How many inches can a man add

buckpasser

Senior Member
Everybody seems to forget that the deer in the midwest are also a different subspecies of whitetail from the ones in the southeast. Just like our normal Virginia whitetails dwarf Key or Coues whitetails, the Northern whitetails dwarf the Virginias.
A bunch of us in GA have the big genes already in place due to restocking. I’m not saying it’s exactly the same, but 250lbs is not uncommon here. I’ve seen a bunch of dead MW deer in person and a bunch more from SW GA and there ain’t a whole lot of difference.
 
A bunch of us in GA have the big genes already in place due to restocking. I’m not saying it’s exactly the same, but 250lbs is not uncommon here. I’ve seen a bunch of dead MW deer in person and a bunch more from SW GA and there ain’t a whole lot of difference.
The OP was talking about SC, though. You won't find those big-bodied deer in NC and SC like that. In a half a century, I've only seen a couple of honest 200-lb deer.
 

Beagler282

Senior Member
You don’t think it’s mostly just an age structure difference from the big money guys to the others?
One thing is that the deer that were brought in from up north were dropped off right there in that area that belonged to Callaway for many years before being sold off. I'm sure that helped with the deer genetics quite a bit. The age has lots to do with it also since Foxworthy, Realtree, Rocky Branch and those other owners are waiting until the deer can reach maturity before being harvested. With that being said there is one landowner that is right in the middle of all that land that also has a farm 8-10 miles down the road that is managed the same. They will tell you the genetics between the two farms is totally different. One farm grows several deer up to the 180's and the other farm might be lucky to get a 150 once in a while but with the majority topping in the 130's. Same food source and supplemental feeding program. I can tell you this that one side of the Interstate has better genetics than the other side. I can't explain that to you since that makes several of us scratch our heads.
 

MikeyD6

Senior Member
You are confusing genetics with environmental variables. In your example, genetics was not changed in a few generations, they had better nutrition so they could realize there genetic potential that was always there, just depressed by nutrition. This is an issue in many impoverished countries today. Those same kids may grow to be 6 inches taller with adequate nutrition, but still possessing the same genetics.
Point taken. It does raise a question though. Are you looking at a population of smaller deer that have great genetics and a poor environment, or poor genetics? Georgia was essentially repopulated with deer from the Midwest, so it would seem to me that unless the genes do change, we should see deer just as big as those taken from the Midwest from time to time. Or is it because deer in the Midwest have all the corn and wheat they can eat, which maximizes their genetic potential?
 

Dean

Senior Member
Sometime ago I read a QDMA article, if I recall correctly, based on research, that disputed any genetic traits remaining in GA whitetails for example released here over 50+ years ago from mid west or upper mid west whitetails.

Personally I can't simply wrap my head around enough genetic differences in a whitetail heard within the same county, specifically that would mean one tract 8 miles away produces Booner class bucks and the other 'only' 130" class with occasional 150". Unless there was some major barrier, not a just the Interstate. It would require some true DNA testing not just anecdotal observations. It is more likely that it's soil related, resource ($$$ food), age structure, management (doe harvest/population etc). In other words, some variable that has allowed those bucks to express their full genetic potential. Yes, I am very familiar with the Realtree Farms, Foxworth properties over in Harris Co, maybe the 'other' property in the middle commits the same resources and it has a full time land manager too IDK. But from an anecdotal view, we have TC picture evidence of bucks that travel 5+ miles during the rut - those bucks are breading does which tend to have a smaller range, then the does drop fawns, and when some of those bucks get @ 1.5 they disperse, according to research an average (radio collar research), of 5-7 miles from their birth home never to return. Then they are breeding 'local does', blending genetics, and the saga continues. We also have TC pic that show bucks on a Summer home range 3+ miles from his Fall range, same buck, multiple years. So this buck comes into our tract, basically breeds does during rut and leaves. He is getting his antler growth nutrition off our tract but breeding does on our tract. There is also research that shows 2 bucks can sire 2 genetically different fawns in one doe carried to birth at the same time. And yes, we also see genetic antler traits on bucks that appear to be very similar to older bucks on our property. We think of this common trait as bucks that use our tract as the primary home range, and then bucks they sire don't disperse 5-7 miles away. All this mixing, blending of DNA (genetics) - just don't see how there could be any 'pure strain' genetic trait that produces Booner class bucks within miles of another tract that can't. Add the kicker that some research indicates that does have as much as 60% impact on bucks they drop. Again, a blending or mixing of genetics. It just seems to me, that over years and years genetics are 'blended' for lack of a better word, certainly within a reasonable radius in terms of miles. It would be an interesting research project, DNA testing from that middle land owners bucks compared to DNA from higher scoring bucks killed on the Foxworthy property - it would be the only true way to know for 100% certain I guess.
 
