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Mar 25th, 2012
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Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? #6961255
11/15/17 04:06 PM
11/15/17 04:06 PM
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Keller Tx
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Random thought I had the other day when I was hunting. I’m starting to notice more and more tall narrow bucks. So, my thought was if a deer is 2 1/2 years old and has a wide rack he’s going to be shot in the AR areas. But, if he has a tall narrow rake it could take him 4 or 5 years before he is 13+ inches.

One could shoot a 110 inch 2 ˝ year old buck with a 15 inch spread so consequently that deer did not have the opportunity to spread his genetics. On the other hand, my friend just shot a 5 year old deer that scored 163 with a 13 inch spread so that deer had way more opportunity to spread his genetics.

What are your thoughts, do you think overtime we will see less and less wide deer and more tall basket rack deer?

Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961274
11/15/17 04:22 PM
11/15/17 04:22 PM
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The genetics of the overall herd will still be there. What you see in the older narrow bucks is a result of what has been allowed to reach maturity and is not a pure example of the genetics of the area.

For example, out West there are ranches that are corporate leases and are more or less “day leased” to clients. These ranches get topped out, so all the mature deer are very weak. Basically, the better deer are shot at 3-4yo. The genetics to produce a higher top end is still there, but it would take a few years to allow that trait to become prevalent again.

IMO, it is virtually impossible to “change the genetics” of a LF herd. Shooting simply allows you to decide which deer reach their max potential by reaching full maturity.


Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961314
11/15/17 04:45 PM
11/15/17 04:45 PM
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No.
Originally Posted By: txshntr


IMO, it is virtually impossible to “change the genetics” of a LF herd.
Exactly

Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: txshntr] #6961319
11/15/17 04:47 PM
11/15/17 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: txshntr
The genetics of the overall herd will still be there. What you see in the older narrow bucks is a result of what has been allowed to reach maturity and is not a pure example of the genetics of the area.

For example, out West there are ranches that are corporate leases and are more or less “day leased” to clients. These ranches get topped out, so all the mature deer are very weak. Basically, the better deer are shot at 3-4yo. The genetics to produce a higher top end is still there, but it would take a few years to allow that trait to become prevalent again.

IMO, it is virtually impossible to “change the genetics” of a LF herd. Shooting simply allows you to decide which deer reach their max potential by reaching full maturity.


True. And what many don't factor in is the doe's influence on Genetics. 50% determining factor.


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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961321
11/15/17 04:47 PM
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One question. DO you have to shoot a buck every year? Doe play a big part in management as well. weak buck+nice doe=mediocre offspring, Nice buck+weak doe=mediocre offspring, weak buck+weak doe=weak offspring, great buck+great doe may or may not = great offspring but will result in a better class off spring than the earlier 3 options. Of course it takes cooperation with neighbors on small parcels. It was a hard sale but we have adapted. see below and we stay within the AR rules.

Our strategy has changed since the "shoot anything guys" left. Kids get most pre-rut hunts on my place to take out what is mature and we don't want breeding. I get my does in archery if I can. I like to sit during the rut but if I see a big buck tending does he doesn't get shot. Post rut when they start looking for their new homes well, I try to be there to get that one that made my jaw drop.


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #6961325
11/15/17 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: Pitchfork Predator
Originally Posted By: txshntr
The genetics of the overall herd will still be there. What you see in the older narrow bucks is a result of what has been allowed to reach maturity and is not a pure example of the genetics of the area.

For example, out West there are ranches that are corporate leases and are more or less “day leased” to clients. These ranches get topped out, so all the mature deer are very weak. Basically, the better deer are shot at 3-4yo. The genetics to produce a higher top end is still there, but it would take a few years to allow that trait to become prevalent again.

IMO, it is virtually impossible to “change the genetics” of a LF herd. Shooting simply allows you to decide which deer reach their max potential by reaching full maturity.


up

True. And what many don't factor in is the doe's influence on Genetics. 50% determining factor.


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961331
11/15/17 04:51 PM
11/15/17 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: C&H OutDoors
Random thought I had the other day when I was hunting. I’m starting to notice more and more tall narrow bucks. So, my thought was if a deer is 2 1/2 years old and has a wide rack he’s going to be shot in the AR areas. But, if he has a tall narrow rake it could take him 4 or 5 years before he is 13+ inches.

