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DANG NEIGH­BORS KILLED ALL THE GOOD ONES

Outdoor Life - - NO EXCUSES -

I don’t know your neigh­bors, but I know this: The lengths of BS spun at a buck pole will usu­ally out-mea­sure the inches of antler hung on it. Deer hun­ters love to tell tales and, dare I say it, stretch the truth. It’s easy to as­sume that big buck you’ve been watch­ing is dead when you aren’t see­ing it any­more. But big bucks get big be­cause they have played this game be­fore. Odds are much higher that the deer isn’t dead. It could be tucked away with a doe or on a walk look­ing for one. There’s plenty of data high­light­ing how lit­tle some bucks ac­tu­ally move dur­ing the rut, but that same re­search shows that some bucks travel a long, long way from home. The fact is this: Killing a big buck is hard, and so the odds of your neigh­bors killing ev­ery sin­gle one in the area are slim to none. Un­til you see a dead buck with a neigh­bor’s tag on it, keep hunting him. —T.H.

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