This thread shows why I think it is a good idea to look at your property and your neighbors to see what a trophy looks like in your area. I know guys who hunt in Florida and are happy to have 80 inch bucks on there wall. As they should be because it is a great buck for where they hunt. A 130 Georgia deer does not make an 80 inch mature Florida deer any less of a quality deer, just as an Illinois 175 does not lessen the quality of a 130 Georgia buck. I am totally content with something in the 130-145 class being the biggest deer I will have a realistic chance of seeing. The fact that other places see deer that size on regular basis does not diminish my hunting experience in GA. That’s not where I hunt, and if I did I would then have to get a 175 to get excited. Then you get the high fence genetic mutant deer the makes everyone’s deer look little. Basically it’s all relative at the end of the day.
 

Beagler282

Senior Member
Dean they have the same bucks on the other properties as well. Foxworthy just sits in the middle of it all. The other guys are doing about the same as far as the nutrition and age but some of the others in that area do not promote what is going on or being killed. You are looking at over 20,000 acres in that circle that big bucks are running around on with great genes.
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
The OP was talking about SC, though. You won't find those big-bodied deer in NC and SC like that. In a half a century, I've only seen a couple of honest 200-lb deer.
NC,

We are in south central SC (with good ag and plots) and most deer that we let get to 4 years old exceeds 200 lbs.

They generally plateau about 205-210.

We did kill one 2-3 years ago that was an honest 265+... weighed on our electronic scales and on scales at processor.

He was an outlier, for sure - and was not so much fat as he was simply big.

It can be done here, not sure about NC.

Thanks

A7C772E3-A9A1-4860-9096-A45E3C00ED16.jpeg
 

Dbender

Senior Member
I believe stress due to heat has to make an impact on overall size also. Either directly related to heat or increased parasites for a longer period of time due to favorable parasitic conditions.
 

MikeyD6

Senior Member
I believe stress due to heat has to make an impact on overall size also. Either directly related to heat or increased parasites for a longer period of time due to favorable parasitic conditions.
I believe that has a lot to do with it also. That and not having to survive -40 wind chill factors.
 
Dean they have the same bucks on the other properties as well. Foxworthy just sits in the middle of it all. The other guys are doing about the same as far as the nutrition and age but some of the others in that area do not promote what is going on or being killed. You are looking at over 20,000 acres in that circle that big bucks are running around on with great genes.
And how many B&C deer have they killed on all of those properties combined over the years? I know the guy killed a monster on the Callway property 20 years ago, but I don't think the one Fox Worthy killed even netted high enough, though it was close. I don't think they have ever killed a B&C deer on REALTREE farms. People on here act like if you just pass a deer up then all the deer in Georgia and South Caroline will turn into B&C deer, and that is hogwash. Genetics play a huge roll, and even in the prime midwest states, your chances of killing one are very, very, very slim.

https://www.realtree.com/deer-hunti...w-rare-are-boone-and-crockett-whitetail-bucks
 

spencer12

Senior Member
Your points are salient and begin to touch on the gist of the matter.

What I said was, the top ten (Midwest) are king and no matter how you slice the top ten - they still stay in the Midwest.

