Longest without a buck

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by kyhunter99, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. keith meador

    keith meador Got the Spotted Fever

    I was hunting Grindstone with a friend, and, at that time, there were a few guys that had permission to gun hunt as well. Hunting pressure around Grindstone is high. On the boundary fence to the west, there were 11 tree stands in the fence row. That fence is 1800 feet long, with all of the stands being in a 900 foot stretch toward the north, along the alfalfa field. In a one mile stretch down the holler, my neighbor and I knew of 37 hunters. The properties around Grindstone are not big parcels. 10-60 acres for the most part. When we had alfalfa, we pulled deer from just about every property around. It wasn't uncommon to have 40 deer in sight, in the alfalfa. We shot several does each fall, but the quality just didn't get better. Everything was right, except age. We couldn't get deer to survive the neighbors. Pretty much every 2.5 year old buck vanished after gun season. I don't fault anyone for pulling the trigger on what makes them happy. Just be happy, and don't make excuses for killing younger deer. If you want meat, and hunt in a zone 1 or 2 area, I'd suggest shooting does. You'll benefit in the long run if antlers are your goal. Shooting a 2.5 year old buck because you have a buck tag in your pocket, then complaining about not seeing big deer doesn't make good sense. Shooting a 2.5 year old buck, then making excuses? Well, you can draw your own conclusion there.
    I'm not an antler hunter these days. I'll go head to head with a mature doe and enjoy the challenge. Beating an old nanny on her home turf while supplying meat for the freezer is a win win for me. If a mature deer happens to find me sitting in a tree, I'm not going to pass him up. I enjoy hunting much more now than I did when I chased antlers.
    Grindstone acreage is relatively small, in the whitetail world. Just shy of 200 acres, with about 35-40 acres of the nastiest snarled mess of woods you'll find anywhere. Bush honeysuckle has taken over, despite my best efforts to rid the place of it. I keep the areas around the oaks cleared off, along with a buggy trail that I use to enter and exit when I'm working on food plots. I don't gun hunt Grindstone. I leave it to the deer. If they can find their way onto Grindstone, they have a safe place while the guns are popping.
     
    Strut 'N' Buck, barney, Nock and 6 others like this.
  2. ancienthunter

    ancienthunter 6 pointer

    496
    126
    Dec 25, 2011
    Over the Hill
    I went 9 years once without using my ky state tag but I did shoot some at Fort Knox during that time. I had decided I was not going to use my state tag unless I could shoot one bigger than I had mounted, I finally was able to shoot a 150” 8 pt in 2009 that was 5 1/2 and dressed at 214 lbs. After that I decided the chance of shooting one bigger was going to be slim so I decided to just shoot mature bucks and not worry about rack size. I shot a couple of good bucks in 2010, one on state, one on Fort Knox and then in 2011 I shot another 5 1/2 yro that’s a 160” gross 10 pointer. I’ve killed a few since including 2 mature 8 points this year. I now enjoy taking my grandkids when they have time which is limited. I’ll be 66 next month, not sure how many more years I’ll be able to hunt so I’m not waiting on a BC, I’ve only seen 2 deer in my 40+ years of hunting that I thought would make it both were at Fort Knox. So if a mature buck steps out in the right situation he may get to ride home in my truck.
     
  3. Ash12

    Ash12 10 pointer

    1,385
    13
    Oct 21, 2007
    I haven't taken a buck since 2013. Before that I hadn't taken a buck since 2007. Honestly, it just hasn't worked out would be the short answer. Time has been a constraint as well. I would be lying if I said that I would let a 2.5 year old buck walk (or younger) if I had my bow in my hands (I haven't taken anything with archery tackle), but if I am rifle hunting it is going to have to be at least a 140ish buck for me to pull the trigger. With all of that being said, I am proud to eat my buck tag year after year. I am fortunate enough that the last few years I have been able to tag a doe for meat purposes and have been able to let bucks walk, and I believe that most hunters could also do this, if they gave themselves a chance too.
     
  4. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

    3,342
    1,288
    Feb 20, 2011
    the swamps of western KY
    The longest I went was 6 years without killing a good buck. The last 3 years I’ve said I was going to shoot the first “good”, whatever that means, buck that I saw. I’ve seen them just haven’t pulled the trigger. I spend too much time watching bucks and not shooting them.

    I did manage to kill two does this year. I was working on filling a third doe tag when a sex-crazed buck blew up my small tract of ground and ran all the does off. The woods were a flurry of whitetails running every direction. On a positive note I finally heard a buck roar which actually was more like a frenzied squeal if you ask me - a peculiar sound indeed. I’d never have guessed it was a deer had I not heard it with my own Tinnitus filled ears. I just enjoying the journey. Killing comes in due time.

    Edit to add: I just realized this was my fifth year eating buck tag soup, again. Seems to be a pattern here...
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  5. HuntsItAll

    HuntsItAll 8 pointer

    546
    604
    Jan 23, 2009
    A hunters paradise
    I’m going on my 4th season without shooting a buck. This is the longest stretch without filling my buck tag. My last buck in 2015 scored 163”. My oldest daughter, (who was 10at the time) was with me, and if she could have gotten a shot, it could’ve been her very first deer! It came in pushing 2 does to the right of our stand. Trying to get a right handed shooter turned to shoot on the right, she just kept saying I can’t see, I can’t see it. It was moving off and soon to be gone when she told me to shoot it because she couldn’t. Since then, I’ve watched her, and my other kids shoot many of deer, and I love it!! As long as I get to take them, I don’t care if I don’t get a buck. I’ve hunted 2 times this year when my kids weren’t with me. I’ve still got some hunting coming up this year for me, so we’ll see how it goes!!
     
