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Joined: 07/03/2006
Posts: 232
Mature buck sightings

How many 3.5 year old 16 inch inside spread 8 point or better bucks did you see while hunting this season? Your typical 100 - 110 inch Whitetail buck or a better specimen.

How many did you see this season of this criteria or better and how many days did you spend in the field to experience these sightings? Please do define public land /private land hunt club or private lease. As well include state of these sightings.

This information will be compiled to provide a reccomondation for the SC GA for the future deer laws of SC. Thanks for your help.

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Mature buck sightings

Since you are trying to aquire this info for South Carolina Hat you may wish to post this in the "southern US" section bud

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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
Posts: 2603
Mature buck sightings

I can tell you what I saw, but I don't think it will help you there.
This year was about 10% of what it usually is like normally Brick Wall,)

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Location: novascotia
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 682
mature buck sightings

How could you tell the age and know the measurement of the antlers on the hoof or were these dead animals please satisfy my curosity

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Mature buck sightings

Its called estimation thenail...I can generally estimate a deers age and rack size in the field if I had a decent look at it, as can most ethical hunters that have learned how to manage their deer herds. You can tell from Body characteristics such as the length of the muzzle, the sway in the back...the pot belly...The shoulders higher in the front than the hips in the back...Things like that...And if your in the woods enough you can learn to estimate a rack as well..Its not difficult to learn these things.

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Joined: 07/03/2006
Posts: 232
Mature buck sightings

First off thanks for the replies fellas keep em coming.

I am looking for non SC hunter input. To help you understand what i am up to read on.

Secondly it will help me immensely. Heres why. In the state of South Carolina we are currently under a set of regulations that 1 divides the state between the upstate where the DNR sets the game laws and the Low Country where the General Assembly sets the laws.The upstate has a rather classic set of game laws bag limits and seasons that coincide with many other states deer management strategies. The low country however has a very liberal bag limit ( 24 does + 4 bonus tags and unlimited buck harvest) and long seasons that begin and end with rifle hunting over bait. This portion of the state is classically owned by the politicians of our state and they have set the game laws to promote commercial hunting, non resident interest through liberal bag limits and long seasons. The result is high lease and land prices and a commerical interest that is very economically please to private land owners. Of course a landowner with ample ground can over rule the law set his own limitations and still have quality hunting for mature bucks through sheer acreage and personal restraint.

The trouble with this system if the trade off is the quality of the hunting and the quality of the deer. From over pressure to over kill of bucks this state is bar none one of the worst trophy deer hunting states in the nation. Furthermore with the current regulation , the only folks priviladged to have quality trophy hunting are those that can afford to own or lease very large expanses of land that allow them to manage a herd and actually get away from the regulation they themselves set.The only way to great hunting in other words is to be privatized. The common man has been left out as well as the small land owner who cannot overcome the neighbors who are cut loose with ridiculously liberal laws.

The mindset has been sold to the general popualtion for years that SC as a whole is not conducive to trophy deer and that manipulating laws seasons and bag limits that would promote a more classic approach to quality deer management wont work and in effect would hurt the common mans shots at great and ample hunting opportunity. Its a sell out of snake oil proportions. Why do I say this, because I have been a part of several pieces of land that with proper management we were able to consistantly produce trophy class deer of PY min and far better. I have seen the potential.

A common rebuttal to, we could have great hunting as well as trophies too is to say," our deer do not have the potential to be trophy class". Hence why my question deals with a buck that any ground can grow in the 100-110 inch range. The question seeks mature buck opportunity and how many hours of effort goes into getting a view of one. We all know, that to have a true representation of just what a deer can grow on his head he has to have age and nearly any buck can achive that in 3.5 years.It is my goal to show several things.

1) that the overharvest of bucks in this state rapes that opportunity

2) that states with lower buck limits produce more mature buck sightings

3) that states with shorter and weapon specific seasons also reduce overall pressure and increase sighting

4) that currently states with these types of bag limits and seasons have public ground that many times matches the productivity of some of SC's best private ground.

5) And this is the biggie that SC hunters have been sold a rotten egg and have been brainwashed into thinking a set of regulations that favors only a few is robbing them of the potentially great deer herd and deer hunting that could be easilly be had here.

