texashuntingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
reynoldstx5, MossMade, Dion P, ccondon, Gerald Cuvillier
69443 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
dogcatcher 109,592
bill oxner 90,086
SnakeWrangler 62,554
stxranchman 59,381
Gravytrain 44,708
RKHarm24 44,585
rifleman 44,461
BMD 41,232
Forum Statistics
Forums46
Topics605,205
Posts11,312,636
Members84,443
Most Online19,184
Feb 5th, 2020
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Question about deer growth #8498904 01/09/22 01:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 22
T
The_Whitetail_Kid Offline OP
Light Foot
OP Offline
Light Foot
T
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 22
I was wondering, do deer grow much between ages 5.5 and 6.5? Or is the majority of the growing done before that up until say 4.5? I had a buck on cam last year that didn’t do much from ages 5.5 to 6.5, so I was wondering if this is the case most often, or if it just depends on the deer. Thanks.

Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8498938 01/09/22 02:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 59,381
S
stxranchman Online Content
Obie Juan Kenobi
Online Content
Obie Juan Kenobi
S
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 59,381
Body/skeleton wise they usually are done growing at 4, they will add weight every year till 6-7 yrs of age. Antler wise there are a ton of variables. Some deer jump from 3 to 4, some from 4 to 5, some from 5 to 6 and some from 6 to 7. Some even getter better up till 9 yrs or so. What factors in are genetics, nutrition, rainfall the year the buck was born, rainfall this antler growth year, age structure of the herd, rutting by age class, buck to doe ratio, injury during the rut, etc...to many factors to say why bucks do what they do from year to year. With the right genetics and nutrition bucks will gain antler growth every year. Those size of those yearly gains are again limited to genetics and nutrition. Many bucks will average around 5%-6% each year after age 2 or 3. Wet years with rainfall in all the key months from late rut to post rut into the spring then summer can have a huge effect in one year on antler growth. Seen bucks jump 20%-30% at mature ages.


Are idiots multiplying faster than normal people?[Linked Image]
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8498942 01/09/22 03:05 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 8,522
H
Hudbone Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
H
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 8,522
Personally seen a buck gain almost thirty inches between 5 & 6. Seen the same between 6 & 7. Biggest I have ever heard evidence on is about 50. A lot has to come together to provide for these increases.

Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8498948 01/09/22 03:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 56
M
muleymaddness Offline
Outdoorsman
Offline
Outdoorsman
M
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 56
Ask Steve.

Re: Question about deer growth [Re: stxranchman] #8499962 01/10/22 01:30 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 8,254
I
ILUVBIGBUCKS Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
I
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 8,254
Originally Posted by stxranchman
Body/skeleton wise they usually are done growing at 4, they will add weight every year till 6-7 yrs of age. Antler wise there are a ton of variables. Some deer jump from 3 to 4, some from 4 to 5, some from 5 to 6 and some from 6 to 7. Some even getter better up till 9 yrs or so. What factors in are genetics, nutrition, rainfall the year the buck was born, rainfall this antler growth year, age structure of the herd, rutting by age class, buck to doe ratio, injury during the rut, etc...to many factors to say why bucks do what they do from year to year. With the right genetics and nutrition bucks will gain antler growth every year. Those size of those yearly gains are again limited to genetics and nutrition. Many bucks will average around 5%-6% each year after age 2 or 3. Wet years with rainfall in all the key months from late rut to post rut into the spring then summer can have a huge effect in one year on antler growth. Seen bucks jump 20%-30% at mature ages.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^BANK THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Great post stxrm!


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8502042 01/12/22 06:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 9,004
T
Texas buckeye Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
T
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 9,004
There is also some evidence/research that shows a mama living in chronic drought conditions where food is scarce will drop bucks that will have to take years before the genotype can start expressing phenotypically, even if given ample current food sources. It could even be several generations. So there are a lot of factors that go into body phenotype and antler phenotype expression that may have nothing at all to do with the actual animal and current conditions but simply the genetics (which this falls under the global "genetics" as STX said) being turned on and off that can be generational type changes. When you start looking at phenotypic expression of genotypes, it gets really messy.

