How many inches can a man add

Yall pretty much make me wanna shoot every buck I see, sell my land and buy something smack in the middle Georgia so maybe I can have a booner😂😂😂lol I'm kidding but thanks for the comments gon👍
If that ws the ultimate goal, I wouldn't buy in Georgia either. There aren't that many B&C deer that come from Georgia either, relative to the number killed. I had a buddy that had a place in middle Georgia for years and killed some pretty good deer on it. Several years ago he went bowhunting with a friend of his that had bought a place in Missouri. On that first trip he killed one with the bow that grossed over 160" and saw "several others" bigger than anything he had ever grown on his place in Georgia. He sold his place in Georgia and hunts almost exclusively in the mid-west now. I guess it ultimately depends on what you goals are.
 
The problem with growing big bucks in the southern states is pressure from gun hunting..Even the vast majority of clubs that say they are managing for "trophies" are shooting the best genetic 3 year olds in the herd, which is the biggest mistake you can make. One of the reasons the Midwest is so good for upper end bucks is because guns are very limited(rifles are not allowed at all). Even in the Midwest most of the biggest bucks are shot during the limited shotgun seasons. Look at Fulton county Georgia in the suburbs..Bow only and probably the best county in the state for big bucks. You would have to have a huge tract of land in the south to grow "trophies" on a regular basis under current gun regs.
 
Thread starter #26

SRShunter

Senior Member
If that ws the ultimate goal, I wouldn't buy in Georgia either. There aren't that many B&C deer that come from Georgia either, relative to the number killed. I had a buddy that had a place in middle Georgia for years and killed some pretty good deer on it. Several years ago he went bowhunting with a friend of his that had bought a place in Missouri. On that first trip he killed one with the bow that grossed over 160" and saw "several others" bigger than anything he had ever grown on his place in Georgia. He sold his place in Georgia and hunts almost exclusively in the mid-west now. I guess it ultimately depends on what you goals are.
I guess really my goals should be to raise to best deer I can with what I'm working with and be content with what I have
 
Thread starter #27

SRShunter

Senior Member
We consider a 150 a booner now where I'm hunting and I still haven't killed one😂 we lower it to 130 and I'll be the freaking man😎
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
We consider a 150 a booner now where I'm hunting and I still haven't killed one😂 we lower it to 130 and I'll be the freaking man😎
Pretty sure the counties in our area top out in the mid 140’s every year - so yes - 150” would be a genuine stud.

We finally took what I think is a 140” + deer in 2018 and that is after 8 years of hard work. Our weights and antler trends are easily up.

Here is the rub, however - are the improvements the result of our collective effort, better trigger control, better food, improved hunter capability, reduced pressure - or luck?

Since the improvements appear to be incremental (y over y) I believe we are impacting the herd on our land specifically. I use the work “on” with some degree of trepidation, as I know the deer come and go....


Always remember, noble efforts are rarely in vain. Results that are measurable generally don’t happen by accident.

Best of luck.




PS - my buddy that took this deer in SC... easily our best ever SC deer....

But, I took him to Illinois for his first ever Midwest hunt. He hunted 3 days and quit CMHC on the spot. No hard feelings at all, he just recognizes the Midwest for what it is - a place to hunt that regardless of argument - is simply a better place to hunt if big bucks are your goal.

On that trip, my buddy saw and had chances at deer from 120” out to 175”+.

Meat hunters simply stay home but deer hunters that want a chance at larger bucks (primarily with archery) are often hooked when they visit the Midwest states.

Not every year, but most years, I see more big bucks in a 10 day hunt in Illinois than I have seen in GA / SC my entire life.


Here is our SC buck - 2018.

AB6D388D-07EE-4659-B633-03CA8F286F0E.jpeg
 
Thread starter #30

SRShunter

Senior Member
I'm sure the new tagging system will help sc too. I know several farmers and hunters up there that use to kill 20+ bucks a year. Just wished we could shoot more than 4 doe's, but guess to can get with the dnr or biologist and get more to doe tags if your land is overrun with them
 

blackbear

Senior Member
Bucks roam alot in the rut,if all the land around yours is managed you will have bigbucks chaseing does that have been living all year 1 or 2 miles up the creek on other propertys they call home all year and get to rutting and travel looking for the Does and will come to you if you use the Does for bait and dont shoot them all.
I think if you want a really big buck it will need to live to be 4,5,6, years old to grow to the best rack.
Ifyou shoot it at 130 and want bigger let them walk and hope to see next season.Its as simple as that.
Bottom LINE......IT TAKES AGE To PRODUCE A MONSTER BUCK!,!,
Also if you want to be a trophy hunter. You have to pass alot of big bucks up before you pull the trigger and

simply let them get the age they need.......
 
There are some good points above.

Unless you live somewhere with very fertile soil and a lot of ag. Everything you do will help the size of your deer.

