Brow Tine Genetics

Over the weekend I shot, according to my standards, a subpar Whitetail Buck.  The short version of a long story is that he was trotting at a moderate pace through the woods at 85 yards when I shot him and he appeared to be a respectable 8 pointer.  When I got up to him and put my hands on him, I learned that I had shot a perfectly balanced 6 pointer with no brow tines.  Immediate disappointment flooded me.  It was overwhelming that I had just shot a buck that was much smaller than many other deer I had let walk this season.  After some time of feeling down-and-out, I decided that what had happened, had happened and that I had best accept it.  So, the search for the silver lining began.  Suprisingly, there were many silver linings, and one of them led me to write this blog entry.  Here is the list:

1.  He is going to taste great!

2.  I won’t have to worry about my increased work schedule affecting the outcome of my season.

3.  The $24 I paid for my Firearms tag won’t go to waste.

4.  He is still a mature deer.

5.  I’m saving money that would have been spent at the taxidermist.

6.  His inferior genetics have been eliminated from the gene pool.

The last reason is the focus of this blog entry and is debateable.  I have heard that if a 3 1/2 year old deer doesn’t have brow tines, he never will.  Others have told me that maybe he will have brow tines at some point, but will probably be a maximum of 1 to 2 inches long. I’ve been told that this is a genetic trait and it should be eliminated from one’s hunting area if they didn’t want bucks around with little to no brow tines.  Indiana’s regulation of 1 antlered deer per year leaves little opportunity to cull deer with poor antler genetics.  So, I found comfort in knowing I had done my part in removing this undesireable antler trait from the local herd.

So, I’m now at peace with taking such a small antlered buck.  Sure, I’m getting a lot of teasing from my buddies, but I’m okay with it.  It will also give me a lot of motivation to do my homework during the offseason and my wife is happy that I will be able to focus on things that need to be done around the house.

Hopefully, you all kill record book bucks and don’t have to refer to my list of reasons for being okay with killing a genetically inferior buck.  But if you do, rest assured that it isn’t the end of the world, and there are a number of reasons why you can be okay with it.