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Outdoor Term of the Week: Brow Tine

illustration with set of antler and horns isolated on black background

It’s that time again; time to learn something new. The term of the week, for all you non-deer hunters, is “brow tine.”

“Brow tine” may seem like an easy term, but if you aren’t familiar with how deer are scored, it may be a new word to add to your outdoor vocabulary.

To begin, it is helpful to know that “tines” are the forks on an antler. Therefore the brow tine is simply the tine on the deer’s brow, or the first division of antler from its head. But there is more to it than that.

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It matters greatly whether the deer has grown brow tines or not. In some states there are strict antler regulations in order to manage populations. Each state has different antler regulations for different game.

For example, Missouri has restrictions, varying by each county, on brow tines being less than an inch long. If you do shoot a young buck that has small brow tines, it can be legal under an antler-less permit but cannot be counted as points in a measuring system.

The general consensus is that the bucks with fully-formed brow tines are the best to shoot because they are fully matured and have already helped populate a local herd. And yet, the jury is still out since some biologists seem to think that some deer do not develop the brow tine due to a genetic mutation.

Regardless of the buck’s biology, brow tines are most commonly known to help score your trophy.

READ MORE: Outdoor Term of the Week: Skinny Water

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Outdoor Term of the Week: Brow Tine