What is the main factor in monster buck production?

Diesel

Studies Indicate that Most Antler Traits are Genetically Transmitted

Some of the greatest research ever conducted on deer, particularly the trophy buck comes from the Kerr Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Kerr WMA studies indicate that most antler traits are genetically transmitted.

“Heritability estimates greater than 0.30 are considered to be moderately heritable, and heritability estimates greater than 0.50 are highly heritable. Heritability estimates for weight gain in cattle range from 0.30 to 0.40.”
“Diesel”, the chief breeding buck at the Swenson Whitetail Ranch will be well over 350 inches in his fourth year. This deer has superior genetics and gets maximum nutrition.

“Diesel”, the chief breeding buck at the Swenson Whitetail Ranch will be well over 350 inches in his fourth year. This deer has superior genetics, gets maximum nutrition and is getting to live to his potential.

No Kerr WMA studies were specifically designed to determine the effect of dam age on antler production.

“However, a review of data from the Kerr deer-pen studies indicated that age of the doe had no effect. When age of doe was analyzed by study, no relationship of age to spike production was found. The analysis did show that large numbers of spikes for all age classes were produced by spike-antlered sires.”

No Kerr WMA studies were specifically designed to determine the effect of dam age on antler production.

“However, a review of data from the Kerr deer-pen studies indicated that age of the doe had no effect. When age of doe was analyzed by study, no relationship of age to spike production was found. The analysis did show that large numbers of spikes for all age classes were produced by spike-antlered sires.”

Kerr officials noted that there are 3 equally important factors that control antler development in white-tailed deer: nutrition, genetics, and age.

“Antler development is genetically based, environmentally influenced, and reaches its peak at maturity. The key to quality deer management is to remove those bucks which have the least desirable antler characteristics at an early age. 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. The does influence antler production as well. Harvest of older does is important to insure younger does are products of better bucks. Habitat should be managed so that deer can achieve their greatest antler potential. There are no methods to “jump-start” a quality deer program.”

TF&G Staff

Previous ArticleNext Article
Born in Toledo, Ohio circa 1950. I was the oldest of four children and had the good fortune to be inquisitive about wildlife and specifically rabbits and pheasants that were abundant in the area that I was raised in. With later moves to Michigan, I found that exploring the great outdoors was just a short bike ride away and I invested in a Havahart trap at age 11. Raccoons, skunks, squirrels and possum became the choice of prey and that stayed my mainstay until college. I knew that elk were abundant and of trophy class in Arizona so it sealed the deal for relocating here. Since 1986 I have spent as much time as possible learning about elk and trying to become a better hunter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *