Whitetail Buck Management

Many sport hunters are interested in increasing their opportunities for taking a trophy buck. Such objectives demand that deer populations be reduced enough to ensure that adequate nutrition is available for good body and antler growth. Hunters must also be willing to conserve younger age classes of bucks and allow them to reach potential trophy age (4 to 7 years).

It is normal for Alabama bucks to have spikes when they are yearlings. Given time and good food, almost all will develop nice racks as they get older. Do not eliminate all spikes because of the mistaken belief that spikes are a sign of genetic inferiority. Removing spikes is not recommended as a way to increase antler size.

Alabama Department of Conservation biologists can help landowners and hunting clubs define management objectives and outline harvest strategies through the Deer Management Assistance Program. For information, write to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Game and Fish, 64 N. Union, Montgomery, AL 36130.

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