I like Thanksgiving and look forward to it every year. Thanksgiving equals spending time with family and counting blessings, relaxing, eating too much, and … hunting! Last year on Thanksgiving Day I lucked up and got a nice 8 point buck. I blogged about the really cold hunt and titled the blog “Thanksgiving 8 Point”. Well, continuing the streak of luck this year on Thanksgiving Day I got a nice 9 point buck. Accordingly this blog entry is titled “Thanksgiving Day 9 Point”.
Just as last year this Thanksgiving brought with it cold weather. Though, this year the ground was not completely frozen on Thanksgiving morning. It had rained a lot in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and had just finally cleared up. I have deer stand down in some really thick woods that I hadn’t hunted much this season and with bucks still making scrapes in the area I figured I would give it a shot. In most of my hunting locations I have shooting lanes cut and have good visibility. Though, in this location I hadn’t cut any shooting lanes and I knew that any shot I took would be a tight one.
I got to the stand really early. With the stand being in some thick woods I wanted to get there and let the noise of my entrance have plenty of time to die down before prime hunting time arrived. With all the leaves on the ground I did make some noise on the way in, but luckily I didn’t make too much as the leaves still had some moisture from all the rain of the previous 3 days. The wetness of the leaves helped dampen and absorb the sound some.
After I got situated in the stand I noticed that the wind was blowing fairly strong. I thought to myself that I was probably wasting my time with such a strong wind blowing. As the sun slowly started to rise I could hear the duck hunters cutting loose in the distance. Mixed in with the sound of the duck hunters’ shots were loud turkey gobbles. I don’t often hear turkeys gobbling in the fall, much less when it’s really cold and windy. For whatever reason though the turkeys were hammering too.
Once the sun got up I heard a few rifle shots in the distance. I figured that nature must have the animals moving if the turkeys were gobbling, duck hunters were shooting, and then rifles shots were being fired. I scanned the view from my stand from left to right looking for movement. With it being so thick I would be lucky to see anything and even luckier to get a shot off in this area packed tight with oak, cedar, and pine trees. Then just before 7am I saw something move down in front of me about 85 yards out. The wind had been blowing leaves off trees and the flicker of falling leaves had been catching my eye. Initially I thought the movement I saw was just another leaf falling. I kept looking and then I saw a leg move in between two branches. My heart started beating a little, but at that point I couldn’t tell whether it was a buck or a doe. I put my rifle up on the shooting rail of the stand and tried to find the deer in the scope. I looked in the direction where I saw the leg move, but couldn’t find anything in the scope. All I could see was trees. It seems that this is a common occurrence for me… being able to see the deer with my naked eye then not being able to find them in my scope. I had to look into the scope and raise back up out of the scope several times before I was able to find the deer. During this up and down movement my bleat call fell out of my pocket and landed in the foot rest of the stand! I knew for sure I spooked the buck as it was heavy plastic falling directly on metal. It was loud, but in between the leaves rustling in the wind and the deer being far out it somehow luckily didn’t spook him. It probably took less than a minute to find him in the scope, but man it seemed like forever.
Once I finally found the deer in my scope I could only see a portion of him… then he put his head down and disappeared momentarily. Now that I had him in the scope I needed to make sure he was a shooter. I didn’t want to shoot a small buck so I kept watching the area the deer was in through the scope. He raised and turned his head to look behind him. When he made this movement I saw the main beam on his rack and saw how tall and wide it was. Then my heart really got going. The deer was not in a hurry and was pawing at the ground. He took a step forward and I saw his rack move in a gap in between two trees. He was indeed a shooter! I zoomed my scope in and had it zeroed in on his neck. I didn’t want to make a neck shot on the deer (though some would argue that neck shooting is a good tactic), but the thought did cross my mind. I was looking down in between trees and branches in a shooting “window” that was about the size of basketball. I debated shooting the deer because there wasn’t a better shooting lane that the deer would progress to and I also didn’t know which direction the deer would travel. Then the deer took a small step forward and I could only see his neck and the base of his shoulder. I thought to myself that I may never get any other opportunity on this deer and I pulled the trigger. As soon as I pulled the trigger the deer turned, put his white tail up, and bounded into the distance. I didn’t see the deer kick or do anything awkward signaling that he got hit, but I felt that I made a decent shot. All I could do was to sit in the stand and to try to calm down and hope that the bullet didn’t hit a branch as it traveled through the small window of opportunity.
