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#5985142 - 10/20/15 05:57 AM Hill Country Bucks
TxHillCntry21 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/26/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Gillespie County
Alright, looking for a little help from you guys. I've mentioned before that we have a couple guys on the lease that have a habit of shooting younger bucks. We decided as a group to get together on the Friday before gun opener to go over a lot of trail cam photos, in hopes to educate some of the hunters on what we are really looking for. Kind of a last ditch effort to get on board before you got to go.

That being said. I have these 3 bucks for you guys to age and score. All pics are from 2015. Keep in mind these are central Texas bucks. All input is helpful, hoping to gain more knowledge to strengthen my argument in a few weeks.

10pt






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#5985143 - 10/20/15 05:59 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
TxHillCntry21 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/26/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Gillespie County
The Almost 11







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#5985145 - 10/20/15 06:01 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
TxHillCntry21 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/26/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Gillespie County
Heavy 8




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#5985178 - 10/20/15 06:41 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
Pitchfork Predator Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10760
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
Nice looking hill country bucks. cheers

I would guess the 10 @ 5 and lower to mid 140s.

The 11 looks 4 and mid to high 130s.

The heavy 8 5+ and low to mid 130s.



Edited by Pitchfork Predator (10/20/15 07:39 AM)
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#5985183 - 10/20/15 06:46 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
Booner1 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 1564
Loc: Terrell
The heavy 8 appears to be the oldest and most mature of the 3 but perhaps you guys could consider giving all of them a pass until next season. The first 2 bucks are still young and show some real promise and it would be interesting to see what they grow into. If your wanting to really manage for quality bucks then work on taking a few doe and some cull bucks. Just my 2 cents.
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#5985218 - 10/20/15 07:13 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
4 on the top 10 pt, 4 on the almost 11 pt and 6 on the last 8 point. 134-137 on the 10 point, 132-134 on the almost 11 and 125-127 on the 8 point. I would shoot the 8 point and let the other 2 go at least one more year. If, if they make the season and we get our El Nino then you will be very happy you let them go till next year. 2cents


Edited by stxranchman (10/20/15 07:49 AM)
Edit Reason: Typo on age of first buck-4 instead of 5
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#5985226 - 10/20/15 07:18 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: stxranchman]
rickym Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 3857
Loc: texas
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
5 on the top 10 pt, 4 on the almost 11 pt and 6 on the last 8 point. I would shoot the 8 point and let the other 2 go at least one more year.
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#5985264 - 10/20/15 07:46 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
TxAg Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 3246
Loc: Live in Katy, Hunt in Llano Co...
The 10 is 4.5 or 5.5 (somebody get out the waffles) , but I'd still let him walk. Looks like good potential for non-typ points in future years.

The 11 is 4.5, and I'd let him walk for sure. He could blow up next year.

The 8 is 5.5+ and would be my target for this year.


Edited by TxAg (10/20/15 07:53 AM)
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#5985405 - 10/20/15 09:05 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxAg]
TxHillCntry21 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/26/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Gillespie County
Originally Posted By: TxAg
The 10 is 4.5 or 5.5 (somebody get out the waffles) , but I'd still let him walk. Looks like good potential for non-typ points in future years.

The 11 is 4.5, and I'd let him walk for sure. He could blow up next year.

The 8 is 5.5+ and would be my target for this year.


I agree in letting the 1st 2 walk, and I sure hope they make it. I don't think the guys on the lease feel the same way. Kind of why I'm wanting feedback from you guys.
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#5985427 - 10/20/15 09:21 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
TxAg Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 3246
Loc: Live in Katy, Hunt in Llano Co...
Originally Posted By: TxHillCntry21
Originally Posted By: TxAg
The 10 is 4.5 or 5.5 (somebody get out the waffles) , but I'd still let him walk. Looks like good potential for non-typ points in future years.

The 11 is 4.5, and I'd let him walk for sure. He could blow up next year.

The 8 is 5.5+ and would be my target for this year.


I agree in letting the 1st 2 walk, and I sure hope they make it. I don't think the guys on the lease feel the same way. Kind of why I'm wanting feedback from you guys.


What does your Management Strategy dictate? Anything documented in the Lease or Member agreement?

Good luck in getting them on board. Those are a couple fine bucks, and they could really turn into something special if they make it next year.
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#5985491 - 10/20/15 10:00 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 14616
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
Good looking bucks. It would be hard to chastise someone for shooting any of them.
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#5985539 - 10/20/15 10:29 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxAg]
TxHillCntry21 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/26/12
Posts: 141
Loc: Gillespie County
Originally Posted By: TxAg
Originally Posted By: TxHillCntry21
Originally Posted By: TxAg
The 10 is 4.5 or 5.5 (somebody get out the waffles) , but I'd still let him walk. Looks like good potential for non-typ points in future years.

