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Old 10-31-2013, 05:19 PM
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Default Is Georgia a sleeper state for big bucks?

I ask this because, there have been some really big bucks taken here in the great peach state and more and more seem to be taken annually. It seems that the QDM is doing it's thing (in the counties and areas where practiced) and really paying off. Let me here what you guys and gals think about it.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:32 PM
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And it will remain "asleep"with it's 2 1/2 month rifle season...
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:36 PM
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I just moved here from Missouri so I can't really say for sure. The deer I have seen around here are pretty small but, that isn't to say there aren't good sized ones out there. The size of the deer isn't what makes Georgia a good place to hunt, Georgia is a good place to hunt because you guys have deer out the flippin ying yang.

I know guys back in Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin that have not even seen a deer in two seasons, good hunters mind you but, also hunting public land. Public land is another great thing about Ga. Missouri has ok public land but Illinois for example has HORRIBLE public land, I think they have 17 acres for the whole dang state.

So if you just wanna kill deer, Georgia is the place for you but, if you want to kill a trophy buck or a fat doe than the Midwest is the place to be.

What I'm saying is that I don't think Ga has the potential to harbor the monsters like back in the Midwest but, I also don't think it matters. I'll miss hunting the midwest but, I won't miss freezing my rear off or dragging deer through snow.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wiggywigg71 View Post
I ask this because, there have been some really big bucks taken here in the great peach state and more and more seem to be taken annually. It seems that the QDM is doing it's thing (in the counties and areas where practiced) and really paying off. Let me here what you guys and gals think about it.
No chance, there are a few good areas with a lot of agriculture that grows bigger deer. Georgia will never be the mid west, no matter how much QDM is forced down everyones throat. QDM helps but deer need the right food to get big consistently.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bones-n-beards View Post
And it will remain "asleep"with it's 2 1/2 month rifle season...
I understand exactly where your coming from.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:41 PM
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There are a ton more 120-140" deer being killed right now. That's an obvious benefit to QDM, imo.

And I know killing a 160"+ deer is a tall order no matter where you hunt, but I think your chances for one are still much better in the Midwest and Texas because we just do not have the food (Midwest) or the area and low pressure (Texas.)

Plus, those midwest states typically have a lot shorter seasons and a lot fewer deer killed than we do.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gsp754 View Post
No chance, there are a few good areas with a lot of agriculture that grows bigger deer. Georgia will never be the mid west, no matter how much QDM is forced down everyones throat. QDM helps but deer need the right food to get big consistently.
I agree with what your saying gsp754. Do you think that the extremely high number of hunters has a lot to do with it also?
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:46 PM
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The big deer seem to be in the cities where we can't hunt them.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:47 PM
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No,

Most avid hunters in the south know Ga produces big bucks.

But don't confuse Ga with the states up north. I have said this before, Coshocton county OH will produce more 150 class bucks and up, than the whole state of Ga this season. This is not to bad mouth Ga hunting. I love hunting Ga and it has great hunting opportunities. Its just the shear number of big bucks up north.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wiggywigg71 View Post
I agree with what your saying gsp754. Do you think that the extremely high number of hunters has a lot to do with it also?
Ga doesn't have any more hunters than the states up north. Its probably much lower actually. That is my guess anyway.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:51 PM
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I understand exactly where your coming from.
Forgot to mention that Ga has 0 accountability within it's tagging system. Watch as I now reprint my harvest record! #fail, #DNRcopout
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Madsnooker View Post
No,

Most avid hunters in the south know Ga produces big bucks.

