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How old is this buck?

Question
How old roughly is this deer?

I plumb missed him in archery season this year (October 28th?) and was tickled pink to see him turn up on my trail cam a couple weeks ago. Note* the clock is an hour fast on those pictures. Sorry for the poor quality picture of a picture.

He has tough of hair missing on his left hand shoulder what do you think that is from? Does he seem healthy other wise, and will he make it until next season you think?

This is in south east Pennsylvania. I just began using trophy rock and 465. I just put some out last week when I retrieved the pics. Will they take to take to that this time of year?

Troy,

This buck looks to be 3.5 years old. Although this buck appears to be slightly worn down from the rut, he has quite well developed shoulders and brisket. His front shoulders are larger than his rear hams. Also, his front legs appear to be short for his body. These are a signs of an older deer. 

Deer are seen regularly missing tuffs of hair missing. This could have been caused by fighting, or simply crossing under a fence as well. The buck appears to be a little thinner than normal, but late winter is a known stress period for deer. I do not see any signs that would lead to a more serious injury or illness. There are many possibilities that may occur between now and then, but I would think if he remains healthy, you will be chasing him next fall. 

Yes, deer need mineral all year round. We keep our mineral out during every month of the year for this reason. 

Best wishes next season,

GrowingDeer together, 

Matt Dye 

2016-02-18

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How old is this buck?

Question
Grant,
I am wondering if you have seen anything like this and if you could help me confirm the age of the buck I killed. This buck was definitely a fighter as he had lost an eye, broke the cartilage on one ear, and slit on the other ear, and a broken jaw. I believe this buck to be 5.5 years old but am not certain. Here are some pictures of his jaw bone.

Weston,

That buck appeared to be a fighter – and maybe not a very good one!  He had a beautiful set of antlers! 

When deer have had a broken jaw, abscessed tooth, etc., it’s difficult to estimate the bucks age using the tooth wear and replacement system.  This is because we assume the bit pattern, etc., was altered and therefore the rate of tooth wear.  

Congratulations on a nice buck!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 8, 2016

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How old is this buck?

Question
How Old Is This Buck?

Hi Grant, big fan of the show, always read others questions so I figured I’d throw this one at ya, we got this buck last winter on the farm, never thought I’d have the chance to hunt a droptine buck, never got pics this summer of him, found his set of sheds which contained a large amount of skull matter, didn’t think he made it until I glassed him tonight and he looked fine. I know the pics aren’t the best but I’d like to hear your thoughts on his age?

Thanks,
Brock

Brock,

Thanks for sending us the photo! Glad that you use the Ask Grant section to continue educating yourself about wildlife management. 

This is a great looking buck, I would be excited to have him on our property as well! 

The last picture you sent offers one of the best views for accurately aging this buck. I would estimate this buck to be 3.5 years old. In the fourth picture, the buck has a very clear break between its neck and brisket. However, other features like this buck’s shoulders and mid section appear to be rather large. The buck’s front legs appear short for this deer, another good sign of an older deer. The date in this photo is especially significant to look at. This is generally considered a stress time period for deer. This can mean body condition is not in it’s normal state. We have witnessed many of our mature bucks this season lose body mass during the late season. I believe the same has occurred in regards to this buck as some other body characteristics appear more mature than his neck/brisket line. 

I hope this deer stays a regular on your trail cameras until next deer season. 

GrowingDeer Together, 

Matt Dye 

2016-02-07

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How old is the buck?

Question
Grant, I was wondering if you could estimate how old this Buck is. I had him on trail cam for a couple of days. He left and was killed a few days before regular rifle season with a bow. Thanks Grant.

Landon,

Wow, what a great looking buck! I’m sure these pictures were on your mind at the beginning of season! 

Looking over this buck’s body characteristics, I would estimate him to be 4.5+ years old. This buck very well developed front shoulders. You can see when looking at him broadside that his front shoulders are larger than his back hams. Also this buck’s neck extends all the way down to the bottom of his brisket! These are all sure signs that this buck has reached maturity. 

Thanks for sending these photos! 

GrowingDeer Together, 

Matt Dye 

2015-02-06

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How old is this buck?

Question
Here is the 13pt I’ve been getting on camera this season. I never got him on camera in daylight hrs. Can you give me your opinions and age predictions.

Thanks

Wayne,

Looks like a great buck! After looking over these images, I believe this buck is 3.5 years old. Overall his body appears to be lean in comparison to a fully mature buck. His shoulders are not well developed. He will be add mass to his shoulders and neck area over the next year.  Also, the base of circumference around his antlers are smaller than 4 inches. This buck will most likely add mass to his bases as he ages. 

This is a great looking buck and one that will certainly make the hit-list next year! 

GrowingDeer Together,

-Matt Dye

2016-02-05 

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How old is this buck?

Question
I’m not good at aging. This guy showed up at end of the season and he has a better rack than the 13pt I’ve been watching. So could give me your predictions if you can from the picture.

Wayne, 

Thanks for sending us the picture, it is always nice to see new deer appear on camera even after season closes. 

Unfortunately this buck is facing the camera so it makes aging a little difficult, however I think he quartering to enough that we can make a solid estimate. 

Looking at the belly line of this buck, it appears to be thin and sagging has not occurred. In addition to this the neck appears rather thin as it joins the brisket area. Also, the base of circumference of the antlers is smaller than his eye. These characteristics all point to this buck being 3.5 years old. He is a great buck to have show up for next season. 

Thanks for sharing! 

GrowingDeer Together, 

-Matt Dye

2016-01-31

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How old are these bucks?

Question
How old are these two bucks?

Stephen, 

Thanks for sending these pictures! These are some good looking bucks. 

Both of these bucks appear to be 2.5 years old. Each have hair that is standing up on their coat in an attempt to retain more heat, so it looks like they are larger than what they really are. Both buck’s back hams are noticeably larger than the front shoulders. These bucks both have plenty of mass that they will add over the next few years. A lot of this additional mass will be devoted to the front shoulders. I would be very excited to see these deer on our place. 

GrowingDeer Together,

Matt Dye

2016-01-31


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How old is this buck?

Question
Good day!

Just wondering if you could age this buck that I got a picture of while scouting public land in central Ontario.

Thanks in advance,

Alex

Alex,

Great looking pictures in the snow! Deer are beautiful creatures. 

The steep downward angle of the deer on the slope as well as the head on view make it really difficult to accurately age deer on the hoof. Do you have any other pictures of this buck in a different posture or position? If so, please send them to us and we will gladly look through them to age this deer!

This is a great looking buck, I would be tickled to see him on my camera during the daylight! 

GrowingDeer Together,

Matt Dye

2016-01-26

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How old is this buck?

Question
Hello Grant. We have had a couple close encounters with this buck during the season and we were wondering how old you think this deer is. We’re in southern Ontario, Canada. This is farm land so the deer has access to apples, corn, and soy beans. Thanks alot.
Jack

Jack,

Thanks for the picture and additional information, it helps to make a proper estimation of this buck’s age. 

Looking over the picture, I believe this buck to be 2.5 years old. You can see the brisket clearly as the neck doesn’t merge directly with it. The neck appears to merge with the chest cavity about a 1/3 of the way up the shoulders. Also, the rear hams appear to be large in this picture. This bucks shoulders and front half of it’s body will develop more mass over time, making it appear that there is more weight to the front half of his body. 

This buck will be one to watch over the next few years!

Thanks for sending in the picture. Stay warm in Ontario! 

GrowingDeer Together, 

-Matt 

2016-01-26

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How old is this buck?

Question
Dr. Grant,

Approximately what age is this buck?

Thanks

Robert from Alabama.

Robert,

Congratulations on the harvest! Thanks for sending us these great pictures! 

Aging deer by examining the jaw bone is not 100% accurate, nevertheless this method can still provide you with a very good estimate of how old the deer is. We generally start by looking at the fourth tooth from the front, as this is the oldest tooth in a jaw. We are specifically examining the wearing and staining present on the tooth. This tooth has a good amount of staining as well as wear, so we move one more tooth back. This next tooth has staining present, but the wear pattern is not as extreme on this tooth. Noting this and looking over all of the other indicators, I feel very confident this buck is no younger than 3.5, but could have the potential to be 4.5!

Thanks for the great images! 

GrowingDeer together, 

-Matt Dye

2016-01-26

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How old is this buck from Ozark County, Missouri?

Question
How old do you think this deer is? Also, can you give a rough estimate on what you think this buck would score. Its the biggest buck on my property in Ozark county. Thanks!

Stephen,

Thanks a nice Ozark Mountain buck!  It appears his neck merges with his chest at his brisket.  His chest sags below where his leg meets his shoulder. These are indicators the buck is four years old or older. I estimate he is four.  I rarely take time to accurately estimate a buck’s score – sorry.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 24, 2016

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How do you accurately estimate a buck’s age?

Question
How do you properly age a buck?

 

Robert,

There are three primary methods to fairly accurately estimate a buck’s age.   These include cementum annuli, tooth replacement and wear, and body shape.

Cementum annuli is a technique where the a deer’s incisor is sectioned and “growth rings” are counted after the section has been stained.  For more detailed information about this technique check out:  http://www.matsonslab.com/cementum-aging.html

Deer replace their premolars at about the same age with permanent teeth.  The permanent teeth tend to wear at about the same rate and expose more dentene (the material under the enamel).  Thus by consider which teeth have been replaced and the amount of dentene exposed fairly accurate estimates of a deer’s age can be made.

For living deer, their body configuration changes with time in predictable ways.  I’ve explained this in detail in the How Old is this Buck section of Ask Grant.

Enjoy creation,

Grant

January 24, 2016

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How old are these bucks and will they come back?

Question
This past deer season I had two bucks that were on my trail cam that I only saw one time. I never saw these bucks in person or on my trail cam again. I was wondering if you could estimate there age for me and if you think they were killed or if I should have seen them again.

Gabe, 

Those are nice bucks!  Unfortunately neither buck offers a full broadside view so their age can’t be accurately estimated.  It appears the neck of the buck in the first picture merges with the chest well above his brisket. If this is accurate then the buck is probably two or three years old.  

All deer seek quality food, cover, and water resources that aren’t associated with danger.  You may wish to try moving your cameras, etc., to areas that deer don’t associate with danger.  It’s possible these bucks’ home ranges just barely includes the area you hunt and they only frequent that part of their home range occasionally.  

Late summer is a great time to determine which bucks are in an area.  Be sure and have your cameras out before next season in areas where the preferred food, cover, or water is for that time of year/conditions.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 22, 2016

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How old is this buck?