AGE
FOOD
equals bigger deer!
 

godogs57

Senior Member
I have contacts at local plantations that 1) intensively manage for trophy bucks and have the genetic potential to justify the efforts and 2) heavily feed protein feed to assist in that effort. In almost every case they are experiencing an estimated 10" of antler growth over the "Norm" for each age class of bucks they have.

This is not a casual endeavor for them....this is serious business involving several thousand acres managed, not to mention being blessed with Wisconsin stock genetics....not just the 150-200 acre spot most of us hunt on. Ask Nick...he'll tell you about it.
 

Crakajak

Daily Driveler News Team
I have contacts at local plantations that 1) intensively manage for trophy bucks and have the genetic potential to justify the efforts and 2) heavily feed protein feed to assist in that effort. In almost every case they are experiencing an estimated 10" of antler growth over the "Norm" for each age class of bucks they have.

This is not a casual endeavor for them....this is serious business involving several thousand acres managed....not just the 150-200 acre spot most of us hunt on.
I think your estimates are spot on. Minerals/salt/protein will only go so far in Ga.
 

blackbear

Senior Member
I think it makes a BIG differance if your Deer herd you hunt have the Wisconsin stock bloodline.
You will have huge deer compared to the small deer that were trapped and relocated from the islands.
If you want to harvest really big trophys you have to let the 130 class bucks walk and give them more time to grow and then take them when they are 140,150,160 inch whatever your looking for.There are studies that have been done that shows even a small spike can grow into a big buck if allowed to age to 5,6,7 years old.
Just as soon as a buck in Georgia gets 2 1/2 years old he usually gets harvested.
Trophy hunting is not for everyone and is a different ballgame compared to shooting any deer you see.
Only you can determine what size buck you want to harvest and what is a true trophy for you.
Go to the Dawson Forest wma where they have been manageing for 4 points on one side for years and look at the photos of the deer that have been harvested there,you will see some big ones forsure!
Buck management works.
 

Dean

Senior Member
It's tough to manage one 3.5 yr old 130" and add inches, can it be done? Yes, sometimes. However, as others have posted genetics, age, available food sources and protein levels in those food sources are key. Also carry capacity of your property, stress from hunters, yotes etc can impact growth as well. If I may, I would aim to work on aging bucks on the hoof, and with confidence understand that 4.5 bucks have expressed as much as 75-90% of their antler potential. Give them a pass until 5.5 and you can be confident that buck "is what he is". Kill your mature bucks - regardless of antler growth. In answer to your specific question, I have experience (as well as other accounts) of helping bucks add 15" + in a years time (again from 3.5). One aspect that is often overlooked is "soil health". Take the time to manage your soil - correct pH, strong biomass layer. Provide year around food plots - spring, summer, not just fall hunting plots. Prescribed burns, manage timber to promote undergrowth. In other words manage your dirt first. There are studies and research that show does (and thus yearling bucks) will express their true genetic potential after several years of DNA 'wiring'. Basically, once the deer biologically can utilize the available food source to promote health then they will. I think it is one of the factors in the Midwest bucks others posted about. If a doe or buck is biologically wired to manage the nutrition it takes in because it is limited in availability or protein then that resource is burned by the deer in 'day to day' survival, milk production, skeleton structure etc. If the deer is wired to have an abundance of food sources, then it is less stressful for the deer and the food resources is mainlined into healthy fawn drops, bigger antler production as a yearly etc. The research shows that this is generational change - it takes several years to "change" the DNA from survival mode to thriving mode. Once the thriving mode has been achieved, then it's about age.
 

MikeyD6

Senior Member
Another big factor in deer size in general, is the climate. A bigger animal is more likely to survive the Midwest winters, and antler size goes up roughly with body size. Georgia was essentially repopulated with Wisconsin deer in the hopes having northern size deer, but natural selection will rapidly alter the gene pool to survive local conditions. My guess is that if an experiment was done where a deer herd from Florida was captured and relocated in a Midwest state you would see their genetics change and their descendants would look like the local deer after several generations, even if they didn't breed with them.
 

fountain

Senior Member
I have contacts at local plantations that 1) intensively manage for trophy bucks and have the genetic potential to justify the efforts and 2) heavily feed protein feed to assist in that effort. In almost every case they are experiencing an estimated 10" of antler growth over the "Norm" for each age class of bucks they have.

This is not a casual endeavor for them....this is serious business involving several thousand acres managed, not to mention being blessed with Wisconsin stock genetics....not just the 150-200 acre spot most of us hunt on. Ask Nick...he'll tell you about it.
You also have to add in the serious amount of money it takes to do this as well. Your average working man with average land will not achieve this. I will not take that away from those that do..please make that known. It is a hard labor to do and a very costly one. Anyone that says different is not telling the whole story. Constant food is key..constant food will naturally hold more deer(in theory) and I will rank age above everything. Deer are like people though. Not all of them will be a monster. That's fine too. A mature buck (4.5+) is very good, no matter rack size
 
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