Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

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RyanCGrover47
 
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Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby RyanCGrover47 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:07 am

I've tried looking on other websites for this answer but I've gotten very mixed opinions. The other day I walked up on two spikes feeding. One had short spikes, between about 5 and 7 inches long. The second however, had longer, 16-18 inch beams. My question is what to do about them? Once a spike, always a spike, or give them another year? Feedback is greatly appreciated. ;)

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kellory
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby kellory » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:32 am

RyanCGrover47 wrote:I've tried looking on other websites for this answer but I've gotten very mixed opinions. The other day I walked up on two spikes feeding. One had short spikes, between about 5 and 7 inches long. The second however, had longer, 16-18 inch beams. My question is what to do about them? Once a spike, always a spike, or give them another year? Feedback is greatly appreciated. ;)


That depends on your focus. I am a meat hunter. The rack is just a postcard of the journey. If they meet your needs, whack em! if not, look elsewhere.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

RyanCGrover47
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby RyanCGrover47 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:57 pm

Well the shorter spiked one looks like a yearling, so I want to give him another year no matter what. But the other spike looks like he might be a year older. Either way he's a cool buck and I've already had a friend tell me he'd like to shoot it. haha.

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shaman
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby shaman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:32 am

The idea that there's a "spike gene" running through deer populations is false. My first exposure to the idea came from book written by John Wooters back in the mid-70's. Wooters wrote [url]Hunting Trophy Whitetails[/url] while he was writing for [url]Sport Afield[/url]. The next thing you knew there were people "managing" their herds, killing every spike or undersized rack they could find. Unless you have a 4000 acre ranch with a high fence around it, management in that sense is useless. Deer move around far too much. The buck you see today may be over on the other side of the county in a couple days. Even if there were a "spike gene" running through a herd, you would not be doing much shooting one spike. At the same time, you would have to cull all the females carrying the gene as well to make it work.


There is no way to tell whether a spike is going to remain a spike or grow into a monster rack given time. Second, the incidence of adult spikes is rare and usually has some serious nutritional component associated with it. Bottom line: if you want to kill a spike, kill a spike. Just don't think it is anything more than it is.
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Sailfish
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby Sailfish » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:33 am

kellory wrote:
That depends on your focus. I am a meat hunter. The rack is just a postcard of the journey. If they meet your needs, whack em! if not, look elsewhere.


Sums it up well right there.
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."

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charlie 01
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby charlie 01 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:36 pm

Most bucks start out as spikes. It's part of the growth process. I don't know why people worry about it, just let it grow up, then make your decission. Or just take it for meat, but generally it is 99% sure that it is not going to stay a spike, it would be rare if it did.
never say never
patience is the companion of wisdom

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fr0sty
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby fr0sty » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:25 am

There is a good article on one of d&dh back issues that addresses this question. I have it on the big cd of back issues. Anyways, they show with photos the progress of two spikes. Both started out under similar conditions, but then were moved to different enclosures. The gist of the story, yearling spikes are not much of an indicator of how big a deer's rack will grow. Letting bucks get old and have access to plentiful, high quality food makes the biggest difference.

Edit to add the issue. September 1998. Here is a brief recap.

The two deer started out life in the same timber country enclosure. Deer 1 was basket 8 as a yearling and scored 140 at age 4.5

The spike deer was transferred to a farm country enclosure at 3.5 years of age and scored 165 at 4.5 years old.

DanburyBowhunter
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby DanburyBowhunter » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:36 pm

kellory wrote:
RyanCGrover47 wrote:I've tried looking on other websites for this answer but I've gotten very mixed opinions. The other day I walked up on two spikes feeding. One had short spikes, between about 5 and 7 inches long. The second however, had longer, 16-18 inch beams. My question is what to do about them? Once a spike, always a spike, or give them another year? Feedback is greatly appreciated. ;)


That depends on your focus. I am a meat hunter. The rack is just a postcard of the journey. If they meet your needs, whack em! if not, look elsewhere.


hits the nail on the head.
It is a hard heart that kills. If your killer instincts are not clean and strong you will hesitate at the moment of truth.

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shaman
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby shaman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:39 am

. . . so this Wooters guy I was talking about. He quoted heavily from from Producing Quality Whitetails by Brothers and Ray. I guess back in the 70's that was THE deer management book. The idea was that you needed to cull a terrific number of deer, doe as well as bucks in order to keep the herd from outstripping the resources. I think this is where we got the idea of management hunts. The theory is that you have to get rid of a great number of doe and inferior bucks in order to allow for the bigger bucks to grow to their full potential.

Now, I admit that if you have a big high-fence operation and know all your stock by name, it might be reasonable to let the city slicker take Fred, the 8 year old spike. However. . .

1) How many of y'all have a high-fence situation where you control every deer that is on your property?
2) How many of you know the exact age of every spindly little rack you see walking by?
3) How many of y'all have deer populations that are truly bumping up against the carrying capacity of your land?

There's another side to all this as well. When the breeding season hits it peak around my place, I never see the big bruisers chasing the doe. What I see are the little forkers and spikes. D&DH did an article a few years ago about how the bulk of the breeding actually gets done by immature bucks. The big guys are usually off somewhere licking their wounds from sparring the month before. The point is, a yearling sporting a bit of a rack is far more indicative of actual breeding capability than ol' Mossy Horns.
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msbadger
 
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Re: Spikes: To Shoot or Not to Shoot

Postby msbadger » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:52 am

If I were you...I'd be counting my blessings that you have a long beamed spike like that...we get them here and the grow into wide racked bucks....
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