View Full Version : antler size shrinking

03-31-2013, 01:48 PM
http://trib.com/news/updates/study-shows-some-rack-sizes-are-shrinking/article_6bc79efe-9bb0-5045-958a-83fa42ca9e59.html my buddy has been research on this for years. real interesting to see what new antler restrictions will come of it. facts are facts.... number of trophy animals are way way down across the board from not even 20 years ago. check this article out. would you guys be in favor of more units going to trophy units by limiting tags or shortening seasons? i love idaho for the otc tags that are widely available but i would indeed be in favor of shorter seasons, or no rifle hunts during the rut, deer or elk. any insight??

04-01-2013, 01:05 PM
Not much analysis in that article, but it is easy to see the possible problems with this research. Since B+C only records data on the largest animals, little is known about the overall size of antlers in the herd. B+C animals are always a very small subset of the population, and perhaps with today's emphasis on records more animals that "just" make the book minimum are being submitted, skewing the average size of the entered animals. Quite a few people don't enter their trophies as well, so the small subset of animals that are recorded by B+C show little about the overall number of trophy size animals present in the herd.

I see an article based on data analysis of a presumptive PhD candidate who needed some conclusions to justify granting his degree. A 1% change in average antler size doesn't seem like much, and certainly not enough to recommend changes to our seasons.


04-01-2013, 02:12 PM
1% doesn't matter when wet years or drought can affect it by 10-20%.

04-01-2013, 07:24 PM
I agree, the B&C record books are a pretty small subset. I would have to see data, at the state level, on all animals taken. But if the science proved it, I'd be in favor of more restrictions to have more and bigger animals.

For me it's the opportunity to go hunting for something each fall, not to kill something.

04-02-2013, 01:02 PM
as I see it...
here in IL, a big buck at 2.5yo almost any hunter will take...

so taking out your best buck/genetics at 2.5yo before the rut/breeding season means, he only got to breed if he was lucky as a 1.5yo to spread on his genes...

most guys around here would never pass up a 2.5yo stud.

I've read some interesting articles on this the past few months.

a few key points I've read about are;
1. no buck breeder is buying spikes or forks for breeding, when 8-10pt 1.5yo exist...
2. taking out inferior bucks prior to the rut, and ideally studs post rut so they had a chance to breed, of course a 5.5yo buck has already passed on his genes by now so it matters less.

essentially around here a true trophy buck would be 3.5yo+ IMO.

so taking out inferior bucks before that, the easiest way to dot his is say 2 2.5yo bucks come in, and 1 is noticeably bigger but still not a shooter and 1 is even smaller, take out the smaller buck as a management buck.

some other concepts I read or studies have shown is that by 3.5yo if a buck is an 8pt, he will more than likely always be an 8pt.

also by 2.5yo if a buck doesn't have brow tines by now, he never will.

I plan to take out a management buck this fall prior to rut if I get the chance.

essentially you want your best bucks breeding, and then taken post rut. of course a perfect plan is just that, a plan. So good luck!

btw in my eyes, booners and world class deer are 10 or 12pt typicals, width, mass, tall tines, nice brows, big or normal, not small.

04-02-2013, 03:44 PM
yeah, deff food for thought, but your right, 1-2% isnt large.

04-02-2013, 04:01 PM
From my personal experience and from the experience of others I have seen that there continue to be alot of trophy bull elk killed each year. What worries me the most is the lack of trophy mule deer each year and it seems like the mule deer population of the west is struggling partially i think due to the domination of elk herds and forest fires. I think that elk herds should be reduced in some areas to help mule deer numbers because elk are much more dominant and do better in a variety of environments.