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Hunting "Mature Whitetails" in Ohio.

at1010

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Al.... Like I said puzzling... Farm consists of several fingers of woods with CRP and cedars between these fingers... Approx. 60 acres is tillable which is planted in corn or soybean every year... Plus adjacent farms have crops yearly... Now here's the kicker... The first year we had numerous bucks 150 + on trail cameras prior to the season... We did not harvest one of them that year... The next year we had high expectations for these future hall of fame bucks... Well didn't see one or have any on camera...Where did they go?? Since then we have harvested numerous bucks in the upper 140's low 150's, but nothing exceptional... Now many would be happy with deer in that range, but I'd like to get at least one booner in my life... This year we have 4 cell cameras running and not a single decent buck... There's no food plots on the property ( don't have the time needed to do them when property is 1000 miles away... And too expensive to have someone do them ) But as I said earlier there are crops on and surrounding farms have crops... Well see this year...

That sure is puzziling. Athough it can be very frusturating that often times, I woudl say the majority of times, a mature buck simply doesnt make that jump from 150 to 170. I have a pile of deer over the years that have gone from 4-5 without hardly any jump. MSU has some data on this as well. All in all, I wish you all the best, there has to be some giants close!!

One of my good buddies owns 170 acres a bit north of Pike County IL - and my goodness the bucks are unreal!!

Last thing I wil mention, the genetic pockets of deer can be amazing. I have a good friend in Monroe county Ohio, huge property and kills good deer each year. He is frusturated because he wants to kill a booner. Well, about 2 miles away - this kid he nows owns 80 acres and the kid has 3 or 4 170inch bucks on camera. The terrain, available nutrition, etc. is all relatively the same - it seems that there must just be some type of genetic dominant trait on that particular property/sq. mile.

I am sure if we could study the genetics and epigentics of each sq. mile, we would be blown away at the variability of bucks to express their genetic potential based on these factors, with all other parameters staying constant in the same area.

Maybe someday science will have more information on this!!

Good luck out in IL!
 

Fletch

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Sounds like a poaching operation in the area.
Possible... But the way the property lies it would be hard from the road, except the one corner where the Ag. Field is... But anything is possible when deer are involved...

Al... I'll bet there are giants close ( within a mile ).... But like you said they reside in little pockets.... What town is your friend in out in Pike County??? Here's two pics I had on my phone... Thick shit is approx 10 acres directly in behind my tree... Pic with bow in is directly in front of me for as far as you can see... Ag field is beyond that... Gorgeous piece.... I had a TOO member out there shed hunting and he said he'd give his left nut for that property....
 

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Fletch

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And the fingers have oaks in them for mast crop once the corn or soybeans are harvested..
 

at1010

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Possible... But the way the property lies it would be hard from the road, except the one corner where the Ag. Field is... But anything is possible when deer are involved...

Al... I'll bet there are giants close ( within a mile ).... But like you said they reside in little pockets.... What town is your friend in out in Pike County??? Here's two pics I had on my phone... Thick shit is approx 10 acres directly in behind my tree... Pic with bow in is directly in front of me for as far as you can see... Ag field is beyond that... Gorgeous piece.... I had a TOO member out there shed hunting and he said he'd give his left nut for that property....

I forget the area, he is not in Pike - maybe 1-2 hours from there only. Ill ask him.
 

bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
Last thing I wil mention, the genetic pockets of deer can be amazing. I have a good friend in Monroe county Ohio, huge property and kills good deer each year. He is frusturated because he wants to kill a booner. Well, about 2 miles away - this kid he nows owns 80 acres and the kid has 3 or 4 170inch bucks on camera. The terrain, available nutrition, etc. is all relatively the same - it seems that there must just be some type of genetic dominant trait on that particular property/sq. mile.
I can attest to that same thing here in Washington County. We have pockets that'll occasionally hold Booners, but we're largely a 130-150" county on average for older age class bucks. But there are certain areas that routinely hold 170+ bucks, or at least used to. On a similar front, behind my house basically has 2 types of bucks. Clean 8s and 10s, or gnarly, tight 9 points that never gross more than 140. There's rarely a departure from that. My dad's 2004 buck that went 170 was an anomaly. I've killed 3 of the gnarly 9s, Tracie has killed one, and we have another back there this year. It's comically consistent after 20+ years of monitoring.
 

at1010

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I can attest to that same thing here in Washington County. We have pockets that'll occasionally hold Booners, but we're largely a 130-150" county on average for older age class bucks. But there are certain areas that routinely hold 170+ bucks, or at least used to. On a similar front, behind my house basically has 2 types of bucks. Clean 8s and 10s, or gnarly, tight 9 points that never gross more than 140. There's rarely a departure from that. My dad's 2004 buck that went 170 was an anomaly. I've killed 3 of the gnarly 9s, Tracie has killed one, and we have another back there this year. It's comically consistent after 20+ years of monitoring.

I think much if this also is the fact that deer flat out, the majority of time, will be 150inches in good habitat at maturity - in Ohio.

Even in an environment where they can live out their life and have unlimited food, their genetic potential is what it is.

I don’t say this to discourage folks as there is always some slammers to be killed but often a 180+ deer is a genetic anomaly. My cousin killed a 5 year old, 171lbs gutted buck, two years ago. The sob didn’t grow 5 inches from 4-5. He had food, he had age, his genetics just didn’t do him any favors.

This is why I am such a goals oriented guy. I just think A guy can burn himself out chasing a ghost. I’m plenty happy shooting 130+ deer, as long as I believe them to be 4+ on farm and waxing some does along way. I get tickled pink and inside out shooting a 115lb doe.

There is a lot of science behind the epigentic triggers in whitetails and how this impacts them, but (to summarize) it takes roughly 7 years for these impacts to set in - and that was in a controlled environment. So likely in wild it may take longer. For example - Think of how the negative nutrition of the Great Depression impacted 2 sets of generations - before folks started to catch up and be much larger. Often it is stated men in that time had large hands and feet but never grew a body to match. Lack of nutrition to hit their full genetic potential. After decades of good nutrition - their off spring could be considered the “booners” or at minimum upper % of their cohort for genetic potential. These are epigenetic triggers.

AT