These tallies will be compiled and weighed against each states regulation and compared back against our states responses. I will compile this information and it will be presented to several SC politicians for consideration prior to an upcoming session where bag limits and other season related issues are to be brought to the table. As well this will be made available to SC hunters to read for themselves so they can open their eyes to just what a raw deal they have been getting. Simply put they dont know what they are missing.

I hope that helps you to understand where I am going with this and why I need your participation. Thanks for all your help!

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Mature buck sightings

Ok...Now I get it...You are wanting to do a state to state comparison...(Im good at shortening aint i) Well I have 4 friends in PA that all got 125+ class deer this year. Pa, a few years ago, Adopted the 3 on one side antler restriction (4 in some counties) and it has GREATLY improved the quality of the bucks. They also just have a 1 buck limit with Doe tags applied for you can get 3 if you are lucky. They do have special regulation areas where you can apply for doe tags untill they run out of the allotted tags. One friends Buck was 162 green score which in Pa a few years ago would have been conciderd a MONSTER. Now Im not saying its a common buck but its not unheard of now because of the new restrictions. Pa's deer herd is improving by leaps and bounds but it still needs work from the past stupidities of the PGC. I am in total agreement with you that SC has some stupid Bag limits and they are basicly destroying the deer herd there.

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Mature buck sightings

Woops forgot to mention....2 bucks were on Private land...The other 2 (the one with the 162 rack on it included) were taken off of PGC state game lands up on Mt Gretna. 3 were taken with Bow...The Big Boy was taken with Muzzleloader

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Joined: 09/15/2006
Posts: 35
Mature buck sightings

Here in Michigan our bag limit is not as liberal as southern states but the same problems are here. Mature buck sightings are very rare as most bucks are harvested at 1.5 years of age. We have a definate culture here where its almost acceptable for a hunter to harvest as many bucks as he can as long as someone tags them. Im not kidding about this, as a full time taxidermist and avid deer hunter i know almost all the avid deer hunters in my area. Our limit is two bucks with the only antler restiction being one must have four points on one side. Most guys here are old school and depise shooting does yet they will kill every buck they can. Its like there's no fear factor at all here and its so easy just to shoot first and worry who will tag later. We have our guys here who are real efficiant deer killers and every year bag 3-10 bucks and most are 1.5 years old. They just dont know or care about following the bag limit here. I know i used to be just like that myself until i grew up and realized that i did not have to kill a deer on every hunt to enjoy hunting. Sounds like similar problems in S.C. One part of me would like to see total QDM and make all small bucks illegal. But another part of me believes if the guys here would at least obey the bag limit then new hunters or occasionally succesfull could still harvest a buck of any size and enjoy the hunt without worring over being scrutinized over the size of their deer. My perfect world probably cant exist yet here as there are far too many selfish hunters who have the old i better shoot them all or someone else will attitude. My advice to any who are tired of this problem is to never quit trying to better yourself. There's so much to enjoy in the world of hunting, set your own goals and above all else respect your states game laws. And remember if you think your games laws are too liberal then step back and harvest less. Hunters ultimatlely are the ones who pull the trigger and you do have some say in what deer are harvested in your area. Sorry to make this so long but its a very important issue to me too.

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Location: novascotia
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 682
mature buck sightings

This fall I shot a 9 point buck which was a good sized deer . My son shot a buck the same size or maybe a touch bigger . The antlers on his buck were only 5 inches long . This confuses me to be able to tell how old each deer would be His was no spikehorn . I called up a 4 pointer with my other son and you could tell that that deer was no where near the size of the 2 my other son and I got . We didn't harvest the 4 pointer

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Mature buck sightings

Ok thenail I will try to explain this as easily as possible. #1 you dont judge a deer's age by its rack as this can be highly deceptive. Ive seen 2 1/2 year olds sporting a NICE 8 point and then some 5 year olds with 6 points. In live field judging of age you look at several things on the deer other than the rack. #1 is Muzzle length. On a buck, the head gets larger and the muzzle gets shorter with age. After seeing many deer in the woods you will come to notice this. #2 is body size. The older the BIGGER. And older mature buck's front shoulders at the spine will be a little bit higher than the hips at the spine, sorta like a bulldog's stance. #3 there will be a slight sway in the back and a lil more "gut" hanging, kinda "pot bellied" on a 5 year old or more. You will also notice a difference in aggression and body stance in the older more experianced buck. Now on a downed deer the best way to judge a deer's age is the Jaw length and teeth wear. Hope this helps you

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