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Old 02-05-2019, 02:36 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by J-Jac View Post
Wow... aging by the lower jaw took quite a turn ��. On another note, it still baffles me how some hunting clubs/deer managers use this specifically on unknown deer to identify an age even go so far as to kick someone off of a lease. Additionally, they will even argue with other hunters when teeth do not match catalogued yearly history with a given deer. We still turn in lower jaws per buck on one of the places I hunt and I think itís irrelevant.

Encinal, you can come consult on our 2 ranches anytime since you now fired yourself! ��
Yes, I can definitely be long winded and digress. Just attempting to to chase down the counter argument that tooth wear ages are irrelevant.

Again, tooth wear aging should not be applied outside the limits of the method (i.e. kicking people off).

Please, make an attempt at addressing the questions in Post #23. Those are not hypothetical scenarios. They are real life examples demonstrating the value of tooth wear ages. Scenario 1 is very common across TX. Scenario 2 is very common for high fence properties. I'm not making stuff up. Try it and see what conclusions you draw.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:01 PM   #52
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Scenario 2:
The same management decision could be derived from trail cams, field/blind surveys, and helicopter surveys. The reality is, they shot “too many does”, not just young ones.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:48 PM   #53
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Scenario 2:
The same management decision could be derived from trail cams, field/blind surveys, and helicopter surveys. The reality is, they shot ďtoo many doesĒ, not just young ones.
Nice. Helicopter survey is an excellent choice, depending on what part of TX you're in. But why go to the expense when looking at teeth costs nothing?

I dont think field/blind surveys would help since the hunters aren't seeing doe in the pasture to begin with. While it would quantify what they're observing, it doesn't shed light as to why or eliminate any of the potential environmental factors (i.e. big acorn crop).

Could you describe how cameras would reveal a shift in doe age structure?
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:00 PM   #54
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I believe if you have jaws from deer of known ages to compare to from your area it can be accurate. Other than that there are way too many variables due to types of soil, diet, ect.
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:05 PM   #55
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Shot a 180” 6.5 year old and jaw said 3.5��
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:19 PM   #56
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Shot a 180Ē 6.5 year old and jaw said 3.5��
I've had similar experiences. But extreme cases like that are rare. On a known age deer, the typical error is usually 1 year for someone knowledgeable and experienced with the method. It's odd that a guy could nail the age on 100 deer but miss 1 big buck and the technique suddenly becomes useless, meaningless, or irrelevant.

The point I'm attempting to make is that while tooth aging is not an exact science, it is an important tool in management.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:00 PM   #57
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Nice. Helicopter survey is an excellent choice, depending on what part of TX you're in. But why go to the expense when looking at teeth costs nothing?

I dont think field/blind surveys would help since the hunters aren't seeing doe in the pasture to begin with. While it would quantify what they're observing, it doesn't shed light as to why or eliminate any of the potential environmental factors (i.e. big acorn crop).

Could you describe how cameras would reveal a shift in doe age structure?

By looking at them.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:05 PM   #58
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The Noble Foundation did a study on the accuracy of the tooth method years ago. They sent jawbones of known aged deer (tagged as yearlings) to 34 experienced deer biologists. Their results:

Name:  Noble Deer Aging.JPG
Views: 194
Size:  115.0 KB

Full study here.

Back to y'alls bickering.....
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:54 PM   #59
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First, I want to encourage everyone to take the concept of tooth aging being an exact science, meaning every deer's teeth wears exactly the same, and flush that down the toilet of your brain. Replace it with this concept: Tooth aging is really really good for determining young, middle aged, and old in nearly all deer, thus it can be used for management purposes.

Let's address an item dear to the heart of most Green Screen users. "Did I kill that buck at a good old age with what could be its best set of antlers?"

Scenario 1: A group lease has killed 5 bucks per year for 5 years. They complain they can't grow big bucks, seem to peak around 130-135 B&C. Tooth wear age shows all 25 bucks to be be 3-5 years old. Staying focused on the topic, what's the management decision to be made?

Important for doe as well.
Scenario 2: A high fence propery has been heavily killing doe for 6 years trying to reduce population size, but doe are becoming hard to find, and hunters can't reach their quota. Their biologist pressures them to try harder. The lease boss, who understands tooth wear, shows the biologist doe ages. The first year of doe harvest showed a wide distribution of doe ages from 1-8 yrs with a peak around 4 yrs. The last year of harvest showed doe age to peak at 2 yrs with only a few 5 yrs. Staying focused on the topic, what's the management decision to be made?

You should be helping them before they kill deer not after. How does tooth wear keep a deer alive and fix the problem?

Assigning blame isn’t a management strategy.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:29 PM   #60
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When I read the two scenarios I find the same flaw in both of them .

