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Any of you guys that track bucks year to year have any pictures of goofy racked bucks at 1.5 as they grow up? Do they keep these characteristics or balance out. Always seem to get pics of strange young ones and not one non-typical older buck. Do the non-typicals start out that way?
 

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I try my hardest to find identifying characteristics with all of my deer, however its not very easy. I dont think deer exhibit abnormal antler traits until later in life. My dad harvested a 10.5 year old last year in Illinois that had a drop tine and lots of asymmetry. I think those traits are normal as the deer pass maturity.
 

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There was a study done on this. The conclusion was that abnormal racks are more common with 1.5 year olds and 6.5+ year olds. A healthy buck between the ages of 2.5 - 5.5 is more likely to have a typical, symmetrical rack.

They concluded that abnormal racks are usually a sign of stress. Young bucks have the stress of late births and their first winter. Older buck have the stress of old age. In middle aged bucks, stress is a sign of an unhealthy animal which is also more prone to dying. The middle aged bucks that survive are generally healthier animals, that tend to grow typical, symmetrical antlers. Once those "healthy" bucks age (we don't get to see much of that in MI) they start to grow more uneven, non-typical racks. This also means old, non-typical bucks are more common than old, typical bucks.
 

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We get pictures of probably dozens of different small bucks (small meaning 1.5yr olds in this instance) each and every year while running trail cameras. Every single year we see a handful of these young deer that have goofy racks. Things like one decent side and one goofy spike side, really thick palmated antlers, even had a guy that looked like a mulitple beam buck last year (attached below).

Despite all these goofy youngsters running around we have never seen any larger (meaning older in this instance) non-typical bucks on our cameras. Based on that I would have to assume one of two things: 1) all the goofy racked bucks move off to some other property and those guys see a ton of non-typical bucks or 2) In their second set of antlers these abnormalities are ironed out and they become the group of 2.5yr old small 8 or 6pts that we see every year.

I'm guessing #2 is the answer :)
 

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We get pictures of probably dozens of different small bucks (small meaning 1.5yr olds in this instance) each and every year while running trail cameras. Every single year we see a handful of these young deer that have goofy racks. Things like one decent side and one goofy spike side, really thick palmated antlers, even had a guy that looked like a mulitple beam buck last year (attached below).

Despite all these goofy youngsters running around we have never seen any larger (meaning older in this instance) non-typical bucks on our cameras. Based on that I would have to assume one of two things: 1) all the goofy racked bucks move off to some other property and those guys see a ton of non-typical bucks or 2) In their second set of antlers these abnormalities are ironed out and they become the group of 2.5yr old small 8 or 6pts that we see every year.

I'm guessing #2 is the answer :)
Or 3, they all get shot before they reach 2.5
 

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Or 3, they all get shot before they reach 2.5
I'm sure some do, just like some wander off and set up in other areas never to be seen again. We have a pretty good group going now (700+ acres that we know for sure) that let the little/young ones go which helps a lot in trying to get them to see 2.5 yrs of age.
 
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