Their antlers will have a spread around the same width as the ears; beams show the beginning of some mass and multiple points. White-tailed deer typically live about 4 and a half years in the wild, but can survive for 6-14 years in captivity. That’s a mistake. The antlers become wider, the beams become longer, and numerous protrusions--âpointsâ--will develop. Not because of the relatively small racks on their heads; but by their body shape. Girl on the left holds a moose antler to her head, while girl on the right holds â¦ W. Matt Knox Deer Project Coordinator. I also knew I would have let down my family, and more importantly, I would. wikiHow's. Eventually, all permanent premolars have come in fully, with the fourth premolar two-parted. Its first antlers can have three points, while the following year they will have as many as seven. Realize your favorite hunting jacket is just not going to work this year? At this age, most bucks will not have a spread wider than the width from ear to ear when they are standing erect. Then I go to Illinois and next Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee. The buck also has good basal circumference on his antlers, another tell-tale sign that this deer is not a young buck. For more advice, including how to identify age-related wear and discoloration on a deerâs teeth, read on! A deer will not receive its full potential in antler size until they are at least 4 years of age. Other hunters will set their decoys too far apart from each other when the weather is very cold. Furthermore, tissue damage can cause abnormal patterns in the antlerâs growth cycle. During the rut they should have noticeably larger tarsal glands that are dark-stained with some staining possibly extending down their legs. Deer antler mass increases with age and good nutrition, but only until maturity is reached. Antlers are not horns. Most hunters, even if they are avid QDMA members, will shoot a buck with very large antlers. When youâre trying to figure out how old a deer is, start by looking at its size and build. Also, the accuracy of aging live deer decreases as deer grow into older age classes. Being able to determine a deer's age when you're hunting is a major factor in controlling deer populations and promoting a diverse spectrum of ages among the deer. That means the biggest antlers the deer will have develop when the deer is at least 4 years old. Antlers are often called âhornsâ by deer â¦ You can also examine the deerâs antlers. Once antlers harden, theyâre primarily used for competition during the breeding season instead of protection like horns. A dark brew can have roasted grains, where an IPA will focus on hops. A Personal Following. Beer and beef broth add great flavors to any stew. An important thing to keep in mind is that deer characteristics will vary depending on where the deer population is located. A buckâs antlers continue to grow each year that the deer lives. On average, bucks grow bigger antlers each year up to about 6 1/2 years of age, and then it's flat from there. No matter what part of the country or older age class, the 8-point buck comprises most of the antler makeup â which is fine with most hunters. As detailed in this article on this website, you can't depend solely on antler size when visually aging bucks. But that's the AVERAGE. In places like South Texas a buck's antlers can grow to 110-150 inches (279.4-381 cm) long. The earliest fossil remains of antlers that have been found are dated to the early Miocene, about 17 million years ago. Ultimately, they resemble a doe with antlers. White tail deer have a fully developed skeleton by the age of four. This article has been viewed 45,076 times. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Thatâs why you see the biggest antlers after a deer reaches 4 ½ to 5 ½ years of age. The antlers are now beginning to show you their potential and should be heavy with good bases and multiple points. In Maryland, 15-20 percent of bucks survive the first year. Kudos!". The New Year is an excellent opportunity to reassess your old routines and inject them with some new life. Obtaining a more specific age is not worth the effort. Many hunters overlook the fact that if you are not sufficiently hydrated, you won’t shoot as accurately as you can. After that, maximum mass is controlled by genetics. A buck's first set of antlers begins to grow when it's about 10 months old. Therefore, I suggest you don’t rely solely on antler size when aging bucks. Other than in select places, few free-ranging bucks exceed five years of age, so I’ll combine five- to seven-year-olds. Deer Hunting Gear: Get Your Basics at Walmart, Staying Hydrated, Choosing the Proper Choke Size, Shot Size and Using Decoys for Doves, Will Jimeno Determines Not to Let the Terrorists of 9/11 Win, Temperature Helps Determine Decoy Set-Ups, Tackling the Tackle Box: Restocking What You’ll Need for Future Fishing Trips. Their faces appear to have taut skin around the jaw. However, most of the places where we hunt, we get the smaller Canada geese. The best way to age a buck is by personally following his growth through the â¦ The main beam is the main branch of the antler, and the tip of the main beam is counted as one of the points. To begin, let’s stop saying “and-a-half” after the age of a whitetail. They will have achieved 90 to 100 percent of their antler growth potential, and they can have highly stained tarsal glands during the rut with the stain extending well below the tarsal gland. Those will be your Boone & Crocket candidates. My third favorite place to hunt waterfowl is my home state of Kentucky. A deer's "points" are determined by the number of tines on their antlers, so an eight pointed male deer has eight distinct tines. For more advice, including how to identify age-related wear and discoloration on a deerâs teeth, read on! Antlers. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. They may show some neck muscle build-up during the rut, but their tarsal glands will only be moderately stained and still very small and round. A 4x4 rack does not indicate a 4-year-old buck. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. If you think about the chasing, the fighting and the staying on their feet during both daylight and nighttime hours that bucks do, by the time a buck reaches the post-rut, he’s tired, beat-up and doesn’t want to fight. By that time, the muscular and skeletal systems are finished growing and more calcium and phosphorous can go to the antlers. If you really canât stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Aging a Buck Based by Its Antlers Look at the length of its antlers. Seeing all the variations in antlers that make a 150-inch (or bigger) deer allows hunters to see up-close what theyâre looking for in the field. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. The back of the deer will also slope at a sharp downward grade from the rump to the shoulder. All of these physical features in combination make me feel confident this deer is at least 4 1/2 years â¦ Accurate, cost-effective data collection from free-ranging deer populations has great benefits for managers. After six years, antler growth generally decreases. Caribou are the only species in which antlers are typically found on females. However, they also may have a pot belly and a sagging back. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Elk typically live for about 10-13 years in the wild, while moose can live for 15-25 years in the wild. I was the only person who could yell for help for both of us. 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