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Do you cull yearling spikes? #8092641 12/17/20 03:56 AM
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As the title says, I'm curious how many folks cull yearling spikes. I know the easy answer is to let them be and see what they turn into, but I was looking for n+1 opinions rather than taking the easy answer.

To visualize an example:

[Linked Image]

Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092654 12/17/20 04:06 AM
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I’m gonna try to sit this one out. The topic of culling has been beat to death on here many times over time. There just is NOT a good opinion that doesn’t start with IT DEPENDS. The best thread I’ve ever seen on here was about culling titled MANAGEMENT BUCKS from last summer I think. Look it up and save us all time from saying the same things over an over. Really better suited for off-season debate.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: freerange] #8092657 12/17/20 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by freerange
I’m gonna try to sit this one out. The topic of culling has been beat to death on here many times over time. There just is NOT a good opinion that doesn’t start with IT DEPENDS. The best thread I’ve ever seen on here was about culling titled MANAGEMENT BUCKS from last summer I think. Look it up and save us all time from saying the same things over an over. Really better suited for off-season debate.


Dang it FR, come on man. I'm basically treating this as the offseason, but we haven't gotten all snippy with each other yet. Let me buy you a drink smile

Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092668 12/17/20 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by TLew
As the title says, I'm curious how many folks cull yearling spikes. I know the easy answer is to let them be and see what they turn into, but I was looking for n+1 opinions rather than taking the easy answer.

To visualize an example:

[Linked Image]

That’s not a yearling spike


[Linked Image]

https://web.archive.org/web/20170223065011/http:/www.rrdvegas.com/silencer-cleaning.html
Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8092780 12/17/20 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by TLew
As the title says, I'm curious how many folks cull yearling spikes. I know the easy answer is to let them be and see what they turn into, but I was looking for n+1 opinions rather than taking the easy answer.

To visualize an example:

[Linked Image]

That’s not a yearling spike

My thoughts as well, 2yo broken 4pt.

Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: freerange] #8092823 12/17/20 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
I’m gonna try to sit this one out. The topic of culling has been beat to death on here many times over time. There just is NOT a good opinion that doesn’t start with IT DEPENDS. The best thread I’ve ever seen on here was about culling titled MANAGEMENT BUCKS from last summer I think. Look it up and save us all time from saying the same things over an over. Really better suited for off-season debate.

^^^^^^^^^ up up up^^^^^^^^^^^^


I do not personally believe in killing any yearling buck unless you know for a fact he was not born late, his momma wasn't sick or young (every seen a 1st heifer calf that was great at birth if that heifer was too young when she bred), or that yearling buck himself wasn't sick and struggling for a while as fawn.

I mean if you have a decent buck to doe ratio and a decent age-class structure in your buck herd, what is a yearling buck going to get the chance to breed anyway???

Kill him at 2 if he is still undesirable compared to your standard on 2 year olds.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092848 12/17/20 01:31 PM
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I don't kill yearling deer.......


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092861 12/17/20 01:41 PM
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Yes for the last 25 yrs as long as I have the tags. Also have taken out 5pts or less when you have the tags.


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092903 12/17/20 02:17 PM
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Always cull based off good side. 99% bad sides are injury related.


As far as spikes depends on what phase of management I'm on. Still hunting license tags, doesn't matter either way, it's just another small deer for freezer


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: DQ Kid] #8092926 12/17/20 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DQ Kid
Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by TLew
As the title says, I'm curious how many folks cull yearling spikes. I know the easy answer is to let them be and see what they turn into, but I was looking for n+1 opinions rather than taking the easy answer.

To visualize an example:

[Linked Image]

That’s not a yearling spike

My thoughts as well, 2yo broken 4pt.


He 1.5, 3 on one side and spike on other, just for clarification

Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092953 12/17/20 02:42 PM
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The problem with letting a spike walk is that it will breed obviously and you will be likely to end up with more spikes down the road. I would cull it.

Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092970 12/17/20 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Originally Posted by DQ Kid
Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by TLew
As the title says, I'm curious how many folks cull yearling spikes. I know the easy answer is to let them be and see what they turn into, but I was looking for n+1 opinions rather than taking the easy answer.

To visualize an example:

[Linked Image]

That’s not a yearling spike

My thoughts as well, 2yo broken 4pt.


He 1.5, 3 on one side and spike on other, just for clarification


I agree he's 1.5, but the bad side is either due to pedicle injury or broken off. Unless I really needed to take mouths or get a deer, he would walk.

We have a lot of yearling bucks and most years they are better than spikes. However, due to the drought this year in our section of MIlls county, most of our yearling bucks are spikes. We killed several before I had a good handle on what was happening and put a moratorium on it.

I used to be of the mind to kill all the spikes. After hearing the arguments on here about age/late-born and studying the deer more at our place, I'm more mindful now. We're in a situation where we need to take mouths and for the most part we take does. This year we've taken one buck, three spikes, and nine does-almost spot on what the TPWD online calculator says we need to take. My issue with spikes isn't that they're likely inferior, even though in a lot of cases they might be, it's that they're almost a year behind already. This year's spike will be next year's weak 4/6pt two-year old. So now I'm looking to wait for that deer to max out at 6.5 or likely 7.5 before he's shot. Being that we've got too many deer, it makes sense to go ahead and cull him at 1.5 if I've got other yearlings that are 4, 6, 8 points. If you talk to really old ranchers, they knew to kill the runt. It's the right thing to do more often than not. Invest the limited resources in the better animal.


[Linked Image]

https://web.archive.org/web/20170223065011/http:/www.rrdvegas.com/silencer-cleaning.html
Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092978 12/17/20 03:09 PM
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We had 3 deer with unbranched antlers on my place in 10 years. My sons first deer was a 3 point. Only one we ever saw with 3 points. We have multiple 4 and 6 point deer in the same age class and getting more 8 and 9 in the group. We take the yearling "spike" for management purposes and since it's an AR county it works out for that extra meat in the freezer. My buddy's son got this one from my stand last Saturday. He was a little too aggressive towards the other deer we would like to see meet their potential so he was voted off the island. Now the other deer can eat in peace without this guy jacking with them.

[Linked Image]


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092981 12/17/20 03:11 PM
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IMO---the reason you would "cull" 1.5 year old spikes is IF you are on a property that has too many deer and you are part of the MLD program as example, where you don't shoot any 2.5, 3.5 year old bucks that have branched antlers and shoot 4.5 year old bucks that do not have premium qualities. At this point, it is about population control.
IMO, Bucks that are 2.5 year old + and have a spike can be shot.

I will not be shooting any 1.5 year old bucks this year

Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8092986 12/17/20 03:14 PM
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No. We shoot no young deer period. You might start to see us culling around 5.5 but that’s the earliest


Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #8092987 12/17/20 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
I don't kill yearling deer.......

This^^^^^ but photo is of two year old.
This is a yearling.
[Linked Image]


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8093040 12/17/20 03:51 PM
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I look at body size to help me decide on shooting a spike or letting him walk. If the spike is as big or bigger than the mature does, which in our area is typically 105 - 110 lbs, he gets whacked. Not a perfect formula but I figure if he's had enough time to get that large, he's had enough time to grow something bigger than spikes. Also our buck to doe ratio right now is sitting at 1 to 1.25 and we're trying to keep it there, so we have to shoot quite a few management bucks every year and shooting a few spikes helps with that.


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8093215 12/17/20 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Originally Posted by freerange
I’m gonna try to sit this one out. The topic of culling has been beat to death on here many times over time. There just is NOT a good opinion that doesn’t start with IT DEPENDS. The best thread I’ve ever seen on here was about culling titled MANAGEMENT BUCKS from last summer I think. Look it up and save us all time from saying the same things over an over. Really better suited for off-season debate.