Scenario 1: tooth age shows all 25 bucks to be between 3 & 5

Scenario 2: Lease boss bases ages between 1-8 with average of 4 on tooth aging. Second year a few 5 yr olds.

The flaw is believing anyone can with any precision give a precise age once a deer is 3 or older. There have been numerous studies varying that . In fact aging by teeth can be off by several yrs once a deer reaches 5 rendering the tooth wear data in scenario 1 & 2 invalid.How can a management decision be made on that?

There are far more effective ways to assess harvest strategy before the season begins to determine what to remove. Extensive research has been done by Dr. Harry Jacobson using cameras to analyze a herd in exacting detail using 100 acre grid patterns twice a year. He could capture essentially all the bucks and have deep insight into doe, doe/fawn populations. Most experienced deer managers also how to look at browse surveys to assess population dynamics. Direct observation teaches a lot. These methods as well as others provide the kinds of information needed before hunters start pulling the trigger.

One of the benefits of managing the same properties for decades is getting to watch the buck herd mature. Like many we used to save all the jaws and age them. Didn't take many years to figure out that the 6,7,8+ yr old bucks we were taking had tooth wear of 4 & 5 yr olds. After a few years we stopped bothering to remove jaws excepting uber old bucks we were curious about. Novelty.

In my hubris I used to think I could grow trophy bucks in a Walmart parking lot given enough feeders. I've used those exact same words. Turns out I was right. It would be much easier to grow deer in the controlled environment of a parking lots than the messy world of a ranch/farm. However after decades of trying to grow trophy bucks in nature the variables and vagaries of the real world have humbled me and I realize the naivety of that idea. I continue to be astounded at the complexity of dynamics that effect deer in the wild.Nonetheless in the most global sense I agree wholeheartedly that consistently growing trophy bucks requires age and nutrition. A biologist told me that once

Last edited by elgato; 02-05-2019 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:52 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Devin View Post
The Noble Foundation did a study on the accuracy of the tooth method years ago. They sent jawbones of known aged deer (tagged as yearlings) to 34 experienced deer biologists. Their results:

Attachment 944915

Full study here.

Back to y'alls bickering.....
Very interesting, thank you for sharing.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:32 PM   #62
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Rusty, I would guess your far deer are virtually identical to my East Tx deer genetically. Natural browse is likely identical as well. It only makes sense that tooth wear would duplicate my results here.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:21 PM   #63
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We have been noticing it has become more inaccurate on our ranch in mexico since we have been feeding protein for about 11 years. Some deer we know for sure were 8.5 but did not show the age. They were bucks that seemed to be at protein feeders daily. Glad to read this thought we were going crazy on deer we have seen for years. Went back on pictures on a couple to check and seen the teeth could not have shown there age.
not that an 8.5 yr old would have much teeth left anyway to examine.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:31 PM   #64
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not that an 8.5 yr old would have much teeth left anyway to examine.
Not true in most cases here in east tx. We killed a known 8 year old this year. If I had no history on him , i would have called him 6 by his teeth based on wear of known age deer on my place. Three folks who claim to be experts called him 4.5. No substitute for history.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:50 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devin View Post
The Noble Foundation did a study on the accuracy of the tooth method years ago. They sent jawbones of known aged deer (tagged as yearlings) to 34 experienced deer biologists. Their results:

Attachment 944915

Full study here.

Back to y'alls bickering.....
A similar study, with similar results as well. This was posted on another tooth aging thread; however, this thread has more traction. Posting again.

https://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/sites/de...r-fall2010.pdf
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:56 PM   #66
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A similar study, with similar results as well. This was posted on another tooth aging thread; however, this thread has more traction. Posting again.

https://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/sites/de...r-fall2010.pdf
I'll save y'all the read.... basically says trained Wildlife Biologist got the age of deer correct by teeth wear 89 percent of the time if the deer was
3.5 or less, and only right 49 percent of the time if the deer was 4.5 or older.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:07 PM   #67
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There is no more accurate way to age a deer than having history/pictures of a known deer, year after year after year. The studies above prove that hunters/biologists/experts are 60% likely to be wrong on aging a deer by their teeth after 3yrs of age.

I guess my stance is that tooth aging doesn't really have a place in deer management any longer, as proved by the above studies; since so called experts/biologists can't even age a deer with 50% or more accuracy by their teeth as they mature. There are just too many variables to consider (location, soil, diet, stress, etc.) to think that tooth aging is a science experiment with known variables that can be proven with any legitimate accuracy.

