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Musky Buck

Trophy Bucks ?

27 posts in this topic

I know most of us would like to see larger bucks in MN. I'm wondering what would be enough and how we'd get to a satisfying point having a half million Nov. 8th hunters,just this year went from 35,000 to 55,000 muzzleloader hunters and I'm unclear as to our bow hunting numbers. Also unclear is mortality, road kill, poaching, predation, I have heard of some bucks taken during the rifle/early antlerless season by mistake. Last years Outdoor News issues to me seemed like tons of mature bucks were taken, if you have the old ones look from bow season to mid-January, to me it was a staggering amount of dandies. This years issues have been much leaner although there were 4 or 5 B@C bucks in last weeks issue and a monster from Morrison county. I think a lot of hunters never report their parties success, mine doesn't, thousands don't. I'm very satisfied with the bucks in my area, but giving that more thought hardly anyone in my area would take an immature buck, even on the last night with 10 minutes to go. What's the answer ? I know it's not simple.

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Is it to in areas a loss of quality habitat ? Just thinking about our 200 pound woods we called it. We took a 200+ buck almost each year out of a 50 acre woods, why one liked it so much I'll never know but now there are 20 homes and no woods left. frown

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Most of the increase in the muzzy licenses was due to the elimination of the all-season license from last year. Did we have a 64% increase in muzzleloader hunters this year? I highly doubt it.

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I think the amount of quality cover is a huge factor. Where I hunt in Southern MN there isn't enough quality cover. Thus where I hunt it is very difficult for the bucks to get past 1.5 years of age unless people pass on them. Other parts of the state have more cover and the deer have a better chance.

I gun hunted in Buffalo Co WI for the first time this past year and I was amazed at how much more cover was available to the deer. Sure people do some managing and passing up on the smaller bucks but the small bucks also have a fighting chance over there because there is so much cover available.

Over in WI I saw at least 50 pictures of wall hangers at one check in station alone. All of those pictures were from this year bow + 4 days of gun season. My party missed 2 wall hangers and I let one go that will be a wall hanger next year.

I should clarify that to me a wall hanger is a 140+ class deer.

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Muskybuck, where do you hunt, I'd love to have land in an area where people have that mindset, I have seen over 50 bucks in the past 8 years and haven't had the urge to shoot a 1 of them. I have seen a couple of mature bucks during early archery, out of range though. I hunt in Todd county and the amount of cover there has increased tremendously. There has been an increase in corn planting vs. alfalfa, tree farms are now maturing and many old pastures have been allowed to go wild with the lack of cattle. With that said, no real change in the amount of decent bucks taken, at least that I've seen. I don't think many people understand how easy it would be to increase the amount of mature (3.5+) bucks, 2 years of NO buck harvest and all the yearlings are now mature and those rut crazy 2 year olds are at there prime.

Mike

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Interesting- I hear ya OO. I hunt 3 areas mainly, South of New York Mills and South of Wadena I have 2 areas. So I guess Ottertail and Wadena counties, rifle zone 240. I am satisfied with the amount of quality bucks in our area, I'm hearing a lack of quality cover and too many yearlings going down. my belief to is there is just fewer places for our bucks to survive everything that can kill them. I walked a single deer trail one winter and it crossed about 6 properties and I saw at least 7 deer stands were monitoring that 1 trail. It seems,almost every 20 acres seems to have a rifle stand on it I checked licenses sold in the 5 state area and excluding Wisconsin, way fewer licenses sold of course those states aren't as populated. I think another thing maybe a little is we have so much water in our state, our deer can't live below water and having over 10,000 lakes takes a lot of acreage away from deer habitat. I think it might be a whole lot of little things that go into it. 1 more gun weekend !

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My land we just bought is 40 acres in the middle of a lot of state forest in northern MN. I did not rifle or bow hunt there this year, and being it is our first year, we didnt do as well as hoped. We got 2-8 pts, nice, but not huge, and two does. And that is Bow, gun, and muzzy hunting. I hunted there 5 days, and didn't even see a deer.

