Impacts on rack growth...

Discussion in 'Whitetail Management' started by Sligh1, May 6, 2020.

  1. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,615
    Likes Received:
    2,304
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central, IA
    I was reading some articles on guys “growing 300 bushel corn”. Almost all the articles go like this...
    “70 bushels +/- based on weather “.
    “40 bushels +/- based on hybrid selection”.
    “50 bushels +/- based on large p&k basis (& micros) combined with premium timed & ideal rates N inputs”
    “15 +/- on tillage (compaction issues, no till, etc) “
    Etc, etc etc.

    Was thinking how that translated to deer. Most we can’t control. Some we can. Was talking to a few veterinarians and some high fence deer breeders. Some interesting ones that stood out.....
    “High tick infestation can decrease a deers rack by 15%”. So- a 200” potential buck could be 170”.

    What’s u all’s biggest factors & any ideas u implement around them?? Most is Mother Nature- no doubt.
    WEATHER!!!! Drought, harsh winter, late spring, etc. or the OPPOSITE: mild winter, early spring, great rainfall.... IMO- can easily swing a deer’s potential 10-20% with extremes on weather.

    NUTRITION.... overlooked. U go to rough pasture areas with very little nutrient rich tillable- IMO- the bucks will be lower for hitting potential. Rich farm bottoms- higher. It may appear to be opposite BECAUSE.... the rough areas hold more timber sometimes and harder to hunt so deer get older. Which age is clearly biggest factor. & Rich farm land has less cover and up & comers are gunned down early. But- all in all - high fertility ground IMO has 10-25% impact on deers potential.

    AGE: clearly trumps all & the biggest factor on a million levels.

    Social stress.... too many deer..... IMO when it’s “bad” 5-20% off deers potential. Seen many areas where too many deer and “bucks max at 130-170”” where there’s tons of mature bucks. Large Pockets of no hunting for example. See areas with LOW deer numbers pop out mega freak giants on other side.

    FOOD: with nutrition above.... year round browse, grain, greens, high protein, carbs with low temps, etc. where deer have all they need for potential... hard to say but substantial.

    lot more. Thinking out loud. Kinda like “300 bushel corn” & all the factors that go into it. For deer- some we can control- some we can’t. IMO- fun to do the work on the things a guy can control. Impacts of other things? Thoughts?
     
    Jbohn, Lucky 13 and meyeri like this.
  2. AdBot Guest Advertisement

  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Active Member

    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    243
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Central IA
    Genetics.
     
  4. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Trump 2020

    Messages:
    3,954
    Likes Received:
    745
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Both MN & Iowa
    Seems to be something to the deep rich river bottom soil. With a mix of great habitat, so age and long term growth can factor in. High quality food. Genetics are also very important.
     
    Rous14 and Sligh1 like this.
  5. breckhawk

    breckhawk Active Member

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Honey Creek
    I have seen great results coming from silicone.
     
  6. Muskrat24

    Muskrat24 Active Member

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    IAMO
    The part I struggle with and as I type it must be genetics but last year in the areas I hunt I would say antler growth was down but harvested a buck that BLEW up. If everything adds up he went from 3 to 4 and was an outlier . So if that is the case why did he make a jump and very few others did in the same environment. Same access to food. Same winter , spring and summer.....?
     
  7. Jbohn

    Jbohn Active Member

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    224
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pike , County Illinois
    Skip, I think having food FEB, March before green up is a Key , Once green up I feel they have more than they can eat during this time period for rack growth . Minerals play apart in states you can uses them as far a maximizing potential . I do believe stress is a factor , social pressure of a heard. . Moisture plays a part 100% during antler growing season . I think getting a deer to Magic age of 6.6/7.5 is a issue and hard to do. Specially on small acres where you don't have as much control. Even though I think you need 1200-1500 acres to influence a heard unless all land owners are working together in a co-op so to speak .

    Antler Growth !

    1. Age Structure
    2. Late winter food , before spring green up
    3. No Drought , Moisture needed I think this is a big factor
    4. Social Stress , Even though I think spring green up and summer lots of food , deer are not a packed together with huge ag fields


    I am sure I can be educated , never thought about a Tick affecting Antler growth ...
     
  8. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

    Messages:
    6,041
    Likes Received:
    1,296
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Iowa City
    My unscientific opinion would be similar, but a little different. I definitely agree with your point #2 Late winter food being a key. My "Growing the biggest antlers" list, in order of importance...

