Drought conditions/Antler growth


Active Member
The higher ranges of central and eastern Nevada generally have much better conditions than most people think. Those higher ranges hold the weather and get more precip.


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I drew a bull archery tag for 104.108 and 121 so I was just curious about how the drought might affect antler growth. Sounds like it's pretty dry in that area and I assumed it will affect browse and food sources. A few years ago I drew an AZ bull tag in a very dry year and most of the bulls I saw had very weak tops as they didn't finish out real strong. Not that worried about score but I was just curious.


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Southern NV had a poor winter and spring with snow / rainfall. I went up to the Spring mountains at the end of February & there was very little snow & most had melted off. Last year at the end of March there was still snow up to my knees. We had a few rain showers, but nothing at all like we saw in 2020. I know this area is far south from the unit you drew, but it’s something to consider.


Active Member
It was pretty dry in 121 this year. There were a few spring storms which have helped. I would expect the drought will have some impact on antler growth.


First you have to understand a drought declaration. Its not that its that bad yet. At the current rate they classify things for the entire season. Look at the numbers east of fallon and Hawthorne where we just got reclassed to a d2 drought. We were over on snowfall in a lot of locations and barely under on rain on average through winter and spring. Snowcapped mountains in June are a current thing. Its down low in the valley's that we see the drought. Up high, say above 8500 ft. There's plenty of large velvet being seen already. Just gotta get up there and find them. Hunting the rubies since 98 I always laugh at the drought crap. The marshes dry up a little and everyone panics but you get up high and there's water everywhere.


Active Member
It’s not so much about the water for animals in the wetter parts of the state- although it does have an impact in some units, especially bighorns and antelope populations using guzzlers.
The drough years have more of an impact on the quality and availability of feed. I see it here locally where I live. In very dry years - like this one - there is less small forbes, the shrubs have less new growth and the feed dries up earlier.
For deer in the Rubies or the various mountains north of Elko, this won’t have much of an impact.
For elk and sheep in much of the state that rely on grass for grazing, and deer and antelope in certain units where browse and forbes are impacted, the drought will likely have an impact on overall animal health.

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