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#284213 - 07/01/07 07:53 AM Did the late spring drought do much harm?
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19388
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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The drought is OVER in my primary TN hunting area, but maybe not all of TN. (And more hard rain this morning!)

But seeing that it's been "nipped in the bud" now over much of TN . . . . .Was the late spring drought enough to cause much harm to this year's antler growth?

At least in my hunting area (which did not experience as severe a drought as many areas), I say "NO" (for Stewart Co.), particularly since antler-growing should be essentially over before we could have another severe dry spell. So considering 2006's bumper acorn crop and mild winter, I'm still expecting all ages classes to have better than normal antler growth for 2007.

How's it looking now in your area?

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#284224 - 07/01/07 08:17 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Wes Parrish]
TOW
10 Point


Registered: 06/29/05
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Loc: Back 40

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Until recently it was pretty dry up here too.

We also had a late cold spell and heavy frost.

Those two factors might impact the mast which could have an effect on next year's antler growth.

Mast last year was almost non-existant too.
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#284356 - 07/01/07 09:48 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: ]
BSK
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We shall see...
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#285357 - 07/01/07 10:57 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: BSK]
156p&y
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Registered: 10/23/01
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Loc: Franklin Tn

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I don't think it will do too much harm, but I haven't seen any of the bucks I passed up last season yet so it will be hard to tell until I can get a good look at them in late august. I have found a big buck that as of right now would go 140 as an 8pt if he shedded his velvet right now.
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#285445 - 07/02/07 07:20 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: 156p&y]
TOW
10 Point


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DoubleD,

Southern Indiana.

The mast was spotty here last year.Most oaks didn't produce at all. If you found one that was dropping you had a deer magnet.

The year before was acorns everywhere. Deer did not have to move far to eat.



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#285447 - 07/02/07 07:21 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: 156p&y]
Radar
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Registered: 08/19/01
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Not this year . This buck is off to a decent start .

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#285500 - 07/02/07 08:08 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Radar]
BSK
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While picking blackberries yesterday I had the chance to really scrutinize browse pressure. From what I saw, I don't think deer that had access to early stage regrowth (over-grown weedy areas) suffered much. I was finding top-choice food sources that were not heavily browsed. Now areas without much early-stage regrowth (large expanses of complete forest cover) may be a different story.
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#285501 - 07/02/07 08:09 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: BSK]
BSK
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Radar,

I think this guy is doing fairly well...

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#285711 - 07/02/07 11:55 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: BSK]
Radar
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Registered: 08/19/01
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Nice buck , BSK ! Good height and width . When was that picture taken ?
I need to get out to Hickman county and check my trail cam card and track the progress of this buck I have been getting pics. of . He will probably be an average 100 class 8 pt. , nothing compared to the one you got pics. of , but good for this area .
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#285735 - 07/02/07 12:24 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Radar]
BSK
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Picture were taken at 4:07 AM and 4:13 AM, respectively, Friday morning the 29th of June.
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#285785 - 07/02/07 01:04 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: BSK]
156p&y
10 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
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Loc: Franklin Tn

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I hope he doesn't stick to that pattern so you can get a chance at him. How old do you think he is? He looks to be over 4.5 to me.
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#285787 - 07/02/07 01:05 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: BSK]
Mathews Hunter
12 Point


Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 6585
Loc: Southern Middle Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Radar,

I think this guy is doing fairly well...




That's what I'm talking about! Nice deer!
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#285793 - 07/02/07 01:12 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Mathews Hunter]
Chris Tripp
10 Point


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 3762
Loc: Brush Creek, TN

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He has the body characteristics of a fully mature deer, not just 4.5. His legs look too short for his body, sway back, and where his neck joins his body looks a little thick and stocky, and its still summer! Chances of seeing him in daylight are very slim.
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#285800 - 07/02/07 01:29 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Chris Tripp]
156p&y
10 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 4237
Loc: Franklin Tn

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Yep that's what I think Chris he looks older than 4.5, more like 6.5 to me.
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#285920 - 07/02/07 04:13 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: 156p&y]
BSK
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Yup, I think he is fully mature.
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#285925 - 07/02/07 04:16 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: 156p&y]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: 156p&y
I hope he doesn't stick to that pattern so you can get a chance at him. How old do you think he is? He looks to be over 4.5 to me.


We generally don't lose as many of our summer resident bucks as we used to. But that is probably because of improved habitat. Last year we only lost 1 of the 7 summer resident older bucks at the seasonal shift from summer to fall, and then immediately gained two new older bucks at that shift point (usually marked by antler velvet shedding).
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

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#286011 - 07/02/07 06:01 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: BSK]
156p&y
10 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 4237
Loc: Franklin Tn

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That's interesting b/c we are seeing the samething. Anything 2-3 seems to wander off more than the fully mature deer 4+. I think it has alot to do also with habitat improvement but I'm beginning to wonder if herd dynamics play a bigger role than habitat improvement. We are seeing more and more older bucks yearly especially since we have gotten strict on any buck harvest. The big thing we have going for us is good neighbors that are on the same page. We do have some landowners around us that really put a damper on alot of the young bucks but I think they don't have a substantial impact to hurt us extrememly bad. Now I know with herd dynamics that the more mature deer force each other to compete more for breeding rights but will it also tend to draw as a magnet and help keep those older deer from moving off. I have always felt like mature bucks are much more homebodies than younger bucks and tend to increase that trait as they grow older. Aww heck you just got my wheels turning and may have no idea what I'm trying to say or ask. ;\)
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#286672 - 07/03/07 07:12 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: 156p&y]
BSK
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156p&y,

I agree to a certain extent. I firmly believe that "good herd dynamics" is somehow "attractive" to deer, for whatever reason. That is the only thing I can think of that would explain why managed areas seem to draw so many other deer into them, even if the habitat has not been improved. Why else would so many yearling bucks and even older bucks shift into these areas, even when the habitat of the managed property is identical to all the surrounding properties?

