A lot of Bucks! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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A lot of Bucks!

The year AR was implemented I had a conversation with a taxidermist friend of mine. He said that it would probably help his business but getting a "big buck" won't be as challenging as it used to be because there would be a lot more of them.

I agreed with him at the time but boy has my opinion (and his) changed over the last few years. He said his business in trophy bucks improved maybe just a little bit.

My conclusion based on first hand experience is that these young bucks that would normally get shot off in years past make it through just ONE hunting season and become "educated" and wise to the ways of hunters and become very difficult to hunt.

The biggest frustration for me is that I usually don't have enough time to be absolutely sure that a buck is legal even though sometimes I am pretty sure he is.

You can't shoot a buck just because he looks like a wall hanger for sure. About the 2nd year of AR a hunter shot a huge 4 point up in Elk County and had to turn himself in because of the point system.

This happens not only in the thicker wood lots down home but even in the big woods where the terrain is more open .

My son saw 4 bucks on the last Saturday of rifle and thought that one of them "might" have been legal but the buck didn't hang around long enough for him to be sure.

This trying to judge a head long enough to be sure he is legal has happened every year since AR began. Maybe I shouldn't be cryin about it because it actually increases my time in the woods and probably makes me a better hunter but it sure is frustrating
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post #2 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 11:31 AM
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

I see larger bucks on average than prior to ARs but have yet seal the deal on what I consider a big Pa buck. Yes, one year of age turns them into a different animal.

I support all hunters, regardless of weapon or technique!
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post #3 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 11:46 AM
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

I was born in 1973 so I have a pretty good idea of what hunting was like before AR's and after they were implemented.
My impression is that instead of the majority of buck getting killed at 1.5 they are getting killed at 2.5. So with that being said most buck still don't have a chance to reach trophy class. Maybe you get one or two more running around every year but that's about it. Also, I think if anything, the decline in rifle hunting is giving bucks the chance to live longer than anything.
I remember a year or two after AR's took effect we started seeing bigger buck and more of them but in hindsight..... most of them were just 2.5 year olds. After years of hunting with no AR's on public ground with heavy rifle pressure we didn't know any better. WE thought they were older than they actually were.
I would still have to say I like AR's. There are some archery seasons I see almost as many buck as doe and I kind of like that.....even though many are not legal or are small legal 1.5 year olds.

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post #4 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 11:53 AM
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelhead125
Also, I think if anything, the decline in rifle hunting is giving bucks the chance to live longer than anything.
Good point. No doubt that is also contributing to an older population of both bucks and does.

I support all hunters, regardless of weapon or technique!
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post #5 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 11:57 AM
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

There's a taxidermist down the road from me that used to mount right around 100 bucks/yr and maybe 1 or 2 would have spreads over 20".Now he mounts between 300-400+ and averages 50-60 that have spreads over 20".I know for me personally,I routinely pass bucks that I would have mounted 20 years ago and I'm not a trophy hunter by any stretch.The number and quality of nice bucks is better now than at any time in history on the public lands of NC Pa.Personally,I don't want to shoot one unless it's obviously legal.AR,for food and far less pressure have put age on the bucks in the northern tier.

Here's a legitimate picture from a few years ago at that taxidermist.They're taking a load of capes from the skinning shed to the studio on the last Thursday of the season.The good ole days are right now.

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post #6 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 12:00 PM
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

The guy in the picture works for the taxidermist and has a skull cleaning business on the side.He also cleans over 400/year and the majority of them are more than mountable.
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post #7 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 12:34 PM
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

AR's , a decline in rifle hunting, increases in leases and posted ground, and more hunters interested in just taking a mature deer all give buck a chance to get older. I thing every area has a few more trophy class deer running around than it did 15 years ago. With thousands and thousands of deer hunters out there every season it is not hard to believe that the local taxidermy shops will see a big increase in trophy class bucks. Buck hunting now is like playing the lottery with much better odds than 15 years ago.

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post #8 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 06:01 PM
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

I agree,I have hunted since 1974 and my 6 largest bucks were killed from 2006-2014,I have not become a better hunter and have generally hunted the same areas,there are just more older age deer in my hunting area at the expense of the rifle hunters having a much more difficult task of counting points.I harvested these bucks in archery season where counting points is not difficult,a rifle hunter may get one good open shot that he has to be sure of the rack being legal,many legal buck get a free pass because of this. Lets be honest here,archery season provides generally calm deer at close range and rifle season have deer on the move and skittish,Those bucks that get the pass in rifle get to add another year of growth for us archery hunters.
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post #9 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 06:05 PM
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

I will also say that if I was forced to chose between hunting archery season or hunting gun season I would hands down chose archery season,For me archery season provides more oppurtunities to harvest a nice buck.
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post #10 of 82 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: A lot of Bucks!

"the decline in rifle hunting"...can someone explain this or is it that there are less hunters now than say 20 years ago...Thanks
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