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Old 11-22-2011, 10:33 AM
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Chancegrayl Chancegrayl is offline
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Default New to hunting lots of questions,

I "hunted" when i was younger, aka climbed a tree and watched the squarls but never seen a deer, i joined the military and a friend got me back into it, and im hooked, ive shot four deer in the last two years, and ive learned alot from him, but i have some questions that im not sure if its what he was taught or if its true,

1. once a spike always a spike, i shot a spike this year because the body was great size to me field dressed at 130, and my friend said it was a good call that the deer didnt have the genes to grow any bigger, is the once a spike always a spike true?

2. ive been told that if you see a doe running alone that dont bother with it, its a button buck, however i found out that they will run in herds to, i shot a button buck this year that was running with a group of fawns, i think they got mixed up and bonded to gether as the farmer was cutting his corn, but will a doe run by herself or all deer running around by themselfs a button buck?

3. I shot my spike and gutted it right there, ive been told thats bad practice because the deer will avoid the gut pile? i figure this can go either way because they could think that hey a preditor got a deer and sucks to be him, or it could spook them becuase they know a preditor is in the area? so is gutting a deer where you hunt a bad idea?

Thanks for the advice
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:03 PM
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tator tator is offline
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Originally Posted by Chancegrayl View Post
1. once a spike always a spike, i shot a spike this year because the body was great size to me field dressed at 130, and my friend said it was a good call that the deer didnt have the genes to grow any bigger, is the once a spike always a spike true??
NO. Many people believe that when a buck grows only spikes, that buck has bad genetics. I do not believe that what-so-ever. In fact, I have trail cam pics of bucks that are spikes and the next year that spike branches out into more points. Now, I DO believe that if a buck is a spike he's not going to be as "pretty" when he gets older, but he'll still produce a rack.


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2. ive been told that if you see a doe running alone that dont bother with it, its a button buck, however i found out that they will run in herds to, i shot a button buck this year that was running with a group of fawns, i think they got mixed up and bonded to gether as the farmer was cutting his corn, but will a doe run by herself or all deer running around by themselfs a button buck??
Deer are not predictable at all. Yes you'll see buttons by themselves, but you'll also see them in herds too. I shot a button this year b/c he was with his twin brother and I thought it was two does. Does can be found by themselves or with others. If it's during the rut, you'll typically see does by themselves more than with other does. But like I said, they aren't predictable and they'll fool even the most experienced hunter.


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3. I shot my spike and gutted it right there, ive been told thats bad practice because the deer will avoid the gut pile? i figure this can go either way because they could think that hey a preditor got a deer and sucks to be him, or it could spook them becuase they know a preditor is in the area? so is gutting a deer where you hunt a bad idea?
I don't do it because I typically leave my knives at home. I have a spot at home where I can gut them really easily and fast. I have seen hunting shows and videos where when a hunter guts the deer on site, they place a trail cam over the gut pile and deer actually come to it. Remember deer are VERY VERY VERY VERY curious animals.. BUT they trust their first instincts every time!


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Old 11-22-2011, 02:00 PM
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Chancegrayl Chancegrayl is offline
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Thanks, its greatly appricated
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:32 PM
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No problem man,,, I'm sure everyone has their own opinion on these "issues" you asked about. These are merely my thoughts.

Were abouts in Missouri you from?
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:24 PM
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the spike gene theory is pretty much not true. Given proper nutrition spikes have been shown to become multi point bucks the next year. Gut piles don't seem to deter deer from an area.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:46 PM
VolHunter VolHunter is offline
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Default Good Questions

1. The spike "theory" is in no way true. Spikes have been documented to become 140-160" class deer. The message that gets messed up is if you have 2, 1 and 1/2 yr old deer (both being bucks) the a 3-4 pointer will out pace a spike the rest of his life.

The take home message about spikes is, if you are seeing a bunch of them, you have too high of a deer population in the area. Spikes generally represent a buck that (as a fawn) was dropped much later in the year. This means that in their whole first year of growing they didn't get as much food as the others (closer born to winter = less food available) and that is why they could only make spikes. If you are seeing a lot of spikes, start harvesting some does.

2. This is not true in any sense. Deer can move in herds (often does do) but fawns (like young children) will often group together too. I have killed several does that were by themselves. Does can often be pushed out of a herd by other does if she is in heat and they are not. Also, a rutting buck could run a doe away from others. The best way to determine is to get you a good pair of binoculars. Also, after you have watched deer for enough time, you can kinda start to tell the does from the bucks by just their behavior and body shape.

3. In my opinion I don't think that a gut pile will spook a deer. I normally don't gut my deer on site just because I like to get out of the area and let the deer settle down after hearing me drag the deer and smelling me walking around. However, I have seen deer walk right up to/right past gut piles and never give them a second glance.

The only reason I would have a slight hesitation about gutting a deer by your hunting spot is that you do run the risk of attracting predators. This can end up making deer spooked and cause them to be a little harder to hunt. I have gutted a deer and then coyote hunted over that gut pile to kill a few.

Hope this helps! Good luck with your hunting and if you have any more questions, just ask
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:59 AM
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Chancegrayl Chancegrayl is offline
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what is the best way to get over the smell of a gut shot, other then not shooting the gut
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:01 PM
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Other than not shooting the guts........then you just have to grin and bear it. It will smell no matter what.
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:58 PM
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what is the best way to get over the smell of a gut shot, other then not shooting the gut

Try to gut the deer with the wind blowing away from you. That works for me very well. Sometimes if they have alot of "waste" in them and they get gut shot it'll really stick bad. I don't have a weak stomach, but that smell even makes me dry-heave sometimes. The last buck I shot last year smelt horrible so I took an old towel with Vick's cold rub and put it over my nose. That helped a little bit
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:36 AM
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Most bucks are spikes at some point. The ones that don't go directly from button to branched all go through the spike phase. It is all a matter of when they were fawned. An early fawn may be a spike the first fall he is alive. A late fawn will be a button and then the next year may well be a spike.

A doe running alone makes me stand up and get ready for what may be following her. Does alone draw bucks. Does in herds are usually already bred or nowhere near coming into estrus. The hot does never travel in groups and when in fields are usually some distance from the other girls.

I gut my deer where they fall. In 57 years I have never seen an adverse effect. On several occasions, I have killed deer within a few yards of where the gut pile was. A gut pile here is gone overnight.

If this works, checkout the two pics closely. The first is a doe and two spotted fawns. The second is the same doe and now notice how big the button is compared to his sister. The pics were taken two months apart. They live in my back yard. Also notice in the first pic., there are three bucks, doe and fawns and turkeys all in one wad. Early in the fall they all get along. Bachelor groups and family units will mix to some degree. By Oct. they start to seperate.The pictures came out in reverse order. same doe and fawns in both pics.




Last edited by scribe; 11-28-2011 at 08:44 AM.
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