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100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

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100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

Old 08-16-2004, 03:10 PM
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Default 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

Okay I see my first question made alot of people take thier "scent control" clothing back for a refund, let's dig into a new question.
All over this site on the forum, I see everyone say things like
"If it's a 4 pointer (6 pointer, whatever point) let it walk so it'll be bigger next year."
Okay hmmm, well the problem with that is, deer lose thier antlers every year.
You can have a 10 year old deer with 4 points and a yearling buck with a full rack.
I often wonder why people say "Dont shoot that deer, let it go for next year when it has more points."
I don't hunt for trophys, if one happens to come along thats fine, but I dont go out of my way.
Antler growth is dependant upon the deer's diet and general health, nothing else.
That deer rack crap you buy at wally world, that special potion you buy out of a magazine that suppossedley will "grow the big ones" is utter and total bs.
Recently at WalMart I saw a "minieral add on" for a salt block. You see, you take the salt block and put it in the ground and pour this powder on it, and then pour water on it and presto ! It foams up and then hardens like a thick caramel !
Now, on the package it SAYS that it increases Antler size and WIDTH !! (new one to me !)
Heres the funny thing, whenst I called up the manufacturer asking what chemicals were in it, so as to not posion my family, I was informed the magical powder is nothing more then DRIED HONEY.
It's a chemical reaction when water is reintroduced to it.
I'm not the fool paying $19.95 for it, maybe you or one of your friends will be.
Read all the above twice, then think to yourself, "Let the little 4 pointer walk so I can get it next year with a huge rack? Or kill it now so I can get what I came out here for, some food."
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Old 08-16-2004, 03:59 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

Antlers are not a reliable indication of age. they can indicate genetics and range condition.
Where I hunt, a decent 1 1/2 year old has eight points. You ALWAYS let these walk, because he has the genetics to have a nice rack by the time he is 3 1/2. OTOH, if he has six points, or no brow tines, he is a cull that is whacked from the herd.
All the antler development magic potions in the world won't do a thing unless they are used at the proper time...protein of some type during active antler growth. My area, March thru June/July.
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Old 08-16-2004, 04:09 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

Antler growth is started every year anew.
When I lived in Pennsylvania we had a deer farmer, he bred deer for meat for restaurants.
No deer there ever lived past 2 years, but some of the racks that they had from good feeding, diet would make you swear you were in buck heaven.
There are no genetics in antler growth, they have shown this time and time again.
It is like you growing your fingernails.
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Old 08-16-2004, 04:11 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

http://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/Jobs/Job-antlergrowth.html
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Old 08-16-2004, 04:18 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

Very interesting read, this guy studies antler growth, and has scientifically shown what protiens and chemicals make them grow the fastest.
Once again, it has nothing to do with genetics.
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache...+factors&hl=en
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Old 08-16-2004, 04:25 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

No deer there ever lived past 2 years, but some of the racks that they had from good feeding, diet would make you swear you were in buck heaven.
There are no genetics in antler growth, they have shown this time and time again.
It is like you growing your fingernails.

Um ok so if they were of the same age, diet and food source why do you suppose some racks not all racks were bigger? Genetics most certainly plays a part in growth potential, as does nutrients, stress & age.
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Old 08-16-2004, 04:55 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

Genetics has nothing to do with antler growth, it has been PROVEN scientifically. Just like the Earth is round.
Age has nothing to do with antler growth.
As for why arent all racks the exact same?
Maybe some deer eat more then others, once again, genetics does not play a role in antler developement.
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Old 08-16-2004, 08:20 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

I bit overboard but what the heck, small sample of biologist/game management statements on deer antler growth.

Nutrition is important, but other factors, such as genetics and age, probably play a role in the antler growth of deer in Missouri. Most studies that examine the effects of genetics on antler growth are studies of penned deer. Whether these findings may be extrapolated to wild populations remains in question. One theory suggests that spike bucks-bucks, usually yearlings, with non-branched antlers-are genetically inferior. Another has found that many of these spike bucks are late-born fawns whose antler development is retarded but will eventually catch up with other bucks.

No doubt if we take 100 bucks and feed them the same rations until they reach 4 1/2 years of age, antler development will vary among these deer. Much of this variance probably is caused by genetics. Genes and nutrition aside, however, a 3- to 7-year-old deer in Missouri will have a "braggin' sized" rack because Missouri has good deer habitat. Most deer never reach their potential because they are harvested the first year they grow antlers.
Deer Antler Development

So how do a deer's antlers develop? well, it is a very complex process, but here we will attempt to explain it and show you the best we can, below is an article on the science of how they grow, this more scientific than what we will show you below.



