Trophy Buck Hunting…The Highs and Lows

Many, myself included, dedicate themselves to chasing particular bucks throughout an entire season. This is no easy task and it often can lead to disappoints. How we handle these ups and downs defines our season. Is hunting all about success or is it about the journey along the way? I’ve seen enough hunts on film only to be surprised by the reaction of the hunter when he finally tags a trophy of a lifetime. It’s a moment of disbelief. There is extreme excitement, but there is also disbelief and in some cases a longing that the chase was still on. Once a legendary buck is taken there is nothing of similar stature to pursue, at least not for this season. Some hunters have a the blessing of hunting in multiple states allowing them to chase numerous whitetails, but many do not have this luxury.

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s very difficult to kill bucks that only move during the cover of darkness. Yes there is ways to find and tag these bucks, but pulling it off is far from easy. Chances are you’ll bump the buck before you’ll kill it. Hunters who pursue incredible trophies often never get chances at these deer; leading to many mixed emotions. In some instances these hunters are rewarded with a miraculous opportunity on a buck they’ve been chasing for years. This is truly a rush if the opportunity presents itself.

In the case of this particular —episode on Midwest Whitetail this hunter takes what some might consider a wise choice. He has been hunting absolute giants in Ohio for a few years and has yet to fill a tag on any of these beasts. This year he elected to let an arrow fly at a mature buck, but one that is not of the same caliber of the deer he had been chasing. It appears he made the right choice. He now has a trophy down. Hunting hard for years without anything to show for can be frustrating, eventually a hunter has to place the tag on something. Sometimes does can fill this void, other times it may be necessary to shoot a buck that is not exactly the caliber of buck we’re after. In the end the choice is up to the individual. A trophy is a trophy in the mind of the hunter that takes it. Who are we to judge that?

It is critical to discuss mature bucks harvests when discussing trophy buck hunting. In the end the long term goal is to encourage hunters to harvest mature whitetails. For some states that may be bucks 3 1/2 years and older. However a preferred age for harvest is 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 years old and older. Bucks of this age have truly reach their genetic potential. When more and more hunters have bought into this goal hunting for trophies becomes much more of a reality.

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