Tips & Tactics

They’re All Trophies

They’re All Trophies

By Ken Piper

Take the deer that makes YOU happy, and forget everything else.

A friend just returned from a bowhunt in Kentucky, where he had several close encounters with a handsome 130-inch buck. He talked about how he struggled with himself over whether to shoot it or not and ultimately decided to let it go.

His reasoning was he has taken several deer of that caliber, and he wanted to hold out for something bigger, even if that meant going home empty-handed.

He made a good decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I would say the same thing if he decided to take the deer.

Forgive me for preaching, but we all need to quit worrying about what other people think. Nor does it matter what they would have done in our place.

The older I get, the more I realize how every deer encounter is a trophy. Every hunt and every deer, buck or doe, is special in some way. The decision on whether to take the deer during a given encounter should be based entirely on whether that moment means something to you.

If it’s about antler size for you, that’s fine! If it’s about finishing a beautiful day with a smaller buck on a pole, great! And if it’s about watching a deer feed off into the sunset and you slipping quietly out of the woods in complete contentment, that’s awesome, too.

Of course, being in a hunt club/lease with other people often means there are rules that dictate some of those decisions. Make sure you’re fully aware of a club’s rules before writing a check.

You might not agree with every rule of a given club, but try to find a group that has the same general philosophy as you. It’s not about one management style being right or wrong. It’s simply that you’ll be happier when you’re part of a group whose values align with your own.

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