It’s no secret that Americans are obsessed with antlers. Many don’t know, however, that one of the best ways to shoot bigger bucks is by harvesting more does.
In areas where deer are overpopulated, competition for browse can be fierce. An ample supply of food and nutrients is essential for a healthy herd and sustained antler growth. Shooting does will free up more food sources and result in larger, well-nourished bucks.
- Antler is the fastest growing known animal tissue.
- If a deer is injured on on side of its body, the antler on the opposite side is likley to be deformed beginning the next growht cycle.
- If you surgically transplant the pedicel from the deer's forehead to another part of its body, it will grow an antler there.
- The annual cycle of antler growth can be divided into six stages. The exact time at which the stages occur depends on where a deer lives, the hours of daylight that occure in that location, and the level of stress the animal endures during the winter.
Thinning the herd can also reduce animal-automobile collisions and over-browse of residential landscaping— especially in urban environments. Dropping the amount of unfavorable interactions between deer and humans are great for both the herd and hunters.
Let’s not forget that meat from a young doe is much better table fare than the tough muscle found in a grizzled old buck. Fill your freezer, help the herd, and lookout for your neighbors by shooting more does this season.
By Larry Whiteley, Host of the award winning
Outdoor World Radio