Deer & Deer Hunting

PASSING Bucks

When I entered the wildlife profession as a private-lands biologist in the late 1970s, passing any buck was not common. At that time, folks were starting to direct more effort and money toward food plot development and supplemental feeding. But as time passed, hunters began passing a few bucks — particularly youngsters — and they began to recognize an increase in antler size. But when it came to 4- and 5-year old animals with exceptional racks, the buck stopped there. That was primarily because few hunters had been privileged to see bucks in their optimal antler-producing years.

A CHANGE IN PHILOSOPHY

As the percentage of mature bucks increased, becoming an apparent component of deer populations, Texas hunters became accustomed to seeing at least a few mature deer each year and began to let more bucks age

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