Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine's Link
Discuss our Aging Feature
Discuss Kirk's article here. How did you do on the deer you needed to guess?
I like mass and a big body!
Excellent article, thanks Bowsite. Something that has needed to be said. Many hunters, even experienced ones, mistake a large racked deer for a mature deer and it is not necessarily the case. Many mature bucks actually have smaller racks than their younger relations.
It is difficult to judge the age of a buck dead, let alone in a hunting situation when often the decision to shoot is very quickly made.
To me the article is no more than a thinly disguised ad. The guy in the video runs a business that ages deer. Of course he is going to promote his method of ageing.
While tooth ware may not be exact as to year it is an excellent way to compare deer within a geographic area.
The accompaning photo shows two jaws of deer taken a few days apart in mid December. The antlers gross and net scored within two inches of each other. Visually both deer looked identical as to bady shape and condition. They were both mature deer.
The back jaw we aged at 3-1/2. The front one we aged at 9-1/2.
It does not take cemmentem ageing to tell the one is obviously older than the other.
High Country: "This is a great feature. Aging a deer on the hoof past 1 1/2 is very difficult."
So are you saying that it might be a good idea for guys to post pictures from their trail cameras and ask for a consensus on age and score?
Here is a picture of the deer. The one in his left hand is the older deer.
Great article, really like the info articles. Our biologists are aging deer this year on Fort Gordon to get a better census of the age population and possibly how the coyote population plays into those numbers. I read were a doe was aged at 20+ years somewhere by slicing a tooth which is said to be the best way to age deer. So, My question is why are most of the deer I see aged no older than 2.5 to 4.5 Where those deer that are say 5-15 years old. I know bucks live shorter life spans than does do to all the fighting and weight loss during the rut which makes them easy prey also. But there should be some old ones out there. I live GA and they can pretty much eat all year round so we should have older deer around here. Oh, I know there are more diseases in harmer climates to.
Nice article. One point I think that was omitted from the article is the precision of the estimates. In the study referenced the percentage of estimates from 6 biologists using the eruption-wear method were within 1 year of known age:
2 years old 92.6% of the time
3 years old 81%
4 years old 50%
5 years old 100%
6 years old 66.7%
7 years old 50%
Frankly these numbers may be good enough for some operations. It will depend on what the data is going to be used for though. If the goal is to find age classes (e.g. 1-3 years old and greater then 3) the eruption wear method may be perfectly suitable (and quite accurate) given the data presented. If you have to know exactly how old the deer is the cementum annuli technique seems the better bet where it works.
For guys in the south a key point is that the cementum technique has been found to be unreliable below 36 degrees latitude by at least two studies and rings are not present in all populations or species (e.g. moose).
there is no way a 3.5 and a 9.5 year old bucks looked the same as to body shape....except maybe to Stevie Wonder. Do ya'll just make up this stuff???
B4lite...maybe the older deer are smarter, move less, and move at night??? just sayin.....
"unreliable below 36 degrees"....WTH? I spent 26 years with Al ADCNR and aged thousands of deer from hunting clubs in Alabama. Ya'll do make this stuff up, don't you????
Buckstopper: To me that deer looks old but how do you know it is 9.5? Could it be 8.5 or 10.5? I like Cementum Annuli aging personally on older deer. Huh has a chart above and it is telling when experts have trouble on older deer. Charlie
DTala these are post rut bucks. Both field dressed around 190 Lbs. Both were long haired winter ready and I defy anyone who saw both side by side to tell me which was the older deer except for possibly the mass of the antlers. Northern deer are different than those puny runts you call bucks in Al. LOL
Charlie 9.5 is our best guess based on seeing hundreds of jaws from local deer. I am a taxidermist and look at every jaw I get in. He could easily have been 8.5 or 10.5. My point is the older buck was a lot older than the younger one (very little ware on the teeth of the younger one). You do not need a microscope and staining to get relative ages.
The picture is the two racks from these deer. Would people guess there may be six or more years difference in their ages based on their racks?
Buckstopper, yer so right about our puny Alabama deer, this buck barely made 150" and 210 pounds`. I carried him out with one hand like a suitcase.....
There is no way any experienced person could NOT tell which was the older buck of those two, even if you saw them a week apart......
