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Old 12-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #56
Sika
Pope & Young
 
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Llano
Hunt In: Hill Country and East TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longue Carabine View Post
Bone structure is a product of nutrition over multiple generations. There was a great "common garden" experiment done in South Dakota that addressed this.

https://openprairie.sdstate.edu/etd/392/
Without reading all of that, I can see how nutrition plays in a role in survival of the fittest where the healthiest, largest deer survive to produce more large, healthy deer. Over several generations, you would have a population of bigger deer. Small, unhealthy deer are more likely to succumb to malnutrition or fall victim to predators.
However, genetic factors largely account for the body size. You could take a bunch of Llano county fawns and drop them in a high fence in Webb county. At full maturity they would still not rival native South Texas bucks. Even when maximum body weight and antler size are achieved, genetics are a limiting factor, not just antlers but skeletally as well.
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