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"Unbranched" antler - stupid question #8461027 11/28/21 09:33 PM
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Creekrunner Offline OP
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Many will respond "duh", but I'm a stickler for details. If I've got a buck with a normal 4 points on his left (we'll refer to him as "Lefty" from here on out"), and absolutely nothing on his right, the pedicle looks skinned over, is he an "unbranched antler" buck? 'Pretty sure I saw him last year too, at the same blind. I doubt there's anything genetically wrong with him, he just injured that side of his noggin' when he was young. But, there's technically no antler to be "unbranched."

Maybe the TPWD has a "dumb question" hotline phone number someone on here could refer me to. confused2


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8461048 11/28/21 09:56 PM
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In my mind, he had to have an antler for it to be unbranched. If he doesn’t have an antler it can’t be branched or unbranched because it’s not there. Just my interpretation of the laws

Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Gw123] #8461051 11/28/21 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Gw123
In my mind, he had to have an antler for it to be unbranched. If he doesn’t have an antler it can’t be branched or unbranched because it’s not there. Just my interpretation of the laws


That's my concern. Thanks for responding. up


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8461056 11/28/21 10:06 PM
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Wow, when I read your question, I thought yeah no doubt you could shoot that deer. After looking at TPWD, I’m in the same boat as you. Not sure. Because of the wording it makes it sound like it has to have a protruding antler to be legal.


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Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8461094 11/28/21 10:53 PM
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OH MY GOSH.....once I read your question all I could think was how have I not thought of this at some point in the countless hours sitting in the stand thinking about what I would shoot if it showed up.....I have no idea what the answer is. Glad I could help.

Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8461122 11/28/21 11:14 PM
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I feel like we had this debate recently and the prevailing opinion was that it had to have at least something on the other side to determine it was unbranched.

Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8461151 11/28/21 11:36 PM
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I would agree there has to be something protruding and it needs to be unbranched.

I once asked a GW about a deer that had a whole bunch of unbranched apikes coming from the base but no discernible main beam to be branched….the GW said no go on the unbranched question. He saw the base as the main beam and the spikes were branches.

If worried about it, a call or text to the county GW will answer the question for you definitively.

Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8461157 11/28/21 11:52 PM
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I would think needs to be spike on one side. They break off one side fighting fairly regular. Might be a nice buck next year.

Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8461478 11/29/21 11:05 AM
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Call the regional DPW office in the area you hunt. Ask to speak to a warden about the unbranched antler regulations.
If no warden is available ask for the phone number of the warden assigned to your county. I have found that they are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke
Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8461776 11/29/21 04:14 PM
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I would think that the 'spirit' of the law is intended to promote the harvest of bucks that are:

A. Young and not yet sporting developed antlers. *age structure bucks*

B. Bucks of any age deemed sub par from normal. *quality related*

But the 'letter' of the law is indeed hinged upon the presence of an 'antler' (defined as bone/antler protruding through the skin).

Definition of Buck Deer
A deer with a hardened antler protruding through the skin. Deer with antlers completely covered in velvet (protruding through the skin) are also considered buck deer. A buck deer must be tagged with a buck deer tag or applicable tag or permit. For tagging purposes, all other deer are antlerless deer, regardless of sex.

Lacking any such protrusion on one side makes it impossible to characterize the buck. As such....I think a GW would advise the buck not be shot.

Other questions concerning antlers and possible confusion are:

1. How do you tag a button buck? (depends on several conditions)
2. If you shoot a Buck (male genitalia) late season that has already dropped both antlers, is it to be tagged a buck or antlerless deer?
3. If you shoot a very rare 'Antlered Doe' do you tag it as a buck?


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Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: flintknapper] #8461891 11/29/21 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by flintknapper
Other questions concerning antlers and possible confusion are:

1. How do you tag a button buck? (depends on several conditions)
2. If you shoot a Buck (male genitalia) late season that has already dropped both antlers, is it to be tagged a buck or antlerless deer?
3. If you shoot a very rare 'Antlered Doe' do you tag it as a buck?



Creekrunner - No, not an unbranched deer.

Flint:

1 - antlerless
2 - never seen a dropped antler in season but if there are no antlers then it's anterless
3 - antlered deer

That's precisely why they don't call them buck and doe tags they are antlered and antlerless.

