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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok first I do not want to fight1!!

Munstr, Ed and others do you have any info on what happens when herd has a lot of 1.5 bucks breeding. Why the deer are getting smaller?

I am doing some research and would like to see some of your data and ideas. It is scattered throught this forum I know. I am looking, but any more data I would love to read.

Thx Swoosh
 

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It doesn't have anything to do with deer getting smaller, that'd be more of an age, genetic or nutrition issue (unless you're referring to potential high grading?).

All bucks will breed given the opportunity. However in a herd with a decent age structure, the older ones will do a majority of it. Studies have shown when breeding is left to younger bucks, it has been found that they do not reliably impregnate does. I think the October Quality Whitetails has a good article by Kip Adams where he notes that even though young bucks do breed, mature bucks do most of it in populations with good age structure. He also noted (or cited) that bucks 3.5 years and older sired 70 amd 80 % of fawns in populations with reasonable age structure and and sex ratios. Another issue is the mortality of young bucks when they do breed. Some may lose up to 25% of their weight during this time and if it's a young buck, he may not make it through the winter after the rut. Several years ago, a guy in our camp took a nice mature 4.5 year old 9 pt. He looked a little thin and dressed at 135 lbs, there's no doubt he lost a fair amount of weight due to the rut. There's also some studies done by John Ozoga regarding buck social structure that I think plays some role in breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thx what I am looking for and smaller part regers to the UP. THe deer seem to be getting smaller and I am wondering if breeding 1.5 year bucks have somethng to do with it.
 

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Yeah..I don't think that the age of the breeding buck has anything to do with the end body size or that a deer who's father was 1.5 vs 3.5 would show any difference. The genetic potential would be the same. Nutrition and age as well as latitude (ie northern animals of the same species tend to be larger in northern areas) also play roles. Are you referring to bucks that used to be taken up there years ago when they used to say, if you wanted the big bucks, go to the UP? If that's what you're referring to...there's a lot of factors why and not much to do with the breeding age of the buck.
 

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There's an article in the latest issue of Deer and Deer Hunting that talks about the toll breeding takes on younger bucks. If a buck is overly stressed and doesn't have time to recover weight / fat reserves he may not make it through the winter or he may suffer reduced growth the following year.

Winters are hard in the UP but fortunately we didn't have an extended one this year, I fully expect to see some real nice ones come from the UP again this fall. Last year recruitment rate was alot higher in my area. I saw lots on young deer this spring so mother nature didn't exact a crippling blow to our deer herd.

I hope our biologists can get the message across to the NRC and increase doe tags for this fall. Our yarding areas are in poor shape so hunters will need to reduce deer numbers again this fall.
 

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I just got my D and DH, I'll have to look at that article. I've heard from a number of yoopers about the condition of the deer yards. That's something that's going to have an effect on the deer for years to come.
 

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M1,
Can you verify your statement regarding young bucks and their unreliability and doe impregnation? What studies do you refer to? Does this apply in a mixed age buck population or only as you say "when left to the younger bucks"? I did not realize that a reliable 'technique' must be learned and that only the big older boys know how to do so successfully.


thanks for reading and carry on
glen
 

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glen sible said:
M1,
Can you verify your statement regarding young bucks and their unreliability and doe impregnation? What studies do you refer to? Does this apply in a mixed age buck population or only as you say "when left to the younger bucks"? I did not realize that a reliable 'technique' must be learned and that only the big older boys know how to do so successfully.
thanks for reading and carry on
glen
Understandable...A good analogy I suppose if you look at it's possible for a 12 year old boy to impregnate a woman but will they as reliably as a 25 year old man? I would think the same reasons apply here. I'm by no means saying young bucks don't breed, they sure do, but it may also come at a price from development to mortality of these young bucks.

There was a study done by Dr. Randy DeYoung (Texas A & M) and Anna Bess Sorin where it was found in populations with adequate age structure and sex ratios, bucks 3.5 years old and older sired 70 and 85% of fawns while 1.5 and 2.5 year old bucks sired 15 and 30% of fawns. There are also indications that does will select older bucks to breed with, only breeding with younger ones when older ones cannot be found, sometimes later in fall. I'd like to see a study on what affect this may have on later born fawns due to this.

