Success rates on Mature bucks

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headgear
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby headgear » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:10 am

No sugar coating it the bigwoods hunting has been kicking my but lately, pretty terrible winters in 2011-12 have done a number on our herd. In the past 3 seasons I have seen 2 mature bucks and tagged one of them. Easily less than 1% of my sits :lol: - the scary part is I haven't seen a 2 year old buck in that time, not bed hunting not rut hunting nothing.

If you have deer around don't use my success rates, when I was a beast rookie I was running into mature bucks at a much better pace. Now I'm a much better hunter but circumstances are what they are. Only thing to do I keep after them, maybe this weekend!!!


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seazofcheeze
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby seazofcheeze » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:04 pm

whitetailassasin wrote:
Spysar wrote:4.5 year olds are a rare animal. I don't bed hunt, that technique is tough, and not very productive for the time spent. I get mine RUT hunting. Staying in the woods all day from the end of Oct to mid Nov, I might get one or two. Since it's impossible to know if the deer is actually 4.5, it's hard to answer the question. Most of what makes them hard to get, is they are just plain rare, not that they are outsmarting you.



Let's say what most of us here recognize as a "shooter". For sure 3.5 and above. I used to feel 3.5 yr old bucks were mature(the first year of maturity) but for the sake of an argument I said 4.5. But let's go "shooter" because no one one here is passing a 3.5 yr old 150 class and above :lol: The statistics of while hunting how many of these deer per sit we have opportunities on. Also what guys in what areas are having success(Wisconsin, iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, etc) thought it would be good info.

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19 sits. 17 in MI, zero mature (although I did pass a ~125" 8pt on managed private that I'm 99% sure was a 3.5. Had him at 26 yds and was a dead deer walking...except I wasn't 100% landowner would approve, so I passed). 2 sits in Ohio, 1 3.5 or maybe 4.5 that I shot and recovered. So 0% in MI (5.9% if you count the passed 8pt) and 50% in Ohio.

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tim
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby tim » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:16 am

# of sits for me would be deceiving cause I sit dark to dark quite a bit. but ive hunted aprox 350+ hours so far this year since start of season. ive had 5 sightings I believe were 4.5 year old+. I missed once then shot the same deer about 2 weeks later. i done keep real close tabs on numbers but that's what i came up with quick
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Dewey
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby Dewey » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:49 am

tim wrote:# of sits for me would be deceiving cause I sit dark to dark quite a bit. but ive hunted aprox 350+ hours so far this year since start of season. ive had 5 sightings I believe were 4.5 year old+. I missed once then shot the same deer about 2 weeks later. i done keep real close tabs on numbers but that's what i came up with quick

That's some true dedication there and really puts things in perspective. I admire your effort and shows how much work it takes to hunt truly mature bucks.

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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby moondoondude » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:32 pm

If I had to put a number on my amount of sits, I think it would be 16-18 this year (compared to maybe 10 last year). I think of those sits, I saw at least one mature buck on 9, shots on 6. Some of those hunts I saw more than one in range. This year has been exceptional for opportunities, last year sucked.

The first time was a 140 or so 7/8 year old 9 point. Pass at last light, goofy situation.

The second time was a big ugly 7 point. Pass.

The third, 9 from first hunt. Looked exceptionally large and came by at 10-15 checking does. Decided to pass. Wind shifted 180 (hunting a bottom) - and he got spooky at 40 yards. Decided to shoot since I got busted and held where air meets hair and let it go expecting a dip at 40 and he already got a whiff. He held true as a statue and opened one blade of mechanical where air meets hair. Nice haircut and slice, back to chasing does and came by again 30 minutes later about 10 yards farther out. I was so terribly frustrated and disappointed with myself for taking that shot after letting him walk right by that I didn't even acknowledge him. I have a habit of shooting does that bust me in frustration, I guess that translated to a buck that night in my frustration.

That same night had a banged up older injured buck came by that I decided to pass.

Oct 29 had the banged up buck and a big 6 come by.

(Oct 30 picked up 170s 10 on camera).

Nov 4 - Nice 4.5 year old 8 pass.

Nov 9 - high 130s or 140 10 pass.

Nov 11 - surveyors bump big 10 off bed, runs by under tree

Nov 18 - 5 bucks in wolf pack formation (3 of which are over 4.5) chase a single doe by my tree at last light. No chance at a shot.

Nov 23 - surveyors spook big 10 on approach

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Dewey
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby Dewey » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:42 pm

Those are amazing odds Moondoondude. 8-)

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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby oldrank » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:59 pm

Zero bucks over 3.5 yrs. One possible 3.5yrs I seen twice. Four 2.5 yrs. All other bucks 1.5 yrs. Michigan public. Id say ive hunted 40 plus days. So Id score zero percent.. Which sounds about right !!! Haha

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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby moondoondude » Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:47 pm

Dewey wrote:Those are amazing odds Moondoondude. 8-)

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Like everything, it is a game of averages and highs and lows.

I killed one buck between 2013, 2014, and 2015 - and it was a deer on public last year that I wouldn't have shot on private. Didn't even have a target buck those 3 years.

This year I had 3 that I would have shot - a really cool, long main beamed 8 that had awesome beams and width, went right at 140 (killed on neighboring farm), a double drop that went mid 140s (shot on neighboring farm), and the big 170s 10 that is still alive.

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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby JoeRE » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:02 pm

Dear god Moon I thought you were one of those guys that could hunt 30+ times a year to put the bucks down you have. Makes me even more impressed that you hunt pretty sparingly. 8-)
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby Matty » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:02 pm

Here is a summary of my season so far.

