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antler restriction and genetics

Old 06-27-2005, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14
Default RE: antler restriction and genetics

I read a book about whitetails once that said a yearling buck has only reached 10% of its potential! It also said that a 2 year old has only reached 40% of its potential. The smaller younger bucks would still be sacraficing breeding rights because even if the larger mature bucks are being shot, they are too afraid and too low on their local heiarchy to breed the does. I think that hunting mature bucks would greatly help our deer populations, and don't think that those smaller bucks will ruin the population in your area
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Old 06-28-2005, 06:46 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ramsey , Indiana
Posts: 22,545
Default RE: antler restriction and genetics

Nature culls the weak and the unwary no matter what's on their heads , we should learn from that .
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 11
Default RE: antler restriction and genetics

Genetics does play a roll in the size of the Antlered horn that a mature whitetail does produce. Just like your genteicsplay a role inhow tall, short, hair color, eye color etc. that you will be. However there are several things that can affect these genetics from reaching there full potential on a whitetail deer.Onekey ingredient is the amount of nutrition the deer gets.The vital organs ofthe body are the first to receive nutrition, andwhen they have an adequate amount to sustain each organ, then themuscles bone structure etc. get their share. The horns are last in the equation because they are not signifacant for the deer tosurvive. Much like the fingers and hair on the human body.So if the deer is not getting enoughgood nutrition to sustain his body the horns will suffer.

Now maturity of the deer.Most studies show that a buck does not reach maturity until he is 5-6 year old, give or take a half a year. If you believe thatthe averagebuck can be judged at a 1 1/2 or 2 1/2years to what kind of horns he will have at 5-6 years of age then you need to do a little more research on this subject becasue they have people that are educated in this field that can not do this just do to the simple fact that they can not predict a deers genetics, how much nutrion the deer receives through out the year and the amount of stress that is placed on the animal forany reasons.Once the deer is the age 4, I believe you can come close to predicting its potential but5-6 yrs wouldgive you a better shot at it.Simply put can't shoot a big one if you shoot the little ones.

Antler restricitons - this has its pros and cons but for the most part I agree with it provided that the restrictions benefit the deer more than the hunter.

In my opinion one of the most over looked key part of all of this is, the doe's. When doe's fawn, the first 10 monthsof that fawns life are the most critical in the overall makeup of what that animalspotential will be atmaturity.The doe has to maintain not only her health butbe able to produce enough nutritional milkfor the fawns.(keep in mind this could be up to3, most of the time 2)If she is stressed forwhatever reason, drought, cold, or any other act of god that will affect hernutritional sources the fawn(s) will suffer.If moma ain't happy ain't no body happy, including you as a hunter.

Just my 2 cents for what its worth.
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Posts: 73
Default RE: antler restriction and genetics

I'd have to say that there is a little truth in all of it. In Kentucky we kill one buck. Most people will wait for a good deer, but some small ones are being taken. This policy has really helped the herd quality. However, we saee a lot of small bucks. They just ned time to mature.

An antler restriction probablyallows the slower maturing deer to survive while those deer that hit 6-8 points at 2.5 years are being killed, but what is probably happening is that the larger olderbucks are being taken and the younger ones are doing more cruising looking for does. It increases the numebr of deer being seen. Remember all of the deer being killed are from the same genetics. Size restrictions allows for a better buck survival rate and should increase competioton during the rut. I have seen an improvement in both the number of deer and quality of deer in the area of Arkansas I hunt. There size resstrictions have helped.

Mississippi Statecompleted a study that would seem to indicate that the size of deer are down around the state. I think it is a matter of data collection. Prior to the restrictions, the mature buck to young buck ratio was not good.Many young bucks were being taken and not allowed to fully develop. With the restriction many of the younger deer were allowed to live and the younger deer volumes increased. It is only logical that there be more young deer to breed.

Width restrictions would also produce the same arguement. If we have a 15 inch restriction, only the narrow spread deer will live and survive.

Antler growth is a product of age, nutrition, genetics. All three are needed to produce quality deer. The onlytrue control would be to mandate reestraint and only take mature bucks. We all know that is impossible.

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Old 06-28-2005, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14
Default RE: antler restriction and genetics

I guess it may be near impossible to actually have a law against taking yearlings and 2nd year bucks, but we as hunters can control how trigger happy we get, and how trigger happy our party gets. If you can't control yourself from shooting a basket buck, then hunting isn't your game(I give this an exception to first/second year hunters, because they need to get hooked) If we would control what we shoot, then more larger bucks would make it to the following year as well, and I will explain this.

Every fall the largest of bucks spend all of their time trying to mate. If we turn down shooting a yearling buck, then we have another chance at shooting a large buck. If we shoot more large mature bucks, then the remaining mature bucks would have less competition to mate with the does. A majority of the mature bucks die every fall in the northern states because they spent all of their energy fighting to mate does, so if can take more larger bucks, then their will be less competition resulting in the few remaining mature bucks making it to the next hunting season, and also the young bucks will advance their genetics as well.

Just my 2 cents, hope I explained it in a way everyone can understand
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