Crunching the numbers for autumn whitetail hunting 2014
Deer hunters across the Midwest are facing grim prospects for freezers full of venison this year. Many areas are down to bucks-only tag allocations, while the once-endless supply of antlerless tags has come to a screeching halt. To make the most of your season, now is a good time to figure out just what kind of deer you’d be happy to tag this fall.
For this hunter, considering doe tags are going to be very hard to come by on my Minnesota and Wisconsin properties, I’m taking extra care to find mature bucks. If I’m only going to get one deer this year, I want to make the most of my season and use it on a big one.
That’s why I’m running cameras extensively on several properties, but also why I’ve been spending plenty of my evenings behind a spotting scope. I want to know what I’m realistically hunting as far as age-class or size of buck. So far, the best results have come from my time spent in south-eastern Minnesota where I’ve laid eyes on quite a few bucks that will easily top the 140-inch mark. In other parts of my home state, as well as across the border in Packer territory, my standards will be much lower. The mature bucks aren’t there in numbers worth pinning my hopes on, so I’ll be looking for something smaller.
That’s OK though, because I already know a 2-year old buck in those places will be a heck of a trophy. If you’re in a similar position, pondering a lean season, consider spending some extra time defining your goals. Knowing what size of deer you’d like to target will add some challenge to the season and feel much more rewarding if you achieve it.