Antler Mass and Deer Age

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Cathy 4 years ago.

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  • #4533

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, August 18, 2011
    tiger15
    I was wondering what some peoples opinions are on how good of an indicator antler mass is of age. I hear people say all of the time that if a deer is light in antler mass then it must be a young or middle aged deer. Me personally, I have seen many deer with light antler mass but their bodies indicated it to be a mature deer.

    #4534

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, August 18, 2011
    kaicreek
    In my expierence, it is simply another tool to help age deer, such as body conformation, skull plate, saggy chin and belly etc. Genetics has a big interplay with mass, therefore comparing two buck side by side, could have a 2 y/o with equal or more mass than a 5 year old. Knowing the buck from year to year should reveal greater mass as time goes on out to 6-7 years old.

    #4535

    Cathy
    Keymaster

    Thursday, August 18, 2011
    Macy

    Lots of good research out there that does, in fact, relate age to antler mass. And of course, there are always exceptons to the rules. But the complete answer is that yes, mass does loosely translate to age up to a point. Some post-mature deer begin to loose antler mass at some point but normally speaking, a young deer has little mass and a more mature deer has more. This is due to their body requiring more nutrition than their antlers early on, their skeletal systems becoming mature, and then the availability of “excess” nutrition for antler production and then of course—genetics and nutrition.

    You can have a world record class buck and starve the antlers off his head or you can have a big, fat genetically inferior buck with a giant six point rack! A big buck is a rare animal where age, genetics and nurtrition all have a collision course.

    Macy

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