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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Growing Fallow buck trophies .... (Read 39787 times)
Grandad
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Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Feb 3rd, 2011 at 9:33pm
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for you or somebody else.

   It saddens me often, when I see the very young bucks which are shot by the typical N.Z. hunter. And often with some comment about "rubbish head". Rubbish! It's not rubbish, just young. It's the Fiordland Wapiti situation over again.  A New Zealand Fallow buck will not have a mature head until at least 6 1/2.  Say in the zone 6 1/2 to 9.  So many of them are being shot as two year olds -- just because they've got antlers.  I will elaborate on the growth pattern.
   At twelve months old, obviously the buck grows spikes.  OK, but there are spikes and "spikes".  An ordinary little nondescript spiker, of say Wanganui domicile, might have spikes of 40mm length.  1 1/2 inches.  But shift to an area where the habitat is better, and the original gene pool was good, and those spikes can be 120mm.  4 3/4 inches.  It is pretty stupid to shoot a fallow spiker of that latter type for meat.  It's happening all the time.
    At 2 1/4 years, our buck grows his first set of proper antlers-- call him a two yr old, 'cause he will shed at 2 yrs  10 months.  Pretty basic antlers, only say  340mm (13 inches) long. Short front tines, with two rudimentary tines at the top.  Not a "shit head", he's just a teenager.  And the bodysize is the real clue -- just like an oversize spiker.    Here's a 2 yr old buck:


   
       The 3 1/2 year buck tho, looks more like the real thing.  His body is bulking up and he stands up straight.  His antler length will be about 18 inches (470mm), carries about 11 or 12 points with narrow, slight palmation.  The head is still noticeably narrow -- I call it the "straight antlered" buck.  The reason tho is because his skull is still developing and the pedicles influence the antler shape.
     A four year old buck tho (4 1/4 at polishing), will be looking quite good.  Antler length is still fairly short at about 20" or just over, and light. But he now has proper palms.  Fairly narrow, but at least he is looking like a Fallow buck.  His maturing skull (he's a 30 yr old in human terms) has given him a bit of spread.  A lot of this type of buck gets shot. A pity, because he has yet to get the beam, length and palms which come from bone growth.  A developed skeleton.  One to three more years and he would have been a trophy to be proud of.  Environment permitting.
Here's a pic of a 4 yr old buck of a very good type. DS200.  He needs another two years:


And this is what you are striving for: a World class buck shot in the Wairarapa. DS 247 7/8. Aged 8 yrs & going back.

a previously unpublished pic

    Say 6 1/2 to 8yr old is the optimum for a Fallow trophy. Beyond that, they are going back. It takes thinking hunters, as well as environment and genes, to produce trophies.  And a bit of luck.
     Think about it.
« Last Edit: Jan 7th, 2016 at 4:36pm by Chris B »  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #1 - Feb 4th, 2011 at 12:14pm
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Interesting thanks.

Most hunter just see our Fallow herds as a useful way of keeping meat fresh until they need some.

I have been a little like this, but your opinion has made me re-think...
  

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.......
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #2 - Feb 4th, 2011 at 2:11pm
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thanks grandad. great info and gives me a much better understanding of antler size in relation to age.
by crikey that mounted buck is an absolutely beautifull creature!
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #3 - Feb 6th, 2011 at 6:05pm
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SmileySame thing happens here in the west, Grandad.
Please let them grow folks Cry
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #4 - Feb 6th, 2011 at 7:09pm
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thanks for putting that up i hope the hunters that go into the caples and the greenstone this year have a look at what you have said. Smiley
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #5 - Feb 6th, 2011 at 9:59pm
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Thanks Grandad, for continuing to share your extensive knowledge of Fallow with the Forum.
The greatest threat to bucks surviving to trophy size in our area are pine plantation owners, who do not like the damage that they can cause to trees. Roll Eyes      In saying that, I  have seen a couple of good bucks last year, did not shoot them, as I have one on the wall already, sufficient for me.
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #6 - Feb 7th, 2011 at 8:28am
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Quote:
I  have seen a couple of good bucks last year, did not shoot them, as I have one on the wall already, sufficient for me.


