Shooting bucks in Velvet in Aug

Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior MemberPosts: 1,586 Senior Member
Was watching a hunting show last night.  They were featuring velvet buck hunts in South Carolina for the middle of Aug.  As I watched and saw these bucks being taken I found myself totally against this and getting annoyed.  Maybe it's just me.  They shot a small 4 and 6 point but they looked as though they would have made it to a 6 or an 8 pt by the time their antlers were fully developed.  Also these deer only 2.5 years old.

I know deer meat is deer meat and you don't eat the horns so why should it matter when you shoot them.  To me, it did.  I say let them at least develop and get out of velvet.  Even better wait until their 4.5 years or older to shoot.

Thoughts from the peanut gallery.  Am I off in my thinking?
Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

John 3: 1-21

Replies

  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,046 Senior Member
    If it's legal, and you want to shoot that deer....press the trigger, and get out your knife.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,560 Senior Member

    A lot depends on where you hunt.  If you're hunting public land or property that sees a lot of pressure, it doesn't make a lot of sense to let them grow up.  Most likely, if you don't take them, some one else later in the year.

    I know a guy who has 40 acres not far from here.  He has a feeder, with a nearby trail cam.  He has photos of some nice bucks, but also has neighbors who hunt.  The chances of anything of them making it to 4 1/2 or older is pretty slim.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,968 Senior Member
    South Carolina has too many deer-----so the season is long------they know how to 
    manage their State hunting regs.  
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • Great OutdoorsGreat Outdoors Member Posts: 221 Member
    I hunt the SC coastal region- until a couple years ago we had no limit on bucks with a 4.5 month long season. Our season starts August 15th and by early September most of the bucks are rubbed clean. 

    This year the first week of the season I had numerous mature bucks in velvet and also some already rubbed and hard- I took a hard horned 8 point because I don't care for the velvet look, but I have taken a fully mature velvet 8 point on August 15th before.

    Our coastal region deer do not get as big as deer in other areas and you will rarely see a 200 lb deer, no matter how old they get, unless they are feeding on crops.

    We don't view deer like people in areas where you can only shoot 1 or 2 a season, to us- it's just another deer, shoot it and eat it.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,606 Senior Member
    The state management of wild game that exists in the USA is the most successful of its type anywhere in the world. Even in places like Colorado where politics and money have too much influence.

    Without natural predators, deer populations over run available habitat, cause crop damage and create highway safety problems.

    Only the people in direct touch with these circumstances can best decide management policy. This policy should always be based upon sound science without being subject to irrational emotion. The future of sport hunting depends on it.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,351 Senior Member
    edited January 30 #7
    I have shot (arrowed) exactly one velvet buck and it was an early September kill out in central Maryland.  Those deer are losing velvet very close to that time, so you aren’t losing much in antler size killingone on opening day or a bit earlier.  

    Regardless, I see no issue with killing them early in velvet if that’s what the state management plan deems necessary to control the herd.  Fire away.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,620 Senior Member
    Six-Gun said:

    Regardless, I see no issue with killing them early in velvet if that’s what the state management plan deems necessary to control the herd.  Fire away.
    This. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,043 Senior Member
    If the state of South Carolina is saying, "Y'all need to shoot more deer", who am I to argue?

    I get the whole "sporting ethic/fair chase" thing (and even agree with it somewhat) but in it's following, we seem to lose sight of the fact that this "sport" was initially about the very serious business of not starving to death,  and that our ancestors looked for the safest, most efficient means to do it.   This would include things like driving entire herds over cliffs with large groups of beaters and fire.  The only reason Og the Caveman would wait for antlers to mature, or look for a large rack of them would be so that he could cut them off and use them to make tools. . .many of which would probably be used to help him kill more deer.  He also didn't have much of a dental plan, so I very much doubt he would have deliberately waited for a battle-scarred monarch on which he'd wear his teeth out trying to chew.  This is to say nothing of the fact that a large, testosterone-fueled dominant male in the middle of the rut might take one look at Og's tiny spear and proceed to stomp him into a greasy spot on the plains.

    I say if you're fortunate enough to live in an area where the game populations need serious managing, don't quibble over the Boone & Crockett aspects, thump yourself some deer veal, and smile as you drive past Burger King without stopping.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,862 Senior Member
    I'm with Mr. Bishop on this one.
    Only thing I'll add is, as long as it's a shot you are confident you can make.

