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MnMonarch

Infatuation w/ Antlers

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Why oh why oh why... What is everyones infatuation with antlers.

Why, if you have a doe tag, would you shoot a small buck over a doe? So many deer hunters do it and I don't know why. Well, I do know why but will never understand it.

We do it with fish, we practice and preach replicas, selective harvest, catch and release etc etc.. But when it comes to deer hunting and the subject comes up you get a bunch of guys that will group together and say they are just meat hunters. If your just meat hunters save a few bucks (dollars) and a few cold mornings and go to the super market. I just don't get it.

>>>>------------->

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If your just meat hunters save a few bucks (dollars) and a few cold mornings and go to the super market. I just don't get it.

>>>>------------->

I didnt know you could go out and buy venison at Cub.

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I am a true meat eater, i only put in for cow elk, we cannot hunt does in AZ. I have never figured out why folks hunt bull elk, only to take the horns and leave the meat? This is such a waste not only because the meat could be used by less fortunate but it is a waste of a resource that will take many years to recreate. I pushed this year to the az gfd commissioners to lower the doe tags from a proposed 400 to 200. I want zero but it is now a social thing as kids can only hunt does.

the issue i take is that the gfd and or dnr says that they manage by hunting does however it takes two to tango. So why not manage using both s e x e s? Sorry to get on my soap box.

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Originally Posted By: MnMonarch
If your just meat hunters save a few bucks (dollars) and a few cold mornings and go to the super market. I just don't get it.

>>>>------------->

I didnt know you could go out and buy venison at Cub.

Then shoot a doe. Or eat steak. grin

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Are you only argueing shooting a small buck over a doe, or are you saying that you will never understand the infatuation with antlers in general?

I would also take a doe. I love the meat, and if I shoot a small buck I can't hunt for a big one!

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Maybe you should answer your own question, MnMonarch. Your post asks the question, "What is everyone's infatuation with antlers?" Then you go on to suggest that meat hunters should take does only.

A person that is strictly a meat hunter isn't infatuated with antlers. Trophy hunters are. By your own posts, my guess is that you prefer to concentrate your hunting efforts on a nice high scoring buck. There's your infatuation.

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The infatuation with antlers has been around a very long time. Part of it stems from the misconception that controlling does is the only way to control populations. In order to control populations you have to manage the herd.

Those who are truly meat hunters will shoot the number of animals that they are allotted by law and go home happy.

Those who are trophy hunting for big racks is way different those who have been conditioned to think that a small buck is still better than shooting a doe. I've had guys tell me they passed on does to shoot "that little forkhorn/spike" or "basket rack" buck. They are proud they shot a buck. Now, many of them turn around and whine about not seeing bigger deer and those people are uneducated about how to manage a herd for both balance and antler size.

I am truly a meat hunter. I've never even taken an antlered buck and its not for a lack of trying. I've been hunting deer for 15yrs and I've taken about 10 deer. Maybe this will be the year for me. I am interested in getting a bigger buck, but that will be seperate from my meat hunting ambitions. However, just cause I shoot a big buck does not mean I iwll not keep the meat. I process it myself and will use it wisely. I haven't bought beef of any kind from the store in almost 3 yrs now and I like it that way.

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well said powerstroke. I remember when I hunted with my dad and we would pray for a doe tag because it was that much easier to fill the freezer with meat. I am a meat hunter and would much rather shoot a doe that a small buck and if a monster buck presents its self in my sights I will take that.

Infactuation with antlers is all testosterone/a guy thing/bragging rights/

all the TV shows that well almost all that are out there it seems thats whats its all about antlers and how big they are. How many times is this line used in TV he's a shooter.

When hunting started it wasnt for antlers it was for meat and it didnt matter if the deer had horns or not.

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The infatuation with antlers, for me, is not the antlers themselves but what they represent.

If you can take a buck with a big rack you've taken a mature and very cautious animal. Unless you just stumble into it from dumb luck or take one off a game farm, such a kill requires a lot of scouting, time spend in the woods, knowledge of your quarry, and patience. Taking such an animal is the culmination of all the challenges faced by the hunter.

You don't get that same type of satisfaction popping a doe. You get a different type of satisfaction, and one that I also find important. You get the satisfaction of knowing you've put meat in the freezer to help your family eat during the winter season. More autumns than not, it's this type of hunting I've done, putting in meat for the winter.

My fave would be (I've attempted this once) to get an all-season license and use the bow to pop two does off someone's alfalfa field in September for the freezer, since I'm predominantly a meat hunter. And then take the remaining tag into gun season and hold off unless I can find and outwit one of those old mossyhorn swamp bucks.

That way I get two deer in the freezer, and if I can find a trophy in November, I've got the meat for sausage/burger/sticks and the antlers to put on the wall to remind me for the rest of my life of a great hunt.

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Quote:
You don't get that same type of satisfaction popping a doe.

Yeah I guess not if you are popping them off alfalfa fields. If you hunt forest land sometimes that old doe is just as tough as a old "swamp buck". Not only do they have all the senses that the buck has, but they also have maternal instinct involved.

