I receive a lot of questions this time of year about what percentage of a buck’s antlers have been produced to date. The questions are usually phrased “Will the antlers double in size between now and when the velvet sheds?” or “Will he grow more points and tine length before hunting season?”
These are great questions and they are difficult to answer with certainty! First, bucks are unique individuals just like humans. Some folks seem to grow a bunch early during their life while others have a growth spurt later. Some bucks will show a lot of antler growth early while others seem to add a bunch to their rack during July.
Bucks will have most of their beam length developed by this week. Most of their points will be showing by mid June. Some bucks will have all points showing and some will add a few points. However, tine length is likely to be less than half developed at this time. That’s a big factor as tine length usually makes up about 40% of total gross score!
Mid June is a good time to begin scouting for mature bucks. I use both my Reconyx trail cameras and Nikon binos! Remember that mature bucks clearly have some level of memory. Therefore make sure to use good scent control techniques when checking trail cameras this time of year! The guys and I here at The Proving Grounds use Dead Down Wind. It’s based on safe enzymes – not harmful bactericides like most other products on the market. The best time to check your trail cameras is the middle of the day when deer are most likely to be bedded down.
We are seeing lots of daylight deer activity right now at The Proving Grounds. Deer are hitting our food plots hard in the early morning and late afternoon. We’ve been excited to see a good number of fawns and a significant number of velvet antlered bucks. Remember that antlers in velvet look much larger than what you will actually see this fall.
Scouting for bucks is a great way to estimate the quality of bucks that will be in the area when season opens!
Growing and hunting deer together,