Why Register?Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.
Welcome to Field & Stream!
Question by huntinfreak402. Uploaded on April 25, 2010
It's very difficult aging them like that. I usually look at the size of the animal; or the amount of grey hair on the nose. Always works out, but sometimes it's hard to judge size if only one deer comes out.
A few things I look for is antler width and mass(I'm looking for something that's out to the ears or wider, and has good thick bases) and a neck that blends into the shoulders and chest. If a deer has these features, it's likely a 3.5 year old deer, which is the standard I set to meet my own managment objectives. Does are fair game no matter what age, but I prefer to take a mature doe over a juvenile, so what you're looking for there is a short blocky face, which indicates the deer is a juvenile. If you look at enough deer you'll be able to distinguish the traits immediately, so go out there and hone your skills!
BioGuy, gave a real good answer. I too look at antler width and mass. The body of the deer holds many clues as to the age of the deer. The best way to learn them is to read and get imfo from deer management sources. Another and helpful way is to watch as many deer as you can, looking and studying them. I also try not to shoot bucks younger then 3.5.
That sounds good to me, because I go hunting at a hunting club in North Carolina, and their buck management plan is for each hunter to take however many does they want (considering they are starting to outnumber the bucks), and the minimum for bucks is 3 1/2 years old.
An older deer will have a pronounced sway back and sagging belly and it increases with age. Older deer will have more of a brisket hanging between it's front legs. Older deer will have a thicker forehead and larger face, what some call the Roman nose.
Old bucks have a large chest and neck in relation to the size of the back end. The above is good advice too. Large antlers with plenty of mass is another indicator. Older bucks are more likely to have stickers and other NT points also.
BTW My best buck was 4.5 yrs and had 17 pts with 13 inch G-2's. Shot him in 1989 on Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.
Everyone else covered the antlers, so I will move on. An older buck will have a shorter snout, not a pointy nose like a doe. Also the body will be more of a box, instead of a young, lanky buck that looks like a doe with antlers.
the further down the neck connects with the body the older it is
Fieldandstream.com is part of the Field & Stream Network, a division of Bonnier Corporation.
Copyright © 2012 Bonnier Corp. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.