What is a Ten Point Buck?
Nature has many wonders to offer to our eyes, and the ten-point buck may be one of the best. Several people, especially non-hunters, don’t know much about these incredible beings. After all, what is a ten point buck? And how to find it?Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
To resume it, a ten-point buck is a buck deer with ten distinct tines on its antlers. It is possible to have different numbers as well. Yet, as you may see, it is not an easy task to spot an animal in nature with these characteristics. First, it is hard to get any deer to stay quiet enough so you can pay attention to the details. Second, it is not a common condition, but it is not impossible to observe.
Let’s understand more about this beautiful species and see how it is possible to observe in nature.
What is a buck deer?
A deer, known as white-tailed deer, Virginia deer, or whitetail, has the scientifical name of Odocoileus virginianus, and “buck” is the male deer. The female deer is known as a doe. What makes them different at first is the antlers, really. A doe doesn’t have any antlers, so if you see a deer with antlers, most likely it is a buck.
The white-tailed deer species is native to North America, Central America, Ecuador, and some parts of South America, such as Bolivia and Peru. It has been introduced in some countries worldwide, like New Zealand and Finland. The biggest Virginia deer population stays in Texas, actually, with an impressive number of 5.3 million deer.
There are 26 subspecies of whitetail globally, with seventeen of them in North America. Their coat changes during the change of seasons. For example, it is reddish-brown in the warmer seasons, like spring and summer, while it turns grey-brown throughout the cold seasons, like autumn and winter.
Of course, its tail area is white, and this is why the species is called white-tailed deer. They often raise their tail when they get alarmed, so they show the predator that they have detected them. Their size varies greatly depending on the country, and so does their weight.
Their most remarkable characteristic is certainly their antlers, which can only be seen in buck deer, or male deer. Yet, about one in 10,000 females can have antlers, even though this phenomenon is often associated with a free-martin. Bucks without branching antlers are called “spiked bucks” or “spike horns”, and the spikes can be very short or long.
The age, nutrition, and genetics of the animal are fundamental to determining their antlers’ branching and length. If they are well-fed and healthy, they can have eight-point branching antlers very young, at 1.5 years old. It gets bigger with age, most of the time. So, the antlers will be as big as the animal is old. However, its characteristics are not a good indication of a buck’s age since the local environment profoundly influences it.
The white-tailed deer can adapt quickly to many habitats, and they are vegetarian. Therefore, they don’t hunt for meat or eat meat at all. Their typical food option is legumes and small plants, such as grasses, shoots, leaves, prairie forbs, and even cacti when they are in deserts. They also eat food like fruits, acorns, and corns.
Their stomach is not equal to ours, and it has multi-chambers, so it allows the deer to eat aliments that we cannot, like some types of toxic mushrooms and poison ivy. Of course, their diet is heavily affected by the current season, but since the species is a ruminant, they can eat the food and digest it later when they find themselves a safe place.
Some famous and common natural predators of Virginia deer are cougars, jaguars, American alligators, and wolves. Do you know that heavy breathing that deer do? It is called blowing, and it is a reaction to potential predators. They run and alert the rest of the deer with the blowing sound. They also use their tails to warn their friends.
White-tailed deer are very fast animals and not very trusty, especially in places where humans often hunt them. When they see a human, they commonly run away immediately. They can jump very high as well, which, combined with their quick run, gives them the advantage to escape from attacks.
How old is a ten-point buck?
As stated earlier, it is hard to know how old a buck is depending only on its antlers. Many factors are responsible for its size, including genetics and diet. Even a one-year-old buck can be a ten-point if they are in perfect conditions for it. It is more important to see if the animal has reached its full maturity.
Some characteristics that help to find the buck’s age are its neck, legs, rump, chest, belly, facial markings, and the back. They are easier to spot during the rut, which is the behavior that the deer has during the breeding season when the buck pursues the doe.
Is a ten-point buck good?
Yes. Many think that the more point it is, the better the deer is. The ten-point buck is known as prime because of its many qualities. Overall, it is beautiful and healthy, and it looks very powerful because of the antlers. It seems like the deer is dressed with a natural crown of thorns.
It is known that the eight-point buck is average, while the ten-point buck can be a rare sight in many places. Yet, in some places, their presence can be reasonably common.
According to the Eastern Count, a ten-point buck has 5 points on each side of its antlers, including the eye guards. After all, it takes into consideration all points on both antlers. However, the Western Point Count does not count the eye guards in, only counting the points from one side. Therefore, the ten-point buck would be a four-point buck with this counting system.
Most Virginia deer are described through the Eastern Count, while the Western Point Count is more used for elk scoring and Mule deer.
How to see a ten-point buck
It is easier to see them during deer season, especially during the mating period. Remember that deer run away from humans easily, so try to stay as hiding as you can. Use scent-free soap, and be quiet.
Minimize your noise while walking in the forest, and be very quiet, paying much attention to your surroundings. Look for coverage as it is very necessary, so the deer don’t see you coming. Staying close to trees is a good tip since it camouflages both you and your scent.
If you want to see the buck, you can try to observe the doe first. The buck won’t be far from them, especially during the rut. What is essential to see a ten-point is to respect them and the nature surrounding them. Don’t kill them unless you absolutely have to do it. If you are going to kill a buck, avoid killing the young since they need to reproduce. Their population is already declined enough for us to be killing them to use their bodies as “trophies”.
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