2018 a season of “BIG BUCKS”?

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by Sligh1, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    So- talking to basically anyone I know- this season is far better than last. On average. Any place in the state, any neighborhood on average. Way better than 2017. Yes- u have neighborhoods that got shot to heck last year or didn’t get rain this year, whatever. BUT.... on average the big deer folks have is far better based on 90% folks across state I know.
    Are you guys seeing this BROADLY & ON AVERAGE???
    Reasons why, IMO....

    1) drought last year destroyed huge growth potential on majority of farms. This year instead of massive drought- most of the state has had good rain. Reasons rain & lack of stressful massive heat are nutrition & massive browse amounts, plenty of water, no stressed & heat exhausted deer, etc. biggest reason IMO is the “better” amount of rain most got vs last year.

    2) pretty much recovered from ehd. 2012 & 2013 were worst on average. I got PUMMELLED in 2015. BAD!!! Well- that’s 5 years needed (or even more for quantities of deer to catch up) to really replenish Age structures. Most areas are out far enough from EHD this is actually the year where things genuinely are “caught back up” from the devastation. In reality, could be a couple more years of improvement still if we get lucky enough to avoid massive ehd outbreaks. Each year out from devastation has been improvement though.

    3) Much like ehd.... being 2-3 years out FINALLY from the LATE SHED BUCK SEASON (RIFLES TO LATE JANUARY!) also is bearing the fruits of a replenished and “healed” deer herd that sustained much stress, damage & degradation to deer herd. Finally recovered or continuing.

    My fear is: 1) EHD cycles again. 2) Dnr expands their shed buck season again with excuse of cwd. Step by step re-implementing it. Citizens have a “little” control on 1st one and total control on 2nd one. 2nd one is far messier with special interests lobbying behind scenes & hunters who don’t or won’t get involved & shrug it off. 3) further liberalization of regs, new weapons, new seasons, changing deer regs period that put more pressure & killing on the fragile resource.

    Anyways, 95% of this post is positive & wondering if others are seeing same? We really look like we are heading into a “much better” 2018 season STATEWIDE. Folks will still deal with access issues, hard hunted areas, tough hunting BUT, IMO- over most the state- this looks MUCH BETTER than 2017. General thoughts or feedback?


    **i have my eye on buck I call Chad 2.0!! ;). 5 years old and he’s all of 110”!!!!! :). Ha!!
     
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  3. Ishi

    Ishi PMA Member

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    No doubt this should be a banner year for great bucks! I saw cycles every 3-4 years for giant bucks as a whole and this year if the cycle holds true should be........
     
  4. CurtisWalker

    CurtisWalker PMA Member

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    Worried about EHD down south again this year. All the rain at the beginning then very little throughout the summer. Could be seeing outbreaks soon as more and more midge habitat is forming along the pond edges and creek beds as they dry. Big antlers having a bigger surface area for the midge to bite. Hope this isn’t what happens but it’s shaping up to have an outbreak again.
    On another note have seen quite a few deer blow up in size this year from last year so hopefully they stay healthy.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Ishi

    Ishi PMA Member

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    The EHD stuff has been on my mind also the last month. I’ve talked to many deer hunters lately and everyone has the same sediments.
     
  6. Muskrat24

    Muskrat24 Member

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    It wasn't drought last year alone IMO. SW IA and NW MO had good rain and near record crops yet antler growth was terrible. I hope you all are right for 2018 as some of my less than stellar performers in antler growth from last year made it to 2018 and should be another year older. We have had heat and drought stress around here this year though. Haven't saw them recently but found their sheds so we will see.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  7. Sod Savage

    Sod Savage Member

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    It seems like I have seen more bigger bucks this year so far.
     
  8. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    2017 was the year of the "shrinking deer". All over, multiple farms. 2018 is looking good, although it did appear to me they got off to a slow start and are finishing growing later. I've seen more deer in general than ever before. This is not necessarily a good thing but it has been noticeable. Does for miles.
     
