Committed To Hunting Mature Bucks? Don't Be Afraid of Tag Soup

By Alex Comstock

Late season hunting can mean many things. Among them is the nature of deer season coming to an end. Pressure seemingly mounts, and it can be easy to ask yourself if you’ll score a buzzer beater buck or not. Something I feel as though a lot of people need to ask themselves is what is your goal when it comes to hunting? If you are hunting for mature bucks, then you simply cannot be afraid of tag soup. Here’s why.

So many people go into a season wanting to shoot a mature buck. They’ll hunt hard all year, and if it doesn’t come to fruition, goals get reduced in the late season, and you might find yourself shooting a younger buck just to fill a tag. Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear, there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with this. If that makes you happy, then all the power to you. BUT, if you are someone who wants to take that “next” step when it comes to whitetail hunting, and start killing mature bucks, then it will become critical to not be afraid of not filling a tag.

Trail cameras are a great way to help you find a mature buck to hunt in the late season.

Trail cameras are a great way to help you find a mature buck to hunt in the late season.

It’s rather simple logic, but you can’t shoot a mature buck if you shoot a young one. Even when season is dwindling to the end, by not shooting a young buck if your end goal is a mature buck, you’re allowing a couple different things to happen. First of all, by not shooting that young buck, you’re still giving yourself a chance all the way until the end of season. And secondly, you’re now allowing that buck to live another year, and possibly could have a chance at him the following year when he’s a year older and more mature.

If you need meat or want additional venison, I’d recommend shooting a doe to cure the itchy trigger finger if you have it. When it comes to this topic as a whole, it ultimately boils down to what do you value? That’s usually the case with most things deer hunting related, but if you truly value shooting a mature buck, at the end of the day you can’t be worried about just filling that buck tag.


This is quite the short blog post, but the point of it was to more or less convey a thought I’ve had for quite some time. It stems from hearing someone complain about how they haven’t been able to tag a mature buck recently, so they just shoot a young buck at the end of the year. Like I said before, nothing wrong with that, but then don’t complain. If it makes you genuinely happy, then that’s awesome. But if it doesn’t, don’t let the thought of tag soup scare you into shooting a buck you don’t really want to shoot.