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Don't know this is interesting or not but these are public land deer taken in Centre County in 2013 and 2015. Based on enamel/dentine, the deer on the left is 2 1/2 and the deer on the right is about 4 1/2.

 

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PaTrophyMan said:
Was that results from a lab?
Yup! The only way to accurately age a deer. Some 90 yr old people have the teeth of 20 yr olds and vice versa.
 

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I would have to see the DNA from the deer on the right matched to that skull to truly accept those lab results.

I have seen a lot of deer antlers shed from bucks in pens where the exact age of the deer was well known and documented. Both of those bucks appear to be 2 ½ years old based on a number of different factors from the skull size to the dimeter of the bases to the spread and point configuration and length.

I suspect the lab mixed the tooth up with one from a different skull and thus would not completely accept that lab report as being accurate without a DNA test. It could be but I am highly suspicious of the result.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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We look at size, joint color and texture , teeth growth, size of rack.

Most deer we take are what I call middle- lower classed gene pool bucks in our area.

The true upper classed(huge) bucks we never see or just a fast look or they are on posted ground. Closest we came to one was 10 guys 7 acres and he still snuck out, I tried two shot at 350-400 yds. just too thick. Found one a huge 6 illegal for us to shot, 18 inch inside spread, 1 3/4" diameter bases we think he was 4.5 to 5.5 years old. Both these deer would be on posted ground now. We can no longer hunt these thickets. One day one of us will get lucky.
 

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My kid and I killed two this year that looked almost identical to those.One was about 16" and the other was about 17".Both had decent mass and both were big bodied.They were both killed in the big woods and based strictly on their body size for this area,I would have guessed both of them over 2.5.I had a skull mount done on mine and mounted the one my son shot.The taxidermist has aged thousands of them and he claimed they were both 2.5.I've killed a pile of 2.5 year old deer and these two were both far bigger in body size.Maybe that's just a good sign.
 

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RSB x2. Ok not knocking these 2 really good deer.
I cant imagine the deer on the right being 4-1/2. No difference in spread from the 2-1/2, and even more narrow skull, same tine heighth etc..... Most Pa 4-1/2 yr olds would be carrying 19" min. with more width carrying more mass with longer tines. Genetics between the 2 are quite similar too.

I couldnt believe it to be a 3-1/2 let alone 4-1/2.
 

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Toxopholite I don't think the bucks were sent to a lab, that was PAtrophyMan's and my point.
Also spread has nothing to do with age. I have killed numerous 4.5 yr old and older bucks and not one of them has a 19 inch spread, but I have killed a 3.5 yr old 8 pt. That does.
 

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Toxopholite said:
RSB x2. Ok not knocking these 2 really good deer.
I cant imagine the deer on the right being 4-1/2. No difference in spread from the 2-1/2, and even more narrow skull, same tine heighth etc..... Most Pa 4-1/2 yr olds would be carrying 19" min. with more width carrying more mass with longer tines. Genetics between the 2 are quite similar too.

I couldnt believe it to be a 3-1/2 let alone 4-1/2.
Absolutely false. If these deer were killed in big woods mountain ground I have no problem accepting the ages as posted. I have a known 4.5 year old on camera that wouldn't score 90". He doesn't have a 16" spread, let alone 19". Most people underestimate how many years it takes for big woods deer to grow a large set of antlers, if they ever do despite being mature.
 

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Do you have any pics of the deer to share so we can compare body size? I posted some pics of a deer I got a few years back and had aged at a lab, the results and discussions were interesting. I think most hunters are quite interested in this topic. After having several deer aged from the farm I primarily hunt I now guess deer to be, on average, one year older than my initial thoughts. If those deer were in my area of 3C I would guess them at 3.5


I have attached a link to my thread if you'd like to view it.
http://www.huntingpa.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3110619&page=1
 

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The deer on the right does look like the distance from its eye to its nose is longer, a sign of an older deer. But they both look like young deer to me.
 

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Look Im not saying it isnt possible. There are exceptions to every rule.
85% of 16" to 18" wide antlers come from a 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 yr old deer. Not saying there cant be an exception. IN MY AREA OF SW Pa, the buck carrying 19" wide antlers is at least 3-1/2. IN MOST CASES. Mass along with width and a few tines:) means older age.

Yes I understand that mountain bucks DO age differently with different nutrition. And if they rarely grow "big antlers" which you suggest, then obviously habitat management- regrowth etc. is of major importance.

As a side note- forgotten is that aging a deer by its teeth is not an exact science. A mountain buck that sees no soybean or corn and eats primarily mast wil OFTEN have different tooth wear characteristics than grain raised deer.

Its all good folks......
 

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I've seen mountain deer that are old and have crappy racks. I've also seen some monsters. And body size.....I've seen some absolute horses of mountain deer. They find plenty to eat.
 

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WOL said:
I've seen mountain deer that are old and have crappy racks. I've also seen some monsters. And body size.....I've seen some absolute horses of mountain deer. They find plenty to eat.
The two biggest bucks I've ever seen with my own eyes were tens of miles from any thing remotely close to considered agriculture....in the middle of the ANF big woods.

Funniest part of that is they are in the same area that I've never seen a doe that would hang over 90lbs and it's actually hard to tell the adults doe from the fawns in the fall....pygmy does/fawns, huge bucks both body and racks!
 

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Here are pics of most of my 3.5 yo. and older bucks from 2015. These are big woods bucks and in an area that is completely void of AG crops ( with the exception of my food plots)
 
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