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When scoring deer antlers, points are quite important, and if you just measured 4 points, you must be wondering how old is a 4-point buck? It is roughly estimated that a 4-point buck could be between 1 ½ to 3 years old.
A lot of confusion emerges when it comes to counting the points in Buck’s antlers. The numbering differs from the region. If you are a hunter coming from the eastern region of America, you may refer to what the West region’s hunters call a 5-point buck as a 10-point buck.
The cause of such disparities in naming the bucks comes with how hunters from the two regions count the points. Hunters from the East region count all the antlers’ points while hunters from the west count only points from one side.
What is a 4-point Buck?
A four-point buck is simply a male deer with four countable points on one side of its antlers. However, this definition is only true if you are coming from the region where they only count points on one side of the deer’s antlers. If you come from regions where they count points on both sides of the antlers, then a 4-point buck would be an eight-point buck there.
Many bucks with good health and superior qualities develop eight or even more points on their first antlers. Therefore, a 2-year-old buck with eight or more points on their antlers will undoubtedly enjoy great health and portray some superior qualities.
A 4-point buck majorly is found in this category of healthy and superior bucks. Bucks at this stage are active, and they are just starting to show more mature attributes.
You will also see a slight muscular definition starting to develop with a belly that still has a tight line across the bottom with no sag. Their antlers aren’t wider than sixteen inches wide, and during rutting, their tarsal glands remain unstained.
How to Tell How Old a Whitetail Buck is
As a hunter, it may be difficult to judge whether the sprinting buck that just passed across your rifle’s scope is a 5-years-old mature buck or just an upcoming 2 ½ -years-old forthcoming star. The body size and sometimes the size of the antler might make you confuse one for the other. You may easily take down a youngster, thinking you are dealing with a fully-matured buck.
You should get acquainted with a whitetail buck’s other body features to tell apart a 5-years-old buck from a 2-years-old buck. These body features change rapidly as the animal grows and develops.
Like it is common with men when aging, middle-aged men are known for acquiring pot bellies. Whitetails, too, gain a sagging belly when they hit their midlife. The belly keeps sagging with age, and the oldest in the group tends to have a belly that sags the most.
While it is common for both humans and animals sometimes to defy their ages’ descriptions, you can always tell the age of the buck correctly or wrongly within a range of one year.
Let’s have a look at whitetails at various ages in their lives.
1-1 ½-Year-Old Whitetail Bucks
This lot comprises some of the easiest to spot bucks. They are characterized by small antlers with 4 points on either side or even spikes. Most of these racks do not exceed the width of their ears. They have a small torso that leads to a slender neck, which further confirms their young age.
They do not have stained tarsals like the older counterparts do during rutting. An even easier trick of determining the younger bucks’ age is looking at them, excluding the antlers from the picture. If you look at the buck without focusing on the antlers and it appears like an average-sized doe, then it is a young buck.
2-2 ½-Year-Old Whitetail Bucks
The main difference between bucks in this age group and the young bucks is the slight appearance of muscle structure. Bucks falling in this age group have some swells in the neck, and you can find some staining their tarsal glands. If you ignore the antlers and see a picture of a super-dominant doe, then the chances are high you have spotted a two ½-year-old buck.
3-3 ½-Year-0ld Whitetail Bucks
Bucks from 3 years and above become more challenging to differentiate as they have more muscles and other features reminiscent of those found in a mature buck. There are a few differences to look at when determining a 3-year-old buck from a fully-matured one. Check out if the chest and the rump are bulging in equal measures.
You can also notice some separation where the neck and the shoulder meet. A 3-year-old spots a swollen neck and has some stains on their tarsals during rutting.
4-4 ½ -Year-Old Whitetail Bucks
When a buck hits 4-4 ½ years, they are fully matured, and the physical traits they portray are certainly the traits they will have for the rest of their lives. For the antler, they already have 90% of their antlers grown at this stage. In the future, they may only add some extra points or some more mass, but the future frame is always already formed at this age.
The chest and stomach have a common line, and their legs are short with a stocky appearance. You are right to classify a 4-year-old as a mature buck.
5-5 ½ -Year-Old Whitetail Bucks
Seeing a 5-year-old buck or an even older one is a rare and special favor! Telling the exact age of a buck past this stage is extremely difficult. One outstanding feature of bucks is the big chest with their head sitting on top majestically. They also have a sagging backline, and gut like you would expect the old to be.
How Old is an 8-Point Buck?
An 8-point buck in the eastern region of the USA could be 2-3 years old. Such a buck could be a giant monster with over five years of age on the western side.
Aging a buck using the number of points it has on its rack depends on the counting concept used to number the points. You also need other factors to be able to predict the age of a buck correctly. Do excellent research and get to know what to expect for bucks in a particular age group.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.