So I was uploading my trail cam pictures the other day and immediately saw this picture and thought, “shooter!!!... 140 inch 8 pointer with a neat little kicker/drop tine”, but the more pictures I started to see and the more I started studying this buck, the more I realized that I was looking at a young, up and comer. It was kind of a bitter sweet moment really. At first, he was a “shooter” a “hit lister” buck, but then I realized he was only 3 and therefore needed to be taken off of my hit list.
When it comes to growing, holding, and harvesting big deer... it’s all about the age. The BIGGEST key into shooting big whitetails, is by letting them grow till they’re at least 4 years of age or older. A whitetail usually doesn’t reach his fullest potential of antler growth until he’s at least 5 and in some cases, they can continue to put on more bone, all the way up to the ages of 8 or 9.
Depending on your level of discipline, time you have to spend in the field and the emptiness or fullness of your trophy room, all can play a large role in the shooting or passing of the younger bucks (mainly the 3 year olds). If you wanna shoot monsters, then you’ve got to grow monsters and the best way to grow monsters is to let them reach their peak age of their antler growth. I once heard a man say, “you can’t shoot a great buck, if you shoot a good buck.” and that saying is very true.
Truth be told, it’s gonna be pretty hard for me to pass on this deer if he walks out in front of me, but I also know that if I can hold off, he’s only gonna be bigger next year, allowing a good buck to turn into a great buck.