Good on you.  I haven't shot a buck for years, but I've photographed some beauts.
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #7 - Feb 16th, 2011 at 5:43pm
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Same problem with the Pollock herd.  To many people shooting young stags.  I have access to one area up there and filmed three small stags in the two to three years old range last roar.  Our plan is to leave all stags for as long as possible to try and let them grow and maybe oneday get a wall hanger. 

Those three stags all held hinds so they were probably the better ones in the area.

Fingers crossed they will stay on the farm and grow to a decent size
  
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Grandad
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #8 - Feb 17th, 2011 at 11:48am
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You've got the right philosophy Kimber08,.  Good on ya.
And it will work beautifully in that country.  Tightly controlled access;  top class grazing; good original gene pool.  As long as you can control the poachers.
I've known the Pollock deer all my life, and there's nothing more admirable than the McMahon head with it's 12" guard tines,  or Ron Hogan's big pickup.
Only 8 weeks to your rut. Wait for that big buck.  (bucks & does).
Good hunting.
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #9 - Feb 19th, 2011 at 5:35pm
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Thanks for the info Grandad,interesting. Cool
  

Shot a few deer,caugth some big trout and salmon
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #10 - Feb 20th, 2011 at 8:23am
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Absolutely agree that 6- 8 year bracket is prime I have had bucks on good tucker hold their antler mass all the way out to 10 years in some cases.
All a fallow needs is time to grow access to good farm fringe grass/pasture helps too
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #11 - Feb 20th, 2011 at 2:33pm
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Thanks Grandad,
                          I have shot what I thought was a scrubber fallow in the past, and now I know it just needed a little more maturity.
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #12 - Jun 12th, 2011 at 7:26pm
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Well said. Take a photo and leave it till next year and it will be bigger.
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #13 - Jun 14th, 2011 at 12:30pm
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Thank you Grandad.

I hunt the Pollock herd quite regularly too and like 7mmsaum I shot what I thought until now was a scrubber. Big body crap head. Will leave them next time. I did see a couple months back a beautiful big white Buck with a pretty good head on him. Will check again next year.

Cheers
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #14 - Jun 15th, 2011 at 11:03pm
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Grandad wrote on Feb 3rd, 2011 at 9:33pm:
for you or somebody else.

   
   
      


I bet you now really regret getting your Moko done in prison. Grin
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #15 - Jun 17th, 2011 at 2:00pm
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Jeez porkchop, you had me puzzled for about 3 minutes.  It's not me, I was trying to protect the bloke's privacy.
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #16 - Jun 19th, 2011 at 2:55pm
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Oh. I didn't realise. Sorry  Smiley
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #17 - Apr 4th, 2012 at 9:17am
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Bump.  Leave those young bucks.
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #18 - Apr 4th, 2012 at 8:23pm
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What are your thoughts on the wanganui herd Grandad? Most of the bucks are ok on one side but split palm on the other. Will they even up or get better with age? Most people say there is something lacking in the soil as I have heard very good blood has been brought in but dosnt seem to fix the split
Smiley
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #19 - Apr 4th, 2012 at 10:31pm
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Here's a couple of Stags from the Wangas Herd.
As Grandad suggested, Both were left alone.  Smiley
Both were never seen again.  Sad

Little Uneven, but gettin there.

Great Symetrical Head, Only even head I've seen in the Wanganui Wilds
(youtube may still be processing it)
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #20 - Apr 5th, 2012 at 8:59am
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PK33 wrote on Apr 4th, 2012 at 8:23pm:
What are your thoughts on the wanganui herd Grandad? Most of the bucks are ok on one side but split palm on the other. Will they even up or get better with age? Most people say there is something lacking in the soil as I have heard very good blood has been brought in but dosnt seem to fix the split
Smiley