But don't confuse Ga with the states up north. I have said this before, Coshocton county OH will produce more 150 class bucks and up, than the whole state of Ga this season. This is not to bad mouth Ga hunting. I love hunting Ga and it has great hunting opportunities. Its just the shear number of big bucks up north.
This is true..Coschocton, licking, muskingum counties and just a couple more around....but those are even exceptional for Ohio. I've hunted that area a good bit, and they produce 120" 2 year olds. GA. Has some good areas, southwest part of the state and a few areas in the piedmont....we just have to give our subspecies of whitetail an extra year or two...which is hard to do with all the rifle days and two buck limits..not that , that is wrong for ga But its a fact.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bones-n-beards View Post
Forgot to mention that Ga has 0 accountability within it's tagging system. Watch as I now reprint my harvest record! #fail, #DNRcopout
Absolutely true bones-n-beards. I have a friend who hunts out west every year ( Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Montana). He thinks that the way the DNR runs the accountability system here is a joke. I feel like there is a ton of improvement that could be made to how we are held accountable for the deer we harvest, not only here but in my home state of Alabama as well. We do have a lot of deer in the South,but I feel like the states could better manage the resources.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wiggywigg71 View Post
I agree with what your saying gsp754. Do you think that the extremely high number of hunters has a lot to do with it also?
I dont think a better tagging system would result in bigger bucks for the state. I think it has little to do with the hunters, and a lot to do with the food thats available to the deer. Just like with humans, the better the food going in, the better we look on the outside.
Thats why i like to feed my deer as much corn as they can hold
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:05 PM
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You guys that require the government to keep in you line for hunting are truly amazing. Maybe you should have them tell you what to eat so you do not get fat - oh yeah they are doing that as well.

I hate to break it to you but if people are going to break the law, they are simply going to break the law and the ability to print off 50 million harvest records is not going to change a thing. You are either honest are you are not.

And btw they can tell if you print off additional harvest records because you are logging in to do it. Heck if they know what they are doing, they can tell when you print multiple copies from one print.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:07 PM
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I don't know if GA being a "Big Buck" state from a national perspective is comparing apples to apples.

I would think if compared to other states in the Southeast region that the "Quality " of bucks in GA is a little better on the whole than our neighbors.

I don't think you can compare Southern Deer to Northern Deer as for the most part they are a different sub-species of Whitetail.

It's like comparing FL strain bass to Northern Strain Bass
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:08 PM
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and it will remain "asleep"with it's 2 1/2 month rifle season...
x 2!!!!!
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:09 PM
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The Georgia soil is a factor we cant overcome. Every thing a deer eats in the midwest is full of ice age minerals. We just cant grow 150-160-170" deer in 3.5 years like they do. Their big buck websights are loaded with 190-200 " deer every year.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by batoncolle View Post
You guys that require the government to keep in you line for hunting are truly amazing. Maybe you should have them tell you what to eat so you do not get fat - oh yeah they are doing that as well.

I hate to break it to you but if people are going to break the law, they are simply going to break the law and the ability to print off 50 million harvest records is not going to change a thing. You are either honest are you are not.

And btw they can tell if you print off additional harvest records because you are logging in to do it. Heck if they know what they are doing, they can tell when you print multiple copies from one print.

