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Deer Harvesting #8470592 12/09/21 02:40 PM
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Looking at harvests of whitetail bucks; what do you all think the average age of all whitetail buck harvests in TX ea. season is vs what ideally, trophy wise and/or max deer potential wise it should be. Again this is speaking purely for averages, not the "outlier" situations....I'll start by saying average buck harvest age structure in TX is probably 3-3.5yo vs what could be an average buck's scoring potential at 5-6yo...What say you all???

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8470597 12/09/21 02:45 PM
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Im not sure I exactly understand the question, but assuming I do, then I think you are as close as I could guess.
Personally, when it comes to deer hunting and deer managing, I like thinking of the outliers and not the average(not your question, of course.)
Interesting topic.


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Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8470601 12/09/21 02:48 PM
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I’d agree



Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8470616 12/09/21 03:05 PM
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3.5 sounds right. I know a lot of hunters that just can't tame that itchy trigger finger or don't have time to hunt so they take what they can in the time they have. I have no problem with it but I do think hunters could have the opportunity to take an older buck if people could resist the urge to just shoot something.


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Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8470619 12/09/21 03:09 PM
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I'd bet the average is three or less. There are a lot of brown/down guys, and also a lot of yearling spikes taken by both regular hunters and MLD places-this pulls the average down considerably. In AR counties, the brown/down guys are shooting the first 13" buck they can get, many of which are 2.5 yrs old.

Two of the dumbest phrases ever uttered are 'They just don't get any bigger out this way' and 'I got my buck!' I encounter these on an almost annual basis and heard them again this season. First one, they sure aren't getting any bigger if you keep loading them in the truck. Second one, why does it have to be a buck, particularly one you aren't that thrilled about?

I have numerous people telling me 'man, you got some nice ones out your way'. Yeah, because I'm not shooting them when they have milk on their lips.

As to the second part, I'm convinced that with decent nutrition and genetics, 6.5 is the correct age for trophy potential.

/rant


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Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8470667 12/09/21 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
I'd bet the average is three or less. There are a lot of brown/down guys, and also a lot of yearling spikes taken by both regular hunters and MLD places-this pulls the average down considerably. In AR counties, the brown/down guys are shooting the first 13" buck they can get, many of which are 2.5 yrs old.

Two of the dumbest phrases ever uttered are 'They just don't get any bigger out this way' and 'I got my buck!' I encounter these on an almost annual basis and heard them again this season. First one, they sure aren't getting any bigger if you keep loading them in the truck. Second one, why does it have to be a buck, particularly one you aren't that thrilled about?

I have numerous people telling me 'man, you got some nice ones out your way'. Yeah, because I'm not shooting them when they have milk on their lips.

As to the second part, I'm convinced that with decent nutrition and genetics, 6.5 is the correct age for trophy potential.

/rant


This.
I think a lot of people have the mind set that,if I don’t the neighbors will.

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: Texas452] #8470693 12/09/21 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas452
Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
I'd bet the average is three or less. There are a lot of brown/down guys, and also a lot of yearling spikes taken by both regular hunters and MLD places-this pulls the average down considerably. In AR counties, the brown/down guys are shooting the first 13" buck they can get, many of which are 2.5 yrs old.

Two of the dumbest phrases ever uttered are 'They just don't get any bigger out this way' and 'I got my buck!' I encounter these on an almost annual basis and heard them again this season. First one, they sure aren't getting any bigger if you keep loading them in the truck. Second one, why does it have to be a buck, particularly one you aren't that thrilled about?

I have numerous people telling me 'man, you got some nice ones out your way'. Yeah, because I'm not shooting them when they have milk on their lips.

As to the second part, I'm convinced that with decent nutrition and genetics, 6.5 is the correct age for trophy potential.

/rant


This.
I think a lot of people have the mind set that,if I don’t the neighbors will.


Agree with all that. Only thing I'll add is that I think a deer might peak at 5.5, 6.5, or 7.5 and it's just hard to tell. If you have a great year when he's 5.5 that may be the peak.

I've never understood why you can't just fill your freezer with does and not shoot a buck unless you want to hang it on the wall. If you're happy enough with it to hang it on the wall, knock yourself out. I'm not here to judge anybody on that. This should be fun, after all. We want to encourage the entire activity.

