A deer will not receive its full potential in antler size until they are at least 4 years of age. In Wisconsin a buck's antlers can grow to be over 200 inches (508 cm) long. A buck’s antlers continue to grow each year that the deer lives. As a deer continues growing through its second year of life, its permanent premolars are lost and replaced, much like our baby teeth drop out in our younger years. For example, by the time a whitetail buck reaches maturity at 4 and a half years, it will have a thick, muscular neck and a bulky stomach and chest. Research shows that at this age, most bucks have achieved 50 to 75 percent of their antler-growth potential. There are several main parts to an antler. These can be found at the joint on the deer's leg and are darker the older the deer is. I was the only person who could yell for help for both of us. For instance, metabolic stress can significantly reduce an antler’s quality, shape, and size. So, you want to thermal hog hunt? My third favorite place to hunt waterfowl is my home state of Kentucky. You can nudge them slightly in your favor by minimizing disturbance and maximizing the ability of your property to attract and hold more and older deer. I have a home place not far from the house that ducks like. In general, aging deer on the hoof is a beneficial skill for landowners and hunters that want to achieve QDM or produce mature bucks. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Once antlers harden, they’re primarily used for competition during the breeding season instead of protection like horns. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. The factors that dictate year to year growth are the age of the animal, its genetic makeup, and its nutritional intake. Now the neck and shoulders should be thickly muscled, but the neck should still be discernible from the shoulders. I follow the duck migration. This article has been viewed 45,076 times. The best place for the giant Canadas is northern Illinois. By using our site, you agree to our. My favorite Canada goose to hunt is the big giant Canada goose. If the buck has greater than 150 inches, it doesn't matter if … Girl on the left holds a moose antler to her head, while girl on the right holds … The back of the deer will also slope at a sharp downward grade from the rump to the shoulder. Please read on as I dive into the nuts and bolts of some must-have items. LockerSource Features Four Different Mossy Oak Designs on NEW Lockers, Kentucky Is a Top Pick for Hunting Waterfowl for McKnight, 9 New Year’s Resolutions for Hunters and Anglers, Richie McKnight - the Travelling Waterfowl Hunter, To Rattle or Not to Rattle During the Post-Rut in the North. Last Updated: December 8, 2019 https://www.qdma.com/aging-bucks-on-the-hoof/, https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2010/7/14/how-to-age-a-whitetail/, https://www.findfarmcredit.com/farm-credit-bank-landscapes_2.aspx?cat_id=9&doc_id=267, https://www.qdma.com/antler-growth-bell-curve/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Their antlers can show age-related abnormalities such as abnormal points or wavy or curvy tines, and they have an overall “weathered” appearance. The antlers are now beginning to show you their potential and should be heavy with good bases and multiple points. They generally have loose skin on their face, neck and shoulders – usually visible as a “chin flap” – and they may have pointed shoulder and hip bones. … Their back and stomach lines are relatively straight and taut. Its first antlers can have three points, while the following year they will have as many as seven. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. (Much of the information is courtesy of the QDMA.). Antlers. They have a thin waist, and they may have slight staining in their tarsal glands during the rut. Seeing all the variations in antlers that make a 150-inch (or bigger) deer allows hunters to see up-close what they’re looking for in the field. Have you ever tried to peer into the mouth of a dead deer to age it? Their antlers can be extremely inconsistent, but overall they tend to have beams that are thin and relatively short and a spread usually inside the ears. *2.5 Year Old Bucks: 78% with Jawbone aging techniques and 75% with CA *3.5 Year Old Bucks: 60% with Jawbone aging techniques and 65% with CA *4.5 Year Old Bucks: 43% with Jawbone aging techniques and 56% with CA *5.5 Year Old Bucks: 26% with Jawbone aging techniques and 48% with CA Do those numbers surprise you? To begin, let’s stop saying “and-a-half” after the age of a whitetail. Antler size is one of the details we use to help determine age, but only one in a long list of aspects like body size and shape, muscle tone, the appearance of certain features, etc. They have a distinct line of separation between their neck and shoulders and little muscle definition. As GameKeepers, we owe it to the animals we hunt to be a good marksman and make ethical shots. The buck also has good basal circumference on his antlers, another tell-tale sign that this deer is not a young buck. I prefer to estimate age based solely on body characteristics with respect to location and time of year and then use antler size to "check" my estimate or to break a … I don’t rattle during the post-rut. Bucks at this age will have reached 75 to 90% of their maximum antler size, which can be impressive if they have access to good nutrition. They fascinate us. That means the biggest antlers the deer will have develop when the deer is at least 4 years old. Some individual bucks will stray from that average, gaining antler inches after that age, or losing antler inches when they're younger than that, depending on factors like annual nutrition, weather, injuries, etc. For new shooters or those that have trouble looking at open sights or scopes, finding your dominant eye is the first step to becoming a better shot. One Year Old Young fawns will reach about 10% of their optimal antler growth. Their faces appear to have taut skin around the jaw. There are several different ways to rate the quality of deer antlers. At three, the chest begins to become deeper than the hindquarters but still with a thin waist, giving them what some call a “linebacker” or “racehorse” appearance. Antlers begins to grow the rack than it does the skeletal system importantly, suggest! His antlers, another tell-tale sign that this deer is, start by looking at fully! 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