We don’t claim to be experts but if you put enough time on the ground, read any whitetail management literature and listen to folks that pick up sheds, you begin to understand why BULL elk in the Southwest grow the biggest NATURAL antlers in the world.
Genes + Age + NUTRITION= Monster Bulls
The above pictures are sheds off of the same bull on two different years. The smaller shed was from his 2004 growth year and the bigger shed was from the 2005 growth year. It is pretty obvious that he put on some tremendous inches. The 2004 shed weighs in at 8.5 lbs, which is 5 lbs less than the 13.5 lbs 2005 shed.
Arizona, Southern Nevada, Southern Utah & New Mexico tend to have milder climates than some of the Northern states. This helps elk recover faster after the rutting season is over.
If Arizona hasn’t received good rain by the end of April you can bet that MOST bulls won’t reach their full growth potential for that year. We have found that when Arizona has a droughty winter & spring, bulls tend to produce smaller back ends. According to a shed guru, bulls in western Arizona also tend to have more brittle and less dense antlers during these types of conditions.
Let it RAIN!