In that area, it is thousands of acres of big cedar swanps with intermitent highground. There is more than enough cover for one or 100 of them big bucks, but it will be tough to find them.

My opinion on the quality buck numbers is there are a lot of people who do not know how to hunt deer, or hunt in general. They go out because it gets them out of the house, or whatever reason. They go out and shoot these deer, not knowing what they shot... There are a lot of dead deer ranging from fawns to little bucks, and the occasional monster you read of. The other contributor to that quality buck thing is that there are a lot of guys who have grown up shooting everything they see, and they will not change... again lots of little guys shot. Finally there are guys waiting for that big one, and do just that... wait.

There are a lot of people out there who just do not get the idea of quality management oer hunting. They never will, and a all doe seaon will not make it any better. There will always be hunters who will shoot whatever, whenever.

There are a lot of quality deer in this state, and a lot of monsters. I think MN has a lot of different terrain than the surrounding states. I believe there will be some record book bucks coming from the state in the next five years with all the advances in hunting technology. Just you wait...

I think, the hunters who want to be trophy hunters should manage their land for it, and hunt just there. Eventually you will get that monster buck, but it takes the right combonation of buck and doe so it may take a while. You hunt your trophy, and be proud that you did all the research and work to get him. This state will not ever be a quality buck state, because there are too many people out there for themselves, or that just don't care. And lord knows the DNR is of no help to this... but that is a whole other subject.

Thanks for letting me rant.

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MuskyBuck, I grew up in Hewitt (mom and stepdad still live there), there is some really good hunting north and west of there, I know a few guys that shoot some real nice ones every year around there. Swamp seems to be the key, they really hold tight after the shooting starts(late August for some people around there.) If I can sell my property I have up in Greenbush, I'll be looking for land around there. I hunt near Browerville now and the neighbors shoot everything, very frustrating with 8 years of passing on young bucks and not seeing any improvement.

Mike

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OO that is very frustrating. I have been hunting for 6 years now ever since I was old enough to. The first couple years I would shoot the first thing that I saw. But now I have shot enough deer where I am starting to look for bigger deer and wanted to talk to the rest of my hunting party about managment options. But there is two problems, one: my dad and uncle have grown up on eating deer( because it is cheaper and funner), they have been accustomed to shooting alot of deer to feed their families.

Two: both my dad and uncle are losing their eyesight. right now they are your typical stubborn Germans and wont buy good glasses so they cant see if a deer is a spike or fork if it is more then 40 yards away. they also cant tell which fawn is the smaller of the two if there are two fawns.

It also just so happens that I have been seeing the most deer the past few years out of anybody in my party. I feel obligated to shoot the deer I see because my dad and uncle might not see any and therefore not have any deer to eat.

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I think it comes down to habitat and amount of hunters. You can't tell me that every other state has buy in from all the hunters on QDM. I think they have better/more land and less hunters.

I think in the southern part of the state the deer numbers are not that high excluding SE of course. In our farming area every 30 acre woods get surrounded and pushed for 9 days. Any deer that busts out will get shot at. The northern part is so vast, that most people are happy to see a deer and take what they can some big, some small. The area with really good habitat and potential will produce the majority of the big deer. But now a lot of these areas are being shut off to the average hunter for trophy growing hunters. Which in turn condenses more hunters into less quality land, so they shoot what they can again.

I don't have the answer. I would be in favor of the heavily populated deer factories going to earn a buck, just to ensure some of the does get shot. Maybe that wouldn't help either??

