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They both look like they could be 2.5 yr olds IMO . Just curious as to what you saw in the gun buck to think 3.5 ?
This guy is 3.5 and a very similar rack....quite a few 3 year olds in my area have racks like that, and I'd call it SLP being in Eaton Co. I know you hunt the same area so I'm sure you see some of the same?

3 year old.JPG



The buck I shot this year I had on trail cam as a 2.5 year old 6 and a 3.5 year old 8. This is him as a 3.5 8 pt....

3 year old 8.jpg


As a 4 year old 10 pt he only grossed 125. I'd say its certainly possible his gun buck was a 3 year old. It's becoming increasingly evident to me that most of the bucks that make it past 2 years old aren't sporting the best rack genetics.
 

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I saw one deer for 0.5 seconds in 40 hours of hunting in 2020; no horns. I would add that I was out for 16 of those hours in some of the worst weather imaginable, and I was often focused on staying dry more than what was going on in the howling woods.

That just proves I need to work harder to get out of my non-productive habits.
 

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Two 8-points, both with crossbow. One on public one on private. Last year got 8 point on private and 4 point on public, both with crossbow.
 

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This guy is 3.5 and a very similar rack....quite a few 3 year olds in my area have racks like that, and I'd call it SLP being in Eaton Co. I know you hunt the same area so I'm sure you see some of the same?

View attachment 634397


The buck I shot this year I had on trail cam as a 2.5 year old 6 and a 3.5 year old 8. This is him as a 3.5 8 pt....

View attachment 634395

As a 4 year old 10 pt he only grossed 125. I'd say its certainly possible his gun buck was a 3 year old. It's becoming increasingly evident to me that most of the bucks that make it past 2 years old aren't sporting the best rack genetics.
there’s always the chance that he was a 1.5 6 point. I tend to think that a 125 inch deer is doubtfully a 4.5
 

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there’s always the chance that he was a 1.5 6 point. I tend to think that a 125 inch deer is doubtfully a 4.5
I'll see if I can find the pictures on my old phone of him as a 2.5 year old 6 pt. I'd bet any amount of money in the world he wasn't 1.5.

I shot a 116" 6 point that was 5.5+ years old off the same property. That is with 3 years of cam pics from the neighbor as evidence of his age. I posted pics of that buck enough times on here people are probably sick of seeing it. I watched Stan Potts shoot a 'management buck' as he called it down in Illinois this week on TV. He said it was 4 or 5 years old and I bet it was lucky to go 110". Not every deer gets to be 150"+. Just look at the real deal on age thread by calhoun if you want more evidence...

Edit: Bahhh I changed my mind. Here you go...this buck is only 116". Want to tell me he is a young one?

View media item 123777
 

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2020
......
He put on what, maybe 10" from 2019 to 2020? Its not too hard to believe he just didn't have a ton of top end potential.
Is there a marking on his body that lets you think with some confidence that this is the same buck ?

L & O
 
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Is there a marking on his body that lets you think with some confidence that this is the same buck ?

L & O
Its a combination of things that makes me believe it with near certainty. First are his brow tines that are nearly unchanged year to year. Second is the fact you can see the start of his G4s in 2019, and a low percentage of bucks are main frame 10 pts. And third and most distinctive for me are his eye patches. I saw him on the hoof 3 times in 2019 and twice within bow range and he had huge white circles around his eyes. Much more than most any bucks I see. It was the first thing I noticed after his rack in 2020. He was using the same little area in October of each year.... With those factors I'm quite certain its the same buck.
 

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They both look like they could be 2.5 yr olds IMO . Just curious as to what you saw in the gun buck to think 3.5 ?
His body size and when I was able to glass him I recognize which buck it was from a trail cam picture. At first I was wondering and almost passed on him cause he was thinner than before probably cause he was run down from the rut. But after my buddy and I tried to drag him a little he was still pretty heavy, or we're just getting old. Maybe he is 2 1/2 but he was big enough for me. Here's a pic when I walked up to him.
IMG_20201204_092119740.jpg
 

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His body size and when I was able to glass him I recognize which buck it was from a trail cam picture. At first I was wondering and almost passed on him cause he was thinner than before probably cause he was run down from the rut. But after my buddy and I tried to drag him a little he was still pretty heavy, or we're just getting old. Maybe he is 2 1/2 but he was big enough for me. Here's a pic when I walked up to him. View attachment 634523
VERY good chance he was 3.5 , that's why I was asking what you saw in him. Thanks for answering. From just the one front on pic of you holding him he looked similar to some bucks I see in southern MI that I guesstimate to fit the 2.5 yr old class. Wasn't trying to 100 % put an age on him. Would never try to say that he was X yrs old of off 1 pic laying on the ground. That's why I said could be.
Distinguishing between 2.5 & 3 yr olds is tough, especially in southern MI where those 2 age classes make up the majority of the "bigger buck" crowd. I shot some bucks in the past, while trying to hold out for 3.5s , that make you wonder if it was an upper end 2 or smaller 3.
 

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This guy is 3.5 and a very similar rack....quite a few 3 year olds in my area have racks like that, and I'd call it SLP being in Eaton Co. I know you hunt the same area so I'm sure you see some of the same?

View attachment 634397


The buck I shot this year I had on trail cam as a 2.5 year old 6 and a 3.5 year old 8. This is him as a 3.5 8 pt....

View attachment 634395

As a 4 year old 10 pt he only grossed 125. I'd say its certainly possible his gun buck was a 3 year old. It's becoming increasingly evident to me that most of the bucks that make it past 2 years old aren't sporting the best rack genetics.
Yes , I've seen bucks that would go 200 # on the hoof with 100" to 115" racks . Doubt they're under 3 yrs old...
 

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Big buck ingredients: age, food, minerals, genetics

if you dont have all 4 your not growing bucks like iowa. Most of michigan doesnt even have 1 of the 4. Can have the beat food and genetics but with no age they dont get big. Some areas im convinced bucks wont reach 120 no matter what age
 

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A few years back I shot one in that category. I believed him to be an antler deficient 3 year old. All broke up as well, shot on the move during a small two man push with my dad. The body and frame said older deer but when he hit the ground, those antlers shrunk right up! I suppose he could have been a 2 year old as well but even then he was on the smaller side of most of those the farm as well. I made sure of it but I don’t think this deer ever sees 130 anyway.
 

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Big buck ingredients: age, food, minerals, genetics

if you dont have all 4 your not growing bucks like iowa. Most of michigan doesnt even have 1 of the 4. Can have the beat food and genetics but with no age they dont get big. Some areas im convinced bucks wont reach 120 no matter what age
Name an area where they won’t grow 120” no matter what age.
 

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I only shot one buck for 2020. Wouldn’t have shot him on any other year but... I was so busy during bow season I only made it out twice. During firearm season I had the damn Corona and was pretty sick... only deer I saw and need the meat. This was the first time in my life that I was able to provide food for the table during an incredibly tough time. Best damn deer I’ve ever shot.
 

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