Though antlers can be helpful to distinguish young bucks, sometimes antlers can be misleading. Body characteristics are also very important.
Antlerless Deer – Doe or Fawn
Many hunters prefer to target adult deer. Taking adult female deer contributes to whitetail management objectives, and passing buck fawns may allow some of them to be available later as antlered bucks.
After the Shot
Check out DEC’s Guide to Aging Deer in New York to learn how to age deer by looking at their teeth.
Illustrations, from above: bucks from Washington County, NY demonstrating typical age-related differences in body size and antler growth; table describing the physical characteristics of a yearling buck vs an older buck; drawing showing the physical differences between an adult doe and a fawn; and table describing the physical characteristics of an adult doe vs fawn.