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How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

Old 11-19-2004, 08:08 AM
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Default How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

I'm curious as to what people think the size of 1.5 old bucks are? I've seen some guys call an obvious 1st year basket rack, an 'old mature buck'.
I have occasionally been torn estimating a large 1.5 and a small 2.5 buck, because I do get some nice 1.5 around. This past season, I saw some 1.5's with 12-13" spreads, 6-7" tines. Nice bucks. Then I also see scraggly 4 pts, both being 1.5 olds.
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:26 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

I have occasionally been torn estimating a large 1.5 and a small 2.5 buck
I agree with that statement 100% and believe nutrition plays the biggest role in the antler diffrence betwee small "rack bucks" and scrubby "forks and spikes". If you compare a 2.5 year old buck with poor nutrition and a 1.5 year old buck with a high protein diet the racks are likely to be simular. I passed on two IMO 1.5 year old bucks opening day (I saw three but the two that offered shots were both smal 6 pointers) and I was at the local shop taking to the guys that work there and they damn near laughed me out of the store when I said I passed two small 1.5 year old 6 pointers. The guys had never heard of such a thing and said I had some sort of super genetices in my woods. B.S.! What happened was I planted two food plots and these deer were getting optimum protein in their diets and their racks were reaching their "true first year potential". Needless to say I think the guys are IDOTS now and I spend very little of my time and money in their shop. The are obviously misinformed and attempted to belittle me on a subject they obviously haven't researched. Sorry to digress (those guys just agrivate me[:@])

Back to your question, With proper nutrition it is very possiable for a 1.5 year old buck to produce a rack. The two I passed were probably 55-65 inch bucks. IMO very respectable for the size of the deer that was sporting the head gear. With that said I also believe it is very possiable for a 2.5 year old buck with poor nutrition to produce the same or in some cases even smaller racks.

It comes down to nutrition, nutrition, nutrition and nutrition for the entire 200 days of the antler growing season. Diets play such a role in the development of a whitetails body and antlers the only way to accurately determin the age of a deer is by examining their jaws and dentition.

***For the record I'm not a biologist but am very well read on the subject***
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:39 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

In my experience antler size varies a great deal even in the same geographic area. I have seen everything from spikes to wide 6 point racks on 1.5 year olds in my area. I have also seen small racked 2.5 year olds. I dont think you can tell the age of a buck by looking at the rack. You can guess but it is nothing more than that.
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:01 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

Scrub 4-6 points. Not enough agriculture (food) for thier bodies to grow big enough and pump enough surplus energy (food) for horn growth.

In Kansas - likely to be a nice 8-10 point rack albeit basket racked.
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:28 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

I agree with that statement 100% and believe nutrition plays the biggest role in the antler diffrence betwee small "rack bucks" and scrubby "forks and spikes".
Actually, when comparing 1st year bucks that have nice racks compared to scrub 4's, I believe being born early or late plays a significant role. All these deer are eating the same good food, but some produce a nice 1st year rack, others struggle. It either boils down to genetics or which deer got a better head start in life. Take a buck born in mid may to strong healthy doe, compared to another born late june to a young 1st time mom. The sooner born deer is going to be worlds ahead of the other.
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:31 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

Most of the 1 1/2 year old bucks in my hunting areas in Ohio are 4 or 6 points with the racks inside their ears. Of course we see some spikes but probably 80% of them are 4 or 6 points with an occasional 8 point.

Below is a pic that I captured from my video camera after I passed a shot at this 1 1/2 year old buck. He was a 7 point and had good mass and I think he has great potential for a 1 1/2 year old.

I believe he is a 1 1/2 yr old because his rack is still inside of his ears even though he has decent tines and mass for a young buck (he is eating my biologic in the pic).

This pic is what I would call an average 1 1/2 year old for my area:


The 2 1/2 year olds start getting outside their ears, I estimate this buck to be 2 1/2 years old:


This one I know was 2 1/2 years old:


And here is a typical 3 1/2 year old that my son shot this year:


I feel fairly confident when field judging their ages because I have had the teeth aged for most every deer I have shot and I kept the jaw bones as a reference. Having said that there is no guarantee and I am sure some 1 1/2 years olds do blend with smaller 2 1/2 year olds. Of course body size can also be an indicator. My dad shot a buck a few years ago that had a smaller rack than the 2 1/2 year old in my pic above. But his body was huge and his teeth indicated him to be a 3 1/2 year old that had a smallish rack for that age.

adams, if those guys thought that a 1 1/2 year old 6 point was something special then yes they have no clue.
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:33 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

I agree with all the statements made. Good Genetics and nutrition with high protein (IMO) is the key to producing good racked bucks! I will also agree that there really is no way to tell a bucks exact age simply buy looking at him? Although a good experienced hunter can usely guess pretty close not buy looking only at the rack but also the body to. I have seen 1.5 yr old bucks that were 8pt and i have also seen 1.5 yr old bucks that were only a spike.It really does not matter how old a buck gets if he has bad genetics and has had bad or no nutrition to speak of. Don`t expect to have a real big trophy animal it just does not work that way(IMO)
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:40 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

I will also agree that there really is no way to tell a bucks exact age simply buy looking at him?
I disagree, it is fairly easy to judge his age just by looking at him. Rarely are we wrong when comparing my estimate to when we have the teeth aged by a DNR biologist. Body size, shape of nose, antler mass, and main beam length can all get you very close just by looking at him if you know what you are doing. Now actual number of points has nothing to do with it. I read a study in Deer & Deer Hunting a few years back where the deer were aged at a check-in station and several antler measurements were recorded. The age and antler measurements were then compared and antler mass (circumference at the base) and main beam length correlated fairly well.
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:57 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

Okay, here are some pics of different bucks and what age we believe they are....


This first pic is of a nice 8 point that we believe to only be a 2-1/2 year old deer. This is one of those bucks that is a great deer but if he makes it another year, he is gonna be huge! This is what genetics and a constant source of food year round will produce.



This is the typical 1-1/2 year old buck for my area. Yet again, this guy has food plots to feed off of all year round!



Another 2-1/2 year old deer. We know this guy was 2-1/2 as my best-friends uncle shot him last year. Another interesting fact about this deer is that sometime in his life he had cracked his skull in half! It healed together, but when he took it to the taxidermists, he had a skull mount done to show off the skull.



Here is one that kinda stumps me. He is large for a 2-1/2 year old, but his body doesnt' look like a 3-1/2 year old deer. He doesn't really have any sagging in the belly area and there isn't any dip in the back.



Here is a cool picture I took at a local deer ranch. These are the sheds of a buck they own starting as a 1-1/2 year old deer.



Here is a 4-1/2 year old deer....

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Old 11-19-2004, 10:11 AM
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Default RE: How big are the 1.5 old bucks in your area?

Buck Magnet, are those pics from the deer farm..Cooks Forest? Man they have some monsters in there.

Blodg I don't claim to be an expert but I'd argue on some of your estimates, for instance that buck in pic 1's body looks better than a 1 1/2 year old to me. I think the body is a better indicator than antler growth.
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