There are no doubts on this situation.  Typical Wanganui mature head has split palms which has come about thru environmental deficiencies.  The deer liberated (from Burghley park, Surrey) were from a top gene pool, but were let go at Kaiwhaiki (sp?) right at the tail end of the sandstone country. The light sandstone belt runs from Waitotara valley south to Lismore.  Photos of the bucks shot when licences first issued, show that the clefts had appeared within three deer generations. Thirty years.
Today's situation is that the country up closer to Raetihi, which is mudstone country, produces better trophies.  And there was a deer farm well South on the Parapara country which had introduced some Hungarian? bucks, and then failed.  The deer were just abandoned.  A cluster of very good bucks were shot there last year. Full palms and DS ranging from 190 to 200 7/8.
Apart from that, the Wanganui mature bucks of today are cleft palm.  But that statement ignores the fact that two yr old and three yr old bucks normally have split palms anyway.  The splits fill in with age.   In fact I have two bucks walking around my paddock with 12 & 13 point split palm FIRST HEADS.  Just a result of superb tucker.
  I hope you've read the stuff I have in "The Fallow files" above. Part 4 covers the Rut.
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #21 - Apr 5th, 2012 at 8:18pm
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Thanks for that Grandad. Yes I have read your write up Smiley
Interesting how the soil has such an effect on the heads. I have heard that the heads get better the further north you get.
I got a bloody good buck a few years ago that was within 20 minutes drive of wanganui. No split. He had 18 hinds with him  Shocked I guess I was just lucky  Smiley
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #22 - Feb 9th, 2013 at 9:57am
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In this thread I have commented on the "straight antlered buck".
It polishes at 3 1/4 yrs old, and has a noticeably narrow antlered head. The shape is influenced by immaturity, with it's small skull the pedicles are close together & upright. As the skull matures the pedicles change their angle & this gives the maturing trophy head the spread & skull which typifies the species. Hence the extra spread allowance that Norman Douglas allowed in his fallow scoring system.  I can now show a photo that I didn't have at the original post. It's my captive menil (note the prominent summer spots) buck. Age is guaranteed 'cause I've had it since spiker. The narrow span appears with all 3 yr old bucks. Obviously a mistake to shoot them. As a 4 yr old they get the spread/span.

  This batch of pics also gives me the chance to explain more about the dreaded split (cleft) palm. Pictured here by the same buck.  The feature is common in Wanganui herd bucks, where it is caused by the environment: light sandstone country.  The feature also appears tho in young bucks. Even in good herds like the Greenstone. But it disappears with the next year's antler growth. That's another reason not to shoot young bucks. This is just an average bloodline buck but it's on good tucker. The cleft palm is youth. Next year (lord willing) I'll show you a fully developed palm.

  And a final matter of interest: this next pic is not great but the best I could get. The two bucks (one Common, one Menil) are the same age, I got them both as spikers. And they came from a place that had only one buck, so they had the same dad.  If you zoom the pic in a bit, you'll see their antlers are absolutely identical. Features inherited from the same dad.  So if you're chasing a known trophy buck or stag, shoot him after the rut. So his features can be passed on. In Germany you wouldn't be allowed to shoot a trophy in the rut.

OK. Watch for my book, it should hit the shelves mid-year.
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #23 - Feb 9th, 2013 at 10:02am
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beautiful young bucks mate! Cool
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #24 - Feb 9th, 2013 at 12:27pm
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chris wrote on Feb 9th, 2013 at 10:02am:
beautiful young bucks mate! Cool


+1, thanks for sharing Grandad! Smiley
  

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Reply #25 - Feb 11th, 2013 at 9:57pm
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I'll be up for a copy of your book cheers Grandad.
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #26 - Feb 12th, 2013 at 10:32pm
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I'll be up for a copy of your book cheers Grandad.

+1 Please. Smiley
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #27 - Jan 23rd, 2014 at 2:39pm
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This time last year (Reply 22) I used pics of two bucks in my paddock,( then 3 yr olds, same genes same dad)  to illustrate two aspects of the developing fallow trophy:  antler spread, split palms.  It is good to be able to show you exactly what has happened since. Here are the pics taken today.
   Scroll up and look at the pic of the "straight antlered buck", a result of an immature 3 yr old skull with upright pedicles close together. Now here's a pic of the two bucks in an identical pose and you can see the spread has started to improve at 4 yrs old as the bone structure gets heavier and skull grows.  The spread will be even better next year but that will be about it for these bucks.


