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Discussion Starter #1
First let me say Congrats to Pete!
Pete has been a long time member of our camp in Clinton County, which gives me the chance to document all his info.

All deer were killed out of our camp along the West Branch of the Susqy in the Sproul State Forest. No agriculture for miles, the hunter pressure is extremely light and the terrain is some of the most rugged in PA. Every deer was weighed on the same accurate scale and every deer has a Certificate of Aging from that company in Texas. Each jawbone pic has a tag showing all this info, followed by a pic of the Buck.

The tooth aging process for Whitetails is not 100% accurate but it's the best we got. Make sure to note the weights of each deer. One thing for sure, Pete's info is detailed.

For comparison purposes we start off with a doe.















A pic of all 3 Bucks.



Pete is looking for any and all comments regarding tooth wear, age, weights, antler size or just your thoughts.
 

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Not sure if it's the angle of pic, but look at length of the snout on that 10.5 yr old.

I really like the certs being below the mounts too.

Also notice the wear difference between the 5.5 and the 6.5 yr olds. That's why I always told people that using wear pattern was not a good indicator of age.
 

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This should be an eye opener for all the qdma tv show watchers who see a pic of a deer under 120" and automatically assume its less than 2.5 yrs old . Somehow everybody got the impression that 3.5 year old bucks will all be 125" and weigh 200 lbs on the hoof . Sorry folks but Pa will never be Iowa despite what you see on the Outdoor Channel . Great post btw !
 

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All I have to say is congratulations Pete and a job well done. Shooting that many and that quality of bucks in that area over that time is impressive. Not sure if he's gotten others in that time frame or not. Has to be some of the most difficult deer hunting PA has to offer. My wifes family has a camp off of rte 144 north of Snowshoe so I am somewhat familiar with the area you are talking about. Looks like they were shot later in the season. Doesn't suprise me. Again great job.
 

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Probably did that 10.5 year old a favor by shooting it. From the looks of those teeth, he did not have much eating left to do.
 

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Nice post! Great documentation. The best way to age is by tooth wear or cementum annuli testing. Two things with tooth wear though we have to be careful of is diet and soil types. Certain mast and soils will wear teeth faster that others and after 5 1/2 years it gets very difficult to nail down a specific age. Glad to see your friend kept the entire lower jaw sections too as some deer eat on one side of their mouth more than the other which can also deceive an aging attempt. As for the poster who commented regarding QDMA TV watchers and 120" 2 1/2 YO deer, that is absurd. Antler size is by no means an age indicator. QDMA members know this. To determine age on the hoof you have to look at body characteristics, not headgear.
 

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Congrats to Pete! I hunt around Renovo, im gonna have to start sending mine in. The last 2 I had 'em euro'd and didnt save the lower jaw. I should take a picture of those 2, as you can clearly see a difference in skull size. Question on the weights, they seem awful low....dressed weight?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All field dressed weight. And yes they are a bunch of light weights! Deer were shot after the Rut when Bucks have lost some weight and the poor habitat contribute to the low weights.
 

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Goosehunter said:
All field dressed weight. And yes they are a bunch of light weights! Deer were shot after the Rut when Bucks have lost some weight and the poor habitat contribute to the low weights.
Mine have all consistently been over 165 field dressed. Ill message you my whereabouts. But I think we hunt pretty much the same area. I could be wrong tho.
 

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Pics arent the best, but I really wished I kept the jaw bone of both these. '11/'12 bucks. The bottom one was a bruiser..



 

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Let me help clear up a few things for you. My degree is in wildlife biology and a large portion of that is age estimating deer. In GA, all check in wma hunts require jawbones to be pulled on every deer and Ive personally pulled a few hundred in the past few years.

I'd have to see the overhead angle to judge those first two, but I don't see how they could be aged that old. They both look like obvious 2.5 year olds.

Second, jawbone aging in whitetail deer is not nearly as reliable as we would like to think. Recently, a selection of jawbones of known age deer were sent to fifty respected biologists around the country. My best friend was one of them. Their accuracy rate was near 40%. Basically, we know what a six month old deer jaw looks like. We know what a 1.5 year old deer jaw looks like, and we know that a deer is 2.5 or older. That's it. The older the deer, the less accurate the estimation will be. Often times, older deer will be aged at completely different ages depending on which side of the jaw the deer favors. I don't see how anybody can say that a deer is 10.5 by jaw with a straight face. Most biologists will only say 6.5+ and even that's a stretch.

Finally, you do not need the jaws to age those euro mounts. The upper teeth work the same way.
 

