Points play a big part in trophy hunting. Even for hunters who are only looking for table fare, they enjoy getting a nice rack to hang on the wall also.
Not only does a nice head of antlers look good, but it’s also important to understand points on a deer to stay legal in a lot of scenarios.
So what is a 10-point buck? It’s a deer with ten points on its antlers. Let’s look at this further.
What do Points on a Buck Mean in Hunting?
To put it simply, when hunters discuss “points” in hunting they are discussing the tips of each piece of the deer’s antlers that are over an inch in length.
You may hear everything from spikes, two points, six-point, ten, and even twelve points, and no they are not referring to points in a hunting game, but rather using the points as a benchmark to describe the quality of the deer.
To the more knowledgeable hunter or rather a deer enthusiast, those points are given different names. In this case, the anatomy of a Whitetail’s antlers is made up of the following:
- Burr or pedicle
- Brow tine
- Main beam
The classification and scoring of a Whitetail’s antlers are done by using the more common Boone and Crockett method. This method uses a combination of letters and numbers, more specifically the letters “H” and “G” and numbers 1 to 8.
Gs – These are used to name the normal antler points on a buck. G1 refers to the brow tine on a Whitetail as that is the first point, then G2 for the next point, and so on. It is important to note that the point on the main beam of a buck is not assigned the letter G although it is considered a point.
Hs – The H is used to measure the circumference of the antlers on a Whitetail. There are only four H measuring areas on a Whitetail’s antlers and regardless of the number of points it has, there will only be four Hs.
What is a 10-Point Buck?
A ten-point buck is effectively a buck with five points on either side of its rack or antlers. However, to accurately describe a ten-point buck would be to say that it has three standing points on either side. Hence it has three standing points, the brown tine point, and the main beam point. A total of five points on either side of the buck’s head.
With regards to the Boone and Crockett method, a ten-point buck would have a G1, G2, G3, and a G4. The brow tine is not assigned a G-letter.
How Old is a 10-Point Buck?
It is difficult to accurately judge an animal’s age according to the size of its antlers. There are too many variables to consider that can affect the growth in the antlers, from the region to the food source, ultimately making for an inaccurate prediction. Just because a buck has a certain amount of points, does not necessarily mean it will be of a certain age.
With good genetics, a one-year-old buck can in essence be a ten-point, and you will very often find bucks with fewer points that are older. One should rather focus on how to determine when a ten-point buck has reached full maturity.
Key features or characteristics to look for in a Whitetail’s body to help determine its age and maturity are:
- Facial markings
- The Back
These characteristics will be easier to identify during the rut which is around November as opposed to April/May. To provide parameters, a ten-point buck is considered mature around three and a half to fours of age and in its prime from six years and older.
In heavily hunted areas it is rare to find the buck in the eight-year-old age group but it is possible.
The body characteristics of a mature ten-point buck would be almost rectangular. With a solid square chest, equally developed and heavy rump. A thick-set neck, meeting the chest much further down when compared to a younger buck, presenting an almost swollen appearance.
The back will be heavily swayed with a drooping belly and meaty legs. Concerning the face, older bucks will have scars from fighting with other males and rubbing their antlers on trees. Younger bucks will avoid fighting and may have a “cleaner” face.
Is a 10-Point Deer Good?
Hunting a ten-point buck is good, hunting a mature ten-point buck past his prime is excellent. The genetics, body sizes, and antler lengths of Whitetail will vary with each region throughout the United States.
The rule of thumb is that an eight-point buck is average. The majority of hunters in the US have hunted an eight-point buck at some time in their hunting career. It is also worth noting that we World Record Whitetail ever hunted was a forty-seven point buck from Tennessee.
In some regions, a ten-point buck may be a rare sight, in others, a ten-point would be considered fairly normal. Hence when deciding if a ten-point buck is good, one must always consider the other factors such as age, body condition, antler mass, and what is considered a “good buck” for that area.
Scoring methods such as the Boone and Crockett method, provide rankings for Whitetail antlers and allow for a little more depth detail as to just how good a ten-point buck is.
A ten-point deer is one that has ten points on its antlers, five on each side.
Many hunters would be joyed to bag a 10-point buck. In most cases, a 10 pointer is above average. Regardless of whether you hunt for meat or trophies, it’s important to be able to count points and know the difference between a 10-point buck, 4-point buck, spiker, etc.