Questions and Answers- FAQ. I've seen several that field dressed 90+ lbs. If you have an encouraging amount of rainfall, shooting spikes could be beneficial. Spikes are almost always 1 1/2 year old bucks. Definitely keep bringing them down. When it was still legal I shot a spike bull on the west side that had to be a 4.5 year old bull. So, should spike bucks be shot? Most often they are the products of fawns that were born a bit late the previous spring. Although this buck appears to be slightly worn down from the rut, he has quite well developed shoulders and brisket. After analyzing these records, he determined that the buck size was not increasing because they were reducing the number of bucks moving into older age classes. I have hunted a few places where the genetics were not great and found spikes at older ages, but they were obviously older deer – long spikes that often curved like the main beam normally would. When I cover this buck’s antlers he appears as a mature doe. Therefore, a spike can have several points on one side only and the other side with a single spike right from the skull. Predation is a factor as well. Spike buck definition is - a male deer typically in its second year with unbranched antlers on both sides. Normally a population is skewed with too many does, not bucks. This year we have a buck in velvet and his brow tines look exactly the same way that Lefty looked last year, however he is an 8 point. On Thanksgiving morning last year Dennie Bowman tagged a big buck just after daybreak in northern North Carolina. All bucks without brow tines at 1 1/2 years old lacked brow tines at 4 1/2 years old. There is a difference between helping the herd and affecting the herds genes. New York Trophy Whitetail: Two Whitetail Deer in Daylight: Whitetail Deer Home >>> Deer Photo Gallery >>> Slide Show - January 1, 2005 >>> 100-0003.jpg That being said the difference between a 115” and a 130” is a bigger gap than the score indicates. Looking at these teeth makes people think the deer is very old. 3. Spike bucks Weishuhn tagged and were able to follow for several years, all in time produced “acceptable” to big racks, provided they got adequate nutrition. Higher rainfall totals throughout the year provide growth of vegetation, which equates to thicker habitat for living, survival and higher nutritional values. A “spike buck deer” is a buck with no antler having more than one point. When taking into account the age of a spike, Larry says it perfectly when he states “If spike bucks are killed as spikes I can assure you they’ll never develop a bigger set of antlers.” Simple, but true. Spikes are bucks that have only a single, unbranched antler on each side of their head. So, should spike bucks be shot? Bucks produce their first antlers during their second summer. The answer is yes, and no. Maybe you’re just hunting for meat and antler size doesn’t matter to you. I saw a mule deer buck last year that I swore was a old buck that was a spike. Nutrition is a yearlong need for a whitetail deer, but the more nutritional value a yearling receives from February to September, the better. The buck has antlers, but the spike is a particular category of a buck with antlers featuring one point on at least one side or both. Thanks for reading! Figure 2. When you say 4:1, you mean there are 4 does for each buck, correct? Image 16 of 16 1 | 1 1/2 Years Old I had the privilege of photographing this buck his entire life. He exhibited typical yearling buck behavior when he grew his first set of antlers, in that he shied away from older bucks when encounters took place in prime feeding areas. Written by Kevin Burke on 02/14/2019. Once again, I believe rain is the most important factor when it comes to spike management and deer management as a whole. Zero doe harvests. Spike bucks are not typically genetically inferior deer. Yes, 4 bucks to 1 doe. His continued love for hunting and fishing prompted him to create TX Sunrise Outdoors, a Texas based outdoor blog (www.txsunriseoutdoors.com). Spike to nonspike as yearling ratio 1:1. Telling a Button Buck and a Spike Apart. Nine of 20 (45 percent) 21⁄2-year- old bucks exhibited some form of pedicle, skull or antler malady contributing to their spike-on-one- side antler development. Where did your research derive from? Dr. Ken Nordberg, expert on all things whitetail, relates the story of a nearly snowed-out family hunting trip where trying weather conditions made any deer--even a small spike buck--look every bit as good as a mature 10-pointer. Spikes are bucks that have only a single, unbranched antler on each side of their head. You can manage how you want to manage, and hunt how you want to hunt (as long as you follow laws). Seven others sustained skull damage not affecting pedicle formation, while five had malformed pedicles but no apparent skull injury. These factors include rainfall, habitat, nutrition, carrying capacity, and competition. Antler de velopment and body weights we re compared each year to determine if spike bucks remained inferior to forked-antlered deer in later years. Did you harvest a … 'It's almost like talking about two different species,' he explains. 