One could shoot a 110 inch 2 ˝ year old buck with a 15 inch spread so consequently that deer did not have the opportunity to spread his genetics. On the other hand, my friend just shot a 5 year old deer that scored 163 with a 13 inch spread so that deer had way more opportunity to spread his genetics.

What are your thoughts, do you think overtime we will see less and less wide deer and more tall basket rack deer?


You are correct.
It is known as high grading.
There are numerous scientific articles about the subject from past failures in other states.

Every deer that was alive when AR started, is dead. There are 4th generation AR bucks breeding right now. If time alone was going to change things, they would all be monsters by now.

TPWD even had a paid outside source do a review of the science, and told them it was a failure. Both from high grading, poor data, and overly applying the program to areas with no data or vastly different ecosystems.

The data does not support having the restrictions, or that the restrictions are changing anything but age. In areas of low density, it is decimating the herd. And the allowance of the single unbranched antler tag as a reach-out to opponents, even made the plan worse.

Has it helped in places with high deer density, maybe. Is it the end all be all state wide, no. Not even close. Until they have hard scientifically produced data, there's no way to manage the statewide herd. They need better data, and the only way to do that is check stations. Random sampling is pitiful, and self-reporting is a joke on most MLD and club lands. And in many counties, their decisions were based only on game warden reports from illegally taken deer, with no other data.




Plainly, have you ever seen a rancher slaughter/eat his best herd bulls each year, leave the weaker, smaller bulls, and expect the herd to get better or healthier?

Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961344
11/15/17 05:03 PM
11/15/17 05:03 PM
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I know it is a popular thought that the big mature bucks do the breeding, but I just don't believe that is how it happens. I believe there are bucks of all ages out there getting it done, so a buck that is shot at 2.5 has potentially already spread his genes for 2 seasons.

Also a narrow buck may breed a doe and produce a buck just like him or he might produce something completely different. The does genes make up some of it and I believe the buck can also carry genes for traits that he does not express. The melting pot of genes produced all the deer you see in a LF environment and I tend to believe they will have the capacity to do it again.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961348
11/15/17 05:07 PM
11/15/17 05:07 PM
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Are AR's perfect? Hell no. But until all dear are implanted with a chip at birth with their age, genetic makeup, and family tree that can be pulled up on a tablet from any hunters blind I think its about as good as we are going to get.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961396
11/15/17 05:34 PM
11/15/17 05:34 PM
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Don't really know how to respond to sig226fans post but thats not what I've seen at all. I hunt several counties that are under the AR and all of them have seen an increase in the deer population for the better. AR = more bucks survive = shorter breeding season = shorter fawning season = more fawns survive. It was not uncommon before the AR buck to doe ratio as 1 to 10, that one buck had to do alot of of breeding, all the does still got bred but it was way spread out. Now in most areas I'm seeing more bucks than does, and while ideally you want a 50/50 ratio, I will take 60/40 in favor of the male species, its much healthier thatn the 10/90 we had before...

Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: sig226fan (Rguns.com)] #6961400
11/15/17 05:38 PM
11/15/17 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: sig226fan (Rguns.com)
Originally Posted By: C&H OutDoors
Random thought I had the other day when I was hunting. I’m starting to notice more and more tall narrow bucks. So, my thought was if a deer is 2 1/2 years old and has a wide rack he’s going to be shot in the AR areas. But, if he has a tall narrow rake it could take him 4 or 5 years before he is 13+ inches.

One could shoot a 110 inch 2 ˝ year old buck with a 15 inch spread so consequently that deer did not have the opportunity to spread his genetics. On the other hand, my friend just shot a 5 year old deer that scored 163 with a 13 inch spread so that deer had way more opportunity to spread his genetics.

What are your thoughts, do you think overtime we will see less and less wide deer and more tall basket rack deer?


You are correct.
It is known as high grading.
There are numerous scientific articles about the subject from past failures in other states.

Every deer that was alive when AR started, is dead. There are 4th generation AR bucks breeding right now. If time alone was going to change things, they would all be monsters by now.

