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Spike question- Ever having a decent rack?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Lethal Farce, Dec 17, 2009.


  1. Lethal Farce

    Lethal Farce
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    What is the current thought on spikes. What is the likelyhood of them having a decent rack? Last night, I passed on a 100 lb or so yearling with 1-2" of short antler growth. I would think, if he is gentically predisposed to never being a decent racked buck, it would make sense to cull and fill the freezer. He was hanging out with a couple of 10" four pointers and a small six pointer.
    LF
     

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  2. Jonesee

    Jonesee
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    If he was a yearling I would take a pass and give him a chance. If he is a 2-3 yr old, cull him from the herd. It isn't unusual to see a spike yearling. Although he will never be B&C, he will develop a larger rack as he ages.

    Surely there is a QDM guy on here that can give us the science. But I think they take a pass on all yearlings anyway.
     

  3. vafish

    vafish
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    I've heard the old mantra that a spike will always be a spike.

    But I found this article:

    http://www.petersenshunting.com/node/2366

     
  4. bandmasterjf

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    My sister and brother-in-law caught a fawn buck a few years back that still had spots. He was definitely a late rut fawn judging by his size. With bottle feeding and Purina deer chow he ended up with about 3" spikes in his first winter. His second winter wasn't anything to write home about. He was a decent little fork horn on both sides with 12-14 inch hight. He was let loose after his second winter. His third year he was a decent 7pt. with about a a 18" spread. His 4th year he was about a 130-135 class typical 10pt. We knew it was him because, while he was pretty skittish, he would still eat out of my sisters hand. I don't think a wild deer would do that. We didn't see him after that.:crying:
     
  5. Lethal Farce

    Lethal Farce
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    Thanks, great replies. Helped confirm I did the right thing, letting the little guy walk. Although, he would have made up a fine bunch of hash and sausage and loins, and............
    LF
     
  6. DoubleDog

    DoubleDog
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    Grrrrr.....

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    [​IMG]

    Shot this spike a couple of weeks ago....Nice deer...

    The spikes were about 8 1/2 inches...Where I hunt the racks just aren't that big. It's seems most deer taken were in the 6 to 8 point range -- not massive racks either...

    I'm not a big rack hunter (though I wouldn't pass one up) -- I just wanted meat in the freezer...

    DD~
     
    #6 DoubleDog, Dec 18, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  7. Jonesee

    Jonesee
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    That is a 1 year old... Are you not able to take a doe for meat?
     
  8. Lethal Farce

    Lethal Farce
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    Vafish, Great article thanks. We have a bunch of six pointers that are several years old, and don't look like they will ever be more than six. It seems it would make more sence to start culling some of those. I looks like you mid Atlantic folks are getting some snow. Luckeeee.
    LF
     
  9. DoubleDog

    DoubleDog
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    Grrrrr.....

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    No doe permit this year...

    DD~
     
  10. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan
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    Here on our W. Texas ranch, we try to carefully manage the herd. Sometimes leaving them alone with only a small amount of help from 'man,' works well, and some times not. Depends on how well you want your herds to look and how important it is to you.

    I won't get into all that. You didn't ask for that.

    But we will 'cull out' the deer we determine are around almost 4 years old, to 4 years PLUS with small or deformed head gear.

    That is the simple answer. You have to be in the field and know your deer and a few other things to determine at distance , "age." For some folks this comes fairly easy, and for some ... well, forget it. ;)

    It can be difficult for us all at times, but there are ways to make pretty accurate determinations of the age,while on the hoof. (long story).

    Again, just because a buck is not a good spike or a forker as a yearling, OR just because he is ONLY a small spike (in height as a yearling), "this does not mean" he wont be great when he gets about 4 years plus. (mature). We have seen yearlings with some nice head gear, that did not change to much at maturity, (then were culled out), and some with normal to sub normal head gear as yearlings that branched out as very nice bucks with wonderful spreds at maturity.