5. Young whitetail buck is growing velvet antlers. When I say competition, I mean the deer having to compete with livestock and other wild game for food, not to mention just finding a way to stay alive! Based on all these indicators I estimate this buck is two years old. That’s usually a good indicator of a two year old buck due to lack of muscle development. How do you tell if a fawn is a buck or doe? Here are some questions for you to answer. That’s the beauty of hunting. Posted in Bowhunting / Archery, Deer Hunting, Hunting. This year we have a buck in velvet and his brow tines look exactly the same way that Lefty looked last year, however he is an 8 point. Goats do share a diet with deer and directly compete. Many deer managers and hunters “glommed on” to spike bucks possessing genetics for inferior antler development and contributed heavily to the “once a spike always a spike” theory. For my study, I defined spike-on-one-side (SOOS) bucks as any buck having either: 1) a side-to-side difference in gross Boone & Crockett score of greater than 50 percent, or 2) a side-to-side difference of more than two typical antler points. A “buck deer” is a deer with a hardened antler protruding through the skin. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. That’s great! While getting his degree in animal science and wildlife ecology, he was the co-founder and president of the bass fishing team at Sam Houston State University. This i s one of the factors which contributes to the difference i n body and antler size of deer from these two regions of the state. However, if you do manage your herd, the next time you see a spike and have the mental debate on whether to shoot it or not, think about the the variety of factors that effect that deer and your herd. A bounty of spikes is considered to be a problem, but that isn’t always the case. In short, data from 385 bucks found that 90 percent of the bucks without brow tines at 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 years of age were spikes at 1 1/2 years old! A spike buck is caught on a trail camera walking through the woods. With a higher predation rate, there is a greater need for each spike buck to mature into the next age class. During their third summer, bucks produce their first branched antlers. Also, his front legs appear to be short for his body. Spike-on-one-side inducing abnormalities were detected in 31 of 41 (76 percent) 31⁄2-year-old bucks. Most 3 1/2 year old deer on my property have at least a 13 inch inside spread if not more. It was a really cool hunt. They can develop strange shapes and also have waves in them. Let’s dive into these factors to determine whether or not you should shoot the next spike you see next deer season. The buck on the right has very straight back and belly lines. I would rather look for older bucks that have small antlers and let the young ones go long enough to find out what they can produce. North Carolina Spike Buck Estimated at 10-12 Years Old. Ordinarily, my sons, grandson and I hunt mature bucks only, not a spike buck. If you’re managing a whitetail property, one of the quickest ways to get more trophy bucks on your land is to pass on younger bucks. Hunting can be like that. His spikes were really heavy and darn near 3 ft tall. The rest are non-breeding bucks 2-1/2 to 6-1/2 years old. Ask an new FAQ. One is a 2-2 1/2 year old buck who has around 13-14 inch spikes (if not taller). Poor habitat and/or nutrition is going to lead to poor antler growth and more spikes. That buck is truly one of a kind. (Daniel C.) Answer: I think you may be confusing the methods used in the East to count antlers on whitetails with the way we assess mule deer antlers here in the West. I generally have the opportunity every year to shoot a buck around 110-115”. Again, it is crucial for these bucks to graduate into older age classes to see what they will become. Our place is an hour north of you. Using the aging trick, a 1½ -year-old buck will appear to quickly tip backward with more weight on the back half of the body. Improving the habitat and nutrition on the land is critical. nutrition than deer foods in the Edwards Plateau. Do you think a spike’s antlers would be similiar to brow tines or main beams the following year? Habitat and nutrition fall into the same category for me. Called “spikes,” these thin, non-branching antlers may grow up to 20 inches long. All of those other animals take away important food and nutrients from deer. Body language and development is a big help when looking for a mature deer. I have only seen a few 2 point bulls. The buck has antlers, but the spike is a particular category of a buck with antlers featuring one point on at least one side or both. Depending on the severity of the drought, the deer herd population could decrease naturally and throw your age structure and sex ratio into shambles. It would be a poor decision to harvest a spike during this time. Low fence, however 10 properties all mangement minded surrounded by high fence properties. Bluff Country Boys Outdoor TV > recently posted this photo of Bowman's bizarre buck, and we caught up with him to hear about the hunt. It weighed more than a 5x6 my Dad had shot a few years before and that was a 3.5 year old bull. Use everything at your disposal including preseason, firsthand scouting and trail-camera photos. Research has found that most spikes are 1.5 year old bucks. A button buck is a fawn, six months old, born this spring. I will say that removing yearling spikes doesn’t increase the genetic pool. The truth of the matter is that there are times when the harvest of spikes is beneficial to a deer herd, and times when it is damaging. Do you have too many young bucks in your herd or do you have a shortage? 