I continue to try and model my deer management/aging philosophies on ranches/hunters that grow, kill, and know (have history) with big deer, year after year. To be clear, not talking about ranches or leases that use breeder pens or some other form of artificial insemination. Just my .02
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:19 PM   #68
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I'll save y'all the read.... basically says trained Wildlife Biologist got the age of deer correct by teeth wear 89 percent of the time if the deer was
3.5 or less, and only right 49 percent of the time if the deer was 4.5 or older.
Actually, I encourage each of you to read the article FOR YOURSELF! In it, you will find important items, such as this quote -

"But, tooth wear can be used to assign deer to categories as young, middle-age, or old with reasonable accuracy."

I'm beginning to see that most everyone's issue with the method is the false perception that tooth aging should be a precision tool. Unfortunately, the deer haven't read the manual. But fortunately for us, we can still use it for management purposes, such as in "Scenario 1" in Post #23.

Since this thread has over 2,000 views, I went ahead and burned some time today running down some TPWD data (public data) from the rolling plains and panhandle. The charts below (I apologize for the crude screen shot photos) represent bucks brought into meat processing facilities, which makes it a nice cross-section of hunters (not a trophy mgt ranch). This is from 427 dead bucks, all aged by tooth wear. What we all know is that bucks get bigger as they get older, and what you see in the charts is confirmation of that fact. Now if tooth aging was truly a crap-shoot, or irrelevant, or useless, then we shouldn't see any antler growth in the charts beyond 3.5 years of age, because those ages are supposedly all wrong. But instead, we see the typical growth rate we would expect, peaking at around 6-7 years. How could that be if tooth aging is all wrong?
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:01 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
Actually, I encourage each of you to read the article FOR YOURSELF! In it, you will find important items, such as this quote -

"But, tooth wear can be used to assign deer to categories as young, middle-age, or old with reasonable accuracy."

I'm beginning to see that most everyone's issue with the method is the false perception that tooth aging should be a precision tool. Unfortunately, the deer haven't read the manual. But fortunately for us, we can still use it for management purposes, such as in "Scenario 1" in Post #23.

Since this thread has over 2,000 views, I went ahead and burned some time today running down some TPWD data (public data) from the rolling plains and panhandle. The charts below (I apologize for the crude screen shot photos) represent bucks brought into meat processing facilities, which makes it a nice cross-section of hunters (not a trophy mgt ranch). This is from 427 dead bucks, all aged by tooth wear. What we all know is that bucks get bigger as they get older, and what you see in the charts is confirmation of that fact. Now if tooth aging was truly a crap-shoot, or irrelevant, or useless, then we shouldn't see any antler growth in the charts beyond 3.5 years of age, because those ages are supposedly all wrong. But instead, we see the typical growth rate we would expect, peaking at around 6-7 years. How could that be if tooth aging is all wrong?

Since the people that were aging via tooth wear were also the same people looking at the dead deer and measuring antler, they are hopelessly polluted as exclusively tooth based judges.

What you are seeing as increased antler size with age could in fact be heavily influenced by other observations.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:28 PM   #70
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Since the people that were aging via tooth wear were also the same people looking at the dead deer and measuring antler, they are hopelessly polluted as exclusively tooth based judges.

What you are seeing as increased antler size with age could in fact be heavily influenced by other observations.
Not sure I'm following you. Are you suggesting TPWD biologists alter their tooth age determination based on something other than tooth wear when collecting this data?
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:27 AM   #71
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Not sure I'm following you. Are you suggesting TPWD biologists alter their tooth age determination based on something other than tooth wear when collecting this data?
It’s not a blind test to determine efficacy of tooth wear like the other studies presented and is therefore less relevant to this conversation.

And yes I am absolutely saying bias rears it’s head in a bloody deer cooler.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:52 AM   #72
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Itís not a blind test to determine efficacy of tooth wear like the other studies presented and is therefore less relevant to this conversation.

And yes I am absolutely saying bias rears itís head in a bloody deer cooler.
Those charts are highly relevant, as it represents real life examples that demonstrate the method has merit in management.

What evidence can you produce that supports your accusation that TPWD biologists alter age determinations based on anything other than tooth wear? Surely you're not so bunkered to believe that state biologists, with nothing to gain, ignored their training and education, and altered their data so consistently, collectively, and over multiple years as to build those charts so that bucks got bigger as they got older.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:06 AM   #73
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I'll save y'all the read.... basically says trained Wildlife Biologist got the age of deer correct by teeth wear 89 percent of the time if the deer was
3.5 or less, and only right 49 percent of the time if the deer was 4.5 or older.
You would think 3.5 or younger, they would be a 100% correct.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:11 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
Actually, I encourage each of you to read the article FOR YOURSELF! In it, you will find important items, such as this quote -

"But, tooth wear can be used to assign deer to categories as young, middle-age, or old with reasonable accuracy."

