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% of old bucks that make BC....

deerman54

deerman54
One out of every 400 bucks shot in Iowa each year are booners. So if you live to be 400 years old the odds are you might get one. Add a centerfire rifle to the equation during the bow season and your odds go way up. I have had past neighbors and a couple of current ones in Southern Iowa who have taken many booners. I have a neighbor with a 180, two 190,s and a 200 incher taken during bow season. He uses a Remington bow and Hornady broadheads. Largest deer ever taken off my farm was a 186 taken by a 7 year old kid with a rifle during the January late doe season. His grandfather asked me if he could take this kid up into our heated stands since we did not hunt this season. I found out 6 months later what he shot and his grandparents were really tickled for the kid. I tried my best to find out what taxidermist mounted this illegal deer but could not find out.
 

Obsessed

Well-Known Member
One out of every 400 bucks shot in Iowa each year are booners. So if you live to be 400 years old the odds are you might get one. Add a centerfire rifle to the equation during the bow season and your odds go way up. I have had past neighbors and a couple of current ones in Southern Iowa who have taken many booners. I have a neighbor with a 180, two 190,s and a 200 incher taken during bow season. He uses a Remington bow and Hornady broadheads. Largest deer ever taken off my farm was a 186 taken by a 7 year old kid with a rifle during the January late doe season. His grandfather asked me if he could take this kid up into our heated stands since we did not hunt this season. I found out 6 months later what he shot and his grandparents were really tickled for the kid. I tried my best to find out what taxidermist mounted this illegal deer but could not find out.
I read this response first and easily guessed who the author was. (This thread is going to hell in a handbasket now.) It's fitting that you're surrounded by fellow dirtbags DM54. They your kin?
 

jkratz5

Super Moderator
I would say 40-50% also. I do t think a lot of deer make it to that age and folks whack a stud 3-4yr old that was 160” and say he was 5 or 6, IMO.

Lots and lots of deer in IL are whacked way to early. Non Resident tags are easy to get, outfitters don’t give 2 sh$& about management and the herd has suffered. Don’t get me wrong it is still good hunting but could be so much more.

If the 5+ year old deer we get, I would say roughly half make Boone
 

Obsessed

Well-Known Member
I would say 40-50% also. I do t think a lot of deer make it to that age and folks whack a stud 3-4yr old that was 160” and say he was 5 or 6, IMO.

Lots and lots of deer in IL are whacked way to early. Non Resident tags are easy to get, outfitters don’t give 2 sh$& about management and the herd has suffered. Don’t get me wrong it is still good hunting but could be so much more.

If the 5+ year old deer we get, I would say roughly half make Boone
Does that mean most dinks / scrub bucks are being killed before reaching 5, or does it mean that genetics are just that good? There is no such thing as a scrub buck type scenario. Just young and old bucks, and if bucks live long enough, they tend to be B&C bucks.

I'd think scrub bucks have a better chance of living past 5, because they get more free passes. In general. Trophy hunters don't want to waste their tag on them or they are given another year to grow. (Just my train of thought on this.)
 

Hawk32

Active Member
My thoughts are more in the 5-10% range. Between my boys, hunting partner, and myself we have killed approximately 8-10 bucks in the last 7 years or so years and sent teeth in on all of them. All but 1 were 5 1/2 or older and he was 4 1/2. One being 11 1/2 and 3 that I can think of that were 7 1/2. Rest 6 1/2 and 5 1/2 years old. Zero were booners. Unfortunately the one booner we had on cam last year we weren't able to tag him. A lot of acres, 15-20 cams, decent to good location and only 1 booner last couple years.

Ishi could probably give more data on teeth that are sent in and percentage of those deer that are booners better than I can. But those are my examples.
 

Rous14

Active Member
My thoughts are more in the 5-10% range. Between my boys, hunting partner, and myself we have killed approximately 8-10 bucks in the last 7 years or so years and sent teeth in on all of them. All but 1 were 5 1/2 or older and he was 4 1/2. One being 11 1/2 and 3 that I can think of that were 7 1/2. Rest 6 1/2 and 5 1/2 years old. Zero were booners. Unfortunately the one booner we had on cam last year we weren't able to tag him. A lot of acres, 15-20 cams, decent to good location and only 1 booner last couple years.

Ishi could probably give more data on teeth that are sent in and percentage of those deer that are booners better than I can. But those are my examples.
11.5 yr old wow! That’s awesome and extremely rare in the wild. Very cool. I thought the 8.5 we killed last fall was something special lol
Your 5-10% is similar to what my experience has been. Are you somewhere in Iowa or?
 

Hawk32

Active Member
Ya. South Central. Kind of shocked when those results came back. You could tell he was older deer but would have never thought that old. No history with him at all. In fact that next spring I found a picture of him scrolling through an add for a piece of land for sale that was a mile or two away.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Ya. South Central. Kind of shocked when those results came back. You could tell he was older deer but would have never thought that old. No history with him at all. In fact that next spring I found a picture of him scrolling through an add for a piece of land for sale that was a mile or two away.
Got a pic of the deer? That would be cool to see.
 

Rous14

Active Member
This is the image I stole from the farm that was selling. He was shot late season
Definitely looks like an old buck to me! Once they get to about 6yrs old I couldn’t tell you (if not for the history we have with a specific animal often times) if they are 6,7, or 8 much less 11!
The 8.5 yr old we killed this past fall, my 16 yr old son at the time passed on him 2 years prior (ya he’s just a little spoiled) not knowing for sure how old he was. Next few days we got a handful of pictures and video of him and couldn’t believe my son had passed on him lol. We thought he was for surely 5.5 at the time so when we killed him we thought for sure 7.5 and he turned out to be 8.5.
Interestingly his rack was identical as 6,7, and 8 year old. I mean within an inch or two. 150”
 

jkratz5

Super Moderator
Does that mean most dinks / scrub bucks are being killed before reaching 5, or does it mean that genetics are just that good? There is no such thing as a scrub buck type scenario. Just young and old bucks, and if bucks live long enough, they tend to be B&C bucks.

