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Theories on antlers

hickslawns

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NW Ohio
Talked to a buddy last night. I don't really agree what he was saying, but it is worthy of some more opinions. He believes late bred does which birth bucks in say June/July, will make the bucks hold their antlers longer. He also believes some bucks never lose their antlers. I can see there being the antlered doe here and there which might not lose them. Not overly common, but not unheard of. I can see the first year the young bucks grow their antlers where they might grow a bit longer than others. I just don't know for sure on these questions and thought I would seek some more opinions. I don't know that there are right or wrong answers here. Just looking for some opinions as the bone is starting to develop and grow right now!
 

RedCloud

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I think the only bucks that don't loose there antlers is button bucks. I think they are reabsorbed by the body. Button bucks the following year grow their antlers and loose them just the same as any other buck in the woods. Spike bucks on up to the biggest monsters loose them theres no doubt in my mind. Some may have higher testosterone levels making them hold longer but they still loose them. Antler is the fastest growing tissue in the world so even in a shortened growth period they should still be fully developed by mid September. Most bucks antlers are fully grown by mid August so even the late bloomers should be grown and velvet shed by mid September. Like you said, you may have the oddball antlered doe but I would think that would be far and very few between.
 
i know a few people around this area that raise deer according to them the bucks testosterone levels stay high as long as there is does in season in the same pen with them , its also a little trick hunting ranchs use to keep the bucks holding the racks longer so that more customers will hunt later into the year they will place doe in heat urine through out the pens to keep the testosterone levels high in the bucks , with the higher testosterone levels lasting longer into the year they drop thier antlers later in the year as well , so my view on it is the bucks that drop thier head gear late is cause they were chasing does later into the breeding season , plus a bucks over all health has some to do with it to , a stressed buck will drop is antlers sooner then a non stressed buck
 

Mountaineer

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WV
Antlers fall off and Horns do not..ie..antelope..sheep.goats..Deer have antlers and they fall off each year..If not..something is seriuosly wrong with them.:smiley_chinrub:
 

jagermeister

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I've never heard of bucks not loosing their antlers, and I don't believe it because they have antlers, not horns... as Mntner already mentioned. Does testosterone level have any effect on how long they hold on? Yes. There's research out there to support that.

When it comes to late breeding, I think the biggest impact is not on the holding/shedding of antlers, but on the button bucks that are born the following spring. A button buck that is born a month or more later than the others is going to have less time to feed nutrients to his skeletal system before the fall, which usually translates to underdeveloped pedicles. I've read before that pedicle growth as a fawn plays a big part in the rack that sprouts as a yearling. This is the biggest reason I don't agree with the whole cull-buck theory... especially the guys that say spike bucks need to be taken out. Those bucks might only be spikes or forkhorns for the simple fact that were born a little "late." There's plenty of studies out there that show those same "inferior" yearlings end up growing into trophy class bucks.
 

rgecko23

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Massillon, Ohio
I've never heard of bucks not loosing their antlers, and I don't believe it because they have antlers, not horns... as Mntner already mentioned. Does testosterone level have any effect on how long they hold on? Yes. There's research out there to support that.

When it comes to late breeding, I think the biggest impact is not on the holding/shedding of antlers, but on the button bucks that are born the following spring. A button buck that is born a month or more later than the others is going to have less time to feed nutrients to his skeletal system before the fall, which usually translates to underdeveloped pedicles. I've read before that pedicle growth as a fawn plays a big part in the rack that sprouts as a yearling. This is the biggest reason I don't agree with the whole cull-buck theory... especially the guys that say spike bucks need to be taken out. Those bucks might only be spikes or forkhorns for the simple fact that were born a little "late." There's plenty of studies out there that show those same "inferior" yearlings end up growing into trophy class bucks.


thanks for a reasonable..mature answer....makes sense
 

hickslawns

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NW Ohio
I am with you on that one as well JBrown. I never did buy into the "shoot the spikes" idea. I am also not a deer hunter with decades of bias either.
 

bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
JB and the rest have hit the nail on the head. Nutrition and a skewed buck to doe ratio are two major factors that will contribute to them holding their antlers longer. As far as late born fawns contributing to that, I've never read much about that. However, I tend to agree with JB in that the biggest impact is that first year. After that, he's going to be on a normal cycle and that's when his nutrition (stress) and the buck to doe ratio (available does) comes in to play...