The 11 is 4.5, and I'd let him walk for sure. He could blow up next year.

The 8 is 5.5+ and would be my target for this year.


I agree in letting the 1st 2 walk, and I sure hope they make it. I don't think the guys on the lease feel the same way. Kind of why I'm wanting feedback from you guys.


What does your Management Strategy dictate? Anything documented in the Lease or Member agreement?

Good luck in getting them on board. Those are a couple fine bucks, and they could really turn into something special if they make it next year.


Management Strategy is the problem. 7 members. 5 agree that 1 trophy and 1 cull should be taken. 2 members have been embarrassed multiple times for shooting 2-3yr old 8's on opening wknd. (These 2 members are a Brother In Law -not mine, and a Grandfather-mine) They have both been on the lease for 12-15 years.

Over the last 6-7 years we have started to see more deer in the 4-5 age class. Like the ones in the pictures. About half of them are being shot. We have a Top 10 board for all deer shot on the lease. The first 2 bucks would be around 8 and 9. Guys think just because they make the board its a shooter. Also not enough does are being taken.

I'm the youngest guy on the lease and TRYING to be respectful as possible to all guys on the lease. Lease manager is too timid to kick off his BIL, and wont come up with a defined set of rules. Other than 2 bucks 3 does. He thinks the Top 10 board will give guys a goal to set and harvest that caliber buck. However that does not reward shooting a mature buck.

Looking to try and present a written set of rules opening wknd. Any suggestions.
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#5985629 - 10/20/15 11:26 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
BenBob Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 5816
Loc: Undercover
Looking at the age of individual deer before horn size is difficult, especially when the bucks get to the magical age where they are going to really start adding inches. Good years in regard to rainfall and browse for the deer makes the decisions more difficult because the deer have more antler inches than in bad years. Maybe you could make a rule that everyone on the lease has to take their does before you take a buck. This removes mouths from the pasture early and it also alerts the bucks that hunting season is on. Try to steer the hunters that pull the trigger too fast to hunt a certain buck and to not take any deer less than that certain buck. Some leases fine hunters that kill bucks under a certain antler size. I know of one lease that charges $100.00/inch under 140 B & C, so if you kill a 130 inch deer, you owe the lease $1000.00. Your judging skills tend to improve considerably when you owe money for deer that do not measure up to a predetermined inch rule.
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#5985635 - 10/20/15 11:37 AM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
BowsnRods Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/05/08
Posts: 1564
Loc: Bandera County
What STX said

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#5985731 - 10/20/15 12:42 PM Re: Hill Country Bucks [Re: TxHillCntry21]
uncledeck Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
First you have some nice hill country bucks there. We hunt in the hill country also and it takes some effort to get the age class up on the bucks and then get the planets to align and produce a wet year to get the special bucks we are all looking for. If the goal is getting maximum potential out of those bucks and assuming we are expecting a wet winter and spring then I would go for #3 only

Some ideas on strategy with your hunting partners.
- Being an old fart myself I would feel ornery about needing to sign paperwork on what bucks I shot if I have been on the lease 12-15 years so I would not pursue this idea from your position.
- Sometimes its easier to push a load downhill rather than uphill. Work with the big buck board your lease manager has already setup, but recommend cutting it to the top 3-5 bucks. Having a 10 slot big buck board with 7 hunters almost makes it a "participation" trophy to make the board. Another idea is to pick a score to make the board. Bucks have to be xxx inches to make the board. That still doesn't cover the age class issue but it gets things pointed in the right direction
- You didn't say how big your lease is or the relative hunting pressure on surrounding ranches. Adjacent ranch pressure relative to the size of your ranch impacts your ability to manage to size
- The most important thing you can do is hunt and choose your deer like you want the others to choose theirs. I could fill my tags with "nice" young 120-130 bucks most opening weekends, but I choose to wait for the special old bucks. Sometimes they are 120 inch aged out bucks on a dry year, sometimes they are the 140+ mature toads I'm really looking for and sometimes I don't kill a buck all year. I have 3 sons in their early twenties and late teens who love to hunt and they average a buck a year between all 3 of them but the bucks they take are toads. This behavior over time transfers to the other hunters and over the last 10 years we have changed our median age from about 2.5 years to 5.5 years without getting ugly with the rest of the hunters.
- Take the long view and remember hunting should be fun and enjoyed by all. 2 of 7 hunters that fill their tags with 1.5 to 2.5 year old bucks each year will not ruin the ranch's long term chances of producing great bucks as long as the other hunters are doing their part. If half of your 4-5 age class bucks are making it to next year then you will catch a year when the conditions are right to grow a few special deer. If you haven't filled your tags with young bucks on opening weekend then you may be the one to tag MR Toad.

Just some ideas. Maybe you can use a few.


Edited by uncledeck (10/20/15 01:22 PM)

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