Major skeletal injuries, such as broken legs, can sometimes have strange and unexpected effects on the future antler growth of whitetail bucks. The neurological connection isn’t completely understood or easily explained, but such effects have…
Will He Be a Good One Next Year?
Sep 19, 2013Lindsay Thomas Jr.
Every buck’s path in life is unique, and so is every buck’s antler growth progression. Ups and downs come with external factors like drought (or, conversely, abundant rain), poor mast crops (or heavy ones), severe…
Mapping Antler Expectations
Jul 24, 2013Bronson Strickland and Steve Demarais
All wildlife biologists learn in their first ecology class about a relationship called Bergmann’s Rule: within a species, or group of similar species, body size increases with latitude from south to north. It’s assumed this…
When Bucks Don’t Shed Their Velvet
May 28, 2013Joe Hamilton
The hunt on Saturday November 9, 2013, was a heart-breaker for Ryne Wade of Marion, Illinois. A huge buck he had been after was in bow range when a doe winded Ryne and spoiled the…
Causes of Early Antler Casting
Dec 17, 2012Kip Adams
Every year starting in December, NDA begins to receive sporadic reports of bucks dropping their antlers earlier than normal. These reports seem to be more common in some years, or more concentrated in specific regions,…
Spike On One Side: Genetics or Injury?
Oct 15, 2012Gabe Karns
Among hunters, few topics stir discussion like hunting over bait or hunting deer with dogs – but the dispute over “cull bucks” comes close. While ethics play a major role in other debates, the dispute…
The Antler Growth Bell Curve
Apr 23, 2012Lindsay Thomas Jr.
There’s a simple rule underlying antler development in whitetail bucks that all hunters should understand. Awareness of this rule provides a bridge over many of the false expectations, myths, mistakes and frustrations that lie waiting…