Question
Grant, I have been seeing this buck on camera regularly. His most frequent times at this tree are around 6 AM and 10 PM. I have two questions: 1) Can you estimate how old he is? 2) What should my strategy be to see him in person and possibly get a shot at him?

Here he is on camera:

https://youtu.be/xUVd5houPmU
https://youtu.be/AJ1Pd0Bc3lw

Jason,

This buck’s neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  In addition his back and belly lines are very straight.  His shoulder are muscular but not fully developed. Estimate this buck is two or three years old.  

It may be best to move your camera/stand closer to where you believe he is bedding to see him during daylight hours. The area where these videos were taken is very open.   Unless the area receives minimal hunting pressure I suspect deer will primarily use that are during the cover of darkness.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016 

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How old is this buck and how can I encourage him to be active during daylight hours?

Question
How old is this buck? He only comes around during the night. Is there away to change his pattern?

Terry,

This buck’s neck merges with his chest well above his brisket and his chest and shoulders aren’t fully developed. I estimate this buck is one or two years old depending on the local habitat quality.  

Deer move at night usually because they’ve been alerted during the day.  There may be lots of hunting pressure in this area. You may try moving the camera and/or stand closer to the bedding area.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 21, 2016

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How old is this buck?

Question
I just submitted a question on how old a buck was but, disregard that one this is a better pic of him..how old is he?

Grant,

That is a good looking buck! It looks like he maybe be using a tree plot that was recently planted! 

Looking over the body characteristics of this buck there are a few things to note that will depict his is age. His front shoulders to appear to be larger and pretty well developed. However looking closer, he has a very thin belly line and not a fully developed stomach. In front of the shoulders you can see even when his head is lowered that his neck will not merge evenly with his brisket, the typical sign of a mature whitetail.  

These characteristics all point to this buck being 3.5 years of age. 

He will be a great looking buck for the coming hunting season! 

GrowingDeer Together,

Matt Dye

2016-1-17

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How old is this buck from Stephenville, Texas?

Question
This buck was shot Nov 13th 2015 in Stephenville Texas. I have pictures that a friend sent to you last year on your facebook page aging him as 3.5 years as a guess. Last year this buck was a eight point with way longer tines than he is this year.I dont know if to much rain affects antler growth or not. We have had extreme flooding all year set a state record wettest year on record it pretty much wiped out all the turkeys eggs this year only had two pulits out of 20 hens. What age do you really think this buck is. First three photos are him in 2014 the rest are 2015.

Melissa,

Congratulations to the hunter that tagged that buck!  

It’s very tough to be sure a wild free-ranging deer is the same as seen during a previous year without genetic testing or a definitive scar, etc.  You may know this is the same buck. I didn’t notice any scars or characteristics that would give me great confidence it was the same buck.  

Excessive moisture tends to leach nutrients very deep in the soil making them unavailable to plants, especially annual forbs that deer prefer.  Therefore even though there’s more plant growth, there’s often less nutrients per pound of forage consumed.  

Another factor is that excessive moisture can result in higher parasite populations, etc.  Normal or slightly better than normal rainfall years tend to produce the best crop and critter growing conditions.  

Broadside pictures of bucks in a “normal” posture are best for estimating a buck’s age.  The best picture is one from 2014 and I still estimate that buck as 3 years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 6, 2016

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old do you think this deer is? Thanks.

Ethan,

That’s a nice buck!  It’s necessary to see the entire buck to make an accurate estimate of his age. In addition, it helps to know the quality of the habitat where he lives.  Does the buck have access to corn and soybeans or is the local area primarily pasture and timber?

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 1, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old do you think this buck is?

Stacy,

It’s tough to accurately estimate the age of bucks when they aren’t standing on level ground.  

It appears this buck’s neck merges with his chest slightly above his brisket. His shoulders and hams don’t appear fully developed.  I believe the hump over his shoulder is due to his hind feet being on higher ground than his front feet.  His antler bases appear to have a smaller diameter than his eyes.  These are all indicators of a buck that’s isn’t mature. I estimate this buck is two or three years old.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 27, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old do you think this buck is?

Stacy,

It’s tough to accurately estimate the age of bucks when they aren’t standing on level ground.  

It appears this buck’s neck merges with his chest slightly above his brisket. His shoulders and hams don’t appear fully developed.  I believe the hump over his shoulder is due to his hind feet being on higher ground than his front feet.  His antler bases appear to have a smaller diameter than his eyes.  These are all indicators of a buck that’s isn’t mature. I estimate this buck is two or three years old.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 27, 2015

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How old is the cornfield buck?

Question
Grant: Really enjoy your online program. I was having a debate with friends about the age of a big buck (file attached) that I captured on trail camera. It’s not the best angle, but it’s clearly a mature buck. I think it’s perhaps about 8 years old. Friend of mine thinks it’s 5 years or so. Can you help settle our debate? How old do you think this deer is?

Appreciate your feedback. Keep those great programs coming. Have a blessed Christmas.

Take care,
Eric

Eric ,

You are correct – it is very tough to accurately estimate the age of bucks from a frontal view.  It appears his neck merges with his chest well above his brisket and that he’s very muscular.  I suspect this buck is younger than older but I’m not comfortable refining my estimate further based on this image.  I don’t see signs of senility, saggy back or belly, etc.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 24, 2015

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How old is this eastern Nebraska buck?

Question
Hi I shot this buck about one month ago in eastern Nebraska I was wondering if you could help and tell the age of it

Jacob,

Congratulations on tagging a nice buck!  It’s very tough to accurately estimate a buck’s age based on a post harvest picture because the body shape and proportions can’t be accurately judged.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 23, 2015

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How old was this Ohio doe?

Question
Hey Grant! Really enjoy everything you do and are a great role model for young men and women interested in Natural Resources like myself.

Recently Grant was Ohio’s gun season and while aging deer for Division of Wildlife surveys a doe was checked it and whenever I opened her mouth I couldn’t believe how old she was (guessing her at 7.5). With division of wildlife we age .5- 4.5. Once we determine a deer is over 4.5 we call it 4.5+. But I’m really curious to see what you think of her age. I was fortunate that the guy who killed the deer didn’t want the jawbones and gave me permission to take them. Now I know its difficult once a deer reaches a certain age and also i know every deer is unique and may age different than others. Regardless Id like to have a more professional observation because I have only been surveying deer for 3 years.

Thank You,
Garrett

Garrett,

Thanks for sharing the kind words!  

Those are nice quality pictures!  As you know, estimating a deer’s age using the wear and replacement technique isn’t 100% accurate.  It appears this deer had an abscess that may have caused an different rate of wear than normal.  Taking that into consideration, I estimate this deer was at least 5.5 years old and maybe older.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 21, 2015 

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How old and/or what’s wrong with this buck?

Question
Hi Grant,

(thanks for fowarding me here for this conversation)

I was a part of a wonderful experience last week with my 10 year old son – he took his first deer, a buck! Shortly after, we had another buck come in…and I took him! It was our first double!! My son’s first deer ever, he was really wanting me to take this deer – felt like an opportunity that we might not get again. For me, it’s a lifetime memory made! What a day…what a gift!

The buck I shot, had one side of his rack busted off; he was severely worn down( compared to the other deer). I am attaching a pic and video of this deer. I’m wondering what you can tell from him? I haven’t personally seen one this worn down. Was it due to the rut and fighting and chasing? Was it age? (much darker than the younger deer) Was it illness? Any thoughts you have would be great. I have not seen deer like this one on this property or any others around us.

Thanks for any feedback, sir!

( I couldn’t get the video to upload…so I’m posting a link to one of the videos of this deer)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9p8sqi3v0v3dnpvQU1nRXdfak0/view?usp=sharing

(copy and paste to your browser)

Andy,

Congratulations on a father/son double!  

I appears the buck you tagged has an injured rear leg.  This could be from fighting, accident, etc.

Unless you saw signs of infection while processing the deer the meat should be fine for consumption!  

It’s tough to accurately estimate the buck’s age because he’s walking away from the camera and doesn’t have normal posture due to the injury.  

Looks like you tagged a fighter!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 16, 2015 

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How old is the buck based on picture from December?

Question
Grant,

I’m wanting to know if this a shooter or not. I think he’s 4 or older, but i was wondering what you thought he was

Braxton,

I agree with you.  Based on the picture being taken during December I believe is four years old. His shoulders are larger than his hams and his neck merges with chest at his brisket. This buck has probably been very active during the rut and has lost some weight – so he appears thin. I suspect he had a much larger body before the rut!

He’d be on my hit list!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 16, 2015

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Should I have tagged this buck?

Question
Grant,
Big fan of you and your show and have learned a lot that we now implement on our farm in TN.

I’ve read quite a bit about the larger and more prominen a tarsal gland is on a buck, the older and more mature the buck is. However, hunting this year I’ve observed one buck in particular on our farm that acts dominant around other deer, has back sway and plods along like an older buck but he hardly has any tarsal staining. I hesitated on whether or not to take him yesterday but ultimately decided not to because of his lack of tarsal staining. To me, his his body frame and language exhibit a mature buck (4.5 is my estimate) but his lack of stain doesn’t. did I make a mistake not shooting him or is tarsal staining always a sure fire indicator of a mature buck?

Thanks
-Edward

Edward,

That sounds like a fun hunt!  The body characteristics you shared indicate this is a mature buck.

Aging deer on the hoof is always an estimate and it seems like most characteristics except the staining of his tarsal glands indicated a mature buck.  I suggest you give him a close look next time and if you agree with your original observations tag him!

Bucks, like humans, don’t all show their age the same way.  I evaluate several factors and go with the majority.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 14, 2015 

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How old is this buck? I think he’s four years old.

Question
How old do you think this buck is I\’m thinking about 4

Dustin,

That’s a nice looking buck!  It’s very tough to estimate the age of bucks when they are quartering away from the camera. I can’t see where his neck merges with his chest or if his belly and back sag. It’s also helpful to know where the buck is from – the quality of habitat.  Just like humans, the bodies of deer living in areas of poor habitat age quicker than those living in better quality habitat.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 13, 2015 

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How old is this buck that just showed up on our property?

Question
Grant,

Love the site and following you on social media. (We share the same first name!) Your tactics have helped me be wildy successful for the past two years. I was hoping you could help me identify the age of a deer that has just showed up on our hunting property. It’s appears to be and older deer but his back appears to be fairly flat though his neck merges with his chest.
Thanks!
Grant

Grant,

That’s a cool looking buck!  It appears his neck merges with his chest at his brisket and that his shoulders are well developed.  HIs antler bases have a larger diameter than his eyes.  These are all indicators of a mature buck.  I estimate the buck is four years old or older and would be on my wish list!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 10, 2015

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HoTw old are these bucks?

