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My first of the year...

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Kickboxer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2020 at 16:05
Definitely poor mineral conditions around this area... I have 4 bucks coming in, 2 pretty big ones, with broken antlers.  The rut is definitely kicking in, lots of scrape marks on their hides, and the broken antlers means there has been some "contesting" for females.  I don't think I can afford to "mineralize" all the deer in this county.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2020 at 19:17
Broken antlers isn't necessarily a sign of poor mineral content in your soil and forage. Bucks can get pretty violent with their fighting, and it's pretty common to see a lot of broken antlered bucks during late season, pretty much everywhere WT deer are found.
Ted


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2020 at 08:28
However, the antlers, of even the bigger bucks, are thin.  The really big buck that seems to have fared well in the fighting, has no breaks.  One big buck, with a thin, weak looking set of antlers, has most of one side broken off.  He is at least as old as the other big buck, antlers are about 1/2 the thickness... genetics, nutrition... just not producing much mass.  
Fully aware that bucks fight and fight hard and that antlers break, but these guys just don't really have much of a rack.  One out of about 6 bucks that seems to have a "normal" set of antlers.  Some of the younger bucks coming up seem to be faring better.  If they make it through the next 6 days, will see how they do next year.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2020 at 18:32
Sitting in a stand last night, 3 minutes before shooting time ended... the "king of the forest" walked out and stood right in front of me.  He was so beautiful, I could not bring myself to shoot.  I was amazed...10 pointer, perfect shaped rack, sleek, looked like a sculpture... powerful and majestic.  May he make many babies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeltFed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2020 at 10:54
And some bubba will shoot him a week after the season ends.
Life's concerns should be about the 120lb pack your trying to get to the top of the mountain, and not the rock in your boot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sgt. D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2020 at 11:47
It is a good feeling to let a trophy walk. I do it often but, the best of the best I usually won't. Partly for the reason BF said. I have a deer mounted out of love and respect of the animal. A true top end trophy I will take. As I appreciate the life and cunning of the animal that makes it to that level. And in respect of the amount of time and effort I invest in finding true trophies. If I can't succeed on occasion I think I would loose interest. I have 10+ mounts covering the 40+ yrs I have hunted. I could have 3X's that if had wanted to. Part of my joy of hunting these last 10 yrs has been watching bucks mature into true trophies. That does come with risk of poachers stealing some before they make 3yrs. But enough make it to be worth the discipline.
 
Salute!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote budperm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2020 at 07:21
Someone has discovered the gift of patience.....  Good for you Sgt!  It's a hard lesson to learn but the effort is well worth it!!!  

I'm growing my patience in my garden currently.  It is excruciating and painfully slow trying to develop cross bred plants....  No wonder Millennials are so enthralled with instant gratification... 
"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
--Thomas Jefferson



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2020 at 07:38
Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

And some bubba will shoot him a week after the season ends.

There is always that.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2020 at 07:43
Originally posted by Sgt. D Sgt. D wrote:

It is a good feeling to let a trophy walk. I do it often but, the best of the best I usually won't. Partly for the reason BF said. I have a deer mounted out of love and respect of the animal. A true top end trophy I will take. As I appreciate the life and cunning of the animal that makes it to that level. And in respect of the amount of time and effort I invest in finding true trophies. If I can't succeed on occasion I think I would loose interest. I have 10+ mounts covering the 40+ yrs I have hunted. I could have 3X's that if had wanted to. Part of my joy of hunting these last 10 yrs has been watching bucks mature into true trophies. That does come with risk of poachers stealing some before they make 3yrs. But enough make it to be worth the discipline.
 
