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What do you consider to be a big buck?


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I'm realistic with where  I hunt here a 130" buck is a good one for my area . That's what I try and find.

In ohio and Illinois I'm looking for 150 or better when given time to put in

Captain Dan Bias


50# Striper live release club.




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In NJ I consider any 120 class buck to be a decent buck and potential shooter, especially if I think it's 4 years or older.  I think anything  130" and over is BIG,  and anything 150" and over is like a "monster buck".  If I lived in the Midwest on prime ground, I am sure my standards would shifty by 20". 

As for body size, based on age it seems most bucks are over 150lbs and most of those are over 160 lbs dressed, up to the 180lb dressed this year. I don't think I have shot a buck under 150lbs since 2000. 


Nothing spooks deer more than my stank… 

16 3/4” Live Fluke Release Club

I shot a big 10pt once….

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Big Buck can mean a lot of things.

Weight:.... Has a lot to do with location with in our state. In the pine land a big body might only dress out at 120 lbs where in north Jersey it takes on over 160 lbs to be considered big. 

Rack:.... For the state book it takes a 125" typical or 135" non typical to make the book. (Net score)

Weight:.... For the state book 200 lbs for a buck and 135 lbs for a doe makes the book (dressed weight)

Rack for average hunter:.....A 100"-110" buck is big

Rack for a seasoned hunter:.... Over 120" is a good buck,,,130" is big,,,,, 140" and up is exceptional.

To me I look for age now. I prefer to shoot a buck after he makes it to 4.5 years old or older. And i like having some history with them too from years past. I started doing this by age about 6-7 years ago and have taking one or two bucks a year in this age class, with the exception of one or two 3.5 year old's. Best was 6.5 year old.  

But a big buck is in the eyes of the shooter. Their decision at that moment in time :up:

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In NJ, 120” and above become a consideration to shoot.  A mature deer 4+ years old particularly if i have a history with him becomes a shooter in my book regardless of rack size.  I always have quite a few cameras out and feel i have a pretty decent grasp on resident deer in all my spots, given that info i will hunt the biggest buck in each woods.  Then there is also the the fact that if a buck gets my heart pumping, its in trouble!  My biggest deer(s)  usually have not been my most memorable hunts.  Big racks are awesome though!!

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For me regardless of state, I start with age and then look to antlers.  I don't worry about weight if I feel I can age the buck fairly well.  An older deer will always weigh a lot more than a 1.5 year old buck.  And I don't hold out for a certain score, I shoot bucks based on weapon and season.  I might pass every younger buck I see during archery holding out for the smasher as is happening again this fall so far, but take down a spike in NY with the rifle where we have lots and lots of bucks and does and the farmers are asking our help.  I wouldn't shoot the first little buck I saw, but would after noon time on opening day in that situation.     

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