I was talking the other day with a guy who does some hunting in Virginia’s mountains as well as around his home in the flatlands of Eastern Virginia. He was saying how he knows there are some good bucks in the East, but the West has more big bucks.
Though I have no personal experience in the East, I believe my friend.
Habitat, which features lots of agriculture, may be even better in the East for growing big deer. So why don’t they grow as many as we do out here in the mountains? One word: dogs.
The most critical ingredient for growing big deer is age. It is much more difficult to be selective in drive hunting, whether dogs or humans are doing the driving. There certainly are some large tracts in the East where there isn’t driving and there is a focus on Quality Deer Management. But it hasn’t caught on there like it has here, and it won’t while hunting with hounds remains a popular tradition.
Anyway, the East can grow big deer, and this is one of them.
Danny Dye was hunting on private land in Prince George on Dec. 19 when he dropped this brute, which Dye reported having 26 scoreable points, including a G2 that taped out at 14 inches. The Boone and Crockett green score, Dye said, was 193.
Here’s his story about the hunt:
“I was a guest of an informal hunt club that my cousin belongs to. First time on this property. We had finished our last drive of the day with our dogs. Another hunt club was hunting across the road and one of their hounds ran this deer to me. It came running quartering to me through some fairly thick woods. I shot it in the head and neck with No.4 buckshot at a range of about 25 yards and it dropped immediately. Needless to say the club that ran it to me were kind of downcast when they came to pick up their hound and saw the size of this deer. They were good sports about it,though.”
Congrats, Danny, on a super buck! I can’t wait to see this set of antlers next fall at the trophy shows!