As an East Texas Hunter who started after AR’s I’ve always been told that Ear Width is 13 inches while in alert. As I research more I’m finding out that mature bucks could have an Ear Width to be as much as 16-18 inches. Could this guy be legal even though he is inside his ears? We haven’t had much on camera this year and he is the only mature buck that we’ve had consistently.
He is very close if not just over legal width for an AR county of 13". He is to close for me to chance it though. Only way is if I new what the average ear width was for the property I am hunting on, even then he could still not be legal. IME ear widths vary on every property.
Typically I've found in the alert position, 13" is closer to the norm. The 16-18" you mentioned is not "alert" at least not in Freestone Co. I've measured a few of our bucks holding their ears straight out and have seen anywhere from 16-18" that way. That's still another couple inches wider than the alert position.
This buck was killed in an AR county. He was 13 6/8 IS. He was a 7+ yr old buck that field dressed only 108 lbs. Trail cam photos can make deer look smaller or larger than they really are. Unless you have other deer to judge from it is hard to make the call on a buck that is close. I felt this buck was 14" or little more inside, but he was under 14" but still legal.
This buck was killed on the same ranch and was mature also. He was 14 2/4" IS but he field dressed 140. Larger bodied deer with much larger ears. Even on the same ranch bucks ear size and width can vary a lot.