  6. Capttrae

    Capttrae 12 pointer

    3,634
    1,352
    Apr 2, 2012
    Went 3 or 4 years. Hunting one buck. Finally just got mad at them, first buck deer that stepped out I ground checked.
     
  7. dirtstalker

    dirtstalker 10 pointer

    1,471
    1,173
    Nov 20, 2009
    Clay County
    Killed a good buck in 09. Didnt kill another buck until 18. Got into the antler craze. First 3 or 4 years was ok. I filled my doe tags, filling the freezer. After that, my hunting got to be miserable, and it was all my fault for trophy hunting. I dont hunt in a trophy rich area. I started to get discouraged with deer hunting, it was no longer fun. I tols myself last year that i was shooting the first buck that had more than a set of spikes on its head, and i did, and i was tickled with it. Now, my oldest son hunts with me, and its all about him. I love it. My hunting is more enjoyable now than it ever has been. I was fortunate to take a buck this year. But, if i never take another one, as long as the boy has some luck, i am perfectly fine with that.
     
  8. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    2,844
    921
    Jul 14, 2014
    Kentucky
    Last Buck I harvested was last year (2018); in fact I've taken Bucks during the past 7 years. I took my first mature Buck, with a M/L, back in 1982 in Indiana's December M/L season. Before 1982, the Deer I've taken were Doe (Special Hunt) & a few Spikes or 4-pointers.
     
  9. invasion36

    invasion36 8 pointer

    819
    462
    Aug 29, 2013
    Kenton Co
    Looking like 21 years as of this point as far as a bow buck. Started deer hunting when I was 14 when I lived in Ohio. At 18 3rd day ever out with a bow, I shot an 8 pointer. Got married and moved to Ky at 19. Last buck I shot was 9 years ago with a muzzleloader. First time I was able to hunt KY. That refueled the passion. Since then I have passed quite a few and couldn’t seal the deal on a few. This year on my new property, the Friday before gun I had a 140’s 8 walk 7 yds under my blind I was in but that window wasn’t open cause the wind was blowing that way. Then my target buck walked out at 80yds to my left but fed on the beans and never came close enough. Had another stud pop out but was with a doe. That’s all the mature bucks I saw this year in one day.
     
  10. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

    9,689
    3,265
    Jun 28, 2012
    Think my last was 2013. I’ve never killed a “big buck” by the standards of many, but if they get my heart pumping, I shoot. Passed on young 9-10 this year that I kind of regret not taking. First one, that got the finger itchy in a while. I’ve taken two does this year and consider those trophies and feel blessed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    Ataulbe1 and buzzbaiter83 like this.
  11. kyhunter99

    kyhunter99 12 pointer

    2,334
    1,276
    Dec 21, 2014
    Probably in the kitchen Ky
    There was one buck I wanted to shoot while hunting this year, i was with my bow and he was a hair too far out. He went broadside and all.
    I dont regret not taking the chance.
    But outside of that i never saw anything with more than 3 points this year.

    Its been i think 5 years? Maybe more.
    Mature buck, thats my goal.
    But on my last rifle sit i decided anything that had more than 4 points. Never showed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  12. Iceman35

    Iceman35 12 pointer

    7,987
    2,798
    Oct 27, 2008
    Boone County
    Like @keith meador , I got caught up in the antler craze for a while. Didn’t harvest a buck for 5 years because of it. Then when I looked at the places I was hunting objectively, I realized that killing a huge buck was going to be a random thing, since they were too small to effectively pattern them. None of them were really home ranges for bucks, or they were on the fringe of their home range, except during the rut when they were looking for does. Also, all of the places I’ve hunted in KY, all of them are almost ghost towns after gun season. The does eventually start coming back around during daylight about mid December, and the bucks that are left are nearly 100% nocturnal.

    When I started hunting with my kids, I watched them Get all excited when I shot a doe, so I started shooting “smaller” bucks if I felt excited about them myself. Can’t beat the joy in a kids face when they see you holding antlers of any sort. Now, even when I hunt by myself, I let the season, and my own emotion of hunting dictate whether I take a buck or not. I still don’t shoot spikes and button bucks, but like this year, with gun season fast approaching and my absolute inability to get a doe both in range, and positioned correctly, I decided to take a younger buck. Not ashamed in the slightest, and happy to have meat in the freezer for my voracious teenagers to consume. Had I had a couple does in the freezer like most years, I would have passed on him.
     
  13. Velvet ears

    Velvet ears 6 pointer

    421
    214
    Nov 6, 2013
    West KY
    Looks like 2005 was the last buck for me (150" 13 pt). I'm looking for that +170" deer that makes you shat yourself when he walks up. Needless to say, I haven't seen him yet. I've passed several 120-130" 3 year olds every year to let them grow up some. Like Keith, I feel all I do is pass them up for the OOS leasers next door to take them down. I really should find a new spot to hunt, but it is hard to leave my farm that I own and hunt for free.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  14. bumhunter

    bumhunter Spike

    91
    58
    Sep 28, 2016
    Carter county, ky
    I started hunting at 16, and didn’t even see a deer to shoot until I was 26. I was living and hunting in lower Michigan during that time.
     
  15. hollandhunter

    hollandhunter 12 pointer

    3,273
    457
    Feb 11, 2008
    Holland Kentucky
    Did not kill a buck last year and have not killed a buck yet this year. An I will not kill a deer until I get a shot at a 150 or better. I have killed a bunch of 120-140 inch deer. So I decided im going big or bust. Problem is nobody around me on other farms let deer walk. If it is brown and has antlers its down around my neck of the woods. But atleast im doing my part. Passed up several good deer this year and last yr. I had a 150plus deer last year on camera but by the time I seen him in person he had broken off half of his main beam. Made me sick. I let him walk and he got even bigger this year. But have yet to connect.
     

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