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Shooting spikes revisited #2712140 11/01/11 09:05 PM
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During a recent discussion that I had with a TPWD biologist concerning antler restrictions, I uncovered something that, as I told the biologist, I'm not sure many hunter recognize concerning spike bucks. And I'm not sure many, including myself, would necessarily agree with him without seeing the evidence.

Even though hunters are allowed to shoot spikes, I have always given the smaller "yearling" spikes a pass, thinking that they just haven't have time to develop anything more. However, according to the biologist, ANY buck with even the smallest spikes is at least 1-1/2 years old and should be considered for harvesting. That's because studies have shown that these deer, even given their young age, are the ones more likely to develop the tall, narrow racks that some seem to despise so much.

Comments?



"Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons."
Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: Texas Dan] #2712146 11/01/11 09:06 PM
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popcorn I would pull up a chair on this but I am going hunting.



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Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: stxranchman] #2712171 11/01/11 09:12 PM
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I think all the research can prove whatever the researcher wants it to...

Like as a real estate appraiser you can find sales to support different values for the same property.



It's hell eatin em live
Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: stxranchman] #2712173 11/01/11 09:12 PM
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Spikes are 90% 1 1/2 year old deer...if your lacking bucks in your deer herd and need to up the ratio dnt shoot them...when they really get to be considered for harvesting is in extreme management plans with huge numbers of deer and have already reached the goal of a healthy herd...this is more of a nit picking concept...just to improve the herd that much more....and hav the numbers and quality deer already to seek this tactic IMO now ill sit back and listen for the rest of this...im sure it will be a good one popcorn


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: stxranchman] #2712175 11/01/11 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
popcorn I would pull up a chair on this but I am going hunting.


Can I come... please????

dang work!



It's hell eatin em live
Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: redchevy] #2712191 11/01/11 09:16 PM
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I have seen numerous fawns that are 5-7 months old that have 3-4 inch spikes. These are deer coming out of DMP pens, so maybe not your average deer, but they are from native genetics, and they are not 1 1/2 years old...


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: kyle1974] #2712210 11/01/11 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: kyle1974
I have seen numerous fawns that are 5-7 months old that have 3-4 inch spikes. These are deer coming out of DMP pens, so maybe not your average deer, but they are from native genetics, and they are not 1 1/2 years old...


Interesting.

Thanks for sharing.



"Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons."
Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: Texas Dan] #2712212 11/01/11 09:21 PM
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I have at least 3 different spikes coming to my feeder this year.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: Curly] #2712222 11/01/11 09:23 PM
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Yep, I've seen several on my West Texas lease. And I haven't seen a spike out there in years. Dang drought...



Silver spurs and gold tequila
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Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: Texan Til I Die] #2712339 11/01/11 09:51 PM
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My 2 cents...we have shot every spike we can in the last 7-8 years at our place. Each year we have less and less spikes. We have aged the spikes (by their teeth) harvested and we have had them from 1.5 years to 4.5 years. On the average, 90% of all spikes will stay a spike. There are exceptions for sure but for my small place, taking every spike possible has been super beneficial. All of my kids know that if there is a nominal shooter or a spike in range, take the spike unless the shooter is bigger than what they have ever harvested. Take the spikes out. Gene pools go on for a long time.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: Texas Dan] #2712352 11/01/11 09:55 PM
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Look at Dr. James Krolls study on spikes and what they become later in life compaired to other yearlings with more than spikes. If that doesnt change your mind about shooting yearling spikes then nothing will.

In all my life I have only seen one spike that I can say was without a doubt more than a yearling. I had pics of him two years in a row and he was a whopper of a spike.

I absolutly refuse to shoot a yearling anything unless its because it has suffered an injury.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: taking5kidshunting] #2712364 11/01/11 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: taking5kidshunting
On the average, 90% of all spikes will stay a spike.



NO possible way this is true. How do you know they will stay a spike if you are shooting them at 1 1/2 years old?


Everybody should read the article in my signature. That is why I put it there. You don't have to take it as gospel. Just read it with an open mind. There is some weird text going on at the top of the page just scroll down and the article is below it.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: JCB] #2712418 11/01/11 10:09 PM
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Hey JCB...no argument about the yearling thing...I will not shoot any yearling except a spike. Dr. Deer (Kroll) is the ultimate in authorities and my son studies under him at SFA. We have been to his place and seen his animals and what he does. He is a master. My consideration with the harvesting of spikes is that I don't have tens of thousands of dollars for food plots, protein, etc to increase the quality of the animals. We have shot spikes that are older and bigger in body than the deer we have on the wall. I'm not a gambler but the odds are the odds. For the average hunter on a small piece of ground, the odds are that removing spikes is a good thing..especially if they have a family as big as mine and need the meat. No argument...just thoughts.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: taking5kidshunting] #2712440 11/01/11 10:13 PM
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Again, the issue here isn't whether or not to shoot spikes. The issue is the belief that ANY young buck with even the shortest of spikes is at least 1-1/2 years old.

Yes, I too agree with shooting spikes. But I don't want to make a decision too early.



"Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons."
Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: JDShellnut] #2712450 11/01/11 10:15 PM
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I've worked with our biologist aging deer for the past 14 years.
Over 93% of our spikes are 1 1/2 years old, this is out of over 10,000 jawbones that we have aged and had antler data on.
I would disagree that they would remain a spike past that age, as less than 7% of the spikes we aged were over 1 1/2.
With that being said, I still agree that spikes should be removed from the herd if you have excessive numbers of deer for the habitat you hunt.
Let the 1 1/2 year old 4 and 6 pointers have time to improve and show their potential.
Can a spike turn into a trophy one day?
Sure, but the chances are much higher for the branched antler 1 1/2 year olds to do so.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: taking5kidshunting] #2712456 11/01/11 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: taking5kidshunting
Hey JCB...no argument about the yearling thing...I will not shoot any yearling except a spike. Dr. Deer (Kroll) is the ultimate in authorities and my son studies under him at SFA. We have been to his place and seen his animals and what he does. He is a master. My consideration with the harvesting of spikes is that I don't have tens of thousands of dollars for food plots, protein, etc to increase the quality of the animals. We have shot spikes that are older and bigger in body than the deer we have on the wall. I'm not a gambler but the odds are the odds. For the average hunter on a small piece of ground, the odds are that removing spikes is a good thing..especially if they have a family as big as mine and need the meat. No argument...just thoughts.


