View Full Version : Shooting 1.5 year old Spike Bucks

08-12-2004, 08:12 AM
There is an article in the latest issue of Quality Whitetails about harvesting 1.5 year old spike bucks. What I got from reading the article is that yearling spike bucks are usually but not always inferior and should not be culled from a deer herd unless someone is practicing QDM on a very large tract of land with excellent deer habitat.

In Iowa we are blessed with an abundance of deer food sources, good genetics, and restrictive gun seasons that sometimes give our bucks the time to grow to their potential. I feel that spike yearlings are almost uncommon for most of the 1.5 year olds I see are usually 3x3's or 4x4's, but I lean toward not shooting spike yearlings because I don't like the idea of shooting a buck before you realize it's potential.

So what do you guys think ... are spike yearling bucks inferior and should be shot or should we give them time to prove themselves ?

08-12-2004, 08:19 AM
I cant believe they would say something like that in a QDM magazine. From what I know, spikes are usually the late born fawns. If you ask me, let them all go. You gotta at least give them a chance.

08-12-2004, 08:38 AM
ScottI.C. That is it late born fawns, dont shoot them. There was an old artical in N.A.W. a few years ago that showed a 1 1/2 spike grow into a 170-180" monster.

08-12-2004, 09:13 AM
The mother of the 1 1/2 yr buck should be harvested so the mother does not run the young buck out. Alot of times this is what happens. I wish every 1 1/2 yr old spike would end up 170 but I don't think we can count on that. Also a good doe with good genes produce big bucks not just big bucks produce big bucks.

08-12-2004, 09:59 PM
I definitely learning alot from you all.The thing about good does I agree wuth.Just like in human nature it takes two.

08-14-2004, 03:01 PM
Don't know if anyone ever seen or heard of the buck named 30.06, he was an orphan spike buck that was raised under ideal conditions & turned out to be a huge non-typical. I agree that a spike is usually the result of a late born fawn from an imature doe.

08-14-2004, 09:00 PM
It seems that is the way it is with all aspects in nature.A friend of mine had a Mastif that was a runt up until he got past 6 mos. and When he was fully grown he was close to 250 http://www.iowawhitetail.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bigshock.gifI have seen some pretty small spikes that mature into giants.

08-15-2004, 06:47 AM
The article in Quality Whitetails indicated that, "on average", spike buck yealings produce smaller racks than forked horn yearlings when they are older bucks. The article also pointed out that a few individual deer that were spike yearlings ended up growing into really nice bucks that would have been a shame to harvest when they were too young.

The article discouraged shooting spike yearlings for most landowners do to the size of QDM acres that most of us manage and the fact that spike bucks can grow into a class of buck that many would consider a trophy.

I did not realize that late born fawn bucks will grow spikes instead of forked horns, but if it's true, I think it's a good reason to pass on spike yearlings. My vote is to pass on any buck until he is 4.5, assuming your aging skills are good, and aim for the does instead.

150 Class
08-15-2004, 07:37 AM
I would think if you are going to cull any bucks that you would do it to any mature ones that have proven that they are inferior. Spikes... let them go.

08-15-2004, 08:56 AM
I am with you on that one 150.

D&D Flesheaters
09-23-2004, 05:24 PM
I worked in an animal refuge for 4 years where we had many deer. One of the bucks grew to be 198 inches at 6 1/2 yrs old. As a 1 1/2 yr old buck it had 3 inch spike. You never know what those deer may turn out to be.

Old Buck
09-23-2004, 08:04 PM
I think most 'deer experts' think a buck needs to be at least 3 1/2 before you can judge his potential. Some spikes will never amount to much and some have the potential to carry great racks.

10-12-2004, 05:15 PM
Many years ago I was hunting out of a tree stand when a spike buck approached and stopped directly under my stand. I got a very up close look at him. He had spikes that were 7-8 inches in length, and a white patch high on his shoulder that was approximately 6”x 6” in size.

Four years later a neighbor harvested this buck during the shotgun season, his first deer. He stopped by my home to show me his buck. There is no doubt in my mind that it was the same buck that I had seen 4 years earlier. This heavy horned buck scored 147+ and weighed over 200 pounds. My neighbor was very proud of this buck as he should have been. Seeing the pride and joy on my friends face made me glad that I had passed on him.

For to long we have all read in hunting magazines and deer hunting books that spike bucks should be “culled from the herd due to inferior genetics”. I do however believe that this mind set is changing. I know it did for me many years ago.

10-13-2004, 01:10 PM
I have also heard for years to shot spikes to clean up your genetic pool. but a trip to Michigan last month convinced me otherwise. My son and I stopped at the Michigan Whitetail Farm just shy of Detroit and enjoyed the deer they had there. He had a 7 1/2 buck that was a main frame 8 with 2 huge drops that went 180. I talked to the guy who raised him and he said he was a sickly looking 5 pt. at 1 1/2 and then progressed as follows:
2 1/2 8 pt. basket, 3 1/2 10 pt. 140" typical, 4 1/2 9pt. 163" typical, 5 1/2 8 pt. 170" typical & 6 1/2 10 pt. NT 175". After hearing this and seeing each year's pics, i came to the conclusion that i will not shot any buck under 3 1/2 unless they have a health problem.

11-09-2004, 05:59 AM
I have recently had two close encounters with an interesting spike buck on a property that I hunt.

One after noon he was under my tree stand for more than 20 minutes, yesterday evening I go another close 5 minute viewing of him.

His spikes must be 10-11 inches in length. The spikes have way more mass to them than I have ever seen and the mass is carried pretty much thru out the length. They look a lot like a spike bull elk. He looks nothing like a forky but there are some interesting small stickers/kickers on both sides.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a younger buck, probably 1.5 years old. I hope he makes it a few more years and that I can keep tabs on him. Should be interesting to see what he grows for antlers in a couple of years.