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Deer Antlers

Old 06-19-2009, 09:41 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 349
Default Deer Antlers

These questions mainly are for people who hunt on public or timber company land. It could apply for private land that does not have food plots. I understand food plots can help deer reach their max potential in antler growth. I was just wondering how much research if any has been done on public or timber company land.

I have a question about the browse/feed in the areas everyone has hunted deer. Have you ever researched or talked with anyone if the browse is high in lignin, cutin, phenols, or tannins? They all reduce the digestibility and quality of browse for many herbivores. Do you find areas that not only have good deer genetics and high abundance of browse, but also managed land that provides high-quality browse resources that are low in lignin, cutin, phenols, and tannins? A hunter would not only want to hunt in an area with great genetics and abundant browse, but with good quality browse as well.

Here is another question I have, but still need to research more myself. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but would like to find out if my theory works for deer health and antler growth. Do you choose areas to hunt that have an abundance of hardwoods? I would think if a person could find a location with plenty of hardwoods at the tops are nearly the tops of ridges and hill/mountains; the quality of browse may go up with the leaf litter putting nitrogen back into the ground. Having hardwoods higher on ridges and hills would allow the nitrogen to run down and recycle back into the environment; causing browse quality to go up.

I would assume areas with high intense logging like a timber company would have less nitrogen in their land and lower quality of feed. Timber companies will spray and try to prevent hardwoods from over taking their fir trees. Harvest units will be cleared leaving only brush piles. All the NW rain then will wash large amounts of nitrogen in the soil down any type of slope in the land. This in turn will leave the land with very little nitrogen and poor quality of browse for deer. I would then believe that large amounts of browse would not make up for very poor quality browse when it comes to antler growth.

What are some of everyone’s thoughts and any experiences with quality of browse affecting antler growth compared to abundance of browse and genetics?

blacktail slayer is offline  
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