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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw a 2 pt. buck yesterday with only one side on him and was only about 20 yard away and it definently hadn't been broken off just a circle on top of his head, how common is it for them to start dropping this early.
 

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Saw a dozen bachelor bucks browsing a hillside N. of I-80 today. My girl and I pulled off and glassed them for about 15 mins., at about 50 yards. They ranged from a tiny spike to a fairly respectable 3X4. They ALL had headgear. Law of averages would say that if they started dropping this early, at least one of them should have shown some evidence of that. The one you saw was probably the result of an injury; or a rifleman whose a very poor shot. Believe me, it happens!
 

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What causes them to drop is the new ones growing in pushing out the old ones, so it is possible that they drop this early, and if it is a smaller diameter antler, they usually get pushed out easier or wedged out from an outside force. It is not at all impossible that in a sparring match they rip off at that week spot.
 

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Antlers are all about testosterone levels and testosterone levels are all about photoperiod. The seasonal decrease in testosterone levels causes the union between the antlers and pedicles to weaken and the antlers are shed. So you can find immature bucks (spikes or 2 points) as early as October with an antler missing because they sometimes have insufficient testosterone levels to hold onto their antlers, particularly if they were born late. The development of the new antlers begins again when the photoperiod is sufficient to stimulate testosterone levels back up. So the farther north you go, the longer the period is between shedding and the development of the next set of antlers.
 

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It could have lost it naturally but I doubt it. I think there are a few things that are a common thread on the forum. One is about this time of year but usually in a couple more weeks of someone saying they have seen bucks dropping their antlers. In early August someone will say that they are seeing deer stripping their velvet and the other will be in early October someone will see a buck with some does and start the thread of "The rut has begun". It's like clock work. The only problem is it's one of those guys who sets his clock 10 minutes early so he will never be late That seem to start these threads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have video of it and one pretty good shot just for profe. Trust me I was withing 20yrds. of the buck and there was nothing left but a circle on the top of his head, there wasn't a half inch peice of broken antler I didn't see it was just plain gone.

by elk22hunter on Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:20 pm

It could have lost it naturally but I doubt it.
SingleShotMan
Saw a dozen bachelor bucks browsing a hillside N. of I-80 today. My girl and I pulled off and glassed them for about 15 mins., at about 50 yards. They ranged from a tiny spike to a fairly respectable 3X4. They ALL had headgear. Law of averages would say that if they started dropping this early, at least one of them should have shown some evidence of that. The one you saw was probably the result of an injury; or a rifleman whose a very poor shot. Believe me, it happens!
I don't think you have the right to question what my eyes seen when you weren't there, I asked how often it is for them to shed this early. What is this crap about well if the 8 deer, out of how many deer living in Utah, that I saw yesterday didn't show signs of loosing them it is impossible. It's 8 deer buddy not the whole herd of deer in Utah.
 

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I'm not questioning your eyes,
but the tone of that last remark is causing me to question your capacity for abstract thought. If you're going to quote a post, read the d*mn thing a little more carefully before you start poking holes in it.
Y'know- top to bottom, left to right. With practice you may develop some comprehension skills.
 

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Nice reply finnegan, that was worth reading. And it makes quite a bit of sense, when you say the photo period is it the same way when elk go into the rut? They say the the amount of light striking the retna causes the rut to start, Some say it s the cold weather, however with storms the light would be overcast and would effectivly start the rut. Do you know much about it.
 

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Thanks. I only know what I've learned from others. Even though the antler cycle is the same with elk, the rut is a little more complex. I don't know exactly what kind of light is involved, so I can't answer your question because clouds don't block all light. But it's obvious that there are factors in addition to photo period involved in the rut just as there are in antler development, (genetics, nutrition).

I think elk22hunter makes a good point, though. There's variation between individuals that doesn't indicate anything other than what it is - individual variation.

And 1-I, I think we believe you. It's just more fun not to. :lol:
 

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#1DEER 1-I said:
I don't think you have the right to question what my eyes seen when you weren't there, I asked how often it is for them to shed this early. What is this crap about well if the 8 deer, out of how many deer living in Utah, that I saw yesterday didn't show signs of loosing them it is impossible. It's 8 deer buddy not the whole herd of deer in Utah
Good ol' one eye. I guess anything to do with eye's you're sensative about. _(O)_
 

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Here here!

I, personally, believe it is certainly possible and that yes- you most certainly could have seen an early dropper.
I do recall you asking about the commonality of such an occurence, and I think you got your answer.
Aside, the spirit of the subsequent posts are primarily in reference to obtuse possibilities that, in theory, would likely be more possible; if not more probable.
But then again, as humans- we tend to think we have it all figured out. Then Ma Nature throws us a curve ball. I think the natural world just does this to keep us Simeans on our toes; for if we 'have it all figured out' we would lose our curiosity. What a shame that would be!
Finnegan's previous posts regarding antler development being triggered by photosensitivity are spot-on, as far as we know. There are some things about the world that are still not FULLY understood, even those things that seem fairly mundane. Over years of thorough intensive study by many biologists; this is the best answer to antler development that science has yet to come up with.
Something else to take into account is that photosensitivity may not be strictly relegated to what WE can see-
It is common knowledge in many biological circles that many Orders and Genera rely on senses and biological factors (such as synapse and biochemical conduction) that are very different from humans.
Recall that Einstein believed light is both a wave and a beam, with the photon being the prime carrier of photoelectric energy. There are many wave-forms that can induce physiological or biomechanical change within certain species that in effect do not cause change in us.
Perhaps it is a combination of factors- the light that we see, regardless of weather patterns, is seldom varied in intensity. What weather patterns DO cause is a change in reflectivity and absorption of photons on an object. Sunlight on a stormy day is no less intense than on a clear day, it is merely diffused through the 'filtering' effect of ambient humidity and barometric pressure. Also, atmospheric particles (pollution) play a role in diffusion as well.
As seasons change, and therefore the length of days as well as the azimuth of the sun in relation to the earth, photosensitive receptors within an animals' retina may be 'triggered' by certain seasonal conditions, inducing change. It's the same as 'genetic expression' and the cues in physical and emotional development within humans. Certain changes are supposed to happen at certain times.
A human can carry a gene that dictates that it would have a tail- this doesn't mean that human is going to grow a tail; he's merely a carrier of that gene.
So, perhaps we could concede that one deer may have a genetic propensity to drop early. He may not always do this- he merely carries the gene. But, provided certain environmental factors in place may cause that gene to express itself on occasion- say, a defficiency in a certain nutrient or protein which stunts hormonal development. The 'early drop' gene, therefore, is forced to express itself so as not to jeopardize the normal growth or development of that animal in the coming year, regardless what his normal photosensitivity and celestial phase functions would regularly dictate. We also must keep in mind the other waveforms we don't see that do effect a change. Like UV and infrared. Too much or too little of either can cause drastic physiological adaptation.
Dropping early is entirely possible, but like humans with exterior tail gene, very rare.
My apologies for the rant- I just saw some good points made on this thread and considered putting them together to provide a more complete picture of what may be happening with early droppers. The 1st step to formulating a solid theory is to observe, observe, observe! The second- compile the data that is already known on the subject.
1-I did the observation.
Many others compiled known data.
A few formulated hypotheses- (most quite valid)
Finnegan compared these to what we already know-
This could be construed as the resulting theory.
Yes? No?
That's forking teamwork.
 
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