanagement and all he wants to do is double down on it! He fits in well with the wildlife board in Utah. Low hanging fruit is cutting away at hunters and hunting opportunity. But for 40+ years now, that hasn’t made a bit of positive difference. So why not just keep doing it?

Seems rational to some…I’m sure. But not to me!
 

idahomuleyhunter

Active Member
Messages
427
We will always have to manage hunters. We can’t just have open season 365 days per year by any means necessary. So no, they can’t exist without the other. That said, 99% of what we do any more is manage hunters. All the while we watch the resource dwindle, and so we manage hunters some more expecting that dwindling resource to all the sudden bounce back. When it doesn’t, we manage hunters a little bit more. And wouldn’t you know it…nothing changes! So what do we do? We manage hunters some more!

Go look at bessy’s “HELL RIGHT” and tell me what percentage of it has to do with the animals and helping them be healthy versus what percentage of it has to do with just managing hunters. He talks about the 40+ years of mismanagement and all he wants to do is double down on it! He fits in well with the wildlife board in Utah. Low hanging fruit is cutting away at hunters and hunting opportunity. But for 40+ years now, that hasn’t made a bit of positive difference. So why not just keep doing it?

Seems rational to some…I’m sure. But not to me!
This isn't true. There are more elk in more states than at any time in the last 150 years, at least. There are also more elk hunters, youtube, trailcams, people who can't help but say or show where the saw a big one. But the reasource isn't dwindling. Perhaps your expectations of what hunting should be.
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
Messages
7,750
I'm old enough to remember when Utah elk hunting was a ghost search. Now dudes act like every unit should have 400" bulls.

I also knew a lot of old dudes who threw away horns. Huge sets. Monster bucks. Because no one cared about horns, let alone inches.

Somehow there is a segment of hunters who didn't take biology. They dont understand genetics. They have this twisted idea that if you don't allow hunting, that magically, the landscape will be covered with 200" deer. You can try until your blue in the face to pay attention to the "not allow hunting" part, but they somehow believe, despite now decades of proof, that greatly restricting hunting, only HURTS HUNTING, next time will be different.

They also weirdly believe, that money doesn't talk. No matter how many times they see the same deep pocket guys buy tags in restricted units, YEARLY, these guys are just sure if you get rid of the opportunists, they will then draw that trophy tag. They can point to zero evidence of that happening, but they just KNOW it will.

I live just across a causeway from a chunk of ground with more mature bucks per acre than anywhere in the west. A place with spectacular genetics. A place that only has 2 tags per year. And, the herd is about the same size yearly. The 200" bucks are still very few. Almost as if hunters have zero effect on population Dynamics on the island.

No matter how many times you stomp your feet, bite down hard, and just KNOW it, 200" bucks and 400" bulls really are outliers. Not something to aim for for a herd.
 

sticksender

Active Member
Messages
842
I don't like the term "trophy hunter" because we're playing up the buzz-phrase of those who want to stop us completely. But holding out only for a 200/400 animal would leave hundreds of thousands of guys coming home disappointed every year. Simple fact is there'd only be enough animals for a fraction of 1% of all hunters.

It doesn't make you a wimp if you shoot a meat buck/bull, and it doesn't make you a super hero if you uncompromisingly hold out for a monster. Just dudes with different goals.
 

ridgetops

Very Active Member
Messages
2,197
This isn't true. There are more elk in more states than at any time in the last 150 years, at least. There are also more elk hunters, youtube, trailcams, people who can't help but say or show where the saw a big one. But the reasource isn't dwindling. Perhaps your expectations of what hunting should be.
To be fair, comparing mule deer and elk are like comparing apples and oranges. The eat different diets. Deer are taken out by predator's much easier and elk can handle longer periods of deep snow than deer can. Simply put, mule deer are a lot more fragile than elk.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,330
@Vanilla I do agree with several of your points, but what I question is....... do you really think the Division isn't managing our wildlife actively and aggressively?
Are you not seeing the millions of dollars and man hours spent on collaring studies with multiple entities trying to figure out what the problems might be?
Are you not seeing all the high fences and crossings going in throughout this state?
Are you not seeing all the habitat projects going on by the Division in conjunction with special interest groups trying to help re-seed burn scars, build guzzlers, introduce habitat on WMA areas and corridors to help combat urban sprawl winter range loss?