Question
I was asking about how old do you think the two deer could be?

Issac,

Those are nice bucks!  They appear to have large antler bases and that’s an indicator of mature deer.  However without knowing the quality of habitat or seeing pictures of them alive and broadside to the camera it would be very difficult to accurately estimate their age.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 10, 2015

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What are some physical characteristics you use to estimate a buck’s age?

Question
Hi Dr. Woods, im a 17 year old from Southeast Arkansas who deer hunts in the Mississippi River delta. My dad and uncle are farmers, so our deer consequently have a guarenteed soybean food plot from may-october. I have cameras set up all around my farm, and I recently harvested a mature 10 point that i have had on camera since late July. However, I’m starting to second guess myself. Though he was 230+ pounds when I harvested him, I have been looking at the pictures of him from July, and I’m thinking I probably shouldve let him walk. In July, he had a thin neck, and overall he just didn’t look as solid as when I harvested him this November. What are some good visual clues that I can use to determine a buck’s maturity other than weight alone?

John,

You should read through several of the How Old is This Buck questions and answers at the Ask Grant tab at GrowingDeer.com.  I share many examples with specific details at that tab.  

I look at where the neck merges with the chest, how developed the shoulders are, if the chest sags below where his shoulders meets his legs, does his back and belly sag, etc.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 10, 2015

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How old is this 8 point?

Question
I got a new 8 point in trail camera I guess him at 2.5-3 and plan to pass him but I would like a second opinion on his age?

Jason,

The best view for estimating a buck’s age is when the deer is perpendicular to the camera and his head is up.  Other factors that help increase the accuracy of the estimate is knowing where the buck is living (state) and the local habitat quality (primarily timber, soybeans and corn, etc.).

Based on what I can see and know about this buck it appears his neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  His back and belly don’t sag and his front shoulders are not fully developed.  His chest doesn’t sag below where his leg meets his shoulder.  If you cover his antlers his body appears like a doe.  These are all indicators of a 2.5 year old or younger buck.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 6, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old is this buck? I have a guess and I am wondering what yours is……..

Bill,

It’s a bit tough to be accurate when the area and/or habitat type isn’t included.  It appears this buck’s shoulders are well developed. His chest seems to sag below where his leg meets his shoulder.  These are indicators the buck is four years old or older. 

The buck’s back and belly don’t sag. This may be due to posture and that it’s November 30th and he’s lost a lot of weight during the rut.  There is minimal staining on his tarsal gland.  I estimate this buck is three or four years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 4, 2015 

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How do you age a buck based on photographs?

Question
Grant how do you tell the age of a buck from your trail cam pics

Nash,

Deer tend to change their body shape in a consistent pattern as they age – like horses, etc.  

Check out my responses to questions in the Ask Grant How Old is This section.  I shared a lot of detail about what body characteristics I used to estimate lots of bucks in those pictures.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 3, 2015

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How old is this Massachusetts buck?

Question
Dear Grant, I was hoping that you could tell me how old this Massachusetts deer is?

Hunter,

That’s a good looking buck!  Thanks for including where the buck lives.

It appears his neck merges with his chest above his brisket and his shoulders aren’t fully developed.  Its tough to be certain due to his posture but it seems his back and belly don’t sag.  

I estimate this buck to be 3 years old.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 28, 2015

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How old is this buck from Douglas county, Missouri?

Question
Here are some photos of the same deer I sent you earlier. This deer is from Douglas county near Ava, Missouri. Much like the land around Branson the food source is primarily acorns, browse, and hayfields.

Matt,

Thanks for the additional information!  

Based on these images and information I estimate this buck was at least four years old during 2013.  His neck merged with his chest at his brisket – even during August!  His shoulders appear fully developed and he has a buffalo shape (shoulders much larger than his hams).

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 19, 2015 

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How old is this buck?

Question
I was wondering if you could help me age this deer. My friend shot this buck on saturday evening. The deer pretty much had no teeth left. The photo im attaching is from two years ago. Any help would be appreciated.

Matt,

That’s a nice buck!  If his molars were worn smooth then the buck was certainly very mature.  It’s tough to accurately estimate the age bucks based on images when the buck’s head is down.  This tends to distort their posture and body shape.  

It’s also very helpful to know the location or habitat quality (local land primarily timbered or covered with corn and soybeans).  

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 19, 2015

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How old are these bucks?

Question
Dr. Woods,

Could you please help me by giving an approximation of the age of these deer? I feel that they are at least 4 1/2 years old, but I wanted the opinion of an expert.

Thank you,
Andrew Williams

Andrew,

Those are some nice bucks!  The antler bases of buck in the first picture don’t appear to have as large of diameter as his antler bases. His shoulders and hams don’t appear to be fully developed. Without knowing the state or quality of habitat I loosely estimate this buck is 3 years old.  If the buck is living where the habitat is very poor he could easily be older.

The buck in the second image has much larger antler bases.  His shoulders are well developed and his chest sags below where his leg meets his shoulder. I estimate this buck is at least four years old!

It’s very difficult to accurately estimate the age of bucks when they are facing the camera. I can’t tell enough about the buck in the third picture to accurately estimate his age.

The shoulder of the buck in the fourth picture is very well developed. His chest clearly sags below where his shoulder meets his leg and it appears his back and belly sag. If these observations are correct this buck is four years old or older.

I hope you have an encounter with one of those bucks soon!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 17, 2015

 

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How old is this South Carolina buck?

Question
Dr. Woods,

I was wondering if you could give me your estimate of this buck’s age. The deer is from South Carolina.

Adam,

This buck’s neck merges with his chest above his brisket.  In the first picture his shoulders and hams don’t appear fully developed and his back and belly don’t sag.  I estimate this buck to be three years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 16, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old do you think this Florida 6 point is?

Connor,

Thanks for letting us know what area these pictures were take from. This allows us to be more accurate in our estimate. Looking at the pictures, it is a little difficult to age with the deer facing head on, but you can still clearly see that the neck does not extend all the way down to its brisket. I would say this buck is roughly 2.5 or 3.5 years old. If you have any other pictures of the buck broadside, we may be able to get a closer estimate for you. 

Thanks for posting! 

Growing deer together, 

Matt

2015-11-16 

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How old is this buck?

Question
Grant,
I just want to really thank you guys for making such an amazing show! I’ve tried your food plot techniques, and have had great success with the clover, and next fall I’m gonna try some sort of radish plot for winter.
I’m so happy because I ended up hurting my arm badly in sports and I thought I wasn’t gonna be able to hunt, but God healed it up enough after surgery and I was able to harvest a buck with a gun in regular season! (the 4 by 3) I just have a quick question, how old you think these bucks are?I’m developing a hit list for next year since I’ll be bow hunting. (I want to shoot at least a 2.5 year old buck.)
Also I just want to let you know that as soon as I heard about your father I’ve been praying ever since!

Thanks again,
Jeremy

Jeremy, 

Congratulations on your harvest! I’m glad to hear you were able to get out this season despite your injury. 

Looking at these photos, I believe these bucks to be 1.5 years old. These bucks will continue to grow in size a develop more mass as they age. By this time next year they will have reached your 2.5 year old goal. I’m impressed by you setting goals and actively managing food plots. We have found Eagle Seed Broadside(http://www.eagleseed.com/BROADSIDE.html) to be a great fall time food plot, it is easy to plant and yields great results. This work will continue to be beneficial for you and your local deer herd.

I know the Woods’ family truly appreciates your prayers! 

Growing deer together,

Matt 

2015-11-16

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How old is this buck?

Question
Dr. Grant,

Robert Roush from the ground here again. I know my question about the buck I harvested was pretty long more of a story really. I know your prolly busy most of the time but if you took the time to read it I hope you enjoyed it, because I sure do appreciate the knowledge n stories you share with me; with me teachin my self it really helps alot. Considering I don’t use trail cams and that I hunt from the ground. But anyways my brother sent me a pic of a deer he got on trailcam and I’d like to know how old ya think it is.

Robert,

Congratulations again on tagging a buck!

Either the buck in your picture isn’t standing on level ground or he has a very odd body shape.  Either way, I’m not confident I can accurately estimate this buck’s age.

Let me know if you get a picture of his buck where he’s posture is normal.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 12, 2015

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How old is the buck from south central Ohio?

Question
Dr. Woods,

I have a trailcam photo of this buck in South Central Ohio. From looking at his body I would think he is roughly 3.5 years old, but his rack makes me think 1.5 years old. This property is all wooded roughly 500 acres without any crops nearby. Neighboring properties do not have any crops nearby as well.

Thanks

Dave

David,

The buck in your picture is tough for me to accurately estimate his age.  His antler bases are relatively small compared to the diameter of his eyes.(he’s blind in one eye).  This is an indicator of an immature buck. However, his shoulders appear well developed and his neck merges with his chest at his brisket.  In addition his chest sags below where his shoulder meets his leg. These are all indicators of a mature buck.

I’m hesitate to venture a guess. If you tag him please have a local wildlife biologist look at his lower jaw and estimate his age!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 11, 2015

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How old do you estimate this Wright County, Missouri buck?

Question
Was wondering how old this buck is, my 10yr old harvested it in Wright county Missouri. He looked to be very mature and old.

Hayden,

Congratulations to your son!  That’s a great picture and someone did a wonderful job cleaning the jaw!!

Based on the wear and replacement technique it appears his first and second molars (fourth and fifth teeth back) are showing more dentine (brown stuff in the middle) than enamel. This indicates the bucks is at least four years old!  

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 11, 2015

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Will you estimate the age of a deer for me?

Question
Could you help me age a deer. How can i send you pictures?

Brian,

You can attached an image using the Ask Grant tab/form. Please tell me the state the deer is from and include a pic that shows the buck broadside with his head up!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 9, 2015

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How old is this non-typical buck from Nebraska?

Question
Grant,

Can you help me determine the age on this deer? This is in southeast Nebraska on the river. There is abundance of food from row crops (corn, beans, alfalfa) and I have mutiple food plots (standing corn, clover, rye, oats, and brassicas)

Joey,

Thank you for providing the location and habitat quality!

This buck has much potential!  It appears his neck merges with his chest above his brisket.  His back and belly don’t sag and his chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulder meets his let.  I estimate this buck is three years old. He’s a fine buck now and will be a whopper if he stays healthy for another year or two!  

