Let them grow or take them?

skunkcreek

Member
Messages
12
Everyone seems to think that deer need one more year or two before they are takers. Others think that at the end of the hunt you should take one for the time spent. The question this time is, If the buck is not a taker and you have not found a better one, do you shoot him as a meat buck on the last day? I found this deer and had the opportunity to watch him for a few days and elected to pass. Some say I should have shot.
 

hunt30

Active Member
Messages
352
I can see the video. Cool buck. Like the in-line and the eye guards. Whether to take him or not would be dependent on many factors to me. What is the potential of the area being hunted? How close to the road? Are my kids with me? How long has it been since I shot a deer? Do I have a new gun I want to test out? Do I think he might be back next year? Etc...
 

skunkcreek

Member
Messages
12
Sorry not enuf info I am new at this posting stuff. It is a tag you can get every year so more of just a general hunt unit. It was a fourth season tag so it did take a few points but was hoping for a better buck. I have seen a few big deer taken and seen a few still alive in years past. The last few years it’s been going down hill. Yes their is an extra on the one side. It did make him tempting but not enuf.
 

Wyboypt

Member
Messages
30
If you want meat, go kill a whitetail or another elk. Mule deer although good, is the lesser of most big game meat in my opinion including antelope. Heck chicken and pork are cheap at the store! But if you’ve never killed a buck that big, I would pull the trigger.
 

HIcountryman

Active Member
Messages
807
i might shoot that buck if i hunted hard and did not see anything bigger. but you can let em grow if you want, whatever makes you happy on your hunt. kinda depends on how many deer you have killed, how far of a packout, etc....
i killed a small buck this mz season and i was kinda regretting not getting a bigger one(....whine....whine. ) it's up to you whether your expectations for the hunt are fulfilled! pretty buck so i hope you see him next year!
 

hawkbill

Very Active Member
Messages
1,167
You passed on the buck obviously because he’s young and just doesn’t have the mass or the tine length or width. Good for you, don’t second guess yourself. Most hunters I know who are serious about trophy Mule Deer, don’t shoot meat bucks on the last day.
 

Muleman

Active Member
Messages
225
I likely would have shot the buck. My goal is always a mature respectable animal for the area. I don’t shoot for mule deer for meat since I don’t like their meat. I love good euro mounts, and I do like pulling the trigger. He is a nice solid buck but body does look young. If your happy going home broke which I have done many times then passing is good choice. If your a die hard trophy hunter then passing was the right choice. I’m a pseudo trophy hunter, I won’t shoot dinks but I will shoot any mature deer regardless of score
 

SureShot

Active Member
Messages
984
Unless I knew I could hunt the same area next year and have another crack at him, that buck would definitely be in trouble on the last day.
 

UtyoteKiller

Active Member
Messages
154
I likely would have shot the buck. My goal is always a mature respectable animal for the area. I don’t shoot for mule deer for meat since I don’t like their meat. I love good euro mounts, and I do like pulling the trigger. He is a nice solid buck but body does look young. If your happy going home broke which I have done many times then passing is good choice. If your a die hard trophy hunter then passing was the right choice. I’m a pseudo trophy hunter, I won’t shoot dinks but I will shoot any mature deer regardless of score
What do you do with the meat on the bucks you do shoot?
 

BurntRidge

Member
Messages
32
You don’t kill big deer by shooting little deer. I’ve always been taught you have to pass the 180 bucks in hopes they make it to next year.
 

Arhoades

Member
Messages
28
My decision is based on what the unit can produce. If I have that tag and that is a top end buck for the unit then it takes 1 second to decide if I’m going to shoot it or not. Black and white, shoot or not. Another thing that really helps me is to decide what you’re going to shoot before you even start hunting, then there is no wishy washy, should I shoot it or not when you do come across one. I’ll give an example. In 2017 I drew a rifle rut tag in Washington in my home area. I wanted a 160” buck and asked around on what I should expect and most people including one in particular said if you’re looking for a 160 buck you probably won’t get one. I told him, fine, I’ll eat my tag, it’s 160 or nothing for me. I spent 12 days on that hunt, passed 15-20 legal bucks, saw 2 in that class that I wanted and got one of them right before dark on the 12th day. While I didn’t get a 160 exactly, he was in that class. I think he went 158 and something.
 

bullbuster

Member
Messages
67
I had a colorado tag this year and didnt fill it. I had opportunities every day but I just didn't see anything that tripped my trigger. I was able to take an elk this year and my wife was able to take a deer, plus we had beef in the freezer. I didn't have to have the meat. I had my kids with me for the hunt and would have liked to shoot a deer with them but they have seen a few animals die this year and it was kind of nice to let them learn the side where we don't have to kill a deer. We were able to hunt the entire hunt and enjoy so many close encounters. Just because we didn't kill doesn't mean it wasn't a success. I have kind of gotten to where I like passing them and letting them live if they don't get me wound up. I also don't blame any one for wanting to kill that deer. He is a good buck. You made the right decision for you for a multitude of reasons. Good for you man.
 

UtyoteKiller

Active Member
Messages
154
Give it away or make it all into jerky
Are you sure those you give it consume the meat you gift to them? Nothing wrong with your decision but turning a whole deer into jerky it's a waste in my eyes. So much good protein gone to waste at the processer just to say I shot a"big" deer.
 

