Trophy Deer Hunters: A Realistic Perspective
The term “trophy deer hunters” has been the buzz word for countless articles, blogs, videos and campfire chatter. You might see the giant buck in your own mind as your buddy describes a 12 pointer he saw driving home from college failing to mention that it was standing on the 18th hole at the golf course. These images are everywhere and for many can instill an unrealistic view of what a trophy whitetail is.
Keep The Term Trophy In Perspective
There are only a few places you can realistic pursue a giant whitetail. Unfortunately most of us don’t hunt there. There’s always going to be the odd giant harvested in everyone’s hunting area. It’s good to know there’s a chance at getting a shot at one, but it’s important to realize what the average size buck is for where you hunt. You shouldn’t hold out for a 165 inch buck if only one has been killed in the past 30 years in your area. You may never take a shot.
The most important thing about hunting is the hunt itself. Even if you hunt trophy bucks the hunt itself is the most important thing and keeping a realistic perspective will help you enjoy the hunt much more by increasing your success rate. So many hunters today lose sight of the hunt and only focus on the kill. I love to hunt mature whitetails but I learned long ago that if I was going to enjoy bow hunting for years to come I would have to adjust my perspective.
Changing your perspective can be tough.If you’ve been trying to target a giant buck in your area and let smaller bucks walk take a good look at where you hunt. Adopt a realistic perspective. If someone consistently takes a big buck every year consider where they hunt. Is it private land with great deer habitat and lots of agricultural crops to pull the deer to them while you hunt a few hundred acres of woods along with several other hunters and no crops? Your chances of taking a giant are less than your friend with the thousand acre farm and sole permission to hunt it.
Trophy Deer Hunters On Video
We see all these videos of hunters harvesting magnificent deer with a bow. If you watch these hunters a lot of the time they are moving around and whispering to their cameraman, which are in the tree with them, to get ready, all before making the shot. Oh yea there isn’t anything covering their face. Now I don’t know about where you hunt, but even the private land I hunt moving around and whispering to someone in the tree wouldn’t work. The public land I hunt, you wouldn’t even see a deer. I love to watch those guys on hunting videos and seeing mature bucks acting normal during all this. It’s rare to see trophy deer acting normal in high pressured areas. On pressured hunting lands, mature bucks are almost always on alert during daylight. I view those hunts realistically and know it ain’t going to happen where I hunt.
These are great shows to watch. I envy the hunters that have such a great opportunity. As long as there are no high fences involved and the deer were free range, I would love the opportunity to hunt them. Realistically though until someone with one of these farms invite me to hunt their perfectly groomed deer farm I’ll continue to enjoy the challenge and rewarding hunts on high pressured public lands. Where I have hunted nearly my whole life.
Harvesting More Does Is Important For A Healthy Herd And Bigger Bucks
I can honestly say that some of my favorite hunts ended with harvesting a doe. A mature doe can be even more difficult to take than a mature buck. They should be considered a trophy as well. I know that many hunters refuse to kill does. However, in most areas across America, the population is in great condition. Harvesting a doe should be considered. With so many states limiting the number of bucks, hunting does can help extend your season. The act of hunting and the meat it provides should always be the most important thing for an avid hunter. Also harvesting more does from the herd can absolutely help produce bigger bucks. Again keep this one in perspective as well. While harvesting more does may help produce bigger bucks overall this doesn’t necessarily mean your average size is going to jump 25 inches in bone but it could.
I once wrote an article for Game & Fish magazine about deer opportunities around the state. I spoke with the biologist over all whitetails on public lands in Kentucky. At the end I asked him what he would like to relay to the hunters in the sidebar about hunting deer in Kentucky. He had a quick response. He asked if I would write in the sidebar that he was asking hunters to harvest more does. It was explained to me how important it was to reduce the deer population. It is vital for a healthy deer herd and more trophy bucks. In Kentucky the limit, as of 2020, is unlimited. With an unlimited limit on does hunters are still not harvesting enough deer for the habitat in which they reside. Keep this in mind and enjoy the hunt and harvest more does.
Hunting is a great way to spend a week or just a weekend with some friends. However, the hunt itself should be yours alone. If your buddy kills a great buck you should share that exuberance. But never compare your buck or the buck you want to kill, with his. Your day will come when you get a shot at a great buck. It will be your turn to relish the moment. In the meantime it’s important to enjoy your hunt and keep a realistic perspective of the buck you want to harvest.
You should let the hunt be the trophy and the memory be the mount.