Let them walk.

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Jun 11, 2010
There's quite a few of you that will read this post and you'll just get mad and try to tell me how it is. Cool, you do that. I will hit "ignore" on every one of you without hesitation. If you want to disagree, you better do so in a manner befitting a Christian. Fact is, I have almost nothing in common with most "hunters" these days, and I'd rather be disliked by all of them than be "popular" among that crowd.

This post is for the rest of you. The guys that are trying to be good responsible sportsmen that know how to manage our resources.

My request is this: Learn how to score on the hoof. Stop shooting immature animals. If you want food and the joy of the hunt... do it with a doe. They taste better.

That is all.

I'm out scouting for pronghorn, as I usually do this time of year. Some areas of the country you see massive pronghorn regularly. Tags are hard to get in those areas. Permission to hunt, even harder to get. They grow big there, because most hunters are kept out.

That's not true of my area. Here, there isn't much for sizable pronghorn. Fewer and fewer sizable anything, actually.

It's a sad reality when in order to foster trophy animals, hunters must be kept away. Yet, despite how sad, that is very true of many hunters. We're suppose to care... not just look for instant gratification of a kill on our vacation from our life, wife, and job.

Took this guys picture 15 minutes ago... and I know the majority of hunters would blast him if given the opportunity. Sure, he's a "nice" goat. He's got decent cutters, decent length, decent mass, and there's even some ivory there.

Though he sure doesn't have much of a curl does he? I bet he's 3yrs old is all. Next year he'll be nice. Two years, he'll be a STUD! What do you think he scores?


Now compare what you see above, to a real trophy pronghorn. Here's a 90" goat from pronghornguideservice instagram page:

Now what do you think that first goat I posted scored?

I'm talking about pronghorn here, but the same applies to every species. Just let them walk. What is the big deal? Shoot a doe for as many years as you need to foster some proper management of the species. Teach this restraint to the younger generation. If you don't, then $10,000+ per hunt guides will be the only place any of us get to hunt a real trophy. You can very likely still do all the things that are important to you on your hunt without shooting an immature buck.

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We've got enough attacks coming in from the outside to be attacking people for shooting a game animal legally. It isn't that I disagree with you, it's that if you want to take a stand today, take it with the people who are surrounding us and sharpening their knives, not someone who is hunting legally, and killing an animal that is allowed based on the recommendations of the biologists in that area. People don't become hunters because of trophies, they become hunters because their dad let's them shoot some little scrub buck when they are 14, and it's a trophy to them. I'd hate to think some teenage kid, or adult onset hunter is reading this and feeling shame for killing a legal game animal.

Let this unnecessary guilt trip walk.
I think the point and problem is the 50 yr old who has been hunting his whole life and never grew into a mature hunter. Killing everything they can. Much like a 30 year Christian still only able to handle the milk. We are doing a better job of teaching people about game management these days but the problem remains. You always have thought provoking posts.

Not everyone is a trophy hunter ,I am a meat hunter .I will shoot a doe just as fast as a buck ,yes I would like to have trophy bucks and I have a few good ones come across my property but I have neighbors. I have only 50 acres I have no illusions that I am managing any deer at least on my property I've been to Wyoming one time a buddy of mine and myself did a DIY hunt I don't know five years ago .I took this one he's not a giant but he's not a baby either as mentioned earlier it is a trophy to me .A trophy is not just the size of the animal it's memories of the hunt the trip there and back the total experience and it was enough of a trophy to me to spend $400+ to have it mounted and shipped back home. Hopefully I run into this guy this season he's definitely a trophy to me and at least for now he's in my backyard
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This is my first buck, I took him with archery gear he's only a 8 point does that make him not a trophy? The Tenpoint in the background he's not much of a 10point at all, but he avoided me for two years on my property I moved a stand one day and caught him by surprise. he walked right in front of me 25 yards again with archery gear he was old teeth were shot he's obviously backsliding I'll bet he was much better in his prime. The last photo is my wife's dear the one and only buck she's ever taken and he's bigger than anything I have taken myself so that definitely makes it a trophy for her no matter the size. The bigger thing that makes all of these a trophy except for the antelope and hog they were taken on my property here in Tennessee they are all definitely trophies to me!
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There is a "Buck Management" program in many areas. You cant keep the "Bucks" with not the good genetics keep breeding and getting the same results. Smaller Racks and or Body. Sometimes you need to "Thin Out" the herd and take out some blood lines so the Stronger Bigger Bucks can breed and the Does produce better Bloodlines. Can't let every Buck walk and expect them to get bigger every year. If the Buck doesn't have the Genetics Ain't Gona Happen no matter how long or years you let them grow.
Just an opinion.
Hate to say it but that buck isn't gonna be much if any different at 5 then he is now (assuming he is actually 3) . Antelope aren't elk as far as needing age. Brush up a little on Pronghorn biology, most bucks in your neck (and mine) of the woods reach a plateau in horn growth by 2 or 3. NM and Az it's more like 4 or 5. They are nothing like deer and elk.

