Ideally, you should make this comparison while the deer … It's common for whitetail bucks to have brow tines, but this is not always the case. A mature Coues’ deer antler set may well look like a small whitetail set, although usually developed to a more “finished” look overall. If you shoot ‘em all while they’re small, you’ll never see lots of big ones. Coues’ deer are miniature, desert-dwelling cousins of the familiar whitetail. He’ll be more subject to disease, will struggle to get through the winter, and he’s past his breeding prime. Typical whitetail deer scoring 213-5/8 points, Typical whitetail deer scoring 160 points. The “backs” are very often the weakest part of a mule deer rack and if they resemble a “crab claw”, then he is probably a young buck. "The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. The spread between the relaxed ears of a whitetail buck is about 15 inches. The circumference of a mature buck’s eye is approximately four inches. With a little practice, you will be surprised how close your estimates will become. Not lacking in anything: mass, point lengths, or long beams. The general look of the rack will be mature, with the second point on each antler being usually the longest of the side and the antler tips pointing toward each other. Throughout his career as an editor, he has written and published numerous articles on deer management and hunting. Therefore, you are looking for the same features as in whitetails, only reduced in expression.Coues’ deer antlers tend to form semi-circles, with … From this angle you get an exaggerated impression of the antler’s height and spread. A large non-typical Coues’ deer will show these qualities plus several noticeable abnormal points. A Leg Up: Judging Buck Age From Body Proportions. If it were half again bigger, the circumference measurement at that point would be about six inches. A two-year-old can look big but its body is built lean, kind of resembling that of a wide receiver. Assuming you can get a frontal view, estimating a buck’s inside spread should be easy. Ideally, you should make this comparison while the deer is looking at you. Our team is looking forward to helping you find your next adventure! These tips will help: Compare the size of the antler bases to the size of the buck’s eye. Interestingly, the antler beams of Coues’ deer may well be nearly as thick as those on a mature whitetail. If the buck is alarmed, ears pointed forward, this width is about 12 inches. Any other points are considered “abnormal” and their lengths are deducted from the score if the buck is scored as a typical or added to the score if it is being scored as a non-typical. H-3 is measured at the smallest place between the main beam and the third point. Seldom will a Coues’ deer show the “wide-open” look that is fairly common in whitetails. The H-1 will be the smallest place between the burr and first point.
The downside is your taxidermy bill will likely increase; we all love them big antlers on the wall! However, as you grow as a hunter you can challenge your skills by shooting mature bucks.
Some hunters struggle when it comes to field judging a live whitetail. According to the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), one of the best ways to increase the number of bucks in the herd is to not shoot the immature ones. Keep in mind that there are mule deer areas where, genetically, it is common for no browtines or weak browtines, even for big mature deer. Thick bases and longer beams tend to suggest an older deer, as do kicker points and drop tines. Contact Us for Prices or More Information. This is even more common when food sources are sparse. If you’re hunting where there’s a point restriction, it's simple math. H-4 measurements are from the smallest place between the second and fourth point. In many locations, young bucks make up 50 to 80 percent of the harvest. I’ve seen nice mature bucks with missing or broken brow tines. But beware of the rear view, as it can be deceiving. These old brutes are the true trophies of the whitetail woods: They’re wise, rare, and represent everything that is wild. The other is the Coues’ deer, a small-bodied whitetail with correspondingly smaller antlers that is found in the deserts and deciduous woodlands of southwestern New Mexico, Arizona, and northwestern Mexico. The BodyEven the QDMA suggests, “Estimating the age of live bucks is not an exact science.” The first trick is to ignore the antlers. If it’s late in the rut and you suspect a buck may be run down, you can turn to the antlers for help. Typical Coues’ whitetail deer scoring 144-1/8 points, Extra long main beams – 20-2/8 and 20-5/8 inches, Typical Coues' whitetail deer scoring 104-1/8 points, Strong G-2s and G-3s – 9-6/8 and 9-2/8 inches, respectively. Wednesday, September 16, 2020. For example, if his main beam appears to be half an ear or three inches outside the ear tip on each side, then by adding 6 to 16 we find that he has a 22-inch spread. When assessing a potential trophy’s score, we need to look at the lengths of the main beams, lengths of the points, the inside spread of the main beams, and the mass or circumference of the main beams at four locations. This can potentially unbalance the herd and destabilize the rut. Field Judging Bucks. Personally, I like to kill big deer, but I’m not a trophy hunter; I’ve never measured the antlers of any deer I’ve taken. None of the first 300 whitetail deer that are listed in the Boone and Crockett Record Books are 8 Point Bucks. Grey elongated faces, swayed backs, and possibly thick but stubby, crooked antlers distinguish these bucks. Lots of antler mass is most often found on deer three or more years old. Yearling deer rarely have antlers spreading beyond the limit of their ears.
These things can be quickly evaluated in the field with a few simple calculations. Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™. So, while you’re hunting how are you supposed to guess—and a guess is all it is—the age of a deer?
Before discussing how to field-judge whitetails, it’s important to know why limitations exist. His ears will measures six inches from the base to the tip. Count the points and pull the trigger.
There will be at least three well-developed points (plus beam tip) on each antler for a near-book typical Coues’ deer trophy, and the inside spread will need to be near 15 inches. The G-4 is the tine that along with the main beam produce the front fork. The actual main beam length is estimated using our ear length and eye to nose “rulers.”. However, late in the rut bucks become run down; a buck can lose as much as 25 percent of its body weight in just a few weeks. How much bigger is the antler? The length of the points can be estimated using the same “rulers” we used for the main beams.
The total score of … The Boone and Crockett Club recognizes two categories of whitetail deer.
The easiest method for quickly judging the spread on any mule deer is the distance from ear-tip to ear-tip which is usually very close to 20 inches. If you are hunting in an area that traditionally produces huge-bodied deer, or if you are hunting the little Coues’ deer, you will need to adjust your “rulers” accordingly.