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Sunday, October 22, 2017
Aging White-Tailed Deer on the Hoof - Part I
Photo by Hardy Jackson
Photo By Hardy Jackson

Have you ever wondered what characteristics are best for aging deer on the hoof?  When I was growing up in the Midwest, I was mistakenly told that the number of antler points also told you the buck’s age.  If the buck was an 8-pointer for example, he was eight years old.  Unfortunately, before I knew anything about aging deer on-the-hoof, I mistakenly killed a 13-point buck in Iowa that still had his milk teeth - he was only one-and-a-half years old!  Luckily, it didn’t take me long to figure out that the number of antler points had little to do with age. 

After moving to south Texas, I was again told false information about aging deer on-the-hoof.  This time I was mistakenly told that you could not accurately age a buck by the overall size of his rack.  Antler size, as you will soon learn, is the best characteristic to use for aging bucks on-the-hoof.  In fact, it is possible to get a nearly instant estimate of the appropriate age class (i.e., young, middle, or mature) to place a buck based on only antler size.

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Posted by Dr. Mickey W. Hellickson on 10/22 at 11:02 AM
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