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Shoot or Pass - Trophy Hunting - Age?

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I was sent this trail cam pic and was asked if this is a shooter or not, we are going for 3 year old bucks or older.    

1) As a trophy hunter would you shoot him?  Please don't answer if you only hunt for meat or do not consider yourself a trophy hunter.  

2)  Age estimate?  

I will explain my answer later.

output2.jpg

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Tough angle to judge age by body characteristics.   Sure the rack says likely 3 (will be more spindly when velvet drops) but he could just be a great 2 year old.  He certainly looks a bit long in the leg for 3 and not much stomach or sway, but angle could be misleading.  I would guess 2 from the photo, but a real nice 2 year old.  I know of one member that might call him a yearling.  lol

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my personal definition for a whitetail in ny that is a trophy is 140 class gross as a minimum

that will gross 140 no problem so yes I would take it if looking for a trophy class animal

its a fully mature deer, nose length, go whack him

don't forget the racks start going south pretty quickly as they age

weber_buck_2003-1.jpg

Edited by slickrockpack

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This is a pic where the buck is still growing and by the bulbing at the top of the tines he has some growing to do. Also the bases have some real size. This is a deer I would not hesitate to take. The pic is terrible for aging. I can't see his face lengthwise or his neck.....I would put him at 3-4 years old and not feel more than 50% comfortable without a couple better pics.

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His nose does suggest at least 3.  I overlooked that.  I don't think he will gross 140, but a very nice buck.

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again, tough/weird angle to determine if he's 2 or 3.... but nice deer... 130" 8 pointer? he's an immediate shooter where I hunt

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Great main beam length, bases are stout. Got that sticker on the left G2. He will be filling out more during the early fall as far as neck and shoulders. He would not get a pass from me!!!

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Shooter - cool sticker point too.


"The sportsman lives his life vicariously. For he secretly yearns to have lived before, in a simpler time. A time when his love for the land, water, fish and wildlife would be more than just part of his life. It would be his state of mind."

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1 hour ago, nyantler said:

In the ADK's I'd hunt a buck like that all day, everyday! Not a book buck but one that would give you a run for your money.

Different standards when I am above them in a tree on Long Island!  ADK he is a shooter and stalking on the ground he would also be a shooter. 

We are trying to go with a min 130 class 3 year old or better on private land.  We had 5 in this age class last year we hope made it to this season in one location.  This year they would be 4+ years old and very woods savvy.  I can't post pics of them until they are on the ground if we ever get one, lol. 

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I interpreted your shoot or pass question as whether you would shoot at him due to the deer behind him, then I read farther.

If the question is if he fits the requirements that has been set up by you as a shooter, then I'm saying 2 year old with some great genes and superb nutritional areas.

Where I hunt, this guy gets shot immediately and we start making calls to the taxidermist.

Sent from my SM-G900T3 using Tapatalk

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Tough to judge the age in that pic but that deer is lucky to score 130....I bet he doesn't.  Shooter in my book but as far as a 3yr old 130 class deer.....Really close, he might barely make it.  Velvet is deceiving, for the guys that say he is a 140 class, he's not.

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You cant rack score him until the antlers stop growing and the vevet comes off. As he is now the tine length is lacking but I want to see where he is at now. I got a feeling the OP has a pic of that.

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I'll be totally honest this is the reason why I hate setting any kind of standards like this. This is how I judge a deer, is my heArt pounding? Does the buck get me excited? Do I want to kill one today and where I am? I fall of these boxes are checked the trigger gets pulled. For the last 10+ years that has only happened to 3 1/2 yr olds+ but if that buck checked the boxes he's dying.


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37 minutes ago, njg0621 said:

That rack isn't going to change much at all

disagree!! It will be hard not soft, longer tines, not fuzzy, a big difference really lol

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