There is a reason some areas in WY continue to produce booners even with very high harvest rates.
that if you want to take a stand today, take it with the people who are surrounding us and sharpening their knives, not someone who is hunting legally,
I'll do both. I don't have to let certain failures pass to also press my will on the bigger picture.

When I was a kid, I'm glad I had people that would tell it to me straight... rather than let me have some false idea of what was true. No wonder we have kids growing up without even knowing what gender they are. Adults apparently think they are doing them a favor by lying to them. This is how we get the idiotic stories you can hear in gun stores. They think their perception is king, whether it matches reality or not, and carry it into adulthood.

My first rifle buck below. Took me 17 years before I dropped a firing pin on another mulie buck... and I had to drive halfway across the country to do it thanks to everyone shooting crappy little bucks in the area I hunted. Soon, that will be ALL hunting areas... and I'll be able to pull up this thread as proof of why... just like the old timers I talk to now that tell me hunting is garbage compared to when they were younger.

I was 15 or 16 years old. My trophy, was an actual trophy. No one had to lie to me, or accept me lying to them when I told the story.

Now tell me about how "not everyone has that opportunity." Right, ... and since everyone wants to shoot everything with tiny little horns and justify it... most people never will have that opportunity. I've had the opportunity twice in my life. Once I was 15/16, and another hunter the other side of the ridge missed... he came running by and I popped him running at 180yds, off-hand with a .243win, standing, with a sling. Much to the disappointment of the other hunter that walked up 20 minutes later. Next time was a 945yd shot when I was 32.

None of this makes me want to join the "I'm going to get mine" crowd and start blasting every crap buck I see.

When I was young, I'm glad I was around people of character. I'm glad I was around people that could exercise personal restraint. I'm glad I was around people that were concerned with more than just "getting theirs." The older I get, the more I wonder "where are all those people today?" Men of principle. Men of integrity.

Instead, it's just a society of hollow people that will do just about anything, and justify it any way it suits them. That is not how a strong, righteous, and proper society is built. We're living in the ruins of the country that had that... but doesn't anymore. What better day to recognize it.

My two Mulies. The only two proper specimen I've ever had the opportunity to kill in my life... which is two more than many will have the opportunity at.

@338 dude, you see? Those mulies of mine are not trophys by some folks standards. The folks in colorado, new mexico, and a few other areas... they would pass on both of them. However, they clearly reached a certain point where they became acceptable to shoot... by anyone's standard. You cared enough about your pronghorn to have it mounted... so clearly it's a trophy to you. That's not what this is about. This isn't about someone's lifetime hunt, or even lifetime of one-upping what he's got on the wall... always moving upward in class or character. It also isn't about the kid bashing his first buck and having it be a dink, despite the fact that NO ONE is doing that kid a favor calling it a trophy.


Actually, it's not even about hunting. The same people that refuse to hold standards when hunting... generally won't hold a standard anywhere else in their lives either. That's what it's about. Every day when talking with customers on the phone, I hear the complaints from everyone on how terrible this or that is... and saying things like "how did this happen?"

Unprincipled men, justifying the lack of standard among their even more unprincipled boys. I see it in hunting, and I see it in everything else. I've seen it get only worse in my lifetime, and I expect it to get only worse as time goes on. You can't suggest unprincipled people change. They won't listen, and they will attack you.

Hate to say it but that buck isn't gonna be much if any different at 5 then he is now (assuming he is actually 3) . Antelope aren't elk as far as needing age. Brush up a little on Pronghorn biology, most bucks in your neck (and mine) of the woods reach a plateau in horn growth by 2 or 3.
I used to believe that. However, I've seen it with my own eyes. This buck was smaller last year. Want to know how I know? He was here last year and I took his picture in almost the same spot in my back yard as I did this year. He's bigger this year. Yet, now you know that's not really what I'm talking about after reading this post. ;) I'm talking about the problems we face as a society and a nation. As our country grows another year older... it's on my mind.

Angry unprincipled people getting mad at principled people, and the principled people just going away because we're tired of dealing with them. That's how we got where we are. If that continues, it will continue to get worse. Hunting is just one place I can easily see the lack of standards and restraint very plainly showing up in the drastically reduced trophy opportunities available compared to when I was a kid. It's very obvious to anyone not paying big bucks for guides. So I thought it a good parallel to draw.

Ignore away
Done. :)

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I don't hunt to kill
I kill in order to have hunted.

I remember my sons first deer. We were sitting on the ground, him at 9 yrs old. A yearling doe and the doe came walking by at 25 yards. He got the yearling, and Hi Fives!!! Then a prayer. The Best part of the hunt. As yeas went by we done parent child hunts here in Ga. Okey Woods WMA. Every year almost he got a doe. Then on a power line in climbing stands, me beneath him as broke off spike made a mistake!!! Yep another prayer🙏🏻 His last hunt at 16 on the same power line a nice ( for Ga) 8 pt. Stepped out. His shot true enough. After a short tracking job we found him. As I held his hand what I thought was going to be a prayer from me didn't happen. He looked at me and said…. Not this time pop. He prayed!!!! I Cried like a baby. 62 now and he's dragging my deer.

I think I taught him just fine!!!!

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