Learning How to Age Your Deer

Posted by admin On October - 20 - 2011

Deer in the New England area are usually born late May and into early June. When deer are harvested during the November season, they are normally all at least 6 months of age or older. During the past years that data was collected, it was determined that 21% of the deer were yearlings, while 52% of them were adults that were around 2.5 years of age or older.

Sometimes the deer’s body or antler size might give off how old they are, but this sometimes can be misleading. The number of points a deer has on their antlers does not correspond to their age. The antler and body size of deer can vary greatly and solely depends on their diet and genetics.

This goes to show the differences in sizes from one area to the next. In eastern portions of the country, where crops are more common are where the heavier bodied deer are, while the other portions of the country may see smaller sized deer because of the food supply.

In all actuality, aging your deer depends on their teeth. The aging of deer is based on their tooth development and the wear that is shown on their teeth. Deer replace their baby teeth, like humans at a certain point in their lives. By the time the deer hits 2.5 years, all of their permanent teeth are in, and the baby ones are long gone.

The estimated age of the deer is then based on the rate of the wear on the teeth. The diets and soil types that the deer is around also can accelerate the tooth wear, but usually the age of an adult deer can be typically straight forward until around the age of 5.5 years. Any deer beyond that point is hard to estimate an age because the wear on their teeth is less reliable.

Sometimes, you will find a deer that is missing teeth. This can mean they are in the transition period where they are losing teeth, and replacing them with their permanent teeth. This will put them at an early age, such as a yearling. You want to make sure you age your deer to find out more about its body, meat, and so much more. Being able to age your deer will also allow you to have some sort of upper hand over all other deer hunters in the New England area.

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