At no point did I suggest that Georgia could hang (genetically) with the Midwest.

What I said was the single BIGGEST difference is the extended rifle seasons.

Now, I am far from an expert and have been wrong about a great many things, so I could be wrong here.

But, our debate is literally run flat over by the example that the bow only counties in the metro provide. If Georgia cannot provide or support the genetics for 150+, where do all these freaks come from?

Now, take the giant buck counties in SW Georgia with all the agriculture, vast swamps, etc. What would happen if, say, 75% of the rifle harvested bucks were not taken?

Can you imagine?

I can - and IMHO, it would drive monster bucks through the roof.

I know this cannot and will not happen but I def can imagine.

I am not arguing for or against changing the seasons but an area like SW Georgia that can and does produce Booners... what do we think would happen if we killed less of the 2-4 year old bucks?

Yes, high fence areas can fall flat without genetics (or without proper management, which is what “without genetics” would qualify as) - I doubt you will get any argument on that. That is why straws can and do cost thousands of dollars.

For the record I am no fan of high fence but I know what can be done inside the fence. Whoever ran the one that failed missed the mark or had holes in his game, again IMHO.

Best of luck.
There is no doubt in my mind that a 4 month rifle season exponentially eliminates a solid portion of young bucks that could in fact one day gross Boone. Georgia does have genetics to consistently produce 170” whitetails.

I live in a pretty solid area of South Georgia where I see a handful come from either my county or counties around me. There are many that I see that no one on this site or social media will ever see either. It’s just the way it is around here.

With that being said Georgia is not the Midwest nor will it ever be. Would I complain about a more limited rifle season? No, but i also don’t mind the season we have now.

Realistically I may never kill a Boone and Crockett whitetail in Georgia, however I just might. That is what I love about this state and more specifically the area of this state I live and hunt in.

Good post Jim.
 

spencer12

Senior Member
And how many B&C deer have they killed on all of those properties combined over the years? I know the guy killed a monster on the Callway property 20 years ago, but I don't think the one Fox Worthy killed even netted high enough, though it was close. I don't think they have ever killed a B&C deer on REALTREE farms. People on here act like if you just pass a deer up then all the deer in Georgia and South Caroline will turn into B&C deer, and that is hogwash. Genetics play a huge roll, and even in the prime midwest states, your chances of killing one are very, very, very slim.

https://www.realtree.com/deer-hunti...w-rare-are-boone-and-crockett-whitetail-bucks
I want to say Bill Jordan killed a booner last year, a typical 12. I could be wrong though, if it wasn’t it was in the 160’s.
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
There is no doubt in my mind that a 4 month rifle season exponentially eliminates a solid portion of young bucks that could in fact one day gross Boone. Georgia does have genetics to consistently produce 170” whitetails.

I live in a pretty solid area of South Georgia where I see a handful come from either my county or counties around me. There are many that I see that no one on this site or social media will ever see either. It’s just the way it is around here.

With that being said Georgia is not the Midwest nor will it ever be. Would I complain about a more limited rifle season? No, but i also don’t mind the season we have now.

Realistically I may never kill a Boone and Crockett whitetail in Georgia, however I just might. That is what I love about this state and more specifically the area of this state I live and hunt in.

Good post Jim.

Excellent points, Spencer.

I just wish I could hunt a few of the Georgia hotspots.

The plantation shall remain nameless but I had a chance to hunt there in about 2002 or so and the deer were spectacular (to say the least).

I will just say it was near Cordele....
 
I want to say Bill Jordan killed a booner last year, a typical 12. I could be wrong though, if it wasn’t it was in the 160’s.

O.k., so if he killed that one, then this huge parcel of intensely manage land, in a county with good genetics for the state, has produced 2 Boone and Crockett deer in 30 years. Like I said, I don't care how much land you have or how you manage it, you chances of growing a Booner are slim to know. They are even slimmer in SC. I'm not saying that either state cannot produce a B & C deer, because obviously they both have. I just think this notion that limiting the number of hunting days will produce more B&C deer, or the notion that all of these B&C deer are being killed that no one ever knows about is ludicrous. Which, based on comments I see in the trail camera forum, the are a bunch of people on there who think 130 -140" deer is a booner, so I guess I can see where the confusion come from. Don't get me wrong, I've never killed anything close to being a Booner. I just don't think people truly understand how rare a B&C deer is, even in the highest producing states in the country.
 
