The Relationship Between Age and Antler Size
Last week I shared an example of the relationship between the quality of a buck’s diet and antler size. Another huge determinant of antler size is a buck’s age.
Mississippi State has completed some interesting research about the relationship between age and antler size. They wrote:
Based on averages of 23 bucks measured through 7 years of age in a Mississippi State University (MSU) study, 1-year-old bucks grew the equivalent of about 26 percent of their ultimate maximum gross Boone and Crockett score. The percentage increased each year, to about 63 percent at 2 years, 77 percent at 3 years, and 92 percent at 4 years of age. Using antler weight as a measure of antler size tells a similar story, although with different values. Antler weights were 10 percent at 1 year, 44 percent at 2 years, 71 percent at 3 years, and 80 percent at 4 years of age.
Clearly most bucks produce larger antlers as they mature. If your goal is to harvest bucks with large antlers, then your odds will be better if you hunt where most bucks are allowed to mature to at least 3 years. Where you hunt can be as important as how you hunt.
Growing and hunting deer together,
Dr. Grant Woods was raised and began his love of white-tailed deer as a bow hunter in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.