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Discussion Starter #1
Over the years, I heard hunters say that bigger deer (whether that refers to body or antler size) will pass their genes on to their offspring. This, of course, is true, but what some of them also believe is that these genes for bigness don't get passed on until the deer who's doing the breeding has grown to be big himself. That isn't true. All animals (and humans, for that matter) carry all the genes - and gene quality - that they will pass on from the day they are born. These may include, size, color, etc. So, when the buck (or doe) that is carrying those desirable genes starts breeding, he (or she) will be passing on those genes from the very first time he (or she) breeds. The genes just don't get better as the deer gets older or bigger.
 

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i read something interesting. let me see if a can explain it and y'all tell me what you think. The article was about genetics and how they could be changed (improved). I wasn't quite understanding it. the article was saying that through supplement feeding and providing the best of browse that a bucks genetics for antlers could change. I do believe that the article was from somebody that had something to do with the supplemental feed industry. My question in my head was---- how do you know a bucks full antler potential without "helping" him out. Maybe the property or surrounding area is lacking something for good antler growth. If you are adding that, the potential is there for the good genetics to shine. was a strange article. I will have to find it.
 

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You cannot change genetics with nutrition but you can get the animals to their full potential with supplemental feeding. Also, new research has shown that young bucks do more of the breeding than originally thought.
 

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A great resource on antlers: "Deer Antlers: Regeneration. Function, and Evolution" by Richard J. Goss. This could be considered the "bible" on deer antlers, but before you buy it, be warned - it's pretty technical/scientific. Goss gave me a copy years ago when he visited my taxidermy shop doing research on antlers.
 
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