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  1. #16

    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Quote Originally Posted by ElkStalkR View Post
    IMO, You should NEVER shoot a 1.5yr old deer, IF your goal is quality bucks. The only body promoting that is Texas and their "spike" law, and even that is not 100% proven. Nobody knows what a yearling buck will turn into.

    I do practice taking out "inferior" bucks. If I see a 2.5yr+ old spike he is getting shot, they should have some branched antlers by then. 3.5+ deer better have at least 8 points with some mass starting to build. 4.5+ deer I will almost shoot anything that old, unless I think they have real potential, but honestly if I can get them to 4.5+ plus years and they are in that 130-150" class range I am very happy shooting Oklahoma bucks that size. If I age a deer at 4.5+ thats low 120's to 110's, I'm probably gonna shoot them. IMO, they should be bigger than that at 4.5+ yrs.

    Not saying my way is correct. Everybody has a different set of standards, this is mine. Here in Nebraska I will let 3.5-4.5yr old 130-140" deer walk, I will not do that in Oklahoma. So depends on where I am hunting and my expectations for the bucks.

    I have a document from a research study on penned deer from the Texas Parks and Wildlife department that kinda backs that up. Keeping in mind that there are always outliers, the 168-page report basically says if they are not at least forked horned their first year they will never grow into a quality deer. And every 1.5-yr knob head or spike should be removed from the pool.

    I have the report in PDF, if you would like a copy PM me. It is an interesting read with neat pictures of antler growth based on varying diets and fist year antler growth.

  2. #17

    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Keeping in mind I rarely deer hunt.

    Just anything feathered......Except turkeys, anything that ugly shouldn't be eaten!

  3. #18

    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Quote Originally Posted by Okie4Life View Post
    Keeping in mind I rarely deer hunt.

    Just anything feathered......Except turkeys, anything that ugly shouldn't be eaten!
    That's what I thought about sandhill cranes, boy I was wrong.

    How big of an area was the Tx study held on?
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  4. #19

    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    APeterson brings up a good point. is the bad gene passed from a doe? anyone know the answer to that question? we have a number of bucks with a funky left side ranging from a stick to a fork while the right may be symetrical. i've taken a few over the years but have since left them to the younger hunters.

  5. #20
    Patron Oklahomabassin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Quote Originally Posted by dlbleak View Post
    APeterson brings up a good point. is the bad gene passed from a doe? anyone know the answer to that question? we have a number of bucks with a funky left side ranging from a stick to a fork while the right may be symetrical. i've taken a few over the years but have since left them to the younger hunters.
    Yes a doe is as much to blame as a buck.
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  6. #21
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    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Quote Originally Posted by dlbleak View Post
    APeterson brings up a good point. is the bad gene passed from a doe? anyone know the answer to that question? we have a number of bucks with a funky left side ranging from a stick to a fork while the right may be symetrical. i've taken a few over the years but have since left them to the younger hunters.
    Some studies show that the doe passes on 60% of the antler gene. So yes, the doe has more to do with it than the bucks.
    That's where my "can't manage for antlers, by killing bucks" came from.
    Studies also show that 1.5 yo bucks breed just as many doe a year as mature bucks do. Plus yearling bucks leave their birthing area and yearling bucks from other areas move in. So again, in free range deer it's impossible to manage for antlers.
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  7. #22
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    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Okay, so question - I hunt for the meat. not really interested in trophy's anymore. I don't think antler growth has any effect on taste, but it can be an indicator of overall health of an animal (when taken in connection with other factors) - so, if the animal is otherwise healthy I will take a malformed buck over a symmetrical buck any day. Cull from the herd, tasty meat - and a rack only a mother could love. sure, why not. It's the only way I'll take a 1.5yr-old these days. Big bucks with ugly mugs are also game.

    At least that's the way we justify it, If given the option.

    It has always struck me as odd that natural selection doesn't cull more of the oddballs out. you'd think they would be quite rare, but we're seeing them more and more over the last few years. not sure why.

  8. #23

    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Quote Originally Posted by Okie4570 View Post
    That's what I thought about sandhill cranes, boy I was wrong.

    How big of an area was the Tx study held on?