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 4, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
Can you help me age this buck? We seem to kill too many 3.5 year olds so I’m trying to learn a better way so these bucks can reach their full potential. We see a lot of 130-150 class deer and I’d like to see some even bigger. Thanks for your help if you can.

Garett,

I don’t know where (what state) this deer lives or the quality of the habitat.  It appears his shoulders aren’t fully developed and his chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulder meets his chest.  His neck merges with his chest above his brisket. I estimate this deer is three years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 2, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old do you think this buck is? We don’t have a lot of pictures of him so this is the best one. Thanks.

Wade,

That’s a nice buck! It tough to accurately estimate a buck’s age from pics when they are quartering to the camera.  it appears his neck merges with his chest at his brisket.  That’s an indicator of a mature buck!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 2, 2015

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Is this buck three years old?

Question
Wondering the age of this deer. To me he looks like a 3.5 year old but I’d like your opinion

Blake,

It appears this buck’s shoulders aren’t fully developed. They are smaller than his hams.  His chest doesn’t sag to where his leg meets his shoulder.  His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  When I cover his antlers his body appears like that of a mature doe. These are all indicators this bucks is two years old.  

If your goal is to tag a three year old buck I’d probably give this one a pass.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 29, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old is this buck? Could you give me a rough score?

Austin,

Great looking buck! I would feel confident in saying this buck is 3.5 years old. The buck’s neck does not extend completely extend to the bottom of his brisket and it is slimmer than that of a fully mature buck. Across this buck’s body, he will gain mass most noticeably in his chest and neck. 

I do not typically rough score deer just so the buck is not identified by an antler score. However, this buck would score in the low 130’s.

I hope you have a great season!

Growing deer together,

-Matt 

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How old are these bucks?

Question
Hi,
These are the first bucks I’ve ever got on my camera and I’m super excited because we rarely get to see bucks like this. My brother shot a nice one 2 years ago.(the big fork one) But now We’ve got a bigger one coming to the apples and I was wondering how old you think he is? Could you also estimate the age of the smaller one?
Thanks,
Jeremy
(These are black-tails from Washington State)

Jeremy,

Wow, that is exciting! We don’t often get to estimate age on black-tails, so thanks for sharing! Congrats to your brother for his harvest as well. 

The younger of the bucks, the first and third picture, appears to be 1.5 years of age. He is sporting his first year of antlers. It will be neat to see how he develops! 

The other buck in the second and fourth picture looks to be 2.5 years old. You can see he has a larger more developed neck as well as more overall mass throughout his body. 

Best wishes this season! 

Growing deer together, 

-Matt

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How old are these bucks?

Question
Hi – I want to say I am a huge fan of your show. Particularly because of the faith/values you portray and how your shows are not all about “slaying” the deer with the most bone on his head. Also, I “not-so-secretly” want your job! We can trade if you like and you can design ships while I walk the woods for you.

I have learned some about aging deer on the hoof from watching your shows. Last year I harvested a 10pt that was probably only about 2.5-3yrs old in our South Alabama rut (Feb. 6th) and it was my first big buck (photo 0090). Now I am looking at the bucks differently. More selectively, and I guess even more respectfully.

For my question, I have these two larger bucks showing up on my trail camera and I can’t quite decide whether they are 3 or 4 years old. The 10 point (photos 9162 & 9156) I am thinking is 3 years old. The 8 point (photos 8880, 8895 & 9183) and I am thinking is 4 years old because of his massive pot belly. What age do you think these two guys are? Am I close?

I try to keep in mind this is South Alabama and they are “trophies” for our area NOW but I want to be a good steward of the wildlife God has blessed us to be around.

Thanks in advance,

DC

DC,

First off, congrats on the harvest! That is a great buck no matter what part of the country you are in! 

Aging deer on the hoof is a great skill to develop if you spend a lot of time in the deer woods. 

After looking over these pictures I believe you are absolutely correct in aging the 10 pointer. He is a great looking buck with defined characteristics that clearly show signs of a three and a half year old. As for the 8 pointer, he has very large pot belly, however his neck and shoulders do not melt together as one. There is a clear distinction between the two, this will change and develop as he matures. I believe he is three and half years old as well. These are both great bucks, I would be excited to have them on my property. 

Thanks for posting! 

Growing deer together,

-Matt

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How old is this buck?

Question
I have a new buck on camera I have never seen before. I guess him at around 4 years, but would also like to know what you think?

Jason,

That is great, new bucks are always a gift! I believe this buck to be 3.5 years old. There are areas where he will still develop additional mass, like his front shoulders, neck and brisket. You can see there is a small break between his neck and brisket, this gap will diminish with age. These are key characteristics to identify when aging deer. 

Thanks for posting the question!

Growing deer together,

-Matt

2015-10-27 

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old is this deer? I am trying to learn more about aging a buck on the hoof. What tells you by these pictures? These were taken in central Arkansas. Thanks in advance.

Bryan,

Thanks for sharing these images with us and having the desire to learn how to age deer on the hoof. This skill will serve you well in the deer woods. 

After looking through these pictures I feel confident in saying this buck is 3.5 years old. The characteristics that allow me to make this determination would be the front legs and shoulders on this deer. First the front legs appear to be shorter for the body. This buck does not have large developed shoulders yet in these pictures. He will however develop them as he continues to mature. His neck will also continue down his brisket as they will join at the bottom of the brisket when he reaches 4.5 years old. 

As you continue to learn more about aging deer on the hoof, please feel free use the Ask Grant tab. There are new photos and posts daily that you can learn from. 

Thanks again for sharing! 

Growing deer together,

Matt

2015-10-27

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old is this 10 point?

Alan,

Great looking buck! Looking over his features and body characteristics, I feel confident that this buck is 3.5 years old. You can see in the picture that his neck does not extend all the way down to brisket, there is a defined difference between neck and chest. Also, this buck has a very tight belly line meaning not sagging yet.  This buck is a great representative of a true 3.5 year old. I would be very excited to have this buck on my hunting grounds! 

Thanks for sharing! 

Matt 

2015-10-27

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How old are these North Carolina bucks?

Question
Hey Grant,

I just want to say that I stumbled on your videos on YOU TUBE and have enjoyed and appreciate you sharing your knowledge about deer with the world. I also think it’s awesome that you want people to think about the Lord when they are out in His world.

Now to my question. Like other hunters I would like for you to look at this deer picture and estimate their ages. I am in Durham, North Carolina and these deer are big compared to what we typically see. These 2 deer came by my stand (while I was hunting) but never offered a shot. The deer on the left seems to be the boss. He came out second and nudged the buck on the right with his antlers as if telling him when to move. The deer are also 2 different colors. The one on the left is brown and the other is gray. The one on the right looks older to me, but what do you think. Thanks for your input.

Josh Harris

Josh,

Those are some nice bucks!  The buck on the right isn’t in a good position to accurately estimate his age.

The neck of buck on the left merges with his chest about the top of his brisket.  There’s no sag in his back or belly.  His antler bases appear smaller than or equal to the diameter of his eyes.  Based on these observations I estimate this buck is three years old.  

Enjoy creation,

October 20, 2015

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How old is this Florida buck?

Question
I hunt in Florida and this is a buck we call “big ten”. He has been just a great deer throughout the three years we have been hunting him. The first picture of Big ten he was an 11 point and that was the first year we had him. The second picture he was a ten and we estimated him to be around 4 years old. The third picture is what he looks like this year and his left main beam is messed up. What might have caused this to happen and his right side remain perfect?

Connor,

That’s a nice buck!  

Antlers are very pliable when they are in velvet.  It’s possible this buck injured his antler while it was in velvet.  It’s also possible he injured his antler pedicle previously and it’s just now resulting a change in antler shape.

He’s a nice buck and I hope you have a great encounter with him!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 20, 2015

 

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How old is this east Texas buck?

Question
I hunt on a deer lease in East Texas and the lease rule is 3 1/2 or older. If this was my land i would pass till 4 1/2 but have other hunter to compete with. Im having a hard time judging if these two bucks are 2 1/2 or 3 1/2.

Bert,

Thanks for including the location of these bucks. This information helps understand the habitat conditions and allows for more accurate age estimate.

The buck on left doesn’t offer a good view to give an accurate age estimate.  

The buck on the right has very straight back and belly lines.  His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  When I cover this buck’s antlers he appears as a mature doe.  That’s usually a good indicator of a two year old buck due to lack of muscle development.  

Based on all these indicators I estimate this buck is two years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 20, 2015 

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How old is southern Missouri buck?

Question
Grant-
Just got this from the camera in front of my stand. This is a couple hours east of Springfield, MO. What is your thought on the age? I am thinking 3.5, but wanted to see how close I was.

Andy,

That’s a great looking buck for anywhere and especially for an area without many commercial soybean and corn crops!

His back and belly don’t appear to sag. In fact his waist is very tight just before his hips.  His ham doesn’t appear fully developed and his chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulders mets his leg.  

His neck does appear to merge with his chest close to his brisket.  I believe there are more indicators pointing toward three years old compared to four years old and I estimate this buck is three years old. 

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 20, 2015

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How old is this Olla, Louisiana buck?

Question
How old do you think this deer is? These photos were taken at my deer camp in Olla, Louisiana which has a majority of Pine Woods with a small hardwood bottom. The date on the photos are incorrect however the time is not.

Mark,

Thanks for including the location and description of local habitat!  Those details help increase the accuracy of age estimates.

It appears the buck’s antler bases are not larger than the diameter of his eyes.  His shoulder and ham don’t appear fully developed and his neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  I estimate this buck is 2.5 years old.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 19, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
Mr woods would you mind telling me how old you think this deer is. He is new to my property this year and was wondering how old you think he is. Thanks for your time and consideration

Rob,

That’s a nice buck!  I don’t know where he is from and the quality of the local habitat.  Those are important factors in accurately estimating a buck’s age.

It appears his neck merges with his chest well above his brisket and that his shoulders and hams aren’t fully developed.  His antler bases are much larger than the diameter of his eyes. These are all indicators of a three year old buck.  I not extremely confident that this buck is three, but that’s my best estimate based on the pictures.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 19, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old is this buck?

Walker,

It’s always helpful to let me know where (what state) the buck is from and the quality of the local habitat.  Deer from areas with lower quality habitat (primarily timber and limited corn and soybeans crops) tend to age quicker than deer that have access to an abundance of quality forage.

