Mississippi State. Study to accountfor differences in antler sizes across the state (some areas had on average 20 inches more antler on same aged bucks).
Captured pregnant does. Raised deer in captivity with high protein diet fed to them all the time.
1st generation bucks (average of 9 pounds heavier and 7 inches of antler) at age 3. Researchers were shocked.
2nd generation bucks(bucks born from the 3 year old does raised in captivity), 20-30 pounds heavier and gains of over 20 inches of antler size. What researchers were expecting to see.. but they expected this in the 1st generation.
What this tells us:
-It likely takes years of quality habitat and food for a herd to release the genetic sequence to grow larger bodies and antlers.
-Food plots/protein: It can help the herd health and population in one year, but if you want bigger deer it is going to take some time.
-A bucks potential is more determined at birth than we ever thought that it was.
It was pretty astounding to me. I thought I would share. Anybody working the land or lease in areas with poorer habitat need to realize the time it takes for the herd to recognize improved habitat and diet.