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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#5553546 - 01/20/15 09:06 AM 2014 in review
tShawnB Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 966
Loc: Rolling Plains
So I was sitting here reflecting on 2014 and the disappointing outcome of deer season in relation to expectations from many I know that hunt, especially in the area of the state I hunt, the SE Panhandle or Rolling Plains. I will preface this by saying that the majority of guys I know who hunt with me and around me are looking for 160" age appropriate bucks and yes, these bucks aren't around every bend regardless the situation on free range. I also realize that hunting is never disappointing and it beats work any day; I get it, but many thought that due to Spring rains, horns would be great and quite frankly they were not. Sure, a few 170's were killed (most, if not all off protein), and overall bucks were only slightly better than last year (which is terrible btw). That being said, I knew going in to 2014 we were still in trouble from a horn standpoint as a majority of our Spring rain came in mid to late May, which is too late for optimum antler growth; good for a fawn crop which was obviously leaps and bounds above the last 3 years, but really very little help to antler growth. Looking at rainfall totals in my region, I see that for 2014 Feb-Apr had a total of 3-4" of rain pretty well averaged out between the three and May had about 3 inches give or take and that came later in the month. My family were farmers, and I remember my granddad mentioning on many occasions, it wasn't necessarily the amount of rain, its when you get it and if you miss it by even a couple of weeks, you can go from expecting a bumper crop to just and average crop and perhaps even worse depending on the timing and IMO the same analogy can be used for trophy hunting. Bottom line here is that I am really starting to reflect on where I am hunting in relation to where rainfall has been poor and by looking at forecast, is expected to be below average again and wondering if perhaps I need to look at other options. April showers bring May flowers, big bucks, etc... and in my experience little of no rain in April is not going to bode well for large horns on free range, native browse bucks. So I guess the question is, do you gamble that the one month out of the year that defines a bucks antler growth potential given the past three years drought and projected lack of rainfall this Spring and commit again or do you look elsewhere? BTW, I did a little research and the 4 biggest bucks, all 160+++ that I have killed ALL came in years that had plus rainfall in April as did the biggest bucks on the ranch in general. Of course, the solution is to wait till May to commit and send your money, but most LO's have that figured out.
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#5553555 - 01/20/15 09:09 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: tShawnB]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25907
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
Stop sweating the score and just enjoy hunting old bucks. cheers
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#5553566 - 01/20/15 09:15 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: tShawnB]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
If the lease has the potential to produce that kind of bucks then I would send my money in every year no matter what. If you have neighbors feeding protein then when the rut is going those bucks have the potential to move your way. I would also look at rainfall in the months of Jan-March post rut. That is just as critical of a time period as April IMO. In South Texas March is the key month since it is closer to post rut and you can get a lot of forbes popping in the warmer climate. If you are hung on the score number then you will probably eat a tag sandwich more often than if you are hunting one particular mature old buck.
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#5553576 - 01/20/15 09:22 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: tShawnB]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
I'd say pay up and keep hunting. The rains aren't perfect anywhere! We didn't get much rain at all from January-September last year. Since September it hasn't quit. Talk about the ultimate bad hand for hunting, no help with horns and all the goodies a deer could dream of to eat away from blinds feeders corned senderos etc.
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#5553592 - 01/20/15 09:30 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: tShawnB]
Russ79 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 390
Loc: Nacogdoches, Tx
I'm like Navasot....I guess there may be a time when score is important to me but just seeing deer and having shot opportunities has always been my main goal. Last year I had a shot opportunity during bow season but passed on a nice 10 point due to age. This year I didn't even get that- saw next to no deer all season. Remember, deer leases are like jobs- even if you can't stand the one you have never quit one without having another lined up!

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#5553920 - 01/20/15 12:03 PM Re: 2014 in review [Re: redchevy]
QuitShootinYoungBucks Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 6450
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Originally Posted By: redchevy
I'd say pay up and keep hunting. The rains aren't perfect anywhere! We didn't get much rain at all from January-September last year. Since September it hasn't quit. Talk about the ultimate bad hand for hunting, no help with horns and all the goodies a deer could dream of to eat away from blinds feeders corned senderos etc.


At least so far the rain is setting up 2015 nicely for you!
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#5554141 - 01/20/15 01:52 PM Re: 2014 in review [Re: tShawnB]
wtr Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/25/12
Posts: 479
Loc: West COMMA Texas
There will be thousand people waiting in line to get your spot if u get off. Just think about that.

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#5554519 - 01/20/15 05:55 PM Re: 2014 in review [Re: tShawnB]
Pitchfork Predator Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10768
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
You are over thinking this. Unless you go high fence, you just aren't going to find what your looking for every year. I'm OK with that. Aren't you?
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#5555263 - 01/21/15 07:50 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted By: redchevy
I'd say pay up and keep hunting. The rains aren't perfect anywhere! We didn't get much rain at all from January-September last year. Since September it hasn't quit. Talk about the ultimate bad hand for hunting, no help with horns and all the goodies a deer could dream of to eat away from blinds feeders corned senderos etc.


At least so far the rain is setting up 2015 nicely for you!


No doubt. We usually get decent fall rains. It will run out just in the nick of time, 2 years out of the 8 we have owned our place we had good rain for horns. crying

Oh well, just keep feeding/watering/planting and improving what we can, gets a little better every year.
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It's hell eatin em live

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#5555265 - 01/21/15 07:50 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: Pitchfork Predator]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Pitchfork Predator
You are over thinking this. Unless you go high fence, you just aren't going to find what your looking for every year. I'm OK with that. Aren't you?


He says he is but apparently not.
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#5555365 - 01/21/15 08:40 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: tShawnB]
titan2232 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 2998
Loc: Conroe, TX
Be patient my friend as it could be worse. Hunting Terrell County with no management say so and bow hunting these picky nocturnal East Texas bucks is frustrating as well. Having good health and the opportunity to hunt is what matters most. Life is short so enjoy it.
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#5555393 - 01/21/15 08:51 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: Pitchfork Predator]
tShawnB Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 966
Loc: Rolling Plains
Originally Posted By: Pitchfork Predator
You are over thinking this. Unless you go high fence, you just aren't going to find what your looking for every year. I'm OK with that. Aren't you?
Good question and one I need to answer as it's been 4 years now of drought and decline in not only overall population, but quality as well. That being said, I have been at this deer hunting for sometime and know all to well you don't give up on Plan A unless and until Plan B comes along and is better.
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How come everybody I meet is a deer hunting expert?

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#5555409 - 01/21/15 08:59 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: tShawnB]
BenBob Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 5816
Loc: Undercover
When your review is that there is not much to review, then look at the positive side. You don't have a taxidermist bill to pay.
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Tired, Wired, and Uninspired

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#5555628 - 01/21/15 10:31 AM Re: 2014 in review [Re: stxranchman]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25907
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
If the lease has the potential to produce that kind of bucks then I would send my money in every year no matter what. If you have neighbors feeding protein then when the rut is going those bucks have the potential to move your way. I would also look at rainfall in the months of Jan-March post rut. That is just as critical of a time period as April IMO. In South Texas March is the key month since it is closer to post rut and you can get a lot of forbes popping in the warmer climate. If you are hung on the score number then you will probably eat a tag sandwich more often than if you are hunting one particular mature old buck.


Leaves a nasty aftertaste barf
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