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Old December 1, 2013, 05:47 PM   #1
Blackops_2
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Hunting mature whitetail.

So I've deer hunted all my life but not as serious as this. I've killed small decent bucks plenty of does. For the first time I want a high class deer so to speak a nice 140ish mature buck. I've been hunting one of our secluded bean fields that butts up to 8000 acres of CRP. We have three bucks on camera this size.


Well buddy and I walked up on him going to the stand at 6am (a tad late) didn't know where my 260 was shooting and didn't want to chance a standing offhand shot. So I declined to shoot. Been at it day in day out since then and haven't come across him again.

The first day we came out here a skinny wide old 8-point was chasing does (needs to be killed) so since the does are coming into estrous I figure I should see him again given the amount of time I'm hunting. It's not prime rut yet but I think it's safe to assume it pre-rut.

I have 5-9 does every afternoon in this field I've yet to shoot or disturb them for this buck.

Right now I'm watching a spike chase does around the field haha

Any suggestions? More patience?

Last edited by Blackops_2; December 1, 2013 at 06:00 PM.
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Old December 1, 2013, 07:14 PM   #2
shortwave
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More patience?
^^^This.

With the does in the field every day and it being pre-rut, just increases your chances of catching him. Or one of the other two you've filmed. You can bet there will be bucks scent checking these does. If not going all the way out into the field to do it, by skirting just inside the wood line downwind of them.

You may even get the opportunity to watch two mature bucks go at it over a doe. If you have never witnessed this, it is usually something that is very exiting.

Hope ya get one of those bigg'ns.

Last edited by shortwave; December 1, 2013 at 07:28 PM.
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Old December 1, 2013, 07:32 PM   #3
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Left un-molested those does should in time draw something suitable for your needs out into shooting range. But once those BIG bucks go nocturnal procrastination is a dangerous habit to get into. Anyway don't wait to long.
I 'm not going to say a word about your 260. {Nope I'm not going there.} Have a good hunt Sir.
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Old December 1, 2013, 08:33 PM   #4
Blackops_2
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Got tomorrow then i have to head back to starkville for finals, in which i'll probably miss the prime rut. Maybe tomorrow is the day .

Sure Shot i take it you had a bad experience with your 260? I've had a sako 85 .260 for over 4 years never killed deer with it. Told myself i want to take a quality buck with it, beautiful rifle makes it hard to get out of the gun cabinet.
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Old December 1, 2013, 08:44 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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Hunting mature whitetail.

More patience yes, but I hope you figured out where that gun is shooting.
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Old December 1, 2013, 08:50 PM   #6
Blackops_2
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Oh yeah later that day rechecked my zero we're fine forgot to mention that. That might of been what Sure Shot was referring too.

The only reason i was skeptical is because last year i shot at a doe and i must've just ranged a blade of grass/wheat out in the field i was laying in because i shot, trigger pull was fine, and flat out missed. Was left scratching my head.
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Old December 1, 2013, 09:01 PM   #7
shortwave
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in which i'll probably miss the prime rut
What do you mean when you speak of 'the prime rut' ?

If you are speaking of when the doe is in full estrus and with a buck, accepting him for breading, you'll likely not see them anyways. During peak rut, hunting for that monster buck is not very productive.
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Old December 1, 2013, 09:05 PM   #8
Blackops_2
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Yup that's what i was referring to, didn't even know that
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Old December 1, 2013, 09:12 PM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Hunting mature whitetail.

The chase phase is where it's at. The bucks are ready, the doe aren't. They're running around trying to find a receptive doe.

Once the doe are ready, they disappear. No more chasing. The closer to 1:1 your ratios are, the better. Most places have doe:buck ratios of 3:1 or worse. That means the bucks have no trouble at all finding all the doe they could hope to breed and then some. Bad juju for trying to find the big boys especially.

You should be endeavoring to kill AT LEAST one doe and probably 3 or 4 for every buck you kill until/unless your ratio is balanced.
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Old December 1, 2013, 09:16 PM   #10
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I was thinking i wouldn't tamper with the spot. So i should rid of a doe or two? That thin wide 8-point needs to go eventually i just didn't want to hurt my chances.
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Old December 1, 2013, 09:42 PM   #11
shortwave
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There are at least three phases/stages of the rut. Some claim five.

At any rate, here's just one of many good articles on the stages of the rut.

IMO, studying and being able to recognize the different stages of the rut is one of the most important things a fella can master if he's wanting that trophy buck.

Last edited by shortwave; December 1, 2013 at 09:59 PM.
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Old December 1, 2013, 09:46 PM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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Hunting mature whitetail.

You want to get rid of the doe after you get the buck or late in the season just to make sure you get it done.

