Caribou Gear

What does the drought do to antler growth????


New member
Jul 7, 2001
Austin, Tx
Trying to figure out what effect the lack of rain is gonna have on the monster I'm gonna shoot this fall. I've heard some folks say that it only reduces the overall score by about 20"'s or so, while I've also heard #'s 2 and 3 times that.

Any ideas????
Jimmy, we're not far from you and as you know it's pretty dry here right now, bout 1/2 of normal rainfall. The drouth has affected the big bulls about 10%, but the young bulls and spikers have really suffered and are WAY behind. Bob
We've had awesome rain and warm weather this spring, mild winters and dry falls with light harvests for many years. The racks are looking giant ... of course I've been packing 3 50lb bags a week of this:

up to that 7X7 bull I'm going to slay this fall. They say it works for elk as well as deer. He's going to make Chuck Adam's 2000 MT bull look like an emaciated midget with rickets and skurvy.
I've heard Dr.James Kroll give data from studies on deer in south Texas. The number was 5 B&C points per inch of rain from Jan.-July on average down there. 50% of antler growth was in July. If it were similar for elk that would be about 5/150 or 3% approx.per inch of rain? Maybe the big elk state guys know of studies on elk.
I understand the drought in New Mexico will cause an elk that was a 350 class bull last season to be a raghorn at best this fall. That is only for New Mexico though. The yearlings in Montana should net around 320 this season because of all the moisture we are getting.

Here's the breakdown. I figured since I'm packing hundreds of pounds of this stuff up to that bull about 10 miles one way.. I better add some dope in there too. I want him to be dumb and slow come archery season. He's the biggest highest elk in the mountain range.

Crude Protein (min.) 18.25%
Crude Fat (min.) 3.8%
Crude Fiber (max.) 18.0%
Acid Detergent Fiber (min.) 24.5%
Calcium (min.) 1.8%
Calcium (max.) 2.1%
Phosphorus (min.) .95%
Salt (min.) .30%
Salt (max.) .70%
Vitamin A (min. I.U./lb) 6,300
Vitamin C (min. I.U./lb) 100
Vitamin D 3 (min. I.U./lb) 3,625
Vitamin E (min. I.U./lb) 140
Selenium (min. ppm) 0.31

Forage Products, Processed Grains By-Products, Roughage Products, Plant Protein Products, Molasses, Calcium Carbonate, Di-Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Sulfate, Cobalt Protinate, Dried Yeast Culture, Riboflavin, Niacine, Thiamine, Choline Cloride, Calcium pantothhenate, Brewers Yeast, Natural Preservative, and Natural & Artificial Flavor.

WW.. Good thing we didn't apply in NM or AZ this year. Them there bulls will be dwarfs with the moisture situation. We'll be whacking and stacking the big boys up in MT... especially with this supplement plan we have them on.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-28-2002 16:35: Message edited by: Greenhorn ]</font>
Greenhorn, I figured you must be feedin' those elk supplements! Probably catchin' them and injecting hormones into them too! Then getting them drunk during the rut so they throw all caution to the wind like WW on a wild bender at the local watering hole on lady's nite!

Did you ever try this on deer and elk? Get them eating corn and take a few pounds of it and soak it overnite in whiskey. Leave it all in one pile so they'll eat it all. It doesn't take much, they're kinda like Indians in their tolerance for alcohol. Usually they'll just lay down next to the corn pile and go to sleep, but some might want to fight or screw (just like humans, ya never know exactly what kinda mood it will put them in). Whatever effect it has, just adjust your tactics and go for them!

I always liked that method, although most of the guys I hunt with wouldn't think of wasting perfectly good booze on an elk! :D It works real good on geese, ducks and turkeys, too! :D

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-28-2002 14:20: Message edited by: Ithaca 37 ]</font>
Kurt, that is a really good feed blend!If that don't put some antler on 'em, nothing will. May be a muley picking up some of that too and you might get a "double header".It amazes me how far they can smell that stuff too and come to it. Ever tried any of that salt lick mineral stuff?? It is supposed to help. I never had any luck getting deer or elk either to use it, but I have friends that make great claims about it. My elk won't even look at salt or minerals until rain[if we ever get any] melts it into the ground.Seem to like some dirt with it. Bob

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-28-2002 14:57: Message edited by: BbarC ]</font>
Here's the federal regulations for feed to prevent BSE in cattle. This may be how we got CWD in the wild, with bad feed.

I think a bottle of whisky is pretty cheap considering some of those prices people have for hunts and for tags.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-28-2002 16:16: Message edited by: Tom ]</font>
Not only am I pumping this bull with minerals, growth hormones, and pot... I figured a few other key ingredients out that would help me hunt this animal. Needing some help smelling him, tracking him, and recognizing his sign, I mixed a fair bit of habenero peppers, asparagus, and beets in with it this mixture.

This big, dumb, high, stinky, red-poopin beast doesn't have a chance.
Here is how I keep em watered up for the season both physically and mentally!! Wooo Whooo!! They are a lot easier to get when they are all tanked up! Including the Hussie!! (ya)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-29-2002 17:36: Message edited by: raybow 1 ]</font>
They have stuff to plant also and it comes up for several years and it high protein. I can't imagine carrying 150 lbs, 10 miles every week. That's lots of work and if the habitat there is good, do you need it? I hope it pays off.

That south Texas ranch I went to last month tried this high protein feed for three years and it didn't make any difference for their deer because of the habitat down there on their ranch.
I figured two, maybe three people might take me seriously. I knew for certain Tom would think I was serious and really give it some thought.. you know, backpacking bags of elk feed, mixed with dope, asparagas, and beets into the mountains every other day to feed some particularly tame and dosile bull elk in about a half million acre wilderness area.. Hilarious.
Greenhorn, the sad part is that here in Texas, your story isn't far fetched at all. Many of the big game high fenced ranches here have protein feeders and water troughs on a grid pattern so that a deer never has to walk more than 800 yards to get to it. They have ranch hands that all they do is haul feed and water to the deer.

The latest thing is tranquilizing the fawns and ear tagging them so that they can be sure and not shoot a deer until it's old enough.

Flying the ranch in a helicopter, to check on the deer crop is standard practice and has been for 15 years.

It's not hunting if you ask me. That's why we make the annual migration to the mountains.
You sound more like Greenhorn now. I couldn't believe it when you said it, but you said it. So what about Ithaca37, is he kidding about liquor too? I was going to suggest a helicopter, like an ultralight, They are about like buying a used car in expense and you don't have to have a liscense. Would that be legal in the off season up there for scouting the herd, etc.?

DaleT, so you don't hunt in Texas? Just one trip up north a year and that's it?
Tom, Why don't you come up here and try one of the ultralights here for scouting in the mountains? Not sure if it's legal, but it might be more of a deathwish. These elk don't live in Texas.
I was thinking about getting one last year, I found the paraplane, a parachute that flys. I figured it would not take off unless the parachute was open and if the motor went out, the parachute is already open. Its just the landing with that fan strapped to my but that doesn't sound to good, even around here. Some people with actual pilots liscenses discouraged me. They talked about some conditions where the chute collapses. Ultralights with no passengers are the only thing legal without a pilots liscense, but a 50lb sack of feed could be dropped somewhere probably, I don't know. It would be a way to get up in the summer breeze here on a hot summer day though. A few hours of training, and 5-10k dollars, and I'd be ready for flying.
Hey.. I'll signal you where to drop the sacks.. We'll be down along the river placing bets on your life expectancy.
Leupold BX-4 Rangefinding Binoculars

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