    Not a fan of someone taking, what they feel, is a "low percentage" shot. Be it angle, distance, movement, or cover.
    I understand it's possible to botch a shot you're confident in making, been there, done that. Which is why I am against someone increasing the risks of a bad hit on a shot that they feel is risky
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,586 Senior Member
    I've found myself on the opposite end of everyone's thinking on this topic.  I get and understand your points.  Still bugs me but that's me and that's OK, we're all entitled to our own opinions!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,586 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    I've found myself on the opposite end of everyone's thinking on this topic.  I get and understand your points.  Still bugs me but that's me and that's OK, we're all entitled to our own opinions!
    Why does it bug you? 
    I've been giving this some thought and I think it's how I grew up deer hunting.  Deer season was/is always a fall/winter season for me.  Yeah I know it's in the 90's here during bow season in Oct though Nov we start cooling off.  I called my hunting buddy of 45 years and asked him.  He tended to be with me.  He said deer hunting in Texas or any where else in Aug when it's a 110 outside is a non-starter!  I'd rather wait until bow season when all or most of the velvet is off the antlers.

    I think the other part of me is the older I get the more into game management and taking older bucks I've become.  My neighbor and I work closely with our local game biologist.  He helps us to select the shooters and no shoot buck list.  Trying to grow bigger and better bucks for the seasons to come.  

    Having said that, as a kid/teenager and in my 20's the only criteria we had to see was horns so I get that part too!  

    Guess it's an age thing with me.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,606 Senior Member
    You have hands on experience managing and conserving game. It intitles you to an opinion of consequence.

    What impresses me about state employed biologists is their high level of education. I think it assists them in making very sound decisions.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,862 Senior Member
    Jeff, you're as entitled to your opinion as I am mine.

    As long as you don't start telling me I have to hunt your way, I have no problem with how you decide to hunt
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,586 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Jeff, you're as entitled to your opinion as I am mine.

    As long as you don't start telling me I have to hunt your way, I have no problem with how you decide to hunt
    The only time I ever tell someone about hunting guidelines is when we have guest out hunting on the ranch.  We even give them pictures of the no-shoot bucks and guidelines for hunting hogs at night!  Heck, I'd never tell anyone else how to hunt. We've all grown up hunting and follow our own guidelines, habits, likes/dislikes and consciences.

    It's like firearms, we all have our preferences, no one is right or wrong on what they prefer to shoot! 
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,862 Senior Member
    I'd have no problem with that, hunting on your place
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,968 Senior Member
    Jeff you hit it right on the head in one of your posts; it is game management.


    A guy from some where else should not get upset over game management done by the wildlife people of another state.


    Just like Yankees come down here and get all upset over hunting deer with dogs in the Carolinas.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • Great OutdoorsGreat Outdoors Member Posts: 221 Member
    NN said:


    Just like Yankees come down here and get all upset over hunting deer with dogs in the Carolinas.

    We do that too, I own my own land and that is still hunting only, I'm a member of a trophy management club- 2500 acres with 12 members, still hunting only, and a member of an 8000 acre dog driving club on a privately owned plantation.

     We were just informed by the plantation owners that due to pressure from new area residents that we will no longer be able to drive deer with dogs, from now on it will be stand hunting only.
     That club has been in existence for many decades and was a bastion of traditional hunting with dogs. Sad to see it go and I am looking for another dog driving club to join. 

    I think dog driving will be gone completely within the next 20 years due to pressures from the transplants that now outnumber the natives.

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,968 Senior Member
    Yeah, just can't get the dogs to stop at the property line.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,735 Senior Member
    I don't care about velvet, but as you mentioned I also gave up hunting big game in the early season. I no longer want to deal with the heat, bees, or flies. Especially two miles of the forestry road. I'd rather chase grouse and snowshoes in August. 
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,586 Senior Member
    What impresses me about state employed biologists is their high level of education. I think it assists them in making very sound decisions.
    Very true statement.  Our local game biologist is an A&M grad with a degree specifically tailored for a game biologist.  When he's out he walks and rides our ranches.  He tells what's best to plant, what not to plant and when to send in soil samples in to see what fertilizers to use.  He also will work with you and tell you when we should attempt a control burn if we can get the right conditions.  He even offers to bring A&M students out who are working towards their degrees to work the control burns as they need the experience.  Sounds easy on paper, just very hard to schedule as you have to have the right winds and conditions.  My neighbor almost got it scheduled once but conditions changed.

