Genetics and mule deer.

highfastflyer

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564
Some good examples of how genetics can affect antler growth. I know it’s difficult to alter this much in wild deer populations but research from many deer herds show culling and management buck strategies can help alter a deer herd genetics, especially with targeting spike deer bucks. These bucks are all only yearling bucks in the lower photo and this video shows some good genetic manipulation examples.
632765B0-FBF8-47A4-9884-6B0AAAEAF52D.jpeg
 

highfastflyer

Active Member
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564
Those 3 years old are HUGE.
They have had 200 inch deer before as a yearling and sell 220 inch 3 year olds. Don’t let anybody say genetics aren’t important along with proper nutrition. Utah has implemented some culling strategies in the Henry‘s and Paunsagaunt. Texas research shows it beneficial to cull spike only bucks as they generally have poor genetics. I have been noticing more and more spike bucks on Wyoming winter ranges and are actively breeding does.
 

Gator

Long Time Member
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17,291
So you don't like looking at Big Bucks.
Heck I love Horn Porn.
Wish they would take some of the genetic from those bucks and put it a few dozen wild Doe's.

I also wish they would capture 50-60 doe's out each unit in Utah and put them on the Island / or Henry's let those bucks breed them them put them back in all those units in Utah.
 

highfastflyer

Active Member
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564
You keep trying to draw a parallel between genetically manipulated livestock and wild animals.
What you fail to realize is how both hunters and wildlife managers are altering the genetics every year we hunt via regulations we follow like buck or doe harvest, season length and timing of hunt, weapons utilized, landscape, environment and climate impacts among a myriad of other factors. Take a look in the mirror, you are affecting the gene pool by your hunting practices and lifestyle. Hunters may be a bit more humane though than Nature.
 

antlerradar

Active Member
Messages
544
In the real world genetics matter too.
This is a picture of the sheds of three bucks that lived in the same bachelor group so they were getting the same nutrition. The single set is well over two hundred and the next year when he was taken he was over 220. The middle set may have broken 180 on his best year. He died of old age. The smaller buck never broke 140 even when he was 6 years old plus. There was also an old three point that I saw for many years. I found a few of his antlers but they have been lost in the years. Big body and small antlers, 130 at best.
A few years later I found antlers from another buck a few miles away that are very similar to the big set. Son maybe, but I think that those bucks are more likely half or full brothers.
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highfastflyer

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564
This is a picture of the sheds of three bucks that lived in the same bachelor group so they were getting the same nutrition. The single set is well over two hundred and the next year when he was taken he was over 220. The middle set may have broken 180 on his best year. He died of old age. The smaller buck never broke 140 even when he was 6 years old plus. There was also an old three point that I saw for many years. I found a few of his antlers but they have been lost in the years. Big body and small antlers, 130 at best.
A few years later I found antlers from another buck a few miles away that are very similar to the big set. Son maybe, but I think that those bucks are more likely half or full brothers.”
Many of those inferior bucks may have been spike
A42AEFFB-D268-4E4F-8B13-D2A2D60AA632.jpeg
bucks as yearlings. Many studies have demonstrated by culling these. yearling spike bucks you can improve the antler quality of a herd.
Looking at a buck's yearling set of antlers can provide a clue as to how it will look later in life compared to other bucks born the same year. The 18 antler sets are from 4 year-old deer that were fed the same diet throughout their lives. The 6 sets of antlers on the left were from deer that had at least 6 points as yearlings. The 6 sets in the middle were from deer that had 3-5 points as yearlings. The 6 sets on the right were from bucks that were spikes as yearlings.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/game_management/deer/genetics/
 

Chesterwyo

Active Member
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951
Many of those inferior bucks may have been spike View attachment 19921bucks as yearlings. Many studies have demonstrated by culling these. yearling spike bucks you can improve the antler quality of a herd.
Looking at a buck's yearling set of antlers can provide a clue as to how it will look later in life compared to other bucks born the same year. The 18 antler sets are from 4 year-old deer that were fed the same diet throughout their lives. The 6 sets of antlers on the left were from deer that had at least 6 points as yearlings. The 6 sets in the middle were from deer that had 3-5 points as yearlings. The 6 sets on the right were from bucks that were spikes as yearlings.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/game_management/deer/genetics/
Are you going to fall on the sword and shoot a spike buck next year? You know, for the benefit of the herd.
 

Bluehair

Very Active Member
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2,910
Thru selective breeding you are manipulating the gene pool, you are not altering the genetics of individuals. Evolution takes eons.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
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7,526
You cannot change or even control genetics on wild game simply because it's impossible to know what a doe has or doesn't have.

