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As long as MI is a two buck state, I personally don’t see it happening.
Statistically being a two buck state has had very little impact on overall buck kill rate. It’s not a combo tag which prevents bucks from getting big.


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Me personally, I’m content with letting smaller bucks pass but I also know what’s a pretty good buck for the area I hunt so if I know it’s a good deer for that area, I’ll take it.
The 8pt I got this year, many hunters in the southern part of the state would give that deer a pass. Up where we hunt....you’re an idiot if you pass on that buck especially if you only have 1 week a year to hunt and it’s your last morning.
Now with that being said, I always keep in mind that not everyone is hunting for a big buck. Some are content with a spike or 4pt if that’s the first deer to come along and I’m ok with that too.


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Right. I don’t want to turn this into a fantasy or arguement where I think just passing in 1.5yr old bucks means a booner will be behind every tree. Some areas of the state just aren’t conducive for large antler growth, and I get that.

I just think if hunters saw bigger bucks on a more regular basis they would be more apt to hold out for a bigger buck. And I’m not saying don’t shoot what you want, just that the bucks stop growing when they’re dead.


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Having hunted the same 240ac. in North Central Clare County, for over 40 years, I can 100% say, that without mandatory APR's (saw what they could accomplish first hand), or a CO-OP where the majority of Property Owners participate, it is next to impossible to consistently get Bucks past 3.5 years old, and even they are pretty rare most years!

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You didn't see many monsters when it was a one buck state, but we also didn't have the net to put pictures on.
That isn't really a fair argument though. Back then people didn't worship antlers and being a trophy hunter wasn't the measure of how skilled of a hunter you are like it is now. It was a lot more about the hunt, comradery, and mostly putting meat on the table.

Entirely different times.
 

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I run over 25 cameras on my property, (which has had extensive habitat work done on it, to the extent that I feel its probably offers the best deer habitat in the section.)

Each September, I get a pretty good idea of what bucks live in the area. By my estimate, we had somewhere around 6-8 2.5's and 3-4 3.5's, and nothing older this year.

My son and myself are the only hunters this season, and we took only 1 of the 3.5's. I've watched the numbers of 2.5's and 3.5's that I was getting pictures of steady decline throughout the season, to the point, that the last pic of a buck older than 1.5 that I've gotten, was on Nov. 13th. Mind you, I have some of the BEST cover and food in the Section, and have not set foot on the property since the 15th (8- Cell came in the best locations have provided all my information since the 15th).

My point is this .... in a LOT of parts of the State, whether you pass on a buck or not, is very unlikely to have a big impact on the number of mature bucks you see next season. (We haven't shot (except for young kids a couple times over the years) anything under 3.5 for almost 25 years-- only when there were MAPR's, did we see improvement-- those 6 years were AWESOME!!)

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I thought this was LFTS?
Yeah sorry. I opened that can of worms.

I’ll out this Pm. Gunning for another doe. I have not seen a buck I’ve wanted to shoot in Michigan all season. Camera hasn’t picked up anything of size either.


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Having hunted the same 240ac. in North Central Clare County, for over 40 years, I can 100% say, that without mandatory APR's (saw what they could accomplish first hand), or a CO-OP where the majority of Property Owners participate, it is next to impossible to consistently get Bucks past 3.5 years old, and even they are pretty rare most years!

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Very sad isn’t it? The Michigan mentality.
 

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Very sad isn’t it? The Michigan mentality.
Yes it is...Seriously considering selling out in the next few years. The direction the DNR is taking on Deer management....well....I just can't see things doing anything but getting worse.

For all of those who are happy shooting anything....more power to you, but it just doesn't "do it" for me anymore.

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Watched 4 or more baldies pick through my swamp this morning around 8:30. They’ve been bedded on a slight rise for about 4 hrs. I’m headed out this evening before the weather gets here, hopefully I can catch one cruising. Bucks are here but mostly nocturnal, fresh rubs showing up on runs almost every morning...


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Yes it is...Seriously considering selling out in the next few years. The direction the DNR is taking on Deer management....well....I just can't see things doing anything but getting worse.

For all of those who are happy shooting anything....more power to you, but it just doesn't "do it" for me anymore.

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I'm seeing change occur naturally. Using this forum as an example, the age of bucks that are posted on here bears no resemblance to what was common even 5 years ago. Many experienced hunters are now showing some selectivity and I observe many youth hunters voluntarily gravitating towards becoming selective after they've killed their first several bucks.

Along with the long term trend of declining hunter numbers leading to less hunting pressure, my expectation is that the decade we've just begun will be the glory days of buck age structure in the lower peninsula.
 

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I'm seeing change occur naturally. Using this forum as an example, the age of bucks that are posted on here bears no resemblance to what was common even 5 years ago. Many experienced hunters are now showing some selectivity and I observe many youth hunters voluntarily gravitating towards becoming selective after they've killed their first several bucks.

Along with the long term trend of declining hunter numbers leading to less hunting pressure, my expectation is that the decade we've just begun will be the glory days of buck age structure in the lower peninsula.
I think this year will be a set back. Tag sales are way up and there are a lot more people in the woods. I also anticipate a fair amount of new hunters next year. I have a decade-long Vegan that I work with texting me nonstop about hunting because him and his wife are interested in free-ranging, organic, all-natural protein. I'm like -this- close to flipping him lol. But he's not the only urbanite I work with who has expressed interest in hunting this year. I think the pandemic shook up a lot of people who saw supply chains breaking down.
 

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Right. I don’t want to turn this into a fantasy or arguement where I think just passing in 1.5yr old bucks means a booner will be behind every tree. Some areas of the state just aren’t conducive for large antler growth, and I get that.

I just think if hunters saw bigger bucks on a more regular basis they would be more apt to hold out for a bigger buck. And I’m not saying don’t shoot what you want, just that the bucks stop growing when they’re dead.


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I don’t know if they quit growing, mine get bigger with every story I tell
 
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