What About Those Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting?

 

whitetaileddeer3sm

Whitetailed Deer

 

Just a reminder: This is third in a series of postings about hunting spikes while whitetail deer hunting. The conclusions highlighted in orange are from the Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Texas A&M University’s Kerr Deer Management Facility was part of this study. The facility has deer from 20 generations, to watch the effects of variables on the evolution of the herd.  These same results were repeated in a Louisiana university study.

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(8) “Even when most bucks are spikes, removing them will not endanger the breeding potential.” Texas Parks and Wildlife researchers have proven that massive removal of spikes does not affect deer production. They’ve shown that a single buck can breed with as many as 40 does in a season.

(9) “Antler development improves with age up to a point.” Amazingly, you can expect antler production to improve until about the age of 6 1/2. After that time, the deer’s teeth deteriorate and older deer don’t intake sufficient nutrition (even in nutrition-rich climes) to develop large racks.

The deer with the best – most dense – antlers are usually between 4 1/2 – 6 1/2 years old.

(10) The best time to manage for genetic improvement is during periods of nutritional stress.  With less food available, it is important to feed breeding deer first – and best. Watch for young antlered bucks and make them your future breeding stock.

~~~What Does This Mean to the Hunter & Landowner?~~~

Harvesting spikes is good for herd development. In fact, they state clearly: “Consistently removing spikes from the herd will eventually improve the antler quality if the range is in good condition.”

A balance must be maintained between numbers of deer and food available. The best way to do that is through harvesting. By selecting young deer with poor antlers, you are allowing  deer with more genetically desirable traits (full antlers) to become the breeding stock.

An Interesting Aside –

According to Texas Parks statistics, hunters snag over 60% of the yearling bucks each year. Of those, about 60% are ‘fork-antlered deer.’

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Come back for the “Conclusion of the Conclusions.” If Texas Parks & Wildlife’s recommendations had any teeth (were law) there would be a howl of protest from hunters.

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This Series:

Part 1: Should I Shoot a Spike While Hunting White-Tailed Deer? (intro & item #1)

Part 2:  Why Don’t We Just Let That Little Spike Grow Up?  (items #2 thru #7)

Part 3:  What About Spikes While White-tail Deer Hunting?  (Commandments 8 thru 10, conclusions)

Part 4: “This Spike is Better Lookin’ than Any Ol’ 6 Point Deer! Sure it is.” (Conclusions)

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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9 Comments

  1. […] the original post here: What About Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting? (Part 3) This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 at 10:10 pm and is filed under hunting. You […]

  2. […] Go to the author’s original blog: What About Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting? (Part 3 … […]

  3. […] What About Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting? (Part 3) With less food available, it is important to feed breeding deer first – and best. Watch for young antlered bucks and make them your future breeding stock. ~~~What Does This Mean to the Hunter %26 Landowner?~~~ … […]

  4. why not let them grow up? the adult bucks are more of a challenge, and if you are just looking for venison, a young doe (where it is legal) is the best eating.

  5. Dear Winteridge,

    If we lived in a perfect world with unlimited resources and land, leaving the spikes alone would be fine.
    However, hunters have a mind-set that they want “deer with a big rack.” The deer hunting industry is based on giving the hunter what he/she wants (“big racks”).
    Therefore, land management calls for promoting a deer gene pool that can pass on those desirable “big racks.”
    By culling the spikes, over time, the gene pool changes. More deer will be born with the ability to grow antlers (if conditions are favorable – water, food, enough land, etc.).
    In other words, the deer managers are using Darwin’s theory. By removing those deer with less desirable traits, the pool of remaining deer are more likely to breed deer with racks.
    Hunters who have only one or two chances to go after deer/season are more likely to want a trophy deer. Wildlife managers are sensitive to the marketplace; they are trying to give hunters what they want.
    Thanks for asking the question. There are opinions on both sides of this issue. I respect that. I’m just giving my opinion, based on the research I’ve done.

    Best wishes,
    Marylouise

  6. […] 3) What About Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting? […]

  7. […] 3) What About Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting? […]

  8. […] 3:  What About Spikes While White-tail Deer Hunting?  (Commandments 8 thru 10, […]

  9. […] October 12, 2010 at 11:10 am What About Those Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting? (Part 3) « Great Ghillies & Graphics… […]


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