I believe our expectations must be realistic, and remember that deer are as individual as people. Even in states known for big deer not every buck will be a monster. You can pour thousands of dollars into growing bigger deer and occasionally get a truly big deer for that area. Not saying you can’t do it I SC but, you could sure have fun trying and go bankrupt all at the same time.
 

spencer12

Senior Member
O.k., so if he killed that one, then this huge parcel of intensely manage land, in a county with good genetics for the state, has produced 2 Boone and Crockett deer in 30 years. Like I said, I don't care how much land you have or how you manage it, you chances of growing a Booner are slim to know. They are even slimmer in SC. I'm not saying that either state cannot produce a B & C deer, because obviously they both have. I just think this notion that limiting the number of hunting days will produce more B&C deer, or the notion that all of these B&C deer are being killed that no one ever knows about is ludicrous. Which, based on comments I see in the trail camera forum, the are a bunch of people on there who think 130 -140" deer is a booner, so I guess I can see where the confusion come from. Don't get me wrong, I've never killed anything close to being a Booner. I just don't think people truly understand how rare a B&C deer is, even in the highest producing states in the country.
im not disagreeing with you, the odds of killing or for that matter seeing a Boone and Crockett whitetail in Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, or any Midwest state are extremely low and they are much lower in this state. However it’s not impossible. You are right about extremely managed land in this state still barely producing booners. That’s what makes them so special. However it can be done.

Again as you stated, there are not a lot of Boone and Crockett whitetails that are being kept secret from the public, BUT there are some that are. It may be hard to believe in this day and age but some people wish to keep what they have quiet.

I am not a trophy hunter but I no longer shoot younger bucks in hopes that one day they may be able to reach there full potential, so in a way maybe I am.

Realistically my chances of killing a deer of that caliber as you stated are astronomical here. But I know it can be done because I see it happen year after year.

I have no problem with our states rifle seasons as I feel it is part of our southern hunting tradition. I only stated that without the rifles it would only be rational that more deer would reach the age at which they could reach the potential to become that large.

However, in reality I just love to deer hunt. I am just thankful to be able to do that in this state, or any state for that matter.
 

buckpasser

Senior Member
im not disagreeing with you, the odds of killing or for that matter seeing a Boone and Crockett whitetail in Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, or any Midwest state are extremely low and they are much lower in this state. However it’s not impossible. You are right about extremely managed land in this state still barely producing booners. That’s what makes them so special. However it can be done.

Again as you stated, there are not a lot of Boone and Crockett whitetails that are being kept secret from the public, BUT there are some that are. It may be hard to believe in this day and age but some people wish to keep what they have quiet.

I am not a trophy hunter but I no longer shoot younger bucks in hopes that one day they may be able to reach there full potential, so in a way maybe I am.

Realistically my chances of killing a deer of that caliber as you stated are astronomical here. But I know it can be done because I see it happen year after year.

I have no problem with our states rifle seasons as I feel it is part of our southern hunting tradition. I only stated that without the rifles it would only be rational that more deer would reach the age at which they could reach the potential to become that large.

However, in reality I just love to deer hunt. I am just thankful to be able to do that in this state, or any state for that matter.
Me too. If GA was set up for booners (like Iowa), there’d be a bunch of us who would have never been raised deer hunting or who would have lost interest due to the tight restrictions and/or shortened season. As a matter of fact, I appreciate my Midwest road trips and GA deer all the more for it. As I mentioned, I’ll just hunt my pumpkin army places and watch the elite raise and kill what GA can/could produce. Every once in a while I’ll even deflate one of their love sick protein feeder friends who stray too far!
 
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