how to gues the age of the deer

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how to gues the age of the deer

Postby daviddickdpt » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:01 pm

On my uncle's land, he doesnt care what i shoot. last saturday i saw 2 six pointers, just couldnt draw on them because i didnt have enough cover.
however, in 2 weeks im hunting with a friend and they have an agreement that they dont shoot bucks younger than 3.5yrs old.

how the heck do you know the difference?

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Woods Walker
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Re: how to gues the age of the deer

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:23 pm

Birth certificate. Or stop the deer, take one of his teeth out, and do an analysis of it. The birth certificate's easier!

Seriously, the best you can do is guess, based on the deer's body size and antler MASS. Not points or spread, but mass. And if you can get a good look at the bases of the antlers, that's even better. But to even make a reasonable guess this way you have to know the deer in the area that you are hunting, and what's "average" for that area for body size and antler mass.

At deer check stations they will look at the deer's molars to get an age guess, but as I said, the only sure way is to do an analysis of a tooth.

IMO it's kind of bogus for them to put an age minimum of what bucks they will allow you to kill, when there's no sure way of determining that until the deer's dead (unless you can get one to agree to stop and let you look in his mouth!). In fact, what if you kill one that to YOU sure as shootin' looks like it's FIVE years old, and they say that no, according to them it's only 2 1/2. Who's opinion is right? A better way is to have an antler point minimum and/or a spread minimum (although as hard as I've tried, I could NEVER get a buck to hold still long enough for me to get a tape on him before I shot him!)
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Re: how to gues the age of the deer

Postby Deebz » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:49 pm

Good points WW... It's really impossible to age a deer exactly if it's the first time you've seen him. There are some tell-tale signs of what a MATURE buck will look like... broadness of the chest and neck, antler mass (as WW mentioned), if you can see lots of grey in the face... But the only way to really be positive of a deer's age is to have seen the deer over a period of years and been able to recognize him by characteristics of the rack or coloration.

Google "aging deer on the hoof", and then be prepared to spend hours and hours reading about all of the methods... you basically just have to see a lot of deer and get a feel for whether or not you're looking at a young buck or a mature buck...
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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