I attempt to take the simpleton approach because I think that is how they try to write the laws, that attempt many times causes confusion for the grey (not black and white) folks. confused2


Originally Posted by Phil Robertson
Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8462046 11/29/21 09:13 PM
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I'll just wait and shoot him next year as a regular buck. He might be 5 on his left, you never know.

Thanks all for the input.

I have 3 "unbranched antler" tags. Finding something a little older is a challenge sometimes, but I'll find 'em.


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Judd] #8462450 11/30/21 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Judd
Originally Posted by flintknapper
Other questions concerning antlers and possible confusion are:

1. How do you tag a button buck? (depends on several conditions)
2. If you shoot a Buck (male genitalia) late season that has already dropped both antlers, is it to be tagged a buck or antlerless deer?
3. If you shoot a very rare 'Antlered Doe' do you tag it as a buck?



Creekrunner - No, not an unbranched deer.

Flint:

1 - antlerless
2 - never seen a dropped antler in season but if there are no antlers then it's anterless
3 - antlered deer

That's precisely why they don't call them buck and doe tags they are antlered and antlerless.

I attempt to take the simpleton approach because I think that is how they try to write the laws, that attempt many times causes confusion for the grey (not black and white) folks. confused2


Agree with 2 and 3....it is clearly spelled out.

Even No. 1 (if a true 'button buck') is correct. Trouble is determining (in the field) if the deer IS a button buck (pedicel completely covered with skin) or has any amount of bone/hardened antler protruding. In which case it would be tagged as a buck. We don't shoot any button bucks on my property and are careful to identify one from a Doe. But it is possible to have a button buck with one side (button) covered and the other pedicel having something broken through....making the appropriate tag a buck.

I've seen one buck (older buck run down from the rut) on our place that had dropped both antlers in January during the Muzzle-loader season. But never one before or since. Back in the 70's saw an 'antlered doe' that had been killed in Goldthwaite. Game Warden was there and was unsure what to call it...since it had evidence of both Male and Female genitalia.


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Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8462695 11/30/21 03:08 PM
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I am a math guy................ I think he's legal, over 13 inch inside spread.

His inside spread is infinity...........

Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: flintknapper] #8462738 11/30/21 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by flintknapper
Originally Posted by Judd
Originally Posted by flintknapper
Other questions concerning antlers and possible confusion are:

1. How do you tag a button buck? (depends on several conditions)
2. If you shoot a Buck (male genitalia) late season that has already dropped both antlers, is it to be tagged a buck or antlerless deer?
3. If you shoot a very rare 'Antlered Doe' do you tag it as a buck?



Creekrunner - No, not an unbranched deer.

Flint:

1 - antlerless
2 - never seen a dropped antler in season but if there are no antlers then it's anterless
3 - antlered deer

That's precisely why they don't call them buck and doe tags they are antlered and antlerless.

I attempt to take the simpleton approach because I think that is how they try to write the laws, that attempt many times causes confusion for the grey (not black and white) folks. confused2


Agree with 2 and 3....it is clearly spelled out.

Even No. 1 (if a true 'button buck') is correct. Trouble is determining (in the field) if the deer IS a button buck (pedicel completely covered with skin) or has any amount of bone/hardened antler protruding. In which case it would be tagged as a buck. We don't shoot any button bucks on my property and are careful to identify one from a Doe. But it is possible to have a button buck with one side (button) covered and the other pedicel having something broken through....making the appropriate tag a buck.

I've seen one buck (older buck run down from the rut) on our place that had dropped both antlers in January during the Muzzle-loader season. But never one before or since. Back in the 70's saw an 'antlered doe' that had been killed in Goldthwaite. Game Warden was there and was unsure what to call it...since it had evidence of both Male and Female genitalia.


You're correct...if it has an antler protruding then it is in fact an antlered deer...but a true button buck is antlerless and both should be tagged accordingly. We don't shoot buttons (or for that fact, try not to shoot young) deer in general either...accidents have and do happen and I've seen it...heck, I've done it. I shot a button buck years ago...he and his momma got behind a bush...she got behind it and he followed and he came out first and I shot him...dumb and stupid mistake on my part. Since then I've been a lot more paranoid about doing that.


Originally Posted by Phil Robertson
Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Re: "Unbranched" antler - stupid question [Re: Creekrunner] #8471062 12/09/21 11:12 PM
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We had a 5 on right side and nothing on left side last year. Seen him several times and took pics to GW. He said Nope, not an unbranched antler on that deer. That is what I thought and told other members who wanted to shoot him so I said lets ask the GW.

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