by Dusty McGehee
Pictured above is what I believe could be the next Boone and Crockett buck in Lincoln Parish. While the actual score of a deer doesn’t really concern me, I know some people set their goals on “X amount of inches” a buck scores. For those that don’t know, Boone and Crockett Club recognizes bucks that are harvested fair chase and the minimum net score for a typical buck is 170 inches.
I know what you’re thinking, Dusty you are crazy on making such a claim on this young buck. While I agree with you on the crazy and young buck part, let’s look at him a little closer. As he stands, we have a 110-115 inch, 2.5-year-old Lincoln Parish 10-point buck. This would be considered a young superstar for our area and is on the DO NOT SHOOT list. There have only been two 2.5-year-old 10 points that I have seen around here, and both were killed at a later age, so I have some data to support my claim, albeit a small sample size.
Buck 1: Lived to see 3.5 and was shot by neighbor. He scored 142”
Buck 2: Lived to see 5.5 (miraculously), shot by me. He scored 160” with 6 inches of antler broken off.
If you’re not convinced by my 2-buck data, let’s look at actual data compiled by the experts from Mississippi State University. According to them, a buck reaches its maximum antler growth at age 6.
Here is a breakdown of antler growth by age:
1 year old 30%
2 years old 60%
3 years old 80%
4 years old 90%
5 years old 95%
6 years old 100%
So, let’s do some quick math on the potential Boone and Crockett buck that I have. Assuming we all agree he is 2.5 years old and 114 inches.
At age 3 (next year) he will be at 80% antler growth and will be 152”. At age 4 he will be at 90% and 171”. Age 5 and 180.5. When he finally tops out at 6 years old, we have a 190-inch deer roaming the Lincoln/Union Parish line.
Do I believe this buck would hit these marks? Well according to my personal knowledge of the two bucks killed here, it’s probably a tad far-fetched. Do I think he would make it to that magical 170 inches living in a bubble? Absolutely.
We all know that a buck needs age, genetics, and nutrition to reach his maximum potential. This buck definitely has the genetics. As far as nutrition goes, he won’t go hungry. But in the piney woods of north Louisiana, he will not be given the max nutritional intake to meet his full potential.
I highly doubt he will reach the 6-year mark. More than likely he will join the “Spoon and Crockpot Club” this year from a surrounding hunter. If he is lucky enough to survive this deer season, I believe he will be a “wall hanger” next year. While me and the neighbor have an agreement to not shoot him this year, next year all bets are off. I’m rooting for this deer, I hope he finds a hole to live in and evades myself and every other hunter for 3-4 years. Who knows, stranger things have happened.
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