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Old 06-18-2018, 09:39 AM   #1
bm22
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Default Horn growth question

I understand that in order to get the most out of a buck you really need rain to last through August to finish out the antlers.

It was my understanding you need good rains in April and May to start good mass.

What do you値l expect horns to look like this year in south texas?

We have had almost no rain since February, it has been hot and dry until now. We should see a couple inches out of this storm.

Do you値l think it is too late for the mass? I thought once the bases grow they won稚 gain mass even if it continues to rain, is that true?

Last year it was pretty bad, most bucks had weak brows and poor mass.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:45 AM   #2
texas shag
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bm22 View Post
I understand that in order to get the most out of a buck you really need rain to last through August to finish out the antlers.

It was my understanding you need good rains in April and May to start good mass.

What do you値l expect horns to look like this year in south texas?

We have had almost no rain since February, it has been hot and dry until now. We should see a couple inches out of this storm.

Do you値l think it is too late for the mass? I thought once the bases grow they won稚 gain mass even if it continues to rain, is that true?

Last year it was pretty bad, most bucks had weak brows and poor mass.
I have never heard of timing of rain impacting mass development. I think that is more of an age and genetics thing.

there is no doubt water is a key element to a healthy deer herd, and full genetic expression requires all aspects of habitat management in place.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:07 AM   #3
44mAG
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Rain in the spring is very important. This creates good broadleaf weed growth which deer prefer. Rain from late May and after promotes good grass growth which deer do not prefer as much. Not sure about the whole mass argument, but deer having good forage starting in the spring is crucial.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:18 AM   #4
SeaSpray
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This is an interesting topic for me… I hunt in south Texas and it is primarily low brush (Black Brush) and cactus. It is very very dry with hardly no vegetation on the ground right now. The brush however is in good shape and my understanding HIGH protein. Would it make sense for a deer to still have good horns in a year with a low rainfall amount since the primary forage is high protein brush? I think I would rather have my deer eating the brush than the grass and weeds that grow after a good rain. What’s everyone’s thoughts?

We still feed protein and cotton seed but I know of multiple upper end deer that won’t touch what I feed them. Should be interesting to see how they finish out.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:40 AM   #5
Montec man
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The less rain you get - the less natural forage there is, forcing them to eat more protein than normal. So, if you have free choice protein out you're not going to notice much difference in mass. If they're dependent only on naturally occuring browse that's another story.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:19 PM   #6
BolilloLoco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bm22 View Post
I understand that in order to get the most out of a buck you really need rain to last through August to finish out the antlers.

It was my understanding you need good rains in April and May to start good mass.

What do you値l expect horns to look like this year in south texas?

We have had almost no rain since February, it has been hot and dry until now. We should see a couple inches out of this storm.

Do you値l think it is too late for the mass? I thought once the bases grow they won稚 gain mass even if it continues to rain, is that true?

Last year it was pretty bad, most bucks had weak brows and poor mass.
I'm not sure about the relationship between mass and early rains. I've seen some pretty heavy bucks in years where there wasn't much rainfall. In a perfect world you would like to have adequate rainfall year round in order to keep the deer herd healthy and to help maximize antler potential. But as we all know that is not the case. South Texas covers a pretty broad area. Some ranches are getting rain. Some are not. The antlers that they produce will depend on many factors. Rainfall being one of the most important, but not the only. If range conditions are the similar this year and you didn't do anything differently from last year, then I would expect more of the same.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:39 PM   #7
bloodstick
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Its all a mystery to me as to what most influences antler growth
I have one pic with 3 bucks from just recently. Two look to be coming along nicely while the third is behind in overall tine length but looks to have decent mass. Only thing i can do is continue to feed and plant food plots.






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Old 06-18-2018, 04:19 PM   #8
BolilloLoco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodstick View Post
Its all a mystery to me as to what most influences antler growth
I have one pic with 3 bucks from just recently. Two look to be coming along nicely while the third is behind in overall tine length but looks to have decent mass. Only thing i can do is continue to feed and plant food plots.






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That third buck probably just dropped his antlers a little later than the other two. Nothing to worry about IMO.
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Old 06-27-2018, 03:55 PM   #9
Top Of Texas
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Some research from the 90s compared monthly rainfall to antler size. The statistics weren't very strong, but April showed the strongest correlation. I don't recall anything specifically about mass.

Even deer on year round feed show effects of rainfall through much less dramatic.

Antler size can also be influenced on a particular buck by the previous years rut and weather conditions in the winter.

So...it's more complicated than just - did it rain in April.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:11 PM   #10
Top Of Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSpray View Post
This is an interesting topic for me I hunt in south Texas and it is primarily low brush (Black Brush) and cactus. It is very very dry with hardly no vegetation on the ground right now. The brush however is in good shape and my understanding HIGH protein. Would it make sense for a deer to still have good horns in a year with a low rainfall amount since the primary forage is high protein brush? I think I would rather have my deer eating the brush than the grass and weeds that grow after a good rain. What痴 everyone痴 thoughts?

We still feed protein and cotton seed but I know of multiple upper end deer that won稚 touch what I feed them. Should be interesting to see how they finish out.
Deer prefer weeds, depending on the species of weed of course, but diet studies clearly show that when we get rain, and weeds come up, the deer select weeds over browse. A lot of S TX brush is high in protein, but it's less digestible than weeds. Favored weeds are high in protein and highly digestible.

A ranch that feeds protien and doesn't have an overpopulation of deer will witness that feed consumption decreases when range condition is good. This is because the deer are meeting their nutritional needs with native plants.

Typically, 10% or less of a deer's annual diet is grass, and that's usually very young and tender winter grasses. Wheat and oats are grasses, but they're young and tender. Their digestive system isn't designed to digest material as course as most native grasses.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:22 PM   #11
BolilloLoco
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Default Big horns

Just go hunting and shoot the oldest buck on the ranch every year.
Eventually you will get a good one.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:24 PM   #12
Top Of Texas
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Originally Posted by BolilloLoco View Post
Just go hunting and shoot the oldest buck on the ranch every year.
Eventually you will get a good one.
Can't go wrong with that plan.
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