19 hunts. 3 were AM hunts. 16 were PM.

I passed 3 shots at bucks that appeared to be 3.5, one was probably 4.5. Unfortunately I immediately regretted passing that one in particular. Shot distances would have been approximately 28yds, 12yds and 16yds.

2 bucks observed that were likely 3.5+ but out of range. 35yds+

4 hunts I saw nothing.

1 hunt a buck came by right after shooting hours as I was packing up. Couldn't tell how big.

2 hunts where I got too close and accidentally bumped bucks. (not sure of size or age, just saw glimpses of antlers) (no other deer were seen after bumping, but not counted as "nothing" hunts)

1 hunt I had a large body deer walk within approximately 20 yards but too thick to identify. I could only catch glimpses of antlers. Unsure of age or size.

The remainder of the hunts were not significant enough to break down. Only seeing does and young bucks which I don't keep track of as well.

Only one tree saw back to back hunts. All other hunts have been from different trees and areas.

-------------------------------
Non-season specific:

For the past 10 years or so, I expect to have a minimum of one great shot opportunity on a shooter buck over the course of a hunting season. I usually average approximately 40 hunts per season and 1-4 shot opportunities on shooter bucks per year. Unfortunately I have shot but not recovered a number of shooter bucks over the course of 25 years too. It's something I'm constantly working on, and I think I have identified the problem as just plain rushing shots. The style of hunting I (we) do can be very difficult. I estimate yardages, never trim lanes, and the areas I hunt are usually extremely thick. Like I said, it's something I'm working on improving because the feeling is worse and worse as I get older. I have also had two large bucks stolen before I could recover them, one of the worst feelings in the world. I hope the thieves tripped and impaled themselves with the racks.

It is interesting to tally these numbers and see how many failed hunts equal a successful one. Great thread!
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby tim » Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:32 am

really cool seing everyones dedications to the hunts. i agree good topic
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby Mikev » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:53 pm

East Central KS Public Land:

I shot a yearling doe on the evening of sit number 2 (September 26th).
I shot a mature doe on the evening of sit number 5 (October 9th).
I shot a four or five year old buck on the morning of sit number 27 (November 14th).

I let three, three year old bucks pass and 19 yearling and two year old bucks pass that were inside 30 yards. The half hour after I shot my buck, I saw one or two other four year old or older bucks scenting a doe in heat that had passed through along with the buck I shot. Hunted 11/4-11/11 straight with all but two 10+ hour days in the tree and several all day sits.
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby Bowhunter4life » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:03 am

Stanley wrote:
Spysar wrote:It depends a lot on herd structure. If the structure is good (which is rare) bucks will compete harder, and you will see them more. If there are too many does, you will see them less. Obviously, if there aren't bucks getting mature, you have no chance at one. It boils down to your spot. Chances at mature bucks go up in places like Iowa.

There will be no ratio of time spent to mature buck killing, because every deer spot is different. Even year to year things change.

If you only have one week to spend, you might get one or you might not, no matter how good your area is. If you hunt the entire rut from end of Oct to mid Nov in a good place, you should get a chance at least once.

This year for example, I was in the woods in late Oct thru mid Nov. The first two weeks, I shot nothing. Then, in a five day period I shot 3 good bucks.

So I put in three solid weeks, and I only really needed five days.....Wish I could predict the five days I needed. :think:


I read this a lot but my experiences have been totally different. Areas with large doe populations have always produced more buck sightings for me. Bucks are looking for does period. If there are no does to look for the bucks go where there are does. :think:

I 100 percent agree with Stan here. I will not take a doe in the areas I like to use for rut hunting. Seems the more does I have in a certain area the more bucks show.

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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby Spysar » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:32 am

Bowhunter4life wrote:
Stanley wrote:
Spysar wrote:It depends a lot on herd structure. If the structure is good (which is rare) bucks will compete harder, and you will see them more. If there are too many does, you will see them less. Obviously, if there aren't bucks getting mature, you have no chance at one. It boils down to your spot. Chances at mature bucks go up in places like Iowa.

There will be no ratio of time spent to mature buck killing, because every deer spot is different. Even year to year things change.

If you only have one week to spend, you might get one or you might not, no matter how good your area is. If you hunt the entire rut from end of Oct to mid Nov in a good place, you should get a chance at least once.

This year for example, I was in the woods in late Oct thru mid Nov. The first two weeks, I shot nothing. Then, in a five day period I shot 3 good bucks.

So I put in three solid weeks, and I only really needed five days.....Wish I could predict the five days I needed. :think:


I read this a lot but my experiences have been totally different. Areas with large doe populations have always produced more buck sightings for me. Bucks are looking for does period. If there are no does to look for the bucks go where there are does. :think:

I 100 percent agree with Stan here. I will not take a doe in the areas I like to use for rut hunting. Seems the more does I have in a certain area the more bucks show.

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That 's because you have a good herd structure, so you have more does AND more bucks. Large doe to buck ratios are when you see less bucks. If there are three pods of 5 does in an area, and only one buck, then you won't see a buck on 2/3's of the does.
A buck will see you three times, and hear you twice, but he's only gonna smell you once.
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headgear
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Re: Success rates on Mature bucks

Unread postby headgear » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:10 am

Herd structure and numbers are huge, if there is no competition for does you are just going to see less movement overall. Someone somewhere mentioned bucks with broken racks, in 30 years of hunting northern MN I have never seen one or heard of anyone shooting one. Not that they aren't out there but it's rare and the bucks have little competition and little reason to fight over does when they can just chase off yearlings.


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