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Antler growth...

Old 03-19-2008, 08:03 AM
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Default Antler growth...

Was wondering what the average antler growth for a whitetail buck is. Seems to me that to get a 5 year-old buck with about 150 inches rack he would have to gain about 35 inches a year...With good genetics, guess this would be a good average, wouldnt it? Not real sure how this works, with most bucks being button bucks their first year or spikes. I am confused, any info. is appreciated....
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:42 AM
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Default RE: Antler growth...

They say that if a first year buck has a fork horn rack it will be a a bigger buck later on.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:03 PM
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I do not know what an average would be.... it would be so hard to find because of varying conditions/regions/food supplies and everything that would be involved.
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:44 PM
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Get a hold of, or pmPreacher Tony in the bow hunting section. He's posted quitea few times,an incredible series of pics that shows the growth progressionof a healthy buck with good genetics. It really is amazing to see this buck start from a spike, and make it to mature 10 year old monster.

I would say do a search, but I don't remember the thread topic.
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:47 PM
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Default RE: Antler growth...

Penn state had a buck that was 145 inches....Oh yeah and it was his first rack....Good genetics+ food= good buck. Add in some age you get monsters. Spikes can be big bucks but on average are genetically inferior to other bucks. Their is exceptions, like malnutrition, born late, etc.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:16 PM
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ORIGINAL: pigiron

Get a hold of, or pmPreacher Tony in the bow hunting section. He's posted quitea few times,an incredible series of pics that shows the growth progressionof a healthy buck with good genetics. It really is amazing to see this buck start from a spike, and make it to mature 10 year old monster.

I would say do a search, but I don't remember the thread topic.
That was an awesome story and thread Tony had! I don't know if it made it to 10 years old though but none the less it was good info. I'll go by what the avg bucks are in my area. 1st year buck with a avg 6 point rack usually will be in that 50" to 60" range. 2nd year buck your looking at about 80" to 90" range, maybe smaller. 3rd year they could hit 125"+. After that you can usually figure on them putting 15 to 20 inches a year on until they hit there peak. Really depends on the area and the nutrients they are eating.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:32 AM
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Default RE: Antler growth...

ORIGINAL: Schultzy

ORIGINAL: pigiron

Get a hold of, or pmPreacher Tony in the bow hunting section. He's posted quitea few times,an incredible series of pics that shows the growth progressionof a healthy buck with good genetics. It really is amazing to see this buck start from a spike, and make it to mature 10 year old monster.

I would say do a search, but I don't remember the thread topic.
That was an awesome story and thread Tony had! I don't know if it made it to 10 years old though but none the less it was good info. I'll go by what the avg bucks are in my area. 1st year buck with a avg 6 point rack usually will be in that 50" to 60" range. 2nd year buck your looking at about 80" to 90" range, maybe smaller. 3rd year they could hit 125"+. After that you can usually figure on them putting 15 to 20 inches a year on until they hit there peak. Really depends on the area and the nutrients they are eating.
Agreed that genics, location and available food sources are the major keys. A good 1 1/2 old in my area can easily be 130", 2 1/2 140's, 150"+ at 3 1/2.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:09 AM
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Default RE: Antler growth...

ORIGINAL: kickin_buck

Agreed that genics, location and available food sources are the major keys. A good 1 1/2 old in my area can easily be 130", 2 1/2 140's, 150"+ at 3 1/2.
Where are you seeing a yearling buck in the wild with a 130" rack?

This is possible with geneticallyengineered pen raised deer but not a free ranging wild deer.

That would be impressive for a 2 1/2 year old buck in the wild even in the big buck states.

I would agree with Shultzy, 1 1/2 = 60"; 2 1/2 = 90-100"; 3 1/2 = 120-130" then add 15-20" per year for 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 thenmaybe 5-10"at 6 1/2 and then they start going down
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:03 PM
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Default RE: Antler growth...

yeah, inquiring minds want to know!

Aside from Genetics and food sources, A whitetail population needs proper densities and Buck to doe ratios. Many areas are lopsided with Buck doe ratios and the low number of bucks can not impregnate does in a timely fashion. this tends to stagger fawn crops and as a result they are dropped later in the optimalgrowing season. ( An additional down side to this is a staggered fawn crop production, which increases bear, coyote and bobcat predation rates. When dropped at the same time, there is strength in numbers because of the dilution factor) He may very well have spike horns instead of a forked rack due to his body growth needs which are more important to getting him through the winter, as weight going in to the rough season is very important. Again spike horns are no indication of an inferior buck. I have seen documentation of spike horns that were allowed to reach maturity (5-7 years) that have produced Boone and Crockett class antlers.

It takes 4-5 years for a whitetail to reach maturity. He will typically produce the best antlers after 4 1/2 years to 8 years of age. His body and bone structure is more important in those first 4 or 5 formative years than his antlers are and will take the lions share of nutrition and calcium, magnesium etc, in order to grow his body, which at that time is of paramount importance to antler growth. When he is an adult he will then have more nutrients available to produce a better pair of antlers. A whitetail doesn't consume calcium magnesium etc to have it go directly to his antlers. For the most part the needed components of antler growth is siphoned from the existing bone structure and replaced later.

It is very importtant that buck doe ratios are as close to natural (1-1) as possible. This increases competition and when this occurs you will start to see the typical signs of rutting activity, scrapes rubs etc. Along with sparring and fighting.


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Old 03-21-2008, 02:09 PM
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This is the article from Field and Stream.

Compliments of Preacher Tony.

http://www.huntingnet.com/forum/tm.aspx?m=2161170&mpage=1

here he is at 1.5, 2.5, 4.5 years old respectively










and 5.5, 6.5, and 7.5 years old .....












and finally at 8 1/2 years old .... what a pig!!!! Majestic .......




These shots are all of the same buck, that's what makes them so unique and rare.
I made a promise to the caretaker of this private property that I wouldn't disclose the location where these shots were done so I can only tell you they are from the upper midwest.
After photographing this buck I became addicted to capturing him on film every fall. This area is one of the most difficult places to make good shots because it is all wooded and the overhead canopy keeps it dark until the leaves fall. Even then it is dark because the oak trees hold their leaves so late into the winter.
Compound this problem was the fact that this deer was almost totally nocturnal. He only came out during the daylight during the rut. It made for a nearly impossible task to get him on film.
He became my first "obsessesion deer." I spent all my savings just to purchase fast-enough lenses, sturdy-enough tripods, and the best silent cameras. For eight years I spent every fall, during the rut, trying to get usable images of him. I spent so much time at it that my career suffered; business-wise my time would have been spent much more wisely photographing more productive areas.
But it was a grueling, satisfying journey. This buck taught me a tremendous amount about whitetail behavior, physiology, biology and social dynamics, so much that in seven seasons I gained a lifetime of knowledge from him.
He's my favorite whitetail subject ever, not just for his tremendous antlers but for his brutishly "boss" look. He only had to throw a glance at other bucks to make them back down. He's probably the largest-bodied whitetail I've ever seen. If I've ever seen a 400-pound whitetail, he was it!
I only ever saw his rut personality because that was the only time I could ever observe him; I never got a picture of him when he wasn't either with a doe or chasing does. His pattern was to never leave the hot doe alone. As long as I didn't spook her, I could get photos of him, if there was enough light! And there were a lot of photos of him that had to be thrown in the trash because poor light made for an unusable image.
How'd he get this big? The property owners made a conscious decision not to harvest him if the chance arose, thank goodness they did because they allowed one of the greatest bucks ever to live to a ripe old age!"
--Bill Kinney
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