Shoot or Don’t Shoot?

By Grant Woods,

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Hi Grant,

My buddy and I are bow hunting some land this year that will be new to us.  We’ve had our trailcams up for the past couple months and have some pictures of several pretty nice bucks.  We’re debating on whether or not we would take one of them.  Although he is pretty big he appears to be somewhat young.  He is currently looking like he would be 6 x 6 (both G1s are split), but has the potential to be a 7 x 7 this year if the main beams continue to split.  I honestly think he may only be a 2.5 or 3.5 year old deer, but he could be hard to pass on especially since there are several guys that push the deer out of there during the gun season.  We were wondering if we could get your email address and send you a couple pictures of him to get some insight on how old you believe he is?

We ran across your site from, we know some of their prostaff and may actually be getting filmed this upcoming season.  Thanks for your time!



Congratulations on finding a super buck!  A buck with a 6 x 6 frame and having split brows is very rare!  It’s very tough to pass any high-scoring buck.  However, the only chance for this buck to express his full antler growth potential is if he reaches a mature age class.  So, the decision of whether to attempt to harvest or pass this buck should be based on your deer management program and hunting objectives.  Simply stated, it’s a personal choice.

Unfortunately, I can’t provide an age estimate of all the bucks in the images folks email me.  I enjoy looking at them, but simply can’t take the time to respond to all of them.  I hope I see you passing or dragging that buck this fall on Midwest Whitetails!