Spike bucks don’t always remain spikes, but when they do, they can achieve some pretty impressive sizes. Now, spikes rarely get the honor of being mounted, but if you were one of these hunters, you’d probably clear out some wall space too. The huge buck above was harvested by Dennie Bowman in North Carolina in 2014. According to Bluff Country Boys Outdoor TV, the buck’s beams measured 25 and 1/4 inches long with a 19-inch inside spread. That’s more than two feet tall!
However, just because it has big spikes now does not mean the deer was always a spike. Experts say that mature bucks with large spike antlers likely did not have them throughout their entire lifetime. As bucks age, their antlers will reduce in size and occasionally tines will disappear. A skeletal injury or other forms of damage can also cause a buck to start growing spikes. In the end, it’s a crapshoot of genetics, nutrition, and age.
“People often try to rank the importance of genetics, nutrition, and age. That’s like saying about a car, “Which is the most important—the transmission, the electrical system, or the carburetor?” wrote biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “They are all important. One does not work without the other. So it is in deer management. Without good nutritional management, deer cannot obtain their genetic potential. Without a good genetic base, good nutrition does not produce better antlers. Even with good nutrition and a good genetic base, improper harvest (overharvest of older age class males) will not allow deer to mature to reach the age of maximum antler potential.”
Deer with large spike antlers are a rarity, and these are 10 we would be glad to have on our walls.