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Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? #8728459 11/07/22 06:32 PM
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At the end of the season, I generally have the spike buck tag left to fill. I always struggle with which spike to shoot. This last weekend, I had 2 spikes show up. One was a young and smallish deer with straight spikes about 3"-4" long. Obviously a young deer. The other spike I saw had only both main beams, but they curled outward and around to the front, like the main beam does on a normal buck. This deer was noticeably larger, probably 1.5 year old. How do you determine which spike buck is best to shoot?



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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728462 11/07/22 06:35 PM
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If the older one is still a spike and hasn’t put on anything else, then shoot that one. The other one might turn into something.



Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728464 11/07/22 06:36 PM
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A friend told me to tag one and don't let the other one get away

Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728473 11/07/22 06:46 PM
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I’d probably shoot the older one, but it’s still a tough call.


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728474 11/07/22 06:47 PM
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I wouldn't shoot any spikes this year....drought was hard on yearling deer.

the one exception would be if I KNEW FOR A FACT it was a 2 year or older deer.



For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728477 11/07/22 06:49 PM
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Which one looks most tender?


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: Hudbone] #8728482 11/07/22 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
A friend told me to tag one and don't let the other one get away


That friends needs to take diversity and inclusion training. He obviously has preconceived prejudice that has since been tore apparently by sound scientific research


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728520 11/07/22 07:43 PM
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If you're gonna shoot spikes i'd say always shoot the one that looks the biggest/oldest, although very likely none of them will be very big or old. we only shoot them occasionally as a means to fill an extra tag for buck harvest quota when we're not still seeing any other buck options we're wanting to shoot. the ones we might would end up shooting are 1.5-2.5yr old deer. usually a curving spike as long or longer than the ears.


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728533 11/07/22 07:57 PM
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Unless it's age is 2+, you really can't go right or wrong. If you have plenty of bucks, just pick one of the two. Is the smaller one a runt, born late, a twin, or an orphan? No way to know. Is the larger one born late but bloomed his body, born early but have bad genetics, or have genetics where his body comes first until later/maturity? Again, no way to know. The only thing about the smaller spike is that he will trail his age-class for most of his life. I've seen it in sheep and goats - they don't catch up for a loooong time, if ever, particularly if it's due to being an orphan or having a bad momma. They just don't recover from that initial ding in life.


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728535 11/07/22 07:57 PM
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The "younger" deer is still a 1.5 year old if it has hardened antler, so they are both the same age class (providing you are correct about the "older" one being 1.5) if that helps make your decision easier.

We have 10 buck tags this year and will probably only shoot 2 older (5.5+) bucks just based on what deer we see and which we feel like need another hopefully wet year, so we will bottom grade the other age class to fill out those tags. That means we will take out some spikes given the average 1.5 year old on our place has 4+ tines, even in this droughty year.

If I had a spike tag and needed mouths off the property, I would remove the smaller spike. I have personally never seen a spike older than 1.5


Last edited by Double AC; 11/07/22 07:58 PM.
Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728542 11/07/22 08:02 PM
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Shoot the one that has at least one spike that's about as long as the antlers on other small deer in the area that have forked antlers. Since all the deer in the area have the same access to available browse, it becomes a matter of picking out the ones that appear to be lagging their peers genetically.

Not sure what I did with it but I once found a shed that looked like it came off a toy deer. It had the symmetry and form of an eight point but about 1/8 the size. You could hold the entire antler in the palm of your hand. It was the perfect example of what you want to let grow and how quickly good genetics can become apparent deer.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 11/07/22 08:05 PM.

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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728550 11/07/22 08:12 PM
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Deer can age and grow and survive, growing big antlers as they age and then decreasing in antler size as they get real old. Eventually their antlers can downsize to spikes. I killed such a deer many years ago. He had maybe 8 does with him, so must have still been virile. His muzzle was white and he had only a few teeth left. How he survived that long, I have no idea. And I didn’t know how to guess at age. He was not what you’d call a tender deer when we put him in the cook pot.


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: Double AC] #8728567 11/07/22 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Double AC


I have personally never seen a spike older than 1.5




It’s rare. Really rare.


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: 603Country] #8728572 11/07/22 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 603Country
Deer can age and grow and survive, growing big antlers as they age and then decreasing in antler size as they get real old. Eventually their antlers can downsize to spikes. I killed such a deer many years ago. He had maybe 8 does with him, so must have still been virile. His muzzle was white and he had only a few teeth left. How he survived that long, I have no idea. And I didn’t know how to guess at age. He was not what you’d call a tender deer when we put him in the cook pot.


I've found too they begin to lose their more perfect shape with main beams that appear warped and unsymmetrical.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 11/07/22 10:34 PM.

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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728595 11/07/22 09:17 PM
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Neither. Shoot a doe instead. It's okay to have unfilled tags at the end of the season. This year's spikes are your mature buck class in 4 years.

Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728630 11/07/22 09:54 PM
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This thread may bring STx outa retirement. I hope so.


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Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: txtrophy85] #8728635 11/07/22 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
I wouldn't shoot any spikes this year....drought was hard on yearling deer.

the one exception would be if I KNEW FOR A FACT it was a 2 year or older deer.


Agree 100%


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: txtrophy85] #8728638 11/07/22 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
Originally Posted by Double AC


I have personally never seen a spike older than 1.5




It’s rare. Really rare.

Agreed.
I dont shoot them.
Imo, you have to have an extremely intensive management program in place to even consider it.


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728644 11/07/22 10:11 PM
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We don’t start culling until 3 so no spikes.

Al Brothers always said if two out there and the same age, shoot the one with the smaller antlers.

Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: rickym] #8728647 11/07/22 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rickym
If the older one is still a spike and hasn’t put on anything else, then shoot that one. The other one might turn into something.

this


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728652 11/07/22 10:18 PM
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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728695 11/07/22 11:05 PM
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That's why I have a spike tag at the end of the season!



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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: freerange] #8728719 11/07/22 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
This thread may bring STx outa retirement. I hope so.


Maybe Feb. if my last post didn’t get him he ain’t coming out smile


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Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728727 11/07/22 11:41 PM
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If you want to kill a spike I’d suggest the closest one standing still, any more thought than that’s simply overthinking it. Sure sucks wondering what might have been though barf

Re: Spike bucks- which spike to shoot? [Re: ChadTRG42] #8728729 11/07/22 11:43 PM
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I haven`t shot a spike since 1977. My first deer ever and first ever open morning. Saw 3 this a.m. and they all were small. Never bought into to the always be a spike myth that so many promote as the gospel. Never seen an old spike either but I know they do exist and would shoot them if I ever saw one.

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