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Thread: Antlers going back

  1. #1

    Antlers going back

    Hi, I would be very grateful if someone could describe to me how I might tell if a fallow bucks antlers are 'going back'.

    Many thanks,


  2. #2
    I can only speak from experience on one particular herd but, within that herd after the bucks are past their prime the palms tend to 'fish tail' - that is that they split. In general the width of the palm reduces.

    I should point out that, in my experience apart from in the New Forest and, of course parks few fallow bucks in the UK are allowed to achieve their prime let alone surpass it.


  3. #3
    roughly speaking nick hold old do you reckon they are when that happens,

    thanks in advance f,

  4. #4
    I guess that, as usual this will depend on the environment, in the New Forest (where my experienced is based on) with sandy soils and lots of competition for grazing the bucks would reach their prime at around 5 or 6 and hold the head until around ten years of age. On the north western edge of the Forest where the soils are more chalky and there are crops and pheasant feeders I think the quality bucks we culled tended to be a bit older comparatively (I used to section all teeth before I got a proper job and a family!)

  5. #5
    Many thanks , useful information.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    Many thanks , useful information.
    agreed and thanks

  7. #7
    hi firefly. glad to see someone else nearby me. good question as i was wondering the same. i shot this buck back in august. he was the only one that presented a safe shot but was the biggest in the herd. i wondered if he was the dominant male and should leave him but his antlers are fish tailed and the other big buck of very similar size had very semetrical perfect antlers and so i guessed this was the one to take

    Attachment 12073Attachment 12076Attachment 12074Attachment 12075

  8. #8
    can anyone help age it from the teeth

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by pj1 View Post
    can anyone help age it from the teeth
    8yrs 7months and twenty two days give or take a week

  10. #10
    Fallow bucks generally mature around 8 years of age and 'go back' after that, but as stated they rarely live that long in the wild. Fishtails are mostly a genetic thing so younger bucks are just as likely to have them. In general the older they get they show bigger pedicles, shorter in length and decreasing palmation. Very old bucks will show a handlebar appearance or literally the antlers will 'go back' like a set of goats horns.

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