How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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Hawthorne
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Hawthorne » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:11 pm

It took me 8-9 years to kill a buck with the rack you described. I was in my late teens and early 20s. I killed a few basket 8 points before that. I didn’t start consistently getting them till about age 30. The progression was slow back then. No internet. Since I’ve found the hunting beast my opportunities have doubled plus I put more work into now than I ever have.


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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Coalcracker » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:03 pm

TWENTY-FOUR years and that was a 3 day out of state hunt on National Forest in Virginia. Three year old 115" 9pt.

THIRTY-SEVEN years for my home state of PA. Four year old 130" 8pt.

To be fair to myself, I grew up in the era (80's) of brown and down. Around 1993, I started passing up younger bucks and only shooting 8 pointers. So, eleven years after I started passing smaller bucks until I killed my "nicest" and largest buck at the time. Continued same pattern of 8 pointers or better until 2012. It was in the winter of 2012/13 at 43 years old, I started devoting more time and energy into hunting for mature bucks and upped my standards. So, realistically, It took me five years of harder work to land a mature buck in Pa. I did have misses on mature bucks along the way.....(2) to be exact!! Both with the bow and both I shot under! DAMN yardage! Anyway, since 2017, I've used tips from THP, BEAST and used my own approach for hunting mature bucks here in Pa. It's been an unbelievable few years! Given certain circumstances, I'm now passing on bucks I would have never considered passing.

I said 24 and 37 years because one would think, hunting the way I did would have resulted in killing at least (1) mature buck over that time period. I was never lazy when it came to getting in there after the deer.

In fact, each of my two hunting sons in consecutive years had chances at bucks larger than any I had ever seen on the same public land I hunted for many years. It was crazy!! I couldn't believe my own eyes!! (Both boys were in their first couple seasons and I sat with them....gun slung high and out of the way) I never even reached for the gun but tried like HE!! coaching them to the kill! They got away too. LOL
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Grizzlyadam
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Grizzlyadam » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:42 pm

My first deer was about 100 inch 8 point my second season when I was 14. I was killing deer for about 16 years after that before I got one worthy of a shoulder mount. It was different times though, killing a big buck was not the top priority back then. Just being lucky enough to kill deer was good enough for me for a long time.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Bonedoc » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:58 pm

For me it took many years, probably about 15 before I started to experience consistent success. The thing was, there was not the information available that there is today. We had Field and Stream magazine and that was about it. I never had a deer hunting mentor so it took much longer than it might have. I sometimes look back and think about all the blown opportunities I have had. I bought my first bow at Walmart around 1976 and some mismatched arrows as well. You can imagine what happened when I screwed broadheads on. It was like launching a scud. With podcasts and sights like this the learning curve for you should be much different. Be sure and enjoy the process!
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Bowmanmike » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:32 pm

I dont know yet,i started hunting about 10 years ago in my late thirties. I have been bowhunting for 6 years and that is where it's at for me now.
I try to shoot does with the bow for the practice of drawing undetected and keeping calm. I shot a forkhorn a few years back with the bow to get my first bow buck.
This will be my first year on public and i am excited for that,hoping to learn a bunch this year. I scouted this late winter/early spring and hope to be able to capitalize on that. I have seen very few really good bucks in the woods here,it is a high pressure state. But i know they are around,i sometimes use a camera on the private i can hunt.
My goal this year is to sit still more,i move too much. Still hunting with a bow is lots of fun when it works out.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Tribute80 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:33 pm

Took me 13 years to put my hands on one worth mounting. Prior to that I had hit 4 and didn't recover them. Also had a few within 20 yards teach me some lessons. All were hunting with a bow 99% public
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby oldrank » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:51 pm

I guess it depends on how I look at it. I started bow hunting at 11. That would have been 1985. I killed my first deer at 16. Killed my first good buck at 25.

However I was messing around on private and getting booted off of properties or hunting with my Dad. My Dad only went to take me out and we never really hunted. More like ate snacks n walked around for an hour or so. Once I committed to public it took 2 years.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Andyschulte » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:26 am

This thread is really encouraging.

