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Q:
What is a button buck and what is a spike? (is a spike just a buck with two little points?) Is there any difference between them?

Question by Big-Buk. Uploaded on November 07, 2010

Answers (7)

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from whitetailfreek wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

A button buck usually tends to be a buck that is only 6 months old. Since it is within their first year, they only have little nubs where their antlers will develope.

A spike is usually a buck that is a year and a half old. I have seen spikes that were over 3 years old, so it doesn't always mean they are a young deer.

Be aware of button bucks when you are hunting for does though. Always shoot the biggest doe out of a group, and if you only see a single doe, be sure it is a large body, and you should not have a problem with shooting button bucks.

I tend to let single does go, because sometimes with distance, your eyes will fool you. I shot a button buck on the run, that seemed like a big doe. Turned out it was a little runt button buck. Sure its legal to shoot them, but why wouldn't you want that buck to grow a little before you take him outta the herd.

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from country road wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Well put, whitetailfreek. Especially when you are hunting a food plot, the first, lone deer to show up is very likely to be a button buck (I've also heard them called knotheads), just like a teenage boy showing up first for the buffet.

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from iloveguns22 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Yes, very well put, +1! A button buck's antlers usually haven't broken the skin yet while a spike buck's antlers are just two verticle spikes.

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from ARhunter wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

button buck- nubs spike-can see the two points.

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

We usually refer to "nubbin" bucks as those with an inch or less of antler.
What we call a "button" buck has no hardened antler protruding through the skin.
It's kinda hard to hold 'em down to measure them, but an inch or more of antler with no fork is a "spike"!

As you know, when the rut kicks in, does come in season for only a short period of time. About 2 weeks for the entire herd to complete it's estrus cycle.
Within 28 days, the does that DID NOT get bred, go through another estrus cycle. This is called the secondary rut.
If you are seeing "large" numbers of spike, button or nubbin bucks, your deer herd is out of balance and does need to be thinned.
These small bucks are from the does that did not get bred until later in the year and are born late.
If a doe does not get bred in the primary or secondary rut, she will continue to come into estrus until she is bred or she cycles out.
Culling does shortens the number of unbred does in the primary rut, increases the browse for the entire herd and basically produces a healthier herd all around!

Bubba

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Nubbin bucks are kicked from there mothers during this time of year so seeing high numbers of them is common and spike bucks are often alittle less educated to hunters and are often seen more often so if you see alot of them its not nessisarly a bad thing bucks compete but not enough where ive ever seen a reason to kill a 1 1/2 old spikes that is what a majority of 1 1/2 old deer look like... Now if you see a bunch of 2 year old spikes or older i could see that as being a problem with nutrition the herd needs to be thinned.

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from mwoller wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

they are all right

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from whitetailfreek wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

A button buck usually tends to be a buck that is only 6 months old. Since it is within their first year, they only have little nubs where their antlers will develope.

A spike is usually a buck that is a year and a half old. I have seen spikes that were over 3 years old, so it doesn't always mean they are a young deer.

Be aware of button bucks when you are hunting for does though. Always shoot the biggest doe out of a group, and if you only see a single doe, be sure it is a large body, and you should not have a problem with shooting button bucks.

I tend to let single does go, because sometimes with distance, your eyes will fool you. I shot a button buck on the run, that seemed like a big doe. Turned out it was a little runt button buck. Sure its legal to shoot them, but why wouldn't you want that buck to grow a little before you take him outta the herd.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Well put, whitetailfreek. Especially when you are hunting a food plot, the first, lone deer to show up is very likely to be a button buck (I've also heard them called knotheads), just like a teenage boy showing up first for the buffet.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from iloveguns22 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Yes, very well put, +1! A button buck's antlers usually haven't broken the skin yet while a spike buck's antlers are just two verticle spikes.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ARhunter wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

button buck- nubs spike-can see the two points.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

We usually refer to "nubbin" bucks as those with an inch or less of antler.
What we call a "button" buck has no hardened antler protruding through the skin.
It's kinda hard to hold 'em down to measure them, but an inch or more of antler with no fork is a "spike"!

As you know, when the rut kicks in, does come in season for only a short period of time. About 2 weeks for the entire herd to complete it's estrus cycle.
Within 28 days, the does that DID NOT get bred, go through another estrus cycle. This is called the secondary rut.
If you are seeing "large" numbers of spike, button or nubbin bucks, your deer herd is out of balance and does need to be thinned.
These small bucks are from the does that did not get bred until later in the year and are born late.
If a doe does not get bred in the primary or secondary rut, she will continue to come into estrus until she is bred or she cycles out.
Culling does shortens the number of unbred does in the primary rut, increases the browse for the entire herd and basically produces a healthier herd all around!

Bubba

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Nubbin bucks are kicked from there mothers during this time of year so seeing high numbers of them is common and spike bucks are often alittle less educated to hunters and are often seen more often so if you see alot of them its not nessisarly a bad thing bucks compete but not enough where ive ever seen a reason to kill a 1 1/2 old spikes that is what a majority of 1 1/2 old deer look like... Now if you see a bunch of 2 year old spikes or older i could see that as being a problem with nutrition the herd needs to be thinned.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mwoller wrote 3 years 22 weeks ago

they are all right

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