    1. Genetics.
    2. Age structure.
    3. Access to good late winter food and/or lack of a tough winter.
    4. Lack of stress during the antler growing season - here is where too many ticks can play in. I don't think you will ever realistically get to zero ticks, but you can't have them "fighting" blood suckers 24x7 while they are trying to put on bone. I would include the "social stress" factor in this too.
    5. Drought, although it is another form of stress during growing season that can limit antler growth IMO.
     
  9. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,632
    Likes Received:
    1,546
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SC Iowa
    Mentioned above but less deer= bigger deer. I have a feeling there are going to be a few monsters shot this year out of EHD areas from last year.
     
  10. Nrharris

    Nrharris Active Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    120
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Benton County Iowa
    I'm in a different area than a lot of you guys. Age is the number one factor here. Timbers are few and far between. Genetics are good and tons of food. Problem is way too many bucks get shot as 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 year old bucks. Big shotgun groups are the norm here and a lot of them target anything with antlers. Does seem to be getting better all the time though. Sad, but I have a lot better shot at growing 300 bushel corn than shooting a 200 inch buck. Haha
     
    Tim Hull, Sligh1 and Muskrat24 like this.
  11. bkcrrtnps

    bkcrrtnps Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,174
    Likes Received:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I wonder how deer would do on the protein tubs we use for cattle and sheep to supplement


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,615
    Likes Received:
    2,304
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central, IA
    Mineral helps immensely IMO. When u take soil samples from around the state- pretty wild how many are depleted of vast key nutrients that impact overall health, racks, etc. Now we have the CWD craze so that’s gonna be push back for some.

    Yes- I know genetics are huge & key. I forgot to add that. I kinda meant - whatever genetic deck the deer were dealt - what are the impacting factors to get that XYZ genetic potential.
     
  13. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,632
    Likes Received:
    1,546
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SC Iowa
    Agreed. Since I started certain mineral 4 or 5 years ago I swear it makes a difference. Most minerals are junk... way too much salt, etc. Give em' what they need and dag nabbit after a couple of years the deer of the same age class are just bigger, growing trash, etc. Been a pretty interesting experiment.
     
  14. Nrharris

    Nrharris Active Member

    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    120
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Benton County Iowa
    Which mineral are you using? Also what time of year do you use it?
     
    Lucky 13 likes this.
  15. Copenhagen Tob

    Copenhagen Tob PMA Member

    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Eastern iowa
    What do you feel is the most beneficial mineral ? I like the garlic in the real world wildlife , hoping that helps for ehd, I also use Redmond, which is ground trophy rock I'm told
     
  16. Rous14

    Rous14 Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    Haha!! I laughed pretty good on that one.
     
    Jbohn likes this.
  17. Rous14

    Rous14 Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    Some good/interesting thoughts Skip. Agree with a lot of the thoughts replied, especially the timing of spring green up. Feel like in years where the crops get planted earlier than avg. and green up happens early may be one of the bigger factors. Minerals seem to make logical sense but it’s interesting that there hasn’t been any sort of scientific proof of this (or maybe there has and I just haven’t seen it).

    I posted a week ago about the social stress concept and admit that I just can’t get bought in on it. Certainly in areas where the amount of food/habitat/browse/severity of winter etc is limited then sure but most areas of the Midwest don’t fall in to that category in my opinion. If less deer equal more mega giants it poses an interesting question....would you rather have a bunch of 170” deer running around the county your in with “social stress” or just a handful of 190-200”ers because the herd is small?. I know what my answer would be in a heartbeat.

    I’ll use the state I’ve hunted in since early 2000’s for an example. In Illinois from the early to mid 2000s through about 2012 we were killing a TON of 170”+ deer and 200” were killed way more often than now. Pike county specifically was as good as any county in the world. AT THE SAME EXACT TIME the total number of deer were at an all time high. The herd was never bigger. Contrast that to today where the herd numbers are down anywhere from 20-60%, the 60% being pike and we aren’t killing a fraction of the big deer we did when herd numbers were peak. So this why when I hear social stress and high deer numbers being floated as negatives I struggle. By what metric was the herd stressed in Illinois when the herd numbers were at an all time high? No one can ever answer that question for me.
    Would you guys say Iowa’s numbers/history similar or no? I guess I’ve never heard or done that research.
     
    Sligh1 likes this.
  18. Obsessed

    Obsessed Active Member

    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    243
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Central IA
    I started throwing down oats soaked in anabolic steroids. Bucks are making some MAJOR GAINS year after year.
     
    Daver and Sligh1 like this.
  19. Rous14

    Rous14 Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    I definitely need to try that haha.
     
  20. Rous14

    Rous14 Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    What mineral product do you like to use?
     
  21. Rous14

    Rous14 Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Michigan
    Which mineral product do you like the most Skip?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice