What is the Definition of a ‘Spike’ Deer?


Unbranched Antlers

Unbranched Antlers


According to the dictionary, a spike is an unbranched antler of a young deer.  Therefore, a spike deer is one that has unbranched antlers.

Before you get dewy eyed about this cute creature, please be aware that it is not what you want in your deer herd, if you are trying to manage for better deer yields.

Same Song, A Different Verse

If you are interested in  learning about this issue, I’ve written a series of 4 articles about ‘when to take (harvest) spike deer.’

Don’t take my word for it: Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas A & M University have done extensive testing to prove their claims.  My articles rephrase and explain their hypothesis.

1) Should I Shoot a Spike While Hunting Whitetail?

2) Why Don’t We Just Let that Little Spike Grow Up?

3) What About Spikes While Whitetail Deer Hunting?

4) “This Spike is Better Lookin’ Than Any Ol’
6 Point Deer

In a Nutshell

For those who just read the last page of a book: Spikes do not carry the genes for gorgeous racks. Culling them from the herd, before they can breed with the does, reduces their numbers – eventually.

This leaves antlered deer to breed and pass on their genes for full racks.

Does have an important role in all of this and TP&W also offers advice in this area.  From what I’ve read, managers who have taken their advice have noticed improved yields from their lands.


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Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm  Comments Off on What is the Definition of a ‘Spike’ Deer?  
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