I sat in the stand for a few minutes to calm down and ensure my gun’s safety was on and to listen to see if I heard the deer crash or thrash any. I didn’t hear anything and after a few minutes I climbed down out of the stand and walked in the direction where the deer was when I took the shot. As I walked down I was replaying the scene over and over in my head. Had I hit the deer or did I miss? Opportunities on good bucks like that don’t happen often and I was wondering what happened.
When I got down to where the deer was pawing at the ground I saw several scrapes. The buck was checking his scrape line and I still couldn’t figure out the exact spot where the deer was when I took the shot. I also didn’t see any blood. I started getting worried. My heart beat escalated some. I walked in small circles looking for any drop of blood signaling contact. I never found any. I kept looking back up toward the stand to try to find an opening where I may have taken the shot, but I never found any. I began to get mad. I replayed the scene over and over in my mind. I told myself to calm down and go back and start over again. I went back and started over. Still no blood. I was getting upset with myself at this point. Since I couldn’t find any blood I figured I would walk in the direction that the deer ran. As I walked I saw a spot where some leaves were turned over as if the deer took a “fall-step” or slipped, but that area didn’t have any blood present. I started fanning out in circles around the area where this slide mark was. Still no blood. I continued walking in the direction the deer ran in and then I heard a stick break ahead of me. Even though I didn’t see any blood or see any deer the stick popping represented a small signal of hope for me. I kept walking in the direction the deer ran, but never saw blood or any more fall step / slide marks. I went from glimmers of hope to frustration with every step. Then all of a sudden I saw a deer jump up just ahead of me. It indeed had a nice rack and when I saw this I got excited because I knew that I had hit the deer and that I would be able to trail it. The deer bounded once more then crashed. I just stopped and sat down and watched the deer. I was really deep in the woods and I didn’t want to push the deer any further. The deer didn’t move anymore and after about 10 minutes I slowly walked over to the deer and there laid a nice 9 point, 170lb buck! I snapped some pics of the deer and started texting my friends saying that we had some work ahead of us and I posted a few pics to Twitter..
Here are some pics of the deer
It was indeed a nice buck and I was very lucky to get it. One thing that was different about this one was that the deer never bled any. There was a small entrance wound, but no exit wound. I shoot a 243 and I think it must have hit every bone in there to not have an exit would at 90 or so yards. So there was no hope of a blood trail with this one. The deer never bled until we got to the processor. And speaking of the processor… there were several big bucks there. The deer were definitely moving on Thanksgiving day!
In what had seemed like an impossible hunt I somehow lucked up by being at the right place at the right time and made a lucky shot. It seems I have somewhat of a Thanksgiving streak now. Hopefully the 3rd time will be the charm and I can get a Thanksgiving 10 point next year. I’m already looking forward to next Thanksgiving!
How were your Thanksgiving hunts?
This past Tuesday night Robbie Boone and I attended the Lancaster County Cattlemen’s Association monthly Meeting in Lancaster, SC. This meeting consists of a large group of cattle farmers from the area plus a representative from the Clemson Agricultural Extension. We were invited to discuss the rising problem of coyotes in SC and to talk about the 2015 Predator Challenge.
The meeting was held at Jomar’s restaurant and the meeting of course started off with a meal. After the meal was over the leaders of the group turned the program over to Robbie and me for our presentation. Robbie spoke the majority of the time and presented on all kinds of information about coyotes. He spoke about their habits, habitat, breeding cycle, animals they prey on, laws for hunting them, all the way to tactics for hunting them. Robbie did a great job and it was very informational. We also provided the members of the group with a 1-page print out for the rules for both hunting and trapping coyotes. This information came straight from SC DNR’s website and the Cattlemen’s Association Members seemed to find this helpful. After Robbie spoke on the information about coyotes I got up and briefly spoke about the Predator Challenge and what we are trying to do with raising awareness for the sport of predator hunting.
One thing that was interesting (and telling) was that during the presentation and after the meeting it was evident that the Cattlemen’s Association Members were also having issues with coyotes. Several of the members told stories of the increasing rate in which they’re seeing coyotes. Whether plowing fields, running combines, or tending to their cows each member has had an encounter with one or more coyotes. The frequency of these encounters is increasing and they definitely recognized the problem that coyotes pose for them at cattle farmers as well as for hunters.
