Shoot now or wait?

aaoldbuck2It was August 2012, several months before the start of deer season when LSON Founder David J. Sams spotted a buck on his lease in West Texas that sported an impressive rack in velvet.

The big buck also had a droopy ear, which would make him easily recognizable if he was seen again during the season. The big 10-point also had a kicker of of one of his G2s, which added to his character.

The buck instantly went on the ‘hit list’ for the year, although a healthy debate followed with other members of the lease and here in the office about the age of the buck.

It was a moot point, as the deer wasn’t seen during the season. But that didn’t stop the arguments over the buck’s age and what he would look like this season.

Everyone waited excitedly to see how the big buck had progressed this year on trail cameras set up in the buck’s area.

When David went to the ranch last weekend and checked cameras, guess who showed up?

aaoldbuck1And guess who was disappointed when the pictures showed the buck had declined significantly during the past year? It was now obvious the buck was post-mature and on the decline.

Which started a discussion in the office this week — When is the best time to shoot a buck? Do you consider any buck over 4 years old mature? Do you wait until he hits what the biologists say is the best year to harvest a mature deer for antler size — 6 years old? Even if that means the buck might die of natural causes or be older than you guess and go on the decline? Let us know your opinion on Facebook or in the comment section below.

It is clear that this buck has seen his better days. David just wished the buck would have shown himself last season.

He’s still a nice deer, just not what everyone was hoping for this season.aaoldbuck4