12-02-2011, 03:03 PM
B&C 120 Class
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Join Date: Nov 2011
There are many factors that contribute to big bucks. By that, I assume you mean big antlers. The three ost imposrtant age age, genetics and nutrition. There is nothing you can do about genetics. You either have it or you don't.
You can improve nutrition but not by dumping some magic potion out or putting a magic block on a stump. To improve nutrition you either spend a ton of money on a large tract of land or you have good soil to start with. You can't grow big antlers on poor soil. You can improve what you have with fertilizer but not by much.
However, of the three factors, age may be the most difficult to improve unless you own or control a significant number of contiguos acres. If you don't have sufficient land, I deem 2,000 acres to be sufficient, no matter what you do, it won't make much difference. It is hard to allow a buck to reach 4.5 years. Mix into all this, to reach a proper sex ratio, you have to shoot does. So state regs come into play. Any state will allow you to pass up young bucks but not many allow you to kill does at will.
When you do let a buck reach that magic age at which you can begin to tell something about his antlers, you may never see him. Unfortunately, as deer age, the more wary and nocturnal they become. Also, in thinning your doe heard to reach a proper sex ratio, all the deer become more wary.
Bottom line is, you probably have better bucks than yout hink, they just don't get killed. But if you don't live in an area that can nutritionally produce big bucks, you probably never will. I would guess the area you live in would make it next to impossible to produce deer with live weights over 200 pounds. A 3.5-yr.old buck from your area should typically field dress in the 125-140 pound range and antler size would not be what you are looking for.
Look at the states in the midwest. Iowa-no gun hunting during the rut, no centerfire rifles. IL-No rifles, Ohio-Shotgun/mzl only and so on. But to add to this, all those states have tremendous soil and therefore the crops and natural browse are first class. Move south and as the soil quality declines, deer, regardless of age, are not as large bodied (Brugeman's Law) nor do they develop aslarge antlers regardless of age. A few exceptions are found in river bottom lands that are carefully managed.
So...save your moneyu and book a Midwest hunt.
Last edited by scribe; 12-02-2011 at 03:07 PM.