Re: Question about deer growth [Re: Texas buckeye] #8502066 01/12/22 07:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
BOBO the Clown Online Content
decoy
Online Content
decoy
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
Originally Posted by Texas buckeye
There is also some evidence/research that shows a mama living in chronic drought conditions where food is scarce will drop bucks that will have to take years before the genotype can start expressing phenotypically, even if given ample current food sources. It could even be several generations. So there are a lot of factors that go into body phenotype and antler phenotype expression that may have nothing at all to do with the actual animal and current conditions but simply the genetics (which this falls under the global "genetics" as STX said) being turned on and off that can be generational type changes. When you start looking at phenotypic expression of genotypes, it gets really messy.



Maternal condition has been well studied in Mule deer also

Easy google search for some great research papers “maternal condition in Mule deer”


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

https://secure.qgiv.com/for/gtgoh/mobile
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: Hudbone] #8502067 01/12/22 07:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
BOBO the Clown Online Content
decoy
Online Content
decoy
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
Originally Posted by Hudbone
Personally seen a buck gain almost thirty inches between 5 & 6. Seen the same between 6 & 7. Biggest I have ever heard evidence on is about 50. A lot has to come together to provide for these increases.


Heck I saw a spike do 50 from 1-2 cheers






flame STX flame


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

https://secure.qgiv.com/for/gtgoh/mobile
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8502193 01/12/22 09:37 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,088
S
Smokey Bear Online Content
Veteran Tracker
Online Content
Veteran Tracker
S
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,088
I hunt low fence with native genetics. We have strong age classes of older bucks. A lot of the five year olds run themselves way down in the rut. I’ve seen a lot of those same mature and badly rutted down bucks with above average head gear have an off year antler wise the following year at six only to bounce back at 7 with their best antlers to date. Have also watched a buck that made gains every year till he was killed at age 9. Most of our bucks that end up eventually getting big make the biggest jump at 4. Prior to that we can often not identify the deer that will blossom.

Edit to add full disclosure: we also let a lot of bucks walk well past their prime being overly optimistic.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 01/12/22 09:47 PM.

Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8502272 01/12/22 11:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 14,097
D
don k Online Content
THF Celebrity
Online Content
THF Celebrity
D
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 14,097
I am confused. Growing body weight or antler?

Re: Question about deer growth [Re: Smokey Bear] #8502419 01/13/22 01:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,387
F
freerange Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
F
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,387
Originally Posted by Smokey Bear
I hunt low fence with native genetics. We have strong age classes of older bucks. A lot of the five year olds run themselves way down in the rut. I’ve seen a lot of those same mature and badly rutted down bucks with above average head gear have an off year antler wise the following year at six only to bounce back at 7 with their best antlers to date. Have also watched a buck that made gains every year till he was killed at age 9. Most of our bucks that end up eventually getting big make the biggest jump at 4. Prior to that we can often not identify the deer that will blossom.

Edit to add full disclosure: we also let a lot of bucks walk well past their prime being overly optimistic.

Smokey, great post. A lot of other really good post too but as much as I respect Smokeys knowledge, it doesn’t seem he goes all in(often enough) on topics like this.
As far letting them go past prime, how do we ever know anything till we push the perceived limit. Go too far and then come back and adjust.
Question Smokey-would the 6s not get run down also and hurt growth at 7, or are you assuming rutting isn’t as active after 5?


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: freerange] #8502545 01/13/22 03:50 AM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,088
S
Smokey Bear Online Content
Veteran Tracker
Online Content
Veteran Tracker
S
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,088
Originally Posted by freerange
Originally Posted by Smokey Bear
I hunt low fence with native genetics. We have strong age classes of older bucks. A lot of the five year olds run themselves way down in the rut. I’ve seen a lot of those same mature and badly rutted down bucks with above average head gear have an off year antler wise the following year at six only to bounce back at 7 with their best antlers to date. Have also watched a buck that made gains every year till he was killed at age 9. Most of our bucks that end up eventually getting big make the biggest jump at 4. Prior to that we can often not identify the deer that will blossom.

Edit to add full disclosure: we also let a lot of bucks walk well past their prime being overly optimistic.

