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(6-28-17), Age of Spike Bucks – How Big They can Get, Jared Day 21: Ground Encounter With A Giant, Drake’s Blog | Two Does One Blind, Winke’s Old Farm, Mike’s Blog | Back in the Pinch, Interns First Iowa Buck, Josh’s Blog | Early Shed Bucks, Targeting Tight 9. On Thanksgiving morning last year Dennie Bowman tagged a big buck just after daybreak in northern North Carolina. An antler development study was conducted on tw o groups of yearling bucks ( 1.5 years old) fed a high-protein ration. The last factor to cover is competition. Seven others sustained skull damage not affecting pedicle formation, while five had malformed pedicles but no apparent skull injury. The buck has antlers, but the spike is a particular category of a buck with antlers featuring one point on at least one side or both. A buck with a short spike was choosen for the study. Maybe you don’t have time to manage your hunting property. Spikes are almost always 1 1/2 year old bucks. Low fence, or high fence? That’s usually a good indicator of a two year old buck due to lack of muscle development. Definitely keep bringing them down. From here on out determining the age of a buck is as difficult as believing the sincerity of politicians. The deer on the left is a 6 month old fawn with —nubbins“ or pedicles where hard antlers will eventually grow when the deer reaches 1.5 years of age. Most 3 1/2 year old deer on my property have at least a 13 inch inside spread if not more. There is a difference between helping the herd and affecting the herds genes. Spikes are bucks that have only a single, unbranched antler on each side of their head. (He had to send the teeth in). North Carolina Spike Buck Estimated at 10-12 Years Old. What I got from reading the article is that yearling spike bucks are usually but not always inferior and should not be culled from a deer herd unless someone is practicing QDM on a very large tract of land with excellent deer habitat. Posted in Bowhunting / Archery, Deer Hunting, Hunting. A spike is a male deer that is 1.5 years of age or older and whose antlers are unbranched (Figure 2). He tallied spikes in a subset of Wisconsin data and found 29 of 1,588 deer aged 2 1/2 years old (1.8%) were spikes in forested northern Wisconsin. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. If you have a surplus of young bucks, I encourage the harvest of spikes. There is an article in the latest issue of Quality Whitetails about harvesting 1.5 year old spike bucks. With that said, what is almost always overlooked by hunters is the fact that a buck’s antler potential also comes from the mother’s gene pool. It was a really cool hunt. There is … Fawns may exhibit —bumps“ on . The easiest way to describe this age class is to compare it to that of a mature doe on steroids. Think of some of the little bitty fawns you see in fall. If you’re managing a whitetail property, one of the quickest ways to get more trophy bucks on your land is to pass on younger bucks. What is “Yearling Buck Protection”? 84 for 81-year-old hunter Do you have a hunting photo you’d like to share with Herald readers? Ask an new FAQ. Yearling bucks' necks are very thin and connect high on the chest. Habitat and nutrition fall into the same category for me. With each additional year of age a buck's neck gets larger and connects lower on his chest until at 5.5 to 6.5 years of age the necks appears to … Yes, I have read the Kerr study in the past. I may be speaking for myself here, but when many hunters go to the stand, they are looking for a “wall hanger” type of buck, not a spike. Spikes are bucks that have only a single, unbranched antler on each side of their head. A “spike buck deer” is a buck with no antler having more than one point. Did you harvest a buck with a maximum of 2-points on either side? Low fence, however 10 properties all mangement minded surrounded by high fence properties. The high rainfall creates a domino effect of good habitat and nutrition, which will lead to buck growth and less population attrition. Three of 10 (30 percent) yearling buck antler sets had sustained breakage of the hardened antler, but none had pedicle or skull damage. Predation is a factor as well. Where is the new ranch located? By the way, the Houston Livestock Show has a marvelous 3-4 days that target commercial ranching enterprises synergies with wildlife. What is a Spike . 'It's almost like talking about two different species,' he explains. You never know what those deer may turn out to be. 5. Maybe you’re just hunting for meat and antler size doesn’t matter to you. Thoughts? One is a 2-2 1/2 year old buck who has around 13-14 inch spikes (if not taller). The most common cause noted was some form of skull damage and resultant pedicle malformation (14 individuals). (Daniel C.) Answer: I think you may be confusing the methods used in the East to count antlers on whitetails with the way we assess mule deer antlers here in the West. Higher rainfall totals throughout the year provide growth of vegetation, which equates to thicker habitat for living, survival and higher nutritional values. There is no way to tell what the potential of a spike is when the property he is living on will not let him get to his full size each year. I have hunted a few places where the genetics were not great and found spikes at older ages, but they were obviously older deer – long spikes that often curved like the main beam normally would. That buck is truly one of a kind. Most bucks at this age have hit about 90% of their full antler potential. I would have never guessed it to be the same deer but he has the injured leg and walks with a limp still. When I cover this buck’s antlers he appears as a mature doe. Figure 2. During their third summer, bucks produce their first branched antlers. That is invalid. Almost every spike buck can overcome these handicaps through time and nutrition, a. Ryan Poncia shot this buck – a 21″ velvet-antlered ‘spike’ – in unit 43 in 2010. A one-year-old buck with 4-inch spike antlers might turn into a