I spoke also about split palms, particularly the Wanganui herd,  and I said that  in all herds you will normally get split palms with the two yr and three year old bucks.  Many bucks are shot by the average hunter who thinks they are rubbish heads.   Not so, they are young bucks that in another two or three years would likely be wallhangers.  Now look at the pics of this buck,  first pic as a 2 yr old (and the 3 yr old had the same clefts but bigger antlers);  second pic this morning as a 4 yr old, he's growing a nice head.  Next year he'll be a trophy.


today:


The message is obvious guys and gals.
Grandad
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #28 - Jan 24th, 2014 at 1:00pm
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That is great to see those year by year photos. Excellent demonstration.

I find that it is all in the neck when estimating age. The older bucks really start to develop the big thick neck, thickset front and chest.

Easy to spot when standing near a younger animal.

Cheers Grandad, very good resource
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #29 - Jan 24th, 2014 at 2:53pm
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What a difference, shows the benefit of leaving them a year or two.
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #30 - Jan 24th, 2014 at 2:54pm
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MikeB wrote on Jan 24th, 2014 at 1:00pm:
.....

I find that it is all in the neck when estimating age. The older bucks really start to develop the big thick neck, thickset front and chest.

Easy to spot when standing near a younger animal.



Excellent point. I fully agree.
Look at this pic as an example. The buck was 6 1/2 years old and scored DS251.6



  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #31 - Feb 6th, 2014 at 9:32am
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OK here's some final pics using these two bucks (4 yrs 2 mths now) in my paddock to illustrate the year by year growth towards a 5yr or 6yr trophy.  In the final week's velvet growth the spellers on the back of the palms have formed, the coronets are now swelling and the velvet will be stripped.
With the Common buck (black scut stripe & tail) I have now found a pic of his last year's 3 yr old head showing the immaturity palm clefts. Compare that (1st pic) to his final head two days ago.

and now:


But now a complication emerges: the matter of genes resisting environment.
These two bucks are on prime grazing, look at their condition.  But now look at the way the Menil buck (fawn bum & tail), exactly the same age as the Common, has retained the cleft palms. Substantial antlers tho.  Neither of these bucks come from any flash background.

It's all interesting.




  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #32 - Feb 6th, 2014 at 10:46am
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also apparent is how the cleft shows up strongly on one side only. just like in the wild.
neat photos mate.
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #33 - Feb 6th, 2014 at 10:17pm
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for goodness sake, that thing on the back of the motor bike is not a fallow buck granddad. its a bloody horse.! Grin

great pictures of the other bucks, thanks Smiley
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #34 - Feb 10th, 2014 at 11:22am
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Amazing what a year can do eh! Makes me feel good about the few bucks we left to grow last year. If they've survived the year hopefully they'll be bigger this year  Smiley
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #35 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 9:23am
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http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj620/campbelltori/DSCN0470_zps9209b543.jpg gday guys just bin reading about the fellow thread here. this is an old fellow stag i shot from wanganui this year. 232 and 6/8ths penalised for overspread unfortunately. cheers... hopefully the photos work as never posted them before??
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #36 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 9:30am
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welcome pongo12. thats a fantastic fallow buck trophy! love the style.
beyond exceptional for wanganui herd.
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #37 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 9:59am
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cheers mate hes been around a while, he went backwards this year. is that the way to put photos up properly?
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #38 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 10:26am
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Cam C wrote on Jul 2nd, 2014 at 9:59am:
cheers mate hes been around a while, he went backwards this year. is that the way to put photos up properly?


hes a monster and very even without the dreaded wanganui cleft palm. congrats mate!
they way you posted the photo creates a link to it. if you copy the image code it will show the actual photo. follow the how to in this link....
http://www.fishnhunt.co.nz/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1236226062
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #39 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 1:10pm
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Hopefully this works chris, heres another couple shots of him
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #40 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 1:40pm
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yep you got it mate.
terrific spread on him! Cool
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #41 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 4:01pm
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I had to throw a bloody blanket over that thing in the end when it was sitting in the lounge.

