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#3206811 - 03/28/13 04:34 PM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: BSK]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 848
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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I agree it is herd health, plus I think these deer in Dickson County are stressed a lot from hunter pressure too (not sure if that affects them or not). Our Dickson County place lacks a lot of food (most of which is mature or low quality hardwoods). Our farm is in better shape and we hold a lot of deer thru spring and summer, and late winter what plots or clover in our pastures draws tons of deer.

In Montgomery County, them seem to be larger framed deer and the antlers score a lot better per age class.

Once again, this is generalized to our hunting locations. I have seen some good deer come from Dickson Co too, but not inmy area.
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In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
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#3207295 - 03/28/13 11:37 PM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: AT Hiker]
MuskyBuster
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Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 11
Loc: East Tennessee

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Not disagreeing or argueing with anyone, just confused. I thought this was a sign of an unhealthy herd and a bad buck/doe ratio.
I stayed a few days at Tims Ford State Park last week, and as always, saw 40 to 50 tiny, sick-looking deer every morning and evening, but this year we saw 2 bucks there still carrying their antlers the 3rd week of March. I also walked around a little and saw 2 fresh scrapes.
I thought they dropped their antlers when testosterone levels dropped after the rut, so I was guessing that there must still be does there that hadn't been bred.
I hear of people here in east Tn every year that kill deer in late Dec. and early Jan. that have lost one antler or lose one when dragging. How can there be over 2 1/2 months difference? Please help me understand.

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#3207453 - 03/29/13 07:56 AM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: AT Hiker]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64720
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
Our Dickson County place lacks a lot of food (most of which is mature or low quality hardwoods).

In Montgomery County, them seem to be larger framed deer and the antlers score a lot better per age class.


And there's your answer. Larger bodied and antlered bucks in Montgomery County (better food resources), and low-quality hardwoods in Dickson County, indicates the earlier antler drop in Dickson County is due to more physically stressed deer in Dickson County.
_________________________
"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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#3207470 - 03/29/13 08:09 AM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: MuskyBuster]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 848
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: MuskyBuster
Not disagreeing or argueing with anyone, just confused. I thought this was a sign of an unhealthy herd and a bad buck/doe ratio.
I stayed a few days at Tims Ford State Park last week, and as always, saw 40 to 50 tiny, sick-looking deer every morning and evening, but this year we saw 2 bucks there still carrying their antlers the 3rd week of March. I also walked around a little and saw 2 fresh scrapes.
I thought they dropped their antlers when testosterone levels dropped after the rut, so I was guessing that there must still be does there that hadn't been bred.
I hear of people here in east Tn every year that kill deer in late Dec. and early Jan. that have lost one antler or lose one when dragging. How can there be over 2 1/2 months difference? Please help me understand.


Not an expert, but from what I have deducted from everyone else it all boils down to health of the deer. Simply put, a unhealthy deer may drop his antlers early while a healthy one should hold on to them until his others start to grow. This could happen on the same farm as well, meaning a few deer may be in better shape than others. I have seen them drop in late Dec and on the same farm still carrying them into March.

Im sure it is not that simple, but thats about all I can tell about them.
_________________________

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3207478 - 03/29/13 08:11 AM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: MuskyBuster]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64720
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: MuskyBuster
Not disagreeing or argueing with anyone, just confused. I thought this was a sign of an unhealthy herd and a bad buck/doe ratio.
I stayed a few days at Tims Ford State Park last week, and as always, saw 40 to 50 tiny, sick-looking deer every morning and evening, but this year we saw 2 bucks there still carrying their antlers the 3rd week of March. I also walked around a little and saw 2 fresh scrapes.
I thought they dropped their antlers when testosterone levels dropped after the rut, so I was guessing that there must still be does there that hadn't been bred.
I hear of people here in east Tn every year that kill deer in late Dec. and early Jan. that have lost one antler or lose one when dragging. How can there be over 2 1/2 months difference? Please help me understand.


First, it's OK to disagree and argue on this site!

Second, testosterone levels are an important factor in how long bucks hold their antlers, and highly physically or nutritionally stressed bucks cannot maintain testosterone levels post-rut, hence drop their antlers early. Healthy bucks are able to maintain testosterone levels until the growth of the new set of antlers in spring pops the old set of antlers off from underneath. And when individual buck's shed antlers isn't as important as when the majority of bucks shed antlers. There will always be individual bucks that shed early or late, but when the majority shed is the best indicator of herd health. The fact the majority of bucks have shed at Tim's Ford indicate nutritional or physical stress.

Lastly, that scrape you found in late March had nothing to do with breeding. To start the antler growth process, a buck's body will produce a short-lived surge of testosterone. That surge of testosterone not only gets the antler growth process started, but also causes the buck to suddenly act "rutty" again, including making scrapes. Every year at this time (usually the start of turkey season, when hunters get back in the woods), I get questions about these spring scrapes. They are not breeding scrapes, they are "antler growing" scrapes--scraping caused by bucks' bodies producing the surge of testosterone needed to start the antler growth process.
_________________________
"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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#3207599 - 03/29/13 11:10 AM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: BSK]
MuskyBuster
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Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 11
Loc: East Tennessee

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Thanks BSK, that answers my confusion. Good info. I don't mind a healthy debate, but I knew my knowledge was lacking here. Not really a turkey hunter because it gets in the way of my musky fishing, so I'm not in the woods much this time of year. I was gonna ask about this because it was the first time I ever knew of bucks still carrying antlers this late, then I saw this thread.
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#3207777 - 03/29/13 02:17 PM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: MuskyBuster]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64720
Loc: Nashville, TN

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I'm not a turkey hunter either (although I host a few turkey hunters on my place). Good luck with that musky fishing. Sounds fun!
_________________________
"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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#3209966 - 03/31/13 09:04 PM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: BSK]
Boone 58
16 Point


Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 14698
Loc: Food Plot

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I picked up one shed in feb......nothing since.
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#3210007 - 03/31/13 09:36 PM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: Boone 58]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 2869
Loc: Franklin County

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I just got the pictures from my camera Saturday and the last buck with antlers was on March 22 and the last group with antlers was March 17. Looks like they have finally shed so I am going to try to do wome shed hunting next weekend.
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#3210010 - 03/31/13 09:38 PM Re: Bucks still Carrying antlers in Franklin County [Re: Hunter 257W]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 2869
Loc: Franklin County

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Oh, this buck was the last I saw carrying his antlers. I think he's figured out the secret to a long life. Grow older and larger but retain tiny antlers. \:\)


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