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|0 Comments

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 [...]

8 09, 2020

Hanback Named QDMA 2020 Communicator Of Year For Writing And TV Work On Whitetail Deer

2020-09-08T08:52:32-04:00September 8th, 2020|Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Management, Deer Science, whitetail deer|3 Comments

Very honored and humbled to receive this award from the professionals at QDMA. Here’s the press release.—M.H. ATHENS, GA - The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is pleased to name Mike Hanback its 2020 Signpost Communicator of the Year. Hanback is a recognized and long-time outdoor writer and blogger who created and hosts Big Deer TV on the Sportsman Channel, now preparing to film its tenth season for television. “QDMA presents this award annually to an outdoor communicator who shares accurate information with deer hunters, works to ensure a strong future for whitetails, and supports the QDMA and its mission,” said Lindsay Thomas Jr., QDMA Director of Communications. “Mike has been doing all of these things for years through his [...]

25 08, 2020

When Do Bucks Shed Velvet?

2020-08-25T09:42:44-04:00August 25th, 2020|Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Science, whitetail deer|Comments Off on When Do Bucks Shed Velvet?

In most parts of the country, the antler growth for whitetail deer is done for the year. Sometime between September 1 and 15 bucks will shed their velvet. The cue for antler hardening and velvet shedding is the change in photo-period caused by decreasing daylight and increasing darkness, which results in a significant increase in the bucks’ testosterone. Velvet shedding typically takes only a couple of hours, though it is not uncommon to see a deer walking around for day or two with bloody velvet tatters. One last thing you might not know: Bucks have been known to turn their heads and peel or even eat velvet that dangles off their new racks. Soon after shedding, the tree rubbing and [...]

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