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Mar 25th, 2012
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When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear #7425346 02/05/19 06:10 PM
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We are being asked to participate in a deer survey with an adjacent property.
Before I agree, when do bucks drop their antlers? The only survey we have done
in the past was in late December.


Make America Great Again

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Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425374 02/05/19 06:32 PM
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It all depends where you are located. I hunt in southern Atascosa County (Texas) and the bucks here usually drop their antlers during the first two weeks weeks of March. Deep south Texas could be later. The Hill Country sooner. It just depends.

Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425382 02/05/19 06:39 PM
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A lot depends on location and physical shape of the deer. Had a buck that was shot in November but survived and he dropped that year in the first week of Jan, other years he dropped in early March. I have seen bucks running together in April Turkey season where one had 3 inches of new growth and the other still had his antlers.

Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425384 02/05/19 06:41 PM
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Usually February to late April, depending.

Can be as early as January to as late as May.

Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425407 02/05/19 07:05 PM
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So between Lubbock and Abilene would you spend the money to do an helo survey at this time of year?



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Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425414 02/05/19 07:10 PM
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There are always a few that start way early in every area of the state. I have one that had shed one side about 10 days ago now. My area of Goliad County is usually from end of first week in March till late March with most around the 21. On a ranch I managed in the Hill Country it was the same time frame as where I am now. Deep South Texas to my west the first ones would be in mid March with the majority of them around April 7. Earliest I have seen was an injured older buck that was late Dec. to deep South Texas late April. Like stated about range conditions and body condition can change those dates to earlier or later by a few days to a couple of weeks.


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Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425418 02/05/19 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbar
So between Lubbock and Abilene would you spend the money to do an helo survey at this time of year?


Yes, TPWD just flew their grid line surveys about 2 to 3 weeks ago now up in that area. I know they did this for Mule Deer but not sure if they counted both WT and MD.


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Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425419 02/05/19 07:13 PM
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Got pics of a few in east Texas already shed, but most have not.



Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425421 02/05/19 07:14 PM
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Buddy flew their place last week and still had antlers in west texas.


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Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425549 02/05/19 10:52 PM
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We started seeing them fall starting in late March - mid April last year in Stonewall County.

Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425599 02/05/19 11:56 PM
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Should be soon. Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation posted a video today on their F-book page of some bucks that had already dropped one side.

Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7425773 02/06/19 03:22 AM
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The first I have seen was Christmas Day, and it was this year. The buck looked healthy, but I suspect he had some health issue to cause him to shed so early. Most of ours start in early February and some don’t drop until late March. We’re in the Rolling Plains.

Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7426030 02/06/19 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbar
So between Lubbock and Abilene would you spend the money to do an helo survey at this time of year?



Before I spent that much money, you need to know what you can use the info for. If you are leasing, will the landowner let you use the info to implement new plans? We did a survey and then the owner wouldn't let us change anything, so the info was useless. I would wait until September or October. Bucks are easily identified then and you can also identify the ones on survey vs. what you are seeing in real life. You can also evaluate the health of your deer herd easier in August-September by using info from fawn crop. Surveys aren't cheap and only useful if landowner lets them be.


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Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7426042 02/06/19 03:08 PM
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North East Texas started dropping mid Jan, we have trail pics showing that.



Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7426470 02/06/19 09:19 PM
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Still on at my place in N.E. TX. I think it depends on the deer. [Linked Image]

Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7426525 02/06/19 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbar
So between Lubbock and Abilene would you spend the money to do an helo survey at this time of year?


Tough call. Not sure who will be doing the actual counting, but if it were me I'd at least use some common sense - i.e. if I see a group of 5 deer and 4 of them have antlers, I'm 99.9% sure that the 5th deer is also a buck that has already dropped and I'd count it that way.

And I hated doing deer surveys in that part of the state because the deer are so mobile. We had 7000 acres about 12 miles SE of Snyder and it wasn't unusual to count around 50 head total on an early Summer survey, but come November there would be 100 head on the wheat field and at least a half dozen hitting each of the 15 or so corn feeders we had running.


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Re: When Do Deer Drop Their Head Gear [Re: Tbar] #7426526 02/06/19 10:21 PM
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When all the does in the area are out of estrus.


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