All deer, regardless of which state they are in, show the same basic changes in body shape as they age. A 3.5 yankee deer dosen't look the same as a 3.5 Florida deer ...but the progressive changes are basically the same over time.
at 3.5 the one buck had not topped out yet, while a 9.5 year old buck had certainly regressed in antler size from his prime at five or six. One going up the other down.
DT nice one. 210 live or dressed?
Any guesses as to the age of this one. Poor picture I know as it is off a video. It is the only live picture I have.
He was boss hog as all the other bucks (7) in the field backed away as he approached.
He grossed just over 190 typical.
He is hanging on my wall just over the computer as I type this. Bow kill.
210 live, ya know, them puny Alabama deer :)
nice deer, I like those eye guards. If ya made me guess off that pic I have to say six, maybe seven. Bad pic to age off of....
guess the score on this puny(199# live weight) buck......:)
hint...the G-3s are 15 1/2 inches......
There is NO way that turkey goes 199# dead or alive.
And I'm callin BS on the G-3's too, because turkeys don't even have G-3's, plus we call 'em GOBBLERS or TOMS, but never bucks, gee whiz get it straight man!
(I'm kidding of course)
DTala - Since you "spent 26 years with Al ADCNR and aged thousands of deer from hunting clubs in Alabama" I am curious how many of those were done via the cementum annuli method? Because that is what was cited as being unreliable below 36 degrees lat. Have you sliced and stained a lot of incisors?
I hang em for about a week.
huh, thats what happens when I don't read ALL the post...:)
here's the right pic(no turkey) for buckstopper...
Your racks are definitely not puny DT but I still call puny when a lot of our mature bucks will be 300+ on the hoof! LOL
Any more guesses on the live deer picture before I post the kill shot and reveal his age when shot?
i said 6-7 in the other post, I'm guessing he's older than that. Maybe eight, can't see him holding his size much past seven....
you're right about the body size, my best ones weighed 241, 242, 252 live weights, most of our 5-7 year old bucks will go between 190 and 230 live weight. A lot of em go smaller depending on where ya hunt in Alabama....
For those who would like to look at some detailed data regarding the accuracy of molar wear aging vs cementum annuli I have attached link to the Hamlin study reported in the Peer reviewed Journal of Wildlife Management.
Here is anther study done by the Noble Foundation
Regarding the assertion that south of the 36 degree latitude cementum annuli is not accurate. Our experience and testing has occurred primarily with Texas deer and we have not found that to be the case. As a matter of fact the King Ranch in South Texas depends on cementum annuli for aging all thier buck over 2 1/2 years old. Also moose are aged with cementum annuli. Matson’s Lab, the real father and mother of cementum annuli aging for several decades, lists moose in his very comprehensive "Workbook for Cementum Analysis". You can even age a human with cementum annuli and it matters not where he lived.
Aging...is NOT 'The Golden Years'!..... ((*;
There does not appear to be much interest in this topic based on the number of replies.
I personally have been ageing the deer I shoot and those of my customers for many (30+) years. I use the tooth wear method. While it is not the most accurate method it is good enough for me and my customers. It is free and instant.
The picture is of the buck from my previous post. He was shot on Oct. 31 2002 the fifth season we hunted him, four years after the original picture was taken.
I have a shed from the year of the original picture and it is a perfect match just smaller than the same antler on the mount. The shed is the smaller side and scored 83". The same antler on the mount scores 67". The antlers and the deer's body both went considerably downhill his last year. We estimated his dressed weight at about 200 lbs.
We aged him at at least 10.5 based on tooth wear. He may have been much older.
so I was right on with 6-7 in my first guess....
Dang nice buck for sure. ANY ten year old buck is a trophy no matter the antler size.....congrats
QDMA has a nice poster for on the hoof aging. I use a jaw extractor and have my buddy age them for wear. He's a lot better than me since he does it as part of his job. I like to keep pics of them yearly and keep track of the ages. We have a pretty good idea then on age when they are harvested. We had pics of the buck on the right since we figured he was 3.5. He would have been 10.5 in this one. he never survived the winter unfortunately to find out his age for sure.
I guess nutrition really is a big deal... The mass and rack size on that deer labeled 2.5YO in the article (first pic) is a 4.5-5.5 YO in MA any day of the week.