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.
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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