Most of us will never see a 9.5-year-old buck in the wild, but if you did here is what his rack might look like. This funky rack came off a buck that lived his whole life in an enclosure and died of natural causes, so his age is documented.
They tell me that just a couple years before his death, this buck wore a nice, typical 10-point rack.
According to QDMA biologist Kip Adams, wild bucks grow their largest set of antlers between 5 and 7 years old. The racks start going downhill immediately after that and can regress very quickly due to bucks’ teeth wearing down, impacts from previous injuries and overall old age that impacts their health.
How long can a buck live? There are documented examples of the odd wild deer living into their teens and captive deer making it into their 20s.