Thats why when you print off your first one you make 2 or 3 copies of the original before writing on it..... or just save it to your computer for future printing. I doubt seriously they are checking to see how many times you log in and print a new harvest record. If anyone cared, it wouldnt be so easy to get around.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:13 PM
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Really depends on how much $$$ you want to spend in the non-agriculture areas. Look at how northern and mid west states are ran by the wildlife officials. Georgia wants to be a hunting commerce state it will have to start at the top and fix its problems from there. Mere Atlanta is now being managed for big bucks and the state will pull the hunting rights away in 5 years or less unless the figure a way to tax hunting on those counties.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:17 PM
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Its no sleeper. Everyone knows its the best big buck state im the southeast
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:22 PM
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Its no sleeper. Everyone knows its the best big buck state im the southeast
Dont go advertising that, next thing you know we will be covered up with folks from florida trying to come up here and hunt.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:24 PM
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Black panthers kill all the bigguns
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:30 PM
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The Georgia soil is a factor we cant overcome. Every thing a deer eats in the midwest is full of ice age minerals. We just cant grow 150-160-170" deer in 3.5 years like they do. Their big buck websights are loaded with 190-200 " deer every year.
That has been an argument for a long time. I think it has more to do with genetics than soil. Kentucky has proven that to Tennessee. Kentucky started getting a lot more quality bucks when they reduced the limit to one. This made the legal hunters (majority) more picky about the buck they take..cause when you take it, its over. This in turn increased the age structure.
I may be able to find the online debate about this between two biologist...but to make a long story short the TN biologist made his argument about KY having better soil.....he forgot about all that poor soil on the eastern side of the state, and was nailed on that fact because even the east side of KY was producing bigger bucks just by limiting people to one buck.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:42 PM
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That has been an argument for a long time. I think it has more to do with genetics than soil. Kentucky has proven that to Tennessee. Kentucky started getting a lot more quality bucks when they reduced the limit to one. This made the legal hunters (majority) more picky about the buck they take..cause when you take it, its over. This in turn increased the age structure.
I may be able to find the online debate about this between two biologist...but to make a long story short the TN biologist made his argument about KY having better soil.....he forgot about all that poor soil on the eastern side of the state, and was nailed on that fact because even the east side of KY was producing bigger bucks just by limiting people to one buck.
What kind of agriculture does kentucky have compared to Tennessee? Good soil helps but it is what is grown in the soil that grows the bigger bucks. Yes genetics plays a role, but even bad genetics do much better when they are fed a good diet!
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:59 PM
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If you could keep all the them dang North Carolina boys out of your state maybe.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:08 PM
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What kind of agriculture does kentucky have compared to Tennessee? Good soil helps but it is what is grown in the soil that grows the bigger bucks. Yes genetics plays a role, but even bad genetics do much better when they are fed a good diet!
Western Ky has great soil, but not so much in eastern ky. The argument about the soil has been the minerals the deer recieve from it, not so much the agriculture since not all deer live in an agriculture area.
If growing big deer just had to do with corn and soybeans we'd all be planting huge areas of it here, and if it were all just about minerals that's an easy enough supplement too.
The sub-species of deer in the midwest just grow bigger, faster, they are better adapted to their climate, but that's the deer in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin...IIRC Ky has the same sub-species of whitetail we do.
The easiest way for GA to start seeing more big deer is for us to start having more older bucks. I live not too far from Dawson Forest WMA, its considered to be trophy managed, 4 point or better on one side, you should see the kill sheet in age structure. Theres a few 5 and 4 year olds but for the most part 2.5 year old 8 pointers get slaughtered. Those are for the most part basket 8's.

I'm not suggesting we change anything anymore...I've give up that fight. It is what it is.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:14 PM
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If South west Ga was mostly bow only like the midwest. You'd see how well Ga stood up against anywhere in the country.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by hobbs27 View Post
Western Ky has great soil, but not so much in eastern ky. The argument about the soil has been the minerals the deer recieve from it, not so much the agriculture since not all deer live in an agriculture area.
If growing big deer just had to do with corn and soybeans we'd all be planting huge areas of it here, and if it were all just about minerals that's an easy enough supplement too.
The sub-species of deer in the midwest just grow bigger, faster, they are better adapted to their climate, but that's the deer in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin...IIRC Ky has the same sub-species of whitetail we do.
The easiest way for GA to start seeing more big deer is for us to start having more older bucks. I live not too far from Dawson Forest WMA, its considered to be trophy managed, 4 point or better on one side, you should see the kill sheet in age structure. Theres a few 5 and 4 year olds but for the most part 2.5 year old 8 pointers get slaughtered. Those are for the most part basket 8's.

I'm not suggesting we change anything anymore...I've give up that fight. It is what it is.