The amount of work being done in this state alone is greater than ever before, but it won't bring our herds or quality back in one, two or even three years....it might be 10, but it's most definitely being done more than ever before in history.

Patience Grasshopper.....
 
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ridgetops

Very Active Member
Messages
2,197
A 200" gross scoring buck is not equal to a 400" bull.
I'd say there's about a 98% better chance of someone killing a 200" buck over a 400" bull.

The standard I usually hear people talk about is either a 180" buck or a 350" bull. The 200/400" statement is mostly unrealistic and unattainable for most people.
 

idahomuleyhunter

Active Member
Messages
427
To be fair, comparing mule deer and elk are like comparing apples and oranges. The eat different diets. Deer are taken out by predator's much easier and elk can handle longer periods of deep snow than deer can. Simply put, mule deer are a lot more fragile than elk.
I don't disagree. But there are also more deer now, than most of the 20th century. And you're right, the herds are susceptible to droughts, hard winters, disease, and these things can't be controlled, just waited out. Utah isn't highly productive land, I would imagine booms and busts existed in those herds long before people were there.
 

bigbull

Active Member
Messages
216
You've posted 2 pictures during your time on MM, Both are of other people's deer.

Until you put up, shut up.
Kind of weird stalking me on mm but if that's what you're into. I've got nothing to prove to guys like you wanting praise for killing a 330 bull.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,330
I prefer to measure my hunts by the memories I make
As it should be.

I personally have not pulled my own trigger on a 200" buck or a 400" bull, but I have guided many hunters to them over my 26 years of working for an outfitter.

Some of my personal best hunts were hunting super tough areas to find a mature buck without gadgets and packing out a 140" buck with a smile on my face.

Yes I have killed numerous bucks in my lifetime as high as 193" and as low as a spike and cow elk and several in between.

I hunted the Henry's when it was still a General Unit, and also the Bookcliffs and I took some great bucks off both.
It was nothing to kill a 170" deer in the 80's on either of those units, and it could even be done on units like Monroe, Beaver, Dutton or Panguitch, heck, we even had two tags back then and could use your rifle tag on the Archery season if you wanted to.

We had approximately 230k hunters back then as well, now we have 96k.

But look at how we hunt today compared to then.....
 
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elkantlers

Very Active Member
Messages
2,901
Kind of weird stalking me on mm but if that's what you're into. I've got nothing to prove to guys like you wanting praise for killing a 330 bull.
Yep, I'm a stalker. An Internet sleuth you might say. I lurk in the back pages of MM's looking for the opportunity to expose blowhards. And you threw me a softball.
2022-01-23.png
:LOL:
 

Vanilla

Very Active Member
Messages
2,640
@Vanilla I do agree with several of your points, but what I question is....... do you really think the Division isn't managing our wildlife actively and aggressively?
Are you not seeing the millions of dollars and man hours spent on collaring studies with multiple entities trying to figure out what the problems might be?
Are you not seeing all the high fences and crossings going in throughout this state?
Are you not seeing all the habitat projects going on by the Division in conjunction with special interest groups trying to help re-seed burn scars, build guzzlers, introduce habitat on WMA areas and corridors to help combat urban sprawl winter range loss?

The amount of work being done in this state alone is greater than ever before, but it won't bring our herds or quality back in one, two or even three years....it might be 10, but it's most definitely being done more than ever before in history.

Patience Grasshopper.....