  9. MarkF

    MarkF Member

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    I must have an odd ball farm, last year almost every buck on my place 3 years or older made at least a 10-15 inch jump some of the young guys made 40-50 inch jumps. Now this year every buck I have over 5 is either the same size or got smaller, they also seem to be way behind on growth compared to last year.One buck in particular was pretty much finished this time last year and this season he is completely balled up and barely has g4s, anyone else seeing anything similar?
     
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Active Member

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    I won't know until season begins and I get some actual hunting time in. A big part of the 'Fun' for me is not knowing what's in the area. I found that when I was running cameras and got pics of nocturnal 170+ class bucks, but never saw them in the daylight, I actually felt disappointment if I harvested anything less than a 170 class. Now, I'm not disappointed with anything that I choose take a shot at. If it's big enough to get my heart racing at that particular moment, it's big enough... ;)
     
  11. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC PMA Member

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    My cams are showing fewer bucks, smaller on average than previous years. Usually I get at least one that grabs my attention, sometimes two. Nothing so far this year. I need to get the rest of my cameras out, been too busy.
     
  12. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 PMA Member

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    Hard to say yet, will know a lot more in a month or so
     
  13. SB3

    SB3 Member

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    In the past 5 years this is shaping up to be one of the worst years by far. I dont have anything on camera so far that's worth getting excited about. We've gotten some rain recently but it's been real dry this year, unfortunately seems like prefect conditions for EHD again. Not just bucks but our doe population is low, we may not be killing any again this year. I'm praying something worthwhile moves in after the velvet comes off.... Putnam Co MO.
     
  14. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    I totally get that. Here is where it’s interesting for me too.... for one farm I hunt, I shot a 215-ish on it and considered a “good farm”. I don’t have any giants there. Nothing “oh my gosh” at all. It’s funny cause my buddies would think I automatically would. NOPE. My hope on even hunting some “absolute giants” which is rare anywhere - will be on smaller farms that no one would think “that screams giants”. Every particular farm can have tough years - even while others, on average, are outstanding. I know exactly what you are dealing with or I’ve had your sentiment before.
    On average, driving around to seeing pictures folks I know have- seems way up. Why I actually will spend a lot of time on smaller farms because their average on bucks & size is up a good bit.
    “THE AREAS FULL OF BIG BUCKS.... DON’T REALLY HAVE MANY BIG BUCKS”. So many folks think “if i owned this, if I hunted HERE, if I was THERE- be tons of giants!!!” & on certain years- any random farm or big farm CAN have some serious slammers. On average, it’s usually still very difficult and many years, any farm u could dream up- will have extremely challenging hunting. Even years where you would say “nothing giant period”. Just a little side rant. ;).
     
  15. SB3

    SB3 Member

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    I'm trying to stay optimistic, I know anything could walk thru at any time. And I do think I'm in a "pocket" where we've taken a down turn and it should bounce back eventually. Just several miles away people I talk with are very happy. With all the habitat work I'm doing these dang bucks don't know what they're missing!! :D
    I'm lucky to have state ground not far away to have some options
     
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  16. 2.5YR8

    2.5YR8 New Member

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    I can't form an opinion, yet. The flood waters finally receded, and the deer are starting to resume their normal haunts. Hopefully some deer I have some history show back up in the next few weeks so I have some idea.
     
  17. StickersNKickers

    StickersNKickers Camo Up!

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    Too early to tell for me. Haven't had cameras out very long, but talk from my dad and grandpa about numbers and size that they've seen is typical of any other year.
     
  18. deep woods goat hunter

    deep woods goat hunter Active Member

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    I've got nothing... but there's so much ag/draws around me I dont normally pick up the deer I hunt in the fall until velvet switcheroo. When the beans turn/corn is cut the WTD's that I'm interested in tend to show up around 10/1.
    My urban spot is kind of the same, but not much crops around. They just don't show up really until October. Which I am fine with.
    Im in NCMO, Randolph county.
     

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