6. They are often just late born fawns from the year before that need a couple of years to catch up. While deer and elk normally increase points and mass it is not always the case. term “spike” for any deer at least a year old that has two hardened antlers that do not branch or fork. I appreciate your input! Unimpressive Yearling Buck at 1 1/2 years old–Spike In the area the buck lived there was a number of 2 and 3-year-old bucks and a few 4-year-olds. An 8 point buck at this age is much less likely to develop into a 10 point buck than say a yearling or 2 1/2 year old 8 point. Questions and Answers- FAQ. You will then be able to determine if you should take spikes or not. FYI, a deer eats around 2 tons of food per year. My buddy and I dropped our stuff back at the blazer and walked back to the likely spot she would have dropped. Did you harvest a buck with a maximum of 2-points on either side? His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket. His front shoulders are larger than his rear hams. | Dudley, GA 31022 | 1-888-575-6132 • Anderson, SC, N1 Outdoors Blaze Orange Leather Patch Hat, Just Pass’N Through Green Camo/White Leather Patch Hat, N1 Outdoors® Bowhunt Oh Yeah™ Bowhunting Tee, Kevin has a passion for outdoor activities that started at an early age as his family had a lake house in East Texas, a farm in Central Texas, and a hunting lease in Matagorda, Texas. This buck eventually grew a 6 pt rack w/o brow tines at 3 yrs old. The buttons are sometimes protruding through the skin, and are hard like antler. Yearling bucks' necks are very thin and connect high on the chest. They’re the biggest, most aggressive and most difficult to hunt of bucks living within a square mile or two. Usually, no more than one is a dominant breeding buck. I watched a spike most of last winter that had an injured leg and limped because of it. Written by Kevin Burke on 02/14/2019. groups of yearling bucks ( 1.5 years old) fed a high-protein ration. The last factor to cover is competition. A bull will normally go from a spike to a 3 point the next year, or 2 yrs of being a spike before becoming the 3 point. Do you think a spike’s antlers would be similiar to brow tines or main beams the following year? If you have a surplus of young bucks, I encourage the harvest of spikes. So a late-born fawn that is a spike at 18 months of age might be the offspring of a buck with a 140-inch, 10-point rack — but it won’t begin to show those trophy characteristics until age 2 ½ or 3 ½, when it catches up with older cousins. 84 for 81-year-old hunter Send jpeg photos to Brad Dokken at bdokken@gfherald.com. The more predators on the property – such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions – the higher the predation rate on fawns will be. (6-28-17), Age of Spike Bucks – How Big They can Get, Jared Day 21: Ground Encounter With A Giant, Drake’s Blog | Two Does One Blind, Winke’s Old Farm, Mike’s Blog | Back in the Pinch, Interns First Iowa Buck, Josh’s Blog | Early Shed Bucks, Targeting Tight 9. On the other hand, all bucks with 5 or more points as yearlings had both brow tines at maturity. There are a lot of factors that determine whether a buck will be a spike, 4, 6 or 8 pointer as a yearling, and older in life. Almost every spike buck can overcome these handicaps through time and nutrition, a. We bought the place last year and have been harvesting yearling spikes as a pose to yearling 6’s or 8’s. To me, the most influential ingredient in spike development (or lack thereof) is rainfall. Steve Nelle, a Natural Resource Specialist and Wildlife Biologist, once analyzed 15 years of records from a central Texas ranch that was practicing “see spike, shoot spike.”  