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Good bullet performance ? on deer rack

bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,221 ✭✭✭✭
Today is Ohio's gun opening. I use my muzzle loader (Encore .45 cal) for gun season because I hate slugs.

I shot a big bodied deer today at 100 yards. the Hornaday 180 grain XTP clipped the right front shoulder bone, tore the aorta off the heart and lodged just under the skin after going through the other shoulder bone. The deer went 25 yards down hill, stone dead.

Now a question on the deer. My guess it is over 200 pounds, it was a big body, fat and healthy animal. The deer filled my Ford tractor front loader bucket pretty much from side to side! The head is fully developed like a three year old deer would be. He was in the company of two young Does. A bigger racked buck was across the field from him presenting no shot, he had Does with him too.

The odd thing is the rack is a long rather heavy spike on one side and a spike plus a hint of a tine on the other side. I know very young deer have some spikes but this fellow is older with heavier tines, body and long legs. Is he a true spike buck, genetically inferior or a young fellow I shot before he could grow a real set??? I know there is much controversy over the spike fork issue. Does anyone have the latest news on the spike fork debate?


  • tcleartclear Member Posts: 132 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The best way to answer that question would be to pull the jaw and age the buck. If you still have the jaw and could get good pictures of the teeth you may get someone here to be able to help you out. I am a hack when it comes to aging, but there are plenty of guys who do it well.
    Being in PA, we see our fair share of spike buck and I have seen them in all age ranges. The oldest I saw was a three year old spike that had 14 inch spikes that were very heavy. I do not however think this is the norm. We had a small spike buck with a bad leg last year that is now a good solid seven (can tell due to the bulging knee he still carries). Given one more year he should be a very nice buck, if he makes it through this season.

    Here is a link to a decent ESPN article on the subject from 06.
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