When I referred to breeding and "left to the younger bucks" I'm referring more to where there's poor age structure in populations such as MI where there is poor age structure in bucks. I did a quick search and did find the article I was referring to:

Will Dominant Bucks Dominate Breeding
 

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M1,
I could find nothing in the linked article that spoke of the unreliability of younger bucks to impregnate does. You and the article both speak of a variety of 'opportunity' based on age structure, but no mention of the younger bucks lack of fertilization success.

I would need more info than this before I could agree with your previous statement, (paraphrased)-- studies have shown that when breeding is left to younger bucks, they will not show reliable results.

thanks for reading and carry on
glen
 

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swoosh said:
The UP. THe deer seem to be getting smaller and I am wondering if breeding 1.5 year bucks have somethng to do with it.
Swoosh,

I have the DNR check station reports from 1994-2006. One of the assessments that is included in each year's report is a compilation of beam diameter and antler point measurements of 1.5 year old bucks. Beam diameters and antler points of 1.5 year old bucks don't show any evidence of changing for better or worse over the past thirteen seasons. I'm skeptical that deer in the UP, or anywhere in the state, are getting smaller or larger.

One thing that does vary widely in the UP is the percentage of the antlered buck harvest which consists of yearlings. While the SLP & NLP percentages have remained largely static over the past thirteen seasons, the yearling buck percentages in the UP have varied widely from one season to the next.

Look at how radically the've fluctuated:

Proportion of yearlings in firearm buck harvest - UP:

1994 - 65%
1996 - 38%
1998 - 66%
2000 - 56%
2002 - 42%
2004 - 37%
2006 - 54%
 

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glen sible said:
M1,
I could find nothing in the linked article that spoke of the unreliability of younger bucks to impregnate does. You and the article both speak of a variety of 'opportunity' based on age structure, but no mention of the younger bucks lack of fertilization success.

......studies have shown that when breeding is left to younger bucks, they will not show reliable results.
I'd also be surprised if there were any meaningful differences in fertility between a yearling buck as compared to a buck that's 2.5 or older.
 

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glen sible said:
M1,
I could find nothing in the linked article that spoke of the unreliability of younger bucks to impregnate does. You and the article both speak of a variety of 'opportunity' based on age structure, but no mention of the younger bucks lack of fertilization success.

I would need more info than this before I could agree with your previous statement, (paraphrased)-- studies have shown that when breeding is left to younger bucks, they will not show reliable results.

thanks for reading and carry on
glen
I'll see if I can find it....I haven't read that in a while so if it wasn't in that one, it's probably something I read in one of the deer mags (Quality Whitetails, D & DH or NAW, maybe John Ozoga). I don't remember the details of it but remember reading something about it somewhere.
 

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..once a deer is mature enough to breed..i cant see how it would possably matter...The DNA is going to be the same until the point the deer gets to old to reproduce (genetic flaws in all mamals happen at a higher rate with increase in age)....they dont get that old in michigan any way lol

deer getting smaller in UP may have a lot more to do with severaty of winters then young bucks breeding.......unless there has been an escape of smaller species ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thx guys and I am not talking about younger deer DNA being worst than when he is older.

Yes 1.5 bucks can and do breed, but there bodies are not ready for the amount of breeding they are doing in MI. Does this stress on the bucks effect them or their off spring?

Some good articles for me to read, thx
deer getting smaller in UP may have a lot more to do with severaty of winters then young bucks breeding.......unless there has been an escape of smaller species ...
Ok than why in Canada are they not getting smaller? Your reason would say they should be, along with Northen Wisconsin, Montana and Idaho. These deer are not getting smaller
 

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swoosh said:
Thx guys and I am not talking about younger deer DNA being worst than when he is older.

Yes 1.5 bucks can and do breed, but there bodies are not ready for the amount of breeding they are doing in MI. Does this stress on the bucks effect them or their off spring?

