We thought we’d share a few photos of our new up and coming whitetail bucks from our breeding program here at Rancho Las Norias. These guys are just over one-year old and as you can see their antlers are looking quite nice considering the fact that a buck’s first set of antlers begins to grow when it’s about 10 months old and that these guys are enduring one of the worst drought conditions in our state’s history. What’s rain got to do with antlers? If it doesn’t rain, plants that make up the whitetails’ natural diet don’t flourish. If natural forage isn’t abundant and readily available, well, the deer’s bodies essentially go into “survival mode” and antlers just don’t grow as big because they aren’t exactly a priority in times of hardship. Since natural forage has been sparse here in south Texas this year we’ve been supplementing our Gen #1 Bucks natural forage diets with feed and protein to help them overcome this drought and stay strong. We’re confident that when the weather goes back to normal and we start seeing rain again our Gen#1 Bucks pictured here will have some big beautiful antlers over the next few years. Think we’re kidding about the rain bit? Read more about how rainfall affects the antler size here at this great post by Buck Manager who discusses the findings of recent research conducted in south Texas by the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M-Kingsville that found that spring rains explained 70% of the year to year variability in buck antler size.