Couldn't stand how tiny it was making my heads look  Grin
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #42 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 5:20pm
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haha cheers mike
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #43 - Jul 2nd, 2014 at 8:23pm
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post up a report in the hunting reports section mate. would love to hear the story of the hunt Smiley
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #44 - Jul 3rd, 2014 at 9:16am
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cant say i agree with overspread
each head is unique and should be scored as
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #45 - Jul 3rd, 2014 at 10:18am
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264Magic wrote on Jul 3rd, 2014 at 9:16am:
cant say i agree with overspread
each head is unique and should be scored as

+ 1 for me also, but what would I know about trophy hunting/scoring? I'm from the shoot-n-sell era.  Roll Eyes
Pongo, bloody nice looking  head, the fallow, not you.  Grin
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #46 - Jul 3rd, 2014 at 7:35pm
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haha yea cheers fellas, a mate scored it at 240 but then it went to a master scorer and apparently your allowed 4 inchs more spread than the shortest side or something and this one was 6 or 7 so yea. bugger.
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #47 - Jul 8th, 2014 at 7:01pm
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I'm amazed it took me so long to see that post. Getting old.   You have a world class buck there pongo.  Hearty congratulations.  I'd put money on "northern part of the herd".  I measured another Wanganui buck (this year's) a couple of weeks back.
DS241.7!   Your buck is bigger.
As to "overspread". The Douglas principal ,spread factor is based upon what is normal for the species. There is plenty evidence that the normal MATURE fallow buck tends to be several inches more spread than the antler length.  So the extra spread allowance for fallow is proper.
« Last Edit: Jul 9th, 2014 at 1:29pm by Grandad »  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #48 - Jul 10th, 2014 at 1:01pm
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cheers grandad. yea im up the paraparas, thats where he is from.
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #49 - Feb 4th, 2015 at 8:07am
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Told you so.  This time last year (reply 27) I posted pics of a Common buck as a 3yr old and then as a very promising 4 yr old.  And incidently I lost that head because the two same age bucks had one humungous fight and all four antlers lay on the ground!  Ok, now they are just completing their velvet growth as 5 yr olds and both are wallhangers well above DS200. I'll post the pic of the Common for comparative purposes, but I forgot to put on photobucket.  See ya soon.
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #50 - Feb 4th, 2015 at 8:21am
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Hoping:
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #51 - Feb 4th, 2015 at 8:33am
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Grandad wrote on Feb 4th, 2015 at 8:07am:
Told you so.  This time last year (reply 27) I posted pics of a Common buck as a 3yr old and then as a very promising 4 yr old.  And incidently I lost that head because the two same age bucks had one humungous fight and all four antlers lay on the ground!  Ok, now they are just completing their velvet growth as 5 yr olds and both are wallhangers well above DS200. I'll post the pic of the Common for comparative purposes, but I forgot to put on photobucket.  See ya soon.


that is some fight! Shocked
hes really starting to get some nice shape to him now Grandad, imaging him at 7 or 8! Smiley
  
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #52 - Oct 1st, 2015 at 9:16am
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Here is a replacement for the very first pic (2 yr old buck) in this thread.
Maybe the Moderator could replace it and then delete this post?
  

The fraternity of shooters is rather like the fraternity of blind men -- each one walks alone.&&: Ian Niall.
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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #53 - Aug 3rd, 2016 at 11:54am
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The whole point to this thread was to illustrate to our members that many of the fallow bucks that are being shot are only youngsters. So it's pretty stupid to moan about "rubbish head", "split palms".  Just let the bucks grow to six or seven years old.  Here's a good example of a wild Wairarapa buck I measured this year.  I considered him to be 7 yrs old. Douglas score was 251.7 :
  

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Re: Growing Fallow buck trophies ....
Reply #54 - Feb 15th, 2017 at 6:02am
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An interesting thing about that DS251.7 Wairarapa buck, is that it was killed by another buck.  I have a pic of that buck (two obvious injuries) and it is a "straight antlered" buck.  As such, his antlers were able to get inside the wide spread of the monster, and did for him.
  

The fraternity of shooters is rather like the fraternity of blind men -- each one walks alone.&&: Ian Niall.
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