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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: springfeild twp,mercer co
Age=big deer, no other factor is as important.
It's small increments that make high scoring deer, sometimes those are hard to see, but added up they increase scores dramitically. Mass, that adds up quickly, and older bucks really put it on. Long main beams, those 120" 3 year olds are usually around 20 inches, older bucks go 24 or more. An average set of brows, around 3 inches, an older buck 5 or 6.
A couple inches of mass on each side, 8 inches more beam, a couple inches of brows on each side, and an inch on all the g2 and g3's and that 120 inch 3 year old becomes a 140 inch 4 year old. Nothing drastic in any one area, but added up it puts a buck into the "exceptional" catagory. As a 5+year old they can make another big jump and thats when genetics probably becomes equally important.
I used to believe that i lived in great big buck country and that most of the rest of the state wasn't. 50 thousand acres of corn and beans in mercer county, what more could a deer need. Age, he needs age, and despite all the other things this area has going for it, deer hunting here is relativly "easy". Small woodlots, broken farmland, fairly flat, those things make deer hunting here less challanging than in areas with large areas of unbroken woods. Iv'e seen pictures from big buck contests all over the state, and some of those areas with "poor" habitat have bucks that are as nice or nicer than i see here. Harder to hunt, they get some age on them, and thats what you need for big bucks.