The Anatomy of a Successful White Tail Deer Bow Hunt
Quality deer management does not just occur by chance. Good hunters know that preparation, scouting and patience are just the first ingredients before proper selection. Recently, a LeaseHunter.com member took this buck out of his deer population in and was kind enough to tell the story which we have included here (with some liberties taken to condense it for our readers). Recently, a hunter on my lease spotted this buck while doe hunting and told me about it. The age of the deer and the picture of the jaw bone is kind of interesting. The hunter watched the deer for about twenty minutes at twenty or so yards and, to occupy his time, figured a field score (gross) of 156. I have not measured it completely yet but I am pretty sure the dry net score will be above the 125 minimum for Pope and Young. After I heard about this buck, I went out to the same tripod and the buck showed up. He arrived too late for a bow shot and he stopped about 75 yards short of the feeder and laid down. I had to sit in the tripod until full dark and sneak away. The next morning, I was in the tripod thirty minutes before light and he showed up ten minutes later. Eventually, I could make out the big kicker on the left G2 and then had to wait a little longer so that I could see him in my sights and took the shot. When I hit him, he trotted off about twenty yards, turned and looked at the arrow stuck in the ground for a few seconds and collapsed. When I was gutting him, I noticed that he did not have a lot of body fat for the amount of age in his posture and he seemed to have a lot of guts. He only weighed 112 lbs. dressed. When I pulled his jaw, the fourth tooth was worn almost to the gum line. Both jaws had equal wear and he looked to be around for a long time.
I took my aging tool that I use for deer up to 8 1/2 years old which I think this deer is. It has a dual color scheme so that the dentin and the enamel are easy to distinguish on the actual deer's jaw bone. I also use a jaw spreader and removal tool as well as charts put out by the Quality Deer Management Association which are very good.
The inside spread was 21 4/8, one main beam was 22 4/8, the other was 22 5/8. I have not sat down and measured him completely yet - just what I needed for the harvest log.
Thanks for the story and congrats on a nice buck!
For more information on aging deer, see this guide from TP&W.