“Harvest Big Bucks Every Year by Marty Prokop” Big bucks are getting harder and harder to find for some deer hunters. What if you had so many deer on your deer hunting land that you could pick and choose which deer you wanted to harvest? Sounds like a fantasy? I believe it is much more real and possible than many deer hunters imagine. How? By implementing Quality Deer Management, here’s what I mean. If you are finding deer hard to come by or if you are seeing mostly does or younger deer, and the more mature deer and big bucks are hard to come by, your deer herd may need some help. Quality Deer Management Secrets by Marty Prokop QDM means the opposite of “if it’s brown, it’s down.” It means to selectively harvest mature deer after they have been allowed a few years to procreate in their peak. This means to pass on shooting the younger deer so they can grow and have offspring. Consider passing on the nice bucks approaching their peaks so they can procreate for a few years and increase the quality of the deer herd on your deer hunting land. If I have my eye on a buck for harvest, it is because I have watched this deer for several years. I will harvest the chosen buck after it has had two years or more of great antler growth. Why? Because I want that deer to procreate offspring during its peak so my deer herd has great antlers for years to come. Since deer breed basically once a year, by leaving this deer in the herd for a few years to procreate, I have increased the quality of the deer herd offspring for years to come. Believe me, it’s not always easy. I have passed great shots on monster bucks on my deer hunting land. It was hard. But now I see more large bucks with racks that look like their monster buck grandfather’s rack. I see does that have the strong body structure of the monster buck. This really gives me a great deal of pleasure and comfort knowing the deer herd is doing well and the strong gene pool is being passed on. Marty Prokop Answers, “But Which Deer Do I Pass On?” What I recommend is to let the young deer have offspring. Let those bucks in their prime have a few years to procreate and pass on their genes. Consider harvesting the big buck in about the third or so year of great antler growth. It helps to know your deer herd. Usually bucks get their first set of antlers at about 1½ years old. Nice racks start appearing at the age of 5½. If I waited until the second “nice rack year” the buck will have procreated at its peak for two years. This means the buck will be in the 6½ to 7½ year old range when harvested. Before their peaks bucks will generally have smaller racks and smaller bodies. Young does will have smaller features as well. You can see the difference between a mature doe and a young doe in my trail cam pictures at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com and in the blog post where I answered Alyssa’s question on how to age a deer in the field. You can find the blog post here on the blog under the category of “Age a Deer” by looking to the right for the list of categories. To see the pictures go to http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/deer_cam.htm and click on the link that says Deer Cam Photos From October 9 to October10, 2006 . The second photo in the series will show you a mature doe standing next to a yearling deer. Pay close attention to the mature doe's face and head compared to the yearling. Look at the top of the doe’s nose. You will notice it is slightly rounded. Also look at the overall length of her whole head. The doe in that picture is estimated to be six years old. A mature deer, whether it is a buck or doe, will have an approximate measurement of six to seven inches from the inside corner of the eye to the tip of its nose. Use this guideline to age a deer while in the field. One of the best ways to get used to age a deer in the field is to study as many deer as you can throughout the year. Study the photos here on the website, live deer or deer hunting videos. With a little time and practice you can guesstimate the age of deer while you are out deer hunting. Good Luck and Great Hunting! Marty Prokop www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com Find Deer Games and Hunting Fun at: www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Great Pictures and Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: www.Marty-Prokop.com Go ahead and forward this email to a friend by clicking the “forward” button in your email program. This article may be freely distributed or published on your website, in your newsletter or ezine provided it is published in its entirety unedited and all hyperlinks throughout the article and the “About Marty Prokop” box are active. Please email us the url of the article or send us a copy of your newsletter or ezine. Thank You.