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Reality has set in #7408914 01/19/19 06:02 PM
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I have stated a few times I watch a bunch of youtube videos. I don't watch the glam and glitz crap most of what I watch are your average, blue collar hunters that go after various game. One of the ones I was watching this morning was a family outing for various deer including wt, mule deer and elk in Washington State. It wasn't about the antlers etc. it was about being with family and filling the freezer.

I have never seen this particular poster take any Poe and Young, B and C, 380 class elk. He gets after it and seems like he does rather well at filling his freezer. When I was growing up I remember deer hunting was not about the antler size, age etc. It was about having fun and the added bonus was killing a deer or animal.

For as long as I can now remember it is now about it must be 5.5 yrs old, outside the ears, 8 points or better etc. With that I have passed on so many bucks because they never met that criteria. By that I mean it has been numerous years since I have taken a buck and can't remember the last year it was one did have "horns". Shot a few culls but then again it met the age requirements so it was an older deer and no impressive antlers.

The reality of this is most Texas lease hunters, public hunters etc are not going to kill a 140 class deer on a normal lease. By normal meaning low fence, no genetics introduced, just the average Texas lease or public land (what little there is). There are exceptions of course. South Texas region and high dollar leases, HF deer etc can almost assure a few of you will kill a giant deer. That's not what I am referring to in this thread.

I do miss the times when it was ok to take a 2.5 yr buck, a couple of does etc. seems like we are so hard pressured on "management" it has come to more evenings out then actually pulling a trigger. The economic value to the landowners, outfitters, lease agents has played a big boom imo along with if it isn't a 180 class buck it just isn't all the glitz it use to be. I am sure there will be varying opinions on this subject but I guess I am just burned out on the theory of everything has to be this, that or the other to kill or you go home empty handed.

There are some of you who live for 200 class deer, more power to you. Again the reality is some/most of us can't afford that dream. I still believe most Texas counties will not produce the caliber of deer trophy hunters live for. Most counties will only produce average deer, yr in and yr out no matter what you do with management. So let the fun begin................................................


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7408930 01/19/19 06:28 PM
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You may be right. And honestly it is a question I've been revisiting often. I'm on a low fence hill country lease we are managing under the rules the landowners have set for us. And we have been seeing and killing some 130 and 140+ deer the last couple of years. I want to kill a P&Y buck. I'd love a 140+ buck on my wall. I spend a lot to hunt there. I spend a lot on feed, equipment and gas to go there all the time. This is in addition to land I own near Abilene and Missouri I hunt.
But then what? The next year I don't shoot one because I don't see one bigger? I give up hunting and take up golf?
I had a friend who killed many gold and silver metal ranked animals in Africa. Wasn't a whitetail hunter. He had a room full of trophy mounts. I enjoyed sitting down with him and listening to the stories of the hunts and admiring the beauty of the animals.
In his early seventies his wife passed after a long battle with cancer. He did okay for a while. Still hunted, still shot competition. However one day he found all the nice mounts, shooting awards and life in general weren't enough without his beloved wife and he took his own life.
Now the mounts have all been sold off, many of the guns sold off and his home is lived in by another family.
In the end there is more to the hunt, the meaning of the trophy, the value of the animal, than the inches of bone on the head.
That said I like to kill deer. I like killing mature deer and I'd prefer to kill some with a lot of bone up top. However watching an arrow disappear through a mature doe or a pig gives me a pretty darn good feeling as well. But shooting a young buck doesn't. There is no feeling of accomplishment or success in shooting a younger deer for me. Will I do it for the management needs or meat if need be? Yes. But it's not the same as shooting a 6 or 7 year old buck that was hard to get close to with a bow and you worked all season to beat him at his game and the inches of bone, while important, don't determine the whole value of the trophy.


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7408945 01/19/19 06:46 PM
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my recommendation is to go spend a few seasons hunting public land in Colorado or Wyoming and then come back and see how good we have it here in Texas as far as seasons, land accessibility and amount of and variety of game goes.


You need to change your mindset on the whole deal....several of your posts have been sob stories about how not, why not, have not when you need to look at the positives and how things have actually changed for the better. Back in the "good old days" there wasn't nearly as many deer nor where they as widespread. People took 2 year old bucks because that's all that was around for the most part. Now a 140" buck is a realistic possibility on most areas across the state. Not every area but they are way, way more common than you are making it sound.

