Mature Spikes - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
The Man
 
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Mature Spikes

Me and my neighbor have been debating this issue. Between both of our property's we had these 2 seemed to be mature bucks. One was a spike the other a 3 point. Between trail cams and seeing them many times this year they was very large deer. Im talking the looking at the belly, face, and structure they was a few years old. Standing beside other deer unreal size. Our buck crop this year and last couple years seemed to go down in size. We are starting to go back to the smaller racks. There was nothing seen or killed this year over 13" which at one time was a trophy for us. Are these spikes staying spikes and breeding spikes or is it just bad luck of the draw.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 08:23 AM
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Re: Mature Spikes

Post your pics.. A mature deer is easy to identify.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 11:09 AM
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Re: Mature Spikes

back in the days of spike hunting, i shot quite a few mature spikes. old grey faced, saggy belly bucks and some younger ones that were 2-3 years old. and with the reg changes, i have seen more older scrap rack 4 and 5's than ever. probably because they don't get shot. not all bucks get big racks and those genes are passed down too. thats one of the reasons why i am not a big fan of AR.

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 11:40 AM
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Re: Mature Spikes

i hear it all the time, lots of little bucks since ar's. yep, but theres not more of them, they just get seen more often now cuz they're not dead. mostly yearlings, just like always.

i went to west central illinois this fall, one of the best known big buck areas in the world, and for good reason. i saw spikes, 3 points, forkies, and a little buck that had webbed antlers that looked like a babys hand holding up 3 fingers. only 3 out of about 10 yearling bucks would have been legal here at home, in an are where good 2 year olds score 125, and good 3 year olds go 150. yearling bucks are small, later born ones are really small, thats just how it is, everywhere.

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 11:47 AM
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Re: Mature Spikes

I would say somebody is shooting the big bucks before rifle season, maybe at night. Even the most heavily hunted areas these days still have 15" 2.5yr 8 pts running around, even the poor nutrition areas.

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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 11:49 AM
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Re: Mature Spikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpgun
back in the days of spike hunting, i shot quite a few mature spikes. old grey faced, saggy belly bucks and some younger ones that were 2-3 years old. and with the reg changes, i have seen more older scrap rack 4 and 5's than ever. probably because they don't get shot. not all bucks get big racks and those genes are passed down too. thats one of the reasons why i am not a big fan of AR.
if you really think you have killed "quite a few mature spikes" that just proves you don't know what your talking about
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 12:29 PM
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Re: Mature Spikes

In today's better deer to habitat ratio I would want solid scientific evidence of the plethora of mature spikes, 3 and 4 point bucks. That gray faced look isn't scientific evidence. In my area I've seen no increase in mature sub-legal bucks.
I'm not suggesting it's never going to occur on an isolated basis, it will. The evidence of a major increase in sub-legal mature bucks has come up just a little bit short of the hunter's fears (as a way of claiming AR was going to have a terrible impact on the quality of antlers).

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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 02:41 PM
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Re: Mature Spikes

Based on the results from a few recently published studies on deer, the easiest and most logical explanation is that the spikes you believe are mature are probably not as mature as you think. The one study done at Auburn looked at the skulls of 71 bucks collected from Alabama and tried to assign reasons that the bucks had a spike on one side. Most of the spikes and 3 points were only 1.5 year old deer. Of the remaining deer that had a spike on one side, over 50% had an obvious head injury. The remaining bucks examined had a spike on one side but a very respectable antler on the other side.

Spike on one side study summary

The other study I refer to is one in which the researchers gave a aging test to 107 wildlife biologists which asked them to assign the appropriate age for pictures of a number of different bucks with different angles of the same bucks. Long story short, only 62% of the trained wildlife managers could correctly identify 1.5 year old bucks. The numbers got way worse after 1.5 years old. In most cases managers overestimated ages, sometimes greatly.

Aging on the Hoof Summary

The actual published studies had a little more information than what are in these summaries.

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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 02:45 PM
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Re: Mature Spikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiz
Based on the results from a few recently published studies on deer, the easiest and most logical explanation is that the spikes you believe are mature are probably not as mature as you think. The one study done at Auburn looked at the skulls of 71 bucks collected from Alabama and tried to assign reasons that the bucks had a spike on one side. Most of the spikes and 3 points were only 1.5 year old deer. Of the remaining deer that had a spike on one side, over 50% had an obvious head injury. The remaining bucks examined had a spike on one side but a very respectable antler on the other side.

The other study I refer to is one in which the researchers gave a aging test to 107 wildlife biologists which asked them to assign the appropriate age for pictures of a number of different bucks with different angles of the same bucks. Long story short, only 62% of the trained wildlife managers could correctly identify 1.5 year old bucks. The numbers got way worse after 1.5 years old. In most cases managers overestimated ages, sometimes greatly.
..Now you've done it Wiz, you've presented scientific evidence. Everyone knows that in Pennsylvania, once a spike, always a spike, no matter what a few stupid studies and science suggest.

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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 11:15 PM
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Re: Mature Spikes

In one of my past issues of north american whitetail,dr james did a study on spike bucks,and said they were late born fawns and buy the time they reached 4.5 they caught up to the bucks that where 8 pts there first yr in antler size,and the bucks where all in the 130 to140 class by then,and this was a 5 yr study on wild deer they monitored for this period on a huge piece of ground,if im not mistaken they trapped like 70 little bucks mostly spikes and a bunch of first yr 8 and that pretty much tells us age is the most important part of producing a good buck,and like he said most hunters would be very happy with a 130 or 140 class buck!
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