All fair points, and yes I’ve seen those things. Thanks for correcting me. I’m not trying to suggest nothing is happening. I do get frustrated when special interests get a seat at the table to derail the real biological management decisions for our wildlife. And that usually results in hunters taking it in the shorts. I think there is much more we can do to fight back against that, but I will concede your point fully that there are efforts being made. Your point is well taken.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,330
@Vanilla
Thank you, and I respect your opinions and views as well.

As for special interest groups holding seats, some I like and some I don't.
I hate that Wade Heaton holds a spot when we all know where his interests are.

I'm not an SFW guy but we have seen posts for years about how they are all for the Outfitters, yet they are who pushed and fully endorse the baiting and trail camera ban.
Do we think WLH and MB will be sending them yearly memberships going forward?
Guess we'll see, but removing 5000 trail cams used by one Outfitter throughout the state won't leave a very warm and fuzzy feeling with them.
 

idahomuleyhunter

Active Member
Messages
427
I prefer to measure my hunts by the memories I make
My two best elk hunting memories are getting my wife her first cow elk and helping my nephew kill a small 6-point on a trip with he and my dad. I didn't even shoot that bull, but given my dad's getting older and my nephew is committed to work at this point in his life, I doubt the three of us will ever go elk hunting as a group again. There aren't 10 400 point bulls on the planet worth that memory.
 

1989Cohunter

Active Member
Messages
474
Honestly a lot of units I have hunted. Especially for elk just don’t have great genetics. You may stumble onto a 300” bull and sure there are probably bigger. I do like to hunt as big of an animal as I can. With that being said my work doesn’t allow a whole lots of time off. And having two little kids can make it hard to get real crazy too. I’ve also noticed my deer “honey” hole has been ruined by onX and one single outfitter.
 

matchbook454

Member
Messages
54
For those of us who started hunting well before social media ruled the day, a successful hunt was measured by whether or not you got a legal animal or not. A "4 pt buck" or a "6 pt bull" was always a trophy and most hunters never even knew there was a B &C way to measure antlers.
Fast forward several decades and most are now constantly looking at their phones for instagram posts of the latest and greatest heads out there. Social media has made coveters of us all!
This year I spent a lifetime of points on a bull elk tag in a prime unit, but I went with the main goal of having a great elk rut experience. I still hunted for a big bull and I passed on the best bull I saw the first day, because I hadn't yet had the experience I wanted. Ultimately I had numerous elk rut encounters, hunting a whole week, and in the end I still came home with a nice bull. He doesn't even sniff 400"s. I could have hunted a few more days trying to find the holy grail, but in no way was that necessary to me.
I don't look down on the "real trophy hunter" or the "meat hunter" either one, but like everything else in society, competition now pits us against each other because of what we see and say on social media.
In many ways, I long for the more simple and civil days gone by.
Well put man.
 

NVPete

Very Active Member
Messages
1,317
Life-long member! MY handle "Forky Pete" says it all! But in forty plus years of hunting memories, I wouldn't trade ANY for an opportunity to bag a 200" deer or 400" elk. And at 75 yrs. old almost all of my family and friend hunting buddies are long passed on. And the venison from the smaller bucks (and a few does) along the way was excellent jerked, made into salami,roasts, steaks, or mixed with beef or pork fat for venburger, and even liver and heart occasionally!
 

backinthegame

Active Member
Messages
743
Lots of great posts here. Shoot (or don't) what makes you happy, and for the reasons that make you happy. I'm not a big social media fan and I'm not sure it's a net positive, but even still if what makes you happy is killing a 200" buck and posting in on Instagram, if that's your motivation for being out there, go for it.