If you don't like what hunting in Texas has become go hunt somewhere else for awhile and if that suits you better than stick with that.


I don't agree with every facet of Whitetail hunting and I do think it has gotten too wrapped up about score and the level of maturity a deer has to have reached ( i'm talking about places where a deer has to be 7 years old before its shot ) and if its not what was expected everyone gets pissed but I don't hunt those type places by choice so I get along fine.


Last edited by txtrophy85; 01/19/19 06:47 PM.

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Re: Reality has set in [Re: txtrophy85] #7408968 01/19/19 07:38 PM
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Txtrophy is pretty much right on.
In reality, trophy hunting for big racks is fairly new starting around the early 70's, and mostly due to the efforts of one Dolph Briscoe, who pushed the efforts of eradication of the screw worm by introducing sterile flies ,into the country side.
There were many places that didn't have a deer population to hunt, and not until the explosion of deer and stocking of deer where they were needed by TPWD.
Also another thing that contributed to the rise in trophy hunting about the same time frame, was the high fence when ranchers decided they could cash in on the trophy hunting craze.
One thing you have to remember is if you want to kill a buck say over 140" plus, you have to hunt where they are at.
Most low fence ranches with a healthy population, unless there is heavy pressure are more than capable of producing them.
Some areas also are lacking in genetics and you can feed all the protein you can afford and it won't do much good.
Hill country deer are generally smaller then their cousins down south, that don't have to limit their diet to eating cedar and rocks.
Again, you have to hunt where the area is right to grow trophy deer.

Re: Reality has set in [Re: txtrophy85] #7408973 01/19/19 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
my recommendation is to go spend a few seasons hunting public land in Colorado or Wyoming and then come back and see how good we have it here in Texas as far as seasons, land accessibility and amount of and variety of game goes.


You need to change your mindset on the whole deal....several of your posts have been sob stories about how not, why not, have not when you need to look at the positives and how things have actually changed for the better. Back in the "good old days" there wasn't nearly as many deer nor where they as widespread. People took 2 year old bucks because that's all that was around for the most part. Now a 140" buck is a realistic possibility on most areas across the state. Not every area but they are way, way more common than you are making it sound.

If you don't like what hunting in Texas has become go hunt somewhere else for awhile and if that suits you better than stick with that.



Man I'm going to be honest with you since you bring up sob stories and that you have kept up with my posts etc. I would truly LOVE to hunt those western states. With that though with my physical inabilities and lack there of, I know I can not do it. I have spoken to three different people off this forum that do annual trips to Colorado for elk, mule deer etc. They are tough hunts for people that are in GREAT SHAPE much less poor sobbing, dirt bags like myself.

I am assuming you were born in 1985? The yr I graduated HS. Not sure how you or I can compare the "good ole days" and once again I am guessing early 1900s where WE nearly wiped out every animal on the Northern Continent including wt deer.

My "good ole days" differ from yours I guess? I am not looking at slaughtering deer like yester year where we wiped em out. I differ in thoughts as what should be legal more so in AR counties as I still see those counties yr after yr not doing what is suppose to happen. Lot's of those pics and threads are here as well on not making AR. Each state has there own unique part that grows big deer. I am not referring to pen raised deer tags.

Illinois, Kansas etc grow big deer, in some counties, not all. South Texas seems to be the premier area for Texas. I just think we have taken the fun out of hunting maybe as I remember it maybe not so much you? Hope that clarifys what your concerned about as far as me whining.

Last edited by 7mag; 01/19/19 07:53 PM.

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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7408986 01/19/19 08:10 PM
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I grew up hunting in the late 60's and a trophy to me was anything that had an antler. We killed deer for the meat, and not the horns, but I always wanted to kill a big buck, and back then it might have measured in the 120's but we weren't into measuring, just body weight and points was what we went by.
I've killed a couple of trophies with my best a 158 P&Y 12 point and that was way back in 1992,
I will take a mature buck nowdays and I pass on a lot of 3 year olds letting them age a little.
I'd rather watch them now!

