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Mar 25th, 2012
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To Shoot or Not to Shoot #5232533 08/03/14 01:15 PM
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Common situation faced by many a hunter. Early season, a nice mature 120ish class buck steps out and presents a clean shot, "do you take it"? You are hunting a smaller ranch < 100 acres, with a decent amount of hunting pressure around you. In the offseason and early bow season you have seen 130ish class bucks on camera but mostly at night. "Do you roll the dice and hope to get a shot at one of those 130ish class bucks or do you let it rip on the 120ish mature one staring you down"? One more thing, you know from experience that daylight sightings of mature bucks in this area are rare. Thanks for playing...

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232542 08/03/14 01:22 PM
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If you'd shoot it on the last day of the season, shoot it on the first day if given the chance. I would.


"I have no idea what WW-III will be fought with, but WW-IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

A. Einstein

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232553 08/03/14 01:28 PM
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I'll always shoot the first mature buck I see size is no matter

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232604 08/03/14 02:06 PM
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You almost set up the question to be a rhetorical one, but the real question you seem to be asking is this: is a 120 class buck worthy of shooting? All the other parameters you set call for shooting, unless the person is done hunting "small bucks" and is only out for a personal best or something.
So the question you ask, would I shoot a 120 class older buck?

rifle deer2 partyon555 and twice on Sunday

Last edited by Texas buckeye; 08/03/14 02:07 PM.
Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232608 08/03/14 02:09 PM
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My shooting decisions usually factor in order:

- Is the buck mature and something I'd be proud in shooting
- Do I like the shot as being humane and easily executable
- What have I seen to date and what is practical to expect for where I'm hunting

Factoring those things, I'd mostly likely take the shot on the 120ish, mature buck as the shot is executable and a practical harvest for the area. What say the rest of the forum?

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232636 08/03/14 02:39 PM
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I'd most likely take the shot.


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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232638 08/03/14 02:41 PM
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Depends on the area of the state I am hunting in and is it a one buck only county. But if I have seen multiple 130 class mature bucks then I am passing on the shot.



Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: stxranchman] #5232645 08/03/14 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depends on the area of the state I am hunting in and is it a one buck only county. But if I have seen multiple 130 class mature bucks then I am passing on the shot.

Ranch, the scenario says, "some 130ish bucks" seen on nighttime pictures...Does that change anything?

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232692 08/03/14 03:27 PM
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I always wait for the big one.
No big one, shoot a doe late season.
That 120 might be the 130 I'm looking for next season.
No bucks shot one year gives a better chance the next.
The thrill is it being like Christmas every time you sit in the stand. Never know what might show up

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: stxranchman] #5232709 08/03/14 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depends on the area of the state I am hunting in and is it a one buck only county. But if I have seen multiple 130 class mature bucks then I am passing on the shot.


.....and Gumby lives on to see another year.


I'll wait to see what the late season brings in. There's currently only 2 bucks I'd shoot on sight regardless of what they score, in their prime they were studs.

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232736 08/03/14 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted By: DQ Kid
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depends on the area of the state I am hunting in and is it a one buck only county. But if I have seen multiple 130 class mature bucks then I am passing on the shot.

Ranch, the scenario says, "some 130ish bucks" seen on nighttime pictures...Does that change anything?

No it does not change anything.



Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: rifleman] #5232738 08/03/14 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: rifleman
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depends on the area of the state I am hunting in and is it a one buck only county. But if I have seen multiple 130 class mature bucks then I am passing on the shot.


.....and Gumby lives on to see another year.


I'll wait to see what the late season brings in. There's currently only 2 bucks I'd shoot on sight regardless of what they score, in their prime they were studs.

He would not score 120 if you killed a spike and him then added them both together on his score sheet.



Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5232880 08/03/14 06:34 PM
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This exact same situation happened to me in Fannin county (2010). I let the arrow fly and he actually scored lower to mid 120's. Kind of funny since I wouldn't let an arrow fly at any mature deer under 170 in Oklahoma/Missouri/Kansas (unless cull or meat hunting). It is just tough getting a 150 or better in the north DFW counties with all the pressure. Some of the best places to get the big ones are on Public with limited draw tags.

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5233711 08/04/14 03:04 AM
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I would wait. It's about the pursuit for me so I really have to like it to pull the trigger that early in the season.


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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: stxranchman] #5233825 08/04/14 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: rifleman
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depends on the area of the state I am hunting in and is it a one buck only county. But if I have seen multiple 130 class mature bucks then I am passing on the shot.


.....and Gumby lives on to see another year.


I'll wait to see what the late season brings in. There's currently only 2 bucks I'd shoot on sight regardless of what they score, in their prime they were studs.

