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Old Nov 9th 2015, 12:48 PM   #1
  Aug 2014
  Montgomery, AL

Hello there, I have a question and wonder if somebody had a good answer. For the past 3 years I have been helping manage a 300 acre (no fence) place we own in south Alabama. We keep the hunting pressure down and provide resources for the deer and are seeing some results. I have been scouting some trail cameras placed on our feeders since August and are seeing several good young bucks. Best I can tell we have 5-7 good 2-3 year old bucks. (8 pointers) Haven't seen anything larger that 10 points or older than 3 years old. I plan on taking one of these bucks if i get an opportunity and letting the others grow. Deer just dont get huge down here.

I also see a ton of spikes. And that is where my question comes in. What is the best general rule for small buck management? Is it helpful to remove some of the young spikes or do they all have potential to become nice deer in 2-3 years?* Up until a buddy asked me about this recently, I hadn't considered removing any, but should I reconsider?


Would be happy to read any literature but thought asking somebody here would be the best source of information. Again this is not a fence managed property. Thanks in advance.
T-Hat is offline  
Old Nov 9th 2015, 01:12 PM   #2
  Apr 2009

T-Hat, I manage a few high fenced preserves and some free range preserves. On a free range situation, the spikes should not be harvested . They should be given an opportunity to* show you what they can do as a 2 year old and 3 year olds. Of course, all of this depends on habitat, supplemental feeding, age structure and deer density.

pdaddy is offline  
Old Nov 9th 2015, 01:15 PM   #3
  Oct 2015

Just from what I have seen on a buddies farm the spikes can become some of your best bucks as 2 or 3 year olds. I would say don't harvest them unless you have an absolute abundance but being free range I would leave them for another year.
JC Whitetails is offline  
Old Nov 10th 2015, 06:47 PM   #4
  Jul 2015
  Plymouth, IN
Like pdaddy said, there are several factors that can cause weak antlered yearlings in a low fence scenario. I also attribute small yearling bucks to be a product of being late born. It appears to me that, under a natural setting, it takes the bucks longer to "catch up" to the rest of the deer. I do judge a buck's potential, in a low fence situation, until they are a 3-year old.

There is a deer that I have been following on the place I hunt (Northern IN), for 3 years. He has a red coat and a double throat patch. He is easily recognizable. He was a late born fawn. He was a 3" spike at 1. He was a 60" +/- six point at 2. He's a beautiful 145" +/- ten point buck this year at 3. This is a deer that I feel could reach the coveted 170" mark at 5. Food for thought.
Whitetail Odyssey is offline  
Old Nov 11th 2015, 07:58 AM   #5
 Jack's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Vaughn, MT 59487

Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep & Alaskan dahl sheep

Many years ago I believed spikes should be killed.* I had pictures of a spike that I said we would eat at two years old.* I looked him up and he was a very late fawn July if I remember right.* At two he was a 180 SCI buck.* This changed my mind on how to treat spikes and in a low fence situation I would not cull a spike.* I would cull at three years any 4x4 or less in antler size.
Jack is offline  
Old Nov 11th 2015, 06:03 PM   #6
  Apr 2011
  Gheens, Louisiana
I had a yearling spike on my farm at 2 I sold him as a shooter buck he was160" 11 point
Cassie Martinez is offline  
Old Nov 12th 2015, 05:48 AM   #7
  Apr 2009

I will never for get this buck I had! *He was a very small late born fawn. *His yearling rack consisted of 2 spikes one was maybe 2 inches the other not even ONE INCH! *my friends made fun of him and also me for raising such small deer! *The same friends help me carry and score my bucks 2 years later! *I made sure they remembered this buck and at three he was 227 with a 27 inside spread! *Guess who got the last laugh??? *ME! **
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