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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have always heard that spikes were inferior and that they should be taken out of the herd so that their genes wouldn't be passed on. But over the past couple of years I have been passing on them [spikes] But now I am starting to see more and more of them. This one in particular has been showing up on a pretty regular basis. Saturday is opening day or Archery, and if he shows up I still haven't made up my mind if I will take him out.



What are your thoughts on killing Spikes?

Or given the opportunity would it be best to take one of these?

 

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I would take it out of the gene pool. I have seen alot of very young buck that have already forked, some where even small 6 points. Unless it is a very small spike or a button buck I kill it. I have heard the argument both ways, but if I see a spike like in that pic it is dead.
 

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It doesn't matter in PA...requires 3 points on one side in most of the state, 4 in the rest.
 

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It depends on the age of the deer. If it looks like a fairly mature deer and it's a spike, kill it for sure. If it's a young buck, let it walk.

I'd say the one in the pic is borderline...it almost looks like an antlered doe. Only one way to find out... :gunz:
 

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Take any spike that is obviously not a yearling. A 1.5 year old buck with good genes will be at minimum a fork horn. A 1.5 year old buck with good genes AND a high protein diet can produce a basket 6 point.

Never let a big spike pass!!! The spike in the first pic would be in my freezer!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies. I agree with all of ya. And yes it is obviously a 1 1/2 year old deer. It probably would never be a "great" deer but in another couple of years it could become a "good" deer. If I kill it I will never know. But if it lives and breeds a couple of my does i'll probably be seeing a lot more just like him, which I really don't want to happen.

I got in an argument once with a game biologist who said that any and all spikes should be killed at the first opportunity. I argued that it is possible for a 6 month old buck to have spikes, and that a deer like that has good genes, and would probably be a basket 8point at 1 1/2 years. He still said that all spikes should be killed.

Anyway, who knows what Saturday will bring? As you all know just because you have seen a specific deer a couple of times in the same spot is no guarantee that you will ever see it again. That's what makes hunting challenging and makes me go back time after time.

Any other input on whether spikes should be shot or not is welcomed.
 

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I own about 95 acres of hunting land in VA west of the Blue Ridge (too difficult to try and hunt in the Commie-wealth of Mass.), and I always pass on spikes. Yes, many spikes probably have poor genetic makeup, but some are small because of poor nutrition, late birth, etc. I figure that a genetically inferior deer won't likely have a chance to mate anyway (will lose to the larger ones), so the odds of the genes getting passed on are low.

One thing is for certain, if you kill enough young spikes, then the odds of having a deer distribution of various ages in the population is way low. At some time, you want the larger bucks to have to fight it out with some other bucks.

Also, you have to remember that the size and shape of the rack depends on a lot of factors not necessarily tied to genetics. For example, my brother shot a 4-pointer last year with a very small rack yet the deer weighed 125-130 lbs field dressed and was probably 3-4years old. It was a large healthy deer even though the rack wasn't that large.

So, I say wait for the 12+ pointer to come along.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I decided to take him out this evening.
This was opening day, I got in my stand 30 min before daylight and finally I saw movement around 9:30. It was "him" and another smaller spike along with a button buck. The button buck came within 15 yds but I didn't want to take him, unfortunatly the two spikes stayed out of my self imposed shooting range.

I went back this evening and moved my stand a little closer to where I saw deer this morning. I didn't see anything except a bunch of squirrells untill around 7:00. when lo and behold here came all three bucks together. The larger spike finally got within bow range and when he was slightly quartering away I put a 100 grain spitfire through both lungs. He took two steps, looked around and fell dead. I didn't even have to blood trail him.

By looking at him he looks to be at least 1 1/2 years old. He's quartered up and in the cooler and i'll butcher him in the morning. Backstraps anyone?

He's not the largest deer I've ever killed, but any deer I kill with a bow is a trophy to me.

Sorry for the bloody pics, I usually clean them up a bit before taking pictures but it was getting late and I was running out of daylight. Anyway this is the hunting forum so I know you guys will understand.

 

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I am convinced that you made the right choice to take him out. Nice kill, I am hoping to get my first bow kill next weekend. Bow opens next Saturday in my county. I will probably take a very mature doe that I see almost everyday chasing other deer off. She is very protective of her area and her fawn, and won't let any other deer near her. She will charge other deer if they get anywhere near her. Congrats.
 

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07cajuntitan said:
Take any spike that is obviously not a yearling. A 1.5 year old buck with good genes will be at minimum a fork horn. A 1.5 year old buck with good genes AND a high protein diet can produce a basket 6 point.

