What is a Brow Tine Deer?


There are a number of different types of deer out there, and the terminology used to reference different deer, even among animals in the same species can get confusing. Deer terminology goes beyond just different species like white-tailed deer and mule deer. In fact, it even goes beyond buck and doe. In today’s article we’ll answer the question What is a brow tine deer? with facts about the unique antler structure of deer that fall within this classification.

A brow tine deer is a deer that has a brow tine on its antlers. Brow tines normally occur in mature bucks, but there are some bucks who won’t ever grow brow tines.

Let’s take a closer look at what a brow tine is and why it does or does not occur. We’ll also look at how brow tines play into deer scoring.

What is the Brow Tine on a Deer?

A brow tine is the part of a buck’s antlers. The brow tine is the part of the antler where the first set of antlers start to jut away.

Often the brow tine grows out forward, whereas the rest of the antlers grow horizontally.

If this seems hard to distinguish from the other parts of the antlers, just remember that the brow tine comes off of the brow.

Other tines or sections of the antlers grow straight off the antler as opposed to from the brow.

As is always the case with antlers, there is a great deal of variation. No two deer will have the same set of antlers. Thus, no two brow tines will look alike.

A buck’s antlers grow throughout the course of the year. Once the mating season is over, a deer’s antlers will fall off. They will regrow the following year.

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Antlers are fast-growing bones, but they don’t grow overnight. Thus, the size and shape of the brow tine will look different depending on the time of year. As a buck gets older, the brow tine and antlers will grow.

Deer Antler Terminology

Deer antlers get more complicated than brow tines. The best way to understand the different parts of an antler set is to have an antler set handy and look at the different parts.

The antlers stem up from the crown of the head. The part of the head supporting the antlers is referred to as the pedicle. The main central part of the antler is called the beam.

Above the brow tine, deer will have more antlers stemming from the beam. The first is referred to as the bay antler. Then came the royal antler.

If the top of the antlers divide into two parts, the end of the antlers is called a fork. If the end has multiple branches that resemble the shape of a hand, the end is called a palm instead of a fork.

The fingers of the top of the antlers are referred to as crown tine.

Not all deer will have all these antler elements. There is a great deal of variation, and there are countless irregular features that can appear.

The diversity of antlers is part of what makes collecting antlers so much fun.

Older deer usually have longer antlers than younger ones, but this isn’t always the case. Some bucks have antlers that bud early, and others won’t grow very big antlers.

What Age Do Deer Get Brow Tines?

Male deer will sometimes grow their antlers as young as four or five months old. Brow tines normally won’t appear until a deer is mature, but there is always variation.

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Some deer grow antlers faster than others, just like some deer will have larger antlers and others smaller antlers.

A male white-tailed deer is considered mature at about four and a half years. If a buck doesn’t have a brow tine at this point, it probably won’t grow them later on.

The average lifespan of a white-tailed deer is about six years.

Usually only male deer grow antlers, but female deer can sometimes grow antlers. This occurs more frequently in certain species. Female Reindeer or Caribou, for instance, have antlers which helps them dig for food under snow.

Female antlers usually won’t be as big as male antlers and can be distinguished from male antlers fairly easily. It’s less likely for female deer to have brow tines.

Why Some Deer Grow Brow Tines and Others Don’t

Much about deer antlers remains a mystery. There is a lot to learn about why and how deer antlers grow. We probably won’t ever figure out why deer grow antlers the way they do.

Nature is full of surprises, but recent population studies of white-tailed deer in Texas suggest that brow tines are a genetic trait. In other words, the offspring of a brow tine buck will probably have brow tines.

If a buck doesn’t have brow tines, his children probably won’t either.

There are exceptions, and antler growth is influenced by a variety of factors such as diet, climate, and hormones.

Deer antlers are some of the fastest growing bones on the planet. Growing bones requires an abundance of calcium and protein.

If a deer’s diet is deficient, it will have trouble growing antlers. Antler growth requires a substantial amount of energy, so if a deer is worn out, it will have trouble growing antlers.

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[Click Here to Shop .270 Winchester Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a mule deer in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the .270 Winchester within the ideal range of suitable calibers for mule deer hunting?” our answer is: Yes, the .270 Winchester is A GOOD CHOICE for mule deer hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber .270 Winchester Animal Species Mule Deer Muzzle Energy 3780 foot-pounds Animal Weight 225 lbs Shot Distance 150 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a .270 Winchester? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a .270 Winchester round is approximately 3780 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male mule deer? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male mule deer is approximately 225 lbs. [Click Here to Shop .270 Winchester Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in mule deer hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for mule deer to be approximately 150 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the .270 Winchester. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the mule deer being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether .270 Winchester is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest mule deer - and to this question, the response again is yes, the .270 Winchester is A GOOD CHOICE for mule deer hunting. [Click Here to Shop .270 Winchester Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting mule deer to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

Hunters love brow tines because they look more impressive on an antler rack. If a certain population of deer is lacking brow tines, hunters will try and cull the non-brow tine bucks so that they won’t mate.

This ensures that future generations will have brow tines.

However, just because a deer doesn’t have brow tines doesn’t mean the deer is necessarily unhealthy. There is nothing wrong with a buck that doesn’t develop brow tines.

Scoring Deer: Do You Count the Brow Tines on a Deer?

Whether or not to score brow tines on when scoring deer antlers is a personal decision. Some hunters will count them, whereas others count it as cheating. It’s up to you which you pick.

If you’re competing with your friends for the best antlers, make sure you have a good scoring system and know whether or not brow tines are going to count.

For standard registration purposes, a brow tine is recorded as a G-1. There is an entire scoring system for other irregular antler traits and abnormalities.

To measure antlers for scoring, all you need is a measuring steel tape and some string. Before scoring the antlers, make sure they are completely dry and clean. Otherwise your measurements could be messed up.

Brow Tines: In Conclusion

Brow tines can be the highlight of an impressive antler set. They are one of the most fascinating and complex features when it comes to antlers.

There is still a lot to learn about antler growth, particularly when it comes to brow tines, but hopefully this has helped you understand what brow tines are and why they are so exciting.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>