Deer hunting is what makes deer antlers grow in Pennsylvania

Deer hunting is what makes deer antlers grow in Pennsylvania


A Pennsylvania hunter who has spent a long time within the meat business shares his principle about why deer in the identical class have totally different sizes of antlers.

Eric V. “Zeke” Zimmerman, of Westmoreland County, Derry, believes {that a} deer born in April can have a greater potential for antler progress over its lifetime than a deer born in July.

He has checked out a number of thousand deer in his numerous works and believes he has found a relationship between teething timing and antler measurement. The 57-year-old labored as a meat processor and presently works for the US Division of Agriculture as a client security inspector accountable for slaughter and processing operations.

He’s additionally an avid hunter who began out as a rifle hunter in 1977 and continued with archery shortly after becoming a member of the US Marine Corps in 1984.

Zimmerman compiled the analysis in a e-book he printed in December. “Zeke’s Theory Unlocks the White-Tailed Horn Growth Process.” Revealed by way of Dorrance Publishing in Pittsburgh, the e-book spans 53 pages describing his principle {that a} deer’s antler progress is predicated on the month by which it was born.

He believes there are 4 key elements for a deer to develop large antlers: food regimen, genetics, age and date of start. His analysis goes again to his youth working for a meat processor. A Pennsylvania Recreation Fee biologist confirmed him find out how to age a deer primarily based on its enamel and jawbones, and has been documenting the deer ever since.

His principle started creating in 1998 when the deer he shot appeared like a two and a half 12 months previous deer however was really solely 18 months previous, that means the deer had its first antlers. A deer born early sufficient within the 12 months could have a six or eight level shelf the next 12 months.

He is additionally seen older {dollars} with small cabinets.

When the state’s antler level restrictions have been enforced 20 years in the past, he seen that some 18-month-old deer and a few two-and-a-half-year-old deer had racks of the identical top, however their physique sizes have been very totally different.

“That is primarily based on 12 skulls I’ve, dental proof, and what I’ve noticed through the years,” he stated of his analysis.

He encourages hunters to age their deer to see how their outcomes examine to his personal principle. He hopes others will share their outcomes or let him study the deer’s antlers and tusks.

“I will work with whoever it’s,” he stated, with locations the place they will age deer or with the Pennsylvania Recreation Fee. “I need to remedy this.” He desires to associate with a deer farm or conservation space the place he can work on extra antlers and tusks on deer.

He will probably be on the USA Worldwide Sportsmen’s Present and Out of doors Recreation & Journey Present on the Monroeville Conference Middle on February 17-19 to speak about his e-book and analysis. The e-book can also be obtainable at: or

“I wished it to be one thing simple to learn and simple to know,” he stated.

Brian Whipkey is an outdoor columnist for USA TODAY Community in Pennsylvania. contact him and join our weekly Go Outdoor PA publication e mail underneath your login identify on the house web page of this web site. observe him on fb @whipkeyoutdoors.

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