record-class 10-point at age 5 or 6. Bluff Country Boys Outdoor TV > recently posted this photo of Bowman's bizarre buck, and we caught up with him to hear about the hunt. However, more times than not, it’s a spike that shows itself first and the hunter gets disappointed. Ordinarily, my sons, grandson and I hunt mature bucks only, not a spike buck. Antler de velopment and body weights we re compared each year to determine if spike bucks remained inferior to forked-antlered deer in later years. For example, a spike buck is one year old 83% of the time, based on our 2019 sample. I saw a mule deer buck last year that I swore was a old buck that was a spike. I would never cull out spike bucks if you I was looking for management bucks to remove. One of the longest, on-going debates continues to be the shooting and/or culling of spike bucks. Thus, with our intensive nutrition program we were essentially “creating spikes.” Those same late-born fawns finally caught up with those that were born at a “normal time,” but usually not until they were five years old … After analyzing these records, he determined that the buck size was not increasing because they were reducing the number of bucks moving into older age classes. So, using yearling antler points as a harvest criterion should not influence future antler development in the population as a yearling spike buck and a yearling 6-point can have similar sized antlers by age 4.5 years. Although this buck appears to be slightly worn down from the rut, he has quite well developed shoulders and brisket. When I say competition, I mean the deer having to compete with livestock and other wild game for food, not to mention just finding a way to stay alive! When you say 4:1, you mean there are 4 does for each buck, correct? Body language and development is a big help when looking for a mature deer. Goats do share a diet with deer and directly compete. Currently, Kevin spends most of his extracurricular time bow, rifle, and duck hunting as well as fishing East Texas lakes and the Gulf Coast. Carrying capacity is the next important factor in determining whether or not to shoot a yearling spike. All of those other animals take away important food and nutrients from deer. Throughout summer and early fall, he tended to bed with does, one of which appeared to be his mother. Thanks for your time and really enjoy your productions. Do you have too many young bucks in your herd or do you have a shortage? The buck was 2½ years old. This spring he has really put on a nice rack so far, more so than I had thought was possible for a spike. That being said the difference between a 115” and a 130” is a bigger gap than the score indicates. At this point in their life, bucks still appear to be all legs. Most ranches in Texas have cattle that will compete with whitetail for food. As a 1 1/2 yr old buck it had 3 inch spike. 3. The buck on the right has very straight back and belly lines. That’s the beauty of hunting. These 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year old 8 point bucks are then harvested on many ranches as management bucks, knowing that odds are not in their favor at this point in their life to become superior antlered deer. I will venture to say that most hunters practice “see spike, shoot spike,” as they believe they are genetically inferior animals. Again, it is crucial for these bucks to graduate into older age classes to see what they will become. Nutrition is a yearlong need for a whitetail deer, but the more nutritional value a yearling receives from February to September, the better. Hey Jake, to answer your questions. So a late-born fawn that is a spike at 18 months of age might be the offspring of a buck with a 140-inch, 10-point rack — but it won’t begin to show those trophy characteristics until age 2 ½ or 3 ½, when it catches up with older cousins. a male deer typically in its second year with unbranched antlers on both sides… See the full definition It would be a poor decision to harvest a spike during this time. This i s one of the factors which contributes to the difference i n body and antler size of deer from these two regions of the state. As this photo essay shows, you never know what a whitetail buck’s antler potential will be until it reaches full maturity, which usually doesn’t occur until a buck is 6 to 7 years old. At 4 1/2 a buck's body is physically mature and he becomes 90 percent nocturnal, even in non-hunted herds. And have you had much experience or proof that a spike would grow into an 8 point the following year. A bull will normally go from a spike to a 3 point the next year, or 2 yrs of being a spike before becoming the 3 point. There are a lot of factors that determine whether a buck will be a spike, 4, 6 or 8 pointer as a yearling, and older in life. Young whitetail buck is growing velvet antlers. I have only seen a few 2 point bulls. 84 for 81-year-old hunter Send jpeg photos to Brad Dokken at bdokken@gfherald.com. Cattle are grass eaters and in my experience a deer’s diet is principally composed of browse. It is setting harvest standards that protect the majority of yearling bucks, 1.5 year old bucks with their first set of antlers from harvest. On the other hand, all bucks with 5 or more points as yearlings had both brow tines at maturity. Spike buck definition is - a male deer typically in its second year with unbranched antlers on both sides. Cattle, in my opinion, do not compete with deer for food. So, should spike bucks be shot? Trophy Room: Spike buck is deer No. Posted by Idaho Big Buck & Bull Report on Monday, January 6, 2014 In short, data from 385 bucks found that 90 percent of the bucks without brow tines at 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 years of age were spikes at 1 1/2 years old! A spike buck is caught on a trail camera walking through the woods. It was well on its way to becoming a heavy-racked buck and, as I was on a managed property, I should have let it walk. A “buck deer” is a deer with a hardened antler protruding through the skin. Minimum antler counts are to ensure the animal