I think it IS absolutely about what you have planted, we dont have the land to plant huge areas here. The places there is enough land produce much larger deer. One big food plot of soybeans or corn wont make a difference, and there are better options for small areas. But when there are several thousand acres (tens of thousands in the mid west) planted in it that the deer consistently eat on you start growing bigger deer. The #1, most important, makes the most difference, biggest factor in growing big bucks without growth hormones is what they have to eat. If you look at every area of every state that big bucks consistently come from, they all have a few things in common. All of them are agricultural areas, in order for deer to grow above average horns & bodies they need more than acorns and natural browse. This is the reason that the midwest consistently grows bigger deer and why the majority of GA will never be like the midwest. The areas of GA that are heavily agricultural produce some midwest size racks, not as many but still produces some. Maybe thats where your genetics and QDM could come into play, but for the majority of GA QDM & genetics are not what is holding it back.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:18 PM
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If you let them grow they get big all other opinions are fooooooey.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:25 PM
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When I left Illinois from a hunt a few years ago right after the peak of chasing and the rut, I counted over 100 dead deer on the highway from right before the Ohio river all through Kentucky, I didnt see one dead deer in Tennessee and the last one was at Glade rd in Acworth. Also almost every piece of property that wasnt wooded in Illinois had beans or corn planted even little fields and the woods were full of oak trees not pines like we have. We do have the genetics( Wisconsin stocked deer) in many places in Ga. But we cant grow em with what aint there.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gsp754 View Post
I think it IS absolutely about what you have planted, we dont have the land to plant huge areas here. The places there is enough land produce much larger deer. One big food plot of soybeans or corn wont make a difference, and there are better options for small areas. But when there are several thousand acres (tens of thousands in the mid west) planted in it that the deer consistently eat on you start growing bigger deer. The #1, most important, makes the most difference, biggest factor in growing big bucks without growth hormones is what they have to eat. If you look at every area of every state that big bucks consistently come from, they all have a few things in common. All of them are agricultural areas, in order for deer to grow above average horns & bodies they need more than acorns and natural browse. This is the reason that the midwest consistently grows bigger deer and why the majority of GA will never be like the midwest. The areas of GA that are heavily agricultural produce some midwest size racks, not as many but still produces some. Maybe thats where your genetics and QDM could come into play, but for the majority of GA QDM & genetics are not what is holding it back.
So if I understand you correctly, all a person has to do is capture a buck fawn from south florida and feed it heavily with corn and soybean and it will no doubt be an absolute monster at 3 year old? Thats a cheap way to start a deer farm.

If that is your point I respectfully disagree.

1) Upper Midwest deer are a larger sub-species
2) Upper Midwest deer are even bigger than ours when they grow up in the woods away from agriculture.

By genetics we are already inferior as far as size, so it is more important for us to let them age if we want to see more big deer. Food is not a problem, I know alot of people that have a very strict high quality feeding program on their clubs..does it help? Sure, is it the number one thing that makes big bucks? No way.

Number 1 is age.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GA DAWG View Post
If South west Ga was mostly bow only like the midwest. You'd see how well Ga stood up against anywhere in the country.
I agree; Age or mature deer are what makes the #s go up. Our deer have a much less % to survive from year to year with our long gun season. The Midwest for the most part have really short firearm seasons therefore more deer making it to a mature age & the result is more big-mature deer walking the woods.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:49 PM
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The biggest sleeper state in the south is most definitely Mississippi!!! The states numbers as a whole may suck but there an area in the delta that is unbelievable! you could combine 20 counties from ga and the number wouldn't get close to 5 counties in Mississippi delta as far as 145+ deer! lol heck 140" is generally the minimum just to raise bow or gun.... That Mississippi river bottom soil must be like steroids for deer! Just check out some of the deer killed off terra wildlife, Giles island, buckhorn....
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:53 PM
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The reason I call it a sleeper is simple. Not many people talk about non the less actually hunt it! And there very few Florida hunter
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:56 PM
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Oh and there smart they don't bost and brag, lol you couldn't even compare numbers b/c they dont report most deer... 140 gets rack nailed on the porch!!!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:04 PM
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So if I understand you correctly, all a person has to do is capture a buck fawn from south florida and feed it heavily with corn and soybean and it will no doubt be an absolute monster at 3 year old? Thats a cheap way to start a deer farm.

If that is your point I respectfully disagree.

1) Upper Midwest deer are a larger sub-species
2) Upper Midwest deer are even bigger than ours when they grow up in the woods away from agriculture.

By genetics we are already inferior as far as size, so it is more important for us to let them age if we want to see more big deer. Food is not a problem, I know alot of people that have a very strict high quality feeding program on their clubs..does it help? Sure, is it the number one thing that makes big bucks? No way.