I'd think scrub bucks have a better chance of living past 5, because they get more free passes. In general. Trophy hunters don't want to waste their tag on them or they are given another year to grow. (Just my train of thought on this.)

Should clarify, I was going with gross score of 160" and not true definition of net score.

Just looing at the numbers we have harvest annually in IL, 160,000 deer, 55% bucks. Of the bucks, 40% are 1.5yrs old and younger (confirmed). It is not documented but I would guess 40-50% are also between 2-3. That leaves only 10-15% of all deer harvested over 3 yrs. old. Then I look at the deer that are harvested by the guys around me that are trying to kill mature deer and the age and score of the deer they shoot. I would say annually half of the bucks taken on these farms are >5 yr olds and roughly half of them are 160" or bigger.

Not to say that I am an deer aging expert but when I look at the deer on cams, etc. that are on our farms and the neighboring 4-5 farms, we just don't see that many deer that I would say are >4 yr olds. However, when we do have them many of them are 160".

I also think it says a lot for me as have killed a lot of deer in the 140-150" range, I just have a heck of a time letting those deer go. Looking at these deer, I would say that not a single one breaks the 5yr old mark. I am getting better about what I shoot and have had the opportunity to kill some real studs but still don't capitalize on a 5yr old + deer all that often.
 

Rous14

Active Member
Should clarify, I was going with gross score of 160" and not true definition of net score.

Just looing at the numbers we have harvest annually in IL, 160,000 deer, 55% bucks. Of the bucks, 40% are 1.5yrs old and younger (confirmed). It is not documented but I would guess 40-50% are also between 2-3. That leaves only 10-15% of all deer harvested over 3 yrs. old. Then I look at the deer that are harvested by the guys around me that are trying to kill mature deer and the age and score of the deer they shoot. I would say annually half of the bucks taken on these farms are >5 yr olds and roughly half of them are 160" or bigger.

Not to say that I am an deer aging expert but when I look at the deer on cams, etc. that are on our farms and the neighboring 4-5 farms, we just don't see that many deer that I would say are >4 yr olds. However, when we do have them many of them are 160".

I also think it says a lot for me as have killed a lot of deer in the 140-150" range, I just have a heck of a time letting those deer go. Looking at these deer, I would say that not a single one breaks the 5yr old mark. I am getting better about what I shoot and have had the opportunity to kill some real studs but still don't capitalize on a 5yr old + deer all that often.
Out of curiosity, how do they or anyone know how many or what % of the annual harvest is year and half old bucks?
 

Ishi

Let’s go Brandon!
Should clarify, I was going with gross score of 160" and not true definition of net score.

Just looing at the numbers we have harvest annually in IL, 160,000 deer, 55% bucks. Of the bucks, 40% are 1.5yrs old and younger (confirmed). It is not documented but I would guess 40-50% are also between 2-3. That leaves only 10-15% of all deer harvested over 3 yrs. old. Then I look at the deer that are harvested by the guys around me that are trying to kill mature deer and the age and score of the deer they shoot. I would say annually half of the bucks taken on these farms are >5 yr olds and roughly half of them are 160" or bigger.

Not to say that I am an deer aging expert but when I look at the deer on cams, etc. that are on our farms and the neighboring 4-5 farms, we just don't see that many deer that I would say are >4 yr olds. However, when we do have them many of them are 160".

I also think it says a lot for me as have killed a lot of deer in the 140-150" range, I just have a heck of a time letting those deer go. Looking at these deer, I would say that not a single one breaks the 5yr old mark. I am getting better about what I shoot and have had the opportunity to kill some real studs but still don't capitalize on a 5yr old + deer all that often.
Question are you getting your deer aged?
 
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jkratz5

Super Moderator
We
Question are you getting your deer aged?

We do not. So my age guesses are completely based on the mature deer traits. I could be way off on my age guesses based on the numbers I am seeing reported here.
 

jkratz5

Super Moderator
Good
Out of curiosity, how do they or anyone know how many or what % of the annual harvest is year and half old bucks?

Good question, I have no clue other then the DNR making guesses based on the measurements that you have to provide.
 

Rous14

Active Member
Good
Good question, I have no clue other then the DNR making guesses based on the measurements that you have to provide.
Gotcha. I thought when you said “confirmed” it was based on something you were aware of. No chance imo that based on the info they gather when you report a harvest that they would know the age of a deer
 

OMB

New Member
There was a Don Higgins podcast I listened to while doing some yard work in the last month (can't remember the episode), and he made the point that unless you have years of identifiable trail camera pictures of a buck, you're never really know unless you get a tooth aged. I thought that made a lot of sense, and I'm inclined to say that he's probably right. My dad shot a 175" gross buck several years ago that we thought was really young because of body characteristics, even the mount looks off with how skinny the neck is. Tooth aged at 9 years old.

As far as overall in a herd: from running a lot of cameras for the past 15 years on our largest farm, I'd say the % of bucks that gross or could gross Boone by age 5 is probably somewhere between 25 and 50%. There's a good chunk that are never more than a 4x4, and we have a weird 5x4 trait in our area. The number of half racked bucks that are out there would also surprise a lot of guys I think too, and those are always easy to keep track of year to year if it's not a one year anomaly.
 
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