Editors Blog

In Pursuit of a Drop-Tine Buck

Buck with drop tine 

Look closely at this buck. Pretty cool, huh? Brad Rucks got this surprise on his trail camera last summer. Although the buck was only 2-1/2 years old, Brad had hoped one of his kids would have got a chance at the buck during the bow or gun season. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Who knows, maybe they will see him this year!

I’ve always dreamed of seeing a drop-tine buck from my tree stand. Hasn’t happened yet. I’ve shot a few bucks with long sticker points, even one big buck with a 21-inch dagger, but never a drop-tine buck. They’ve eluded me for good reason: There just aren’t that many of them out there!

What do we know about drop tines in whitetails? Well, for the most part, we know that most drop tines are caused by genetic coding. Sure, bucks can grow weird antlers because of prior injuries, which could have been the case with the buck in this photo (note how close it is to the pedicle), but most true drop tines are the result of a whitetail buck’s genes.

We also know that whitetails across the country will, again for the most part, have completed their antler growth by the end of July. The antler-growing process takes about 100 days. After that, deer will add some mass before the whole growing process shuts down and calcification occurs.

Please share your experiences with drop-tine bucks by commenting below. If you have photos, please email them to me here at the office.