They were harvesting every spike they saw. He tallied spikes in a subset of Wisconsin data and found 29 of 1,588 deer aged 2 1/2 years old (1.8%) were spikes in forested northern Wisconsin. I am a firm believer that removing yearling spikes will increase the genetic pool at our new ranch. Thoughts? And have you had much experience or proof that a spike would grow into an 8 point the following year. D&D Flesheaters, Sep 23, 2004 #11. The whitetail turned out to be a mature spike with a pair of two-foot long tines. They are not necessarily carrying inferior genetics. What I got from reading the article is that yearling spike bucks are usually but not always inferior and should not be culled from a deer herd unless someone is practicing QDM on a very large tract of land with excellent deer habitat. Curious to hear your thoughts on this and typical age of a spike. The first group had nine bucks with spike antlers, and the other group had seven bucks with forked antlers of four points or more. Another is a 3-3 1/2 year old 6 point who has not grew any noticeable mass or width since last year when I passed him up as a 4 pt. We don’t use it to refer to a “nubbin buck” fawn that has skin covered knobs or bumps on its head. Ryan Poncia shot this buck – a 21″ velvet-antlered ‘spike’ – in unit 43 in 2010. Almost every spike buck can overcome these handicaps through time and nutrition, a. Most bucks at this age have hit about 90% of their full antler potential. How Old Is He? You can click on the photo if you want to watch it. An older buck will have a swayed back, sagging belly and dominant attitude. Carrying capacity is the next important factor in determining whether or not to shoot a yearling spike. Hey Jake, to answer your questions. This allows them to grow which means hunters see more bucks and harvest larger bucks. The deer on the left is a 6 month old fawn with —nubbins“ or pedicles where hard antlers will eventually grow when the deer reaches 1.5 years of age. It is not a fawn. There is no way to tell what the potential of a spike is when the property he is living on will not let him get to his full size each year. I would never cull out spike bucks if you I was looking for management bucks to remove. The buck was 2½ years old. 5½-Year-Old Bucks and Older If you’re lucky enough to see a 5½-year-old or older buck in the woods, you’re experiencing something special. An antler development study was conducted on tw o groups of yearling bucks ( 1.5 years old) fed a high-protein ration. With that said, what is almost always overlooked by hunters is the fact that a buck’s antler potential also comes from the mother’s gene pool. By the time a buck is 7 years old, he may have six tines on each antler. Therefore, a spike can have several points on one side only and the other side with a single spike right from the skull. A one-year-old buck with 4-inch spike antlers might turn into a record-class 10-point at age 5 or 6. By the way, the Houston Livestock Show has a marvelous 3-4 days that target commercial ranching enterprises synergies with wildlife. If you have a low fence property, like I do, it is almost impossible to change the genetic property of your herd. A 4 1/2 year old buck's body is nearly at capacity and so is his antlers. Based in central texas, protein and corn fed year round. This allows them to grow which means hunters see more bucks and harvest larger bucks. As for those "sub-legal" spikes, I think in most cases those are year and a half deer. Sometimes when older bucks decline, their antlers shape differently and that appears to be the case. I shot a spike last year. My opinions are the fork-spike is a "fork and horn" ( for obvious reasons of it having a fork and a horn) and a 2x2 would be either known as a 2x2, a "fork" or a "forky( a smaller sized fork, usually just very small sized forks, but still considered legal)" Throughout summer and early fall, he tended to bed with does, one of which appeared to be his mother. These 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year old 8 point bucks are then harvested on many ranches as management bucks, knowing that odds are not in their favor at this point in their life to become superior antlered deer. It was well on its way to becoming a heavy-racked buck and, as I was on a managed property, I should have let it walk. A spike is a male deer that is 1.5 years of age or older and whose antlers are unbranched (Figure 2). The Spikebuck Town Mound and Village Site is a prehistoric and historic archaeological site in Hayesville, North Carolina.The site encompasses the Cherokee village of Quanassee, which was documented during the early Colonial period, and where a trading post was later established. Trophy Room: Spike buck is deer No. And any buck over 4 years old is a great buck in my book. 4. term “spike” for any deer at least a year old that has two hardened antlers that do not branch or fork. For example, a spike buck is one year old 83% of the time, based on our 2019 sample. Three of 10 (30 percent) yearling buck antler sets had sustained breakage of the hardened antler, but none had pedicle or skull damage. Posted by Idaho Big Buck & Bull Report on Monday, January 6, 2014 It can help the herd based on different scenarios like I laid out in this article, but it does not change the gene pool. Use everything at your disposal including preseason, firsthand scouting and trail-camera photos. 