how often do you bag a mature buck?

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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby dan » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:55 pm

I find it hard to believe your gun buck is 2 1/2. What makes you think it's only 2 1/2? He looks too big to be that age.

He was aged by the DNR as a 2 1/2, and he weighed just under 160 dressed which is the typical weight of a 2 1/2 in this region...
I think most people over estimate age on deer they kill.
Andrae had a 2 1/2 living on his Iowa farm a couple years back that gross scored near 170 typical...


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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby Spysar » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:17 pm

dan wrote:
I find it hard to believe your gun buck is 2 1/2. What makes you think it's only 2 1/2? He looks too big to be that age.

He was aged by the DNR as a 2 1/2, and he weighed just under 160 dressed which is the typical weight of a 2 1/2 in this region...
I think most people over estimate age on deer they kill.
Andrae had a 2 1/2 living on his Iowa farm a couple years back that gross scored near 170 typical...


For one thing, I don't have much faith in the DNR guys. And tooth aging is nothing more than a guess....Just cause they work for the DNR dosen't mean they're experts at aging, just sayin.

But I agree on most people over estimating ages....sometimes I just laugh at their statements.

In NY where I live, a deer wouldn't grow a rack like that no matter how old it was. Most of our three year olds(if you can find one) weigh 140 to 170....

Just thought your deer was at least 3 1/2.... :?:
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:23 am

Agreeing with Spy on this one.

Your bow buck i could see being 2.5 but your gun buck looks older. But wasn't there.....what do you think personally?

Buck I shot last year "only" weighed in the 150's. For the heavy mass rack thought he was 3.5 because no way he was 2.5.

When brought to the taxi, he called me after having skinning the skull plate off and seeing the teeth saying it was an old deer.

He knew a DNR rep, and the DNR guy looked at it and said 5.5-6.5 depending on the area in the state it was taken. When 3-Dog on this site looked at the pictures he thought maybe older than 3.5.

Who knows. :? Does it really matter once they're dead laying on the ground. 8-)
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby 3dog » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:36 am

He knew a DNR rep, and the DNR guy looked at it and said 5.5-6.5 depending on the area in the state it was taken. When 3-Dog on this site looked at the pictures he thought maybe older than 3.5.
Which pic? Can't remember but it'd be cool to see it again and compare to what the DNR and everybody else said. Far as weight, your bucks seem awful heavy Dan but again that could be area related. Joe and I weighed ours, both the 3 1/2's came in at 155# and the 4 1/2 at 165# All these bucks were shot before any heavy rut. I shot a potential booner the Friday after Thanksgiving a few years back. He busted off one side of his rack, he weighed 155#.

Anywho, back to to the main topic. I think you should be getting into a good / mature public buck (3 1/2 or better) every 25 hours on stand. Now that's not killing one, that's getting a legitimate crack. And that's not counting scouting hours either, for me I probably scout 3 hours to every 2 on stand. Doing the math, I've got 62 1/2 hours for every crack. If I could kill every 3rd buck I get a crack at then I'm at 187.5 per kill.... Ouch, that's a lot of time!!!
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby ryanm » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:20 am

I probably get 1 to 2 cracks at a 3 1/2 year old a year.
Maybe see 2-3 3.5's a season while hunting.
Still learning to hunt beastie and adding more areas, hopefully more cracks will come with scouting.

since '05 I 've gotten 5 - 3.5's (at least that's what the taxi called 4 of them)
The last 3 were around 160 lb.
I may have seen my first 4.5+ this year while bowhunting this year.
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:27 am

PM from 3-Dog on the other site. Forgot, thought it was here.

Saw your buck on the forum, he looked like a more mature deer from his head and body size.

I have the lower jaws yet, I'll take a picture and post it maybe tomorrow if I remember.

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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby DropTyne » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:16 am

Sorry to Hi-jack the thread again. The whole aging/genetics thing really grabbed my attention. I 100% agree with Dan and Spy that most people overestimate the age of the deer they shoot. I have talked with more than enough people that are certain their 2-1/2 is a 4-1/2 and their 4-1/2 is a 6-1/2. I just don't think people realize how few actually make it to a mature 4-1/2 and just how rare a 6-1/2 year old deer is.

I hunt land that is mainly agricultural with some thick cover and hardwoods mixed in. I have noticed a pretty consistent pattern with age and weight. 160 lbs dressed generally 2-1/2, 180 lbs dressed generally 3-1/2, 200 lbs dressed generally 4-1/2....... etc. Do you think there is any truth to that? I say "generally" because other factors come into play, Rut participation, available food sources, genetic makeup of the animal... etc.