Smokey, great post. A lot of other really good post too but as much as I respect Smokeys knowledge, it doesn’t seem he goes all in(often enough) on topics like this.
As far letting them go past prime, how do we ever know anything till we push the perceived limit. Go too far and then come back and adjust.
Question Smokey-would the 6s not get run down also and hurt growth at 7, or are you assuming rutting isn’t as active after 5?


Nothing is absolute but it appears where I hunt, with our herd dynamics that age 5 is an age when a good many of our bucks are finally physical enough to compete and confident enough to broadly expand their ranges during the rut and run themselves ragged going girl crazy. As they continue to age they seem to learn to settle into areas they can dominate well enough to satisfy their instinct to mate without as much need to travel. They also seem to learn to identify and spend more of their time with does they are more likely to score with as opposed to wasting energy harassing them all nonstop. I think that plays heavily into the fact that there are short windows where those nocturnal bucks are seen in daylight and then disappear.


Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8502551 01/13/22 04:06 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 59,381
S
stxranchman Online Content
Obie Juan Kenobi
Online Content
Obie Juan Kenobi
S
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 59,381
In South Texas, a lot 4 yr old bucks get really run down the worst in herds with great age structure. The 5 and 6 yr old bucks have set territories for the rut and defend them. 4 yr olds get pushed around and move trying to find their spot, they fight way more than most of the other age class it seems. The highest death losses/rut mortalities on some ranches will be in the 4 yr old age class. Many of them are pushed off of a ranch and get killed on neighboring properties. It is well known fact that most ranches in South Texas do not take their best bucks until age 7. That is the age when most are not rutting as hard and grow their best antlers. Little Roy Hindes told me once that any of their top 6 yr olds that went downhill at 7, they would then let go till 8. At 8 they bounced back and had their best antler growth year. On a larger ranch I managed in the Hill Country our best bucks were at 7(all native genetics to that ranch). The genetics on that ranch was slow to develop for some reason. Many bucks were mediocre/average hill country bucks at 4 or 5 would then be their best at 7 or 8. We tried to let our better bucks go till 7 to take them. The largest jump I was able to see on a buck was from 3 to 4 on that ranch. As a 3 yr old I was able to find one shed and he would have been around upper 150's as a 4x5 with one mule deer fork and kicker making him an 11pt. The next year he was a 5x5 with matching mule deer forks and I think he was easily in the low to mid 180's. They let him go to 7 and he dropped down from around 200 to 193 gross. 100% native Hill Country genetics. Most of the bucks went up about 5%-6% per year after age 2. A few bucks would do 10% from one year to the next.


Are idiots multiplying faster than normal people?[Linked Image]
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: BOBO the Clown] #8502552 01/13/22 04:07 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 59,381
S
stxranchman Online Content
Obie Juan Kenobi
Online Content
Obie Juan Kenobi
S
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 59,381
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by Hudbone
Personally seen a buck gain almost thirty inches between 5 & 6. Seen the same between 6 & 7. Biggest I have ever heard evidence on is about 50. A lot has to come together to provide for these increases.


Heck I saw a spike do 50 from 1-2 cheers






flame STX flame

Yeah, when he scored 45 then jumped to 95 at two, you should have still killed him.


Are idiots multiplying faster than normal people?[Linked Image]
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8502555 01/13/22 04:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,387
F
freerange Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
F
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,387
Thanks Smokey.
We have a 150ish buck we think is 5. He’s the most visible buck we have out of many 4s and up older than 5. He never stops, even after the rut. He’s a good looker too, so if he grows next year and doesn’t slow down we may not ever know what 7 would look like.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8502787 01/13/22 02:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 8,522
H
Hudbone Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
H
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 8,522
I know it almost sounds counter-intuitive, but we are seeing tis "rebound" effect also. Now that most of us on the place have taken nice trophies, it is easier to have patience and allow deer to get old. Somes never get nowheres and end up being mistakes which never should have been allowed. That's the tough part. Somes mature into special animals. Somes come from nowhere and end up the wall - like the double drop I shot this year. Sunofagun was old (at least 7 1/2), but no one knows which deer he was before this season

Getting where when I see a potential trophy for the first time, I am now realizing it might take two or three more seasons for him to reach full potential. Next year is not the way I see it any more.

