Home Forums Campfire Forum Growing Antlers?

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    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      I was just wondering about everyone elses veiws on growing antlers on deer. Personally i think that high protein food or baiting of any kind is ruining our sport. Aside from food plots! Do you think that record book deer should be aloud to be in record books if they are grown? Or do you just care about meat like me? Tell me what you are thinking!?

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Tricky topic. Certainly, baiting isn’t hunting. That one’s easy. And I’m uneasy about food plots too, including the hi-punch foods blended esp. to grow bigger antlers. But people who do it ask what’s the difference between planting crops for deer hunting and hunting over ag crops like corn and soybeans? Others ask what’s the difference between growing food plots to attract deer and actively hunting them over those plots, and baiting? Not likely every to reach total agreement on the topic. But since I don’t do any of it, it’s easy to criticize it all. One of my favorite hunting videos (or, more accurately, one of the very few hunting videos I’ve ever seen that’s worth watching again) has lots of footage of giant whitetails in soybeans. Nice bucks, nice photography, but the crops ruin it for me. I was brought up that hunting is our connection to nature and wildness, and still prefer it that way. Dave

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      i totally agree with everything you said. I have freinds however that would not know how to hunt without a tree stand and a food plot. I think there is nothing wrong with food plots, but juiced up ones are not okay, if you want to get in record books do it the way we all are doing it! And baiting is bad for the herd, a bad way of hunting and just not fair. A pile of corn is not a good food supplement for deer. They are browze feeders they feed along and eat when there is something to eat. If you put out a pile of corn then you are probably just going to end up feeding one or two deer. So therefore from a managing position corn is always a terrible decision. A corn feild is different because they have to browze for there food. That and most of the time people who bait dont do it the entire year, so that is just not fair to the animals!?

    • texasota
      Post count: 47

      i agree this is a touchy subject, baiting vs. chemically enhanced food plots vs. real ‘do it yourself” hunting. where i am from(upper midwest) baiting was banned for CWD reasons and as realtreearcher pointed out, people dont do it year round, so how does that benefit the animals? the chemically enhanced food plots are a whole new type of problem(i think). if you are trying to “grow” record class deer, and sit in a tree near the feild, then where is the fun or the challenge in that? todays cable hunting shows and hunting dvd’s are a huge problem for the hunting community. they believe that if you dont harvest a 180 class buck then there is no good reason to even hunt in the first place. i guess i rambled enough on that. i, like all of you on this site, believe that the challenge should be to put meat on the table and not a head on the wall:!:

    • Deadsmple
      Post count: 7

      I don’t know any recipes for antlers. Sure they look nice. If I had a shot opportunity at either a big buck or a doe I would drop the string on the buck. Bucks are a more wary animal in the woods and therefore more of a challenge to me. I don’t need my name in a now useless book. Those antlers grow just fine without my help.

      Hunting Food plots? Corn fields? Soybeans? Not for me. Give me the big woods where it’s nearly impossible to pattern a whitetail. That’s hunting. All that other stuff is like learning the delivery schedule at your local butcher so you can get first chance at all the choice cuts.

    • MViehweg
      Post count: 12

      Man, this one is tough to disagree with…Many parts of the north and south have been infested with baiting/food plots. It just plain doesn’t look right or pass the smell test for many people, myself inclueded.

      Do I prefer to shoot a decent buck or bull to a 1.5 year old? Sure, but just as much enjoy a perfect shot made on a doe. I have never joined an organization with a record book due to the many abuses normally accompanied by record keeping.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      like the fellow up above said, the people who use this site are really good people. I was alittle nervous about putting up this touchy subject because i didnt want to affend others but it seems like alot of the bowhunting community is with me on this one. I personally have helped a freind of mine make a food plot but it was only clover and i have never hunted off it, he did harvest a nice buck, but not off the plot. I have to say though that if i had a opportunity to harvest some meat and it just happened to be standing in the tiny food plot we made i would not pass it up. But juiced up ones are just wrong!! Thanks for your support guys!

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      I don’t know much about food plots or any of that stuff, but I’m not sure that I agree with planting just to grow horns. It just kinda rubs me the wrong way. Kinda like baiting for bears. It’s kinda like putting the honey jar out there and waiting until a particular animal shows up. Sure, it may take a while for the right one to come around, but eventually they will. It’s basically a sure-fire way to get a “trophy” animal. Sure, I’d love to shoot the biggest buck in the woods. But I’m not gonna tote a salt block or mineral block out into the woods and sit on it. Nor am I going to plant special “goodie” foods for the deer to come to me. I want a level playing field. Sure they have better hearing and smell and probably sight than I do. That’s because they are prey. They live their lives with their nerves on edge to escape predators. What I have over them is the intelligence to learn and understand how they get away, and how to put myself in the proper position to intercept them. Or, if I’m hunting with a rifle, I have the ability to reach out several hundred yards and make the kill with a rifle. I don’t feel that baiting of any kind is a fair way to take any animal that could potentially go into the record book, nor should it be used as a method for filling a freezer for that matter. We each have brains. Let’s use them.

      Michael

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      I think there is some misconception of just what food plots, even “juiced up” ones, can do. I don’t care how much biologic or buckmaster blend you plant, fertilize, or whatever – you’re never going to grow big antlers by using food plots. It just doesn’t work that way. Antlers are a result of genetics, age, and soil (nutrition). Food plots make up a relatively small proportion of a whitetails diet but these fancy seed mixes are touted as a panacea for growing big bucks. Don’t believe the propaganda. There’s money in misconception!

