Hi Jason, I'm curious as to your personal philosophy when it comes to harvesting whitetail. Do you follow a QDMA approach, whereby only inferior bucks and mature-to-old bucks are harvested, as well as an appropriate amount of does to keep populations in check, or do you follow the approach suggested by Jay C Whitecloud, in which only young, infirm old, and inferior deer are culled? Or something else, ofcourse.
I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that in my younger years I trophy hunted. In fact as teens my brother and I killed so many deer just for the sport. Don't get me wrong we either ate the animal or gave it away to family members who were struggling.
My general philosophy is to kill the first animal of suitable size and condition. I don't like old animals and I prefer does. This is totally a personal preference as far as the meat. I don't like killing small animals as the tags cost money I don't like to waste. I'd like to say that I follow a more methodical approach but hunting is (and has always been) about opportunity and the people I know that let opportunities pass because they weren't quite the perfect animal end up not eating venison. At least around here where the hunting pressure is on that's the case.
My last three kills (in three seasons) have been one doe (about 125 dressed), two bucks (both young and about 145 dressed).
I think trophy hunting is good in that it helps support hunting. It gets people excited and in many ways funds conservation efforts. However taking a huge buck with a huge rack takes the size and good genetics out of the gene pool. I don't support that but I also don't really scoff at people who do.