The phrase "12-point buck" refers to the number of antler tines or protrusions on an adult male deer. The usual 12-point buck would have six tines in a symmetrical pattern on each antler.
Bucks typically begin growing antlers in early April in response to the increased sunlight. By late summer, the antlers have fully hardened. The total number of points on a deer's antlers is determined by its genetics, age and nutrition. Bucks reach their prime antler size between the age of 4 and 7 years old. A healthy diet provides the deer with the necessary nutrients to grow a more impressive rack of tines.