Re: Reality has set in [Re: Jimbo] #7408987 01/19/19 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo
I grew up hunting in the late 60's and a trophy to me was anything that had an antler. We killed deer for the meat, and not the horns, but I always wanted to kill a big buck, and back then it might have measured in the 120's but we weren't into measuring, just body weight and points was what we went by.
I've killed a couple of trophies with my best a 158 P&Y 12 point and that was way back in 1992,
I will take a mature buck nowdays and I pass on a lot of 3 year olds letting them age a little.
I'd rather watch them now!



Well Jim have gun will travel!! I can rid u f those pesky 3 yr olds!!! banana


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409011 01/19/19 08:48 PM
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It's true deer hunting is overall better than it used to be. But that doesn't mean it is for everyone. Some have enough disposable income to enjoy it. Some don't.


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: passthru] #7409017 01/19/19 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by passthru
It's true deer hunting is overall better than it used to be. But that doesn't mean it is for everyone. Some have enough disposable income to enjoy it. Some don't.


I know you roll big Gary up


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: passthru] #7409112 01/19/19 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by passthru
It's true deer hunting is overall better than it used to be. But that doesn't mean it is for everyone. Some have enough disposable income to enjoy it. Some don't.



That could be said of just about any recreational activity.


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409123 01/19/19 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 7mag
Originally Posted by txtrophy85
my recommendation is to go spend a few seasons hunting public land in Colorado or Wyoming and then come back and see how good we have it here in Texas as far as seasons, land accessibility and amount of and variety of game goes.


You need to change your mindset on the whole deal....several of your posts have been sob stories about how not, why not, have not when you need to look at the positives and how things have actually changed for the better. Back in the "good old days" there wasn't nearly as many deer nor where they as widespread. People took 2 year old bucks because that's all that was around for the most part. Now a 140" buck is a realistic possibility on most areas across the state. Not every area but they are way, way more common than you are making it sound.

If you don't like what hunting in Texas has become go hunt somewhere else for awhile and if that suits you better than stick with that.



Man I'm going to be honest with you since you bring up sob stories and that you have kept up with my posts etc. I would truly LOVE to hunt those western states. With that though with my physical inabilities and lack there of, I know I can not do it. I have spoken to three different people off this forum that do annual trips to Colorado for elk, mule deer etc. They are tough hunts for people that are in GREAT SHAPE much less poor sobbing, dirt bags like myself.

I am assuming you were born in 1985? The yr I graduated HS. Not sure how you or I can compare the "good ole days" and once again I am guessing early 1900s where WE nearly wiped out every animal on the Northern Continent including wt deer.

My "good ole days" differ from yours I guess? I am not looking at slaughtering deer like yester year where we wiped em out. I differ in thoughts as what should be legal more so in AR counties as I still see those counties yr after yr not doing what is suppose to happen. Lot's of those pics and threads are here as well on not making AR. Each state has there own unique part that grows big deer. I am not referring to pen raised deer tags.

Illinois, Kansas etc grow big deer, in some counties, not all. South Texas seems to be the premier area for Texas. I just think we have taken the fun out of hunting maybe as I remember it maybe not so much you? Hope that clarifys what your concerned about as far as me whining.



My advise would be to research the history of the whitetail deer in Texas. Many areas had no huntable population until the 70ís. I hunted in east Texas pre-ar regs and now there are more AND bigger deer, which suits both the meat and trophy hunters. Itís not like Texas was just teeming with deer prior to 1900 then we shot them out then they rebounded. A lot of areas just flat out didnít have them, never did.

As far as whitetail hunting in Texas...we pretty much are living in the good old days. Personal situations may change and whatís popular and not popular with come and go but as a whole we are riding a high wave regarding whitetail deer in Texas.


We need to stop living in the past. Itís not comming back. Look back with fond memories but also look towards the future


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409266 01/20/19 03:33 AM
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7mag, Iím only three years younger than you and I did the Colorado trip this year. Iím still way out of shape but I busted my butt for 8 months getting ready. There are plenty of areas there for you to hunt without being a Greek god. And it will harken back to the days when it was about being outdoors, in Godís country, with friends and family and the animal was a bonus.

As for your WT assessment, Iíve been hunting deer in Mills County for 41 years. The first year I never saw a deer. For many years we shot nearly every legal adult deer we saw, trying to fill the freezer. Now, itís an odd morning or evening hunt where you donít see 5-10 deer, and we donít even hunt feeders.