Never let a big spike pass!!! The spike in the first pic would be in my freezer!!!
Good job taking out that older spike. I think LSU summed it up. I look at it in this order:
Take out does- they eat well and make bucks move more to mate more does.
Take out LARGE spikes- they are sneaky and WILL mate every year!!
Leave all other bucks unless same or bigger than your biggest so far.
Try to improve the nutrition
Try to protect young bucks with good genetics if w/ in your control.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice and the congrats guys. I do appreciate it.
I wouldn't hesitate a second to kill any spike at my hunting lease, as there are so many deer there. But here at home we are trying to better our deer population, and won't kill just anything. In fact my wife and I didn't kill a single deer here last year [we filled the freezer from the lease though] in fact this is only the second deer I have killed with my bow here on the "farm" in the past seven years. Not because we didn't have the opportunity but because we chose not to. I think I did the right thing by taking him out, plus it was fun hunting him. He's now in the freezer, and there is a shoulder in the smoker for supper.

I'm leaving for Utah at 6:30 in the morning, I won't be hunting as I didn't draw a tag but will be tagging along with a good friend who is gracious enough to let me join him on this hunt and put me up for 10 days. I am really looking forward to this trip and i'm sure I will bring back enough memories to last a life time.

Good luck to all you hunters out there, may your arrow, bullet, etc fly true. But most of all be safe and have a wonderfull time in the great outdoors.

Talk to you guys in a week or so,
Daryl
 

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See ya Daryl...

Have a great time and get us some good pics if possible....

RNP-
 

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Congrats on the spike there. It was opening day here where I live on the 15th. I went for the first ever with a Bow that morning. Seen a little doe but she never came within range. Went back out that evening and seen a spike buck. I watched him for like 10 minutes before I decided that this might be my only chance to take a deer with a bow this season so i took him. A clean through and through shot. He ran like 20 or so yards into the brush and I heard him fall. While I was letting him lay there a doe jumped out fo the woods right in front of me so i took her too. Two deer within 10 minutes of each other. Already have them both in the freeze packaged up all nice and neat. As a matter of fact already consumed some. Good eating I tell ya. Anyway good luck this season there TN BowHunter...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
CFowler said:
Congrats on the spike there. It was opening day here where I live on the 15th. I went for the first ever with a Bow that morning. Seen a little doe but she never came within range. Went back out that evening and seen a spike buck. I watched him for like 10 minutes before I decided that this might be my only chance to take a deer with a bow this season so i took him. A clean through and through shot. He ran like 20 or so yards into the brush and I heard him fall. While I was letting him lay there a doe jumped out fo the woods right in front of me so i took her too. Two deer within 10 minutes of each other. Already have them both in the freeze packaged up all nice and neat. As a matter of fact already consumed some. Good eating I tell ya. Anyway good luck this season there TN BowHunter...
Sounds like you had a great "first" hunt." Congrats to ya and good luck for the rest of the season!!!!!

I got home from my Utah hunt last night. We didn't kill anything but the opportunity was there. It was a great experience that I will cherish forever. I will start another thread later and post some pics along with it when I get time.
We are headed over to the lease tomorrow and I have a ton of work to do around the house.
 

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I got home from my Utah hunt last night. We didn't kill anything but the opportunity was there. It was a great experience that I will cherish forever. I will start another thread later and post some pics along with it when I get time.
We are headed over to the lease tomorrow and I have a ton of work to do around the house.
Post those pics when you get rested. No kill + great hunt = "you get it"
 

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Tnbowhunter congrats on that fine deer. My shoulder blew out again and I missed Archery this year.

You know this is one of the most heated debates on QDM and there is so NO proof to say either way. I think you just need to decide if it is a small young spike or a older mature spike. 1.5 year old spike is a first year spike (remember they drop in spring and will be buttons heads or short horns first for the first hunt season) and will be small, where I hunt that is about 100-125lb deer. If he is a spike and large body chances are he won't be much of anything BUT I have seen tagged deer have crappy racks for two years in a row then in the 3rd year be a nice 6 and even an 8pt. Me personaly I it's legal I will but them in a heart beat.

My club in GA for several years it was 6pt or better rule but the last few years we are seeing a lot of 3 on one side and spike on the other. This year it's cull time. Those goofed up rack bucks need to go. Then next season we will go to full GA rule so we can take large body spikes.

I live next to a state park and 3 years ago I had a little spike that would come out and feed along the fence line. I watched him all year long even when he started dropping his antlers. Come late March his anters would start, he was a bit heavier and I was hoping for a 4pt, nope a spike. This year same thing a spike and I bet this deer weighs 140lbs(heavy for this area) and he has 10'' spikes. he is the type of spike that needs culled.
 
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