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Mar 25th, 2012
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Antlers are regressing...advice needed. #5231243 08/02/14 07:05 AM
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So this buck is the one on our ranch that I've followed the most in the 3 years we've been running cams. In 2012, this buck was a clean 8. Last year, he was a 9 and seemed to have hit an antler on something in velvet. Just got our first pics of him this year and I expected him to at least be an 8. I'm pretty surprised that he's only a 6 right now as best as I can tell. I'm estimating that he's 6.5 yrs old maybe? I'm curious what you guys think about his age and do you actually think he's just going downhill as he ages or is this just a bad year for him for some reason. The ranch is in West TX, not far from Colorado City. Going into this year, this buck was going to be at the top of my hit list, if not #1 based on the last 2 years and the fact that I just missed him last year in archery season due to a suicide doe (that's a whole other story and yes i have it on video so I'm not making it up haha). Now I'm starting to wonder if I should pass him hoping he rebounds next year or take him due to the history I have with him. It's a tough decision as we only take one buck per person on the ranch, assuming an exception isn't made with this buck. Thanks in advance.

2012



2012 sheds I found this year...


2013



2014


Sorry this is the only decent pic I have of him this year so far. I'm currently deployed and I'm relying on family to send a few pics they're getting off the cams until I get home in a couple weeks.

Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5231288 08/02/14 11:49 AM
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You got to do what you think you have to do. Deer are like everything else. Some will get large antlers and some won't. He may have hit his max.

Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5231290 08/02/14 11:54 AM
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I think that deer is a lot older than what you think. I would have called him 7 last year. What was the rainfall like from Jan till July this year compared to 2012 and 2013?



Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5231303 08/02/14 12:20 PM
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Sometimes deer will take a jump backwards in relation to antler growth. They may have been run down, fighting an illness etc. The deer could also be past his prime. Also depending on the terrain their teeth may wear faster that what a traditional aging chart would say. I have seen this in west Texas where there is a lot of rock and sand. Regardless good luck.


Good is the enemy of Great
Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5231315 08/02/14 12:31 PM
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If you don't want to shoot him, then don't. Do you like his genetics? If so, let him go. If he's not a problem, somehow, don't make him a problem. It's okay to let deer die of old age if they slip past you in their prime.


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Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5231718 08/02/14 07:05 PM
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He looks just like a frail little old man in the last pic.

Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: stxranchman] #5232143 08/03/14 01:55 AM
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Wow, I didn't think he was that old but it makes since as to why he's regressing. If that's the case, I'll prob take him if I get a chance with a bow or if it's late in the season and I haven't gotten a deer yet. Otherwise I may just let him walk.

Originally Posted By: stxranchman
I think that deer is a lot older than what you think. I would have called him 7 last year. What was the rainfall like from Jan till July this year compared to 2012 and 2013?

Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: Sneaky] #5232149 08/03/14 01:57 AM
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I don't mind his genetics and I generally don't want to manage based on genetics either due to not having a high fence. I'd rather manage by age. The only issue I could see with letting him go is that he's definitely a fighter and the dominant buck around the feeder...at least he has been the past 2 years when he had a decent rack. I'm wondering if he'll become more submissive this year due to the smaller head gear.

Originally Posted By: Sneaky
If you don't want to shoot him, then don't. Do you like his genetics? If so, let him go. If he's not a problem, somehow, don't make him a problem. It's okay to let deer die of old age if they slip past you in their prime.

Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5232986 08/03/14 08:04 PM
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his head gear has less to do with his aggressiveness than his age. he will stay dominate and bullish until someone else whips his rear... he's not going to just lay down and relinquish his spoils because he grew a few less inches of antler......

Last edited by SingleShot85; 08/03/14 08:05 PM.
Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5233551 08/04/14 01:28 AM
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That's kinda what I was worried about. I don't really want him continuing to be a bully and hurt any of the younger deer that have more potential. He'll probably still remain on the hitlist, at least during archery season.

Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5234116 08/04/14 02:20 PM
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Everyone has good points. Weather, Water, Food, and Gene's play the major parts. Now Corn is just a filler. Potein Pellets, Food Plots, Minerals are what you need to remember. I personally don't think this deer is ever going to be any better than he was IN 2012, AND 2013. Both years to me show stability for a lack of better words. My suggestion is to let him walk for another year. If he gets worse then to him out.

Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5234193 08/04/14 03:04 PM
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He is past his prime IMO and will not get any better. If he is still dominant over bucks with a better gene pool IE 10+ points, I would drop the hammer on him PDQ. IMO you can't take 8 pointers (or less) too young if you are really trying to nurture an environment for big trophy caliber bucks.


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Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: ltsheets] #5235385 08/05/14 01:49 AM
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Makes sense Shawn.

Last edited by ltsheets; 08/05/14 01:49 AM.
Re: Antlers are regressing...advice needed. [Re: tShawnB] #5235567 08/05/14 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted By: tShawnB
He is past his prime IMO and will not get any better. If he is still dominant over bucks with a better gene pool IE 10+ points, I would drop the hammer on him PDQ. IMO you can't take 8 pointers (or less) too young if you are really trying to nurture an environment for big trophy caliber bucks.


What's the point? He has one tag. He's going to use it on this deer so he can watch 10 pointers the rest of the year and not shoot them?


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