Ask The Biologist

It’s Not About Size

It’s Not About Size

By Bob Humphrey

Even tiny antlers need to be gone when the next set starts to grow.

QUESTION: During West Virginia’s rifle season this year I saw a little buck with half-inch spikes. I’m curious, will that buck shed those tiny nubs? It almost seems pointless. – Ken P.

ANSWER: Such tiny, spikes could be the result of a buck fawn born early enough that he had time to develop hard-bone protrusions, a yearling born late during the previous season, poor nutrition or possible some other health issues. Regardless, while you can never be certain about anything when it comes to whitetails, it’s pretty safe to assume those tiny spikes will be shed to make room for a larger pair of antlers the following year.

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