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Spike bucks
ArcherKO19

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I have a question. Why are spike bucks protected? I understand they are young, but how many yearling does are killed each year? From what i have read, spike bucks dont have great genetics, so by protecting them and allowing them to breed, their little antlers are going to be passed on. This is a weird situation, because it would be good to harvest spikes as a management hunt, if you will. That being said, we should protect the fork antlered yearlings to let them breed and pass on better genes. Basically the article was saying that when bucks reached maturity the forked yearlings had much better racks than the spikes. (pretty much common sense)

I researched on google for a couple hours out of curiosity.
Hunterman

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That is not true.

In Pennsylvania a youth hunter can shoot any legal deer.

It is not as cut and dried as being poor genetics for being the reason why their antlers did not develop this year.

It usually has more to do with the age of the deer and the food source available.

If you give a deer several years and he never develops past the spike buck stage - then it would have something to do with genetics.

On the other hand - Piebald deer usually does not have a very big rack - although most people goes crazy trying to shoot one if they can see it. It is not fair to judge a deers life by what it grows on its head.

All deer are trophy deer in my book.

So why wouldn't you want to let that buck walk this year and maybe have a opportunity to shoot it next year when it has more points?
ArcherKO19

I'm a 9 point buck on this forum.<br> <b>My next goal is to become a 10 Pointer.</B>
I'm a 9 point buck on this forum.
My next goal is to become a 10 Pointer.


Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 32
Age: 19
Zodiac: Virgo

Game Tokens: 760
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Well food does put into that but if you see a spike and a forked yearling living in the same area the food isnt what is causing it. I think if my pap, who is a meat hunter, wanted to shoot a spike he should be allowed. A 2 year old buck should never be a spike, thats very poor genetics, unless his tines broke off, but you could tell. And yes all deer are trophies but wouldnt you like some better genetics and bigger racks? Of course, all of us would.
Re: Spike bucks
RSB

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Joined: 04 May 2008
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Location: Elk County

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[quote="ArcherKO19"]I have a question. Why are spike bucks protected? I understand they are young, but how many yearling does are killed each year? From what i have read, spike bucks dont have great genetics, so by protecting them and allowing them to breed, their little antlers are going to be passed on. This is a weird situation, because it would be good to harvest spikes as a management hunt, if you will. That being said, we should protect the fork antlered yearlings to let them breed and pass on better genes. Basically the article was saying that when bucks reached maturity the forked yearlings had much better racks than the spikes. (pretty much common sense)

I researched on google for a couple hours out of curiosity.[/quote]

A spike buck is usually not an indication of poor genetics at all. A spike buck is usually either a buck that is a few weeks younger than the larger racked 1 ½ year old bucks, a buck that spent the first year and half of its life in poor habitat or a buck that went through a long harsh winter when it was just a six or seven month old fawn.

The fall mast conditions and severity of the winter have a major effect on the number of spike bucks in the 1-½ year old buck population. To illustrate that point I am going to post the percentage of the bucks the Elk County volunteer survey teams have reported in the total buck population they saw along the same designated survey routes each year since 1997. When you look at this data remember it is coming from the same areas each year and where the genetics of the herd would be relatively unchanged.

Year…………..% of bucks spikes
1997……………….28%
1998……………….28%
1999……………….31%
2000……………….40%
2001……………….40%
2002……………….31%
2003……………….26%
2004……………….41%
2005……………….28%
2006……………….18%
2007……………….20%
2008……………….14%
2009……………….37%
2010……………….12%

Prior to antler restrictions, in 2002, the percent of spikes was increasing, most likely from the habitat being more damaged each year from carrying too many deer being combined with most of the bucks being only 1-½ years old. Since 2002 the percentage of spikes has been more influenced by the environmental conditions the bucks had to live with during their first year of life. As you can see that is a factor that changes a lot from year to year.

Dick Bodenhorn
ArcherKO19

I'm a 9 point buck on this forum.<br> <b>My next goal is to become a 10 Pointer.</B>
I'm a 9 point buck on this forum.
My next goal is to become a 10 Pointer.


Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 32
Age: 19
Zodiac: Virgo

Game Tokens: 760
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Thats probably the case sometimes or often, i dont really know lol. But i read a study (it was on a deer farm) it had 2 bucks born withing the same week with the does having almost exact genetics but the sires were a spike its first year and a 4 point the first year. The 4 point sire's fawn was a 4 point with a point that almost made it a 5 point. The spike sire's fawn was little more than a button buck, and when they both reached maturity, the 4 point yearling had a noticably better rack. More kickers, mass and points. But that was just that study, so im not going to say i know all these things when i dont know too much about the situation.
Mountaineer

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The problem is not spike bucks..the problem is when the yearling racks fall into the "Unsave" category...Having alot of spike bucks in your area may be a good thing...For they are protected...The entire system the PGC has in place is a total contradiction. They claim there was too many deer and small antlers diameters...They institute AR/HR...They claim the lower deer pops will increase antlers diameters and size..So..if yearling bucks are healtheier due to AR/HR and growing better antlers with 3 or more points to a side at 1.5 years of age then whats being protected?

Major contradiction [sad3]
ArcherKO19

I'm a 9 point buck on this forum.<br> <b>My next goal is to become a 10 Pointer.</B>
I'm a 9 point buck on this forum.
My next goal is to become a 10 Pointer.


Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 32
Age: 19
Zodiac: Virgo

Game Tokens: 760
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well said
RSB

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[quote="Mountaineer"]The problem is not spike bucks..the problem is when the yearling racks fall into the "Unsave" category...Having alot of spike bucks in your area may be a good thing...For they are protected...The entire system the PGC has in place is a total contradiction. They claim there was too many deer and small antlers diameters...They institute AR/HR...They claim the lower deer pops will increase antlers diameters and size..So..if yearling bucks are healtheier due to AR/HR and growing better antlers with 3 or more points to a side at 1.5 years of age then whats being protected?

Major contradiction [sad3][/quote]

You don’t seem to understand what the reason was for initiating antler restrictions and obviously have no idea just how many bucks really are being protected as a result of the antler restrictions.

First of all antler restrictions were put in place to protect ONLY about 50% of the 1 ½ year old bucks in each management unit. It had nothing to do with a goal or attempt to increase the antler size though it was known that older bucks do have larger antlers. It was simply to bring the age structure of the bucks back to a more natural balance and improve the breeding ecology and success of the deer herd. It is working pretty much as intended too, even though so far it hasn’t suppressed the younger bucks participating in the breeding as much as had been expected.

Your comments about the quantity and quality of the food supply increasing the antler size to where more bucks are antler legal is valid and correct but studies prove that still isn’t resulting in a large number of those bucks being harvested. With several hundred collared and monitored deer being tracked through the past few hunting seasons we know what percentage of each sex and age class are being harvested in the various habitat types and areas of the state. There were bucks being monitored in WMUs 2D, 2G, 3C and 4B over the past few years so I will post the percentage of those monitored bucks that were harvested last year. I am also going to post the percentage of adult bucks (those 2 ½ and older) and does that were harvested.

Unit…….% of monitored yearling bucks harvested…….% of adult bucks……% of does
2D………………….22 %…………………………………….62 %……………….21 %
2G…………………..8 %……………………………………..29 %………………...8 %
3C………………….17 %…………………………………….12 %………………..22 %
4B………………….39 %…………………………………….49 %………………..17 %

I must add though that the sample size of adult bucks both in the population and harvested in WMU 3C was too low to have any confidence in the adult buck harvest percentage for last year in that unit. The samples sizes of all the other units was sufficient though to provide a good representation of what percentage of the deer in each sex and age class are being harvested by hunters.

The facts simply prove that hunters are not over harvesting any sex or age class of the deer herd in ANY of the areas of the state where radio tracked deer are being monitored.

Dick Bodenhorn
Hunterman

I'm a Member of the <b>Monster Buck Club!</b><br> My Final Goal is to become a VIP Member of PAbucks.com!!
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Joined: 28 Sep 2010
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Location: Western Pennsylvania - 2D
Age: 53
Zodiac: Capricorn

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The one thing that people do not understand - and I cannot claim to understand is DNA itself.

If you could take one piece of deer DNA and blow it up in a microscope and make it into different colors so you could see the spectrum of the entire DNA chain - you would probably end up with a ribbon that is about 8 feet long.

If the theory of determining the wealth of a deer - by the number of points on it's head gear, then you would have to compare that deers DNA to 10,000 other deer to see what similar traits made that one animal not produce the head gear that you were looking for.