Overall the meeting went well and the group was very receptive to the presentation. I think now instead of carrying their rifles in their trucks the group members are now going to start carrying them in their tractors and combines and shooting them more often! It was a great event and we hope to do more of these in the future. If you would like for us to come out to your venue just use the Contact Us form to reach out.
Here are some pics from the event…
It’s that time again! We’re excited to announce that registration for the
2015 Predator Challenge is now open! Every year we look forward to the Predator Challenge because the competition continues to grow. More hunters are participating as the awareness of the sport of predator hunting rises. If you have never participated in the Predator Challenge and/or are not a coyote hunter then I encourage you to give it a shot. Coyotes are indeed difficult to hunt so if you are a hunter who’s up for a challenge then predator hunting may be a good fit for you.
Why We Host the Predator Challenge
By now we are all aware of the
damage coyotes are doing to game populations across the state. SCDNR studies have provided data to confirm the negative affect coyotes are having on deer, turkey, duck and other game populations and coyotes are also doing damage to livestock farmers. If you don’t believe that just ask any chicken, turkey, cattle, or sheep farmers in your area. The reason we host this competition is to raise awareness for the sport of predator hunting and to raise awareness about what coyotes are doing across our state. Even if you don’t hunt coyotes you can benefit from simply helping spread the word about the competition so if you’re reading this and you’re not going to be able to hunt do everyone a favor and at least tell your friends about the competition.
The rules this year are the same as last year except we’re adding in a new rule that we’re only accepting 1 bobcat and 2 foxes per team. Why did we add this rule in… because we want to put the focus of the competition on coyotes. Yes you may be able to win the competition with foxes or bobcats alone, but they are not the ones we really want hunters aiming for. So this year we will not accept more than 1 bobcat and 2 foxes per team.
Another thing we’re doing this year to encourage early registration is that we’re giving the first 25 teams that register 3 points added to their final score at the check-in. So be sure to register your team ASAP because those 3 points may help you win the title!
Competition Quick Stats:
We will continue to add sponsors & prizes to the competition page as they come in so stay tuned to the site for updates. If you’re interested in sponsoring the Predator Challenge just
contact us. We look forward to seeing you and your team at the check-in on Jan 25th! The only thing left to do now is to register your team!
REGISTER YOUR TEAM NOW
If you have any other questions or want more information about the event just give us a holler by posting a comment to this blog or emailing us via the
Contact Us form.
Tonight the Predator Challenge leadership team met and started the planning for this upcoming hunting season’s weekend long Predator Challenge. Each year since we’ve hosted the Predator Challenge the competition participation has doubled in size. The growth is due to growing interest in the sport of predator hunting along with hunters and governing entities around the state recognizing the damage that coyotes are doing to game populations. Each year the competition has gotten better and we’ve added new sponsors and new features to the challenge.
We met tonight to start the planning considerably earlier this season so we can host the best Predator Challenge yet. SC DNR continues to post information on their site about the studies and data they have proving the damage coyotes are doing. We hope to continue to raise awareness and are trying to up the level of the competition again this year. We’re planning some really neat stuff so we hope you will strongly consider taking part in this year’s competition.
We will continue to update the site here with the Predator Challenge information. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or concerns please let us know so we can modify and adjust as needed. Again we are simply SC hunters who are simply taking initiative and trying to promote the sport of predator hunting so as to get the coyote population under control. That said, you don’t want to miss this year’s Predator Challenge and check-in… it’s going to be the best event we’ve hosted yet.
If you follow the site at all then you know that we’ve been promoting the 2014 Predator Challenge recent. The Predator Challenge is a weekend long competition we created to raise awareness for the sport of Predator Hunting as well and to raise awareness for what coyotes are doing to deer, turkey, duck and other game populations around the state. We continue to spread the message that
SCDNR’s data backs up… and that is that as hunters we need to actively hunt coyotes if we want to have healthy populations of other game to hunt.
Predator Challenge saw better weather than last years, but we did have to battle wind early on in the weekend. Every year we hunt in the predator challenge we learn a little bit more about coyotes and after 4 years of hunting them I can tell you that they are definitely not easy to hunt. They are smart and quick. I think hunting coyotes is tougher than deer, turkey, and duck hunting. You have to hunt hard and you can hunt for the longest time and not have any luck and then a coyote appears and you have 2 seconds to make the shot. It’s tough and that’s why we need more people hunting coyotes across the state and the region.
