Whitetail deer question: (long)


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critter
November 28, 2004, 12:42 PM
I hunt (whitetail) deer in south Arkansas thickets. We hunt a relatively large tract of leased land with very limited access.

Last year, I managed (with a LOT of luck) to fill my buck tags on opening morning of the season. Later in the season, I saw a magnificient animal (for our area) that I could not take because my tags were full. He had a rack that was quite uncharacteristic for our area. The width and height was unusual for us and the ends of the beams had a very unique curl feature on them. Nobody else in our group so much as saw him for the rest of the year. (Sorry I have no characteristics for the body of the animal, but the HORNS got 'in my eye' if you know what I mean!)

This year, I have been passing up lesser racks waiting on 'him'. Well, as of 11-27, I managed to take 'him'. He had the exact same type of rack in width and height (again uncharacteristic of our area), but with longer tines and heavier beams than the one I saw last year. Beam length was very similar. Moreover, he had the same unique curl features on the beam ends. Finally, to the question.

What is your feeling as to the ability of a deer to grow antlers year after year that you could be able to actually recognize from one year to the next? Possibly? Likely? Did I kill the same deer I saw last year????

(The deer was an 8-point with a 16 3/4" spread. Beams were 18+ and 19+ inches with longest tines 8+ & 9+". Beam mass was only moderate. Tip to tip was 8 1/4". Weight was 140 # and it was 3.5 years old. No monster, but quite nice for the area I hunt. Sorry, no pics available.)

Thanks for any insight you might have.

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musher
November 28, 2004, 12:51 PM
At least part of the antler growth (size and conformation) is genetic, so I'd guess you probably did kill the same deer (or one of his offspring). Especially if he was atypical for your area.

While moose aren't the same species, I see similar things in the area I hunt. The bulls in our area typically have tall narrow palms, compared to the moose 'archtype'. For a couple of years we had one running around (never got him) that had much different antlers (palms were almost round) I never had any doubt it was the same guy.

Congrats on your buck btw.

Remington788
November 28, 2004, 02:06 PM
Most likely it was the same deer. Antlers tend to be similar from year to year unless something tramatic happens (being wounded or poor nutrition) to the deer.

Congratulations on the nice buck.

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