This season during the Kentucky gun season I caught sight of a buck chasing does from my stand. At first glance I thought he might be a shooter so I got prepared. As he chased the does closer and then stopped close to my tree stand I could see that he didn't have as much antler as I'd originally thought and actually had a deformed rack atop his big, mature body.
I lowered my rifle and then began thinking as he slowly moved away. There was a buck with obvious bad genetics chasing does right under my nose. A big mature buck breeding and not really what we'd want to see rack-wise on future generations. What should I do? Only have one buck tag in Kentucky; should I use it on this undesirable?
Well, I hemmed and I hawed for a good two minutes as he slowly moved away, unaware of my presence. Well, I finally made my decision, raised my Marlin .375 and used my lone buck tag on this guy. He turned out to be a nice mature buck of at least 3.5 and perhaps even 4.5 yrs old. Look closely at the close-up we had of him on our trail camera. He has a big thick neck, a rounded belly and drooping lower neck, all sure signs he had some age on him.
That ended my Kentucky buck hunting for the year, but did supply a good bit of venison. I'd estimate him at right around 200 lbs on the hoof and even the butcher commented on how big a body he had. I'm still not totally happy with what happened as this area hold some super deer. My Buddy killed a 150" here two years ago and I shot a big doe last year that went 148 lbs dressed. That's the potential we have in this private area.
Any thoughts? Would you have done the same thing? It still makes me wince knowing that I spent that much for my out of state license and lost out on another week of gun hunting looking for the good size deer we typically take there.
Well?? Whatcha think?