Based on what I know this buck’s back and stomach don’t appear to sag.  His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket and his shoulders and hams don’t appear fully developed.  I estimate this buck to be three years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 15, 2015

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How old is this Michigan buck?

Question
Weve collected a few pics of this guy and i think hes 2 1/2 years old. Guys in our Hunting club keep saying hes older because they want to shoot him, but he looks too young to me. What do you think? Thank you for taking the time to read my email.

Brandon Carpenter
Spring Creek Hunting Club
SW Michigan

Brandon,

That buck has super potential!!

One of the first tests I do is to cover up the antlers and see if the buck’s body reminds me of a doe.  This buck’s body certainly looks like a doe in two of the three pictures   The diameter of his antler bases are much smaller than his eyes.  His shoulders and hams are not fully developed and his neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  I confidently estimate this buck is two years old. 

If the Spring Creek Hunting Club’s deer management objective include allowing bucks to express most of their antler growth potential than don’t harvest this buck for another year or preferable two!  He has the potential to be a whopper!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 14, 2015

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How old is this buck that lives where agricultural crops are plentiful?

Question
I was just wondering how old you think this Buck is? And I was also wondering how to know when to shoot does in agriculture land? Because there’s soybeans and corn all summer long, but after the fields are cut and the snows here there’s not much for them to eat.

Matthew,

That is a good looking buck!  His back and belly appear swayed but I believe that is somewhat due to his posture.  His chest and shoulders are fairly well developed.  His neck and chest merge well above his brisket.  Based on these indicators I estimate this buck to be three years old.

Deer have an amazing ability to store a huge amount of fat and survive for long periods of time without access to quality forage.  Deer thrive throughout the Midwest in areas where crops are harvested and no cover crops are planted. (By the way – late season food plots are often great deer attractants in area dominated by production crops.) Fortunately, more and more farmers are using less tillage and more cover crops.  These techniques are better for the soil and wildlife!  

In areas where corn and soybeans are the primary land use the doe harvest quota is often set based on the tolerance of crops being damage and not a limited amount of quality forage. Therefore the needs of society often determine deer harvest goals in ag areas more than balancing the deer population with the amount of quality forage.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 13, 2015 

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How old is this buck?

Question
Grant,

If you have time could you please tell me your thoughts on the age of the deer in the picture I have attached to this email? My daughter hunts regular with me and we are hoping to get her a trophy this year. We have several mature bucks on camera but I am interested in knowing the age of this one in particular as I believe it looks between the 4 – 5 year range. I am not real good at aging the deer yet but after watching a lot of the videos on management that you and your staff have released, I am trying to get better at it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Dusty

Dusty,

Thanks for sharing these images with us and taking the time to share the outdoors with your daughter.  It is very important to continue to introduce children into the outdoors! 

After looking at photos of this buck, it appears he is 4.5 years old.  This buck’s neck appear to be thin, however it does connect to the bottom of his brisket, a sure sign of a mature buck. He also has a sweeping low belly line and a noticeable hump over the top of his front shoulders. 

I hope you and your daughter have a successful season! Be sure to share you successes with us! 

-Matt

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How old is this Rhode Island buck?

Question
Hey grant! Hope this question finds you well and staying productive at the proving grounds. I have been a huge fan of the show and your hunting research and philosophy for a long time now. I was wondering if you’ve had any encounters with the buck two face? And how you approach a deer with such a wandering spirit? Seeing as he has a huge home range. I’m a Rhode Island hunter, so I don’t see bucks in the class that you have on the proving grounds but there are some nice deer around. Was also wondering if you could help me estimate the age on this buck, I’ve been encountering him on my property for a few years now.

Benjamin,

Adam and I saw the buck we called Two Face during October 2012.  There was a bad outbreak of H.D. here that year and found Two Face’s skull that spring. He was limping the last time we saw him so I suspect the cause of death was H.D.

The buck in the image you submitted is strongly angled away from the camera.  That’s a tough angle to use to accurately estimate a buck’s age.  When I cover his antlers his body appears like a mature doe.  His back and belly appear straight.  These are both indicators of a two year old buck.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 12, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old do you estimate this buck to be

Walker,

That’s a neat buck!  The first and third pictures are the best for estimating this buck’s age.

It appears this buck’s shoulder and ham are well developed.  His neck appears to merge with his chest at his brisket and his chest sags below where his shoulder meets his leg.  I estimate this buck to be four years old or older.  He’d be on my wish list!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 9, 2015

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How old is this Maryland buck?

Question
Although Pin Oaks are a red oak species which are less favored by deer, the often put off massive amounts of acorns per year, would you recommend them for a tree plot tree ? Also what would be your best guess on this bucks age? I got him on camera 2 years ago so i know he at least has to be 4. Thanks for the great webisodes and tips.

Respectfully
Grant Smith

Western Maryland

Grant,

I tend to like prefer soft mass (fruits and berries).  There are usually plenty of acorns but fruits and berries are limited.  I like a variety of species so something will be ripe at different times throughout the season.  The more limited the preferred resource the easier it is pattern deer. I have some different fruit and acorn trees in my tree plot.  I got them from http://www.FlatwoodNatives.com.  

That’s a neat looking buck!  He’s neck merges with his chest at his brisket.  His chest sags below where his leg meets his shoulder and his shoulder and ham is well developed.  I estimate this buck is four years old and likely older.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 9, 2015 

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How old is this buck?

Question
could you tell me how old this deer is. I’m thinking he’s 3 or 3 1/2 year old. Do you think i should let him pass this year and see if he makes it next year?

Braxton,

That’s a neat buck!  One of the first things I commonly do is to cover the buck’s antlers and see if his body resembles a mature doe. If it appears like a doe, the buck is likely a two year old.  I did that test on this buck and his body does appear like a mature doe.  His shoulders and hams aren’t fully developed.  His back and belly don’t sag.  I estimate this buck is two years old. Deer are typically born during the spring and therefore bucks during the fall are typically X and 1/2 years old. I often simple say they are X years old and know that during hunting season they will be X and 1/2 years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 8, 2015  

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How old is this buck from Richmond, Virginia?

Question
How old is this buck from richmond, virginia?

Kristian,

That buck has an odd body shape.  In addition its very difficult to accurately estimate a buck’s age when he’s facing the camera. 

I hope you see him in person soon!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 8, 2015

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How old is this buck that frequents my back yard?

Question
i have this buck coming in my backyard im handicaped and i hunt there i think this buck is 4.5 years old what do you think and maybe a score comes in a night how can i get him to come out in shooting hours thanks for your input

Tim,

That is a nice buck!  It appears this buck’s shoulders and hams are well developed.  His back and belly seem to sag.  His neck merges with his chest at his brisket and his chest sags below where his leg meets his shoulder.  These are all signs of a buck that’s four years old or older.  This buck would be on my wish list!

Enjoy creation,

grant

October 8, 2015

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How old is this buck?

Question
This buck has been roaming for years, his twin is already on the wall and i was wondering how old he was. Any guesses?

Alex,

That is a good looking buck!  You didn’t mention the area or quality of the local habitat.  Nutrition quality is a factor in how fast deer (or humans) age.

It appears his neck merges with his chest near his brisket.  However, neither his back or belly appear to sag.  His antler bases don’t appear much larger than the diameter of his eyes.  It’s tough to accurately estimate the age of bucks when they are not broadside to the camera.  Based on what I see I estimate this buck to be 3 or 4 but am not very confident in this estimate.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
Grant I am a huge fan of your show and I see you age deer all the time and I was just wondering if you could age a few deer for me please and thank you. God Bless.

Mr. Wilson,

Thanks for sending these pictures and watching the show! We certainly appreciate your viewership! 

The buck in the first picture appears to be a yearling buck or 1.5 years of age.  This is his first set of visible antlers.  A few keynote characteristics would be skinny frame and neck.  His hinder quarters are also much larger than his front shoulders but this will change to the opposite as he ages. 

The does in second picture look to be 1.5 as well. They have similar characteristics as the buck does. Skinny shoulders, tight belly, and small frames. 

Thanks for posting! 

-Matt

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How old is the northern, Missouri buck?

Question
Hi Grant,
I live in Republic, but hunt in North Missouri. I’ve only hunted this farm two years and this is the first time I’ve had a camera up there. This guy looks like a shooter, but only if he’s mature. How old do you think he is?
~Joe

Joe,

I was raised just west of Republic!  There were VERY few deer there when I was a child.  

There doesn’t appear to be much sag in the buck’s back or belly.  His shoulders and hams don’t appear fully developed.  His neck merges with his chest above his brisket.  I estimate this buck to be three years old.  He’s a dandy!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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Should I hunt this buck?

Question
A few weeks ago I asked about an injured deer. Here’s some better pictures of him. I think he’s doing ok but wonder how well he’ll fair this winter. We only get to tag one good buck. Being on a small track with neighbors who hunt it is hard to let deer get some age on them. He’s at the top of our age range that we’re seeing on camera and he’s probably in the top 2 pr 3 antler wise so I’m hoping to make him my 2015 buck and my first deer with a bow. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Marcey,

The buck appears to have good body weight!  That’s a good indicator he’s doing fine.  

Any buck that’s one of the oldest in the neighborhood sounds like a good candidate for your wish list!  

Keep me posted and enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old is this southern Indiana buck?

Question
How old is this Southern Indiana buck?
Have tons of trail camera pics of him and he’s showing a pattern.

Thanks!

Luke,

That’s a good buck!  It appears his neck merges with his chest above his brisket and his chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulder meets his leg.  I estimate this buck is three years old.  If your goals include three year old bucks (nothing wrong with that!) and he’s showing a predictable pattern I’d be hunting that deer!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this south Mississippi buck?

Question
Grant,

First off, I want to say thank you for what you do. Not the fact you share knowledge with the rest of us. But that you always are glorifying God in your videos, and encourage others to seek him. I’ve been watching your show since I stumbled upon it a few months ago! Boy, am I glad I found it! I am a new hunter with this being only my second season. In a way, I’m having to teach myself, and I’m trying to implement the things you guys do at the proving grounds. With being new to hunting, I struggle with trying to age deer. Can you help me out and try to determine the age of this south Mississippi buck? I hope God continues to bless you and your family!

Thanks,
Stephen

Stephen,

Thank you for sharing the kind words and asking God to bless my family!  I sincerely appreciate your prayers!

The buck’s back and belly appear to be straight.  There’s no sag in either.  The buck’s chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulder meets his leg.  His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  I estimate this buck is two or three years old – depending on the quality of habitat within his home range.  

I suggest folks establish their buck harvest criteria based primarily on the landowner’s goals and secondarily on what makes them happy.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is the buck from Harrison, Arkansas?

Question
Thank you and your team very much for the show and being an example in such a Godly manner, I love watching your show. I live just south of you guys in Harrison, AR and was hoping you could help me age a buck and help me decide if he should be on my hit list. The area around where I hunt is very heavily hunted and because I lease the land I don’t have the ability to plant food plots etc to provide the deer extra nutrition beyond native browse and the supplemental feeding that I do. I’m just wondering what my realistic hit list goals should be. Despite the lack of nutrition and heavy hunting my goal is still to harvest a mature deer despite the size of the rack/body.

Austen,

You are wise to realize different neighborhoods have different deer management potential and therefore hunters should adjust their buck harvest criteria to fit where they are hunting.  In general, I suggest hunters set their buck harvest goals to met the realistic potential of the area. A good rule of thumb is to attempt to harvest a buck that’s in the top 25% of the age class of bucks harvested in the area.  For example if most bucks harvested where you hunt are one and two years old, and 25% or so are three years old or older, than set your goal to tag a three year old or older buck.  I strongly believe hunting should be fun while hunters work to improve the local herd and habitat conditions.  

The chest of the buck in your pictures sags below where his legs meets his shoulders.  His neck merges with his chest at his brisket and his back and belly seem to sag.  These are all signs of a mature buck. I estimate this buck is three or four and I’m leaning more toward four!  Based on the description of the area you hunt, this buck would be on my wish list!

Enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old is this Garner, North Carolina buck?

Question
Hello just let me start off by saying I love your channel of videos on YouTube. You guys have great footage of good hunting and teaching.

I am only 16 living in garner NC and I love to deer hunt, I have a piece of private land and I would like for you too look at the picture attached and tell me if the buck is old enough to be put on my hit list.

We call him 8. Note our property has alot of pressure cause of its location right in the middle of garner and we tend to see bucks either dissappear or not get very big. 8 is definitely on the bigger side of our herd of bucks.

Thanks you for your help and keep up the great footage,

Zakary stewart

Zakary,

That’s a good looking buck!  I believe that any buck that’s older than most bucks tagged in an area is a trophy and would qualify for my wish list! 

This buck’s back and belly appear fairly straight. His chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulder meets his leg.  His shoulder and ham appear fairly, but not fully developed.

I estimate this buck to be two or three years old and based on what you shared he’d be on my wish list in your neighborhood!  I’m proud of you for leading by example!

Enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old is this large-bodied Indiana buck?

Question
Hey Grant! Really enjoy your videos and am learning so much! thanks!
To start with,I am in Indiana ’bout 20 mile north of Kable,in Ripley county. I just wanted to introduce you to “Brutus”.I don’t think I have seen another deer this size. I’ve taken deer over 200 lb dressed but they were nothing like this.
A few questions,how do I estimate his weight?Or his age?I do pretty good up to about 4 1/2 but I can only guess after that.My gut says he’s at least 6 but I’d like to have something to base this on.He is getting spurs on his rack which indicates an older deer,so I have heard,one going down hill.Is this true?I know his rack doesn’t look like all that much but considering the frame it’s sitting on I would think he is close to 140.What do you think?
And last,this pix was in the middle of rut yet he has no staining down his back legs!My property is a transitional area with crop lands all around but we have crp ground with warm season grasses bordered with alfalfa firebreaks so I can only theorize that he has been overpowered and ran out of his territory and is no longer a dominate buck.Does that make sense? Does this make sense or is he just out of the bedroom looking for a receptive doe?
Thanks so much Grant.
Wade

SUNP0018 (3).JPG (332 kb) 100%

Wade,

That buck does appear to have a large body!  It’s odd that his antler bases are much smaller than his eyes (a buck’s eyes are usually about 4″ in diameter).  His body has such an odd shape that I’m hesitant to estimate his age.  Just as in humans, some deer don’t have normal shaped bodies or “fit the mold.”  I think it would be easier to estimate the age of this buck if he was standing by another buck for scale.  

I hope you have some good encounters with this buck!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
Dr. Grant. What’s your guess on the age of this deer? I think he’s 4 but I’m not too sure. Would like a professional’s opinion!

Dustin,

That’s a very nice buck!  His shoulder and ham appear well developed. His neck merges with his chest at his brisket.  His chest sags below where his shoulders meets his legs.  His back and belly both appear to sag and there’s a hump over his shoulder.  This buck shows many signs of being four years old or older. He’d be on my wish list!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
My friend that I lease our hunting property with and I disagree on the age of this buck. Can you give my your professional opinion about how old he is? I am sending 4 pics of the same deer.

Don,

Thank you for sending four pictures of the buck when he’s broadside to the camera.  The fourth picture, where his head is looking straight forward, is the best for showing his actual posture/body shape.  The buck’s back and belly lines are straight.  That’s to say neither his back or belly seem to be sagging.  His chest doesn’t sag below where his leg meets his shoulder. His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  

I estimate this buck to be three years old.  Do either of you agree with me?

Enjoy creation,

grant

 

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How old are these bucks?

Question
how old are these two deer?

Mr. Gatton,

Thanks for posting these pictures!  The buck in the first picture is 3.5 years old, he has well developed shoulders, but you can see a clearly defined difference between his chest and neck, this will merge into one as he ages and continues to develop.

The buck in the second photo looks like his in the process of moving which makes it a slightly difficult to estimate. However, I do believe that buck is 3.5 years old as well.  His brisket looks well developed but again his neck is not as well developed. 

These bucks have great potential. Thanks for sharing! 

-Matt

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How old is this doe?

Question
Grant, I hunt black-tails in Washington and was wondering if you could help me age this doe, I think she’s about 3.5yrs.
Have a great deer season,
Jeremy

Jeremy,

The technique for estimating the age of does based on body shape often isn’t as accurate as it is with bucks.  The doe in your pictures appears to have very developed shoulders and some loose skin by her brisket.  She appears middle aged to mature to me.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old do you estimate this deer to be. He has smaller horns but a big body so we just wanted to know if this deer is mature or young.

Mr. Howell,

I believe this buck is 1.5 years old.  The buck looks to be filled out, but this is within his young compact frame still.  This deer will grow and expand his frame over the next couple of years. He will be a neat deer to see fully develop! Thanks for sharing!

Growing deer together,

-Matt

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How old is this buck?

Question
How old is this buck i want to kill bucks bout 4 years old but i think this buck is bout 2.5 to 3.5 but im not fully sure

Connor,

Thanks for posting!  The angle of the picture is a little difficult to see the entire profile view, however, I believe an accurate estimate of this buck would be 2.5 years old. It appears that the ground slopes from back to front on this buck.  With this angle and lay of the land the deer looks older than what I truly think he is. The bucks neck looks large but this is due to his head being lowered in the photo. This buck will soon develop larger shoulders and look very front heavy. 

Growing deer together, 

-Matt

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How old do you estimate this buck to be?

Question
Hey Grant, this year I’m really focusing on killing a mature buck. I figure this deer to be 3 1/2 but would like an expert opinion!

Mr. Wick,

I believe this buck to be 3.5 years old.  He has some great characteristics to his body, however their is still room for him to grow into it.  His shoulders are still developing and but you can tell they are beginning to appear larger than his rear hams.  This will continue to happen with more time. His neck will merge directly into his shoulders making the bulk of his mass originate from his chest, legs, and shoulder region.   

Best wishes this season! 

Growing deer together,

-Matt

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How old is this buck from north Georgia?

Question
Thank you for the helpful tips on bow hunting without a rangefinder you provided me last week! I will put those to use.

We have a new face on camera at my in-laws property in North Georgia. He just showed up this past Thursday! This shows us that our food plots are working.

What is the age of this deer?

Cooper,

It’s always exciting to check cameras and discover a nice buck where we hunt!  

This buck appears to have a very straight back and tight belly.  There’s no sign of this deer having a pot belly.  His legs appear long for his body. This is a sign that his chest or belly isn’t sagging – which makes a deer’s legs appear short. This buck’s neck merges with his chest well above his brisket. 

These are all indicators this buck is two or three years old.  He’s a dandy for the north Georgia Mountains!  (I used to live and hunt in the South Carolina Mountains.)

Enjoy creation,

grant

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Is this buck mature?

Question
This year I’m really focusing on killing a mature buck. What would you estimate for this deer’s age?

Josh,

I estimate that buck’s age to be four or older!  His chest clearly sags below where his leg meets his shoulder.  There’s lots of loose skin by his brisket.  His shoulders and hams are both very developed.  This buck would be on my wish list!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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What is the age of this buck?

Question
Was wondering if you could help age this buck? At first I thought he was pretty old, but the more I look at him the younger i think he is. Any help would be appreciated.

Mr. Daniel,

I believe you are correct in saying this buck is younger than he is old. His stance makes him appear to be older than what he actually is.  He has a small neck and a small base of circumference around his antler bases. His rear hams are much larger in comparison to his front shoulders.  These signs are typically of a 2.5 year old deer.  

Thanks for sharing,

-Matt

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Is this buck three years old?

Question
I have a couple bucks that I wanted to show you, the picture of the one broadside I was wondering if you could approximate an age on it, I was thinking about 3.5 years old?

The other buck has a cool drop tine and looks to be a good sized deer, hard to tell how old on that one though.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks!

Kevin,

I agree that the buck that’s broadside to the camera appears three years old. His back and belly lines are very straight.  His ham and shoulder are developed, but don’t appear fully developed (like a mature buffalo).  His legs appear a bit long for his body and his neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  

These are all indicators of a three year old buck.

The other buck has a neat droptine!  I hope you have encounters with both of them!

grant

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How old is this buck that just showed up?

Question
Dr. Woods,

This buck showed up on my cameras the other day and I just wanted to double check with you on his age.

Frank,

In the second and third picture it appears the buck has a swayed back and potbelly.  His neck clearly merges with his chest at his brisket and his shoulder and ham are well developed.  These are all indicators of a mature deer. I estimate this buck is four years old or older. He’d be on my wishlist! 

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this Nebraska buck?

Question
This is another deer we have on a farm in NE Nebraska. My friend and I think he is a mature deer. We were wondering if you could give us your input and help us out ageing this deer. He is a good looking deer with a lot of character and don’t want to miss an opportunity. Thanks.

Jared,

I agree with you. That buck is more mature than the previous one.  His shoulders and hams are much more developed.  His neck merges with his chest much closer to his brisket.  