Cull hunts or "management buck" hunts do absolutely nothing for wild free ranging deer except offer more hunter opportunity by adding additional tags with a different title.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
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7,526
What you fail to realize is how both hunters and wildlife managers are altering the genetics every year we hunt via regulations we follow like buck or doe harvest, season length and timing of hunt, weapons utilized, landscape, environment and climate impacts among a myriad of other factors. Take a look in the mirror, you are affecting the gene pool by your hunting practices and lifestyle. Hunters may be a bit more humane though than Nature.

I would have to completely disagree.

I am struggling to understand how any of the scenarios you mention change genetics, as genetics are DNA.

Help me understand how the weapons utilized in hunting change DNA?

How does the timing of a hunt or the length of a season change DNA?

How does environment and climate have any impact on DNA?

Some.....and I mean SOME of the things mentioned can effect a yearly "quality" of antler growth and or physical health of a big game animal, but nothing "changes" DNA.
 

highfastflyer

Active Member
Messages
564
I would have to completely disagree.

I am struggling to understand how any of the scenarios you mention change genetics, as genetics are DNA.

Help me understand how the weapons utilized in hunting change DNA?

How does the timing of a hunt or the length of a season change DNA?

How does environment and climate have any impact on DNA?

Some.....and I mean SOME of the things mentioned can effect a yearly "quality" of antler growth and or physical health of a big game animal, but nothing "changes" DNA.
If you hunt, then you harvest and choose which animals to eliminate from the Gene pool effectively removing the possibility of that animal to reproduce and pass on their genetics. For example if you aren’t a trophy hunter and you harvest Cull bucks or small antlered bucks you are removing them from reproducing. Whatever method, mechanism or rule you use or follow you are affecting genetics. Being a hunter or wildlife manager is similar to animal husbandry as you make decisions on the genetics of your herd whether game animals or livestock, though you have more control as a rancher than a hunter but we all still affect the gene pool by our choices and our decisions when harvesting game.
 

highfastflyer

Active Member
Messages
564
You cannot change or even control genetics on wild game simply because it's impossible to know what a doe has or doesn't have.

Cull hunts or "management buck" hunts do absolutely nothing for wild free ranging deer except offer more hunter opportunity by adding additional tags with a different title.
Many large ranches have improved their antler quality by culling spike bucks in wild herds. Research and study after study have shown it a viable strategy. “Kerr WMA studies show that yearling antlers predict a buck's antler quality at maturity. Kerr genetic studies indicate bucks with the best antlers will produce more progeny with exceptional antlers than will poorer bucks.’
https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/game_management/deer/genetics/
 

BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
3,336
Some good examples of how genetics can affect antler growth. I know it’s difficult to alter this much in wild deer populations but research from many deer herds show culling and management buck strategies can help alter a deer herd genetics, especially with targeting spike deer bucks. These bucks are all only yearling bucks in the lower photo and this video shows some good genetic manipulation examples.
View attachment 19788
You forgot about the Growth Hormone. LOL
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
Messages
6,403
I've been reading and chuckling hornkiller.
1. Age
2. Groceries
3. Genetics

Start at number one and work yourself to number three. Starting at number three first and worrying about number one and two later is just pissing away time money and energy.

Last, whatever genetics they think they are producing in those pens will never ever ever ever change anything about the genetics in wild populations. Most of those deer die within weeks of being released into the wild. They can't even feed themselves. Then they go through a breeding season and get their asses beat to death by wild bucks. Best case scenario they survive but breed no doe. Less than %10 of released pen bucks are alive a year later in the wild. If they do survive they loose at least %25 of their antler in the next growth cycle. Pen deer just aren't viable in the wild.

Also the Kerr WMA study on spikes is garbage science. Always was. Always will be. I've seen giants come from spikes and I've seen garbage come from spikes. Second if it was good science, which it isn't, you can't jump science like that between cervid species. Hemionus and Virginianus are totally different critters with different antler development.
 

Gator

Long Time Member
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17,291
A young buck will still have the genetic that a 6 year buck and doe that fathered/birthed him. so shooting a thinned horn 3x3 as a yearling is taking out a BIG buck that in 5 more years COULD be a monster.
Adding more Monster genetic to a herd will just help.
Can't see a reason why it wouldn't
 

COSA

Active Member
Messages
839
I believe we as hunters are almost certainly having an impact on antler genetics. The argument that does are the primary contributor is incorrect; it's 50:50 and a mature buck will breed multiple does.
Example, a hunter has an opportunity at a group of bucks, or several opportunities at different bucks over the a season. A very high percentage of hunters will select the largest antlered buck to harvest, leaving the lesser antlered bucks a better chance at becoming mature and breeding more does (antler size does not equal dominance during the rut). Multiply this by thousands of hunters and a new generation of deer every year and the selection for lesser antlers can happen quickly (still likely decades).
However, I don't see an easy fix or regulation that could address the issue.
 

highfastflyer

Active Member
Messages
564
I've been reading and chuckling hornkiller.
1. Age
2. Groceries
3. Genetics

Start at number one and work yourself to number three. Starting at number three first and worrying about number one and two later is just pissing away time money and energy.

Last, whatever genetics they think they are producing in those pens will never ever ever ever change anything about the genetics in wild populations. Most of those deer die within weeks of being released into the wild. They can't even feed themselves. Then they go through a breeding season and get their asses beat to death by wild bucks. Best case scenario they survive but breed no doe. Less than %10 of released pen bucks are alive a year later in the wild. If they do survive they loose at least %25 of their antler in the next growth cycle. Pen deer just aren't viable in the wild.

Also the Kerr WMA study on spikes is garbage science. Always was. Always will be. I've seen giants come from spikes and I've seen garbage come from spikes. Second if it was good science, which it isn't, you can't jump science like that between cervid species. Hemionus and Virginianus are totally different critters with different antler development.
Anyone who raises any Animal recognizes genetics play a key part in breeding. I agree wild populations are more difficult to manipulate and enhancing habitat, restricting predators and reducing harvest so animals can make it past 2 or 3 year olds through the hunting season are more controllable. Texas has had very good success on large ranches where currently some of the biggest antlerd mule deer are on big ranches where they do culling and management buck hunts. Genetic strategies and enhancements have produced bucks like this Culbertson County giant. Pending Texas B&C Nontypical record, and the previous one was shattered just 4 years previously.
0C41AA34-FD90-487F-A363-F40762E6B8D8.jpeg
 
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DeerHunter53

Very Active Member
Messages
1,834
In California the F&G believes in NOT shooting spikes it must have one horn with two points or better, Can someone please let them know what a idiot practice this is.
 

Tristate

Long Time Member
Messages
6,403
Highfastflyer,

I know that hunter, I know that deer, and I know the ranch it came from. Genetic enhancement isn't part of their strategy. What is absolutely paramount is age and groceries and specifically where that deer is from WATER.

I am %100 for culling. I have argued for it here before. But if you want to get serious about a managing a deer herd you don't take on genetics until a few years into your management plan and it will be a much less important than managing your average age of mortality and your nutrition. And I can tell you this. I don't know of a single ranch managing mule deer in Texas that have brought pen raised stock in to enhance their genetics.
 

highfastflyer

Active Member
Messages
564
Highfastflyer,

I know that hunter, I know that deer, and I know the ranch it came from. Genetic enhancement isn't part of their strategy. What is absolutely paramount is age and groceries and specifically where that deer is from WATER.

I am %100 for culling. I have argued for it here before. But if you want to get serious about a managing a deer herd you don't take on genetics until a few years into your management plan and it will be a much less important than managing your average age of mortality and your nutrition. And I can tell you this. I don't know of a single ranch managing mule deer in Texas that have brought pen raised stock in to enhance their genetics.
I agree with you 100%, I never said the Culbertson County buck was from a Game release animal, more so from management hunting and culling inferior bucks to improve genetics and genetic strategies. One strategy one could use on a large private ranch is game feeders. If you have a large buck who is the dominant buck you want to do the breeding, you turn off surrounding game feeders to bring the does to the large dominant buck‘s primary game feeder so you can utilize him for breeding more does in nearby areas. I doubt B&C would recognise it if it was determined game farm animals were involved though Safari Club probably would have no issue.
 
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eelgrass

Long Time Member
Messages
26,294
Do we really want to mess with genetics in our sport hunting? I say let's don't go there. It wouldn't be long before someone says" You shot that little 9X7 buck? Shame on you."

And the worse case scenario is "Scientific studies have shown that sport hunting messes with natural genetics and should be stopped", which is likely to happen.
 

highfastflyer

Active Member
Messages
564
Do we really want to mess with genetics in our sport hunting? I say let's don't go there. It wouldn't be long before someone says" You shot that little 9X7 buck? Shame on you."

And the worse case scenario is "Scientific studies have shown that sport hunting messes with natural genetics and should be stopped", which is likely to happen.
“Do we really want to mess with genetics in our sport hunting?” Take a look in the mirror, all hunters and game managers directly affect genetics by our decisions and choices. Are you a trophy hunter, or just a meat hunter, will you shoot a buck or is a doe ok, what weapons will you use and with what high technology advantages for harvest, all these decisions you make affect the outcome of the available gene pool.

“Scientific studies have shown that sport hunting messes with natural genetics”. They already have, and some of these could be beneficial and some detrimental, this is why it’s good to discuss the effects of game management and harvest practices and their impact on the genetics of game populations.
 

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