Manage your place how ever you want, but if your son is a student of Dr. Kroll then he ought to know that your statement about 90% of spikes always being a spike is far from the truth. In fact I would say that it is more likely that 90% of spikes WILL NOT always be spikes.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: JCB] #2712463 11/01/11 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: JCB
Originally Posted By: taking5kidshunting
Hey JCB...no argument about the yearling thing...I will not shoot any yearling except a spike. Dr. Deer (Kroll) is the ultimate in authorities and my son studies under him at SFA. We have been to his place and seen his animals and what he does. He is a master. My consideration with the harvesting of spikes is that I don't have tens of thousands of dollars for food plots, protein, etc to increase the quality of the animals. We have shot spikes that are older and bigger in body than the deer we have on the wall. I'm not a gambler but the odds are the odds. For the average hunter on a small piece of ground, the odds are that removing spikes is a good thing..especially if they have a family as big as mine and need the meat. No argument...just thoughts.


Manage your place how ever you want, but if your son is a student of Dr. Kroll then he ought to know that your statement about 90% of spikes always being a spike is far from the truth. In fact I would say that it is more likely that 90% of spikes WILL NOT always be spikes.


Which leaves the rest of us wondering if we should wait and take the youngest spikes a year later at 2-1/2, rather than 1-1/2.



"Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons."
Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: Texas Dan] #2712474 11/01/11 10:24 PM
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Well I know one statistic that is definitely true. 90% of all spikes I have seen do not become anything but tamales in my tummy..mmmmmm

I couldn't resist...

Earl



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Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: Texas Dan] #2712477 11/01/11 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: JCB
Originally Posted By: taking5kidshunting
Hey JCB...no argument about the yearling thing...I will not shoot any yearling except a spike. Dr. Deer (Kroll) is the ultimate in authorities and my son studies under him at SFA. We have been to his place and seen his animals and what he does. He is a master. My consideration with the harvesting of spikes is that I don't have tens of thousands of dollars for food plots, protein, etc to increase the quality of the animals. We have shot spikes that are older and bigger in body than the deer we have on the wall. I'm not a gambler but the odds are the odds. For the average hunter on a small piece of ground, the odds are that removing spikes is a good thing..especially if they have a family as big as mine and need the meat. No argument...just thoughts.


Manage your place how ever you want, but if your son is a student of Dr. Kroll then he ought to know that your statement about 90% of spikes always being a spike is far from the truth. In fact I would say that it is more likely that 90% of spikes WILL NOT always be spikes.


Which leaves the rest of us wondering if we should wait and take the youngest spikes a year later at 2-1/2, rather than 1-1/2.


From what I remember from Dr. Krolls studies by age 3.5 the deer that were spikes as yearlings showed little if any difference in rack size from deer that were 4 and 6 point yearlings at the same time.

So basicly most spikes aint inferior deer despite popular belief.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: JCB] #2712487 11/01/11 10:26 PM
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And if I remember correctly Dr. Krolls study deer were free range deer, not pen raised deer.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: JCB] #2712500 11/01/11 10:30 PM
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I didn't have any spikes last year. This year I have several and I think it's due to the drought. I have not shot spikes in the past and I will not shoot spikes, nor will my hunters. Been doing this since 98 and have never had a big problem with "Cull Bucks". IMHO I think most spikes are spikes due to a late birth or a drought situation.



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Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: Stompy] #2712507 11/01/11 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: Stompy
IMHO I think most spikes are spikes due to a late birth or a drought situation.


And thats exactly what most credible studies have shown as well.


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: JCB] #2712542 11/01/11 10:42 PM
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I think folks like to say that "once a spike, always a spike" to justify to themselves and others their reasoning for shooting spikes.

How many of you knew some scrawny, skinny kid in the 3rd grade that grew up to be a giant?

I don't think you can tell what a 1.5 yo spike will become by year 3 or 4. If you have a decent age structure on your lease then there are probably plenty of mature 8's that need killin' worse than that 1.5 yo spike.



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Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: JCB] #2712641 11/01/11 11:14 PM
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Manage your place how ever you want, but if your son is a student of Dr. Kroll then he ought to know that your statement about 90% of spikes always being a spike is far from the truth. In fact I would say that it is more likely that 90% of spikes WILL NOT always be spikes.

Hey JCB...I joined this forum to get some opinions and insight and have some fun like the post I made with the deer cabin pics. We may have different opinions...is that ok? One thing I will take exception to is your comment about "if" my son studies at SFA and under Kroll. Tell ya what, if you will promise to pay for the rest of his Jr. and Sr. year there, I will send you confirmation. He lived in Wisely hall his first wo years and now rents a house in S. Nac. Lighten up, man. We're here to have fun?


Re: Shooting spike revisited [Re: taking5kidshunting] #2712651 11/01/11 11:17 PM
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FYI all...the first paragraph in the last post was not mine but cc'd from another post...all I was trying to do was share my experience and what has worked for us. Sorry if I offended anybody. I'm just a guy from Spring who loves to take his family hunting...not get attacked by other hunters. Sheesh.


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