      Personally, when living in the south, I loved planting and hunting near food plots. They serve as an attractant, not unlike bait, but are there throughout the season. They aren’t as apt to concentrate animals unnaturally like bait, and are much more suited to the animal’s diet than corn.
      As far as hunting at a food plot being like “learning the delivery schedule at your local butcher so you can get first chance at all the choice cuts”, I could say sometimes yes, sometimes no. Whitetails are extremely adaptable critters and a pressured food plot won’t see any more action than a pressured oak flat full of acorns. You still have to use common since and hunt.

      In case you all are wondering, I have hunted whitetails over corn as well. I grew up in Florida where baiting is legal, so that’s what I knew. Everyone did it. When I moved away and was exposed to more exciting ways of hunting, I saw how little I had actually experienced. I left the bait behind and learned to hunt. I learned more about my quarry; I became a hunter.

      Bottom line is that the books are for big animals and big animals, whitetails anyways, are grown. Like it or not it’s the truth. It may not be with food plots or protein pellets but it is happening. Population and hunter management are far more effective ways of growing deer.

      By the way, don’t sell yourself short on the only caring about meat thing. If that was your only concern, I have a feeling that you’d be hunting with a different weapon.

    • Jesse Minish
      Post count: 115

      “Baiting is not hunting” So if I was spot and stalk hunting in a berry patch with a rifle and shot a bear would that be hunting? I could have shot a LOT of bear with a rifle that way. I have been baiting bear for a while now and have yet to shot a bear over bait.
      I have put on many of miles packing heavy bait and gear up steep mountains with little more reward then watching birds and chipmunks eat my hard earned sweat away. Have bear hit my baits? Sure but not when I was there so don’t say it is not hunting just because you don’t agree with it or are ignorant to the facts of how much hard work, patience and knowledge goes into baiting for your self.
      We can argue all night long what is truly considered hunting but if I ever get a bear over bait with my bow don’t tell me I did not hunt for it.

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      I don’t use bait anymore. I realized, many years ago, that I was missing so much of what hunting is. That being said, I don’t chastise or ridicule folks who do. If you want to put someone on the defensive, tell them they’re wrong, and what they’ve grown up with is wrong. For me, personally, baiting is wrong, but I came to that realization on my own. No one forced it down my throat.

      This thread has run a little off topic but that’s to be expected. Any time baiting is brought up, things get hairy.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      Wow complimented how much people were agreeing with me and the real truth comes out. But that is okay, its what makes the world go round. first i will talk about the last one i read about the fellow who is a bear hunter. The berry patch you refered to, is suppose to be there. The crap you drag up those steep ridges is not suppose to be there. That is the difference between baiting and stalking with the wind in your face doing it the way every hunter should hunt. I have never hunted over bait or food plots. Like i said before i have helped created one because my freind needed my agricultural expertise(not really and expert but more knowledge than he has)
      I hunt on pubic land, in the mountains, with my recurve. And to the fellow who said that we shouldnt sell ourselves to the meat only thing, you are almost right, something magical happeneds when we see antlers. I personally am dieing to have a buckskin to tan so i wouldnt pass up anything with antlers this coming year. But I dont know about most of you guys but where i hunt the farthest shot you can basically get is 50 yards. Is it really that hard for a guy like me to get 20 yards closer? Not really, my other choice for a weapon is a single shot 12 gauge and a pumpkin ball. So they are pretty close to the same.
      The bottom line is that baiting and food plots are okay for photographers and backyards. But if you are going to pursuit game make it fare!!! Get the wind in your face and do it the way our ancestors did it!

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Awesome, we’re gonna get together and run a heard of buffalo off a cliff! Bring the loin cloths.:D

      As I’ve implied above, the way to change a man’s mind and heart isn’t to ridicule, but to reason.:wink:

      ch

    • paza
      Post count: 28

      As far as I am concerned anyone caught growing antlers with anything other than a reg. food plot should not be allowed in the record books. Anything added to the growing area that is there to specifically grow the antlers bigger shound be illegal and not allowed in the record books. I also don’t believe compounds should be allowed in the pope&young records. They should have there own record book, maybe call it allen&jennings after there founding fathers.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      actually very little compounders are acceptable to pope and young standards because the bows they use have to much let off, i think that pope and young requires below 60 percent, and most bows today are at least 80. but totally agree with you!

    • texasota
      Post count: 47

      Clay, i read your posts, and i have to say, you hit the nail on the head:!: good sense of humor too:lol:

    • tradbill
      Post count: 8

      I have to agree that growing antlers is in their genetics. The abundance of available food helps but if the genes aren’t there then it aint goin’ to happen. Just to get back to the original subject.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      I’ve tried growing antlers, several times, but they keep falling off! 🙄

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      LOL@Dave. If you ever figure out how to grow’em and keep’em, lemme know. It would be interesting to be the first hum-uck.

      Michael

    • jer11bravo
      Post count: 14

      Greatreearcher
      I have watched your videos and read your responses to many topics. And for such a young man you seem to be very intellagent. Now I have never hunted bears in Maine nor any other place for that matter. All the videos I watched and books Ive read it seems to me the only feesible way to harvest a bear in Maine is over bait, due to the density of the forest in that reigion. Please tell me if I’m wrong. As far as antler size I personly enjoy the taste of a doe over a monster buck any day.

    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      thank you very much, and bear are a different subject because there are only say like an average of 4 bears in a ten mile radius(just an example) bears are not like deer from what I have read, they dont go a certain way every day like some deer do we cant really pattern there movements. Hunters need to give the bear a reason to come into there section of woods and in some cases like you said they can not be spotted easily, which that thought makes me nervious, and I would have to agree with you about the taste in some cases but along with the antlers the leather is stronger on a buck, I want to make some mocs this year and i need some heavy hide!:D

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