When you look at Genetics as a whole I think people are pretty quick to assume that Genetics 10 miles down the road from where they hunt are the same where they hunt. In general you might say Wisconsin has good genetics, but I know better. Everywhere is a little different, I have hunted areas with really good genetics and areas with poor genetics. I personally know a guy that hunts in NE Wisconsin that has an area of public that he has found some great non-typical genetics. It's not common for that area, but he found a little area that is a hotbed. The area that Dan hunts has been praised in the past for having very good genetics (the problem is age) so it is no surprise to me that a buck with nice tall tines and mass like that may only be 2-1/2 years old. I am certain there are little genetic hotbeds in NY somewhere, there are also areas that probably have genetics that are not as good. Anyone with me on this one? Or am I mistaken?

Autumn Ninja:
There usually 4 1/2+ But I have killed a couple real nice 3 1/2


I find this response particularily interesting.... How do you know? How are you certain that you don't shoot a nice 3-1/2 every year and you have shot the occasional 2-1/2 with a nice rack? How old do you think the buck you got this year was and why? Please don't think I'm attacking you because that isn't the case, just curious because I want to know more...

Hodag Hunter's buck is a great representation of a Northwoods buck, Full body, Fat face, it looks to have some age, but it's hard to tell. I scored on a nice one up by where he hunts 2 years ago, That buck scored 120" as a eight pointer and weighed 185 lbs dressed. Same exact body makeup and look as Hodags, but how old was that deer? It weighed more, had more white on the muzzle, but I personally have no idea.

What do you use to age? Unless you really know the animal enough to put a pretty accurate number on him. I think it has to be a genetic thing. Look at people, we all have different genetics, some are fat, some are skinny, some look older, others look younger, but at the end of the day we all are people. If the tooth aging thing isn't accurate what is? Especially when you're trying to discriminate between a 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 or a 4-1/2 and 5-1/2...... It's just one year difference.
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:29 am

dan wrote:
I find it hard to believe your gun buck is 2 1/2. What makes you think it's only 2 1/2? He looks too big to be that age.

He was aged by the DNR as a 2 1/2, and he weighed just under 160 dressed which is the typical weight of a 2 1/2 in this region...
I think most people over estimate age on deer they kill.
Andrae had a 2 1/2 living on his Iowa farm a couple years back that gross scored near 170 typical...


I quickly measured Dan's gun buck and it was 127 1/8 gross, 123 1/8 net. I didn't look at the teeth. The first circumference measurements were 4.5" which seems a bit on the larger side in my expereince for a 2.5 yo. I also have seen both 2.5 and 3.5 yo WI bucks in the 155-160 lb range from late Oct. thru Nov. which is consistent with what others posted above. It could be a 2.5 or 3.5. I don't think we'll ever know for sure.
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby 3dog » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:42 am

Thanks for pulling that pic up Hodag, remember him now. It's cool he's got that reddish/gold crown on him, same as my buck this year. Yeah, I'll stick to my guns and say he's better than 3 1/2, just look at how big his head is and the muscle tone in the shoulders...
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby ryanm » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:56 am

DropTyne wrote:When you look at Genetics as a whole I think people are pretty quick to assume that Genetics 10 miles down the road from where they hunt are the same where they hunt. In general you might say Wisconsin has good genetics, but I know better. Everywhere is a little different, I have hunted areas with really good genetics and areas with poor genetics.


Because of they way gun season cleans house in WI... I'm not convinced genetics plays into the equation as much as age and available nutrition. yes different areas have better genetics, but i don't think you will see that much difference 10 miles away. I think age is the bigger playing card.

The deer in Northern WI seem to run heavier than down here, but that doesn't seem to makes sense with available nutrition.

I wish I could see the buck my dad talks about that was shot off the farm group hunting in the 70's. claimed it was 1.5, 18" spread, tall tines and low body weight.

DropTyne wrote:I find this response particularily interesting.... How do you know? How are you certain that you don't shoot a nice 3-1/2 every year and you have shot the occasional 2-1/2 with a nice rack? How old do you think the buck you got this year was and why? Please don't think I'm attacking you because that isn't the case, just curious because I want to know more...



viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3177

I think this buck was 3.5 based on the mass of the antlers and body weight was close to other deer the taxidermist I sell capes to called 3.5's
He's still in my freezer waiting to be caped. I think he may inflating things to try convincing me to get them mounted :lol:

to judge them on the hoof is something I wish I did better.
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:22 am

ryanm wrote:The deer in Northern WI seem to run heavier than down here, but that doesn't seem to makes sense with available nutrition.


The heavier weights are explained by Bergmann's rule.

