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How long does it take young bucks to get big?

Old 11-23-2012, 05:38 PM
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Spike
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Default How long does it take young bucks to get big?

I have noticed this year a ton of 1.5 year olds around the 120-130lb range with very nice tall and wide 4-6 point racks. This is the first time I have seen more bucks than does, which I guess is a good thing. I still have a ton of does but only the bucks seem to be walking...well at least for the first month of the season. Now all I see are the does. But anyways obviously I let them walk because who in their right mind would shoot something that might have great potential? But how long before they get to be one of the big boys? I have a decent tract of land, around 400 acres, so most of my deer are locals because they know come spring they get all the free food they want when its planting time. If they do wander they just go to my neighbors land and he has the same policy that I do in letting anything 6 points and under walk.

How long until those baby bucks become nice 8 pointers? Also I seem to have found a 10 pointer that has made home in a timber cutdown and loves laying up in my cotten fields but dont have a stand anywhere near his territory so hes probably gonna live till next season. I have also seen several 8s on my cameras and missed one really nice one due to a bad scope. Will those 8s and that 10 be even bigger next year as well?

Last edited by Cypress32; 11-23-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:42 PM
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There are regional differences, but male whitetail deer will usually look like this in the fall:

.5 y.o. Fawn - He's still with his mother with no visible antler, (In human terms: toddler)

1.5 y.o. Yearling - He has recently been rejected by his mother, small antlers, usually a spike, or with a few extremely small points around an inch or so long, (In human terms: 4th-grader)

2.5 y.o. Still very small-bodied with little muscle mass, small antlers with 4to 8 points, the points are usually 3" to 7" long and the main beams are thin. (I think the 1.5 y.o. deer you are seeing are actually 2.5 y.o.) (In human terms: 7th-grader)

3.5 y.o. A very lean, fit, athletic-looking deer with a razor tight belly. He will have small hind quarters and a average swollen sized neck. WT deer make an antler size jump at 3.5. His antlers may have adult length to them, but the mass won't be there. The largest 3.5 y.o. I ever killed was a 164" gross ten-point with no mass. Remember, the World Record is a 3.5 y.o. buck, but he's a Canadian buck. If he survives the winter, he will finally be accepted into a cohort of older bucks and learn something. (In human terms: 11th-grader.)

4.5 y.o. A bigger-bodied buck that's thicker all around, bigger neck, chest, shoulders and hind-quarters. His antlers will have more mass to them, a little more length. He's spent the last 6 months in an older buck cohort so he is waaay smarter than a 3.5 y.o. buck. (In human terms: 25-year old with a very high IQ.)

5.5 y.o. He's finally mature. He's thicker all around and he's built like a tank. His belly has the slightest hint of a sag and his ass end looks like a mule. His antlers will be heavier again because his pedicles won't stop growing for a few years yet. (In human terms: 35-year old with a genius IQ.)

6.5 y.o. to 8.5 y.o. He's a toad, the biggest bodied deer you have ever seen on the hoof. (In human terms: 40 to 50 years old and he's Einstein.)

Now here's the deal. Not all bucks will grow large antlers. Here are pictures of a 8.5 y.o. buck that is built like a tank, but his antlers will not gross over 140. He's still very dominant because of his body size. See how thick and heavy he looks everywhere? See that ass and belly? Now compare that to this 2.5 y.o. buck. See how small his body is?

You usually have to look at a deer's body to age them--above a 3.5 anyway. You never look at a mature buck's antlers to age them, there is too much variability to it. And number of points is: an age, genetics, food and health question, but by 3.5 most bucks have it figured it out as to how many points they will have. Some eight-point deer will be an eight one year and a nine the next and some tens will be a nine one year and an eleven the next.

Bronc
Attached Thumbnails How long does it take young bucks to get big?-ff.jpg   How long does it take young bucks to get big?-old-toad1.jpg   How long does it take young bucks to get big?-tt.jpg  

Last edited by Broncazonk; 11-23-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:46 AM
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Damn deleted my old folder containing the pics of some of those 4s and 6s but found a recent one of a spike. Does this guy have a chance at becoming a real deer? Also my farm is for farming first and hunting second. I think soybeans are up for next year as we did corn this year. Is that a good crop for antler growth? If not what should we plant? We lease out our land so its not like I can tell the farmer sorry but I need 50 acres for a food plot. How do I get deer like I see in all of those hunting shows on TV? Or are those deer basically the equvilent to farm raised quail that are so dumb you have to kick them to make them fly and people just feed them steroids year round to make them Barry Bonds deer?


Last edited by Cypress32; 11-24-2012 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Cypress32
Does this guy have a chance at becoming a real deer?

Sure he does. That's just a yearling in the photo. He has to get to 4.5 or 5.5 before he will have the antlers you want.

The soil in South Carolina does not transfer nutrients to wild plants as effectively as places like Iowa and Kansas, that's why SC deer are much smaller. So the absolute best source of protein for deer on your farm will be soybeans.

Here's what you do:

1) Don't kill young bucks. Let them walk,

2) Don't let too many hunters hunt on your ground, your property is actually rather small, and over-harvest happens in a hurry,

a) Convince the landowners around you to do 1 and 2 above.

3) Plant soybeans every chance you can,

4) Create a mineral lick for the deer,

5) Stick to all of the above and in three (3) years you will see a big difference.

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Old 11-24-2012, 09:02 AM
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1) Don't kill young bucks. Let them walk,
I dont shoot anything 6 and under

2) Don't let too many hunters hunt on your ground, your property is actually rather small, and over-harvest happens in a hurry,
Only person who really hunts here is my accountant and hes in charge of doe control he never shoots any bucks
a) Convince the landowners around you to do 1 and 2 above.
Already done good friends witht he guy next to us he only shoots 8s. But every other redneck around here shoots anything with horns. If a magical talking unicorn walked out someone would kill it

3) Plant soybeans every chance you can,
Not up to me since we lease the farming rights. Rotation is Peanuts, Corn, Soy Beans

4) Create a mineral lick for the deer,
Put out a few last year they never touched them.

5) Stick to all of the above and in three (3) years you will see a big difference.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:42 PM
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a 2.5yo can be a big deer here.

a 3.5yo is a big buck

anything 4.5 and older is probably huge around here.

IL.

most guys who take a "big deer" around here is probably 2.5yo. which tends to be a decent 8 or 10pt.

most of these bucks around here will never see 4.5yo, of course there are some roaming, but most guys see a 2.5yo/3.5yo around here and it's going down!
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:43 PM
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Up here in Michigan I look for a hump on the nose to indicate an older (3.5 - 5.5 yr old) deer. With 700,000 licensed hunters up here such deer are a rare sight, and then only on big farms or in deep cedar swamps. Racks could be anything from 8 to 16+ points and tend to be really thick on older, dominant bucks.

Deer seem to like corn for cover and some feed. They love soybeans for protein browse, and acorns are dessert/deer candy.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:12 AM
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Here in S.E. Wisconsin I have shot 2 y/o bucks scoring as high as 160... Sometimes they just have to get past that 1st year.

This one was confirmed by the DNR as a 2 y/o and scored close to 140. I shot it two years ago on a deer drive.


This one I arrowed this fall and it scored close to 160. It too, was a 2 y/o

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Old 12-01-2012, 05:37 AM
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So what nuclear plant do you live near if those two bucks are only two years old?
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Topgun 3006
So what nuclear plant do you live near if those two bucks are only two years old?
Agree. ^ They're older than that.
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