What is an 8 Point in Hunting?
Antlers are the horns of male deer, antelope, and some other species of animals. They are grown and shed each year, and are used by the animal for defense, dominance displays, and for fighting other males for the right to breed. Antlers are made of bone and covered by a special skin called velvet.
Each point of an antler is a tine that extends outward in a straight line from the main beam of the antler. Some animals have more than 8 points per antler, while others only have 4 or 5.
Most hunters who use the term 8-pointer are referring to white-tailed deer. Bucks with bigger antlers, meaning more points and wider racks, have greater breeding success. This is why bucks strive to grow bigger antlers each year.
In most states, bucks with 8-points or more are typically referred to as “trophy bucks.” A buck with 8-points or more is usually more than 3.5 years old, meaning it has gained most of its antler growth and size.
Black-tailed deer are similar to white-tailed deer, though the antler points per side of their antlers average about 6. The points of black-tailed deer antlers are also shorter than those of white-tailed deer.
8-point deer antlers qualify as a trophy for a hunter. A hunter pursues an 8-pointer because it is uncommon to see an animal of such size or age. The number of points is only one way to identify a trophy deer. Other characteristics to look for include a wide rack, heavy main beams, and long tines.
An 8-point deer is distinctive because of its impressive, wide antlers with 8 points on each side. 8-pointers are usually among the largest bucks, making them a sought-after trophy by hunters. Hunters should also use other characteristics, such as a wide rack and long tines, to identify a trophy deer.