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Harvesting Long Horn Spikes/Does for Management

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Harvesting Long Horn Spikes/Does for Management

Old 12-05-2016, 04:59 PM
  #11  
Nontypical Buck
 
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We suedo manage our land somewhat similar to you. But we don't shoot the spikes. Nice bucks or does, let all the others walk. IMO, the vast majority of spikes are just young deer. I personally know of one long horn spike about 10yrs ago that the following year was a clean basket rack 10pt. Once they are dead, they ain't getting no bigger that is for sure.

Its gotten alot better over the years, with nothing more than selective harvesting and trying to even out the buck/doe ratio somewhat. We used to see piles of does for every buck... now we see about 3-4 does for every buck.
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:26 PM
  #12  
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I assure you if you let all the bucks nature will allow reach maturity the deer with superior genetics will get plenty of doe bred.

Shooting bucks you consider inferior before they mature AND shooting the bucks with the best genetics when they become mountable rather than when they mature is not a very good plan.

You want big bucks? Let them mature. Mother nature will do the rest.

Last edited by rockport; 12-05-2016 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:42 AM
  #13  
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In PA, we can only shoot one buck a year and we are not allowed to shoot spikes or forks. So we can't cull. I've seen drastic improvement from the 3 things we can do:

1.) improve nutrition
2.) keep doe numbers in check
3.) Let bucks mature

We used to think that PA could not produce bucks that you see in magazines. We thought it was impossible, like we had a different sub-species. But we were dead wrong. We just never saw a 5 or 6 year old buck that had a life of decent nutrition.

I wish I could take the me from the 20 years ago and show him the trail cam pictures from the me of today. Or even show him the bucks that we have shot over the last 10 years. The most fun is going to the butcher shop in gun season these days and checking out all the caped bucks that are destined for the taxidermist. Back in the day, there were hardly any. Every buck got the antlers sawed off for the $10 wooden plaque.

No culling done at all here. Just more mature bucks. A fully mature buck is going to be impressive in most places, regardless of culling practices. Besides, you can't control what the doe brings to the genetic equation.
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Old 12-06-2016, 02:46 PM
  #14  
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Down here in SE Al., it is extremely rare for a "fawn buck", i.e. first fall buck, to have "antler" broken through the skin. In fact, in 40+ years of hunting SE Al. and South Central Ark., I have never seen a single yearling buck on the hoof or on the skinning rack with horn above the hairline until near the very end of the season (Jan. 31 , this year Feb. 10) .... and then only 2 and only barely. As far as managing deer on 500 acres of open land, I cannot imagine how that'd work well unless every hunting groups surrounding the property buys into the same philosophy.
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Old 12-06-2016, 03:12 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Mojotex
Down here in SE Al., it is extremely rare for a "fawn buck", i.e. first fall buck, to have "antler" broken through the skin. In fact, in 40+ years of hunting SE Al. and South Central Ark., I have never seen a single yearling buck on the hoof or on the skinning rack with horn above the hairline until near the very end of the season (Jan. 31 , this year Feb. 10) .... and then only 2 and only barely. As far as managing deer on 500 acres of open land, I cannot imagine how that'd work well unless every hunting groups surrounding the property buys into the same philosophy.
500 acres is plenty of land to get management results in IL. Not sure where the OP hunts though.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:51 PM
  #16  
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I believe you want 1:1 buck to doe in a perfect situation.

You want your best genes breeding.

If you had a spike, a fork, a 6 and an 8 walk in and they were all 1.5yo, I'd take the smallest.

Guys around here will shoot a 10pt 2.5yo all day long, what you leave are 8pt and 6pt 2.5yo to breed...

whether or not you can really influence your area is another argument.

There's probably a paper to prove anything you want out there on the internet...
but some things I've read suggest that say at 2.5 a buck main frame will be present... 8pts , 9pts, 10pts, etc... We have pics from a 9pt at 2.5, 3.5, 4.5... he got bigger, but same frame essentially his g4s were always week, read up online at all the research you can. but essentially I'm a believer in taking out weaker genetics as early as recognizable. I think by 2.5yo you have a solid idea... at 1.5 it would be hard to say.

But like one thing I read, was, no deer breeders are buying forks or spikes at 1.5yo when they can buy 8pt, 10pts...

So it makes sense to me if 2 spikes were to come in, it would make more sense to shoot the small of the 2, and so on...

around here a 3.5yo is starting to really get big compared to 2.5yo.

good luck!
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:44 PM
  #17  
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Unless she's to old to breed I see no reason to kill does that make the herd larger and bring you trophy bucks , the more does that are ready or unbreed the more reason he he's to stay instead of leaving looking for does . I do kill does just not on our land . Spikes , the Fort Worth Nature center has everything abundantly available that a deer could want and is an excellent place to observe deer mating , fighting and roaming naturally. I have seen what the spike I would have dropped and culled from the herd developed when left to grow they are wide tall tines with awesome height and spread width . I say cull narrow basket bucks ( if legal , Texas most counties have to be outside the ears) and let your does thrive , if they become too abundant you can always find help , never met a hunter yet that wouldn't gladly come take a doe out for ya
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:06 AM
  #18  
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That's just the point blessed...in many places taking a few does keeps the herd at a manageable level to match the available habitat. Everyone likes to see deer but at some point there can become too many.
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