    In late Aug we send him our game cam pictures which help with herd count and doe to buck ratios.  With this he lets us know how many does to harvest and which bucks to take and not take.  All of this is free for the land owner.  You just have to ask and schedule his time.

    Our deer herds are slowly recovering from when my neighbor on our south side put his high fence up three years ago.  The first year it knocked our deer herds down by almost 70%.  It's been a slow process but they've recovered to about 55 to 60% of what they used to be and we're seeing more quality bucks.  Probably another three or four years to be back to what we had before the high fence.  

    When he speaks we listen!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,043 Senior Member
    What impresses me about state employed biologists is their high level of education. I think it assists them in making very sound decisions.
    Very true statement.  Our local game biologist is an A&M grad with a degree specifically tailored for a game biologist.  When he's out he walks and rides our ranches.  He tells what's best to plant, what not to plant and when to send in soil samples in to see what fertilizers to use.  He also will work with you and tell you when we should attempt a control burn if we can get the right conditions.  He even offers to bring A&M students out who are working towards their degrees to work the control burns as they need the experience.  Sounds easy on paper, just very hard to schedule as you have to have the right winds and conditions.  My neighbor almost got it scheduled once but conditions changed.

    In late Aug we send him our game cam pictures which help with herd count and doe to buck ratios.  With this he lets us know how many does to harvest and which bucks to take and not take.  All of this is free for the land owner.  You just have to ask and schedule his time.

    Our deer herds are slowly recovering from when my neighbor on our south side put his high fence up three years ago.  The first year it knocked our deer herds down by almost 70%.  It's been a slow process but they've recovered to about 55 to 60% of what they used to be and we're seeing more quality bucks.  Probably another three or four years to be back to what we had before the high fence.  

    When he speaks we listen!
    Now, I've seen plenty of hunting shows heavily espousing this "Quality Deer Management" philosophy (or whatever it is), with creation of all these feed plots, cover plots, etc... and THIS is what strikes ME as a really weird thing to do.  Maybe it's more of an eastern thing, but my reaction is something along the lines of "OR. . .you could just raise cattle, because this seems a lot more like farming than hunting:/
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,586 Senior Member
    edited January 31 #23
    I do raise cattle!  However, you're talking apples and oranges when it comes to farming/ranching and game management.  Texas started the game management programs back in the 80's.  When the oil industry went belly side up, ranchers and farmers needed another way to generate revenue.  Game management was introduced and through the years with tons of trial and error they've got it down to a fine science.  

    In my county (young county) and many counties in Texas a legal buck must have an inside spread of 13" to be legal or outside the ears.  You can also take spikes and a single tine on one side and two points on the other.  This allows the deer to get to at least 2.5 years of age.  Buck to doe ratios play a big part.  Deer hunting is big dollars in Texas.  

    I hate the high fenced ranches with genetically modified monster bucks.  It's what my neighbor has behind me with his high fence ranch. 

    Counties with huge deer populations go with any antlered deer is legal, so it depends on where you hunt.  If it was legal we could shoot any buck we wanted but that doesn't help grow bigger quality deer.  I won't shoot a buck unless it's 5.5 years or older but will take a doe for meat.  Since we started the game management process/program six years ago we're seeing bigger and better quality bucks.

    The mid west and northern states have really taken notice to what Texas started and you're seeing a lot of farms and ranches doing the same now.  Some sell hunts for big $$$.  I won't pay to hunt and we don't charge when friends and family come out to hunt.  Though I am strict on which bucks get taken.

    This year my wife had her friend and husband come out to hunt.  There was one 2.5 year old 10 pt that we only saw at night on camera.  He was on my no shoot list.  After he hunted for two days and didn't see anything to shoot.  I told him he could take this one buck if it showed up.  Figuring he'd never see it.  Well I was wrong and he dropped it the next morning.  He was elated and I was very happy for him.  However, he would have been a dandy next year.  I always like it when someone gets a nice deer buck/doe or hog when they come out to hunt.  I actually stress a lot hoping they at least see something and get a shot.

    My buddy lives in VA, I get it, if you see a buck shoot it.  If not it's going to over the hill so someone else can shoot it.  Very hard to game manage in places like that.  

    Game management is big here.  Not everyone does it or wants to do it.  I'm fortunate that my neighbors and I work together at it with our local game biologist. 

