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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

Senior Member
Supporting Member
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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

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

at1010

*Supporting Member*
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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

Administrator
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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

*Supporting Member*
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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
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
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In a bar
Yep the smoker isn't for everyone but I have had great results so far using it. Amazing the deer I have had down wind with no reaction or watching them raise their heads up in the air and then going back to normal.i really need to take some video of the deer doing this sometime.
Whatever works for each hunter and having confidence in what you do is what matters most.

I have a very elaborate system topped off with a scent crusher machine/closet. Once in a while a deer down wind pops its head Up but goes back to its normal routine. More often than not it’s a fawn or year old.
I have been doing both. This doe is directly down wind of me right after this picture and crossed my trail twice without hesitation today. This has been the first time in a couple of years I have really been critical on my scent control.
20211228_095833.jpg
 

hickslawns

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NW Ohio
And if we are bring this thread back up? Great timing. Sort of the time of the year when bucks start to sneak back into areas we may not have seen them the last month of gun seasons. May not have seen them the month before with rut activity. If you've left their areas alone, you might find that mature buck on his feet in the daylight (should we ever get to normal cold temps).
 

bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
Ben Rising is a 1%'r when it comes to consistently killing big deer in Ohio and he finally admitted something very few hunting "celebs" will mention, he's a smoker. A scent smoker that is. In his promo for Phaze at the beginning of this video, he says he'll also use smoke. Good on him for being honest. He'd have never done that in his Drury days.

 

brock ratcliff

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Zero degree of certainty at this point, but With the belief the 8 is only 3, this set of first year antlers Jamie picked up on this farm two years ago came to mind. Again with zero degree of certainty, I sorta doubt Mason or I will be spending any time hunting this property this year unless something else shows up. Those two were the best bucks we had around at the end of season last year and due to the neighbors, I doubt they make it through season.