10 Commandments of Spike Management, Continued
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.
The first two parts of this series were written on previous pages of this blog.
(6) “Does provide half of the genetic potential for antler development.” Since scientists don’t know if a doe carries genes for antlers or spikes, they cannot “select-out” deer with spike genes.
(7) “Average yearling bucks on good range should have six points.” According to their research, with good nutrition, most bucks attain this desirable point.
Even poor habitats produce antlered deer. By killing spikes, it allows the antlered deer to reproduce. However, most hunters prefer to haul home deer ‘with racks.’
(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.
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.
Part 1: Should I Shoot a Spike Deer?
(1) The report I’m referring to is available online, as a pdf document at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_lf_w7000_0247.pdf (It is 6 pages long.)
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com