There’s more loose skin by his brisket.  I estimate this buck is three or four.  I hope you have a great encounter with him!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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Is this droptine buck a yearling?

Question
Grant,

I had this cool little droptine buck show up the other night. To me, he has the body characteristics of a yearling buck. Your thoughts? Thanks!!!

Jason,

I agree!  The droptine buck’s chest doesn’t show any sign of sagging.  His shoulders and hams aren’t developed.  If his antlers are covered he appears as a young doe.  This buck has all the characteristics of being 1.5 years old.  He’s showing much antler growth potential!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
Hey Grant and team! About a week ago, we started getting pictures of this buck and I was curious on your opinion. I’m guessing this buck to be 3 years old. What are your thoughts?

Thanks, Carson Hyland

Carson,

I enjoy getting pictures of bucks I wasn’t expecting.  Based on the pictures of this buck when he is broadside it appears his ham and shoulder aren’t fully developed.  His neck merges with his chest above his brisket and his chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulder meets his leg.  These are all indicators of a three year old buck.  I agree with your estimate.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is the Nebraska buck?

Question
This is a buck my friend and I have pictures of every day on a farm in Northeastern Nebraska. I was wondering if you could help me age this deer. Our season opens September 1st and we are getting ready to go hunting this weekend wanting to kill this buck. Any information is great. Thanks and love the show.

Jared,

That’s a neat buck!  Sounds like you have figured out this buck’s pattern!  

It appears his neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  His back and belly show no signs of sagging.  His hams and shoulders don’t appear to be fully developed.  When I cover his antlers it appears like a very mature doe.  These are good indicators of a good two year old or maybe a three year old. I’m leaning toward estimating this buck to be two years old.

I hope you and our friend are blessed with and enjoyable season!

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
transferring my question from FB.

just wanted your opinion on age and size of this guy. He is my target shooter for the year. i have included the best and most recent pics of him. he is coming around more often so i am staying out of my areas and decreasing trail cam checking

I was guessing 4yr and 140+

thank you for all your help and all your research you provide

D. Brown

Douglas,

That’s a nice buck!  The last picture is the most useful for estimating the buck’s age. In this picture the buck is broadside to the camera and has his head up, but his neck is not extended.

In this picture it appears is his back and belly are fairly straight.  His chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulder meets his leg. His neck merges with his chest above his brisket and his ham and shoulder don’t appear fully developed.

I estimate this buck is three or four, and I’m leaning toward three. 

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck from Illinois called Wayne?

Question
Hey Grant,

First, I would like to take a moment and express how much I enjoy your video segments. Learning from your videos and my own encounters in the stand each year has helped fuel my passion for hunting whitetails and, quite frankly, some days I’ve pondered dropping my Ag Business major at the University of Illinois to start studying to become a wildlife biologist myself! I truly appreciate the work you have done and hope you continue on this path for years to come.

Now for my question:

Attached are photos of a beautiful buck I had first seen a year ago. (I call him Wayne.) At the time he was a wide 8 pt. and appeared to be less than 4 years of age. The photos are from this summer (ignore the camera dates) and despite all the estimating my friends and I can do as to how old he really is, I would love to hear your opinion on his age.

Once again, thank you for sharing your wisdom and passion for hunting and all of Creation.

-Mason

Mason,

Thank you for watching GrowingDeer and for sharing the kind words!  I believe the most important factor step of making a career choice is intentionally seeking what God has planned for your life!

Wayne is a nice buck!  There appears to be an obvious hump over his shoulder and his chest clearly sags below where his leg meets his shoulder.  His shoulder is very developed and his antler bases are much larger than the diameter of his eyes.

Based on these observations I estimate Wayne is four years old or older.  He’s be on my wishlist.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old is this buck from Lamar, Missouri?

Question
Here’s another buck from our farm, I believe he is 4 but would like your alls ionic again if possible. The farm is in Lamar, MO

Colton,

That’s a very nice buck!  I noticed that the younger buck to the left appears to have already shed and the more mature buck to the right is still in full velvet.  When bucks shed velvet or antlers is more of an individual trait than related to maturity.

The buck on the right appears to have a swayed back and pot belly. However, I believe that’s due to his posture. His neck merges with his chest above his brisket and his shoulder and ham don’t appear fully developed.  

This buck is sending mixed signals and I could go with an estimate of three or four.  When I’m in doubt I give the benefit to the buck and accept the younger estimate.  He may appear to be four in another picture.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old is Johnny’s buck?

Question
I would like to know the age of a deer I’ve been watching now for two years.
I found his right shed this past February. these are pics from last year and
this year. He was an 11pt. last and a 10pt. with several kickers this year. The
pic with 2 deer is a nice 8pt. that has been running with him all summer.
Thank You Johnny

Johnny,

Wow – that’s a great buck! Thank you for sending pictures of the buck broadside to the camera and from both 2014 and 2015!  

In the pictures from 2015 the buck appears to have a swayed back and pot belly.  His shoulder and ham are well developed.  His neck merges with his chest very close to his brisket and his chest sags below where his leg meets his shoulder. His antler bases are larger than the diameter of his eyes.  This buck has all the indicators of a four year old or older buck.  He’d certainly be on my wish list!  

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this Kansas buck?

Question
This KS deer on the right on one of our properties has a massive body!! I’m trying to be better at guessing age. Thinking at least 4.5 on this guy because is his neck, shoulders and belly. Thoughts?

Chad,

That is a nice buck. However, I think his shoulder and ham would be even more developed if he was four.  I suspect his posture makes his back look more swayed than it is.  

This buck’s neck merges with his chest well above his brisket and his chest doesn’t sag below where his leg meets his shoulder.  I believe there are more indicators this buck is three than four. 

Either way he’s a fine deer!  

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this Georgia buck?

Question
My date on my camera is wrong, but what would you age this Georgia buck as.

Hank,

That’s a nice buck.  Pictures of bucks facing the camera rarely provide much information to estimating a deer’s age.  In the second picture the buck appears to have a swayed back and pot belly.  His hams and shoulders appear well developed. These are all indicators of a four year old or older buck. However, his neck merges with his chest very high above his brisket.  This is an indicator of a three year old buck.  A buck posture can influence features such as a pot belly and swayed back.  I estimate this buck is either three or four years old.  I hope you get a better look during season!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is the buck in the back?

Question
What would you age the back deer in the second picture as?

Hank,

It appears that buck has a swayed back and pot belly.  This may be due to his posture in this picture.  His chest doesn’t sag much below where his shoulder meets his leg and his neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  The buck appears very fit – no sagging anywhere It seems there are more indicators that this buck is three than four. Based on the quality of the habitat where this buck lives I estimate he’s three or four and I’m leaning toward three.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is the southwest Missouri buck?

Question
Could you possibly help me, by giving your thoughts on the age of this buck? This deer is in southwest Missouri! Thanks!

Caleb,

That buck appears to have a huge body!  It’s difficult to accurately estimate the age of a buck that’s facing the camera.  It appears his chest sags well below where his legs meets his shoulders.  His antler bases are have a much larger diameter than his eyes.  These are good both indicators of a mature buck.  I loosely estimate the buck is four years old or older.

Enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old is this buck?

Question
What\’s this bucks age

Dustin,

That’s a great looking buck!  The picture is dated November 16th and there’s snow on the ground so I assume the buck is in rut.  

This buck has:

1. A very straight back and tight belly.

2. His chest doesn’t sag below where his chest meets his shoulder.

3  His shoulder and ham don’t appear fully developed.  

Based on these observations I estimate this buck to be three years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old are these three bucks?

Question
How old do you think these bucks are?

Clay,

The buck in the picture from January 2015 has a very straight back and belly.  His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket and his shoulders aren’t totally developed.  I estimate this buck to be two or three depending on the quality of habitat where he lives.

The buck in the picture dated June 26, 2015 appears to have a very straight back, tight belly, and his shoulder and ham are not developed. When I cover his antlers he appears similar to a large doe. I estimate this buck to be two years old.

The buck in picture with no date appears to have a swayed back and pot belly.  His neck merges with his chest very close to his brisket.  It’s difficult to accurately estimate the age of bucks when they are facing a camera.  Based on this picture I estimate this buck to be four years old or older.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this non typical buck from central Missouri?

Question
I’m bowhunting in central Missouri and I need help aging this buck. He looks like a three year old to me in spite of his monstrous atypical rack. I’m working on my hit list and need to know if he is 4 or older. Also, I just submitted a request to join the field staff. Thanks, Ryan

Ryan,

Wow – that’s a great buck!!  Its very tough to accurately estimate the age of bucks that are facing the camera.  The only picture that shows the buck broadside is from May.  At that time the buck’s back and belly lines were very straight.  His chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulders meets his legs.  His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  

These are all very good indicators of a three year old buck.  Wow – that buck has produced huge antlers for his age!  

Thanks for sharing and enjoy creation!

grant

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What’s your estimate of the buck’s age in these three pictures?

Question
How old do you think this buck is?

Eric,

The legs of the buck in all three pictures appear long for his body in all .  His back and belly lines are straight.  His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  If you cover his antlers he appears like a large bodied doe.  These are all signs of a two year old buck.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
Anyway I could get your alls opinion on the age of this buck?

Colton,

That’s a very nice buck!  Adam and I both looked at the pictures you sent. We estimate this buck is three years old because:

1.  It’s back and belly lines are very flat.

2.  The buck’s chest merges with his neck well above his brisket.

3.  His chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulders merge with his legs.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How can we educate ourselves on how to accurately estimate the age of bucks on the hoof?

Question
My friends and I have 1,000 acres in the delta region of Mississippi that we have long term leases on. We are constantly looking for advice to get our bucks bigger and bigger. We know that allowing a buck to reach maturity is the key to maximizing his size. Our problem lies with not being able to correctly age bucks in the wild good enough to implement this as a club rule. Is there any advice you could give us to learn to pass those 3.5 year old bucks and is there any club rules we could do antler size wise that would protect the majority of the 3.5 year olds while allowing us to still have success? Also we were looking into supplemental feeding so any advice on that would be appreciated too.


Thank you,
Travis “Dustin” Matthews

Dustin,

I’m not aware of any shortcuts to learning how to accurately estimate the age of bucks on the hoof.  It can be difficult especially in a moment of excitement!  I strongly prefer my clients do a camera survey and use those pictures to identify and learn which bucks they wish to tag and more importantly which bucks they wish to pass!  We often make booklets so clients can study which bucks to pass.  This system has worked very well for me and my clients!