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I used to hunt alot in the Quehanna area and a friend of mine gets some nice bucks on trail cams. He has some of his deer aged and its amazing how old some of them are. Here is a few pics of some old bucks still alive in that area.





 

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Etter1 said:
Let me help clear up a few things for you. My degree is in wildlife biology and a large portion of that is age estimating deer. In GA, all check in wma hunts require jawbones to be pulled on every deer and Ive personally pulled a few hundred in the past few years.

I'd have to see the overhead angle to judge those first two, but I don't see how they could be aged that old. They both look like obvious 2.5 year olds.

Second, jawbone aging in whitetail deer is not nearly as reliable as we would like to think. Recently, a selection of jawbones of known age deer were sent to fifty respected biologists around the country. My best friend was one of them. Their accuracy rate was near 40%. Basically, we know what a six month old deer jaw looks like. We know what a 1.5 year old deer jaw looks like, and we know that a deer is 2.5 or older. That's it. The older the deer, the less accurate the estimation will be. Often times, older deer will be aged at completely different ages depending on which side of the jaw the deer favors. I don't see how anybody can say that a deer is 10.5 by jaw with a straight face. Most biologists will only say 6.5+ and even that's a stretch.

Finally, you do not need the jaws to age those euro mounts. The upper teeth work the same way.
These were not just aged by tooth wear of the jawbone. They were sent away to be aged by the cementum annuli. Which is more accurate in your professional opinion?

This is a perfect example of big woods deer in PA. Some will never grow an impressive set of antlers no matter how old they live.
 

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Thanks for posting this, Goosehunter. Awesome info! Congrats, Pete!
 

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This is a perfect example of big woods deer in PA. Some will never grow an impressive set of antlers no matter how old they live.
Might you be suggesting that age is not the major factor in antler expression as advertised? Say it ain't so! Waugh!
 

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jimbridger said:
This is a perfect example of big woods deer in PA. Some will never grow an impressive set of antlers no matter how old they live.
Might you be suggesting that age is not the major factor in antler expression as advertised? Say it ain't so! Waugh!
I never said that! I feel all three parts are equally important. These deer were certainly lacking something, and it wasn't age.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Etter, the reason I posted this is because using just visual tooth wear on a deer is not very accurate past 2.5 years old. The cementum annuli process is not 100% but it is much better than anything else we got.

Having these old deer in the NC mountains shows how extremely light the hunter pressure is up there. The small racks and light body weights also prove how poor the habitat is in that area.
 

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bigbear said:
Etter1 said:
Let me help clear up a few things for you. My degree is in wildlife biology and a large portion of that is age estimating deer. In GA, all check in wma hunts require jawbones to be pulled on every deer and Ive personally pulled a few hundred in the past few years.

I'd have to see the overhead angle to judge those first two, but I don't see how they could be aged that old. They both look like obvious 2.5 year olds.

Second, jawbone aging in whitetail deer is not nearly as reliable as we would like to think. Recently, a selection of jawbones of known age deer were sent to fifty respected biologists around the country. My best friend was one of them. Their accuracy rate was near 40%. Basically, we know what a six month old deer jaw looks like. We know what a 1.5 year old deer jaw looks like, and we know that a deer is 2.5 or older. That's it. The older the deer, the less accurate the estimation will be. Often times, older deer will be aged at completely different ages depending on which side of the jaw the deer favors. I don't see how anybody can say that a deer is 10.5 by jaw with a straight face. Most biologists will only say 6.5+ and even that's a stretch.

Finally, you do not need the jaws to age those euro mounts. The upper teeth work the same way.
These were not just aged by tooth wear of the jawbone. They were sent away to be aged by the cementum annuli. Which is more accurate in your professional opinion?

This is a perfect example of big woods deer in PA. Some will never grow an impressive set of antlers no matter how old they live.
I missed that in the original post. Sorry.

Pretty impressive to see a deer living to be 10.5 even without any hunting pressure.

Guess it goes to show you that looking at teeth might not be even worth the time (once they get past 3.5)

The PSU study on turkeys and spur length proves the same point as well.

Great bucks!
 

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Goosehunter said:
Having these old deer in the NC mountains shows how extremely light the hunter pressure is up there. The small racks and light body weights also prove how poor the habitat is in that area.
For your area, yes. I dont think thats the norm up in the region you and I hunt. Ill equate your area with the Hammersley Wild Area. Actually, I think theres even less hunters in your area. Between those 2 areas, plenty of logging through the years, plenty of good habitat. And some very good bucks for the region. And it gets hit hard in rifle. You can get some great bucks in the NC, and you dont have to go above 6 or below 80 to do it.

Thanks again Goosehunter for a great post!
 
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