Travis “Dustin” Matthews
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!