TPWD even had a paid outside source do a review of the science, and told them it was a failure. Both from high grading, poor data, and overly applying the program to areas with no data or vastly different ecosystems.

The data does not support having the restrictions, or that the restrictions are changing anything but age. In areas of low density, it is decimating the herd. And the allowance of the single unbranched antler tag as a reach-out to opponents, even made the plan worse.

Has it helped in places with high deer density, maybe. Is it the end all be all state wide, no. Not even close. Until they have hard scientifically produced data, there's no way to manage the statewide herd. They need better data, and the only way to do that is check stations. Random sampling is pitiful, and self-reporting is a joke on most MLD and club lands. And in many counties, their decisions were based only on game warden reports from illegally taken deer, with no other data.




Plainly, have you ever seen a rancher slaughter/eat his best herd bulls each year, leave the weaker, smaller bulls, and expect the herd to get better or healthier?


I thought increasing the number of bucks that made it to the higher age brackets was the goal no? Wouldn't you agree that generally mature/more mature/older deer have better larger more desirable racks than younger/immature deer?


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961406
11/15/17 05:44 PM
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Won't change genetics but with free range deer it will give all bucks an equal opportunity to spread their genes over a wider range due to longer life span. Can bring good and negative but does create the chance of seeing a great deer.


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961420
11/15/17 05:56 PM
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To me it's simple. Letting bucks get past the 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 yr. old age cohort without getting shot both; 1)increases the average size of the deer taken and 2)increases the numbers of deer that reach the age of maturity. It's simply a numbers game. Win/win over the old system.

This is especially true given that (in my area) bucks that reach 4 1/2 and older become a different animal, becoming smarter and more nocturnal. Therefore, even more of them survive. So, it's even better than just a numbers game.

So, I don't see any 'high grading' effect where I am. I see more big bucks both being harvested and surviving - even though that sounds contradictory (it is not). Generally speaking, ARs are not in place in the very high density areas. Neither are restrictive one-buck (13" plus) bag limits.

Sure, not every old deer becomes a trophy. But it is a given that no/few young deer are trophies. So I don't see that as either here nor there really.


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6961447
11/15/17 06:12 PM
11/15/17 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
To me it's simple. Letting bucks get past the 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 yr. old age cohort without getting shot both; 1)increases the average size of the deer taken and 2)increases the numbers of deer that reach the age of maturity. It's simply a numbers game. Win/win over the old system.

This is especially true given that (in my area) bucks that reach 4 1/2 and older become a different animal, becoming smarter and more nocturnal. Therefore, even more of them survive. So, it's even better than just a numbers game.

So, I don't see any 'high grading' effect where I am. I see more big bucks both being harvested and surviving - even though that sounds contradictory (it is not). Generally speaking, ARs are not in place in the very high density areas. Neither are restrictive one-buck (13" plus) bag limits.

Sure, not every old deer becomes a trophy. But it is a given that no/few young deer are trophies. So I don't see that as either here nor there really.
up




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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961488
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To say that antler restrictions don't impact the genetic makeup of the herd is like saying you don't change the volume of a bucket of water by removing even the smallest amount.

As far high grading by shooting the "width" out of the herd, I believe it's possible to see an increase in tall, narrow-racked bucks that find protection much longer than their wide-racked peers. However, studies have shown these are often the spikes that lag those same peers during their initial years. It would be great if the current rules could be modified somehow so these "antelope-looking" deer could be legally taken.


Dan,

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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961511
11/15/17 06:52 PM
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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961513
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It’s ment to change the typical age category they are taken at

Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: Texas Dan] #6961515
11/15/17 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
To say that antler restrictions don't impact the genetic makeup of the herd is like saying you don't change the volume of a bucket of water by removing even the smallest amount.


Not really, the bucket is a definite change. The deer are still all passing on their genes from year to year and just because a buck is wide or narrow does not dictate what his offspring will be.

