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What is the easiest way to age my deer?

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What is the easiest way to age my deer?

Old 11-10-2010, 06:18 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default What is the easiest way to age my deer?

I just shot my first deer, and 8 point, and I really want to know how old it is. Can anyone advise on the easiest way to age my deer? I see lots of stuff on the internet, but I'm looking for input from actual hunters on how they do it?
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:27 PM
  #2  
Spike
 
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Great question! There are lots of resources on the web on how to do this, but I just purchased an app for my iPhone called the Deer Age Tool that lets you age your deer while 'down' in the field without an internet connection. If you have an iPhone (I also think it works with the iTouch and iPad) this was a super cool way to do this. Otherwise, pull your jaw, boil it, clean it, and then scour the internet for photos to qualify the amount of tooth wear on the teeth and match up for the right amount of wear. Good luck! Hope it is 3+
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:47 PM
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Probably the best method is cementum annuli aging done by a lab. You pull the lower incisor teeth and send them to them and they look at them under a microscope at the lab and count the rings. Costs about $25 with shipping. www.deerage.com does it.

The next best method is to remove the lower jawbone and look at the toothwear. This is really accurate to 2.5 years old and then gets less and less accurate the older you get. Generally you can get a pretty good idea by looking at a jawbone though.

Here's a good article on the subject - http://www.huntingmuckalee.com/agingdeer.html
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:00 PM
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Here's the jawbone from the oldest deer I've shot. It was aged by the lab using the cementum annuli method at 8.5 years.



Based on toothwear he would only appear to be 6.5 or 7.5 years old, but I had trail camera pictures of him the year before and he actually was starting to go downhill on antler growth so I think the 8.5 years is more likely to be correct.

He was also an 8 point and only scored 112".



Here's an interesting jawbone comparison picture I took. The top jawbone I estimated at 2.5 years old. The lower jawbone is the one aged by the lab to be 8.5 years old. Look at how much of the tooth is worn down over the years.



Here's the jawbone of the buck I took last year. I'm guessing he was either 6.5 or 7.5 based on his toothwear. I didn't send one of his incisors into the lab to be aged.



He scored even worse. He had a spike on one side that had been broken loose from the pedicle years before based on 3 years worth of trail camera pictures I had of him and a fork on the other side. I didn't get a good field photo of him, but here he is hanging from the meat pole.



I'm a sucker for an old buck, regardless of what kind of headgear they are sporting.

Last edited by npaden; 11-10-2010 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:01 PM
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And they say unicorns don't exist.
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