I killed my first deer in 2012, and only rifle hunted until 2017 when I bought a compound bow.

I killed some bucks that I’m really happy with, but I’ve yet to kill a mature buck. I’m really eager to incorporate what I’ve been learning on here to the woods this fall.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Cchez » Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:56 am

At age 12 i killed my first buck, a little 5 pointer doing drives in northern wi during gun season. My 2nd year I shot a couple more with a gun there but nothing big. But i didnt care because now i had the addiction in my blood. Age 15 I shot my first "nice buck" for my area in northeast MN. An 8pt around 100 inches. Thats when things started to click for me during gun season. I was hunting swamp edges, and noticed that other guys were seeing more deer than me, but i always seemed to be in the game with bucks that were larger than what everyone else shot or saw. As i got a few bucks under my belt in the 100-120 inch range, i wanted to shoot bigger bucks, so i started passing up bucks that i would've shot in the past, thinking eventually ill run into a bigger one. But i didnt know what i didn't even know about deer. I started bow hunting only about 6 years ago (I'm 32 today), but i was hunting areas that i would normally hunt gun season, not knowing that it was a different ball game. It's only been the last 3 years where i've started thinking differently and killing bucks strategically (since i discovered this site 2 years ago after gun season). I passed a buck in the 110 range with my bow last year only because i had a 140s class in the area, even though it would have been my FIRST BOW KILL. Yes, I haven't killed a buck with my bow yet. But last year was a win for me because i started to put the pieces together and got in the game with a couple bucks. I have yet to kill anything above 120's even with a gun, but since I've found this site I'm gettting better and better at finding locations that hold bigger bucks, reading sign, and now learning how to hunt the wind (which i paid 0 attention to in the past). Don't be discouraged or embarrassed. It takes time to learn, it can be a marathon. Especially in areas with lower deer densities, predation problems, and high gun season pressure where everyone kills anything with antlers. Keep at it, keep learning, and everything will fall into place.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby HuntingParadise » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:33 am

Matthewkatz wrote:I have been hunting does and small spikes/basket racks for the past 4 years and only recently started chasing bigger bucks. I spent a lot of time scouting last year and made plenty of mistakes but learned a lot so hopefully my 2nd season of beast hunting will be the year I get on a good buck. My biggest buck so far is 4 points lol and Im hoping to break my record with a nice deer with a rack wider than his ears. How many seasons did it take you guys to finally kill what you consider a good buck. for me a good buck has a rack wider than its ears, that would be a shooter for me.


First big one took me 8 years. Ive only really started trying to become an elite type hunter in the past year. Been soaking in knowledge so I would say my shooter bucks before this were a lot of luck. Put in the time and you can get it done. Im excited to apply what Ive learned this year already.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby UntouchableNess » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:52 am

In 1980, I killed a very nice, mature 9 point during shotgun season, that was probably my fourth year gun hunting. Shot a few basket racks and does prior to 1980. I've continued to gun hunt most years since then.
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Beginners luck, almost: I bought my first bow when I started college in 1983. I met a bowhunter who took me out with him. He pointed to a huge oak tree that had a wooden stand in it. I climbed up into it and waited for the sun to come up. Once it was light, I looked down at the platform to see half a dozen cigarette butts. Thought to myself that this stand gets heavy use, LOL. The wind was blowing pretty good, so much so that I didn't hear the buck come in. Didn't see him until he was standing beneath the tree. Big, mature deer, large rack with split G-2's. I pulled back and sunk an Easton aluminum shaft half way into his chest. He bolted out into an open ag field, trotted across it, disappeared into the brush on the other side. We looked for blood, but due to the almost straight down angle and lack of pass through, didn't find much if any. Being a novice, first year bow hunter, I gave up too quickly on the recovery. I heard a rumor that the guy who took me out found the deer, but never asked and we only hunted together once after that. Maybe for the best that I didn't find that deer, it might have spoiled me. I tagged a button buck that year.