Muleman

Active Member
Messages
225
Are you sure those you give it consume the meat you gift to them? Nothing wrong with your decision but turning a whole deer into jerky it's a waste in my eyes. So much good protein gone to waste at the processer just to say I shot a"big" deer.
I hear what your saying, they get it cut and wrapped and I doubt they say they wanted if they didn’t.

I love jerky it’s a great use of deer meat.

There is just better game meat than mule deer and I am fortunate to harvest some of the better meat so I can pass on my mule deer.

Like I said I hunt for mature animals but, I do enjoy the hunt and the kill.
 

Muleman1

Active Member
Messages
858
I likely would have shot the buck. My goal is always a mature respectable animal for the area. I don’t shoot for mule deer for meat since I don’t like their meat. I love good euro mounts, and I do like pulling the trigger. He is a nice solid buck but body does look young. If your happy going home broke which I have done many times then passing is good choice. If your a die hard trophy hunter then passing was the right choice. I’m a pseudo trophy hunter, I won’t shoot dinks but I will shoot any mature deer regardless of score
Hey nice name by the way
 

rmanwill

Long Time Member
Messages
5,235
Good looking buck. I would say great for you on what ever you choose. Everyone is out hunting for different reasons. Some for the horns, some for the meat and some just to be out in gods country with a tag in their pocket. just in case something trips their trigger!!!

For me it is about the over all hunt and enjoyment of spending time in the hills with friends and family, good food and enjoyable days and nights. Filling a tag is personal preference and a bonus to the overall experience.
 

BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
3,300
Everyone seems to think that deer need one more year or two before they are takers. Others think that at the end of the hunt you should take one for the time spent. The question this time is, If the buck is not a taker and you have not found a better one, do you shoot him as a meat buck on the last day? I found this deer and had the opportunity to watch him for a few days and elected to pass. Some say I should have shot.View attachment 19053
If you can pass bucks like this, you should stop hunting. If this guy doesn't get your blood pumpin, nothing will. 😄😄😄
 

bodhi

Member
Messages
74
Someone is going to shoot the hog next year and thank you for passing it. I'm assuming you've shot bigger so good for you for passing. I passed a really nice buck in Illinois this year and had doubt for a few days afterward. Went home with my tag and i'm ok with it.....sorta.lol
 

jims

Very Active Member
Messages
2,320
It doesn't happen too often but I've eaten a few tags over the years. I try to research and scout super hard which usually pays off. It's always nice to have a #1, 2, and 3rd+ choices available in case one doesn't work out. I usually go into every hunt with a game plan and often set standards according to what I've seen in past years, seen while scouting, etc.

A lot can happen once a season opens. Other hunters pushing bucks and bulls out of an area, horrible weather conditions. full moon, crunchy snow, no rut activity...you name it...anything can happen!

My preference is to keep my standards high. If I sip tag soup at the end I know I did everything possible for success.

I know a lot of guys wait years and years to draw high demand tags. Some guys panic and shoot the first decent buck, bull, ram, billy, etc they see. It happens to the best of us but if you look at a rack or mount after the fact and aren't excited you may have been better off waiting.

Obviously, as the saying goes, "you can't eat antlers and horns" but they sure are exciting to look at! If you toss a rack into a pile of other antlers and the buck isn't something special you may want to re-think why you hunt. It's also awesome to savor the meat from that special animal you harvest. There's nothing like fresh-wild game meat!
 

Togwotee

Long Time Member
Messages
5,229
If everyone could survive without shooting dinks for a couple years they wouldn't have to shoot dinks anymore. if cattlemen were like hunters all you would be able to buy is veal and it would be $60 a pound because like a dink buck there's no yield to them.

Hunters simply aren't the brightest or most disciplined bunch .
 

heywouldya

Active Member
Messages
707
That is a really good buck in a lot of zones nowadays. I respect the fact that you wanted something bigger and passed on him. I did the same thing on a hard to draw, Arizona elk tag. If it's not what you want, let him live.
Cool video, thanks for sharing
 
Messages
39
I believe if you pass or shoot a deer is completely up to the tag holder. Every hunt and every deer means something different to every person. Everyone likes big deer but not everyone is a big deer Hunter. For me on a general tag that deer better duck, on a limited draw tag I’d pass him
 

Gator

Long Time Member
Messages
17,172
Alot of times those big one's go off by themselves after the rut and end up being Lion food, Not enough eyes to watch out.
 

N_Corey

Active Member
Messages
445
That’s a pretty nice buck. I’d have trouble passing him on anything but a few hunts that I’ll probably never draw.
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
Messages
10,048
I have never shot a "meat" buck, but this past year I certainly considered it. Didn't end up doing it though.
All out of deer meat now.
 

Dang big

Active Member
Messages
152
For the last few years I have been passing bucks only to watch them get shot I sometimes wonder if I should have just enjoyed them myself??????
 

inthrut

Member
Messages
36
Good on you for not pulling the trigger.... Some people just kill to kill. Good to see there are others out there thinking along the same lines, hoping he'll be back next year and a bit little bigger.
 

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