Big bucks are not meant to be kept secret. Numerous magazines dedicate their entire content to high scoring bucks, while others routinely publish several articles per publication, on killing mature whitetail bucks. Tv shows are no different. I bet during the fall that you can't watch one of the three outdoor channels for more than an hour before you get to see a giant buck hit the ground.
Over half of the 14 million hunters in the United States are whitetail hunters, therefore it only makes sense to publicize all the great bucks that are killed from one year to the next.
The publicity is sometimes a good thing while other times it becomes a nightmare for the lucky hunter. Big bucks that make fine shoulder mounts and ones that we are still chasing can bring out the worst in people. Greed and jealousy often overtake one's common sense. Before you know it, tempers flare and a feud ensues. Words are exchanged and sometimes fights break out. In short order, the goal becomes sabotaging the other hunter over actually hunting your quarry.
So then, the question remains; Tell the world about the deer you are hunting or keep your lips zipped?
That's a circumstantial question.
Talking out both sides of my mouth;
I like to talk big deer.
I get excited to find big deer where I hunt. Telling others about my finds helps fuel that fire. There's just something about explaining the characteristics of a big set of antlers that gets my adrenaline flowing.
Is this a smart thing to do?
Yes and no.
Talking big deer and sharing information is what hunting is all about. It is one of the few bonds we have left with Mother Earth in the technology advanced world we live in.
The hunting of a big mature buck is like putting together a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. Except, there's a 100 pieces of that puzzle scattered throughout your yard. That's how tough it can be to hunt big deer. Sharing pics and talking hunting strategies about your hit list bucks with fellow die hards may reveal a chink in his armor that was uncovered by an outsider. More than once, I've seen someone who's not hunting a specific deer, figure out how to kill him just because they're not blinded by past history with him. Fresh eyes aren't blurred by past encounters.
I also believe that by talking about big deer with other hunters from your area, you can change attitudes. For example, where I'm from, only about 10% of the hunters would pass up a 110 inch deer. Most don't believe that there are any deer any bigger than that around here. Sharing your experiences and photos may be enough to get them to thinking about management a little differently. Attitudes and opinions don't change overnight but it's a starting point.
There's also plenty of reasons to keep your trap shut.
The number one reason to keep quiet is because no one wants a crowd. When people learn the whereabouts of a big buck they automatically start investigating the landscape around the area where he lives. This may be by taking a walk or diving up and down the road waiting to catch a glimpse of the giant. The unwanted attention and pressure is not the ticket to killing him.
People who have no care or concern for others and/or animals, shouldn't know about your big buck either. I'm talking about poachers.
These types will lurk around known big buck hideouts waiting for an opportunity to strike. They also pay close attention to the fodder being spread around at the local gas station, sporting goods stores and so forth. Be careful whom you tell what and if you do talk, don't be area specific.
This is a backwards opinion for most.
Today's world of social media allows the advertisements of big bucks to reach warp speeds.
Outfitters update their Facebook sites and Guidefitter pages daily during prime time when trail cameras are regularly taking pics of big bucks on the prowl. Clients are scrolling through the pics daily wondering which buck will adorn their wall. All of this is a good thing until a true giant steps in front of the camera. Before long, every client in your database is calling.
“Can you put me on that buck?” They ask.
We can all see the problems that will occur when you have a camp full of hunters wanting the same deer. My thoughts on this are fairly simple. Don't publicize your biggest bucks until after the season. Of course, if your biggest buck hits the ground during the season, feel free to broadcast it. The competition is over.
Jealousy and greed are part of human nature that carries over into the hunting, especially when big hit list bucks are the topic. If you choose to show off pics of “your” bucks, sooner or later it will come back to haunt you. If another hunter ends up killing him by legal means, good for them. They used information available to them and put it to good use. You can't fault that.
Once again, this is a topic that has no right or wrong answer. It all boils down to personal preference. If you decide to post pics of “your” bucks, don't get upset when someone else kills him due to your bolstering.
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