I get the same satisfaction out of harvesting any deer. I guess it does not have to be a 160"+ deer for me to feel like it was not "dumb luck".

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very well said Steve. I'm first and foremost a meat hunter - I rely on game, fish and my garden for healthy, cheap food.

But I'd definitely love to shoot a big buck for exactly the reasons you laid out - its special to outwit such a crafty animal.

Sidenote - saw the two biggest bucks of my life this week on the Sauk River. One 8 or 10 point with a huge inside spread runs across the river, and we stop and stare. We start saying how massive he is when another big one in velvet steps out onto the bank. he must have been 12 or 14 points, and his rack was huge and vertical, the absolute tallest rack I have ever seen. Very symmetrical too. Just dwarfed the other buck which would have been a trophy in most people's books.

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Personnally, I'd rather see a few deer each day rather than only one for the season, big buck or not. When numbers are low, I'd take the small buck and leave that doe you see with twins each year. Now, when numbers are up like they HAD been, I'd pass on that buck.

Meat Hunter: doesn't buy hormone laiden beef only eats harvested elk and deer, all unused meat scraps feed the huskies nothing wasted.

Now, back to the topic: First of all, hunting is not a competition. I read tons of hunting mags, the articles that start off with Shooter or the racks score I often skip over. I dislike the word SHOOTER, only the hunter evaluating the situation at hand knows what shot should be attemted. No marginal shot because he's a shooter! Also, bucks and bulls deserve better than being reduced to a number. What would your wife think if you always referred to her as a number? Honey, you used to be an 8, now that you're past your prime your rack just doesn't score as high.

More goes into determining what is a trophy than just rack score. Go back to that small bull a few years ago, not impressive but when I saw that perfect Y from an 1 1/2" Rocky on both sides of his heart, he'll always be a trophy!

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Yep, Wood, Pwrstroke, and Steve pretty much summed up what we are trying to do in our hunting areas. We love venison and eat a ton of it a year, we just try and educate the rest of our party to pass on the small bucks. Everything else is fair game, big does, little does, big bucks, just stay away from the forkies and baskets. Take as many deer as you are alotted. Its pretty simple really. When it finally takes hold, will still fill our freezers with deer but maybe one or two of us might actually shoot a buck with a nice rack.

Shooting a doe is very satisfying and I am thankful and humbled every time I do. Thankful that I was able to harvest the deer an humbled to know that I just ended the life of a beautiful animal, my favorite wild animal. With that said, I have taken one large buck in my life time, and I put in hundreds of hours on stand and doing the scouting and prepwork that summer. Actually, I have bowhunted for the last 12 years, but, I have become passionate about it the last three years and tripled my time in the field, and I have went 1 for 3, but man, that one time, well, it was glorious. One of the best days of my life,

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Steve,

Yes, well said. That's why I am foremost an archer. Firearm deer camp is as much about tradition as deer hunting. Actually its a break from my real season - archery. And gives the birds dogs a rest though they don't agree.

Truely believe that even if half the bucks out there were mature trophies, the average hunter lack the necessary combination of skills to take one without a tremendous about of luck and circumastance.

Last, surprised how many posts popped up while I was typing my last one, with work interruptions and all.

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Quote:
You don't get that same type of satisfaction popping a doe.

I get the same satisfaction out of harvesting any deer. I guess it does not have to be a 160"+ deer for me to feel like it was not "dumb luck".

very well put Skitter. I know if I lose that feelin, heart pounding excitement,I might as well quit hunting. the only thing that gets the heart pounding more with excitement will be sons first deer be it a doe or a buck.

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Bruledrifter,

Thanks! Hope you're not sitting back down after my last post...Not claiming to be a great hunter either, just know how tough it is take that big ol buck! Obviously been pondering those other thoughts along time...

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LD,

I've voiced my opinions on similar topics like this in the past. The way you put it was exactly how I feel about it.

Competition and scores are for football not deer hunting.

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Anyone notice how most pics of hunters with their kill used to be a group photo of the hunters with all the deer together, and now it is usually just pics of the big buck and the hunter who shot him.

I guess my infatuation with antlers is limited to when I am hunting in lottery areas. Without a antlerless tag, the deer must have antlers to be legal.

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When we hunt, we begin the season looking to score some meat but once I've filled my tag, I won't use someone else's tag just to get meat. That's pretty much the way we all do it except for the young 'uns in the group.

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I think what happens is the majority of rifle hunters are out for two days and that is it. They have a little buck walk by they are going to shoot it and fill there tag. They are done for the season and get to sleep in on Sunday. They don't have the conviction or passion for the sport that many of us do.

For the record I hunt state wide and fill as many personal tags as the DNR will let me. My buck tag has not been filled 6 out of the last 9 years

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I don't think you can compare passion and conviction with the ability to put time in the field. Whether it's work, family, distance needed to travel, or choice of weapon not everyone can hunt bow through muzzle season.

But yes, if you can only hunt a weekend or two for whatever reason you're probably more likely to take what is available.

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