Letting them pass

RuggedRack

Spike
Nov 2, 2018
50
NKY
My boy and I are extremely lucky to hunt a family friends property in Caldwell County every year for the modern rifle opening weekend. The retired farmer, and good friend says to everyone "Shoot what ya like, & Like what you shoot" we passed on many antlers in hopes they grow into mature deer. My son took some video and photos of a few dandys in hopes they make it to next year really proud of my 16 year and his approach and how much he has grown as a hunter. Here is one he let go.
 

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hollandhunter

12 pointer
Feb 11, 2008
3,521
Holland Kentucky
Countless bucks pushing 130??? Countless? Now come on, countless??? I’ve hunted 10 days of gun and 2 bucks bigger than a spike and 4 pt. 1 of those was a small 8 about 12 inches wide and the other was a broken 3 yr old 8 pt that my son killed beside me in Ohios youth season. It must be nice to be seeing bucks like that, congrats.
I forgot to add. I killed a 148 last yr. Would have made the 150 mark but had his tenth point mashed in velvet. I hunted him prolly 25 times before i killed him. An several of those encounters was less then 50 yards. The problem was he was always the last to come out and there would be eyes on me in all directions ever time he came out. I tried and tried to get drawn on him. I was about to give up. Then late last gun season he finally came into a grunt call alone looking for trouble. He didnt make it that time. Hence the reason the wife and kids get to go infront of me this year.
 

rockhousehunter

12 pointer
Oct 18, 2013
2,259
Salyersville, Ky
My boy and I are extremely lucky to hunt a family friends property in Caldwell County every year for the modern rifle opening weekend. The retired farmer, and good friend says to everyone "Shoot what ya like, & Like what you shoot" we passed on many antlers in hopes they grow into mature deer. My son took some video and photos of a few dandys in hopes they make it to next year really proud of my 16 year and his approach and how much he has grown as a hunter. Here is one he let go.
Our "approach" is if that deer walked out in our sights, he'd be dead for sure, not just for my boys but for me too. We don't have that luxury, you are blessed.
 

hollandhunter

12 pointer
Feb 11, 2008
3,521
Holland Kentucky
Our "approach" is if that deer walked out in our sights, he'd be dead for sure, not just for my boys but for me too. We don't have that luxury, you are blessed.
I grew up hunting public land. Where a fork horn was the highlight of the season. It wasnt till i was grown and got private permission and enough income to buy my own land that i had good deer to hunt. So i feel your pain. An understand where your coming from. No dout some of us are just blessed with good ground. Some of the best hunters i know never killed anything over 135inches. You can take the best hunter in the world and if he is hunting a place with very few or no deer he wont kill a monster. Its about location mixed with a little luck. Keep your head up. If i kill a 200 inch deer this year that dont mean im any better of a hunter then you are.
 

NKYhunter05

Spike
Nov 10, 2022
63
Burlington, KY
We hunt a 100 acre place with property being hunted all around us. In the last 15 years I’ve maybe seen 3 bucks the next season that I let walk the year before.
In the same boat. Had a nice forked 4 pointer I let slip the first week multiple times. I know that sounds crazy but he had some tall tines and the spread was there just not mature enough yet. Had real potential. Haven’t seen him since week 1 of gun season. Gotta assume the orange army took him out. Unfortunate.
 

120+

12 pointer
Aug 22, 2006
19,289
You can't get there from here.
The biggest buck I saw this year was was an 18-19 inch 8 point with the g3 on one side being only an inch or two so I gave him a pass a couple of times. The last time was about 3 in the afternoon and I said boy you better get in the woods. 10 minutes later he got shot as he came out the other side. I passed a really nice one last year and they guy hunting my stand killed him the last weekend.

All we can do is pass the ones we think may turn into something and hope for the best. Most times someone else will smoke them but all I can do is worry about doing what I can do. I'm never going to shoot one because I'm worried about what someone else will do.
Yes sometimes that happens but I don't think it's "most" of the time. No way of knowing that for sure but there are big deer out there that have probably had a few near misses early on.
 

bgkyarcher

12 pointer
Aug 23, 2011
20,364
BG
I must be getting older, saw 5 different bucks this season and gave them the slip, I just enjoyed watching them and hoping they grow more for next year, I didn’t see the bruiser I was after but had fun watching a 130 8 chase a doe one morning and they almost ran me over, I got 2 does for the freezer, I’m not a guy to judge what you kill , I have took my share of scrubs and a few nice ones over the years, you got 1 tag choice is yours but if you after big ones you got to let smaller bucks ease by. Blessed to hunt in good buck country, poachers got a good one last year, left the whole body laying by the road, what a waste.
A 130 8 wouldn’t get a pass from me.
 

bgkyarcher

12 pointer
Aug 23, 2011
20,364
BG
I’ve got my share, rather someone who got excited about it get it or give it another chance next year, scouted some big boys over the summer early fall but never saw them hunting
I understand. Everybody had their own standards. Mine are not high due to inventory.
 

cedar creek

10 pointer
Sep 7, 2014
1,967
I understand. Everybody had their own standards. Mine are not high due to inventory.
I understand that, I was trying to hang out for a chance at a big boy but it didn’t happen, those deer I let go were in some pretty big blocks of woods and had a better chance of survival than say farm deer with people hunting all around,
 

xbokilla

12 pointer
Jun 28, 2012
15,111
Know about this all too well. Not seen much this season. The life of zone 4 hunters I guess, oh well.
I hunt Zone 1. Have seen deer every sit this year but even in zone 1 it can be tough and it literally varies from one farm to the next. I have gone 4 strait sits in November without a sighting before. Couple years ago I hunted hard and finally took a young do last day of late ML.
 

WildmanWilson

12 pointer
Dec 26, 2004
12,569
Western Ky.
Yes sometimes that happens but I don't think it's "most" of the time. No way of knowing that for sure but there are big deer out there that have probably had a few near misses early on.
Depends on where you hunt I guess. Most people will kill a 130 or there abouts so they don't get a pass very often. Depending on the neighbors and what they shoot tells if those bucks live. The reason the 150s and on up are more rare is because most never get the chance to reach that size. Thats why I say most get killed otherwise we would have a larger percentage that reach that size.
 

Little FR

12 pointer
Nov 10, 2021
4,693
West Kentucky
I’ve got my share, rather someone who got excited about it get it or give it another chance next year, scouted some big boys over the summer early fall but never saw them hunting
It would take some massive bases or something special to get me to shoot a 130 8pt. Ive killed “that same deer” dozens of times.

I’m getting sick of hunting 150+ deer and seeing them one time though. I made it rain on plenty of slick heads this year just so my family knew I was in fact hunting and seeing deer. Haha.
 


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