It was brought up on a different thread, age on a buck doesnt always mean that the rack is going to be big. Looks like an older deer to me. Some bucks just don't get big racks. The back to back winters that we had could of reduced his head gear some.
I feel like any older northern bucks I have seen with small racks have more of the basket rack that starts to come forward. Like small 8 pts racks with short tines. There have been some shot in our area (within 20 miles) that were 220+ lbs dressed and scored 80 or less, those may have been very old, nobody knew (or knows now) anything about aging.
They say you should ignore the antlers when aging but with antlers like that I think I remember hearing from the QDMA experts that you should be factoring them into the aging in limited circumstances. Even Maya's buck may have only been a 2.5 that is just like an aggressive teenage boy doing all of the rubs and scrapes.
Maybe it is one of those antlered does. Some stay in velvet but some have hard antlers as well. With antlers covered its head and neck make it look like a doe.
Better shoot it and pull a tooth and check between the legs.
The more I have looked at that pic the more inclined I am to side with the possibility of antlered doe. My only hang up there is I haven't ever seen or heard of one rubbed out to hard horn. They always seem to be velvet antlered.
Finally Someone steps up. I read a study by the wi dnr about the age of harvested bucks. I can't remember the exact data, and the results can fluctuate from state to state and obviously property to property.
The objective data, even in trophy rich counties like buffalo county, had 4.5 year old bucks making up like 2% of the harvest population. The majority of bucks were still 1.5 and 2.5 with a healthy percentage of 3.5. It was a drastic drop to 4.5. It is rare to get a buck 4.5 years old, even in trophy rich areas. Most QDMA type of bucks are 2.5-3.5.
To get a 4.5 buck with 20" antler genetics is like winning the lottery.