This year we held the Predator Challenge Check-In at the
Catch and Release Sportsman’s Consignment shop in Columbia, SC. Catch and Release is directly behind the Sportsman’s Warehouse (the previous check-in location) and was a great fit for the check-in. I know I enjoyed having the check-in and the new location and getting to see the store and meet Blakely Byrd the owner of Catch and Release. If you haven’t checked the store out yet you should because it’s really neat and is not the typical business model.
Predator Challenge Sponsors
When I arrived we had hunters there waiting for us at the check-in. During the course of the hour we had a steady stream of hunters showing up to check-in their predators with one team blowing a tire and still making it right at 4pm on the dot. It was a good turnout and as we checked-in the various teams hunters from all around the state met each other, connected, discussed hunting techniques and tactics, and got to know one another. It’s always neat to meet the people that you encounter on the website in person and get to know them.
After 4pm arrived and we checked in the final team we tallied the points and got everybody together and made the announcement of the winners. They were as follows:
It was a great weekend hunting and meeting everyone at the check-in. Thanks again to our sponsors and to everyone who participated. We’ve seen the predator challenge grow rapidly over the past few years and it gets better every year. We hope to see you again next year.
Below are pics and videos from the 2014 Predator Challenge Check-In:
We also had a very rare black coyote turned in by one of the teams. After doing some research we've found that these are indeed pretty rare to come across and are a result of mixed breeding.
For the past few years we’ve been hosting a Predator Challenge in hopes of reducing the coyote population, raising awareness for the sport of predator hunting, and raising awareness for the damage that coyotes are doing to game populations around the state. Thus far the check-in location has been at the Sportman’s Warehouse right off of I-26 in Columbia. Columbia serves as a central location where everyone can drive the least distance to check-in their predators and have a good time meeting other hunters and networking.
This year we’re still meeting right off I-26 except this time we’ll be meeting right behind the Sportman’s Warehouse at a new location called Catch and Release Sportsman’s Consignment. Catch and Release is a new store and has been growing really fast. We’re happy to partner with Catch and Release to host the 2014 Predator Challenge check-in at their location. We think you’ll like the check-in being hosted at the new location.
Last night I did a quick interview with Blakely Byrd, owner of Catch and Release Sportsman’s Consignment, to get a better understanding of what Catch and Release is and to get to know more about her in general. The interview is here below.
We hope to see you at the check-in! Register your team today and join us in reducing the coyote population in SC and beyond.
I always look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas because I know that I’ll be able to spend a lot of time in the woods. This year’s Thanksgiving holiday brought with it some really cold weather. I checked the weather page on the site and saw where the low was 25 degrees for Thanksgiving morning. This level of cold gave me the opportunity to use my new Extreme Weather Camo Suit that I had recently got from Cabelas. Ever since I got the camo suit I had it sitting inside of my McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag. When I got the suit out of the bag it smelled completely like the “Earth Scent” I had the bag pulling through it for a few days. I put my base layers on and then my suit and headed out the door.
It was so cold that the ground was frosted over. As I reached the woods at my hunting location I heard the ground loudly crunching with each step I took. The light coming from the light on my head was reflecting on the frost on the ground. I knew at this point that my trip into the woods would be a loud one, but what else could I do? I entered the woods and the leaves seemed to crunch louder with every step. My breath created a fog as it reflected off the light on my head and about 10 minutes later I was climbing up into my stand.
I’d been getting a lot of game camera pics on this stand, but not really any big bucks with consistency. I took my camera, monopod, and quick-grip with me into the woods and got it set up. It was during my setup that I remembered that the video camera wouldn’t record when the temperature is really cold. So I setup the monopod and the quick grip and just tucked the video camera into my suit so that my body heat would keep the camera warm. I figured if I saw something coming I could just put the camera up on the monopod and start filming.
Normally in this stand as soon as the sun comes up seemingly millions of squirrels come out and run around as if they drank red bulls all night. However, on this day the squirrels stayed put and didn’t come out and make tons of noise rustling in the leaves. I think it was so cold they stayed put to keep warm. In comparison to my normal hunts in this location that morning’s hunt was very quiet. The quiet was welcomed by me, but it didn’t last long as some nearby duck hunters started letting it roll. I checked my phone to see what people on Twitter were saying and to see what time it was. It was about 5 after 7.