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I hear ya on the "stubborn german" thing, grandpa and 2 uncles are the exact same way. That really sucks with them losing their eyesight though. Keep shooting does and fawns for meat, and do your best to let the little bucks go, but if your like me the little bucks are more numerous than does from the deer stand. As far as fawns go, if you are going to shoot them take the smaller one, the difference as far as meat goes isn't much and it's probably a doe fawn. QDM is a slow process in Mn, but I have seen a huge difference in my 15 years of hunting, the first time I told anyone I "passed" on a buck the general consensus was I got buck fever. As land gets passed down to the next generation people will take better look at a quality and healthy deer herd, which needs more mature bucks to pass on superior genes by way of competion. Yearling bucks should not be breeding does, in my opinion.

Mike

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I would have to disagree with you pumper317 when you said, "My opinion on the quality buck numbers is there are a lot of people who do not know how to hunt deer, or hunt in general. There are a lot of people out there who just do not get the idea of quality management over hunting. This state will not ever be a quality buck state, because there are too many people out there for themselves, or that just don't care." I think there are a lot more people out there than you think that know how to hunt. Not everyone that hunts is a trophy hunter, in fact, most are not. Personally, I prefer to let those little guys live, but I have no problem with my dad, uncles, cousins shooting whatever. They only hunt during the rifle season and aren't out there looking for the biggest rack to walk by, if one does then it's a bonus. They are looking for meat and having fun out in the woods with this great family tradition. They all know how to hunt, and are all very good marksmen, they just don't have the antler illness that so many of us do. To each his own, you can't eat horns, but they sure do look good on the wall.

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I just burns me that some people think they are better hunters just because they trophy hunt, it really get sickening.

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Amen to that!

The smug attitudes of the Trophy hunting crowd ( Aaahem, excuse me, I mean "Mature deer" hunitng crowd) will do them more harm then good in pushing their ego-drivin agenda to the masses!

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I just burns me that some people think they are better hunters just because they trophy hunt, it really get sickening.

I don't think I have heard anyone say they are better hunters because they trophy hunt. However hunting mature bucks is a lot more challenging, it takes a lot of work or a lot of luck to get one. Some hunters prefer to work for a chance at a trophy buck and some hunters hope to get lucky. I don't think one is better than the other, they just go about things different ways.

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Bruledrifter, most people that I know that pass on small bucks have never and will never consider themselves "better" hunters. I believe most of them are more patient, waiting for a mature buck rather than using there coveted buck tag on that forky that walks by on opening day of bow hunting. Most of us that are mature buck hunters also take more does than than most other hunters do. I know not everyone has the opportunity to hunt 20-30 days a season and therefore take whatever they can, but that shouldn't make you feel inferior. Like I said before, a healthy deer herd should include a good percentage of mature bucks, MN doesn't have that because of the high percentage of yearling bucks taken, I think it was 80% of the total (antlered)buck harvest. I'm curious what our "ego driven agenda is?" No matter the amount of QDM practiced Booners will never be easy to come by, deer farmers can't even raise a typical bigger than what Mother nature has provided.

Mike

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Bear55, I wasn't implying that all trophy hunters think they are better hunters. I made my comment regaurding a post which basically stated that if you are not a trophy hunter you don't know how to hunt and you are selfish and don't care about QDM. I know for a fact if my dad, uncles, and cousins could be as lucky as me and hunt mid Sept. thru Dec. 31 they would more than happily take a pass on certain deer. However, they are limited to 4 days of deer hunting each year, even though we have a 9 day rifel season they are unable to take time off work during the week so they can only hunt the weekends. They all love to eat vension so when they get in the stand its pretty much whatever gives them the first good shot opportunity wether it be a trophy, a fork, or a doe, and I can't fault them for that. They're just happy to get out in the woods, away from work, enojying time chasing the tasty critters with family and friends.

