29 08, 2021

Deer Science: Bucks’ Summer & Winter Ranges

2021-08-29T12:10:25-04:00August 29th, 2021|Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Science, sportsman channel, whitetail deer|0 Comments

I have blogged and said on TV many times that the big buck you’ve been scouting and watching right now in late summer might still be in the same area when hunting season opens, or he might be a mile or more away if he shifts between a summer/fall and winter range. This graphic and Instagram post from the experts at the Mississippi State Deer Lab sum it up well: "About 1/3 of adult bucks in one of our recent studies have seasonal home range segments, like buck 20 pictured here. He spent late summer and fall in the eastern portion of his range. For two consecutive years, he packed up shop around November 1 and moved to the western [...]

8 07, 2021

5 Interesting Things About Velvet Deer Antlers

2021-07-02T11:35:30-04:00July 8th, 2021|Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Science, whitetail deer|Comments Off on 5 Interesting Things About Velvet Deer Antlers

1. In July, velvet antlers grow via a complex system of blood vessels, which causes them to be hot to the touch. Top whitetail scientist Dr. Grant Woods notes, “There is so much blood carrying protein and minerals to a buck’s antlers this time of year that even small antlers are easily detected by thermal imaging devices. Antler tines show up like neon signs when flying over with thermal cameras in summer.” Tiny hairs on the velvet stick out and make velvet antlers look bigger than they are. The hairs act as a radar system so the buck won’t bump into trees, fence posts, etc. and damage his soft antlers. Sebum, a semi-liquid secretion, on the hairs of the velvet give [...]

10 02, 2021

Why Deer Shed Their Antlers Every Year

2021-02-10T09:39:40-05:00February 10th, 2021|Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Science, Shed Hunting, whitetail deer|Comments Off on Why Deer Shed Their Antlers Every Year

Why do buck deer spend so much time and energy growing new antlers each spring and summer only to shed them 5 or 6 months later? Scientists have chewed on this for years, but “we still don’t know exactly why,” says noted whitetail biologist Dr. Mickey Hellickson, who points to a couple of theories. Some biologists believe bucks (whitetail and mule) shed their old racks each January or February so they’ll have the ability to replace antlers that might get damaged over the course of the year. If a buck had to live his entire life with snapped tines or a broken main beam, he couldn’t intimidate rivals or posture for does in the local hierarchy. A second theory suggests [...]

8 12, 2020

Vampire Buck: Deer With Fangs

2020-12-08T10:04:53-05:00December 8th, 2020|Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Science, whitetail deer|Comments Off on Vampire Buck: Deer With Fangs

I just saw on Twitter where an Indiana hunter shot a buck with fangs. I have been hunting whitetails for more than 40 years, and blogging about deer for 2 decades. The Indiana deer is only the third “Vampire Buck” I’ve heard about (the others were in Texas and Oklahoma). Here’s the scoop on deer w/fangs. Some 7 million years ago, dating back to the Miocene Epoch, ancestors of the modern whitetail had long, curved, sharp canines. Paleontologists say the small deer-like animals used the fangs, or tusks, for survival. Over time, whitetails evolved antlers for defense, and the upper canine teeth regressed. While lower canines are present in all whitetails today, upper ones are uncommon. Brian Murphy, a well-known [...]

4 12, 2020

Hunt Late Deer Rut on Public Land

2020-11-23T14:14:18-05:00December 4th, 2020|Big Deer TV, Deer Hunting, Deer Management, Deer Rut, Deer Science, whitetail deer|Comments Off on Hunt Late Deer Rut on Public Land

Here’s an opportunity for you public-land hunters if you’ve not shot your buck yet. In a study awhile back, scientists at Mississippi State’s vaunted deer research program found that in early to mid-December (or into mid-January in Southern areas with a peak rut in December) you  can often have good rutting action on a typical WMA or national forest where does far outnumber bucks. The biologists said that on uncultivated land where the buck:doe ratio is out of whack, there aren’t enough bucks to breed most of the adult does during the peak November estrus cycle. Some 28 days later the “missed” does come back into heat. But since there aren’t as many hot-to-trot does now, the estrus ones draw [...]

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