A few minutes later I heard a rhythmic crunching noise coming from in front of me and slightly to my right. I’ve heard squirrels so much in this stand that I can quickly tell the difference in sound between the pattern of a squirrel and the rhythmic sound of a walking deer. This wasn’t a squirrel. I instantly reached for my camera and pulled it out of my suit. I knew something was coming, but at this point I didn’t know what. I got the video camera to the top of the monopod and was just about to lock it in position when the quick grip slipped and the monopod rolled off the side rail of the stand. My plan had backfired. The cold weather made the quick grips not hold as firm and my bumping them caused everything to break down. Just what I needed. This has happened a time or two before and it’s easy to correct, but while the camera, quick grip, & monopod dangled on the side of my stand I happened to glance up and caught a glimpse of antlers. I know that getting good footage is great for posting here in the blogs and for re-living the hunts, but at this point I had to make a decision and since I’d seen what looked to be like a good deer I opted to not fiddle with the camera anymore and to focus on the deer. The whole time I was praying that the monopod and/or quick-grip wouldn’t fall down to the ground and spook the deer.
The buck entered my field of view about 65 yards in front of me and was cautiously working his way towards me. There are several oak trees in this location and I frequently have to shoot around them or wait for deer to walk into a shooting lane before I can pull the trigger. I knew the deer had a good rack, but hadn’t gotten a clear enough view yet to know if I was going to shoot it.
With the camera still dangling beside me I put my gun up and searched for the buck in my scope. I couldn’t find the buck as he was hidden just behind a large oak tree. I momentarily panicked when I couldn’t find him in the scope and I raised back up a little to look for him with my naked eye and as I did the buck took a step into an opening. I looked back through my scope and was able to focus on the deer. It was an 8 pointer, but I still didn’t know if it met our game management criteria. I needed to get more of a look at the buck’s rack. The buck zig-zagged his way towards me and even stopped momentarily to rub on a small pine tree.
Finally the buck headed toward the location where I’d been putting corn out for months. I was in shooting position with my safety off and was ready to take a shot if the buck made the cut. As I watched the buck in the scope he had his head down eating corn and eventually he raised his head up and looked straight at me. When I saw the width and height of his rack during this view was when I knew I was going to take the shot. The buck stared at me and then raised his nose up really high and tried to “wind” me. I thought in the back of my mind that my scent should be fine because I had been breathing in the scent of dirt during the whole hunt thanks to some earth scent wafers and my McKenzie Scent Fan bag. After a few seconds of being locked in a stare down with this buck he finally put his head back down to eat corn. At this point he was about 40 yards away from me and was giving me the perfect shoulder shot. I pulled the trigger and the buck instantly fell over right into the corn pile. I took the shot around 7:15. I texted the crew and said “Big Buck Down, gonna need help with an 8 point” and then sat there for a few minutes to calm down and ensure I had my gun back on safety and didn’t rush to get out of the stand. Within an hour we had the buck to the processor and he ended up weighing 175 lbs.
After a long season of holding off on several “iffy” bucks it felt good to get a nice buck on the ground. Ironically the loud sound of the crunching frosted over ground on my way in would ultimately help me out with getting this 8 point. I heard him coming before he got there and even though I had the camera fiasco I was able to get my body into position and get focused on the task at hand where I normally (without the loud crunching ground) probably would have had less time to prepare. It was a great start to a Thanksgiving Day and will be a Thanksgiving that I’ll always remember.
If you follow the site then you know that our fellow WeHuntSC.com blogger Blake Hodge stays busy in the outdoors and travels around a lot competing in Duck Calling Competitions. Blake’s recently got some exciting news that he’s too humble to share so I’m pumping him up here on the site even though he’s gonna get on me about it.
From winning multiple duck calling competitions, giving seminars for younger duck callers, being active in Ducks Unlimited, and being on a few different pro-staffs, Blake has gained notoriety in the waterfowl and broader hunting community. You may have read or previously seen some of Blake’s blogs here on the site and even a few of his videos. Blake and his dad (Daryl) also run a guide service called “The Wrecking Crew”. Add all that up and you have a well-rounded individual.
The exciting news is that Blake has been asked to be the co-host a new and upcoming TV show called “Youngbloods TV”. Blake will be co-hosting alongside of Buck Cumbo, an NC hunter and the “Youngbloods” will start out the initial season airing their show on the web and as they gain traction roll into the TV networks in the following year. Blake says that footage will come from hunting all game types, but we all know there will be some epic Waterfowl footage going on
So congratulations to Blake on yet another milestone in his outdoor career. Join me in congratulating Blake on being selected as a co-host of a TV show. We hope to see you on the TV soon and you better be pumping up some WeHuntSC.com!