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i know i've personally became a much better hunter when i decided to let all little bucks walk and hold out for a big buck.

the amount of deer i've seen since then has probably tripled atleast....the amount of deer that have been all around me and right under my stand has been unbelievable...paying more attention to detail...seeing what i can and cannot get away with...observing deer for way longer...all that has made me a better hunter by far.....the scenery has been way better also...bucks mating does, bucks making scrapes,rubs and fighting, deer fighting over food, the list goes on.

i'd never even seen half of the stuff i've seen if i didn't pass on small bucks or shoot the first thing i see...all that equals experience.

i agree with pumper317 on the hunter part....alot of guys i know don't scent free shower or wash their hunting stuff with scent free soap, use any scent free or cover sprays, or use any sort of scent lock clothing....they get dressed and go grab their suit off the woodpile, start the truck or wheeler and walk through the exhaust, go get some gas, get a little on their hand and walk right through the oil stains on their way to go pay.

not many of them have seen big bucks moreless even shot one...on and around the same land i hunt...the young less aware deer still come around and get shot...which is fine if your just out to get any deer...but then they complain how there aren't much deer around and no big bucks lol.

everyone can get lucky but to put the odds more in my favor i go through greater extremes to improve my odds...which makes me a better hunter.

i still love being in the woods and enjoying tradition just as much if not more then the next guy.

when i say it makes me a better hunter i'm not saying it makes me better then you...but personally i know forsure i've became a better hunter.

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It is one of the challenges the DNR faces when managing our deer herd. Deer hunters come from a wide variety of people and they all have different levels of dedication and what deer hunting is to them. More and more I think we will start to see three groups. Those for QDM, those against it and those on the fence.

Right now I feel the non-QDM have the best of everything: no antler restrictions, hunting the peak of the rut, long seasons, and party hunting.

Many pro QDM people feel just making a few minor changes will help and we can meet somewhere in the middle without forcing a full statewise QDM program on those who don't want it. Moving the gun season out of the rut and eliminating party hunting, or at least eliminate party hunting on bucks would help. I also think forcing guys to use their buck tag on a button buck would ease the harvest of the fawn bucks and help the buck population overall. These aren't drastic changes but they could really help in the long run.

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i know i've personally became a much better hunter when i decided to let all little bucks walk and hold out for a big buck.

the amount of deer i've seen since then has probably tripled atleast....the amount of deer that have been all around me and right under my stand has been unbelievable...paying more attention to detail...seeing what i can and cannot get away with...observing deer for way longer...all that has made me a better hunter by far.....the scenery has been way better also...bucks mating does, bucks making scrapes,rubs and fighting, deer fighting over food, the list goes on.

i'd never even seen half of the stuff i've seen if i didn't pass on small bucks or shoot the first thing i see...all that equals experience.

i agree with pumper317 on the hunter part....alot of guys i know don't scent free shower or wash their hunting stuff with scent free soap, use any scent free or cover sprays, or use any sort of scent lock clothing....they get dressed and go grab their suit off the woodpile, start the truck or wheeler and walk through the exhaust, go get some gas, get a little on their hand and walk right through the oil stains on their way to go pay.

not many of them have seen big bucks moreless even shot one...on and around the same land i hunt...the young less aware deer still come around and get shot...which is fine if your just out to get any deer...but then they complain how there aren't much deer around and no big bucks lol.

everyone can get lucky but to put the odds more in my favor i go through greater extremes to improve my odds...which makes me a better hunter.

i still love being in the woods and enjoying tradition just as much if not more then the next guy.

when i say it makes me a better hunter i'm not saying it makes me better then you...but personally i know forsure i've became a better hunter.

I have to agree with everything said above. Guys who trophy hunt have to take their game to another level to be sucessful on a consistant basis. I am certainly not there yet but I learn new things every year and one of these year all of my hard work will pay off. Like they say when it comes to hunting mature bucks the harder you work and the smarter you hunt the luckier you get.