We try like hell to balance our herd. We are an AR county, and this year I saw more big bucks than any year prior. We took 15 deer this year off 600 acres and they wonít be missed-12 were does. Our place hunts large because of low pressure around us. Our neighbors take some bucks but few does.

My two biggest bucks were taken in the last 8 years. Both gross right at 138. Weíve taken more large bucks in the last decade than in the previous 30 years combined. There is no doubt in my mind that the changes we instituted in 1998, combined with the AR restrictions, have had a great positive impact on our herd.

Im not under the impression that weíll ever raise a 160-70-80 buck. Iíve passed on many 2-3-4 year old bucks but never once regretted or been chagrined by it. I LOVE to be out in the woods hunting deer. If I see one, great. If I see 25, thatís great too. I enjoy watching them, analyzing their behavior, and seeing what shows up next. I love large antlers but am more focused on taking a mature buck regardless of his headgear. To me that is challenging and exciting but does not in anyway diminish my hunting enjoyment just because Iím not shooting the first or only antlered buck that walks out.


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409272 01/20/19 03:48 AM
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Thats lotsa bemoaning your station.

Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409280 01/20/19 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 7mag
Originally Posted by passthru
It's true deer hunting is overall better than it used to be. But that doesn't mean it is for everyone. Some have enough disposable income to enjoy it. Some don't.


I know you roll big Gary up

I probably spend way too much on hunting. I may not roll big except the one around the belt line. But I think about all the money I spent tournament fishing for twenty years and I know that just one of my boats cost what ten years of my deer lease does. Although I made most of my boat payments with winnings from tournaments so I guess that doesn't directly translate. But spending five grand a year on this addiction is quite a bit for a guy who turned wrenches his whole life. I'm just saying that many people don't have that option. I know when my kids were young I didn't have good leases and expanding ranches. I stayed on mediocre places for years because I hunted with a group of friends who could only afford that price range. It wasn't until they gave up leasing (mostly because of cost and dealing with the crappy situations) that I moved on to better leases. That said I've made some good friends on new leases, met some on paid hunts as well. You just have to pick your poison. Hunt on a trophy minded place or a non trophy minded one. In the end we all need to hunt for our own reasons.


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409366 01/20/19 02:06 PM
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We own a small place in San Saba county. We aren't even under AR but we employ them and have for years. That being said, on our son's(plural) once a year trip they are free to shoot the first legal buck they see. They always wind up with a kill and meat to take home and it makes everyone happy. Life is too short to be so rigid, make sure it's fun. Make those memories. [Linked Image]


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409374 01/20/19 02:18 PM
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It aint all geared towards trophies and age. That's just the side of hunting that is in your face all the time because that's where the money is at. I have hunted TONS of places and can tell you most leases are meat leases. Around the campfire people will talk a good game when it comes to management but will pop the first legal buck they see. Sounds like that's the kind of lease you are looking for and you wont have to look hard to find it either.

Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409400 01/20/19 02:59 PM
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Iíve never killed what most would call a trophy WT (150 class or higher) and Iíve hunted more than 25 years all on low fence places.

And Iíve loved every minute of it.

Re: Reality has set in [Re: JCB] #7409485 01/20/19 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JCB
It aint all geared towards trophies and age. That's just the side of hunting that is in your face all the time because that's where the money is at. I have hunted TONS of places and can tell you most leases are meat leases. Around the campfire people will talk a good game when it comes to management but will pop the first legal buck they see. Sounds like that's the kind of lease you are looking for and you wont have to look hard to find it either.



Agree most leases I see are have fun hunting/ meat places. Not shooting galleries but not Uber management intensive.

Trophy leases are the minority and are upfront about what they are and what they expect.

If you sent into that donít hunt them. Thatís not my bag either


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409563 01/20/19 06:51 PM
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In my entire life I have never taken what most on here would call a trophy WT Buck. In fact I haven't shot a WT Buck at all in probably 20 years. All I hunt now are spike and 2 year old Axis. Mainly because at my age that is as heavy an animal as I can load. Most on here would be sick seeing the large Axis I have let walk looking for a younger one. On the property where I have hunters I charge by the point on WT bucks. I could give a rats rear end what a person takes. I deal in numbers of Deer, not size or age. As long as the hunter is happy I am happy wether it be a 10 point or a spike. And I was not in the blind with them telling them what they can shoot or not shoot. And if they didn't like what they saw and didn't shoot anything that doesn;t matter either.

