3Rivers Archery Supply
Judging Antler Width, Ears Lie
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
DL 11-Oct-17
Ucsdryder 11-Oct-17
DL 11-Oct-17
Jaquomo 11-Oct-17
Treeline 11-Oct-17
LKH 11-Oct-17
Paul@thefort 11-Oct-17
Paul@thefort 11-Oct-17
Paul@thefort 11-Oct-17
wytex 12-Oct-17
TD 12-Oct-17
Treeline 12-Oct-17
APauls 12-Oct-17
Jaquomo 12-Oct-17
grizzly 12-Oct-17
Brotsky 13-Oct-17
MathewsMan 13-Oct-17
From: DL
11-Oct-17

DL's embedded Photo
DL's embedded Photo
DL's embedded Photo
This forked horn measured measured 29.5 Wide.
DL's embedded Photo
This forked horn measured measured 29.5 Wide.
So you hear Mule Deer ears are 18-22 wide. Some go as wide as 26" though. Here's a picture of a buck I just got in Oregon during rifle season. He's a stag and measured 24.5" wide. I don't know but I can imagine different geographical areas have deer with different ear widths. Many times I have looked at a huge necked deer and then his ears. You can tell on some of those that they have the huge ears closer to the 26".

From: Ucsdryder
11-Oct-17
Great topic. I always figure 22-24” on mature MD. Would love to see what the consensus is tho!

From: DL
11-Oct-17
I go with 24" especially if he's the buck that got away. Maybe 26". Campfire stories are better that way. I did see one of those bucks that as soon as I saw it I started shaking. Sun was low and his antlers were reflecting the sun and shining.

From: Jaquomo
11-Oct-17
In my experience they vary by region and by age. Also hard to tell because just a little tilt to the ears up or down can change the width by several inches.

From: Treeline
11-Oct-17
Have totally miss judged bucks that had really wide ear-spreads. I have measured a bunch of bucks taken above treeline that measured as much as 28". Estimate scores at 24" and be happy...

From: LKH
11-Oct-17
Muleys can be a mystery. I've seen them with ear spread from 21 to 26 and thats on mature deer. Last week my son and I spent over an hour using a spotting scope from 110 yards on a 4x4 with 2" brows and I couldn't tell if it was 155 or 175. Had really rounded off ears and looked young while also showing 4-5 year old mass. We ended up passing him and a great 3x3 with18" G-2's and 12" G-3's. Both just looked young and maybe I'll see them next year.

Posted this earlier on a judging post. The 4x4 had round puffy ears and we called him the Panda Bear buck.

From: Paul@thefort
11-Oct-17

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
11-Oct-17

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: Paul@thefort
11-Oct-17

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: wytex
12-Oct-17
Allen's Rule and to some extent Bergmann's rule come into play .

From: TD
12-Oct-17
My ears are a bit bigger and wider than they used to be........

That's not even taking into account if they may be droopy or not.....

WRT mule deer, seeing that "Y" pointed right at you is rarely a good thing....

From: Treeline
12-Oct-17
Dang, Paul! I think I may need to start hunting in your backyard! Some really pretty bucks there - don’t care how wide they are!

From: APauls
12-Oct-17
I've had some friends shoot a couple whitetails that had dinky ears seeing that space between ears and beam lol. Then it's like WHAT?!?!?! He's got 3" ears! Usually happens rifle hunting spur of the moment running type deal, but pretty funny when it happens.

From: Jaquomo
12-Oct-17

Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
TD, I sort of like seeing that "Y" point toward me. Means they've seen the doe hat or Heads Up and are coming over to get shot... or a reprieve....

From: grizzly
12-Oct-17
I make the mistake of looking at them from behind and they appear wider that way? I usually figure WT @ 18" and MD @ 22"

From: Brotsky
13-Oct-17

Brotsky's embedded Photo
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Here's a great example of this. This buck is exactly 22" wide. His ears are also right at 22" wide. Amazing how much they can vary though as so many have stated. Just thought this was a good angle showing flat ears and antler width on a buck with a known spread measurement.

From: MathewsMan
13-Oct-17

MathewsMan's embedded Photo
MathewsMan's embedded Photo
I understand your not supposed to judge animals from behind. But I snuck up behind this guy taking a nap and ears did not factor in either

  • Sitka Gear