    It was conducted in the Kerr National Wildlife area - 6500 acres, in conjunction with penned deer to evaluate the genetics vs diet.
    26 year study.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Quote Originally Posted by aviator41 View Post
    Okay, so question - I hunt for the meat. not really interested in trophy's anymore. I don't think antler growth has any effect on taste, but it can be an indicator of overall health of an animal (when taken in connection with other factors) - so, if the animal is otherwise healthy I will take a malformed buck over a symmetrical buck any day. Cull from the herd, tasty meat - and a rack only a mother could love. sure, why not. It's the only way I'll take a 1.5yr-old these days. Big bucks with ugly mugs are also game.

    At least that's the way we justify it, If given the option.

    It has always struck me as odd that natural selection doesn't cull more of the oddballs out. you'd think they would be quite rare, but we're seeing them more and more over the last few years. not sure why.

    You can't really tell the health of a buck by his horns, to many variables. Velvet damage cause deformations of a perfectly fine buck. Hell if the buck hurts his leg a little during antler growth it can cause irregularities in his antlers. Funny part about that, an injury to the right side of his body will cause a left side irregularity and visa versa.
    So no, your not really doing any good buy killing a young buck with a messed up rack.
    Like a lot of us have said, there is ONLY ONE WAY to tell what a bucks potential will be. Let him mature!

    But if your hunting for meat then it really doesn't matter does it. Except a mature deer is typically bigger and has more meat.
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  10. #25
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    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Quote Originally Posted by Okie4Life View Post
    It was conducted in the Kerr National Wildlife area - 6500 acres, in conjunction with penned deer to evaluate the genetics vs diet.
    26 year study.
    Could u send me a copy of that study???
    Chase.bagley@yahoo.com
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  11. #26

    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po


  12. #27
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    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    I have yet to pick up consistent deformed antlers. This season I have picked up at least 6 bucks on camera that are perfectly normal on one side and pretty much a unicorn on the other. Could it be argued that these deer were injured at some point between antler drop and antler growth? Possibly, with the last few months aside, it has been a tough few years. we all know that antler development can be the first to suffer. Question is, will they be normal next year????? This buck has been around a while. I have had a camera in this spot for at least three seasons running. Never seen a deer like this around the area.



  13. #28

    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    If you ever get a chance to attend one of the deer management workshops by the Sam Noble Foundation, GO!


    The results of their studies on antler development and deer nutrition are definitely eye opening.


    https://www.regonline.com/builder/si...ventID=1247055

  14. #29
    Patron ElkStalkR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Quote Originally Posted by Okie4Life View Post
    I have a document from a research study on penned deer from the Texas Parks and Wildlife department that kinda backs that up. Keeping in mind that there are always outliers, the 168-page report basically says if they are not at least forked horned their first year they will never grow into a quality deer. And every 1.5-yr knob head or spike should be removed from the pool.

    I have the report in PDF, if you would like a copy PM me. It is an interesting read with neat pictures of antler growth based on varying diets and fist year antler growth.
    I have seen that study. It is actually quite controversial. Like I said. The state of Texas is the only state wildlife department I know of that promotes shooting spikes! Granted there maybe others, but TX REALLY goes after spikes.

    I will agree that shooting spikes might have some effect in some regions, but I am here to tell you that it DOES NOT apply nationwide. Spikes have huge potential further North in the "cornbelt", and game dept's like IA and NE will tell you to let ALL 1.5yr old deer walk, because they can turn into most anything in 5 or 6 years.

    Honestly if I shot 1.5yr old spikes off my property here in OK, I would probably kill half my 1.5yr old deer every year. I'm not gonna do that LOL. Cuz most my bucks will hit 130+ given time. And here is another issue..........what constitutes a "quality" buck to one hunter does not constitute a "quality" deer to another hunter. For some 130+" buck is not big enough, for me its great!
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  15. #30

    Default Re: Do you think young deer with funky racks need to be taken to preserve the gene po

    Not sure what my opinion is on all of this. If I spent all my time shooting the deer mentioned here that people said they would kill for "management" sake, all I would be killing is dinks. You only get two a year, I see more than two retards every year but I'm sure not going to waste a tag on them. Being that probably none of us are hunting on high fenced ranches, how much do you actually manage the herd?
    I'd like a chance to shoot at an educated man once in my life.

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