“Spike and the boys” — it’s not a new band, but a herd of White-tailed deer bucks that roam the backyard and beyond. There are three mature (big) bucks and three first-year bucks with tiny antler spikes protruding from their foreheads — hence “spikes”. They are browsing for anything edible in the backyard on this cold, snowy day.
Males lose 20-30 % of their body weight during the fall rut, as they follow the does around waiting for their opportunities to mate with them. That allows little time to eat, and consequently, they may enter the winter period of low food availability with less fat than they will eventually need to survive. Their winter browse on evergreens, leaves, and shrubs may not sustain them completely either, and they may continue to lose weight throughout the winter, despite trying to reduce their metabolism by being less active and lowering their body temperature and heart rate: lessons that the “spikes” will need to learn quickly.