13 replies [Last post]
Offline
Moderator
Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
Field Judging Deer (feature article)

July 2010 Feature Article:

Field Judging Deer

Some might call it buck fever. In my opinion it was just plain misjudgment. Sure, my heart races the same as the next guy when I get a big buck in my crosshairs, but I've usually got it well under control. No, this particular instance was a result of poor judgment and a split decision. Too many variables and too little time, that's what this one was all about. Had I been afforded another 30 seconds to evaluate the buck's antlers, I'm certain my decision to hit the switch would have been stifled. 

Have you ever experienced ground shrink? You know, that heartbreaking moment after the shot when you realize your buck isn't as big as you thought he was. Hunt long enough and it will eventually happen.   Read more...

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5774
I've never experienced ground

I've never experienced ground shrinkage, cause I've never shot that big a deer..... Wink

 

Nice article......

ManOfTheFall's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Dover, Ohio Tuscarawas County
Joined: 07/07/2010
Posts: 2127
   I had it happen a couple

   I had it happen a couple years back. It was early November. Deer movement was great. Bucks and does were cruising by my stand all morning. I hadn't seen the buck I was looking for yet though. I went through a rattling sequence. I was sitting in an oak ridge just off of some standing corn. As soon as I got done rattling I heard something charging at me through the corn. I knew this must be the moment. I saw what looked to be a big bodied deer bust out of the corn and he was heading right for me. I did not get a good look at his rack Hust as he about got to me I forgot I left my antlers on my lap. They fell and clanged against my tree stand. The buck stopped and I aimed and let the arrow fly. I knew he was the tall racked buck I was looking for. After I seen I hit him good it hit me. It wasn't him. It was the tall racked 2 1/2 year old I wanted to give 2 more years. But, it was done and he was down 30 yards from where I shot him at. I'm still proud of the buck I shot as I am with all of my animals. It just goes to show when the heat of the moment is on you never know what might happen.

groundhog's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: zone 20 Saskatchewan
Joined: 08/14/2009
Posts: 772
Good article

I have spent countless hour looking and reading about antlers and trying to learn what to look for in a good rack and every year before I head out I spend a little time and read over some of the info I have. There is nothing worst than seeing a deer on the ground and thats not the one you spent all the time looking for all summer!

SOBLE's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/12/2010
Posts: 162
I've never experienced ground

I've never experienced ground shrinkage. Nothing I have shot has been big enough to be disappointed in.Laugh

hawkeye270's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
I have learned to be a fair

I have learned to be a fair judge of trophy quality in most of the animals that I hunt. I have not quite figured out how to hold off on an average 4X4 mule deer in hopes of finding a 180 incher. I guess I haven't taken enough animals to be at that point yet. 

Critter done's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 09/02/2010
Posts: 373
It Happens

I know some guys that it's happened to. Luckly not me. 

ArrowHunter's picture
Offline
Location: Greenville, Michigan
Joined: 09/10/2010
Posts: 37
Just the opposite

I once took a large bodied buck that had a funny looking mal-nurished rack.  When I shot him at about 12 yards away he appeared to be a three point (1X2 spike).  After I recovered him, I was surprised to find that he had four other points that were about one inch long.  That made him a 5X2. Wow, seven points,  when I thought I only had three, what a bonus!  

gatorfan's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Chula Vista, CA
Joined: 10/01/2010
Posts: 465
They're all trophies to me!

I don't have the opportunity to see the types of bucks that are mentioned in the article because I only hunt our local mountains in Southern California.  Therefore, I'm not really concerned with how many pont the antlers will "score".  I know that it is extremely important to a lot of outfitters that are being paid big bucks to put their clients on big......bucks Whistling , and there are hunting parties and clubs that use the point system to either manage or set a bar for their harvest criteria, but personally, I just try to harvest a buck that obviously has been around for a couple of years and therefore has had a chance to breed. 

My trophies so far include:  my very first buck which is a nice 3X3 that I harvested in Southern Colorado, my first archery buck, and then last years forkie that I got with my boys alongside.  I'm not sure that I would want to get any of them scored because that might deminish the trophy-ness that they have with me.

I do, however, really enjoy and dream that some day I I will get to hunt some bucks of the caliber that is mentioned in the article.  Shoot, I would love to walk up on a deer that I harvested and find out that he is 160"!lol

ManOfTheFall's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Dover, Ohio Tuscarawas County
Joined: 07/07/2010
Posts: 2127
A trophy is in the eye of the

A trophy is in the eye of the beholder. I would not call all of my deer trophies, but most of them I do. I even call the doe's trophies on most occassions. Even though I may not call all of them trophies doesn't mean I am any less proud of them. I'm the one that put my time, practice, and dedication into choosing everything I need to get the job done to choosing my own stand sites. Be proud of what you shoot no matter what!!!!!

hawkeye270's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
That is a great point Man of

That is a great point Man of the Fall. Trophies are in the eyes of the beholder. There is no reason why a doe or anything else can not be considered a trophy. Still, field judging is a great skill to have. I like trying to learn how to do it for different species. I am fair to good at judging mule deer and elk but I need a lot of work at judging everything else.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Mule Deer Field JudgingCOHunter709/06/2011 10:51 am
Field Judging Sheepjraper2501/28/2006 09:20 am
Field judging moose fire51792006/26/2011 10:17 am
Judging antelopeKywcat110/04/2004 13:24 pm
Field JudgingFestus607/11/2009 22:18 pm