    My wife's deer is the biggest straight 8 taken out here.  We've killed a few 10 & 12 pts about the same size they just scored higher due to having more points.  Game management does work and works well.


    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • Great OutdoorsGreat Outdoors Member Posts: 221 Member
    NN said:
    Yeah, just can't get the dogs to stop at the property line. 

    You most certainly can- we didn't hunt the perimeters and every dog wore a GPS tracking collar with tone, vibrate and shock. They didn't leave the property.

    Another plantation trains their dogs their old fashioned way- no tracking collars and the dogs never get out- I won't say how but it's 100% effective. You can watch them walk nose to tail down the side of the road behind the handler on a horse

  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,855 Senior Member
    edited February 1 #25
    Was watching a hunting show last night.  They were featuring velvet buck hunts in South Carolina for the middle of Aug.  As I watched and saw these bucks being taken I found myself totally against this and getting annoyed.  Maybe it's just me.  They shot a small 4 and 6 point but they looked as though they would have made it to a 6 or an 8 pt by the time their antlers were fully developed.  Also these deer only 2.5 years old.

    I know deer meat is deer meat and you don't eat the horns so why should it matter when you shoot them.  To me, it did.  I say let them at least develop and get out of velvet.  Even better wait until their 4.5 years or older to shoot.

    Thoughts from the peanut gallery.  Am I off in my thinking?
    Jeff, I'm thinking it's all about the money. Now I'm a 100% dyed in the wool Capitalist. Socialism never fed anybody. But When unchecked things get out of hand and money talks an BS Walks. I've seen so many things these days because people are making a killing on money wise that used to be taboo that are now popular and condoned by the powers that be. And these same powers that be were a few short years back totally against them.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,855 Senior Member
    edited February 1 #26
    I do raise cattle!  However, you're talking apples and oranges when it comes to farming/ranching and game management.  Texas started the game management programs back in the 80's.  When the oil industry went belly side up, ranchers and farmers needed another way to generate revenue.  Game management was introduced and through the years with tons of trial and error they've got it down to a fine science.  

    In my county (young county) and many counties in Texas a legal buck must have an inside spread of 13" to be legal or outside the ears.  You can also take spikes and a single tine on one side and two points on the other.  This allows the deer to get to at least 2.5 years of age.  Buck to doe ratios play a big part.  Deer hunting is big dollars in Texas.  

    I hate the high fenced ranches with genetically modified monster bucks.  It's what my neighbor has behind me with his high fence ranch. 

    Counties with huge deer populations go with any antlered deer is legal, so it depends on where you hunt.  If it was legal we could shoot any buck we wanted but that doesn't help grow bigger quality deer.  I won't shoot a buck unless it's 5.5 years or older but will take a doe for meat.  Since we started the game management process/program six years ago we're seeing bigger and better quality bucks.

    The mid west and northern states have really taken notice to what Texas started and you're seeing a lot of farms and ranches doing the same now.  Some sell hunts for big $$$.  I won't pay to hunt and we don't charge when friends and family come out to hunt.  Though I am strict on which bucks get taken.

    This year my wife had her friend and husband come out to hunt.  There was one 2.5 year old 10 pt that we only saw at night on camera.  He was on my no shoot list.  After he hunted for two days and didn't see anything to shoot.  I told him he could take this one buck if it showed up.  Figuring he'd never see it.  Well I was wrong and he dropped it the next morning.  He was elated and I was very happy for him.  However, he would have been a dandy next year.  I always like it when someone gets a nice deer buck/doe or hog when they come out to hunt.  I actually stress a lot hoping they at least see something and get a shot.

    My buddy lives in VA, I get it, if you see a buck shoot it.  If not it's going to over the hill so someone else can shoot it.  Very hard to game manage in places like that.  

    Game management is big here.  Not everyone does it or wants to do it.  I'm fortunate that my neighbors and I work together at it with our local game biologist. 

    My wife's deer is the biggest straight 8 taken out here.  We've killed a few 10 & 12 pts about the same size they just scored higher due to having more points.  Game management does work and works well.

    I
    You're a good man Jeff. And you have the right idea about game management. They gotta get a little age on em to get really big. And I also agree some of these high fence operations raise unnatural deer. A deer doesn't naturally have a bunch of drop tines when he's 2.5-3 years old. Let them get old naturally. They don't get to be monsters in 3 years. Give it time for their genes to show up. I love your style.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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