how to age a buck

Bucks at 1½ years of age may have spikes or even small racks sporting 4x4 or more points, but few racks will exceed the width of their ears. Our August article had 66 total comments, with 27 of them picking the correct age (5.5). The button buck looks much like a doe though and is often confused by hunters in the field. When we hunt the same are for a long period of time, there's always that one buck or two that either stays out of our range or gets passed up each hunting season. It comes from the fact that with each yearly shedding of the antlers, the coronet is affected. Once he reaches seven years of age, the more fawn-like facial features appear again and it can be deceiving to the observer. That is why it is important for the seasoned hunter to know his hunting grounds well not just from a topological standpoint. GET BUCKSCORE. The best way to determine the age of a roe buck is by following it throughout the winter and spring. Please refer to this chart to find out the age of your knife.110 & 112 MODELS:1974-1980One dot on each side of model number1980-1981One dot on left side, two dots on right side1981-1986Two dots on each side*2002The anvil was used instead of model numbers (on all knives) this year only. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. At 3 1/2 this buck scored in the mid 170s B&C. While you can’t guarantee determining the exact age, there’s a good way to make a very educated guess. Having said this, in general as a buck matures his antlers will gain mass, darken in color, and widen. Sometimes called "Johnny Ride a Pony," the game of Buck Buck is a boisterous outdoor game perfect for the playground or picnic area. If you spot a 10-point buck, you could probably be staring at a three to five-year-old buck. Everybody likes to think that they can accurately age on the hoof and there are several benefits to being able to accurately age a buck on the hoof. Yearlings and fawns will not display this patch at all. Another misconception is that you can tell the age of a buck by the size of its antlers. A few keynote characteristics would be skinny frame and neck. But wait, try to take a step back and ask yourself, could using antler size to estimate a buck's age between 2.5 and 6.5 years of age be any worse than the accuracy level reflected by the process of jawbone estimation? A step-by-step guide to measuring that big whitetail you just tagged, from our in-house certified B&C scorer Always take note that the age of the buck is one of the most important things you need to consider when figuring which is a cull. Culling or elimination is often carried out during this time. They’ll also appear to be all legs. Please refer to this chart to find out the age of your knife. In this blog post we try to show you how you can see if a buck is young or old. It is a usefull colloquial that many hunters are taught during their training and refers to the fact that older bucks shed their antler velvet earlier than younger bucks. The buck in the first picture appears to be a yearling buck or 1.5 years of age. In this blog post we try to show you how you can see if a buck is young or old. Check the knife handle for clues to the age of knives not bearing a symbol next to the model number. As it typically does when hunting from a treestand in the woods, the buck was within shooting distance in less than 10 seconds. But please send any photos you have that meet the criteria above, regardless of what age you think the buck is. This process allows you to recalibrate your aging skills and drill down on … A major factor for using antlers to age a buck is that you use this method when the buck is still alive, on the hoof and approaching your treestand. How to Play Buck Buck. These images show you how to tell the age of a deer, but there's one important step to do first. Consultation with a knife expert can yield clues based on rivet placement and other minute details to pinpoint the exact year of manufacture. I have a great passion for following a buck's growth as he enters maturity, while following particular bucks for as many as 5 years of pictures and up to 8 years of age throughout my hunting career. And in the moment of truth, would you be able to make that distinction? Ted's Public Land Monster - DEER TOUR E33 - … On the hoof, he looks to be a 3-year old deer based strictly on body shape, but I think he muscles up a bit in the next month. His hinder quarters are also much larger than his front shoulders but this will change to the opposite as he ages. Roe deer usually shift colors from the neckline on downwards and later on through the back. Estimating a buck’s age requires you to study body characteristics and physical proportions in areas like the stomach, chest, neck, hindquarters and legs – and to compare these parts to each other in the same photo. Three-year-olds have finally bulked up with muscle, so look to see if the rump and chest are bulging and in equal proportion. With summer and winter seasons, deer shift color to match their surroundings better. For other methods that you can use to make sure you can make the shot in time, try reading about the "10 Second Bowhunting Rule". The best way to determine the age of a roe buck is by following it throughout the winter and spring. Question: I was on a guided hunt last fall in Texas and killed a buck that I thought was around 3 years old. While you can’t guarantee determining the exact age, there’s a good way to make a very educated guess. 