By Alex Comstock
With June already almost behind us, and July on the horizon, I have been starting to put together my hitlist for 2016, or what bucks I consider "shooters". Time and time again, I end up shooting a buck that isn't on my hitlist, or wasn't on my radar during the summer. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about why this occurs, and how I determine what a shooter is.
I get the question all the time, "what's a shooter for you this year?" I'm sure you get it to, or maybe ask your buddies the same question. It's so hard for me to determine a shooter before actually hunting. I may answer that question by saying I'd like to shoot a 140 class 4 year old buck, but once season rolls around, I may have a nice 130 inch 8 pointer present a perfect shot. For me, that's hard to pass up, especially if it's a deer that I've got trail camera pictures of, or some type of history with.
Don't get caught up on numbers, or what other people consider a shooter buck.
I love watching bucks during the summer months as much as anybody. I always make a hitlist, and a few times have actually connected on a buck that I had set my sights on. But when I determine a shooter, it is usually while sitting in the treestand. Shoot what makes you happy, not what someone else thinks is impressive.
Your hunting situation can dictate how selective you are when it comes to deciding what bucks to shoot.
In my hunting situation, I hunt primarily three states. North Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. I am more selective with the bucks that I harvest in North Dakota and Minnesota, because my hunting spots are closer to me, and I able to spend more time hunting those states. On the other hand, in Nebraska, a place I may only make it back to hunt a few times a year, I will be less selective.
Shoot what makes you happy.
At the end of the day, no one else cares what buck you shoot. Don't hold out for a giant because someone else does. Shoot what makes you happy, that's what is important. If your someone who has shot multiple pope & young bucks, and shooting a 140 class buck doesn't do it for you anymore and you prefer a 160 class 5 year old and up, that's awesome. That doesn't mean the guy that prefers shooting any buck with more than 6 points is any lesser of a hunter. Shoot what makes you happy, and you'll have more fun along the way.
Think about your expectations, and situation for this upcoming fall. If your like me and hunt more than one state, determining what a shooter buck is can vary from state to state. When it comes down to it, determining a shooter buck is different for everyone, and focus on what will make you happy this fall.