By Joel D. Glover, Wildlife Biologist,
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
Game & Fish Division

Published in the Spring 1999 issue of TREASURED Forests

The development of antlers is one of the most researched aspects of white-tailed deer. Antlers are outgrowths of the skeletal system and are composed primarily of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals. Deer antlers grow from an area on top of the skull known as the pedicel, which is attached to the burr, or base, of the antler.

Bucks develop and shed new antlers each year. Antler growth may begin as early as mid March. Increasing daylight in spring stimulates production of hormones such as prolactin and antlers quickly emerge. The growing antler, which is the fastest growing form of true bone, is covered with a soft, hair-covered membrane known as "velvet". The velvet is interlaced with numerous blood vessels that transport and deposit minerals that build the antler. During this time, antlers are vulnerable to injury, which may result in deformation. Antler growth usually continues into September, when the bone hardens and the velvet dries and is removed.

Antler coloration is determined by the amount of stain received from hemoglobin of the blood in the velvet, and from juices of tree bark on which antlers are rubbed. Some bucks begin to strip the velvet from their antlers while there is still an active blood supply, while others wait until the velvet has dried completely. Antlers exposed to more blood will normally have a darker stain. Antlers exposed to moisture and sunlight will bleach out over time. Once shed, antlers begin to deteriorate from the effects of moisture and sun. In addition, rats, squirrels and even deer themselves will chew on antlers.

So, what makes deer antlers? The answer is very complex. Antler development is affected by nutrition and genetics, with nutrition being the greater role. Nutritional intake is used for the growth of antlers only after the body growth requirements are met. To achieve optimum antler development, deer must have nutritious food available in large quantities.

Sportsmen are always eager to learn how to increase the size of antlers for deer on their property. They often ask, "What should we plant to give deer better antlers?" Unfortunately, the increased use and commercialization of wildlife plantings have caused many sportsmen to mistakenly view such plantings as a cure-all for deer management. However, deer management is complex with many variables to consider. Supplemental plantings are of some benefit, but deer need nutritious forage year round to produce good body condition and antlers. It is important to remember that antlers are growing during spring and summer when many annual plantings are long forgotten. Naturally occurring spring and summer foods can be enhanced by prescribed burning before spring green-up and by fertilization, mowing and disking.

Producing better antlers goes beyond good habitat management. Proper harvest management is also a necessity. To ensure an abundance of high quality food, herd size must be kept within carrying capacity of the land. This often requires harvest of antlerless deer. Another prerequisite for large antlers is age. Body requirements use most of the nutrients taken in during the first couple of years of a deer's life and antler growth is restricted. Allowing young bucks to make it to the older age classes will greatly enhance their chances of growing a large rack.

As you can see, many factors including diet, genetics, age and herd management affect development of the white-tail's crowning glory--antlers. The next time you observe a deer's antlers, remember this amazing cycle of nature.
GROWTH. Nutrition, sex, age, latitude and genetics determine a deer’s growth rate and ultimate size.

Although deer grow to almost full length and height as yearlings, they gain in bulk for a few years thereafter. A yearling buck in the eastern forest, for example, may measure 30 inches at the shoulder, 65 inches from nose to tail and weigh 130 pounds at the start of the breeding season; at 2-1/2 years old, this deer measures 34 inches at the shoulder, 75 inches in length and weighs 180 pounds.

Farmland deer grow faster than their forest counterparts, mainly because of better nutrition. A yearling buck may weigh close to 200 pounds; a 2-1/2-year-old buck, 250 pounds.

The average 2-1/2-year-old adult buck is about 20 percent taller and longer than a doe of the same age, and outweighs her by about 30 percent. However, weight differences vary greatly in different habitat types and in different years, so it’s not unusual for bucks to weigh twice as much as does of the same age.

Like most mammals, whitetails in the northern part of their range grow larger than those in the southern part (see chart). A larger body has less surface area in comparison to its bulk. This reduces the rate of heat loss, an advantage during long, cold winters. Even in the same habitat type, some deer grow larger than others because of genetic differences.

Average Weight of 1-1/2-Year-Old Bucks
(forested habitat)

Location & Latitude

Weight
New York 43-45°
135 lbs.
Ohio 40-41°
114 lbs.
Missouri 37-38°
96 lbs.
Arkansas 34-36°
88 lbs.
Texas 30-32°
70 lbs.

NON-TYPICAL RACKS have many abnormal tines branching from regular tines, or growing sideways or down. This 44-pointer from Missouri, the current Boone and Crockett record, has main beams measuring 24-1/8 and 23-3/8 inches. The greatest spread is 33-3/8 inches. The rack scores 333-7/8 points.

ANTLER DEVELOPMENT. Antlers are projections of true bone that grow from pedicles, small stalk-like structures above and in front of a buck’s ears. Bucks shed their antlers after the breeding season and grow new, usually larger, ones the following year.