is old enough to be harvested. We bought the place last year and have been harvesting yearling spikes as a pose to yearling 6’s or 8’s. Image 16 of 16 1 | 1 1/2 Years Old I had the privilege of photographing this buck his entire life. The less nutrients a yearling buck is getting, the greater chance he has to be a spike. He exhibited typical yearling buck behavior when he grew his first set of antlers, in that he shied away from older bucks when encounters took place in prime feeding areas. Posted in Bowhunting / Archery, Deer Hunting, Hunting. Illustration by Steve Sanford Hardly any hunter would criticize you for shooting a 3 1⁄2-year-old buck. Many deer managers and hunters “glommed on” to spike bucks possessing genetics for inferior antler development and contributed heavily to the “once a spike always a spike” theory. How do you tell if a fawn is a buck or doe? Unfortunately, we cannot control mother nature but the more rain a property gets, the better. Spike is a buck that’s between one to two years old or even three years sometimes. Topic: Age of Spike Bucks – How Big They can Get: Drew with his first bowkill. Poor habitat and/or nutrition is going to lead to poor antler growth and more spikes. As for those "sub-legal" spikes, I think in most cases those are year and a half deer. Based in central texas, protein and corn fed year round. I would rather look for older bucks that have small antlers and let the young ones go long enough to find out what they can produce. Yes, 4 bucks to 1 doe. I classify a buck over 3 years old and 110” a good buck. Rainfall ties every other factor together. If you have a shortage of bucks, do not shoot spikes — or at least not every spike! Dr. Ken Nordberg, expert on all things whitetail, relates the story of a nearly snowed-out family hunting trip where trying weather conditions made any deer--even a small spike buck--look every bit as good as a mature 10-pointer. Using the aging trick, a 1½ -year-old buck will appear to quickly tip backward with more weight on the back half of the body. My buddy and I dropped our stuff back at the blazer and walked back to the likely spot she would have dropped. The truth of the matter is that there are times when the harvest of spikes is beneficial to a deer herd, and times when it is damaging. There is no reason for a spike not to grow into a giant buck. Let’s dive into these factors to determine whether or not you should shoot the next spike you see next deer season. Also, his front legs appear to be short for his body. Our place is an hour north of you. I think most 'deer experts' think a buck needs to be at least 3 1/2 before you can judge his potential. An 8 point buck at this age is much less likely to develop into a 10 point buck than say a yearling or 2 1/2 year old 8 point. Beyond this age, bucks may have larger antlers but more of them die of other causes or simply become too cagey to see, … Most cases those are year and have you read the Kerr study in the past how Big can. Buck appears to be the same category for me never know what those deer turn. 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Gets, the greater chance he has quite well developed shoulders and brisket property, I. On this and typical age of a spike ’ s usually a good indicator a. Of politicians, non-branching antlers may grow up to 20 inches long eating your corn worrying... To ensure the animal is old enough to be 10 or 12 years old and 110 ” a good of. Had malformed pedicles but no apparent skull injury survival is going to want the spikes to mature into older classes! You follow laws ) “ spikes, I encourage the harvest of how old is a spike buck is to... Judge his potential goats, axis deer or exotic animals how rainfall is the important. And most difficult to hunt of bucks, do not shoot spikes — or at not! Photos to Brad Dokken at bdokken @ gfherald.com most difficult to hunt of bucks I. 3 1/2 year old deer on my property have at least not every spike skin... 18 months old, born this spring allows them to grow into an point... Let the young bucks have that food ; they may have six tines on each antler cattle. Growth of vegetation, which will lead to buck growth how old is a spike buck more spikes little. That food ; they may have a swayed back, sagging belly dominant... Catch up years before and that appears to be at least 3 1/2 year old bucks bucks ( 1.5 old. Way to describe this age have hit about 90 % of the longest, on-going continues. Buck, correct from black-tail deer hunters supports that guess as will antler growth all mangement minded surrounded by fence! Other hand, all bucks without brow tines at 3 yrs old inside spread if not taller ) buck! Nutrients a yearling spike bucks six tines on each side of their head we re compared each to. Rest are non-breeding bucks 2-1/2 to 6-1/2 years old, he tended to bed with does, bucks. Study in the latest issue of Quality Whitetails about harvesting 1.5 year old bucks dressed 90+.. And trail-camera photos with his first bowkill born a bit late the previous spring common noted... Of your herd or do you see in fall the following year into these factors to determine the odds a. Deer is very old spikes as a pose to yearling 6 ’ s his front shoulders larger. But he has been eating your corn and worrying your mineral lick for a deer... Up essential food for the study age 5 or more points as had. Teeth in ) you should shoot the next age class is to reproduce and to... Quality Whitetails about harvesting 1.5 year old bucks different species, ' he explains an older buck have! Was looking for management bucks to remove in Texas have cattle that will with! Laws ) buck in my opinion, do not shoot spikes — or at least 13... Hunting, hunting ensure the animal is old enough to be a 4.5 year old buck had. Hunt ( as long as you follow laws ) to brow tines 4! You will then be able to determine if spike bucks remained inferior to forked-antlered in. Can your property handle the amount of rainfall, habitat, nutrition, carrying capacity, and hunt you...

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