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How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:22 am
by johndeere506
I shot a nice 3 yr old 8pt that I was familiar with on Halloween. Since then, Ive passed on several nice bucks that I thought were 2 1/2 yr olds. Good size 8pts and a nice 10pt, which I decided was only 2 1/2. If I have a minute to decide I can usually tell a 3 yr old, but what do you use quickly to know shooter or not if you are targeting 3 yr olds. Most of the bucks I let walk will be killed here, during gun season.

I think when you see a 3 yr old, there usually is no second guessing it seems obvious, so if Im not sure it means its probably a 2 yr old. Do you guys feels the same? Southern Michigan mainly.

I think being 20-25ft up in a tree makes it harder for me to judge.

I had a huge buck that would have ended my season at 20 yards but was in some brush so I wasnt going to send an arrow through that.

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:27 am
by Boogieman1
For myself old deer just look and move like there old. The diff between a 2.5 and 3.5 is minimal and hard to always tell in a hunting situation with out previous history of the deer. As a rule when I see a buck coming if I have to think about whether he is a shooter or not he's prob not what I'm looking for.

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:45 am
by Dewey
Boogieman1 wrote:For myself old deer just look and move like there old. The diff between a 2.5 and 3.5 is minimal and hard to always tell in a hunting situation with out previous history of the deer. As a rule when I see a buck coming if I have to think about whether he is a shooter or not he's prob not what I'm looking for.

Exactly.

This game is good practice.......
http://fieldscorewhitetails.com/index.php

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:24 am
by Kraftd
I agree, I think very few people can accurately and consistently tell 2.5 from 3.5 without known history. Generally the only thing I generally trust myself to determine in the field quickly would be 1.5, 2.5-3.5, 4.5+, and even then 3.5-4.5 can be tougher than some people think I believe, especailly in good genetic/food/ soil areas where younger bucks can tend to have nicer racks.

I think setting a 3.5+ standard is probably the toughest line to draw, so I shoot 2.5's if it trips my trigger :D :L: Having a line of only truly mature (4.5+ to me) is easier to judge, but harder from a will power standpoint, for me anyways.

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:30 am
by burkhart
My way is simple

Shooter or not a shooter.

Age, score, etc mean minimal to me.

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:32 am
by moog5050
In my area of NY, its usually pretty easy to tell a 2.5 from a 3.5 when they are reasonably close (less than 60yds). That seems to be when the most growth occurs body wise and rack wise. I agree that when in doubt, its probably not a shooter.

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:45 am
by mspaci
Im ok with a 2.5 yr old around here, if I already have a buck I can get selective. Agree that after 2.5 in NY its easy to tell. Mike

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:18 am
by headgear
Generally you "KNOW" when its a good one but it can probably be harder in some areas than others. Pretty easy up here in the bigwoods because rarely do the two years old exceed 90 inches, heck even some 3 year old can't crack a 100 but there are some tweeners that is it hard to tell. When something looks good I shoot, like mentioned before I don' care about inches or age class, I might only get one crack at a decent buck up here so I decide pretty quickly and flip the green light.

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:45 am
by mainebowhunter
Dewey wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:For myself old deer just look and move like there old. The diff between a 2.5 and 3.5 is minimal and hard to always tell in a hunting situation with out previous history of the deer. As a rule when I see a buck coming if I have to think about whether he is a shooter or not he's prob not what I'm looking for.

Exactly.

This game is good practice.......
http://fieldscorewhitetails.com/index.php


X3 at home, most bucks I shoot I am hunting specific deer. Here in midwest, when I see it, I know it. I have made my fair share of "uh ohs" that's for sure.

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:18 am
by johndeere506
mainebowhunter wrote:
Dewey wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:For myself old deer just look and move like there old. The diff between a 2.5 and 3.5 is minimal and hard to always tell in a hunting situation with out previous history of the deer. As a rule when I see a buck coming if I have to think about whether he is a shooter or not he's prob not what I'm looking for.

Exactly.

This game is good practice.......
http://fieldscorewhitetails.com/index.php


X3 at home, most bucks I shoot I am hunting specific deer. Here in midwest, when I see it, I know it. I have made my fair share of "uh ohs" that's for sure.


X4. Thats what I was thinking. The fact that I had to look them over good (I took video instead, cool encounters) meant they probably were not 3.

My goal is 3 yr old were Im hunting since Im getting on them better. Ive mistakenly shot 2 yr olds twice before.

I figure, The best way to consistently kill 3 yr old bucks is to consistently kill 3 yr old bucks :lol:

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:52 am
by MIbuckmaster14
johndeere506 wrote:I shot a nice 3 yr old 8pt that I was familiar with on Halloween. Since then, Ive passed on several nice bucks that I thought were 2 1/2 yr olds. Good size 8pts and a nice 10pt, which I decided was only 2 1/2. If I have a minute to decide I can usually tell a 3 yr old, but what do you use quickly to know shooter or not if you are targeting 3 yr olds. Most of the bucks I let walk will be killed here, during gun season.

I think when you see a 3 yr old, there usually is no second guessing it seems obvious, so if Im not sure it means its probably a 2 yr old. Do you guys feels the same? Southern Michigan mainly.

I think being 20-25ft up in a tree makes it harder for me to judge.

I had a huge buck that would have ended my season at 20 yards but was in some brush so I wasnt going to send an arrow through that.


If their with other deer it can be easy to tell. Had a mature 10 point across my field about 200 yards away before I️ got my binoculars on him I️ could just tell because he looked so much bigger than the other deer out there. My guess is he is a 4.5 or 5.5 year old. It can be hard to tell difference between 2.5 and 3.5.

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:57 am
by Hawthorne
One way to tell is I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 2 year old buck in southern Michigan break the 120 mark but I’ve seen plenty of 3 year olds that have

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:32 pm
by Jonny
I struggle making decisions, so I just shoot it when it walks by. Hard to pass when all I see is lots of steaks, stews and sausage sticks :L:

But I agree. Most deer look the same until you get that mature buck that comes in. They almost have an aura around them and you just feel weird being in their presence. That's when I know, I have a true northwoods giant within sight of me. You just feel their presence

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:06 pm
by JAK
If when I first see a buck and I see enough to reach for the bow at first glance then he's a shooter for me..

Re: How to--Field judging bucks VERY quickly

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:11 pm
by hunter10
If I have to second guess myself or really stare to judge if he's a shooter, he's likely not what I'm going to shoot. When you see a giant you just know. I don't care about score. If the buck gets me excited enough to draw back then that's why I'm out in the tree