The problem with trying to do that is the fact that only half of that bucks DNA comes from it's father.
The other half comes from the mother.

So by taking someones theory that if you have a buck with a spike rack - you should shoot it - just to take it out of the gene pool. Then how do you determine which doe also has a inferior gene which produced the buck in the first place.

Now you are taking the entire gene pool and putting it under a microscope and trying to determine which deer has the best genetics for breeding and getting rid of all other inferior genes.

There is a really big problem with trying to do something like that and I will try to make a couple generic examples - without getting anyone upset if I may.

We already know what happens when you have one group of animals reproducing from the same gene pool.
All you had to do was visit any Amish community 40 years ago - to see what happens after 200 years of inbreeding. We had people walking around with half their teeth missing, pale white skin, various health problems associated to inbreeding, a whole group of people that looked pretty much the same.

The problem was that they were slowly decreasing in population and age due to the fact that as the gene pool kept getting smaller and smaller - the families became smaller and smaller and the rate of death and illness got higher and higher - because the blemishes in the genetic make up DNA became more and more scrambled.

At the same time - as plain white people - influenced more and more by Television, the movies, magazines - the media - bought into the LOOKS side of things, where a beautiful woman would not be caught dead with a ugly man - their DNA was going through the same ordeal.

You just go to any elementary school and ask the school dietitian what they serve for lunch, you would be surprised by the number of students in that school district has has allergy's for everything from soup to nuts.
We can't serve peanut butter - because this kid will get sick, we can't serve anything with salt or sugar because of hypertension or diabetes, or this or that and one by one - the kids are more and more sick and has more and more allergies.

Then you look at the ugly people. They might weigh 350 lbs - yet they can eat most everything you put in front of them. WHY? Because ugly people breeds with other ugly people - yet they can produce some of the most beautiful children that you ever saw and those children are less susceptible to disease and problems then the kids who came from the so called good looking families.

Sometimes you will meet people who cannot have children - who other then this one blem - looks totally normal and might be the best looking man or woman you ever saw. Why ? Genetics

Yet no one is trying to take them out of the gene pool.

No one can say with a 100% certainty what happens when two animals breeds what the outcome is going to be until after it happens.

I think that the only reason this subject came up in the first place is because someone wanted to justify letting older people shoot what is in their opinion a inferior deer. Somehow trying to make it easier for a person to harvest a deer. Only if it gets any easier for a person to harvest a deer - the butcher shop will deliver it for you right to the door and you won't even have to hunt it or shoot it.

I was down in the Porter area this morning / afternoon - 2D. and I observed two bucks chasing each other across a road. One had a 3 point rack on the right side, the other had a 3 point rack on the left.
Both deer to me looked identical - other then the missing rack.
I would not be surprised if they were not brothers.
Both deer weighed in my opinion 135 lbs.
So basically they were both 1 1/2 years in age.

By your assumption - because they both have one rack - they should both be shot - because we don't want deer with one rack in the breeding pool - the same as the deer with a spike rack.
After a while - which deer are we going to leave in the breeding pool - if we make it legal to shoot all antlered rack bucks? We will be right back to where we started from, only this time we do not have the high doe population to reproduce the deer that were shot the year before in deer season and pretty soon after that - we would have no deer at all to hunt.

So how many deer are we going to harvest this year is going to determine how many deer we have to harvest next year. When will you be happy? When there is no more deer left to harvest?

I can already show you many 3 point antler restriction zones which has very few deer!
Why? = because the liberal antler restrictions made it easier for people to legally shoot them and most hunters just wanted to fill their tags and did not care how big the deer was or how many points it had - due to the fact that they were hunting for meat and not trophy deer.

You put that same hunter in a 4 point zone and he will tear his hair out trying to count points before he shoots a legal buck. When you have to go out and buy a 12 or 15 power scope - just so you can count the points before you pull the trigger - you will realize that it is very hard to fill a tag in 2D unless the deer looks like Bull Winkle. Yet it produces the most deer because of the selectivity and the fact that many bucks makes it past 1 1/2 years - due to the fact that by the time you count the points on the rack of a little buck - it is already in the next county.

Maybe my explanation of Genetics is not the best - but it is the only way that I can try to explain to you how it works in my opinion.


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Spike bucks
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