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Conservation over Trophy

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Even though this photo does not completely embody the requirements of this contest, I thought it was a great opportunity to capture a moment of conservation during the hunt. While hunting in Tensas Parish, this young 8 point walked through the bottom I was hunting. I quickly thought that this was a good trophy deer for the wall and had the cross hairs on him for the shot. As I was lining it up, I noticed that he seemed rather small and immature. Our hunting camp takes pride in aging deer based off of body size and characteristic instead of just looking at their horns. After a thorough look, I aged the deer in the 2.5 year range. This young deer was exactly what our camp is looking for and with beautiful horn genes, I decided to let it walk and hopefully breed some of our does this season. I believe that this is the kind of conservation that allows for populations of deer to thrive with good genes. After not taking the shot, I was able to watch this deer interact with another smaller 6 point for more than half and hour. I finally snapped this picture with my phone and coincidentally through my Nikon Buckmaster 3-9x40 scope. I have had this scope on my gun for 17 years and it has been the most reliable scope ever I have owned. I show this picture to all my buddy with the mentality that it was not the 'one that got away', but the continuation of amazing genetics at our property.
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Re: Conservation over Trophy
I'm glad to see other sportsman practicing conservation like this. My friend's family has a place in Tensas that they practice the same efforts on. It is very tough at first to pass deer like this, but after a few years the efforts really start to pay off. The deer that are passed on the property now would be trophies at most other places. I applaud people that have the patience to pass on deer and let the herd get healthier. I would also encourage anyone that wants to make their hunting better to join QDMA. The Quality Deer Management Association provides people with knowledge that they need to make their hunting property the best that it can be.
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