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MnMonarch

Infatuation w/ Antlers

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M456,

I fully agree.

It took working with the local sportman club youth programs to enlighten me as to how lucky I was growing up with a place to go to hunt and learn to shoot safely. Many others don't have a Deer Camp to go to so they shoot and go home. Lumber land boarders ours, for 20+ yrs I listened to the chaos out there. Its been leased recently, deer season is much nicer.

Many of our group's stands cover areas, mine is between doe bedding areas which means I often have to weigh that decision.

Shoot straight.

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We try to fill the freezers as well. We love venison!

Im not going to sugar coat this, Antlers are SWEET! Plain and simple. They look so cool! I do agree with one of the previous posts thought. It is more about what they represent than anything. Its the very best of that species, and not many people are able to do it. So that makes antlers precious.

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You know why they took pictures with everyone all those yrs ago? To show who had the biggest buck. Todays solo shot conveys no competition, since there isnt anything to judge against. Hunting has always been about competition and it always will be. It used to be about how much, because then you got the most fertile females. Now its about how big. The best you can hope for is for everyone to agree to a tie. Unless you dont shoot a deer then you didnt tie, you lost. Its OK to admit you feel like you lost, because you did.

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Hunting has always been about competition and it always will be.

the only competition when hunting started was the compitition of survival. Man made hunting into compititon of size and numbers

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Wow, a ton of posts and opinions in very little time!

Just so no one gets the wrong idea, I've never taken a doe kill (or any kill, for that matter) for granted. I love the hunt itself, and taking any animal should be simply one part of a wide-ranging expression of deep caring for the woods, the animals and the lifestyle we love.

And someone, I disremember who, seemed to object to my reference to dumb luck. I've never underrated dumb luck or been overly embarrassed when I was lucky instead of good. Been dumb and lucky in the woods a few times myself, and felt thankful for what I got. gringrin

Whether competition has always been part of hunting or not depends on how narrowly you are defining competition. In one way, all hunting, whether done by man or by the animals themselves, is a competition, with the hunter competing against the game and the game against the hunter. Now, hunters competing amongst themselves? That may be purely a human characteristic. Not being able to speak wolf, coyote or mountain lion, I couldn't say whether some of those animals, particularly the pack species, might not sometimes feel competitive juices flow between members of the pack.

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I've never felt that I was competing with anyone while hunting, deer or otherwise. Good thing because if I was my self-esteem would be at an all-time low. wink

When we deer hunt, we hunt as a party of one. What I mean is that we are all hunting together for the benefit of the party. When a deer is taken we all know we will take part. We'll take part in dressing/transporting, part of the meat, part in the processing, and part in sharing the comaradrie and pleasure of the hunt.

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If there were no such thing as competition, there would be no such thing as improvement.

Like its been mentioned there's alot of different types of competition. It's just better to keep it healthy and friendly as far as recreational hunting goes.

Personally, I am in competition each year to better any of the bucks I have taken in the past. Yes, I would like to break 150. Then 160 and so on. I've seen em, just haven't closed the deal yet. It's something that keeps driving me. A goal.

To me, a buck of that caliber taken purposely (not accidently) gives the satisfaction of a job well done. When you work at, you like a reward.

Along the way I pick up the meat of the does here and there. We like the meat and look forward to it every year. Sometimes it's a little thin but sometimes we're well stocked.

BTW, I have been real proud of the 145 lb doe. In my eyes, she equaled some of my better bucks.

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I would much rather shoot a doe than a small buck.

The infatuation with antlers is not just the bragging rights/testosterone drive mentioned above, it is also more challenging. It is more of a challenging hunt to chase a big 10 pointer than a 90lb doe.They are older, more wily, and unpredictable. Therefore when you finally do tag the 'big one', it is that much more of a great feeling.

That said, I have passed on small bucks each of the last 3 years and shot does. But if the 'big one' shows, it's going down.

And whoever menionted bull elk hunters taking the antlers and leaving the meat, I doubt anybody leaves the meat, it is illegal and unethical.

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The infatuation with antler is more like a nasty drug addiction that has a greater impact on some than others. The more I get the more I want. Antlers to me are what fuel the fire and keep you going harder, longer and trying to figure these animals out. Antlers separate every single buck out there. Each one is unique. Theyre the fastest growing tissue in the animal kingdom. Not to mention the critters that carry them are beautiful. Im a shed hunter. My fascination with antlers has made me look more at "what could be" rather than "what is". The process of a buck maturing and growing antlers year after year on the same genetic path is an amazing thing to witness unfold. I guess Im against anyone who thinks its necessary to end that before the deers reached maturity. Its seems all odds are against the little buck, I just think its sad. If people knew the potential bucks had to be something amazing, whod wanna kill them?

