Here is an excerpt from a blog posted on www.bigwhitetail.wordpress.com
Social ranking among whitetail deer is not always based upon strength. Dominance is primarily determined by intimidation rather than brawn. Dominance is generally established well before the rut while the bucks are still in velvet. Body posturing and staring are ways bucks intimidate an opponent. If the dominant buck has the largest antlers in the herd it is merely a coincidence.We’ve all seen dozens of articles written about hunting dominant bucks. We imagine the dominant or Alpha buck to have the largest antlers and to be superior both mentally and physically to all other members of the herd. This just isn’t true. The hunting industry produces at least a dozen dominant buck calls and dominant buck scent attractants. These are marketing strategies and have little to do with what’s going on in the woods.
All bucks are territorial. They mark these territories by rubbing trees, making ground scrapes, and pissing all over the place. However, big bucks don’t necessarily have the same territories. Rather their territory overlap, a buck might be an Alpha in part of his territory and a Beta in the rest.
You can read the complete post here http://bigwhitetail.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/social-ranking-among-bucks/