I drifted in and out of bowhunting after that, hunting some years, skipping some. It wasn't until 1991 that I arrowed and recovered my first antlered buck, a 2.5 year old 10 pointer. I had purchased an Amacker Deer Thief climbing tree stand. The tree had to be a certain trunk size, straight, with no limbs. The bar of the seat cut into one's backside, legs would go numb. The acorns were raining down so hard that day, the buck did not hear the first arrows hit the dirt next to him as I missed. :oops: Finally connected and he did the death sprint. I was extremely pleased with this deer.
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Again, life happened and I became an occasional bow hunter after that, hunting some years, skipping some.

In 2005, I got the bug to bowhunt again. I bought a Lone Wolf stand with steps, so this was a game changer. I was able to hunt trees that the Amacker wouldn't allow me to climb. I shot a tall tined buck, maybe a 3 yr old.
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After that season, I bought a used Mathews Legacy to replace my 1983 PSE Vulcan. WOW!! All I can say is that I should have upgraded many years earlier. With proper equipment, bowhunting became much more enjoyable, confidence level grew. 2006 archery buck.
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I haven't gone completely to "trophy" hunting, I shoot bucks when it feels good and I'm having fun. I had one season where I held out for a specific buck and it became a grind, almost wasn't fun to go out towards the end of the season. Readjusted my goals after that year. So my advice is keep it fun.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Matthewkatz » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:42 am

Thanks for all the replies guys. All I ever see on youtube and around the internet is the success but I never hear about how many years of skill building it took to get to the point these guys are. I've been feeling like a terrible hunter because I would think after 2 years of hunting i'd be a lot better but learning big bucks takes a lot of time. Last year was my first year hunting public and all I did was scout,scout, and scout thinking id find the golden setup. I probably blew every bedding area there is but I learned a lot in how deer use my area for bedding. I hope one day I can finally figure out why bucks do what they do.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Drenalin » Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:47 am

I didn't kill my first deer until 7 years after I started hunting, a basket 8, when I was 16. I killed my first buck with a bow the year after I took up bow hunting. I've been trying to learn and apply Beast tactics heading into year three, and even though I've killed a buck each year, I still haven't connected on a (mature) animal yet. Had opportunities at two bucks last year that would have been personal bests, but couldn't quite get it done. I guess that means I'll let you know when I find the answer, it takes some time and work.
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Dewey » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:13 am

I started hunting in the mid-80's but didn't get real serious about it till the early-mid 90's and killed my first buck shortly after. The next 8 years not being real choosy I killed a bunch of smaller bucks just to gain experience but then decided it was time to up my game a bit. I held out for a decent buck and finally killed my first wall mounter in 2002. After that I really upped my standards (probably way too much in hindsight) and went for a long streak where I didn't kill a buck but still took does for the freezer. Early 2008 I learned about Dan and bought the original Marsh Bucks video. That was the magic key I was looking for and that fall of 2008 I killed my biggest buck and then followed it up in 2009 by killing my second largest buck ever. Been a great ride ever since.

For the personal challenge my standards are now a bit higher. I don't lose sleep about not killing a buck each and every season because these days it's all about the journey. I love killing big bucks but I never look at a season as a failure if I don't. The fun factor is huge for me.

My advice to new hunters is build up the skills and don't expect that first huge buck to come right away. Some get lucky and it happens early on but then mother nature has a way of humbling a guy just when he thinks he has it all figured out. Been there and done that myself many times. Keep an open mind and soak up everything you learn and if you put in the time I promise it will eventually happen. The worst thing you can do is get all discouraged when you don't see immediate results and kill a bunch of bucks right away. I see a lot of new Beast style hunters reach that stage and really get down on themselves. I promise nothing will kill more bucks than a positive attitude. ;)
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Re: How long did it take you to kill your first good buck

Unread postby Jackson Marsh » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:29 am

Your last sentence says it all Dewey....should have highlighted that. :clap:


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