Salute!
It is good to have a number of trophy deer to choose from.  Not so much around here. 
Last night, I saw one of the largest deer I've seen in this area... he is a spike, 4 or 5 years old... Looks like a cow.  No branch tines at all.  He's been around before, never this close.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeltFed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2020 at 07:51
I let a big 12 pointer go once because I was afraid he would wind up in an extremely difficult place to recover him from if he didn't drop in his tracks.
My neighbor killed him 2 days later. In season of course.
Life's concerns should be about the 120lb pack your trying to get to the top of the mountain, and not the rock in your boot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2020 at 08:30
A friend of mine and I were both hunting the same deer back in Texas, years ago.  He mailed me a picture and said "thought you needed a trophy".  I just said.."thank you".  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote budperm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2020 at 08:40
Now there is restraint!!!!  Weren't tempted to file an erroneous report with the local GW?!?! Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2020 at 18:51
Wasn't my land, Bud.  Hunting club... no game wardens ever came in there.  Had a "pasture rider" who was a former Texas Ranger... went to work there after being asked to leave the largest hunting club in East Texas, after being acquitted for shooting the flashlight out of a poachers hand, poacher didn't make it... 20 yards, 12 gauge 00-Buck... rider said he was just trying to shoot the light out... jury bought it.  You know you're in Texas when...
Overall, I prefer Texas, but their property taxes are 4.36 times Alabama property taxes.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2020 at 14:09
This guy came up in my yard today... didn't even get a chance to go to the stand.  He is in a place that I promised my wife, girls, and the deer that I would never shoot them.  As long as he is here, he is safe.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2020 at 15:13
Jeez Dan you have some nice looking deer, and so close to home too. I am envious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sgt. D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/08/2020 at 15:28
Is his left front injured?? Looks to be turned in or twisted. And seems to have most of his weight on the right.
Take care of Soldiers, Show em how its done and do it with em, Run to the Fight & and hold your ground! I die my men go home! If you're a NCO and this ain't you. GET OUT! GOD BLESS AMERICA!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 16:46
Originally posted by Dogger Dogger wrote:

Jeez Dan you have some nice looking deer, and so close to home too. I am envious.
You are invited.  Season ends tomorrow, but should have some nice ones next year.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 16:51
Originally posted by Sgt. D Sgt. D wrote:

Is his left front injured?? Looks to be turned in or twisted. And seems to have most of his weight on the right.

He was wounded right before gun season started.  He went completely nocturnal until I got that last photo of him.  He was out there at about midnight last night.  He healed up pretty nicely...still has a bit of a limp when just walking, but can move like lightening. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JGRaider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 19:01
Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

However, the antlers, of even the bigger bucks, are thin.  The really big buck that seems to have fared well in the fighting, has no breaks.  One big buck, with a thin, weak looking set of antlers, has most of one side broken off.  He is at least as old as the other big buck, antlers are about 1/2 the thickness... genetics, nutrition... just not producing much mass.  
Fully aware that bucks fight and fight hard and that antlers break, but these guys just don't really have much of a rack.  One out of about 6 bucks that seems to have a "normal" set of antlers.  Some of the younger bucks coming up seem to be faring better.  If they make it through the next 6 days, will see how they do next year.  


Could be a genetic trait, or the result of what they are eating, age, or a combo of such.    Not sure where you're hunting, but I've never seen a free range whitetail in the  TX Hill Country that was very massive.   By contrast, the whitetails in the TX Panhandle where I've been hunting for over 20 yrs have good mass given they are mature bucks, usually 34" worth or so, often times more, and long tined.    There is no substitute for age and groceries.   I also have seen from experience that where there are lots of deer, they are generally smaller than areas where they aren't so plentiful.    Same goes for mule deer.   We have killed mule deer bucks that are 7.5 yrs old + that have had 48+" of mass.  Same thing.....it has got to be a combo of genetics, groceries, and age. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 22:54
I hunted East Texas growing up.  Deer there were generally bigger than around here.  A buddy of mine, in East Texas, killed a 168 Boone and Crockett a few years ago and it was considered top of the medium range for the club he was hunting.  I've only hunted Axis in the Hill Country though I understand it produces the highest volume of white tailed deer taken in the state, never in the Pan Handle.  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of East Texas deer that are around the same size as the medium sized deer here, but the racks are generally thicker, more substantial... at least where I've hunted.  I've got a few really nice bucks coming in, but they are mostly young.  
In this area, they've reduced the doe numbers for the last few years... which I think is a huge detriment.  There are WAY too many does in this area.  
"Deer management" is a joke in this area.  When you have a "local breakfast cafe" where most of the diners are openly talking about how many deer they shoot at night or out of season, you know no one is paying attention.  
I had one of the local processors recently tell me "I'm not a game warden and I'm not callin' any". 
All that said, the deer population does seem to be improving...SLOWLY.  

It has always been interesting to me and my wife that the cattle in Texas really are bigger than the cattle here.  Probably better grazing.
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