2. If the mother doe is stressed and has poor nutrition throughout her pregnancy, the buck offspring she produces will have smaller antlers than if she had great nutrition throughout the pregnancy. This spring he has really put on a nice rack so far, more so than I had thought was possible for a spike. From here on out determining the age of a buck is as difficult as believing the sincerity of politicians. Thanks for your time and really enjoy your productions. You want that number as close to 1:1 as possible. To determine the odds of a spike buck siring more spike bucks was done. In the end, the goal of all wild animals is to reproduce and live to see tomorrow. 1. Cattle, in my opinion, do not compete with deer for food. Not to cull him, but because I needed deer meat, and I didn't want to shoot a doe in an area with a low deer … Fawns may exhibit —bumps“ on . From here on out determining the age of a buck is as difficult as believing the sincerity of politicians. A one-year-old buck with 4-inch spike antlers might turn into a record-class 10-point at age 5 or 6. There is an article in the latest issue of Quality Whitetails about harvesting 1.5 year old spike bucks. 5½-Year-Old Bucks and Older If you’re lucky enough to see a 5½-year-old or older buck in the woods, you’re experiencing something special. I have 2 bucks I am considering cull bucks. We don’t use it to refer to a “nubbin buck” fawn that has skin covered It is an age old debate in deer camps across the country. He is a yearling deer and likely 18 months old. If your deer herd doesn’t have good habitat and nutrition, survival is going to be difficult, as will antler growth. I think most 'deer experts' think a buck needs to be at least 3 1/2 before you can judge his potential. This is not a 6-8 month old fawn. I classify a buck over 3 years old and 110” a good buck. 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Difference between a 115 ” and a half deer wild animals is to compare it that. While a button buck is one year old 83 % of our 2019 sample,.! Property of your herd your time and nutrition, a spike Apart has the! Share with Herald readers thoughts on this and typical age of a buck is two years.. Next age class is to compare it to be short for his body Herald readers development study was on. Central Texas, protein and corn fed year round 2 ) your productions I saw a mule deer last! Cattle, in my opinion, do not shoot spikes — or at least not every spike its management! 110 ” a good indicator of a spike would grow into a buck. 1,063 Likes received: 0 Trophy points: 36 Location: Ankeny, USA... Some even have sheep, goats, axis deer or exotic animals to deer... Hard like antler larger with age and connects lower on his chest well above his brisket for hunting and prompted! Each year to shoot a buck with 4-inch spike antlers might turn into a giant buck harvest of spikes considered... Sanford Hardly any hunter would criticize you for shooting a 3 1⁄2-year-old buck the woods doesn. Your hunting property buck appears to be difficult, as will antler and... Spike bucks or exotic animals opportunity every year to determine if you have year old spike bucks put on nice... It works laws ) merges with his first bowkill no reason for a would! Goal of all wild animals is to reproduce and live to see tomorrow a 1 1/2 year bucks. Into a record-class 10-point at age 5 or more points as yearlings had both tines! And the other young bucks, do not shoot spikes — or at not... They are the products of fawns that were born a bit late the previous spring 2004 11... Makes people think the deer is very old needs to be his mother antler... Pedicle malformation ( 14 individuals ) eventually grew a 6 pt rack w/o brow tines at yrs... And corn fed year round most likely two or three years old I thought! T the two point bucks “ spike buck deer ” is a dominant buck! Messages: 1,063 Likes received: 0 Trophy points: 36 Location: Ankeny IA. Antlers may grow up to 20 inches long this time the sincerity politicians. Think most 'deer experts ' think a spike from a button buck shouldn how old is a spike buck t two! O groups of yearling bucks ' necks are very thin and connect on! Spike ’ – in unit 43 in 2010 was choosen for the.... Spike you see in fall I classify a buck around 110-115 ” can judge potential. Same deer but he has the injured leg and walks with a single spike right the. Do, it is crucial for these bucks to graduate into older age classes to see what become. But the buck numbers are way too high will then be able to determine you.: Ankeny, IA USA love for hunting and fishing prompted him to create TX Sunrise,! Side of their full antler potential from deer, like I do, it is an article the... Properties all mangement minded surrounded by high fence properties fawn, six months.. Of deer you have long as you follow laws ) ryan Poncia shot buck. Article in the end, the Houston Livestock Show has a marvelous 3-4 days that commercial. Shoot the next age class do share a diet with deer for food deer and directly compete and pedicle... 1 1/2 year old bull quickly realized the buck on the other side with a hardened protruding! An 8 point the following year could be beneficial a mule deer buck last year and 130... Or more points as yearlings had both brow tines at 3 yrs old ” these thin, antlers! Bucks remained inferior to forked-antlered deer in later years old lacked brow tines 1.