Shed Antler Hunting - Part II

Techniques For Finding ShedsA new shed antler search technique is getting even more people involved in this non-consumptive sport. The...
Techniques For Finding ShedsA new shed antler search technique is getting even more people involved in this non-consumptive sport. The technique, called the “shed drive,” is similar to the deer drive hunting technique so popular in the Midwest. The shed drive involves organizing your partners in a line with each member evenly spaced across the line at the edge of the area to be searched. Drive members then walk through the area, picking up sheds along the way, until everyone...
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Shed Antler Hunting - Part I

As soon as I noticed the sun glare off the tip of the antler tine, I knew which buck had...
As soon as I noticed the sun glare off the tip of the antler tine, I knew which buck had shed the antler that lay on the deer trail in front of me. It was the right side shed antler from a buck I had passed the previous fall with bow and arrow in hand, as well as a buck for which we had dozens of trail camera photos. He was the largest buck on our Iowa property that we...
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What is EHD/Blue Tongue?

Last fall I returned from a deer hunt in SW North Dakota where we were filming for Bucks of Tecomate....
Last fall I returned from a deer hunt in SW North Dakota where we were filming for Bucks of Tecomate. The location I was hunting had been hit the year before by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and unknown to me I was going to be in for a crash course in what this fatal disease is. Although many people refer to EHD as Blue Tongue, it’s important to realize these two diseases are anti-genetically different. Very similar clinical signs but...
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Solving the Buck Movement Mystery - Part IV

Yearling Bucks versus Mature BucksIn the previous article I discussed Dr. Stephen Webb’s study on how water availability and protein...
Yearling Bucks versus Mature BucksIn the previous article I discussed Dr. Stephen Webb’s study on how water availability and protein feeders affected mature buck movement. Thirteen of these mature bucks that Webb tracked were originally captured and radio collared as yearling bucks in 1998. Evan McCoy, a Masters student at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, tracked these yearling bucks to determine dispersal rates and distances. As yearlings, these 13 bucks had home ranges that averaged 1,028 acres with core areas that averaged...
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WHERE ARE YOUR ODDS BEST FOR KILLING A BOONE & CROCK...

We had just rounded a curve on the ranch road when we noticed, at the same time, a huge-framed buck...
We had just rounded a curve on the ranch road when we noticed, at the same time, a huge-framed buck crossing a prickly pear flat only 50 yards from our truck. I slammed on the brakes and we both scrambled for the binoculars. The big buck didn’t miss a step and continued walking, almost nonchalantly, at an angle away from us. We watched the buck walk the entire 150 yards to the brush line on the other side of the...
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Potential Selective Harvest Criteria for Adult, Male...

Mickey W. Hellickson, David G. Hewitt, and Fred C. BryantThe practice of selectively harvesting inferior-antlered, middle-age and older bucks has...
Mickey W. Hellickson, David G. Hewitt, and Fred C. BryantThe practice of selectively harvesting inferior-antlered, middle-age and older bucks has become popular. Criteria are often established based on age and antler points. However, no research on wild deer has been conducted to determine the appropriateness of these harvest criteria. Our objective is to randomly capture and measure >500 bucks annually on 5 areas to estimate age, count points, and determine gross Boone & Crockett Club (GBC) score. Capture data will...
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The Antler Shedding Process

Antler SheddingIn the past, it was believed that deer withdrew to secluded places to shed their antlers in order to...
Antler SheddingIn the past, it was believed that deer withdrew to secluded places to shed their antlers in order to avoid the loss of virility in “public.” However, it is likely that deer are unaware of when they will lose their antlers. Antlers are shed when a thin layer of tissue destruction, called the abscission layer, forms between the antler and the pedicle. This layer forms as a result of the decrease in testosterone. As the connective tissue is dissolved,...
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Deer Stocking and the TTT Program - Part II

How Well Do Stocked Deer Survive?Overall, 34 of the 47 translocated deer (72 percent) survived at least one year after...
How Well Do Stocked Deer Survive?Overall, 34 of the 47 translocated deer (72 percent) survived at least one year after the release. However, bucks involved in Study Two survived better than the deer stocked during Study One. Fourteen of 22 deer (64 percent) survived at least one year during Study One compared to 20 of 25 bucks (80 percent) that survived at least one year during Study Two.The deer translocated during Study One were moved 5-7 times further than the...
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Deer Stocking and the TTT Program - Part I

Deer Stocking HistoryAround 1900, the white-tailed deer population in the U.S. reached an all-time low at less than 500,000 animals....
Deer Stocking HistoryAround 1900, the white-tailed deer population in the U.S. reached an all-time low at less than 500,000 animals. In fact, deer were essentially extinct in many states and existed only in very remote areas of other states. As a result, most states closed the hunting season. Deer populations however, were slow to rebuild on their own.In order to augment this natural rebuilding process, several states began actively stocking live-captured wild deer from areas of excess. These captured deer...
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High Fences: Compliment or Curse? - Part II

In the Part I, I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of high fencing your property for management purposes. In Part...
In the Part I, I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of high fencing your property for management purposes. In Part II, I will examine the negative effects of building your high fence against existing low fence and deer population explosion.Don’t Build Against Existing Low Fence!During the middle of my Ph.D. research project examining the movements of 125 radio-collared bucks, the landowner had a new high fence constructed along two boundaries of my study area. This new high fence was built...
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High Fences: Compliment or Curse? - Part I

High Fence HistoryThe construction of high fences is definitely on the increase in Texas. Although high fences are common place...
High Fence HistoryThe construction of high fences is definitely on the increase in Texas. Although high fences are common place today, the history behind the high fence invasion is not well documented. I was able to piece together a short history of high fencing in Texas after talking with several deer biologists and well established fence builders.The first high fences in Texas were built in the Hill Country in the mid to late 1930's. These high fences were built solely...
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Solving the Buck Movement Mystery - Part III

Buck Movements and a New High FenceMidway through my Ph.D. research, the landowner replaced several miles of perimeter low fence...
Buck Movements and a New High FenceMidway through my Ph.D. research, the landowner replaced several miles of perimeter low fence with a brand new 8-foot high fence. This new high fence was on the eastern and southern boundaries of my study area. Therefore, several bucks we were tracking had established home ranges that included both sides of this property boundary. When the new high fence was constructed, we had a very unique opportunity to measure how this new fence would...
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