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8470696 12/09/21 04:36 PM
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The shooting of spikes is an interesting twist I did not immediately consider in the averages. I wonder what it would look like with forked-antler deer versus including all antlered deer?

I tend to think 3.5 is probably the mean as well.

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8470704 12/09/21 04:44 PM
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Our biologist said that 2.5 was the average for Young County. I was at Cinnamon Creek the last two weekends and sat on the dock watching people bring in their deer while I was waiting and I think there were two deer that were clearly mature (5+) and then what looked a bunch of 2-3yr old that were barely legal so inline with what everyone else was saying.

We typically see the best racks at either 5 or 6 depending on the year and the buck and a consistent decline once a buck hits 7yrs.

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8470720 12/09/21 05:06 PM
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across the board i would say 3 years old.


People have gotten better about shooting older deer but the average joe hunter has trouble with 3 year olds, either letting them walk or thinking they are older than they are.


20 years ago i would say the average buck shot was 2 year olds but i'm on many social media hunting sites and don't see near as many 2 year old deer shot as I used to, most are 3-4 years old that I"m seeing shot. IIRC both QDMA and TPWD are shooting for a goal of 3 year old bucks being the target for buck harvest

On alot of well managed ranches they start culling at 3 years old, so that will affect the average as well. If a deer didn't have 10 points as a 3 year old we shot him unless he had a giant frame


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: txtrophy85] #8470746 12/09/21 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
i'm on many social media hunting sites and don't see near as many 2 year old deer shot as I used to, most are 3-4 years old that I"m seeing shot.


Except you aren't seeing them shot, you're seeing them posted online. A lot of those 2 yr olds are still being shot, but not posted because a)they're smaller than the other pics, and b)guys know they went against the grain and won't post the picture.


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Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: hook_n_line] #8470780 12/09/21 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hook_n_line
3.5 sounds right. I know a lot of hunters that just can't tame that itchy trigger finger or don't have time to hunt so they take what they can in the time they have. I have no problem with it but I do think hunters could have the opportunity to take an older buck if people could resist the urge to just shoot something.


I would agree with the 3.5….considering how many more cull deer are shot to trophy deer on most managed ranches… 2cents


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Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8471327 12/10/21 03:36 AM
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Unfortunately I think it’s 3 year old or less.

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8471484 12/10/21 01:14 PM
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Judging from what I see around here, a 3 yo has lived a long life.

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8471497 12/10/21 01:33 PM
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Shots fired Lonestar, care to elaborate? I feel I rarely see anything posted as harvested on THF under 4yo, some deer photos sometimes, yes but not a lot of harvests IMO.

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8471550 12/10/21 02:39 PM
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Also, the high price of leases and hunting somewhat dictates that some hunters need to shoot something to warrant paying that much for a lease. There are probably more 3.5 year old bucks than any other age group of bucks and they are closer to being desirable to shoot than any younger bucks, so this dictates that their age group is going to suffer the highest casualties.


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Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8471555 12/10/21 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LonestarCobra
Judging from what I see around here, a 3 yo has lived a long life.

Originally Posted by DQ Kid
Shots fired Lonestar, care to elaborate? I feel I rarely see anything posted as harvested on THF under 4yo, some deer photos sometimes, yes but not a lot of harvests IMO.


I read that as around here = Jack County, perhaps. I would say the pics on here avg 5.


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Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8471561 12/10/21 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by LonestarCobra
Judging from what I see around here, a 3 yo has lived a long life.

Originally Posted by DQ Kid
Shots fired Lonestar, care to elaborate? I feel I rarely see anything posted as harvested on THF under 4yo, some deer photos sometimes, yes but not a lot of harvests IMO.


I read that as around here = Jack County, perhaps. I would say the pics on here avg 5.

If he meant specific to Jack County then I gladly retract "shots fired" remark.

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: DQ Kid] #8471811 12/10/21 07:23 PM
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Pretty much from what I’ve seen I’d say 3.5

Re: Deer Harvesting [Re: 1955] #8471856 12/10/21 08:14 PM
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In young county I would say 3.5 for sure. See way to many young deer at the processor. Before antler restrictions came along it was even younger.

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