Some good articles for me to read, thx


Ok than why in Canada are they not getting smaller? Your reason would say they should be, along with Northen Wisconsin, Montana and Idaho. These deer are not getting smaller
Interesting topic. I think with the amount of stress put on younger bucks during the breeding season would directly affect how they survive the immediate winter. I don't think and pretty certain with their offspring, once the genome is passed, thats it. Young bucks breeding would not have a significant impact on size of antlers or body size in the next generation. Poor wintering grounds, lack of habitat, lack of essential minerals and staples would be primary reasons for smaller deer, in body as well as racks.

Unless of course someone somewhere has introduced a different sequence of genes into the breeding population of deer. Ie, Florida Deer being let loose or Texas deer getting loose (nice racks, but small bodies). That could be a feasable and reasonble situation where you would have animals escaping from preserves or farms.

Just my .02

Good to see ya swoosh, where ya been?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Deer Management 101(Grant Woods)

This is what i am talking about, been doing some research what do you guys think

"Suppressing sexual behavior can help young, subordinate bucks grow larger. Because their desire to breed is reduced, they spend less time participating in rutting activities like chasing, fighting and rut-marking. Instead of using valuable body resources during the rut, young bucks spend the fall feeding. Hence, they can put on additional weight and antler growth the following spring instead of replacing resources lost during the rut. . . . Young bucks receiving this growth opportunity have a much better chance of becoming larger bucks at maturity and more capble of becoming dominant." The book goes on to compare a malnourished kid in a third world country to a farm kid from Nebraska. Who knows what the genetic potential of the third world kid is?
 

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swoosh said:
Deer Management 101(Grant Woods)

This is what i am talking about, been doing some research what do you guys think

Quote:
"Suppressing sexual behavior can help young, subordinate bucks grow larger. Because their desire to breed is reduced, they spend less time participating in rutting activities like chasing, fighting and rut-marking. Instead of using valuable body resources during the rut, young bucks spend the fall feeding. Hence, they can put on additional weight and antler growth the following spring instead of replacing resources lost during the rut. . . . Young bucks receiving this growth opportunity have a much better chance of becoming larger bucks at maturity and more capble of becoming dominant." The book goes on to compare a malnourished kid in a third world country to a farm kid from Nebraska. Who knows what the genetic potential of the third world kid is?

Seems plausible, but there is a leap of faith in his logic to some degree. The growing season for antlers is not until far after the rut is ended, so there is a leap in his logic, although plausible if they reatin their weight, more of their food resources can go into developing bigger racks.

I think a malnourished kid in a third world country is a bit of a strecth when comparing to a young buck that may have done some breeding. Habitat has to be there as well, even the mature bucks will not be able to recover if that is the case where forage is not readily available.

However, I believe the original post is about smaller deer period. That may explain the bucks, but what about the does? Habitat, resources, and gene pool would be the only common ties between the sexes.

Are your does smaller too, or did you mean bucks when you originally posted this thread?
 

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swoosh said:
Why the deer are getting smaller?
I'm curious; are you basing this statement on data collected by the DNR and/or some other agency/group/etc. or on your own observations?

Are you referrring to deer in general or bucks only?

Is this a statewide, or at least peninsula-wide trend that you're referring to and if so what is the source of your data?

If you are basing your statement, as quoted above, on opinion without data to back it up........again state or peninsula-wide....then your premise that "deer are getting smaller" has no basis as far as "data" is concerned. It may be a local phenomena (sic?) that has its roots in available foodstuffs in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Whit1

I am talking about does and bucks. It comes from my buddies who have been hunting in the UP for a long time. Including my uncle who has hunted the UP his whole life.

They all hunt different areas, they all say the deer are getting smaller. In body weight and antler size.

I have 7 deer mounts from the 50's and 60's of deer shot in the UP. These are 140+ deer.
 

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swoosh said:
Whit1

I am talking about does and bucks. It comes from my buddies who have been hunting in the UP for a long time. Including my uncle who has hunted the UP his whole life.

They all hunt different areas, they all say the deer are getting smaller. In body weight and antler size.

I have 7 deer mounts from the 50's and 60's of deer shot in the UP. These are 140+ deer.
As I posted earlier, DNR personnel measure antler diameter and points from yearling bucks every year, and that information is included in the annual check station reports. There isn't any evidence of deer getting smaller or larger anywhere in the state.
 
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