If you could pen your best buck with all your does and he bred them all you may not end up with 1 offspring that was ever as good as the sire. I have talked to people who said they tried years ago and failed miserably. Deer are not like the bloodlines of Breeder deer, long held livestock bloodlines, or big time dog pedigrees, they are Heinz 57's and you never know what they will throw.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: Nogalus Prairie] #6961578
11/15/17 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
To me it's simple. Letting bucks get past the 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 yr. old age cohort without getting shot both; 1)increases the average size of the deer taken and 2)increases the numbers of deer that reach the age of maturity. It's simply a numbers game. Win/win over the old system.

This is especially true given that (in my area) bucks that reach 4 1/2 and older become a different animal, becoming smarter and more nocturnal. Therefore, even more of them survive. So, it's even better than just a numbers game.

So, I don't see any 'high grading' effect where I am. I see more big bucks both being harvested and surviving - even though that sounds contradictory (it is not). Generally speaking, ARs are not in place in the very high density areas. Neither are restrictive one-buck (13" plus) bag limits.

Sure, not every old deer becomes a trophy. But it is a given that no/few young deer are trophies. So I don't see that as either here nor there really.


I agree and the results in the photo section speak for themselves when we see what East Texas now produces big buck wise. You rarely saw the kind of bucks NP and TexFlip just posted. Now we see them every season. I think alot of folks are misinterpreting the gene pool changing simply because narrow bucks now reach maturity that didn't before the rule change.

Last edited by Pitchfork Predator; 11/15/17 07:54 PM.

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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: Legend LE-195] #6961587
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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961693
11/15/17 09:07 PM
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Will likely take years to prove out anything with certainty. I make this statement based on AR's in place for the foreseeable future and no MLD in place to cull older deer that just won't get to 13".

It will lead to an older average age of deer being harvested and therefore larger bodies, better antlers as a general rule.

It would seem logical to me that over time, more and more older deer that do not meet AR's will continue to breed as long as they are allowed to remain in the breeding pool. That doesn't scientifically prove that all of their buck offspring will fail to meet AR as a result. The real miss here is the inability to find that middle ground that allows for mature bucks failing to make 13" after 3-4 years of age to be legally harvested. Until you get there, it's a Ford / Chevy debate, IMO.

Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961932
11/16/17 12:41 AM
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A 110 in 2 year old free range buck would be huge in my world. They dont break into the 100s till 3years old in East Tx and that's with good genetics. The 4 years olds are normally low 20s to 145 range on avearage. Narrow or not. Anything above 150 at 4 years old will normally have abnormal points. The beams on the 3 year olds average 16 to 19in. On 4 year olds 19 to 23in. The narrow ones normally make up the inches in longer tines.


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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6961999
11/16/17 01:23 AM
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I think it has reached a certain point of improvement, and will never become more than that.
I do not believe the large deer that have been posted from AR counties are not a result of antler restrictions. If so they would have been shot at 2 years old and 14 inches. It isn't like they turned three and suddenly got monster antlers. With ARs they could have been shot for a few years. They are the result of good/responsible management in an area.



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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: Simple Searcher] #6962052
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Originally Posted By: Simple Searcher
I think it has reached a certain point of improvement, and will never become more than that.
I do not believe the large deer that have been posted from AR counties are not a result of antler restrictions. If so they would have been shot at 2 years old and 14 inches. It isn't like they turned three and suddenly got monster antlers. With ARs they could have been shot for a few years. They are the result of good/responsible management in an area.


We have to keep in mind the primary goal of AR's is to increase the number of older bucks in the herd. An increase in the number of deer with wider and larger racks is just a byproduct of that effort. IMO, this is something that points to the loophole in the current system, that deer with tall, narrow racks have the benefit of more lengthy protection. A possible solution would be to make ANY buck that's at least three or four years old a deer that's legal for harvest. I've seen this same approach used for turkeys in other states where any mature Tom, including those with shorter beards, are legal. In the meantime, I'll continue hammering cow horns and other young bucks with unbranched antlers that are obviously lagging their peers. This is the TPWD's recommendation to plug that loophole.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 11/16/17 02:01 AM.

Dan,

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Re: Will Antler Restriction Change Deer Genetics?? [Re: C&H OutDoors] #6962064
11/16/17 01:56 AM
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Age will never be a requirement by the state because they cannot educate everybody that hunts in all areas of the state enough to feel confident even half the hunters can properly age a deer correctly.

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