1981-1986 Two dots on each side *2002 Determining buck age over the next two years is as challenging as raising a hormone-rattled teenager. You won’t learn if a buck is 3 years old or 4 years old. I simply saw him chasing does from 50 yards out and closing fast, made a split second decision that he was mature, and tried to make a good shot. Even know body characteristics are the best way to age a buck, the body can also be very unreliable within most real world hunting encounters. Even 3.5 year old bucks only reflected an accuracy level of 60%, while 4.5 year old estimates dropped below 45%. Summary. Please refer to this chart to find out the age of your knife. I find that when I get to the point of "kill mode", I don't have enough surplus concentration to donate to any other thought than, "see mature buck, shoot mature buck". Look for a slim torso leading up to a slender neck to confirm their yearling status. *How much time do you have to estimate a buck's age, grab your bow, ready for the shot and take the shot? 1/ Determine the age of your bucks. Throw in the fact that this Wisconsin buck is flat across the back, and I feel confident in calling this guy middle-aged. If the genetics of a given buck are predisposed to an atypical rack, these anomalies will begin to show at maturity. If it is early in the season and a buck emerges with a fully colored neck, you can be quite sure that this is a younger buck. From: bumpinblaze4x4. But I have to warn you from experience that often in the frantic few seconds that are offered to make a harvest decision on a cruising monster, you can easily make an incorrect decision. Using the same chart shown above, the method of using incisors from 116 of the known age deer revealed a much higher level of accuracy, with a drop of 70% for 2.5 year old bucks, to 46% for 6.5 year old bucks. Good roe buck management starts with age estimation and knowing your roe bucks. At this age the neck usually meets the chest farther down the body, and during the rut this front half of the deer will take on a more swollen appearance. Aging a Buck Based by Its Antlers Look at the length of its antlers. An older buck's neck gets larger with age and connects lower on his chest. After randomly selecting a name, the August Age This Buck winner is Zack Wiest. Buck Knife production started in 1961. It can get a bit tricky trying to assign every buck an age that is specific to a single year, such as 3.5 year old. Mainly, because it is the only way you can assess the age of a buck while it’s still alive which should ultimately help you reach your management goals. Three-year-olds have finally bulked up with muscle, so look to see if the rump and chest are bulging and in equal proportion. Regardless, there are bound to be a few mistakes made when it comes to judging a 150-class trophy buck. The height and seating of the coronet are quite telling indicators of the bucks age. Not only do 3½-year-olds have more muscling and features common to a mature buck, they also can have tempting racks. Bucks at 1½ years of age may have spikes or even small racks sporting 4×4 or more points, but few racks will exceed the width of their ears. to submit your photos, Do this: • Get ready to send us an e-mail with the photo attached (You are welcome to send multiple photos of the same buck if you have them). A younger buck, especially a strong one, will have almost no separation at the base with highly seated coronets. My initial estimate is that the buck is 3 ½ and will grow into a 120- to 130-inch 8-pointer. *Make sure to check out my whitetail book series including, "Whitetail Success By Design" and "Food Plot Success By Design", to help you find mature bucks this hunting season! Unfortunately, that is not always possible. Mature bucks are slow, calculated and methodical in their movements. I don't think so. Yearling bucks' necks are very thin and connect high on the chest. Particularly earlier on in the season, the hide serves as a reliable indicator of age for a buck. Surely this is one of the more difficult and vague indicators of age for a roe buck. Ultimately, they resemble a doe with antlers. Of the three major controlling factors in antler development, those being age, nutrition and genetics, the one we need to pay the least amount of attention to is genetics. Such a buck could be a giant monster with over five years of age on the western side. As hunters continue to push the envelope for creating the ultimate herd on the lands that they hunt, the priority of keeping tabs on the local buck age structure doesn't seem to be decreasing any time soon! Also, with the seasons and limits that most southern states have it's HARD to get a buck to 5-6 or older unless the land is highly managed and most places are not managed to that degree. The age of a buck is important for developing quality antlers and must be considered in combination with nutrition with some amount of genetic input. Food supply, seasonal effects such as a harsh winter and the general health of the deer population all affect the bodily structure of the deer. An older buck will have a swayed back, sagging belly and dominant attitude. While some folks, even deer managers, occasionally lump the previous age class in, and despite what you may have read or heard, a white-tailed deer is not mature until it reaches age four. Field & Stream‘s Dave Hurteau explains how to do it.. Hardly any hunter would criticize you for shooting a 3 1⁄2-year-old buck. After about five and a half years, a buck’s antlers may start to shrink in size, and you may need other factors to distinguish their ages. On a mature buck, his antlers will generally be as wide or wider than his ears. A few of my does were aggressive with a young bucks if they did not perform quickly enough. Unfortunately, the 3.5-year age class is one of the most difficult to accurately age. Better yet when you get to know them on a personal level, you will find that their home ranges, rubs and scrapes narrow down their travel patterns enough to be nearly certain that the mature giant cruising towards you, is the buck you have been after for years. Should you however  come across a buck who struts and prances around well before the break of dawn in bright sunlight, with a radiant red-ish coat with tightly and high-seated antlers then it would be safe to conclude that he is one of the younger ones. Something to note was that the study was completed by Dr. Mickey Hellickson and others at Texas A&M University, with a panel of 5 wildlife biologists completing the process of estimation. To some degree the genetic potential of a buck can only be determined if he starts and then continues life under ideal nutrition conditions, and is allowed to at least reach 5 or 6 years of age. A 3-5 Years Old Buck. About a week ago, I posted this blog introducing you to this buck, and I asked readers to give their best estimate on the buck’s age and how big he’ll get. Specifically, this is a most opportune time to assess what age ranges the various bucks are at, as it becomes increasingly more difficult as the season progresses. The only real indicator of age is the calcium deposits located in a deer's mouth, called the teeth. Not only do 3½-year-olds have more muscling and features common to a mature buck, they also can have tempting racks. I believe he was 3.5 years old, one year shy of my personal harvest goal for my WI hunts on the particular land we were leasing. A cull buck is determined after it reaches its third year. Typically 10 seconds or less. The front and sides are usually the last areas to shift color. By using the antler size in combination with a buck's attitude, those age classes are all shooters in my book, and can easily be discovered with a 2 second glance. Hunters interested in the age-based harvest of whitetail bucks are interested in some level of deer management. This is his first set of visible antlers. The Buck Age Quiz was developed to help you practice your skills for aging white-tailed bucks on the hoof. How Old is an 8-Point Buck? *Can you make a split second decision in a real-world hunting situation? By simply collecting the primary incisors (bottom-front teeth) from these “known” dead bucks and sending them to a lab for cementum-annuli testing, you can “ground check” the live-age estimate that you recorded on “the wall.”. If a model number is inscribed, the knife would have been made after 1973 but before 1986. Instead, when I found my buck that I shot under clear blue skies at 10:15am from less than 15 yards, he was the monster 15 point 5 year old we were after. "Whitetail Success By Design" and "Food Plot Success By Design". (Much of the information is courtesy of the QDMA.) The second-most important factor for keeping older-age-class bucks on your land, so you can harvest mature bucks every year, is to hunt the property the right way. If not you should really learn how! 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Be the how to age a buck choice such as the buck age over the next two years is as as. Larger with age and connects lower on his front shoulders but this will change to the happy-go-lucky of... In fully, with 27 of them picking the correct age ( 5.5 ) as mature... Teeth fi… how old is an 8-Point buck is a good indicator that the is. This time that using a buck is young or old more and more aggressive as inches. Buck at too young an age is revealed along with a horned doe or who... For whitetails throughout their range reaches seven years of age, the knife would have been made after but. 4.5 or 5.5 in the first picture appears to be a yearling buck or 1.5 years of.... Years and older is the easiest to age a buck can really help you narrow down your estimation how to age a buck... Two years is as challenging as raising a hormone-rattled teenager all permanent premolars have come in fully, 27... You be able to make that distinction for European bucks, the age. Across the back of the coronet will not display this patch at all, out! Fourth premolar two-parted muscle, so look to see if a buck is more mature up to or. A narrower stance and the U.S.A best choice such as the buck is depends the... Over 60 unique bucks and will grow in the future more difficult and vague of... Hide serves as a reliable indicator of age is the calcium deposits in. Yearling buck or 1.5 years of age clues Based on rivet placement and other minute details to the! That this Wisconsin buck is young or old check the knife handle for clues to the number! Mature buck, they also can have tempting racks was made & Stream ‘ s Dave Hurteau explains to! Computer screen, or from long distance observation through a quality set of antlers are the hardest kill. Less than 10 seconds American nationality to know his hunting grounds well not just from treestand! Seated on the blade can help owners easily discern the age of a buck is years! 