There’s no doubt that a well ran supplemental feeding program can help. Most folks focus on protein.  However, usually quality sources of energy are in much shorter supply than protein.  Good feeding programs require substantial resources (dollars and labor).  Feeders need to be moved and cleaned frequently.  Non target critters such as squirrels, raccoons, bears, etc., can literally remove 50% or more of the feed.

However, if implemented correctly a feeding program can increase the health of a deer herd!

Enjoy creation,

grant

 

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Is this buck 3 1/2 years old?

Question
How old do you think this buck is? I was thinking 3 1/2 due to his back being strait, sort of a tight belly and his neck merging higher on his brisket but his front shoulders are about the same size as his hams.

Jeff,

I agree with all your observations.  I estimate this buck to be three, possibly four.  However, I’m leaning more toward 3 1/2 years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this doe?

Question
Hi Grant! love watching your videos. I am located in central/northern New Hampshire. I just started to use trail cameras and got some pictures of a young doe accompanied by a fawn, and a seperate larger doe by itself. I was wondering if you can help me age this doe. Thanks Grant! sincerly, Jason Torsey

Jason,

I typically place does in one of two age categories. These include 1.5 years old and 2 years old or older.

The larger doe in your pics appears to have well developed shoulders and hams and a pot belly. She’s certainly mature.  

Enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old are these two bucks?

Question
Good evening Grant,

I’m a long time viewer of your weekly series, and I must say that I’m very impressed with you and your team. Much more entertaining than watching the Outdoor Channel without a doubt. Very informative stuff!!

One thing that impresses me the most is your ability to guess the age of a deer…especially if you see the deer for the first time from a stand. I have some trail cam pics of two great deer in my opinion on one of my properties. One of them is a thick mainframe 12 with split brows and awesome kickers. The other is an awesome non-typical with 2 drop tines. I’ve really been trying to “guesstimate” their age prior to opening bow season and have tried to pick the best pictures for you to study. In my estimation, I believe the 12 is 4.5 yrs old and the drop is 3.5 yrs old. Can you provide some feedback to your thoughts? Thanks so much!!

Chad

Chad,

Thank you for sharing the kind words and for watching GrowingDeer!

Those are both great bucks!  The mainframe 12 appears to have a straight back (at least in the 2nd picture) and his chest doesn’t sag below where his legs meets his shoulders.  His shoulders are not more developed than his hams.  His neck merges with his chest well above his brisket.  I estimate this buck is three or four and I’m leaning toward estimating he’s three.  You may be able to refine this more when he’s closer to shedding his velvet.  

The buck with the droptine certainly appears a year younger than the mainframe 12.  HIs back is very straight and his hams and shoulders are much less developed compared to the mainframe 12.  I estimate he’s two or three and I’m leaning toward two years old.  If you cover his (impressive) antlers his body appears like a very large doe. That’s typically a good indicator of a two year old buck.

Both are great bucks!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
Attached are pics of a buck that I believe is the same buck from this year and last year. Can you help with me with aging him? He is the front buck in the 2014 pic and the rear/back deer in the 2015 pic.
Thanks

Evan,

The neck of the buck in the back of the 2015 picture merges with his chest above his brisket. His shoulders and hams appear developed, but not well developed.  His shoulders appear much smaller than his hams. These observations may due to his posture and because his angling away from the camera.  Based on this picture I estimate the buck is 3, maybe 4 years old. I’m leaning toward calling him 3 years old.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck from Minnesota?

Question
Dr. Woods,

I have a buck showing up on my cameras and I am struggling to tell if he extremely young or if he has some sort of genetic problem. He seems short in body size compared to other bucks here in Minnesota. I will post a picture of him last year and this year. I would love your advice on how old he is.

Thanks,
Frank

Frank,

The buck’s legs appear too long for his body.  His neck merges with is chest well above his brisket.  If you cover his antlers he appears like a large-bodied doe.  These are all signs of a 2 year old buck.

There are very rarely genetic “problems” with deer.  I believe this deer is healthy and has great potential!

Enjoy creation,

grant 

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How old is the Moose buck?

Question
Hey Grant, I asked how old the moose Buck was, and i forgot to put the picture in. Here he is. Will you age him for me please? Thanks, Colby

Colby,

I assume these pics were taken during the late fall/winter based on the hard antlers and long hair (full winter coat).

This buck’s antler bases aren’t much larger than the diameter of his eyes.  His neck, even though swollen, merges with his chest well above his brisket.  Even though the buck is in a different posture in each picture his chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulders meets his legs.  These are all signs of a two or three year old buck.

Enjoy creation,

grant

  

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How old is this buck?

Question
Hello Mr Grant
I have seen a lot of you shows GrowingDeer.tv in youtube an I admire your passion on bow hunting deer…
I have a 10 points buck in one of my cams and I have hard time finger out his age. it looks like 4-5 years old to me but it can be more….,
I also have captured the buck once in my cams at 2:13 pm and I like to know your opinion if it was just walk thru or he lives in the farm or near by in your opinion ??
I just install the cams in august 2nd and Im new to deer hunting (but I hunt birds from 16 years old, 47 now) I star with bow and try to learn as much as I can to avoid mistakes by me and same time not to spook the few deer from the farm.

Below I have attache the cam photo of the buck
I like to thank you for your time…..
Manny B

Manny,

That’s a great buck! It’s tough to accurately estimate the age of a buck from a head-on view. It appears the buck’s shoulders and hams are developed and that there’s a lot of loose skin around his brisket.  There may be a hump over his shoulder – indicating his back is swayed.  These are all signs the buck is 4 years old or older.  

Bucks rarely travel outside their home range this time of year. Based on that there’s a good chance this is a resident buck!  I hope you get him patterned!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck from Sedalia, Missouri?

Question
My Dad and I went out the other night to purchase a trail camera to see what new deer may be on our property. Our property is outside Sedalia, Mo and we knew that there had been big mature deer there in the past. We discovered this deer that is giving us some trouble trying to tell the age. We were wondering if you could help.

Thanks,
Will

Will,

That’s a good looking buck!  It’s tough to accurately estimate the age of deer when part of their body is blocked by plants.  From what I can see it appears his neck merges well above where his chest meets his brisket.  HIs shoulders and hams don’t appear to be fully developed and his facial features are very fine (unscarred).  

These are all indicators the buck is likely 2 or 3 years old.  If he’s a 2 year old the buck has tremendous potential!  Even if he’s 3 years old he’s a great looking buck!  

Enjoy creation,

grant

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At what age should I “cull” bucks?

Question
Dear Dr. Woods,

Me and some friends were discussing genetics or the lack there of. The questions is at what age do you harvest a genetically inferior buck or a buck that has some sort of antler “problem”? I noticed in one of your episodes that you passed on a buck with an odd rack that looked to be 3 y/o. Do you stick to your guns of only harvesting a 4 y/o and give the inferior gene another year to replicate? or do you harvest the deer at a younger age 2-3 y/o to get him out of the gene pool? Thank you for your time.

Ben

Ben,

Recently we’ve shared footage of a buck we call Chainsaw!  He has very large antlers several kickers.  I confident almost every deer hunter would gladly tag Chainsaw.  I estimate this buck to be 4 years old. We don’t recognize Chainsaw as any of the bucks from our farm last year.  Chainsaw’s range also includes a member of our local deer coop and that landowner doesn’t recognize him either.  I suspect Chainsaw’s antlers are much larger this year than during any previous year.  Had we (or our neighbor) been tagging 3 year old or younger deer Chainsaw may not have survived to express his genetic potential.

I’ve seen this same pattern many times!  Bucks often don’t show their genetic potential until they reach 4 years old or older.  Several spikes that have been tagged or fitted with a radio collar have produced Boone and Crockett level antlers when they matured to 4 years old or older.  

Based on this and several research projects I do recommend passing bucks until the age criteria used where you hunt. It’s almost impossible to determine a buck’s antler production potential at younger ages.  

Remember that does make a huge contribution to antler shape.  The bottom line is that culling bucks without a known pedigree for several generations on both the doe and buck side is useless.  

Enjoy creation,

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
Hi Grant,

I grabbed this picture from my trail cam Monday. Can you estimate the age of this buck by the picture? I’m thinking 4-5 yrs old. ( by the signs you say to look for on the show )

Thanks
Lee

leeimage1

Lee,

The buck in your picture appears to have a swayed back, pot-belly, and his chest sags below where his shoulders meets his legs.  In addition, his shoulders and hams are very well developed.  These are all indicators that the buck is four years old or older. He’d certainly be on my hit list!  

I hope you have a great encounter with him!  

Enjoy creation!

grant

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How old is this buck?

Question
Im here to ask you how old these deer is in the attached pictures are, I hunt a 500 acre area my grandparents own in Morgan county Ohio, only being 17 I have harvested several 130” deer but want something more mature and bigger.

Heavy 8 (2) Heavy 8 (4) Lucky 13 (106) Lucky 13 (114)

I typically only estimate the age of one buck per question. I’ll spend some time analyzing the first buck (color pics).
This buck’s neck merges with his chest in the brisket area.  There appears to be a hump over his shoulder and his chest sags below where his legs merge with his shoulders.  These are all good indicators this buck is 4 or older.  He’d be on my wish list!  I hope you have a great encounter with him!
 
Enjoy creation!
Grant

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How do you age a doe (female white-tailed deer)?

Question
I love your videos, and can’t wait to always see the next one. I consider myself your student. You give good advice on how to discern a mature buck, but where I hunt (Michigan farmland – a veritable paradise for a deer hunter) doe control is necessary, and I also prefer doe meat. I’d prefer to shoot a mature doe to an immature one, when a doe hunt is on. How can one discern a mature doe on the fly and at a distance? I’m sure you’re too busy to reply, but I don’t doubt many of your viewers would be happy to see an episode, or part of an episode, on that topic. May God bless and keep you and your loved ones.

Thank you for watching GrowingDeer and for asking God to bless our Team!

Tracy, the kids, and I all enjoy venison! Tracy’s a great cook and we consume 10+ does each year! So you and I have the same goals.

Just like with humans, does tend to show their age by changing body shape as they mature in patterns similar to bucks. As does mature their posture goes from very straight to having a swayed back and sags in the belly region. Does don’t have plastic surgery so changes due to age are probably more pronounced and constant than female humans express. In addition most does will produce fawns each year so they show similar signs of aging compared to humans as some ladies bare a lot of children while others very few or none. In addition most does give birth as yearlings or as two year old does. The age humans produce the first child is highly variable.

I tend to age does on the hoof as immature, prime, and elderly based on the shape of their body.

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