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#5896131 - 08/25/15 07:29 PM My deer shrunk this year?
Txhillbilly Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/14/15
Posts: 439
Loc: Johnson County
We have fun watching and trying to manage the deer in the area that we hunt.It can be hard since everything around there is low fenced ranches,but there are plenty of good hunters in the area that understand you have to let them grow to get the "Big ones".
I've watched these two bucks for the last three years,they always are together even during the rut.They should be 5yo deer this year. Last year they were both 14 pt bucks,one has what I consider the perfect typical rack,and the other was a double drop tine. I feed protein year round,and it really shows on all the deer we have around there.
To my surprise,this year both bucks are 10 pointer's.They are just getting in their prime,and have gotten smaller/less points. I've never seen that happen on deer that have good food and water supplies year round.

Sorry about the small pics from last year,I can't find the original's to re-size.

2014 pics-







2015 pics-






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#5896171 - 08/25/15 07:47 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
Western Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23579
Loc: Wise County Texas
They still aren't something to laugh at, maybe they will be heavier this year and become huntable for you, good looking bucks for sure.
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#5896201 - 08/25/15 08:10 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
tlk Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1973
we have had deer dip at age 5 and then come back strong the next year - Mother Nature at work
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#5896206 - 08/25/15 08:12 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
Txhillbilly Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/14/15
Posts: 439
Loc: Johnson County
We've had some great deer up there for many years.One of the biggest was shot by a 12 yo girl about 4 years ago. It was her first deer,a 21 point freaking monster! I told her she might as well stop hunting because she probably won't ever see one bigger than that one.
We had never seen that deer on the property before she shot it.

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#5896212 - 08/25/15 08:17 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 14616
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
whip rifle
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#5896266 - 08/25/15 08:36 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Depending on age structure of the herd, the 4 yr old bucks(3 yr olds also in some areas) can be the hardest rutting age class if there are not many mature bucks. 4 yr olds cover a lot of ground in the rut and challenge territories a lot also. So it is not unusual for 3 or 4 yr olds to drop off the next year. What was your rainfall like during the winter, post rut time frame?
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#5896307 - 08/25/15 08:47 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
dlrz71 Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 8952
Loc: Arlington, Tx/Coke Cnty
Great couple of bucks.
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#5896427 - 08/25/15 09:33 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: stxranchman]
ckwZ7 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 10/26/14
Posts: 25
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depending on age structure of the herd, the 4 yr old bucks(3 yr olds also in some areas) can be the hardest rutting age class if there are not many mature bucks. 4 yr olds cover a lot of ground in the rut and challenge territories a lot also. So it is not unusual for 3 or 4 yr olds to drop off the next year. What was your rainfall like during the winter, post rut time frame?
This^^ They could have just ran themselves to a breaking point last year and with as bad of a winter as we had post rut last year not recovered 100%. Although if you had protein available to them post rut they should've re-cooperated strong. Never know though!

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#5897369 - 08/26/15 02:05 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
MR2Reef Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Allen, TX
Excuse the newbie question, but how can you tell that they are the same deers as the ones you saw last year?

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#5897375 - 08/26/15 02:10 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
redchevy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23363
Loc: Texas
I don't know how old those deer are, but I know some people that have a HF place that have been watching the same group of bucks for 3-4 years waiting for them to blow up. Last year they got fed up and shot some of them, had quite a few deer in the 7-9 year old range. If you don't know how old they are they may be going down, they don't keep getting better in perpetuity.
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#5897450 - 08/26/15 02:54 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: MR2Reef]
postoak Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 2533
Loc: The Woodlands, Tx
Originally Posted By: MR2Reef
Excuse the newbie question, but how can you tell that they are the same deers as the ones you saw last year?


I'm wondering this too.
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#5897485 - 08/26/15 03:14 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
fouzman Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1004
Loc: Houston, TX
I have a known age breeder buck in a 40ac. enclosure with some does. Last year at 3 he had 21 points, double drops and scored about 230. This year at 4, he is a straight up 6x6 with two or three kickers. He's not quite finished growing but I don't think he'll break 210 this year. He's got year round protein, alfalfa, antlermax textured in troughs and natural forage in the enclosure. Rainfall in that portion of Webb County is the best we have had in years. Country is in gorgeous condition. Why'd he go downhill? I dunno, perhaps it's the 20 does he bred and all the exercise that comes with that.

I've seen numerous deer in the wild and in breeder pens go from non-typical to typical and back again over the years. One such breeder on a friends ranch was a 247" non-Typical at 3. At 4 he was a straight up typical 6x6 that scored 200 2/8. Dunno what he did the next years after as he was sold to another ranch.

As to the questions about "how do you know they're the same deer"? If you're watching deer grow up, you get to where not only will you recognize the same bucks year after year, you will also recognize the antler characteristics of long since dead bucks show up in offspring on the same ranch. Whether those heritable characteristics came from the buck or the doe is a whole different discussion.

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#5897579 - 08/26/15 04:09 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
Deer Hound Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 466
Loc: Cotlulla TX / Scotland Neck NC
Some deer do not hit the protein as hard in a wetter year. At their age I would think between the rut last year and the wetter year has as much to do with it as anything

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#5897728 - 08/26/15 05:52 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: Txhillbilly]
MoTex Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 292
Loc: Allen Texas
I had a similar looking deer in Hamilton Co a few years ago.


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#5897882 - 08/26/15 07:20 PM Re: My deer shrunk this year? [Re: MR2Reef]
Txhillbilly Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/14/15
Posts: 439
Loc: Johnson County
Originally Posted By: MR2Reef
Excuse the newbie question, but how can you tell that they are the same deers as the ones you saw last year?


The ranch belongs to a very good friend of mine,and we have watched the deer up there for several decades.When you spend hours each month looking at pictures of the animals,and seeing all the different traits/behaviors that each deer has it gets pretty easy to distinguish almost every deer you see.
We have a bunch of really big 8 pts that show up later in the season each year,and we know every one of them by the way they look/act.Then there are several big drop tine bucks and others that have kickers on both sides.
We have always hunted the older bucks/non producing does/and spikes and seeing all the great bucks that are in that area really shows the positive results from the way we hunt.Every few years we will pick out a nice trophy to get for ourselves,but mainly we just hunt for the meat.

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