What are antlers? And can they tell about a deer's age?
Antlers are not horns. They are living bone structures grown and shed each year by male deer. Antler growth is affected by many factors, including the quality of habitat, available nutrition, a deer’s age and its genetic background. The number of antler points a buck has does not correlate with the buck’s age. Yearling bucks have been known to grow antlers with eight or 10 points when the habitat and nutrition are good. The spread of the antlers can offer a clue to a buck’s age. Yearling bucks rarely have antlers that grow wider than its ears. A buck with antler spread well outside the end of the ears is normally a mature or older buck. Because so many variables affect antler growth, estimating a buck’s age using antler characteristics is not recommended. Using body and antler characteristics together can help place bucks into general age classes: younger, mature, and older deer. Check out the Young Buck or Old Buck Poster for additional information.
Age My Deer?
How would you like to help collect important data that would be used to better manage the state's deer herd? You can by following the steps below and providing our deer biologist an opportunity to age your harvested deer! Your photos will be analyzed and if an age can be accurately determined, your deer's age will be added to the statewide database used to help make deer management decisions. As an added benefit, your deer's age will be posted here by your e-check confirmation number eliminating the guessing game involved with attempting to age based on body conditions.
There are two effective methods to remove a deer jaw. This video demonstrates how.
Submit A Deer Jaw