Keeping shooting more doe than buck (in small numbers so you don't reduce the overall population) until you see about the same numbers of each.

The concept that "deer management" meant never shoot does died out about 30 years ago, at least.
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Old December 1, 2013, 11:17 PM   #13
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mature

My experience has been that once pressured a bit, a 3.5+ yr old whitetail, a deer in the 140+ class like your're talking about, will make few mistakes until they start to chase. It my belief one has a crack at them early in the feeding, bachelor group phase, and then, once they get bumped or wary, a mature deer will get real scarce, 'till he makes a mistake, getting stupid, chasing does.

You may catch him moving early, prior dark, before a weather event, storm, snow, etc, but don't count on it if he's been bumped.

Your rut in MS may be much like ours here in N. AL. In a good year, there will be action for 10-14 days or so as the first does come in, and bucks will be running them in the open, "going stupid". It can be really nuts.

For quite a few years, I belonged to a club that had plots and established shooting houses. Every year was nearly the same. A few bucks, some not to shabby, would be killed from the houses/plots, especially if there was some weather. Then there would be a long dry spell as the only deer that came out on the plots and ROWs were does and yearling bucks. REpeated patterns from hunters, noise, vehicles, disregarding the wind and hunting plots in wrong conditions, etc...etc....good bucks knew very well what areas to avoid.

Then the early does came in, and we'd kill a few more good bucks throughtill the end of the season.
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Old December 2, 2013, 08:02 PM   #14
Blackops_2
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Sat till pretty much dark today saw the most deer i've seen in this spot so far. Two bucks fought about 50yds from me only went at it once. Couldn't make out what the other one was but the one that seemed to win and go after the does was the same spike as yesterday. Matter of time i guess i think that this will be the week though i wont be here.
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Last edited by Blackops_2; December 2, 2013 at 08:08 PM.
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Old December 2, 2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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Wait till ya get to see two mature bucks really go at it.

You will have no doubt that they could take a 250lb. man and throw him in the air like a rag doll.

Which is exactly what happened to the next door neighbor of the house I used to live in. The gore scars on his right butt check and upper, rear part of his leg looked brutal.
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Old December 5, 2013, 01:16 PM   #16
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I got my first buck this year, a nice 200 lb. 5 pointer. It never would have happened if I didn't let a big doe walk right past me.
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Old December 5, 2013, 04:02 PM   #17
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Very good point ChasingWhitetail.

If you're hunting that monster buck during any phase of the rut, it is wise to watch the doe walk by in anticipation of a buck to possibly being with her or on her trail.

Too, when hunting that monster buck during the rut, you really need to hunt where the does are at. The bucks will be there sooner or later.
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Old December 5, 2013, 11:05 PM   #18
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Yup! Well said. For decades I've been happy to see does because that really raises the chances of seeing a buck. It happened this afternoon, though the buck was a decent 8 but not a great one. Nothing gets my heart pumping like watching a group of does turn abruptly to the woods and get those ears up. I just know the big guy is about to walk out. I've seen it so many times.

You just have to put in the time to be in the woods enough to raise your odds of seeing the big buck. And you have to hunt them in a smart manner.

I'll bet it was 40 years ago when I was in a brand new wooden ladder blind, sitting under a poncho that I had 'borrowed' from the USMC. There was a steady sleet falling, but no other sound. Just the hiss of the sleet. Just at dusk, here came maybe 10 does, silent as ghosts, filing out of the woods from behind me on my right. They set up what looked like a defensive perimeter in the bean field stubble. Then...just at dark the lead doe turned to the woods and gave some unknown (and unseen by me) signal. And he stepped out of the palmettos. Man...I live for those moments and those memories. That buck was an old one. Way past his prime. He had lived a long time by making no mistakes.
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Old December 5, 2013, 11:35 PM   #19
shortwave
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You're so correct 603Country .

Learning the body language of does will tell ya a lot if ya just watch them.

Too, I've watched groups of does especially during the 'chase' phase of the rut that would have a smaller buck in the field aggravating them.
All of a sudden the antics by the smaller buck stops and he's facing the woods.
Sure sign another buck is getting ready to enter the field from the exact point the buck is looking and you're getting ready to see a show. Nine times out of ten the buck entering the field will be as big or most often bigger then the one that was already in the field.

Just earlier this year I watched this very scenario unfold. Had a mid size six pointer in a field chasing four doe around. Six pointer froze and out walked a big bodied, heavy nine. I thought the nine would just do some posturing and the six would turn tail and leave. Nine did all his posturing with hair standing on end and ears laid back but surprisingly, the feisty much smaller six held his ground. The nine got a little more than perturbed and rammed the six pushing him halfway across the field. He did that twice before the six got the message and walked stiff legged into the woods.