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I hear ya Guru, I don't know how many times I've heard the story of an inferior buck taken only to see a bruiser shortly after, my neighbor was gutting a 6 pt. youngster and I told him about a 16 pointer I saw 2 days before opener go past his stand,this on a Thursday,not sure he believed me,you can see his stand from the gravel road, he should've waited because following that 6 pt and doe was the monster which he spooked north and the next property over got him, 16 pt. 220 lbs, rack was unreal, I would be 10 bruisers fewer if I took the first buck I saw. About every 3 seasons if I see a buck trailing a doe it isn't long until the next buck shows up, a few times even a third buck on the same doe. I've learned a lot as well when you are determined to try for a big buck, you need to use all your tactics and patience and some years I burn my tag as well, but that's the price you'll pay and that's ok by me. Just because I spend 80 dollars on a deer license I don't feel it is owed to me to take one, Of course some luck helps but when you own property for 25 years and it keeps kicking out mature bucks, it isn't luck that they are there and it isn't skill on my part, it is what it is and I know for next year already that a few mature bucks will call my property home since 1983 they have and in 2008 they have. Things just need to come together right. Little quick trivia, you know how you hear well I'm taking them out of the herd, inferior rack or don't want em breeding. Would you consider a 3 1/2 year old 200 pound dressed 20 inch spread thick 8 pointer a good buck ? That deer was a 1 horned Y buck in year one, a pretty scrubby 2 1/2 year old 6 pointer, and then shot as the 8 pointer I stated. The only way I have a history on the deer is because of what looked liked road rash on his front right shoulder, a scrape of missing hide that grew back oddly so we knew it was the same deer. I now know why he might have had only the 1 antler in its first year, with the road rash, it makes sense to me now. smile

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I was a little ticked at the comments that I don't know how to hunt them as well. I've gotten a few big bucks that would be pretty nice in most hunter's books and I've bow/gun hunted for 27 years. I do know that I won't get a trophy if there isn't one in the area I'm hunting, no matter how good of a hunter I am. If my IR cameras don't show me a good buck while they are out for six months then I'm quite sure there is not a big buck out there on that property.

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My opinion on the quality buck numbers is there are a lot of people who do not know how to hunt deer, or hunt in general. They go out because it gets them out of the house, or whatever reason. They go out and shoot these deer, not knowing what they shot... There are a lot of dead deer ranging from fawns to little bucks, and the occasional monster you read of. The other contributor to that quality buck thing is that there are a lot of guys who have grown up shooting everything they see, and they will not change... again lots of little guys shot. Finally there are guys waiting for that big one, and do just that... wait.

There are a lot of people out there who just do not get the idea of quality management oer hunting. They never will, and a all doe seaon will not make it any better. There will always be hunters who will shoot whatever, whenever.

There are a lot of quality deer in this state, and a lot of monsters. I think MN has a lot of different terrain than the surrounding states. I believe there will be some record book bucks coming from the state in the next five years with all the advances in hunting technology. Just you wait...

This state will not ever be a quality buck state, because there are too many people out there for themselves, or that just don't care. And lord knows the DNR is of no help to this... but that is a whole other subject.

Thanks for letting me rant.

You are the Man Einstein!

You are the Man!

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I'm confused a little bit. If someone hunts deer within the law, then they are considered poor and selfish hunters??? Basically there are 2 groups of hunters, those who hunt within the rules and those who CHOOSE to hunt another way, wether it be for our own personal enjoyment or what not. Maybe instead of bashing fellow hunters who hunt within the regulations we should concentrate efforts on different regulations. I choose to hunt a certain way but I'm sure as heck not gonna hassel another hunter to change his way of hunting just because I say so, how pig headed would that be? We as a hunting community need to stick together cause lord only knows the anti group gets stronger by the day.

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The whole purpose of hunting is to make a smaller deer population. Only shooting big bucks isn't gonna do the trick. If you wan't only trophy deer go for it but I'm not one to bash people who are happy with a doe or fawn.

Im in that boat... happy with a doe or fawn. I will shoot whatever walks past me first. but i just happen to only see bucks where I hunt (which is why ill never support the earn a buck idea). I agree with BoozeHound... if its legal go for it.

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