I got a picture of a young 10-point on one of my game cameras this past week and I have been trying to look at some of my pictures from last year to figure out exactly which deer this is. I like to watch the progression their antlers make from year to year, and a good way to do this is by looking at game camera pictures of the animal. Here is one of the pictures from this year:
I'm pretty sure this is a 2.5 year old deer, as he looks young in the picture. I found this picture I had from last year that I think is this same deer at the age of 1.5. The similarities I'm noticing in the pictures from last year to this year are the G-2's that are shorter than the G-3's, and the brow tines are really short making me think this is the same deer. If it is the same buck, he went from an 8-point last year to a 10-point this year.
Here is a closer look from the front from last year as well as this year:
This is an example of a buck that would have been protected under the 13" antler restrictions last year. This year he appears to be a little wider than that, but I hope he is able to survive another season or two and reach maturity. I'd like to see what a couple more years would do for this buck's antlers.
A fun way to keep track of these deer from year to year (especially when you hunt with a group of people on the same property) is to name the deer based on some kind of characteristic that deer has. I haven't thought of a name for this one yet, but it will probably have something to do with those short brow tines.
Even though this is just a small buck you can see a difference in what another year of age can do for their antlers. You will never have big bucks on your property if you shoot the young ones before they can mature.