All summer long we’ve been watching bucks grow antlers, they grew bigger by the week and you knew (or hoped) this year would be the year you would have that “Booner” to chase. Well, we hate to burst your hope bubble but if he isn’t a Booner now, he never will get there (at least this year), the antler growing time has long since passed. What you are seeing on the back 40 is what you will be seeing when the season opens or the rut peaks or whenever you plan on hanging him on the game pole.
The outer skin of the antler (velvet) is peeling as you read this, in fact most antlers will be velvet free by mid-month. Antlers stopped growing and began to calcify (harden) roughly a month ago. It’s all testosterone driven and pretty much depends on the amount of daylight a buck receives each day (photoperiod). Extensive research has been conducted on antler growth and for the most part it plays out the same way year after year. Sure age, nutrition, and genetics, has something to do with antler size but unless your deer live under a grow light, it’s all over for the year,when the days start to shorten and the testosterone starts flowing, everything goes on auto pilot as far as antler growth is concerned.
So, if you’ve been watching a “monster” all summer and last week when you saw him last he would score around 140-150 you had better give up on him becoming a Booner (170”). What you are seeing now is pretty much what you will be getting this season. But, a nice 140” 10 pointer is a great deer in anybody’s book and there is always the one you never saw.