John's Journal...

A Fun Quiz for Deer Hunters

Day 4: To Take Spike Bucks or Not and Does This Practice Help Control Deer Population

Editor’s Note: To consistently bag the white-tailed deer, there are questions the hunter must learn the answers to, including the behavior patterns of the animal, the effects of the weather and the signs a buck leaves behind after he’s passed through an area. And, the more questions a deer hunter can answer about the animal he hunts, the more likely he is to unravel the riddle of where to find a deer on a particular day. Sometimes the deer hunter hears and believes wrong information. Then because he’s misinformed, he may miss his rendezvous with a buck. Take the deer-hunting quiz, and see whether you pass or fail.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View11) Question: If hunters allow the spikes to run, the number of heavy-antlered bucks they have to hunt for the next season will increase. True or False.

Answer: This tricky question has several possible answers. In the past, wildlife biologists have told us that the spike buck is the most-inferior deer in the herd and should be harvested. Often this is good advice, because in areas where overgrazing and overpopulation of deer is prevalent, a deer that is a spike may be 4-years old and yet still be an inferior deer. This overpopulation problem primarily occurs in places in the South and Southwest on private lands where the sportsmen know they have overpopulated conditions.

The answer to this statement also depends on when a fawn has been born. When a deer herd is doe-dominated, some does aren’t bred until their second or third estrus cycle. The fawns born late may not have lived long enough or have had enough nutrition to be more than a spike. But these late-born fawns may catch up to the first-born fawns at ages 2 or 3 in antler development.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIf you hunt in a region where you can control the hunting, and where you are trying to promote bigger and better antler development, then check with the local wildlife biologist. You may want to let the spikes, which are more than likely 1-1/2-years old, run. If you are hunting public lands where spikes are legal to take, you probably will want to go ahead and harvest the buck, because if you don’t someone else will.

For more deer-hunting tips, click on each of John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” and “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property.” Too, you can go to, type in the name of the book and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Tactics for Improving Your Odds for Taking Deer

Check back each day this week for more about "A Fun Quiz for Deer Hunters"

Day 1: Learning the Behavior Patterns of Deer, the Signs They Leave Behind and Correct Bullet Placement
Day 2: Sex Scents of the Deer, Human Scents of the Hunter and Choosing the Right Weather Conditions for Taking Deer
Day 3: Selecting the Right Stand Sites, Knowing the Habits of Dominant Bucks During the Rut and Finding Bucks in High Pressure Hunting Areas
Day 4: To Take Spike Bucks or Not and Does This Practice Help Control Deer Population
Day 5: Tactics for Improving Your Odds for Taking Deer

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Entry 737, Day 4