deer genetics

Strike 3 for the Myth of the Genetic “Cull Buck”

Nov 8, 2023 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

The latest scientific attempt to improve wild deer antler genetics failed to find a practical method that works in the wild, but it helped shed more light on why the genetic “cull buck” remains elusive:…

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Can Science Breed CWD Out of Deer? Not Likely

Mar 22, 2022 Patrick Durkin

Pennsylvania’s state veterinarian thinks the best hope for controlling chronic wasting disease is to identify and selectively breed deer least susceptible to the fatal illness and slowly change the species’ gene pool until all herds…

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Does Culling Bucks Improve Antler Quality? A 13-Year Test With Donnie Draeger

Aug 25, 2021 NDA Staff

In this episode of the Deer Season 365 Podcast, Brian talks with Donnie Draeger, a wildlife biologist at the Comanche Ranch in Texas, about an intensive 13-year research project Donnie was involved in focused on…

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QDM Works. Culling Doesn’t.

Oct 16, 2019 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

Donnie Draeger used to believe in culling deer to improve antler genetics. Over his career as the wildlife biologist at the Comanche Ranch in southwest Texas, he’d spent a lot of time and the ranch’s…

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Are Deer Evolving Resistance to CWD?

Jun 18, 2018 Stacie Robinson and Michael Samuel

If you hunt whitetails, you’ve probably already heard of chronic wasting disease (CWD). This neurodegenerative disease is caused by an odd sort of protein called a prion that develops in the brains of infected animals…

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Pumba: Yet Another “Inferior” Buck That Wasn’t

Dec 20, 2017 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

Can you name a fellow hunter who says that bucks with weird antlers should be “culled” for the benefit of the herd because they’re somehow “inferior”? Way too many of us can, so we should…

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3 Boomerang Bucks That Went Non-Typical and Back Again

May 8, 2017 Matt Ross

Follow Matt on Instagram. White-tailed deer antlers are amazing appendages, aren’t they? Through the centuries, they’ve adorned walls of caves, huts, barns, camps and literally millions of homes across North America. Their mystique fills the…

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Spike On One Side: Genetics or Injury?

Oct 15, 2012 Gabe 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…

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Why We Can’t Manage Deer Genetics

May 30, 2012 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

The power of selectively controlled breeding is incredible. With it, we transformed a wolf into a chihuahua over the course of 15,000 years – mere milliseconds in the echoing depths of geologic time. We transformed…

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