I've seen some incredible places, none of which I would have had I not had a tag in my pocket. I've spent large amounts of time, uninterrupted time, with family and great friends that I otherwise wouldn't have without hunting. The bad weather, broken gear in the backcountry, long heavy packouts in the dark, time around the fire after a tag has been filled. That's why I do it. I've killed some nice animals. I've never felt "proud" of them as much as I've felt satisfied with the entire experience.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,609
When I started hunting in the mid-80's nobody talked about "score", yes there was the B&C book to peruse but even then it was mostly just looking at where the top animals were coming from and not what they scored. I believe antler-scoring started to catch on in the early 90's mostly due to hunting videos and the explanation and emphasis of scoring and that educated the masses on what a real "trophy" is or isn't. It all went downhill from there. Now too many people judge a hunters ability by the size of the animals they have killed, it's just one more version of tiny pecker syndrome.

One of the best things that could happen for the future of hunting is to abolish any type of scoring system. Yeah like that could ever happen.
 

Lurch

Member
Messages
29
No one has even mentioned guys who pass bucks and bulls cause they’re “missing” points. Had a guy say he wouldn’t shoot a 350 bull if it was a 5x6, but he would shoot a 350 bull being a 6x6.. thoughts?
 

Aceman

Active Member
Messages
125
I don't have the Boone and Crockett Record book but was looking at the 2nd edition of Colorado's Biggest Bucks and Bulls and noticed that there have been only 31 typical elk and 6 non-typical elk that met the 380 minimum standard. That book was printed in 2001 so there has been some activity since then. Coming to Colorado expecting to get a 400 bull is a bit of a challenge. Colorado has the largest elk herd in the states but also gives out bull tags over the counter. Not much chance of bulls reaching that size even in the trophy areas. Monster deer is a little better but with all the seasons now offered in Colorado the chances of 200 + typical deer is also a bit of a reach. Most hunters that I know would be pretty excited to get a true 180 typical buck. If you are coming to Colorado to kill a record book elk or buck, I wish you the best. Other states manage their elk and deer for trophies, I believe that Colorado manages this state for revenue. I really don't hunt out of state but do enjoy hunting here in Colorado. With the increase in population in our state I see our hunting opportunities will become more stressed.
 

roadrunner

Long Time Member
Messages
4,251
I think it is fair to say that most average hunters have killed neither a 200" buck nor a 400" bull. When did we as hunters deem this to be the benchmark that a trophy must be measured by?

When Eastman's Journal became a thing is when.
 

Jgill19

Member
Messages
43
Some peoples Kid's...

I only kill 200" deer and 400" bulls. That way I can tell everyone how great of a hunter I am even when I don't kill sh#t. When I see critters accross canyon I don't have to man up and go after them. I just sit comfy on the hillside and say mehh he aint big enough. Sounds like someone scared of the work that real hunting is, or some kind of weird superiority complex...

I'll keep making those plays, because for me that is what it's all about! Late evening kill miles and miles from the camp, it's dark, you're out of water, asking yourself what in the hell was I thinking, but knowing damn well we'll be back there doing it again the second we get the chance. I enjoy big critters as much as anyone else, but its the camp's shared and moments that lead up to and then follow the kill, those are the moments you never forget!! The horns are there only to remind me of those moments and time spent with good friends!
 

llamapacker

Moderator
Messages
996
The vast, vast majority of units in the west will not produce a 200" buck or 400" bull in any given year, for ANYBODY. And the few that do on something close to a regular basis are being so under hunted that most will never have an opportunity to hunt them.

In order to have units with large (1-3) numbers of huge bulls requires that many in the unit will die of old age rather than being hunted. Animals of the caliber being discussed are a fortunate accident of good genetics, great feed and adequate escape cover.

In many units in AZ, and even a few in Utah, there is limited cover and lots of roads, along with normally poor feed. Some years have great feed, however, when the true genetic potential is suddenly on display. Anything close to average hunting pressure as seen in Montana and Idaho, for example, would wipe these herds out quickly. Only by intensively managing hunter opportunity can the rare few of these bucks / bulls grow to the size being discussed. And that means only a priviledged few will hunts these units.

Bill
 

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