Dang it FR, come on man. I'm basically treating this as the offseason, but we haven't gotten all snippy with each other yet. Let me buy you a drink smile

You dont have to buy me a drink but you can. Everything I have to say about culling is in this link to another thread on here. Its about 5 pages and lots of great information exchange. Lots of folks did not agree at all but nobody got snippy. The best thread Ive ever seen on here. Regardless which side you take it is very informative. It gets off on tangents about all sorts of management practices which in my opinion are way more base line important than any culling decision. Link below....
https://texashuntingforum.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/7886290/1

Last edited by freerange; 12/17/20 06:44 PM.

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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8093258 12/17/20 06:42 PM
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Several years ago we shot a bunch of spikes. I feel like it affected the number of mature bucks we were seeing a decent amount, so we quit and seem to see more bucks now. I do shoot older spikes if i can. I have killed 2 that were at least 2 years old best we can tell comparing size to others, weight and teeth.

My definition of a spike is two unbranched antlers. if he has a fork he is no longer a spike to me.


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: kangaroojoe] #8093286 12/17/20 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by kangaroojoe
The problem with letting a spike walk is that it will breed obviously and you will be likely to end up with more spikes down the road. I would cull it.


There is no way to predict what a 1.5 year old spike will look like in another year, and could very likely be indistinguishable from others about time he is 4.5+.

Yet his genetics will remain unchanged.....

Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: redchevy] #8093389 12/17/20 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
Several years ago we shot a bunch of spikes. I feel like it affected the number of mature bucks we were seeing a decent amount, so we quit and seem to see more bucks now. I do shoot older spikes if i can. I have killed 2 that were at least 2 years old best we can tell comparing size to others, weight and teeth.

My definition of a spike is two unbranched antlers. if he has a fork he is no longer a spike to me.

Anyone who makes a habit of shooting spikes will see the same thing. 99.99% of them are just very young deer. There is no reason to shoot any of them


Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: bphillips] #8093396 12/17/20 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bphillips
Originally Posted by redchevy
Several years ago we shot a bunch of spikes. I feel like it affected the number of mature bucks we were seeing a decent amount, so we quit and seem to see more bucks now. I do shoot older spikes if i can. I have killed 2 that were at least 2 years old best we can tell comparing size to others, weight and teeth.

My definition of a spike is two unbranched antlers. if he has a fork he is no longer a spike to me.

Anyone who makes a habit of shooting spikes will see the same thing. 99.99% of them are just very young deer. There is no reason to shoot any of them


They taste good and on our management plan we have certain numbers in each age group that need to be taken out to keep balance and carry capacity limits in check.


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: stxranchman] #8093424 12/17/20 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
Yes for the last 25 yrs as long as I have the tags. Also have taken out 5pts or less when you have the tags.



Until I get tired of eating venison...or the place I'm hunting says no. up


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: TLew] #8093435 12/17/20 09:10 PM
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I do not kill or allow folks to kill yearling spikes on my ranch. Also I have very few yearling spikes.


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Re: Do you cull yearling spikes? [Re: bphillips] #8093451 12/17/20 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bphillips
Originally Posted by redchevy
Several years ago we shot a bunch of spikes. I feel like it affected the number of mature bucks we were seeing a decent amount, so we quit and seem to see more bucks now. I do shoot older spikes if i can. I have killed 2 that were at least 2 years old best we can tell comparing size to others, weight and teeth.

My definition of a spike is two unbranched antlers. if he has a fork he is no longer a spike to me.

Anyone who makes a habit of shooting spikes will see the same thing. 99.99% of them are just very young deer. There is no reason to shoot any of them

Red and bp Im right with you on this(sprigsss, stompy, Quit and Pitch too). However there will be many others that will disagree. In certain situations it may be the thing to do(STx will tell us) but for the vast majority of situations I agree with yall.

Last edited by freerange; 12/17/20 09:25 PM.

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