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Learn to Identify "Button Bucks"

Each year many hunters harvest buck fawns, commonly called "button bucks," on antlerless deer licenses. Though legal, harvesting these deer may reduce the number of antlered bucks the following year. By learning the difference between adult does and buck fawns and observing the following suggestions, hunters can make a conscious choice about whether to harvest a buck fawn.
  • Look at body shapes of deer. Adult does are different in shape from juvenile deer. The mature doe is rectangular in shape with a long neck and face. Fawns are square-shaped and have a short neck and face.
  • Button bucks often travel alone, but adult does rarely do. Consider this when you observe a single antlerless deer.
  • Wait until more than three deer are together; then harvest one of the larger antlerless deer.
  • If two juvenile deer are without an adult, one will probably be a button buck. Normally the young male is larger than the female and may be mistaken for an adult doe because of its larger size. Look at the head of the deer. A doe's head is normally more rounded on top between the ears, and a buck's head is flattened by the base of the antlers.
  • Look closely with binoculars for the antler bases on button bucks.
  • Wait until the deer are standing or moving slowly. It is easier to identify sex and age when deer are not running or moving fast.
  • Shoot with good visibility. Poor light and heavy cover make it difficult to determine sex and age.
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