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Thread: Smash or Pass?

  1. #1
    Just starting out

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    Default Smash or Pass?

    With the lack of new threads appearing on the board as the gun season approaches, I wanted to get a discussion going.

    I was curious if everyone/anyone has a pass/shoot criteria for their hunts? Does it depend on what property is being hunted? Does it depend on Buck to doe ratio? Does it depend on size of body? Size of rack? If itís brown, is it down? What variables (if any) are considered in making this decision?

    I prefer meat over antlers and I am typically inclined to shoot anything other than a fawn as I donít usually see a whole lot of #s on the properties I hunt.

    The attached pic is the first buck to appear on camera on my new property. Would it get a pass or would it be shot? And why?

    Thanks in advance for your input/comments and happy hunting!
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  3. #2
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    It would be a pass as it would be illegal to shoot in the middle of the night.

    Kidding aside.......everyone has a different criteria for taking a deer. If part of a group hunt it could be "if its brown its down" or "bucks only".
    If you crave venison for the table then take the first good size animal you encounter. If you are a trophy hunter then patience is key.

    You will get a hundred different responses as it should be!

  4. #3
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    Lol!!

    That was what the idea of the thread was to see the different answers (and why)?

    I’m mainly curious to see how many people pass on does, young bucks, or even 3-4 year old bucks to have a chance at something more mature.

  5. #4
    Has too much time on their hands

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    Buck only for me, bigger the better. Don't care about size of rack, I hunt for meat. Personal choice

  6. #5
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    my first year scouting, baiting and doing all myself, so ill be taking the first legal deer I see. friends have additional tags, so if we do get a doe, we will go after a larger buck after we have coming to the camera.

    first deer hunting I was taken along years ago, they shot a doe, and there was a buck following it maybe 10-15 steps back ... which makes it all more interesting.
    CCFR, OFAH Member
    Its all about the Journey

  7. #6
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    Over the years my criteria has changed. Earlier years that deer would have definitely been a smash along with anything brown, now I try to be patient and hunt for more mature deer, for the reason now is that for me waiting for a more mature deer is for me more rewarding and that I might have gotten a little soft over the years

  8. #7
    Needs a new keyboard

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    My criteria change every year, depending on my situation and observations. I usually hunt alone, so that typically means I only have one tag available to me, and sometimes only a buck tag. If I didn't get a deer the previous season, I relax my criteria to increase my odds of filling the freezer. Back in the good old days when I could get more than one tag in my WMUs, I would fill the freezer first, then hunt until the end of December trying to get a larger buck. It's been several years now that extra tags are no longer available where I hunt.
    This year, I intended to shoot the first buck I could right behind my cottage during the archery season due to projects that I wanted to complete there this fall, and the lack of bucks showing up at another property where I do most of my deer hunting. Of course, I didn't hunt opening day of the archery season for various reasons, and my trail camera revealed that a buck showed up right on time while I was working. No bucks have shown up at the cottage since! So now I am making plans to hunt the rifle season at my main property, and maybe a bit at the cottage.

    Regarding the buck in the OP's photo, I would not pass on that deer. At the current point in my life, I don't have the luxury to hunt whenever I want, for as long as I want.

  9. #8
    Leads by example

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    I would shoot the deer in the picture. My goal is meat. I will take the first deer of reasonable size that comes into range.

  10. #9
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    I gun hunt with 5 other guys that only gun hunt so they want to fill their tags in that 5 days. Me, I can bow hunt before and after the gun hunt, Can rifle hunt up north, Muzzleloader in December and bow hunt after that until Jan 1st. So lots of time to fill mine.

    I only shoot 3.5 yr or older bucks now, I don't care if the other guys shoot 5 fawns, Its up to them. We go for 5 deer in the gun hunt and let me keep mine for later seasons.

    Saying that I have no problem if we fill all 6 tags during the first gun hunt, Just means more time for waterfowl!(which I'd rather do full time anyways!)

    Used my tag twice in the last 10 years, I really don't care about shooting small bucks or does/fawns anymore, Call me a trophy hunter, Which is pretty much am. Lol

    Sent from my SM-G781W using Tapatalk
    "If guns cause crime, all of mine are defective."

    -Ted Nugent

  11. #10
    Has all the answers

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    Most years, I only hunt deer for one week. During that week, I hunt hard all day long hoping to cross paths with a big buck. If possible, I’ll hold onto my tag for as long as I can while trying to maximize my time in the woods. Our group no longer tries to fill every tag, rather 2 or 3 for processing into pepperoni and sausage. If, by mid-week, the hanging pole is light then I’ll lower the hammer on a younger buck. Conversely, if we have a couple hanging, then I’ll hold out for a real big one; even if that means that I go home with my tag in my pocket.

    As far as the buck in the picture goes, I might shoot it later in the week.
    A true sportsman counts his achievements in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport. - S. Pope

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