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Whitetail Deer Age Chart and What to Look For

The observe of harvesting white-tailed deer primarily based on their age has not too long ago picked up. Figuring out and utilizing a  deer age chart helps monitor deer populations and maintain a broad vary of ages amongst them.

Do you know which you can inform the age of a deer by merely it, and even by learning its tooth?

This text will clarify how one can age deer by their antlers, backs, hooves, tooth and extra. It’ll additionally listing an in depth whitetail deer age chart on your comfort.

Deer Ageing

White-tailed deer, like people, present indicators of ageing. A few of their bodily traits change all through the seasons, however fall is often one of the best time to age bucks since there’s noticeable neck swelling and tarsal staining.

Primarily, these are the attributes you might want to be if you wish to shortly decide the deer’s age: the body weight of the deer, the thickness of the neck, the stomach and the way low it hangs, and whether or not or not the antlers prolong outdoors the ears.

PRO TIP: Focus extra on the physique fairly than the antlers themselves.

You may classify bucks into three age teams primarily based on their physique and antler traits: younger, mature, and older deer — the older the deer, the thicker the neck, and the decrease the stomach.

Many components affect antler progress, so evaluating antler traits alone to foretell a whitetail buck’s age shouldn’t be really useful.

Deer Age Chart


Age Head Antlers Neck Again Stomach Legs Glands
1.5 years Lengthy and slender 20-30% of potential, inside ears No swelling, little muscular progress Slopes down from again to entrance No sagging Very lengthy in comparison with their torso Flippantly stained
2.5 years Nonetheless lengthy and slender 50-60% of potential, close to ears No swelling, barely extra muscular Slopes down from again to entrance No sagging Lengthy in comparison with their torso Considerably stained
3.5 years Lengthy and thicker from the again 70-80% of potential, outdoors ears A lot swelling Slopes down from again to entrance Tight stomach line Matches nicely with physique dimension Reasonably stained
4.5 years Thicker than earlier than 80-90% of potential Important swelling Straight line throughout again Straight stomach line Matches nicely with physique dimension Closely stained
5.5+ years Brief and really thick 90-100% of potential Peak swelling Average sagging or extra Excessive sagging Too brief for his or her physique Extraordinarily stained

Ageing Deer by Look

Look intently, and also you’ll discover the deer’s physique simply tells its age. The pinnacle, antlers, stomach, again, neck, legs, and tarsal glands are among the greatest options to have a look at when making an attempt to age whitetail bucks.

Whereas there aren’t any hard-and-fast guidelines to this ageing methodology, right here’s a breakdown of deer age so far as their seems to be are involved:

1.5 Years-Previous Deer

A 1.5-year-old buck will often appear to be a younger doe with antlers. The indicators are lengthy gangly legs, a slim chest and abdomen, and a protracted slim neck.

Their antlers shall be simply noticeable in comparison with the remainder of the herd. Their torsos (abdomen, chest, and neck) are additionally not absolutely grown, making their legs look somewhat too lengthy for his or her our bodies. A 1.5-year-old deer has reached solely about 20-30 p.c of its general antler growth.

2.5 12 months-Previous Buck

The two.5-year-old bucks have considerably larger our bodies than yearlings, however their legs are about the identical size. Evaluate them to earlier age teams, and also you’ll discover that they’ve smaller necks, though they could increase through the rut.

Bucks of two.5 years have reached roughly 60 p.c of their most antler dimension. Through the rut, they achieve muscle on their shoulders and expertise minor swelling of their neck, however their abdomen stays skinny.

3.5 12 months-Previous Buck

3.5-year-old white-tailed deer are generally known as “thoroughbred” because of their toned bodily options. The buck develops a muscular physique with a considerably deeper chest than the rump and a taut abdomen.

The neck begins to swell considerably, and the legs are lastly proportionate to the remainder of the physique, to not point out the tarsal glands swell somewhat as nicely. 3.5 years outdated bucks have reached roughly 70-80 p.c of their whole antler dimension.

4.5 12 months-Previous Buck

A 4.5-year-old white-tailed deer is massive and muscular, with taut pores and skin and legs that seem too brief for his physique. The buck’s abdomen sags, however the again remains to be straight. Their neck swells dramatically through the rut, and the physique reaches physiological maturity. As for the antlers, they’re roughly at 90 p.c of their whole potential.

5.5+-12 months-Previous Buck

A 5.5-year-old buck has reached the top of its growth — each muscular and skeletal. Now that the whitetail’s physique is absolutely grown, extra vitamins are accessible for antler progress. Bucks on this age group have round 95-One hundred pc of their potential antlers.

A 5.5 years or older buck has a heavy physique with a sagging stomach, pores and skin, and again. The brisket could drop as little as the abdomen line, and the chest is deeper and broader. The neck is swollen and huge, and the legs seem somewhat misplaced in comparison with the remainder of the physique. Lastly, the tarsal glands are closely stained.

Whitetail Deer Age Chart


Ageing Deer by Tooth Put on

This method examines the enamel (white outer layer) and dentine (darkish internal layer) of the fourth molar of a whitetail deer. The next is a breakdown of deer age primarily based on tooth growth.


A deer is categorized as a fawn if it has lower than six tooth, and:

  • 3 to 4-month-old fawn: the primary molar has both simply began showing or isn’t exhibiting in any respect.
  • 4 to 6-month-old deer: the primary molar is clearly seen however not the second.
  • 7 to 9-month-old deer: the second molar could be seen however not the third.

1.5 12 months Previous Deer Tooth

  • Six tooth: three molars and three premolars.
  • Tooth six has popped by way of and is seen above the gum line.
  • There are sharp factors on the molars’ lingual crest.
  • There are three cusps on the third premolar.

2.5 12 months Previous Deer Tooth

  • All the everlasting molars and premolars have erupted.
  • The primary molar’s cusps are comparatively sharp or have minor put on, and the cusps of the primary molar have minimal dentine.
  • Lingual crest’s enamel could be seen over the dentine.
  • Cusp’s enamel half is broader than the dentine.
  • Third molar’s third cusp is inclined to the lingual facet of the jawbone.

3.5 12 months Previous Deer Tooth

  • There’s minimal put on on the everlasting tooth.
  • Dentine is now thicker than the enamel on the cusp of the primary molar.
  • The sixth cheek tooth’s final cusp has flattened.
  • Dentine of the second molar is often extra slim than the enamel.

4.5 12 months Previous Deer Tooth

  • The lingual crest of the primary molar has disappeared.
  • Third molar’s cusps are nonetheless comparatively sharp, with solely minor put on.
  • Dentine of the primary molar has grown to be twice as vast because the enamel.
  • The dentine of the second molar is bigger than the enamel.
  • Third molar’s third cusp angles towards the buccal a part of the jawbone.

5.5 12 months Previous Deer Tooth

  • There’s noticeable put on on all three molars.
  • The lingual crest on tooth 4 is worn out, whereas the lingual crest on tooth 5 is rounded.
  • Tooth 6 has a flat lingual crest.
  • Dentine of tooth 6 is now wider than the enamel.
  • The infundibulum remains to be seen.

Know What To Look For

We hope our whitetail deer age chart has given you the mandatory know-how concerning ageing whitetail deer. On the subject of ageing whitetails, understanding what to search for is crucial.

Ageing deer is useful for landowners and hunters who search to provide mature bucks or attain QDM. Understanding the deer physique and its completely different levels of progress and the behavioral sample of greenbacks will come in useful, particularly when ageing dwell bucks.

Deer Looking Movies



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