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I just have a question about how you can tell a deer's age? I have heard bodysize, neck size, and teeth. If you know how to tell

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  • I just have a question about how you can tell a deer's age? I have heard bodysize, neck size, and teeth. If you know how to tell

    I just have a question about how you can tell a deer's age? I have heard bodysize, neck size, and teeth. If you know how to tell the age of a deer by its teeth pleass explain it to me. THANK YOU!!

  • #2
    Their teeth get progesively more worn down each year. It will be tough, but I will try to explain what I look for.
    -A young deer (1-2 yrs) will have no noticable teeth wear, and the black/brown inner dentine of the tooth will not be exposed. The teeth will be small just like when a human first grows their teeth. The back tooth(6th tooth) will barely be visible.
    -The teeth of a 2-3 year old deer are sharp and fully grown in without much wear. The inner black/brown enamal is still not exposed yet.
    -The teeth in a 3-4 year old deer will start to have the dentine exposed. The teeth will show wear and become slightly blunt, but only the very end of the tooth.
    -The teeth in a 4-5 year old deer will have more dentine exposed than enamal(More black/brown on the top of the tooth than white). The very back tooth will look like it has been chipped since it has been worn so much.
    -A 5-6 year old will have teeth that have been rounded off, and are slightly smaller than a younger deer.
    -Teeth that are 6-7 will begin to flatten out(and are about 1/2 the size they were at their peak).
    -After 7 years the teeth continue to wear down and become almost completely flat.

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    • #3
      JM covered the tooth wear part better than I could've, so I'll just take a whack at the other things you listed.
      - Neck size is not a very precise method of judging age, but it is generally fairly accurate to a certain age range, i.e., a young buck, 2.5 years old or less, will not have a very swollen neck in the rut. A 3 year old will usually have a somewhat swollen neck (sometimes very swollen). And a 4+ year old deer will have usually a very swollen, massive-looking neck in the rut.
      - Body size/shape is my personal favorite way of judging age of a deer on the hoof. The young buck, 2.5 y.o. or less, will have a very slender, "clean"-looking body, and its legs will appear to be very long and gangly. A 3 y.o. will have a larger, heavier body, but it will still appear trim and clean-looking. A 4-5 year old deer really starts to change in appearance, getting much blockier-looking, and its legs start to look short and stubby in proportion to its body. It will also start to develop a bit of a "paunch", and will not be as clean-looking, starting to have some loose skin and scruffy fur here and there. And a 6+ year old deer just starts to look old, kind of like an old man (no offense to old men), it gets very scruffy looking, with a significant pot belly, kind of a sway-back, and often will get gray around the muzzle.

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