For more information on Blake, Buck Cumbo, or the Youngbloods TV show check out http://www.YoungbloodsTV.com
The Predator Competition has been growing really fast over the past few years and we’re excited to continue the tradition of the WeHuntSC Predator Challenge. Last year we had over 130 hunters competing in our weekend of chasing down predators. We are continuing the tradition again this year so get ready to go hard for another weekend and chase down some predators.
Why We Host The Predator Challenge
Before we get into the rules and logistical information I’d like to reiterate why we even started this competition and our goals. If you are familiar with SC DNR’s study & report on the damage coyotes are doing to our deer, turkey, ducks, and other game populations then it should be a no-brainer as to why we host this competition. If you are not familiar with the study the long-story-short is that coyotes are putting a dent into the populations of game we hunt and therefore we need to be pro-active about hunting coyotes as well as spreading the word about coyotes to other hunters. If you don’t think Coyotes can take down mature animals then see this blog.
With hunters seeing coyotes more frequently, along with SC DNR’s study and data that coyotes are hurting our hunting across the state, we decided to do what we could as hunters to take action. We created the Predator Challenge a few years ago to help raise awareness of the sport of predator hunting and to help communicate to hunters that we should be dropping coyotes whenever we see them. The visionaries behind the creation of the competition, Chip Humphries & Terry Williams came from McBee, SC and were the winners of our first 2 years of the competition. Chip and Terry contacted me and we got the competition started back before I even knew how to hunt a coyote. So to be clear, our goal with the start of this competition was and continues to be to provide an avenue to promote the sport of predator hunting, raise awareness for what coyotes are doing across the state, and to give hunters a weekend of hunting with friends and family that they can look forward to and get excited about.
Last year after the competition we sent out an email asking for feedback from the competition and you gave us some of your creative thoughts and critical feedback about the competition. Based on some of the feedback from the competition we updated a few things.
Fun At the Check-In
I know that my team always looks forward to the weekend of predator hunting and we strategize our game plan all year long. It really is a fun (and tiring) weekend that culminates in a check-in down in Columbia, SC. I encourage you to show up at the check-in regardless of whether you harvest a predator or not because hunters from all around the state are there to fellowship, network, share hunting strategies, plus we have some really cool prizes and giveaways on hand for everyone.
Logistics and Rules
We do have more extensive rules & check-in information available, but I’ll leave that over on the Predator Competition Page so be sure to check it out there.
Thanks to the Organizers
Again, we wouldn’t be able to have the competition without our sponsors as well as without the help of the guys who organize the competition. Those guys are Gavin Jackson, Robbie Boone, & Adam Smith. Without these guys (along with Chip & Terry getting it initially off the ground) there would be no Predator Challenge. So if you see these guys at the check-in be sure to shake their hands and give them a pat on the back.
Hope to see ya’ll at the check-in!
Over the past few months I’ve been getting several bucks on camera. Most of them are small and a few of them are shooters. Mixed in with these bucks are 2 to 3 bucks that have really bad racks. By bad I mean these deer have big bodies and racks that do not reflect the age and maturity level of the deer, which to me indicates bad genetics.
Others have a decent rack on one side and a very mal-formed rack on the other side. Some hunters refer to these as “Cull bucks” indicating that they are deer that the hunter wants to “cull” out of the herd. Hunters want to remove these deer from the herd because of the bad genetics in the antlers. Hunters don’t want these deer reproducing and spawning more bucks with bad racks.
I’ve got a few deer that if I see I’m going to shoot. Yes I want them out of the herd and this past weekend one of these bucks came out right at daylight. At first I thought it was a big bodied doe, but after it got light enough I could tell that it was one of the bucks that I wanted to take out. So shortly after sun-up I eliminated the buck from the herd. This buck’s body was way bigger than his “spike” rack reflected. You can see the deer in the picture below.
However, some hunters are not of the same opinion about culling bucks out of the herd. Some hunters believe that all bucks can get big and have really nice racks regardless of what their racks look like any given year and the genetics of their lineage. I’m not mad about it and am not trying to start a ruckus, but rather am just interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts on the subject. So what do you think about it? Do you cull bucks? Do you think it’s a good practice or is it a bad practice? I’m interested in everyone’s game management tactics as it relates to cull bucks.