He would not score 120 if you killed a spike and him then added them both together on his score sheet.


Tie a few knots in the tape and he would have.

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: rifleman] #5233882 08/04/14 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted By: rifleman
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: rifleman
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depends on the area of the state I am hunting in and is it a one buck only county. But if I have seen multiple 130 class mature bucks then I am passing on the shot.


.....and Gumby lives on to see another year.


I'll wait to see what the late season brings in. There's currently only 2 bucks I'd shoot on sight regardless of what they score, in their prime they were studs.

He would not score 120 if you killed a spike and him then added them both together on his score sheet.


Tie a few knots in the tape and he would have.

up Now I understand your scoring method and you get your scores grin



Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5234056 08/04/14 01:56 PM
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Usually on a 100 acre place with a good amount of hunting pressure "a (one) mature" deer is hard to find, let along having many to choose from. I would revisit the definition and evaluation of said "mature" deer.

Chances are I would shoot the 120.


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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5234103 08/04/14 02:13 PM
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Would depend on how much time I planned on being in the woods. I like to pick a few bucks out and hunt those bucks. I have let the largest buck I actually saw in a season walk many times waiting on one I knew was out there but couldn't find. Killing a buck every year isn't what makes my season a success and shooting a buck early in the season has made for a very long season before. The anticipation is what drives me and while I would be proud of my trophy, I want to take an animal that makes it worth hunting doe/culls for the rest of the season perfectly ok. Otherwise, I won't pull the trigger. As the season nears an end, the reward/anticipation ratio changes, so that same mid-120's might become at risk grin


Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5234210 08/04/14 03:10 PM
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would the meat taste as good as the 130? I would shoot it take the meat and leave the antlers for the obsessive to cry over.


I'm a terrible shot but I follow up with a grenade!
Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: cyberpyrot] #5234214 08/04/14 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: cyberpyrot
would the meat taste as good as the 130? I would shoot it take the meat and leave the antlers for the obsessive to cry over.

Then kill a spike or doe, leave that buck for the "obsessive" would be even better yet up



Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: redchevy] #5234218 08/04/14 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
Usually on a 100 acre place with a good amount of hunting pressure "a (one) mature" deer is hard to find, let along having many to choose from. I would revisit the definition and evaluation of said "mature" deer.

Chances are I would shoot the 120.


Yes, a 100 acre place with pressure all around generally becomes a, "if it's brown, it's down" area. Shouldn't, but it does. A 120 on a place like that may be the best you'll see. Those 130's are used to hiding from the crowd and may never come out in hunting hours. The decision probably changes if you move the scenario to a larger, managed tract and area.

Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: Slow Drifter] #5234223 08/04/14 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: Slow Drifter
If you'd shoot it on the last day of the season, shoot it on the first day if given the chance. I would.


You know everybody says that but IMO it's just something to say. If a guy wants to wait and see what shows and then shoot something lesser than he was hoping for at first and is happy with it, who am I to say he done wrong? I have seen plenty of guys pass up 5x5 elk the first few days of a hunt and then shoot one the last day or two. For the life of me I don't see anything wrong with it-they understood fully the ramifications of what they were doing. They knew by passing they were taking a chance of going home empty handed.

Last edited by Nogalus Prairie; 08/04/14 03:18 PM.

Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: stxranchman] #5234225 08/04/14 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: cyberpyrot
would the meat taste as good as the 130? I would shoot it take the meat and leave the antlers for the obsessive to cry over.

Then kill a spike or doe, leave that buck for the "obsessive" would be even better yet up


Sorry I was enjoying some deer chili when I read this post. for the most part I do hunt does but if time runs out and I still have an empty freezer BAM dear burgers.


I'm a terrible shot but I follow up with a grenade!
Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: cyberpyrot] #5234227 08/04/14 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: cyberpyrot
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: cyberpyrot
would the meat taste as good as the 130? I would shoot it take the meat and leave the antlers for the obsessive to cry over.

Then kill a spike or doe, leave that buck for the "obsessive" would be even better yet up


Sorry I was enjoying some deer chili when I read this post. for the most part I do hunt does but if time runs out and I still have an empty freezer BAM dear burgers.

Sorry I was flush the grilled backstrap from last night I ate from a doe I shot last year. I have not killed a WT buck in 2 years and still had the meat from 6 does I killed during the late season in those 2 yrs up



Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot [Re: DQ Kid] #5234279 08/04/14 03:55 PM
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key point is on a smaller place with hunting pressure in the surrounding pastures... unless adjoining ranches/hunters all play under the same guidelines.


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