Number 1 is age.
Every deer born in the upper midwest are not guaranteed to be a monster, i have no clue how you have drawn the conclusion that corn & soy beans= guaranteed monster.

Go capture 2 florida fawn twins.
Take one deer to iowa or illinois and drop it out in the first agricultural field you find, then bring the other to GA. If you could go back every single year and see them up until they day they died of old age. The one you put out in GA will die a smaller deer than the one you dropped out in the midwest.

I dont feel like getting into the age thing, i have typed enough for tonight.

Last edited by gsp754; 10-31-2013 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:17 PM
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Nope. No reason to hunt here. You gone!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:20 PM
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If its all about age why can they grow 120-130" racks in 2.5 years in Illinois and it takes 4.5 years to do the same here. Dirt growing nutrition plain and simple.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Killdee View Post
If its all about age why can they grow 120-130" racks in 2.5 years in Illinois and it takes 4.5 years to do the same here. Dirt growing nutrition plain and simple.
I would suggest the fact that they are a different sub species of white tail.
http://www.whitetailslam.com/slam-bucks
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:29 PM
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Killdee I killed a 150" 3.5 yr old in Ga. I don't know what he was at 2.5
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Killdee View Post
If its all about age why can they grow 120-130" racks in 2.5 years in Illinois and it takes 4.5 years to do the same here. Dirt growing nutrition plain and simple.
You are right, it doesnt take a QDM expert to make the correlation, or spot a trend. Every area that consistently produces big bucks has at least one major thing in common. Usually very near the mississippi river or another major river, lots of agriculture, flat land, lots of oak trees (not pine), a very good supplemental feeding program, & the cost of a lease is very high! I cant name one area of the world that consistently produces big bucks that doesnt have one of these things, the majority of GA has none!
I guarantee you if we could flatten GA and start growing the amount of agriculture the midwest does our "genetics" would start to get a whole lot better!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:37 PM
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The biggest sleeper state in the south is most definitely Mississippi!!! The states numbers as a whole may suck but there an area in the delta that is unbelievable! you could combine 20 counties from ga and the number wouldn't get close to 5 counties in Mississippi delta as far as 145+ deer! lol heck 140" is generally the minimum just to raise bow or gun.... That Mississippi river bottom soil must be like steroids for deer! Just check out some of the deer killed off terra wildlife, Giles island, buckhorn....
Yep, Miss is a fantastic state and mainly known for ducks but there are some huge bucks there. I wasn't even hunting one of the better counties and saw a 150 on my Jan hunt this year. That river bottom soil produces some bruisers as do the Flint River corridor in SW Ga
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:49 PM
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I would suggest the fact that they are a different sub species of white tail.
http://www.whitetailslam.com/slam-bucks
We have Wisconsin stocked whitetails here in quite a few counties and still cant do it.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:52 PM
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Killdee I killed a 150" 3.5 yr old in Ga. I don't know what he was at 2.5
Must have been a freak or aged wrong, average Ga. 2.5 wont usually break 100. Did you send the tooth off for aging or jawbone?
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:15 PM
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And it will remain "asleep"with it's 2 1/2 month rifle season...
^^^this. No doubt if our deer could get older they would get bigger but our average big buck will be smaller than those from up north. That being said it will never happen here. If we only had a one week gun season most hunters would revolt.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:34 PM
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I like hunting DEER period big, small, whatever. There is alot of big deer that get killed nobody hears about.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:58 PM
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Dang, some of y'all make it sound like every deer walking the woods in the midwest is 150" or better.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:29 AM
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If its all about age why can they grow 120-130" racks in 2.5 years in Illinois and it takes 4.5 years to do the same here. Dirt growing nutrition plain and simple.
Agreed
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:28 AM
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^^^this. No doubt if our deer could get older they would get bigger but our average big buck will be smaller than those from up north. That being said it will never happen here. If we only had a one week gun season most hunters would revolt.
Yes we would...if all the gun hating stick hunters want to hunt a state with a short gun season...MOVE.

Geez, I am really tired of all the stick hunters always whining about the length of Ga.'s gun season.
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