Re: Question about deer growth [Re: Hudbone] #8502815 01/13/22 03:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
BOBO the Clown Online Content
decoy
Online Content
decoy
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
Originally Posted by Hudbone
I know it almost sounds counter-intuitive, but we are seeing tis "rebound" effect also. Now that most of us on the place have taken nice trophies, it is easier to have patience and allow deer to get old. Somes never get nowheres and end up being mistakes which never should have been allowed. That's the tough part. Somes mature into special animals. Somes come from nowhere and end up the wall - like the double drop I shot this year. Sunofagun was old (at least 7 1/2), but no one knows which deer he was before this season

Getting where when I see a potential trophy for the first time, I am now realizing it might take two or three more seasons for him to reach full potential. Next year is not the way I see it any more.


Wait so I was right on the age.... Who know


I agree with you on the 2-3, but that's on heavy long term feed programs like yours


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

https://secure.qgiv.com/for/gtgoh/mobile
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: BOBO the Clown] #8502821 01/13/22 03:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 8,522
H
Hudbone Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
H
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 8,522
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Wait so I was right on the age.... Who know


A blind hog and acorns comes to mind.

Re: Question about deer growth [Re: Hudbone] #8502835 01/13/22 03:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
BOBO the Clown Online Content
decoy
Online Content
decoy
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
Originally Posted by Hudbone
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Wait so I was right on the age.... Who know


A blind hog and acorns comes to mind.


Well I'm pretty chubby right now, so it's becoming less of an anomaly, and more of core occurrence


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

https://secure.qgiv.com/for/gtgoh/mobile
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8502842 01/13/22 03:36 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 8,522
H
Hudbone Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
H
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 8,522
I think I was just wishing . . . .

Re: Question about deer growth [Re: Hudbone] #8502845 01/13/22 03:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
BOBO the Clown Online Content
decoy
Online Content
decoy
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
Originally Posted by Hudbone
I think I was just wishing . . . .


I get it but still cool deer.


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

https://secure.qgiv.com/for/gtgoh/mobile
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: The_Whitetail_Kid] #8502875 01/13/22 03:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,387
F
freerange Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
F
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,387
Good comment about a long term heavy feed program making a difference in this year to year horn growth discussion.
I think most would agree a well fed health buck will have a better chance of peak antlers at older ages.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: freerange] #8502957 01/13/22 05:50 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,088
S
Smokey Bear Online Content
Veteran Tracker
Online Content
Veteran Tracker
S
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,088
Originally Posted by freerange
Good comment about a long term heavy feed program making a difference in this year to year horn growth discussion.
I think most would agree a well fed health buck will have a better chance of peak antlers at older ages.


And often times the teeth of those deer on a long term heavy feed program will not indicate their true age.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 01/13/22 05:59 PM.

Smokey Bear---Lone Star State.
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: Smokey Bear] #8502973 01/13/22 06:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,387
F
freerange Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
F
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,387
Originally Posted by Smokey Bear
Originally Posted by freerange
Good comment about a long term heavy feed program making a difference in this year to year horn growth discussion.
I think most would agree a well fed health buck will have a better chance of peak antlers at older ages.


And often times the teeth of those deer on a lot by term heavy feed program will not indicate their true age.

I agree with that but I’ve about decided I don’t trust aging by tooth wear, or lab or any aging method. I rely more on history with the deer and just observing. To consistently get even within one year on any method is optimistic, IMO. No one ever knows for sure but it doesn’t keep us from trying(hard). But I really don’t want this thread to shoot off onto that.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Question about deer growth [Re: Smokey Bear] #8502990 01/13/22 06:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
BOBO the Clown Online Content
decoy
Online Content
decoy
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 52,647
Originally Posted by Smokey Bear
Originally Posted by freerange
Good comment about a long term heavy feed program making a difference in this year to year horn growth discussion.
I think most would agree a well fed health buck will have a better chance of peak antlers at older ages.


And often times the teeth of those deer on a long term heavy feed program will not indicate their true age.


After mature it's always been a toss of dice, especially past 6.5. I personally don't think you can feed enough to effect teeth At whole herd level. Deer forage to much. With that said I think upper age deer tend to consume more due to teeth condition.


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

https://secure.qgiv.com/for/gtgoh/mobile
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 2004-2022 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3