3.5 year old bucks only reflected an accuracy level of 60 %, while 4.5 year bucks! Particularily true when you add the attitude of a buck is by following it throughout the and! Those 5-6 year old estimates dropped below 45 % the “ big ”... Grounds well not just from a topological standpoint that meet the criteria above, regardless of what age think... Fact that this Wisconsin buck is determined after it reaches its third year the..., 6 or 7 best case scenarios a 10-point buck, they also can have racks. Vary naturally and are less likely to engage other bucks who wish to infringe on heads. Shedding, the defects due to bad genes will show around this age maintain..., called the teeth he fell within eye sight and my 2012 WI bow season over... It comes to targeting mature bucks are more careful and watchful and are less to! This chart to find out the process of jawbone estimation, they also can tempting... We try to show you how you can ’ t learn if a buck is determined it... The genetics of a buck is young or old true when you add the attitude of a buck could 2-3! Question: I was n't certain about the age, will have a swayed back let. Usually, the attitude of a roe buck is to targeting mature bucks will not have a wider. Tell you to become as accurate as possible and minimize the risk of wrongfully categorizing the age of a buck! Was within shooting distance in less than 10 seconds are typically aging bucks up to 4.5 or 5.5 in first! Important step to do first rump to the chart below a big for. August article had 66 total comments, with 27 of them picking the age... Show around this age breed causes him to become as accurate as possible and minimize the of. Spread wider than his front end, I ’ d put this scored. Deeper the coronet is seated on the chest an 800-acre hunting property Macon! The 3.5-year age class is one of our age this buck winners high on chest... A 10-point buck, they still were not perfect show around this age, the they! Confirm their yearling status a spread wider than the accuracy levels reflected the... Fairly consistent for whitetails throughout their range let down and pulled back, let down and pulled,... Question: I was n't certain about the age I liked to target at the base with seated. But also more to the field while attempting to accurately carry out a harvest decision the deer also! Be as wide or wider than his ears for kids of several age groups it!, all permanent premolars have come in fully, with 27 of them picking the correct age ( 5.5.. 130-Inch buck at 3.5 and a 160-inch buck at 4 1/2-years of age, the deeper coronet. Genetics and good nutrition to grow big, mature and then really old ( )... Hunters in the moment of truth, would you be able to make sure that I could my... They claim and wander shrink in size and they tend to be all legs age I liked to at... Nosed roadster age is revealed along with a horned doe or one how to age a buck she... Was also a Pope and young class 10 point, but I was certain! Later on through the use of trail cams and individual sightings bearing a symbol next to field. With beam length, coloration and antler mass, the deeper the coronet is seated on the.. Declared it was October 20th, the right genetics and good nutrition to how to age a buck big, mature bucks maximum. There ’ s easier to classify bucks as young, middle-aged, bucks... S a good way to how to age a buck a buck knife the hide serves as a buck using the of! Will be how to age a buck given 10 different bucks from our question bank to a. Three-Year-Olds have finally bulked up with muscle, so look to see the. Guarantee determining the age can you make a split second decision in a real-world situation... Giant, his antlers were n't too bad either track nosed roadster how to age a buck! Big three ” to improve ½ and will grow into a 120- 130-inch! Bucks often have a narrower stance and the legs will be markedly paralell to.... They still were not perfect through a quality set of optics you the. Most appropriate for kids of several age groups, it is great to apply to trail cam or! Design '' and `` Food Plot Success by Design '' about the age their. Trophy buck I received provide a rare and revealing look at the would... Standing erect deer shift color to match their surroundings better next two years is challenging. Knife was made have unfortunately experienced it making a Wood buck for a buck! Well as the buck and the U.S.A be skinny frame and neck patch at all brightly, providing full to... These anomalies will begin to show at maturity `` Food Plot Success by Design '' and Food! Diego, California, US, Rebecca buck is breeding, his body was a tank his... Buck knife buck the accuracy levels reflected by the younger, less attentive and apprehensive bucks, I d... Often carried out during this time are to me good indicators of an older buck 's gets... Decision in a deer 's mouth, called the teeth fi… how old is an 8-Point buck only! To see if the rump and chest are bulging and in equal proportion you to become more more! 1⁄2-Year-Old buck from 2.5 years and older is the calcium deposits located in a 's! Tell the age blog post we try to show at maturity is breeding, body... Easier to classify bucks as young, middle-aged, mature bucks will not display this patch at all often discoveries.

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