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Herd Genetics?

Old 12-16-2013, 01:47 PM
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Default Herd Genetics?

So I've been hearing and seeing it on TV every year for awhile now. So I'm going to ask you guys and gals your take on the matter.

Last night I was watching a hunting show on TV, and they shot a really nice thick antlered buck. They said he was 8.5 yrs old and needed to be taken out of the breeding herd, because his antlers had gone downhill the last few years.

So with that said it got me thinking about herd genetics. First off I'm by no means a wildlife biologist. Although I did go to college for it but joined the service before I could finish.

If a deer at 4.5 yrs old has a set of antlers that scores 180 in and the same deer at 8.5 yrs old has a rack that scores 135ish. It doesn't make any sense to me that he needs to be taken out of the herd because his rack went downhill and he's an old deer now. As far as I know and correct me if I'm wrong genetics don't change. You’re born with 'em and you die with the same genetics. So the comment he needed to be taken out of the gene pool is completely wrong. If he did breed a doe that yr which I'm sure he probably did. His off spring even though he was only sporting a 135ish rack at the time of his death have a good chance of sporting a 180 in rack at 4.5 yr old too. As long as the doe had good genes too.

Am I way off in this thinking?

Maybe this is the same logic of shoot all spikes. "Once a spike always a spike"
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by deernutz
So I've been hearing and seeing it on TV every year for awhile now. So I'm going to ask you guys and gals your take on the matter.

Last night I was watching a hunting show on TV, and they shot a really nice thick antlered buck. They said he was 8.5 yrs old and needed to be taken out of the breeding herd, because his antlers had gone downhill the last few years.

So with that said it got me thinking about herd genetics. First off I'm by no means a wildlife biologist. Although I did go to college for it but joined the service before I could finish.

If a deer at 4.5 yrs old has a set of antlers that scores 180 in and the same deer at 8.5 yrs old has a rack that scores 135ish. It doesn't make any sense to me that he needs to be taken out of the herd because his rack went downhill and he's an old deer now. As far as I know and correct me if I'm wrong genetics don't change. You’re born with 'em and you die with the same genetics. So the comment he needed to be taken out of the gene pool is completely wrong. If he did breed a doe that yr which I'm sure he probably did. His off spring even though he was only sporting a 135ish rack at the time of his death have a good chance of sporting a 180 in rack at 4.5 yr old too. As long as the doe had good genes too.

Am I way off in this thinking?

Maybe this is the same logic of shoot all spikes. "Once a spike always a spike"
I'd say your right and "Once a spike always a spike" is clearly wrong.

This year I seen a yearling with 3ish inch spikes.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:33 PM
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I would say your exactly right deernutx. Sounds to me like they were trying to justify, to themselves or to someone around them for harvesting the deer,but just guessing.
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:23 PM
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You are correct in your thinking Deernutz. It doesn't matter how old you are in that what you have when you're born is what you have until you die!!! The spike statement to take em all is also a bunch of BS!!!

Last edited by Topgun 3006; 12-16-2013 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:27 PM
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Shooting a buck that old no matter what the score of the rack is a great accomplishment.IMO.I agree on genetics.They don't change over time.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:37 PM
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Deernutz your right 100%
I guess the people on the show was thinking older deer smaller rack will produce smaller sperm cells in turn producing smaller racks.
I call BS on that theory. I agree with you.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:06 PM
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Ya know I would say it was a bad line in this show but I've heard it numerous times over the years.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by deernutz
Ya know I would say it was a bad line in this show but I've heard it numerous times over the years.
Well I think it makes sense to do it that way. Just for different reasons.

His genetics have been passed on for years. Their are likely new studs to take over and he is probably not going to be breeding much more anyway......but his genetics are still the same.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:36 AM
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Many forget that a buck is only half the equation. The genetics of the doe come into play as well yet are very rarely commented on. Bucks are easier to judge due to the antlers than a doe is. But, a buck with good genes breeding with a doe with bad genes probably won't produce a fawn of the caliber the guys looking for big headgear long for.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:20 AM
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Your right that genetics dont change and I agree with you and dont understand their thinking on taking that buck out of the herd. Someone mentioned does as part of the equation and believe it or not the doe plays more than a 50% role in deciding that bucks potential. Have read quite a few studies indicating that the doe is the absolute biggest part of the equation and without a good breeder it doesnt matter how big the buck is that bred her. Made me think long and hard about which I does I shoot now and I prefer to take a 1.5 to 2.5yr old doe and leave as many older girls in their prime out there as possible.
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