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November 06, 2008

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BuckTracker: Age Before Beauty?

Most deer hunters are prone to fantasy, so here’s one to ponder as the rut heats up; two mature bucks are working their way toward your stand, slowly enough that you have time to size them up pretty well. One whitetail sports a rack that would clearly out-score the headgear worn by his buddy. But the sagging belly, sway-back, and tremendous bulk of the second buck indicate a much older deer.




Assuming you’ll get an equal opportunity to shoot either buck, which do you focus on? The breathtaking frame of the younger deer would catapault it higher up the record book, but fooling an old warrior—regardless of his B&C standing—just one time is a heady feat in itself. To fuel your imagination, I’ve included some contributed cam-pics of actual deer living on a friend’s farm this fall. The clean, typical-frame bucks are obvious and tempting….but that buck with the goofy side is doubtless the senior member of the clan. Which would you rather put a tag on? And why? Anxious to hear your responses!


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Move to Michigan were you can shoot both of them.


I would harvest the senior buck for two reasons. First, the younger bucks are indeed tempting but imagine what they will look like next year. Dandies for sure. Secondly, the rack is just more unique, which im my opinion makes it a much more distinguishable trophy and would provide for better memories

thomas goldsby

shoot the older buck.you will be doing a better service to the heard by getting his old deteriating genetics out of the geene pool..

John D

Whichever one I saw first.


I personally would shoot the second buck because of his unusual rack. I would be proud of being able to outwit such an old deer.

Del in KS

Two years ago while bowhunting in Wyandotte co Kansas I saw a buck that had the same weird antlers as the old buck. Only difference was the KS buck had a huge typical left antler and two very large spikes on the right side. He was with another NT that had more points than you could count but smaller overall antlers. I would shoot the older buck for the unique antlers and old age.


Whichever offered the first chance of a clean kill. Antlers are nice but I want to eat.


I would try and take the top photo and the bottom photo with the thought that the middle one has the best genetics


if you want to eat kill a doe, and then shoot the older buck because it is a really big accomplishment in my oppinion to shoot such an old warrior.


I would rather shoot the younger deer for he looks at least 3 years old and in my area i doubt that i would have a chance to see him again. But i would shoot the buck that offered me the cleanest shot.


I would shoot them both because I have two buck tags!

I would shoot both, eat both, and mount both. Both bucks are in or past their 3rd year mark which tells me that they have planted their seed on my property and with the opportunity I would tag out for the year. I would enjoy my backstraps while sitting in my living room watching whitetail freaks on the outdoor channel and every once in while looking up at both of my gaints on the wall! I'm a meat hunter first but enjoy shooting a few nice bucks along the way. I'm damn PROUD of it!


I would shoot the first one that gave a decent shot. Heck I would be elated if a doe were to give me a shot. 10 days hunting in pa with 3 sightings. All does out of range. Yea, we have too many. Anyway, I've always took the first shot as things can change very fast. Maybe the wind will change. Maybe there was another deer nearby that caught you movement and blew. If you would be equally happy with either deer, why would you take the chance of something going wrong?


I'm not a trophy hunter, so the one that puts more meat in the freezer goes down.


Why not ask if Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie asked us to spend some time with them, which one would we go for first.

That ain't happening either.

cory- age 15

i would shoot the older buck because it shows that you have tookin a buck that has gottin past his prime.


I would shoot the old one if given an equal opportunity. but they would both be my best so i would take the first perfect shot offered. I'd mount either one too so they are both trophies.

Scott Hall

I would shoot whichever buck presented the best shot opportunity to make a clean kill. Either buck is a true trophy.


The second one, look at the swayed back, thats a mature buck. Letting the 2.5-3.5 year olds go is great on paper, but when the lunatic next door is shooting em up, it might not be reality. I also don't buy that people would shoot the older one due to some satisfaction of killing an old mutant...leave out the part where you passed on a trophy to take him. be honest, Bestul's not gonna rag on ya!


I'd let the young one go till next year, then I'd go try and talk some sense into that lunatic next door that shoots anything that moves. Maybe you can get him to leave him till next year too!


I would wait till daylite and shoot the one thats still there! It is illegal to shoot deer at night in my state!

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