From Wikipedia:
In zoology, Bergmann's rule is an ecogeographic rule that correlates latitude with body mass in animals.[1] Broadly it asserts that within a species the body mass increases with latitude and colder climate, or that within closely related species that differ only in relation to size that one would expect the larger species to be found at the higher latitude. The rule is named after a nineteenth-century German biologist, Christian Bergmann, who first formulated the rule in 1847. The rule is often applied only to mammals and birds (endotherms), but some researchers have also found evidence for the rule in studies of ectothermic species.[2] Bergmann's rule is controversial amongst researchers and its validity has been called into question,[3] and there is division amongst scientists about whether the rule should be interpreted to be within species variation or among species variation.[1] Although several mechanisms have been suggested to explain the rule there is no clear explanation for why the pattern exists.

The earliest explanation, given by Bergmann when originally formulating the rule, is that larger animals have a lower surface area to volume ratio than smaller animals, so they radiate less body heat per unit of mass, and stay warmer in cold climates. On the other hand, warmer climates impose the opposite problem: body heat generated by metabolism needs to be dissipated quickly rather than stored within. Thus, the higher surface area-to-volume ratio of smaller animals in hot and dry climates facilitates heat loss through the skin and helps cooling of the body.

However, some notable exceptions of species with large mass and small surface-to-volume ratios that reside in warm climates exist, such as the African elephant. In this case, similar thermoregulatory optimizations may be operating, such as mass homeothermy to resist a significant rise in core body temperature in warm climates. Anecdotally, elephants are more frequently found in the shelter of shade when they are accompanied by calves, which have a significantly higher surface-to-volume ratio, and are much more prone to changes in temperature from radiant sources in the environment.[4]
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby Spysar » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:00 am

If the tooth aging thing isn't accurate what is?


Tooth wear aging has been proven to be inaccurate, other than the jump from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2, because they have tri tooth that falls out and replaced by a bi tooth.

The way I have heard is the best is a cross section of a front tooth from the lower jaw. The downfall, obviously is that it has to be done in a lab. There are places online where you can pay and send a tooth to them...

I think you can tell something about the age by the skull itself. Older deer seem to have thicker skulls, way bigger pedicals, and the big seam down the middle is humped up and thick. On a cleaned skull, you can almost feel the seams are loose on a younger deer, and real tight and stong on the older ones. Again, nothing to scientific, just observations I made, and one more piece to the age puzzle...
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby wmihunter » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:20 am

ok lets get this thread back on track. autumn ninja, 3dog, dan and many others on this site have scored fairly consistently on public land deer. i would like an estimate of avg hours scouting and hunting until you get an opportinuty at a mature buck with a bow? How bout how many scouting hours and hunting hours until you score? How many stick to the scout 2 hours or more for one hour hunting. i like to scout/hunt a 1:1 ratio
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby dan » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:43 am

3x scout to hunt ratio... Probably actually higher than that but I don't keep track. Lately that has gone down as I help others more and it shows in my success. The question is open ended though... 10 years ago I averaged 1 shot opportunity at a 2 1/2 or better about every three days. Now in the same public marsh I average 3 or 4 run ins a year. So deer density plays a roll... I also see much greater reward for less effort on my road trips to areas that have more shooter deer. When hunting public this year in hill country I averaged once again about 1 opportunity every 3 days.
If we talk truly mature bucks 4 1/2 or larger on public, those numbers drop down to 1 to 5 times a season average, based on where I choose to hunt.
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Re: how often do you bag a mature buck?

Unread postby DropTyne » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:03 am

I think it depends.....

Before the season scouting new areas and such I spent alot of time burning boot leather. Once I was on to one I wanted my scouting turned to watching/keeping tabs and waiting for the right wind/hunt days. 1:1 a bit low I would say, 3:1 more like it. After trying to scout new beds in the early season I had alot of time in, once I found the one I wanted it became more of a waiting/watching/timing game. When it all tallied up I had 10:1 ratio but I also had the buck figured out earlier in the year. I saw this buck two times before I killed him, generally in a season I will have 3 close encounters with mature bucks, wether I kill them or not, let's just say I still get buck fever pretty bad or the buck does something I didn't expect. If you break it down in a year 40 hrs of scouting per encounter, and I will see the buck 1 out of every 5 of my sits. The way I had the one this year patterned I knew I would see him and I knew EXACTLY what trail he was taking, no guesswork. Knowing the animal you pursue intimatly is a big part of the battle. I will admit I have only been hunting BEAST style for two years, so this is taking into consideration time spent last year and this year.

If you put in time learning your chosen area, you WILL see results. I'm living proof of that.

So I guess it Depends..........
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