That six must have been visiting from the 'show me' state.

Never got a chance to stick the nine...action happened just outta bow range for me.
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Old December 6, 2013, 07:19 AM   #20
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Big, old bucks don't tolerate much intrusion. Last year, I bumped(virtually) into a big, old 8 point the day before season while doing some farm work. I didn't see that buck again in shooting hours. This year, same farm, the renter bumped a big 8 point(probably the same one) twice the week before season. No one has seen the buck again. We thought he might be in the standing corn across the fence but that was harvested and still nothing. We don't "stomp and tromp" hunt so seeing the buck means waiting for him to come out of the heavy cover and it's not happening.
Bottom line is, while the big boy might come out chasing a doe, you also might never see him again. Shoot the does and get some meat with your tag.
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Old December 22, 2013, 08:05 AM   #21
Blackops_2
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Hunting mature whitetail.

Admittedly haven't hunted a lot lately. Thought dad was having heart problems so we had a heart cath done and some blood work. His heart is fine. We think it's his blood pressure medicine.

Anyhow got back out here this morning after the huge storm that hit the delta last night. Have seen four of the same does I always see and a wide scraggly 8-point. Thinking I'm going to hunt till 11 or so it's overcast and they're moving from being bed up all day yesterday.

I agree on the does that's why I won't fire a rifle in this spot because I have about 7 does that feed morning and night here with no stress what so ever.

Here's three crossing me at 100yds


We're in post rut here so I'm told. Monday and Tuesday morning are looking prime. 28F and 25F. I'll be hitting it hard then.

As far as meat and tags goes there isn't any worry. We don't have tags (that I know of) in MS and I have a designated section of farmland primarily for does. Hell they've devastated our bean crop the last four years out there. Meat is a non issue which is why I'm saving this place. Though I'm getting a little impatient and just want to get a deer to get it off my shoulder.

I'm very fortunate that we have ample places to hunt with no regulations other than state law. We have probably total 700acres of hunting ground. Most of it is farm that butts up to CRP. But about half is CRP that my dad's side owns. It truly is a gem too. Rabbit, deer, quail, and now we have turkey's out there. Poachers are a problem but I think the wildlife manages. Though we're also members of two hunting clubs across the levee they're basically for a bad year on the farm so we can sell out and collect some fast cash if needed. They both have too many restrictions to even really think about hunting. So much that it's ruined them.

Last edited by Blackops_2; December 22, 2013 at 08:21 AM.
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Old December 22, 2013, 02:41 PM   #22
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In their natural habitat and with normal hunting pressure, mature bucks are generally a different animal than immature bucks and does. They grow old only because they got lucky in youth and learned from their mistakes. BUT........take a mature buck on private property where it is fed and allowed to mature regardless of the mistakes it continues to make and it can be easier to hunt than a forkhorn on public land. There is a certain amount of "dumbing down" happening to the deer herd because of management practices meant for growing horn. While folks are producing "quality" bucks, they are also promoting deer to identify humans with food and safety. Look at urban deer. They feed at all times of the day and many times, one see's mature bucks laying next the basketball hoop in the driveway. Instead of running away, they watch folks in the backyard, in hopes they're refilling the bird feeder. That said, Big bucks in normal conditions, expose themselves very seldom. They know where humans hunt and what time of day they hunt. They know that every slam of a truck door or crunch of bootsteps means they are in danger and act appropriately. To bag them you have to vary the way you hunt so they do not pattern you and you have to make fewer mistakes than they do.
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Old December 22, 2013, 03:14 PM   #23
Blackops_2
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I haven't wanted to ruin the spot but there are too very old bucks neither have a rack really. One is a scraggly wide 8 and the other is a semi-tall 8 with some decent mass. He was tellig me they're likely the dominant buck in the area due to age and muscle mass. If I see them I need to kill them both. I did see one of them this morning I think.
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Old December 24, 2013, 07:13 PM   #24
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BLACKOPS_2
didn't know where my 260 was shooting and didn't want to chance a standing offhand shot. So I declined to shoot.
That Sir.......Was an EXTREMELY respectable thing to do. Just off of that I'd say your a far more serious hunter than you give yourself credit for. I can always tip my hat to someone that will pass on a trophy rather than risk an unknown or bad shot.

Mature Bucks? Watch the wind VERY carefully and plan every detail.
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Old January 7, 2014, 08:19 PM   #25
Blackops_2
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Well it was 26F saw this in the woodline and thought it was him. Of course it's not he's a youngin. Hell I go back to Starkville next week and the seasons almost over. Though I feel bad about shooting him. Two more years he would've been nice. Heart was pounding like it was my first deer. Glad I checked my 260 both him and the doe I got with my sako have been DRT with 130gr triple shocks.

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