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I got thinking today what makes a buck a shooter or how do I decide if it is a deer or elk I want to put my tag on. I guess for me it is the work I put in to get that buck and the experience that makes me happy with a buck. my brother always says he would rather put a great stalk on a small buck or have a small buck come into a water hole or down a trail and shoot him undetected rather than drive up the road and get lucky and have a big buck right next to the road. So how do you guys decide if you will fill your tag or not.
 

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depends on what I'm seeing. If I see decent bucks around than I would pass on smaller ones. If I am not seeing much than I will shoot a small buck. I enjoy venison, so filling my tag is better for me than passing and waiting for the "one."
 

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It all depends on what I am after that year. If I want some deer meat in the freezer then I will settle on a small buck after the first couple of days. If I don't need the meat I hunt until the end of the season looking for what I want to shoot, if I don't see it I'll eat tag soup as I have many many years.
 

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I am with your Brother. I have passed on deer because there was no chase involved. The kill is not what is important to me, it is the thrill of the "hunt".
 

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I'm a one-time trophy hunter (except for pronghorn) and I'm still looking for a P&Y buck deer so I'll be more fussy about what I shoot the first 3 1/2 weeks of the season. But, since I think it's foolish to purposely eat tag soup, all bets are off the last two days.

And, since I already have a P&Y elk and we love elk meat, I'll shoot the first legal elk that presents a good shot.

Pronghorn? Different story! I like the meat, but my wife and family don't care for it(except sausage), so I'll still hold out for a P&Y buck even though I already have one. But, again, I won't eat tag soup if I can help it on the last two days.
 

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I'm a one-time trophy hunter (except for pronghorn) and I'm still looking for a P&Y buck deer so I'll be more fussy about what I shoot the first 3 1/2 weeks of the season. But, since I think it's foolish to purposely eat tag soup, all bets are off the last two days.

And, since I already have a P&Y elk and we love elk meat, I'll shoot the first legal elk that presents a good shot.

Pronghorn? Different story! I like the meat, but my wife and family don't care for it(except sausage), so I'll still hold out for a P&Y buck even though I already have one. But, again, I won't eat tag soup if I can help it on the last two days.
I understand bagging a animal the last week or so if it is a LE hunt. Those hunts come around very few times for a lot of hunters and the cost of the tag really needs to be justified. I have a LE Book Cliff ML deer tag this year. And since I am now a NR I'll tag a buck one way or another. That $500 tag has to have some flavor in it for the soup even is it is a sub standard buck in my book that comes home with me.
 
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