    Suppliment feeding can sure be an asset, and then this conversation changes a bit.

    But "without suppliment feeders", and NO help from us except for what we have normally planted in the upper and lower canyons, such as wheat, and maze (milo), which we would do any way as a sale crop, and a feed crop, and leaving all else alone. We find that just because a yearling packs a small fork, or even taller spikes, this "does Not" mean he will not produce a terrific rack at maturity. If he has not, by what we judge to be in the late 3's to 4 years old, he he culled out. If we see yearlings with deformed looking headgear, they go in the freezer as well.

    Some folks think that genetics plays "no part" in the deciding factor of a bucks antlers. We totally disagree, in the sence that it can and does play a part, "except in those crazy cases" where something went south with that buck along the growth process, in his metabolism, with DNA wires, (as we say), crossed up, or not enough protein in the diet, not enough, or the 'right' minerals, food etc. Drought plays a part as well. Not enough days with good sunlight at antler growth time which helps in the stimulation of antler growth. There are several factors going on in that buck that can make him or break him "Regardless" of genetics. Some of the factors I have mentioned above here.

    In closing. Just because dad and grand dad were B&C, does not mean the 3rg gen will be. Conversely, it can mean he will be. We have seen it both ways.
    Genetics are very important, but that's not all there is to it, as I outlined to you here above.

    Bottom of the bottom line here. We do not shoot the yearlings just to have something to do, "unless" they have stunted growth or deformed or mis formed antlers. Let JR. go, and give him a few years and let him develope. ;)


    HTH's



    Good hunting.



    CanyonMan
     
  11. Jonesee

    Jonesee
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    Thank you Canyon. That is exactly what I've been told over the years. As a rule I don't believe in shooting a dear under 3 years old. The exception is exactly what you have listed.

    When hunting with kids though, we allow them, and encourage them to take anything. If they are proud of the kill I am proud for them...

    I haven't hunted by myself, for myself in years now. I hunt with my sons, who don't need a babysitter anymore, they are young men now, but it is quality time into and out of the woods. I set up a stand within sight of them and will only pull the trigger to knock down something they may wound. So far, they have never missed, and I mean never, ever, not once... Or I take any kid whos parents ask me to. I'll provide the gun if they need one. The most fun you can have is hunting with a 10-12 year old...
     
  12. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan
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    Being a dad and a grand dad, I hear what you are saying, BUT do let those kids take what they can, for now, to build confidence, but I suggest at the same time teach them what we have talked about, "for their future", so they will learn conservation ethics dad.... ;)

    I know ya hear me, and will do what is best for those kids.

    God bless ya.
    Good hunting, and God's wisdom be on ya to lead those youngins in the right way.

    I am Sure you will ! ;)


    Good hunting.
    and have fun with those kids !




    CanyonMan
     
  13. noway

    noway
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    A spike is a spike is a spike down here/ Very hard to get a good scoring rack. So I shoot a spike no different than taking a doe ( when legal ) or 8 pointer. Antler growth is a reflection of alot of things.

    For all of those placing ages on a spike ( 1 2 2 3 4 5 years ), how do you know the age? Do you have any true experience with aging deers?

    Looking at size and saying it's a spike, is not even 80% correct. You have to look at teeth and tooth wear.
     
  14. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule
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    Also remember this.

    Dr. Kroll was the guy who got it made legal to kill spikes in Texas because his research showed that free range WT spike yearlings were inferior to branch antlered yearlings.

    Free Range.

    The later testing was done using supplements like protein.

    I personally think Texas deer style management has done more harm to hunting than anything to come along in quite a bit.
     
  15. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule
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    If that is what you wanted, food, and he was legal then you should have taken him.

    I've boiled antlers for hours, and they still don't eat well.
     
