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Would you shoot a spike horned buck?

  • Yes

    Votes: 35 36.5%
  • No

    Votes: 31 32.3%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 14 14.6%
  • No, it has to be 6 points or more.

    Votes: 16 16.7%
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Discussion Starter #1
Just returned from the opening gun weekend. No luck by our party, no doe permits and we passed on spikes. Not so for many hunters. The buckpole in Mancelona was loaded with spikes and fork horned bucks. There were a few respectable bucks hanging but the little guys far outnumbered any mature bucks taken. Personally, I won't shoot a spike or forked horn buck and I'd think twice about a 6 point. I'm not a trophy hunter but I believe in letting them grow.
 

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I voted maybe.

Here why.
when I first got married some 13 years ago my inlaws invited up to deer camp in Alpena. They have a rule nothing less then an eight point. But they told me that if I see a big spike to take it.
The second day of hunting I had this big spike come walking in so I took it. It turn out to be a 16in spike with a 13 3/4in spread. the deer was 3 1/2 yrs. old. They told me that a spike that old will only have spike ofsprings. (is this true?)
 

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the answer to your ? about will this deer only have spike offspring is probably not. there are just too many other factors that could have led to this deer having spike antlers than some sort of gene. Plus even if he did have a gene that caused only spikes forming which is very unlikely, it does not necessarily get handed down to the next generation. Think about it like baldness, it does not necessarily get passed through the generations.

steve
 
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I don't understand why some hunters pass on spikes, but have no problem killing other yearling bucks. If you are going to pass on spikes, then why not pass on all yearling bucks (they are easy to identify)?
 

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Yes, and I did last week! BUT, the spike I shot this year actually had longer tines (10" plus) than main beams on my 6 pt from last year. Both were 1.5 yr olds and weighed within 5 lbs of each other (130-135 lbs). So, based on that, what's the difference?

To preface, I hunt because my family LOVES to eat venison and I love to sit in the woods. I was presented with and made a perfect shot on the spike. Now that meat is in the freezer, I'll try for a doe or 8 pt or better buck.

Just my .02
 
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I'm not going to start the "shoot anything" vs. "don't shoot young bucks" argument (see QDM forum for that) but I just get confused when spikes are treated differently than other yearling bucks. If a hunter understands the reasoning for letting a spike walk, then that same hunter should use the same logic for other yearling bucks. If a hunter doesn't care about shooting young bucks then spikes should be fair game. Personally, I use the following criteria: If I wouldn't get a shoulder-mount done on the buck then it walks. There are more than enough does around, and if I'm waiting for venison I will not have to wait long for a doe.
 

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just because a buck is a spike dose not make it a yearling,,and just because a buck has 8 points dose not mean it is old !
 

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your right,,and I think they should walk also,,,but I can't see faulting anyone if they hunt within the law,,all you can really do is explain why they should be left to grow,,after that maybe they get your point and maybe they don't
 

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protecting spikes and spikes only is like picking all the small slow kids for the basketball team and cutting all the bigger talented players. Spikes are typically (not always) the smallest most genetically inferior bucks of the herd. Wat we need is to protect 1.5 year old bucks that grow solid 6,7,8 point racks, those are the young bucks that have potential to be giants. If u want to see big mature bucks you're better off shooting a spike and letting a young 8 point walk then vice versa.....Personally i think point restrictions can be counter productive because it puts even more pressure on the young bucks that grow solid racks and have the potential to be huge if allowed to live to the 4.5 year mark.
 

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I have to agree with Mr Pdevil. If I harvest a 6 point and he turns out to be a youngster, what would he have been next year. Probably a pretty nice deer. Thats the exact reason I feel antler restrictions won't work. You have to judge the whole deer, the body size(is he thick, or sway backed or is he still young and some shoulders to grow into) I saw a lot of 6's and 8's (Jackson county) that were young deer hanging on the buck pole. I'd rather shoot the spike and let youngster with the nice rack go if I were to harvest a young tender animal. On the other hand, if I wanted a doe. I would have to wait to shoot an older one, more mature bodied so not accidentally take out a button. What would taste better young spike, or older doe?
That said I don't have to worry...my luck prevents any thing shootable from coming into range. I did pass on two does, because they were marginal in size, one had a real pear shaped head, but I couldn't be sure by looking at her that she wasn't a button...I got one button 3 years ago and never want to again.
 

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There is no way to know the potential of an immature deer by antler growth. There are many factors why a young buck might have what appear to be "inferior genes". When those bucks mature, in many cases they will catch up to and surpass other bucks of the same age. You will never know a deer`s potential until it reaches 4 1/2 years of age. It`s best to pass on all 1 1/2 year old bucks than to try to guess which one has the greater potential. You just don`t know when a deer is that young. That spike might be a spike because he was one of triplets, and the 8 point might have been a single fawn. Also because most young bucks disperse, the 8 point could have come from an area with farms and good nutrition while the spike could be from a swamp with poor nutrition.

It would be better to shoot that button buck that will be the first deer to die in winter, than to shoot a 1 1/2 year old spike that has already survived the toughest 1 1/2 years of his life. OOPS, there I go throwing science into Michigan deer management again.
 

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I don't really have a problem with people shooting "Decent" spikes, not ten but a little smaller. But wha treally gets me is when people shoot button bucks, I just cannot stand it. I don't know why you would shoot a button!!
 

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Originally posted by Huntin Horseman
I . But wha treally gets me is when people shoot button bucks, I just cannot stand it. I don't know why you would shoot a button!!
For meat? Because it is their first deer? Thought it was a doe? A mistake? Because buttons are the first ones to die during the winter? Lots of reasons, doesn't make them necesarily right.... but who am i to judge.
 

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i voted yes because it would be my first deer same goes for a doe. got to get the monkey off my back!!!
 

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most deer farmers that you talk to will tell you that the doe is the determining factor on antler traits not the buck. a lot of times large bucks produce small bucks and small bucks produce large bucks.
 

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There have been a number of well controlled scientific studies published which showed that a yearling spike can grow an excellent rack in later years given excellent nutrition, lack of stress, proper minerals, etc. One of these was done at Penn State U. Another was at Univ. of Texas.

BTW, on the way back from deer camp, we stopped at the "buck pole" in Bear Lake. What a joke. Only a little backet racked 6 point and another scrub buck were hanging in 50+F degree temps. Somebody thought that these were "good bucks"??? They need to think again!
 
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Originally posted by Huntin Horseman
I don't really have a problem with people shooting "Decent" spikes, not ten but a little smaller. But wha treally gets me is when people shoot button bucks, I just cannot stand it. I don't know why you would shoot a button!!
I don't know why you would shoot a spike!!
 

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Why not? Its legal! Its probably tender and yummy! We haven't had too many killer winter down here, so I am not losing any sleep about the button bucks starving to death.
 
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