Being infatuated with antlers and killing deer are two different things nowadays. Dont confuse the two. Its about respect and appreciation for the critters that grow them.

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I hunt deer pretty much like I hunt pheasant or grouse. I like a nice clean shot, a quick kill, watch good dog work, etc. The size of the pheasant or color phase of the grouse is not important. Same with deer. I just like seeing deer in the woods and my only criteria is that its a mature animal. I personally think all these hunting shows (horn porn) have ruined deer hunting. "Shooter buck, "harvest" " Nice G-2's, too bad about the sticker" Blah, Blah, Blah. If you put any of these people in the state or national forest land, they would be crying like babies.

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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.

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

Great Idea Mn Monarch!

Follow the fishing analogy thru to its logical conclusion.

No antlered deer to be shot. Just like a trophy muskie fishery, only photo and release. Video shows where your paintball hit for what would be a clean kill. You still have the thrill of taking the shot. Replica antlers made based off your video. (TV show hosts seem to be able to score deer off of video). Buck still in woods for many others to enjoy "shooting" and able to grow to maximum antler size. Also harder to hunt (more of that challenge you love) due buck surviving experience. Can you imagine how many trophy bucks Minnesota would have after just 5 years of NO buck harvest! And everyone would have a much better chance of filling his wall with big antlers! (Replicas of course). Throw in a heavy doe harvest and you could get multiple trophy bucks chasing a limited number of does. Trophy hunter heaven! Minnesota would quickly become the state with the most book buck entries. Neighbors would not get ticked about you shooting "their" trophy buck because same deer could be shot several times in a season by different hunters and over several seasons. Individual hunter could "shoot" as many bucks as he wanted as he would be doing catch and release just like a muskie fisherman. No limit!

You paintball the bucks and I will thin the does for you.

lakevet

P.S. If you don't like the paintball idea how about a tranquilizer gun so you can actually handle and measure the rack, photo of you and the buck, then release the buck?

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for me it comes down to time. It takes lots of time and even more effort to harvest really nice bucks. I dont have a lot of time. Not saying that you cant shoot a nice buck on a whim but it is much harder. I feel weird saying this but I dont just get buck fever I get doe fever. My heart pounds everytime a deer comes close. I have harvested a deer or two almost every year Ive hunted and i still get excited. If shooting does isnt exciting for people they should switch to bow hunting with a recurve. Its all about the challeng

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Its very difficult to tell someone to go to a store and purchase meat instead of hunting. I know alot of people that do not eat any other red me other than venison. This is either because they just do not care for beef, or they physically cannot have beef. There are alot of health reason for choosing venison over beef. Also, though people are chasing after bigger racks, there is an advantage to this. Bigger bucks usually have bigger bodies, which means more meat. Not only that but, I think one of the things we all look forward to is the nestalgia of the old days when our anscestors had to hunt to survive. Even though I strive to take the best buck I can, I highly look forward to taking a doe so that I can eat the meat, and be creative with how I prepare it...

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I am not going to apologize to anyone for choosing to extend my hunting season and add a considerable challenge to my favorite pasttime by limiting myself to big mature bucks or does. Don't like it, don't do it. But don't get mad at me because I kill bigger bucks than you, a lot of this banter is sour grapes, in my opinion.

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I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from, Dave. When did someone show animosity toward another for simply wanting to trophy hunt? I don't recall that occurring. I have on the other hand often seen the reverse in many threads on this site where trophy hunters are badgering others because they aren't jumping on the bandwagon to change the laws to protect deer with large racks. In many of those, they also use terms like deer quality management as if large racks equates with deer quality.

If you or anyone wants to dedicate your hunting time to strictly wait for buck that you feel scores above some personal level, hey, more power to you and I applaud you for it. Where I have a problem with when those that want to do this put so much effort into trying to force the rest of us to do likewise.

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I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from, Dave. When did someone show animosity toward another for simply wanting to trophy hunt? I don't recall that occurring. I have on the other hand often seen the reverse in many threads on this site where trophy hunters are badgering others because they aren't jumping on the bandwagon to change the laws to protect deer with large racks. In many of those, they also use terms like deer quality management as if large racks equates with deer quality.

BobT

The animosity is can run pretty thick at times on both side of the debate, there are plenty of examples of people ripping on qdm throughout the site, lets not pretend it only goes one way.