  16. Jonesee

    Jonesee
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    Age is relatively easy to get close to on the hoof. Look at the shape of the head and the slope of the nose. Look at the shape and size of the neck, in or out of rut, Look at the body as a whole. How lean and smooth or broad and chunky. Look at the coloring on the body. If you practice you can age a deer pretty quickly. A friend of mine who hunts over in Canyon's neck of the woods on a lease is fined if they kill a buck less than 4 years old. With $500 riding on it, you learn pretty quick.

    Once the deer is down cut out the bottom jaw and look at the teeth for the definitive age...
     
  17. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan
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  18. G36's Rule

    G36's Rule
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    CanyonMan,

    You and I are on the same page. I absolutely believe in landowner management. But along with that must go education.

    I think you will remember the days of shooting does only with tags issued by the state? And the landowner had to apply for those. Most Texas landowners at the time thought you could manage a deer herd like you did cattle. One bull could breed many cows.

    Deer don't work that way. You must have a closer buck/doe ratio to have a healthy herd. I can remember ranches in the 70's where you could hunt for weeks and see hundreds of WT does and not see an antler the whole time.
     
  19. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan
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    LOL, yeah deer aren't cattle in the management area I can promise you that is right ! ha. I was managing our ranch in the Oklahoma Panhandle ( at least co managemwent), this is cattle , horses, crops etc, in the 70's, and Okla. was not like Texas in those days. Thank God.

    But as you said, this is partly why we have always believed in landowner management. We have never allowed the feds to regulate what we do and don't do with managing wildlife on our own place.

    Yes, education in this area (of deer herd/and wild life management), is very important, and VERY needed. We find very little of it. Fact. Most of what we hear is absolutely BS, and has NO substance or merit to it what so ever. We try to educate people in this, (and other areas), as much as we can, but unfortunately that is not to often we get the chance.

    There are some pretty smart old boys in some of the agencies, and I learned a very great deal from one of the biologist friends of mine way back in the 70's, and carried that through on to the ranch here in Texas. It is working well for us, (the very small bit I shared in above posts), so we just let 'er go that way. Even our Turkey flocks are in excellent condition as well..

    Some do not follow our philosophy, and thats ok, but we sure have found that with the game feeding on good crops in rich fertile soil, and just a little help from us in the scattered feeders "only'' for added minerals and nutrients they might not get in 'some of the soil here,' and the culling process I described in the above post, man we are doing real well, and it more or less takes care of itself.

    We had a problem some years back with the turkeys being full of worms. We brought one in for thanksgiving, and we we gutted him, out crawled a bunch of flat yellow worms.... :wow:


    Needless to say, we lost our Thanksgiving appetite ! :ack:


    In getting with a biologist friend of mine, we discovered that we were not rotating the feeders enough, and the turkeys were picking up parasites in the dirt under the feeders, that were causing their beards to easily fall off and ther feathers were dull as all get out, and they just looked sickly...

    This of course can be passed along to the deer as well, so when we began regular rotation of the feeders, and made tham more portable, and began adding in a mix to help reduce this problem. it all went away. We have some huge toms that run 20/25 #'s and sport very long beards. (and taste great with no worms). ha.


    Got no jumping off place here and can talk about this all day, in fact I do in one form or another, wether, cattle , horses, or wildlife.


    We'll just let Uncle Sam do what he wants to, "on the other side of our cattle guards," and we'll do what we think is best on this side. ;)


    Sitting here by the end table, I thought I'd take a pic right quick of one I made into a lamp. He was a non typical B&C, but who cares. I wanted him to be a lamp, so he's a lamp! ;)


    Good hunting to ya Amigo !




    CanyonMan
     
  20. noway

    noway
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    You seem to be plague with deem worms ;)


    On aging by hoof, I haven't yet to see any biologist age a deer within months by "just" size of on the hoof, apperance, etc.......

    And to age a buck within 4year life span when a buck or deer depending on locale don't see more than 4-5years of live, that's a feet right in there.


    We age by lower jaw bone and factor in other conditions.

    [​IMG]

    that's only sure way to age a deer within months.