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As I've admired several racks on bucks taken this year, I noticed something. All the racks seem to be very dark brown, not the more polished tan that I've seen before. We're well into the antler restriction era here in PA, and I wonder - are we now genetic selecting for darker racks? The dark racked bucks aren't being shot until they grow larger racks? A dark rack is much harder to judge for points in the field, so the bucks with the lighter polished racks with easier to see points are getting shot, but the bucks with dark racks are getting passed up because hunters aren't sure there's enough points, and the dark rack bucks are the ones passing on their genes.
Just a half-baked theory.
 

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davem270win said:
As I've admired several racks on bucks taken this year, I noticed something. All the racks seem to be very dark brown, not the more polished tan that I've seen before. We're well into the antler restriction era here in PA, and I wonder - are we now genetic selecting for darker racks? The dark racked bucks aren't being shot until they grow larger racks? A dark rack is much harder to judge for points in the field, so the bucks with the lighter polished racks with easier to see points are getting shot, but the bucks with dark racks are getting passed up because hunters aren't sure there's enough points, and the dark rack bucks are the ones passing on their genes.
Just a half-baked theory.
I believe that it does not have anything to do with genetics. What it does have to do with is food source and the amount of rutting that they do and the type of tree that they rub on when they are in the rut.

When a buck looses its velvet, it is not a long process, it might take 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour.

If you ever saw a buck loose it's velvet, you would also see it eat the velvet when it falls off.
The velvet is full of protein just as the antlers are.

When you have a large herd of does, competition gets more intense to breed and the bucks will rub trees to introduce themselves to the does. They don't do it to polish their antlers, they do it because the sap in the tree mixes with a gland that is on the top of their head that secretes a fluid that is transferred onto the tree and stays there as a sign post that tells the doe - hey here I am and tells the other bucks in the area - that this is my area and stay out.

Now if you take away the does and you have 2 or 3 bucks in one area and only 1 or 2 does, the buck no longer has to rub trees because he just keeps the does in sight. As long as you don't let your girlfriend wander too far when you take her to a dance, she can't go off and cheat on you with someone else.

Deer aren't dumb, why waste energy on something that isn't going to get you anywhere.

A rutting buck can loose as much as 40% of it's body weight while in the rut because it refuses to eat as long as the does are in heat. The bucks job is to impregnate as many does as it can in that short period of time.

Now when the second rut comes along - just as it did the week after Thanksgiving and the first week of deer season, then we finally saw some rub marks in trees that was not there a few days before.

I already explained why that is in the last statement.

Because he already impregnated the does in his bunch and now he is looking for more does. That's what made it so easy to see Bucks the first week of deer season when it rained and the weather was not good. But you didn't see many does, because the bucks were cruising for does and the does were bedding down and not moving around a lot.
 
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