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QDM is a great idea if you have the land and resources to do it. most people don't. isn't the idea of deer hunting to go and enjoy the outdoors and put some meat in the freezer not to say my buck is bigger the yours. i far as i know you don't eat the rack. for those who hunt for the big boys good for you it is a great thril to drop a big one. been there done that. but the bottom line for a season is to control population and have some good venison for the freezer. i find it hard to justify critizing anyone that chooses to meat hunt and not rack hunt. who would we be growing all these big bucks for? not the meat hunter. a 2 year old doe is much tastier then a 5 year old buck. the bottom line is everybody makes their own choice. and each persons idea of a trophy is different. to me a good season is getting some quality time outdoors and filling the freezer. a nice rack for the wall is just a bounus. my .02

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its not the fact that everyone disagrees on what kinda deer should get shot that [PoorWordUsage] me off. its the people that blow up at me for recommending and standing by my thoughts on QDM when all they do is complain how no big bucks are around when blast the first fork that walks by.

if you want meat in the freezer, then shoot whatever deer you want. but if you want big bucks AND meat in the freezer, then quit blasting at those basket racked deer, and shoot a doe!! If you shoot that 6 pointer this year, he won't be anything next year.

I've had trail cams out for years. this year i have many bucks right in front of my bow stand. one that if i pass, will probably make me sick. but if he makes it to next year, he will be an absolute dandy flirting with the 170+ range. i have the deer picked out that i would like to harvest. and if i shoot a buck, it will be that one. is that such a terrible problem to have? i don't think so, and it has an awful lot to do with QDM.

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Okay I have read through this twice now, I have not seen people being attacked in this thread but I see it starting to get there.

QDM (state imposed QDM) was a hot topic a few months ago and while I agree and have personally seen it work privately, there is no way our state can accomplish it. Iowa doesn't have QDM but yet it is brought up constantly as a what MN could be if we only did what Iowa does.

Talk with your neighbors, get them to stop popping the little basket bucks, take some does instead, but with some areas of the state going lottery, that will not be an easy discussion. I have hunted SE MN for years, I remember when 346 and 349 were lottery areas and the past few years they have been begging people to shoot 5 deer. I have taken one buck down in that area, and I will freely admit it was dumb luck, or the rut was late that year.

I am a meat hunter, I enjoy eating venison, my kids love eating venison, my wife not so much. SO I take a doe, a big one hopefully, but I personally let the little bucks walk. My choice........

I feel that TV or horn porn as some have called it, has really blown up the reality of deer hunting. I don't have the time to bow hunt, I don't have the time to muzzleload hunt. I hunt firearm season (3b) because I can get away from home for a weekend and my inlaws live 10 minutes from where I hunt. If it wasn't for Thanksgiving, I would get 2 days to shoot a deer and I would still let the little ones walk.

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I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from, Dave. When did someone show animosity toward another for simply wanting to trophy hunt? I don't recall that occurring. I have on the other hand often seen the reverse in many threads on this site where trophy hunters are badgering others because they aren't jumping on the bandwagon to change the laws to protect deer with large racks. In many of those, they also use terms like deer quality management as if large racks equates with deer quality.

If you or anyone wants to dedicate your hunting time to strictly wait for buck that you feel scores above some personal level, hey, more power to you and I applaud you for it. Where I have a problem with when those that want to do this put so much effort into trying to force the rest of us to do likewise.

Could've have said it better.

I will shoot what ever walks past me.

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Okay I have read through this twice now, I have not seen people being attacked in this thread but I see it starting to get there.

I think BobT and I were talking about all the threads site wide going back over some time. Overall things stay in check but every now and then people get a little hot over QDM and my point was you can see attacks going both ways.

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DaveT had written this statement earlier in this thread and it left me bewildered. As I read it, I got the impression that he was defending his preferences against other hostile posts in this thread. When I searched back through the posts I didn't find any posting by DaveT and I didn't find anything that seemed to suggest that someone was pointing at DaveT. That's why I asked what he meant.

Quote:
I am not going to apologize to anyone for choosing to extend my hunting season and add a considerable challenge to my favorite pasttime by limiting myself to big mature bucks or does. Don't like it, don't do it. But don't get mad at me because I kill bigger bucks than you, a lot of this banter is sour grapes, in my opinion.

As far as badgering in other threads, when I look back through them it does seem that you won't find too many threads that were started by "meat hunters" implying or suggesting we change the laws to benefit meat hunters but I do find many threads that were started primarily for the purpose of promoting rack hunting, QDM where we eventually learned that QDM was intended to mean rack management, etc. There's nothing wrong with that because without starting discussion, change won't happen however, when those that don't necessarily support those goals speak up, they are pretty quickly finding themselves on the defensive and not always just defending their viewpoint.

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