However, when it comes to mature bucks, I think habitat plays one critical role, and that is good security cover. From what I've seen, good-quality cover is an absolute must for attracting and holding mature bucks. Before we had good cover, we practiced QDM and increased food resources for many years, and this resulted in a huge increase in 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year-old bucks. But it wasn't until we produce good-quality cover that we finally began to see multiple mature bucks using the property. And the difference was so dramatic it was like flipping a switch.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#287348 - 07/03/07 05:02 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: BSK]
156p&y
10 Point


Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 4237
Loc: Franklin Tn

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I agree about cover, after learning alot from you on how to lay out property I would also agree that too much cover or too large of an area of cover can also kill you. Yeah it will hold big deer but often too well. We have a neighbor right below us that has about 20-25 acres of what use to be fieldland and good field land. It was great for hay fields nice and flat, but when that property changed hands about 7 years ago it has not been cut since and is absolutely killing us. It's so thick you can't hardly walk through it and the bush is now proably 30 feet in some areas with cedars and mock orange trees (satan trees I call them). It holds big deer very well but they are unkillable in that kind of junk, you can't see more than 5 yards in most places. The problem it gives us is when hunting season rolls around and the deer get pressured the old deer know that area has no pressure and just simply move in for the season. We have increased our sanctuaries all across the property to help combat the problem and it has helped a little. The biggest thing I've done is go in and try to make; I guess you could call travel sanctuaries. What I've done is increase thick bands of cover that run through the property to help get the older deer to feel more confident at moving in daylight and just this year we have cleared out several clearings in these bands to plant fall food plots to actually hunt. In the past we left this cover mostly alone due to it's thickness and the deer bedded in it. I've also concentrated 80% of our food plots to the smack dab middle of the farm in hopes that we can catch some of these nocturnal giants coming back in the mornings to bed. This year we have done more work for our whitetails than ever before, and I hope we see results. I guess for the last 3 weeks me and one of my hunting buddies have worked on average for 3 hours a day after we get off work just on food plots and their layouts. Oh yeah most of our property is open virgin timber that's why I felt like we needed the need for thick travel coridors
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#287442 - 07/03/07 06:27 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Chris Tripp]
richmanbarbeque
16 Point


Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 12784
Loc: Middle, Tn

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 Originally Posted By: Chris Tripp
He has the body characteristics of a fully mature deer, not just 4.5. His legs look too short for his body, sway back, and where his neck joins his body looks a little thick and stocky, and its still summer! Chances of seeing him in daylight are very slim.


Chris, I would bet a paycheck This is the same deer I had a chance at last year. I seen him later in the season and around 8ish in the morning. He was wore down a little more than what the current pics show. As soon as I seen him I knew he was a VERY MATURE deer. BSK may know the distance from our lease to his property but If I was to guess only a few miles as the crow flies. Some one needs to check his jawbone for age. ;\)

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#287534 - 07/03/07 07:25 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: richmanbarbeque]
Radar
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Registered: 08/19/01
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These bucks are making a little progress .











[/quote]
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#287608 - 07/03/07 08:06 PM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Radar]
Chris Tripp
10 Point


Registered: 10/20/05
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Loc: Brush Creek, TN

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some good looking youngins there radar, they are doing pretty good so far
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#288004 - 07/04/07 07:05 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Chris Tripp]
Radar
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Registered: 08/19/01
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Young ones ? Body weights aren't that heavy in the area I hunt. You might be surprised , but the club rack buck in the picture I have seen the past two deer seasons with an identical rack . He grows a spike on the left and 4 up on the right every year . I passed him up last year after taking the 10 pt.
I might go ahead and take him this year . Looks like he might have a brow tine on the left side this year too . Maybe he will grow some tines on top on the left side .



Edited by Radar (07/04/07 07:09 AM)
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#288024 - 07/04/07 07:30 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Radar]
Chris Tripp
10 Point


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 3762
Loc: Brush Creek, TN

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let me rephrase, 2.5-3.5 y/o.... they show plenty of potential... wish we had fall/winter pics from last year to see
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#288030 - 07/04/07 07:34 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: Radar]
Chris Tripp
10 Point


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 3762
Loc: Brush Creek, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Radar
Young ones ? Body weights aren't that heavy in the area I hunt. You might be surprised , but the club rack buck in the picture I have seen the past two deer seasons with an identical rack . He grows a spike on the left and 4 up on the right every year . I passed him up last year after taking the 10 pt.
I might go ahead and take him this year . Looks like he might have a brow tine on the left side this year too . Maybe he will grow some tines on top on the left side .



his legs still look a little long, if I had to guess, 3.5 y/o

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#288067 - 07/04/07 08:27 AM Re: Did the late spring drought do much harm? [Re: 156p&y]
BSK
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156p&y,

And that's why I tell landowners that have set up an 80 or 100 acre sanctuary in the middle of their property that they will certainly grow some old bucks in that sanctuary, but odds are they will never see or kill those bucks. They can live full-time during daylight in a sanctuary that big.

From my experiences, 20 acre blocks of cover is the maximum useful size. I would prefer to see them 3 to 10 acres each.
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