Started walking to the stand at 5:45 on the way a doe and a yearling walk in front of me so I had to wait for them to cross. Once I got to the stand a doe walk out while I was climbing the ladder. A few slow minutes later I was in the seat and all set up. About 6:20 10 does and a small 7 pt came and fed till 7:30 when they were joined by 3 bucks.
The first deer to walk out was a very pretty symmetrical 8 with nice long g3’s but it looked at me immediately and was inside the ears so it got a pass. A 10 pt came out next and was at the ears but did not have much length once again I figured he was good looking 3.5 yo deer. Lastly came out another 8 with long G2’s and funky crab claws. This deer was the boss of the group, had a little more belly to him, a shorter face and compact body but he wouldn’t look at me. They chased each other around for a while and headed back into the woods. I’m thinking to myself you always let nice deer walk.
A min or 2 later all the deer reemerge and star heading down the road where I made the mistake of judging the deer as it was walking away. At the very end of the road at 215 yards he turns and looks right at me. When I pulled that trigger I was convinced I was shooting +175# 18.5 inch buck. That was not the case… 165 lbs 16.5 inches. Still an interesting rack, just too young for what I was looking for.
Sorry you sound so bummed in your post because your smile in the pics seemed to be a little misleading! If you ever feel that you did an injustice just think at like this: your neighbor could have done the same thing but enjoyed this experience and maybe even earned a little bragging rights. Sometimes it happens to those that are trying to do the management thing so don’t kick yourself anymore and just try to judge the next one a little longer and then make the call. Glad to see you got some meat in the freezer. Besides that buck appears to be showing signs of extreme neck fatigue with those velvet wrapped weapons so you did him a favor.
“If you can’t fix a woman, chase some tail with fins and fur!!!”
2008 Sea Pro 1900cc w/115
(2) Daughters that make the boys cry
(1) wife that makes her husband take the kids outdoors to chase their dreams!
I will say that before I joined this club last season I thought game management was shooting 8 pts only or outside the ears “Mature Bucks”. My one year education in mature deer management has taught me a couple things. 1. SC has the potential to grow some very nice deer especially in areas with Agriculture. 2. It takes a lot of land to secure an area for big deer to grow in numbers 3. You have to be very choosy who you hunt with.
Where I hunt the aim is to shoot at a minimum a 4.5 yo deer, the size of the rack is not the main focus. In some instances you can shoot a 3.5 yo deer but it has to be pretty spectacular and is not particularly smiled upon by all in the group.
I like the rack on this buck getting a European mount done because I thought it would look neat that way. I am not at all disappointed in this deer, as you stated I am disappointed in my misjudgment of him 2 years from now he would have been a stud swamp buck with a funk rack. I also feel sore because I took a nice deer away from someone next year or 5 years from now. Yes the chances of me shooting that deer in 3 years are slim but someone would have gotten a wall hanger. In the end lesson learned what I was very happy about is that everyone in the club I have talked to said pretty much the same thing as you.
Sabalo 21 150 Yamaha
Key West Stealth 150 V-max (SOLD)
good lookin buck to me, congrats!
Don’t be so hard on yourself! Congrats on a successful hunt.
Capt. R. Killin
Sea Hooked Charters