Re: Reality has set in [Re: don k] #7409698 01/20/19 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by don k
In my entire life I have never taken what most on here would call a trophy WT Buck. In fact I haven't shot a WT Buck at all in probably 20 years. All I hunt now are spike and 2 year old Axis. Mainly because at my age that is as heavy an animal as I can load. Most on here would be sick seeing the large Axis I have let walk looking for a younger one. On the property where I have hunters I charge by the point on WT bucks. I could give a rats rear end what a person takes. I deal in numbers of Deer, not size or age. As long as the hunter is happy I am happy wether it be a 10 point or a spike. And I was not in the blind with them telling them what they can shoot or not shoot. And if they didn't like what they saw and didn't shoot anything that doesn;t matter either.

Great attitude!


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Re: Reality has set in [Re: 7mag] #7409703 01/20/19 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 7mag
I have stated a few times I watch a bunch of youtube videos. I don't watch the glam and glitz crap most of what I watch are your average, blue collar hunters that go after various game. One of the ones I was watching this morning was a family outing for various deer including wt, mule deer and elk in Washington State. It wasn't about the antlers etc. it was about being with family and filling the freezer.

I have never seen this particular poster take any Poe and Young, B and C, 380 class elk. He gets after it and seems like he does rather well at filling his freezer. When I was growing up I remember deer hunting was not about the antler size, age etc. It was about having fun and the added bonus was killing a deer or animal.

For as long as I can now remember it is now about it must be 5.5 yrs old, outside the ears, 8 points or better etc. With that I have passed on so many bucks because they never met that criteria. By that I mean it has been numerous years since I have taken a buck and can't remember the last year it was one did have "horns". Shot a few culls but then again it met the age requirements so it was an older deer and no impressive antlers.

The reality of this is most Texas lease hunters, public hunters etc are not going to kill a 140 class deer on a normal lease. By normal meaning low fence, no genetics introduced, just the average Texas lease or public land (what little there is). There are exceptions of course. South Texas region and high dollar leases, HF deer etc can almost assure a few of you will kill a giant deer. That's not what I am referring to in this thread.

I do miss the times when it was ok to take a 2.5 yr buck, a couple of does etc. seems like we are so hard pressured on "management" it has come to more evenings out then actually pulling a trigger. The economic value to the landowners, outfitters, lease agents has played a big boom imo along with if it isn't a 180 class buck it just isn't all the glitz it use to be. I am sure there will be varying opinions on this subject but I guess I am just burned out on the theory of everything has to be this, that or the other to kill or you go home empty handed.

There are some of you who live for 200 class deer, more power to you. Again the reality is some/most of us can't afford that dream. I still believe most Texas counties will not produce the caliber of deer trophy hunters live for. Most counties will only produce average deer, yr in and yr out no matter what you do with management. So let the fun begin................................................



So 920k deer were killed last year....most werenít huge. You just see a high number of people talking about big antler deer because you are on a forum for hunters.

It is getting more expensive to hunt, but everything is getting more expensive. Hell even camping at state park is getting pricey

Re: Reality has set in [Re: don k] #7410083 01/21/19 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by don k
In my entire life I have never taken what most on here would call a trophy WT Buck. In fact I haven't shot a WT Buck at all in probably 20 years. All I hunt now are spike and 2 year old Axis. Mainly because at my age that is as heavy an animal as I can load. Most on here would be sick seeing the large Axis I have let walk looking for a younger one. On the property where I have hunters I charge by the point on WT bucks. I could give a rats rear end what a person takes. I deal in numbers of Deer, not size or age. As long as the hunter is happy I am happy wether it be a 10 point or a spike. And I was not in the blind with them telling them what they can shoot or not shoot. And if they didn't like what they saw and didn't shoot anything that doesn;t matter either.



Don, next season if all goes well with back surgeries for me I am hoping to do a day hunt with you for me and the wife. Crunching numbers it would be cheaper that route than the lease, etc. Hope it works out and time will tell up


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