Some hunters refer to antlers as horns, but horns are continuously growing, modified hair sheaths that cover a permanent bony projection. Cows, buffalo, pronghorns, goats and members of the sheep family have horns, not antlers.

Big whitetails can have small antlers and small whitetails can have big antlers. Just as genetics, age and nutrition determine body size, they also determine antler size and shape. Injuries also affect antler development. In rare instances, a hormonal imbalance causes a doe to grow antlers.

Genetics set the limits for antler size and form, allowing some bucks to grow large antlers and limiting antler size on others. Dominant bucks are usually large and have thick antlers with lots of points. They tend to produce offspring that also have large bodies and antlers. Genetics and accidents also control whether racks will be typical or non-typical. Unusual antler characteristics, such as drop points, a wide spread or long tines, are often carried through several generations of bucks.

As bucks age, they usually grow larger, thicker antlers. Fawn males, called “button bucks,” have pedicles but no antlers. A yearling’s antlers can range from spikes to six-pointers or better but are only about half the thickness they can be when the deer reaches maturity. Deer in good condition usually grow their largest antlers between ages 3 and 7, if they live that long.

TYPICAL RACKS are fairly symmetrical, although they may have a different number of tines on each side. This 13-pointer has main beams 27-3/8 and 27-1/2 inches long. The greatest spread is 24-3/8 inches. The rack scored 199-3/8 points.

Nutrition is the major factor regulating antler size. Poor nutrition caused by overpopulation, severe weather or inferior habitat is a problem in many areas. A farmland yearling can grow a bigger rack than a 3-year-old in a mature forest because it has access to more and higher-quality food. Adult bucks in poor condition may never grow big racks, despite proper genetics. On the other hand, a buck in good physical condition still needs the right genetic code to grow record-book antlers.

The ratio of daylight to darkness, or photoperiod, controls antler cycles throughout most of the whitetail’s range. Increasing photoperiod triggers antler growth in spring (April in the South and May in the North). In one experiment using artificial lighting, several annual daylight cycles were compressed into one year. Bucks responded by growing as many as three sets of antlers.

Developing antlers are covered with a layer of skin and hair called velvet. The fuzzy covering is laced with blood vessels that supply nourishment to the growing antlers. Injuries to developing antlers or to just the velvet can deform them or halt their growth. In extreme cases, one antler may be normal while the other may grow down alongside the head. Injuries can also cause non-typical growth patterns, thicker beams and extra points.

As days become shorter in late summer, male hormone levels rise, causing antlers to stop growing and harden. The velvet then dries and sheds within about 24 hours, usually in late August or early September in the North; September or early October in the South. Bucks in poor condition shed later.

Near the equator, photoperiod varies little and has a minimal effect on the timing of the antler cycle. When a buck’s antlers start to grow depends on when the individual was born; the cycle can begin at any time of year.

Decreasing male hormone levels following the rut triggers antler drop, or casting. Antlers separate from the deer’s head at the pedicles. Northern bucks may drop their antlers as early as December or as late as March; southern bucks, from February to early April. Bucks in poor condition usually cast their antlers earlier than healthy bucks.

Antlered bucks make up a surprisingly small percentage of a typical whitetail population. In early fall, less than 30 percent of the population consists of antlered bucks; after deer season, as little as 10 percent. Many of the bucks have been killed and others have lost their antlers.

How Antlers Develop
(timing represents northern whitetail)

* April. Antler growth originates from the small bony projections just in front of the ears.

* June. The sprouting antlers, which are soft and covered with velvet, begin to develop tines.

* August. The antlers have grown to nearly full size, but are still soft and covered with velvet.

* September. The fully grown antlers have hardened, and all of the velvet sheds within about a day.

* October. The antlers are now polished from frequent rubbing on trees and brush.

* January. Antlers are cast as male hormone levels drop. Antlers may not drop off at the same time.
Hoopy, just a few examples which all state and support my first post. Even the link you posted indicated age(maturity) as a determining factor in antler growth (were talking potential growth).

You need to read all the print not just stop at food - Your theory of not eating as much is laughable but nice try!
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Old 08-16-2004, 08:47 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

For ****s and giggles, why dont you read the biology team that got a Federal grant on the matter to study this alone, that is the links above that I posted from.
Bah what do they know, you know more.
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Old 08-16-2004, 08:59 PM
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Default RE: 100 GOOD QUESTIONS THAT WILL TAKE ALOT OF THOUGHT (2cd question)

I am not sure which link you are referring too, I read one the other was a grant posting so maybe help out an idiot by reposting it. oh well you are at it please feel free to post other "Scientific" proof about age(maturity) or genes have nothing to do with antler development. I would love to be enlightened!

Thanks
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