Questions and answers

Will a spike deer always be a spike?

Will a spike deer always be a spike?

Few yearling bucks with spike antlers are genetically programmed to remain spike bucks at maturity. But if we shoot them as spikes, yes, they will never have more than spike antlers. If hunters would let them go, plenty of them can grow into handsome trophies once they overcome a slow start.

What causes a deer to be a spike?

The most common cause of spikes is poor nutrition. Poor nutrition limits antler size for all buck age-classes in such situations, so more intensive doe harvest and or habitat improvement is necessary to improve nutrition for remaining deer. Another potential cause of spikes is late-born fawns.

How long does the Blacktail rut last?

Rut in California really varies depending on the pocket of deer and location… bucks rut where I hunt in A zone end of September early October and can continue through mid November… though I have friends who hunt spots further north and see full rut last week of season.

How do you tell if a deer is a spike?

We use the term “spike” for any deer at least a year old that has two hardened antlers that do not branch or fork. We don’t use it to refer to a “nubbin buck” fawn that has skin covered knobs or bumps on its head.

Are spike bucks bad genetics?

Spike bucks indicate poor genetics. Generally, the deer herd is above carrying capacity and the animals are not getting the proper nutrition. It could also indicate a skewed sex ratio with does being bred later, resulting in late-born fawns that are bred late the following year.

Should spike bucks be killed?

Spike bucks have genetically small antlers and should be culled if the goal is growing big bucks.

Should you shoot spike deer?

If you have an encouraging amount of rainfall, shooting spikes could be beneficial. The high rainfall creates a domino effect of good habitat and nutrition, which will lead to buck growth and less population attrition. Poor habitat and/or nutrition is going to lead to poor antler growth and more spikes.

Is Once a spike always a spike?

“The ‘once a spike, always a spike’ maxim should be dead, but unfortunately it’s not,” said Lindsay Thomas of the Quality Deer Management Association. “A lot of people believe that a spike will have a spike rack throughout its life, but the research says that’s simply not true.

What triggers the rut in Blacktail deer?

When it reaches a certain level in the blood it induces estrus in does. Similarly in bucks, a decrease in daylight produces melatonin, which in turn increases testosterone production. Simply put, decreasing daylight causes hormonal changes in deer that triggers “the rut.”

Is it OK to shoot a spike buck?

Will spikes get bigger?

-Given enough time, spikes will grow branched antlers, and after 4.5 years spikes can become decent bucks, but they will never be as big as a branch antlered yearlings if all else is equal.