I'm beginning to see that most everyone's issue with the method is the false perception that tooth aging should be a precision tool. Unfortunately, the deer haven't read the manual. But fortunately for us, we can still use it for management purposes, such as in "Scenario 1" in Post #23.

Since this thread has over 2,000 views, I went ahead and burned some time today running down some TPWD data (public data) from the rolling plains and panhandle. The charts below (I apologize for the crude screen shot photos) represent bucks brought into meat processing facilities, which makes it a nice cross-section of hunters (not a trophy mgt ranch). This is from 427 dead bucks, all aged by tooth wear. What we all know is that bucks get bigger as they get older, and what you see in the charts is confirmation of that fact. Now if tooth aging was truly a crap-shoot, or irrelevant, or useless, then we shouldn't see any antler growth in the charts beyond 3.5 years of age, because those ages are supposedly all wrong. But instead, we see the typical growth rate we would expect, peaking at around 6-7 years. How could that be if tooth aging is all wrong?
TOT, what about corelating body weights. That is really the deciding factor especially in doe harvest. Dang, there's that word again.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:12 AM   #75
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Those charts are highly relevant, as it represents real life examples that demonstrate the method has merit in management.

What evidence can you produce that supports your accusation that TPWD biologists alter age determinations based on anything other than tooth wear? Surely you're not so bunkered to believe that state biologists, with nothing to gain, ignored their training and education, and altered their data so consistently, collectively, and over multiple years as to build those charts so that bucks got bigger as they got older.
Help me understand? Are you saying that the biologist accurately aged bucks at 4,5,6,7+giving the chart above age credibility when numerous studies have shown aging by tooth wear can be off 2,3 even 4yrs+ as deer mature into older age classes? I don't think anyone would argue that bucks getting bigger as they age.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:01 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
Those charts are highly relevant, as it represents real life examples that demonstrate the method has merit in management.

What evidence can you produce that supports your accusation that TPWD biologists alter age determinations based on anything other than tooth wear? Surely you're not so bunkered to believe that state biologists, with nothing to gain, ignored their training and education, and altered their data so consistently, collectively, and over multiple years as to build those charts so that bucks got bigger as they got older.
I think ElGato said it best.

I certainly wouldnít be pointing fingers calling others entrenched.

No one here has denied that tooth wear is a general indicator of age... itís a little more general than body condition, but easier to train someone to evaluate in a classroom.

What we have said is that itís silly to use an 8 track when we have streaming audio.

Just because you were trained on an 8-track doesnít mean itís a GOOD tool for the job.

There are far better tools out there...

Even your two examples of 25 bucks and lower doe age classes...

People are making decisions on individual deer... and if you have a 3 year spectrum margin of error for every buck over 3, you canít tell them squat about fixing the problem from teeth.

Itís not like itís rocket science. If the deer arenít getting big enough, theyíre either being shot too young, they arenít getting enough nutrition, or they arenít genetically capable.

Body weights would even be better than tooth wear as a stand alone in that scenario...

As for the doe harvest question,,, I love how the biologist has to be proved wrong. What piece of evidence was he using to make his recommendation in the first place?

These discussions happen all the time. I think youíll find that folks with experience on this forum have read the same books and studies you have. Theyíve lived through and helped innovate ideas in a rapidly changing deer world over the last 30 years. Our opinions are self formulated due to our experiences, which you may be shocked arenít just about habitat in a bag as you so disrespectfully implied.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:42 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
Actually, I encourage each of you to read the article FOR YOURSELF! In it, you will find important items, such as this quote -


I'm beginning to see that most everyone's issue with the method is the false perception that tooth aging should be a precision tool. Unfortunately, the deer haven't read the manual. But fortunately for us, we can still use it for management purposes, such as in "Scenario 1" in Post #23.

Since this thread has over 2,000 views, I went ahead and burned some time today running down some TPWD data (public data) from the rolling plains and panhandle. The charts below (I apologize for the crude screen shot photos) represent bucks brought into meat processing facilities, which makes it a nice cross-section of hunters (not a trophy mgt ranch). This is from 427 dead bucks, all aged by tooth wear. What we all know is that bucks get bigger as they get older, and what you see in the charts is confirmation of that fact. Now if tooth aging was truly a crap-shoot, or irrelevant, or useless, then we shouldn't see any antler growth in the charts beyond 3.5 years of age, because those ages are supposedly all wrong. But instead, we see the typical growth rate we would expect, peaking at around 6-7 years. How could that be if tooth aging is all wrong?

"But, tooth wear can be used to assign deer to categories as young, middle-age, or old with reasonable accuracy."

Didn't realize you needed tooth wear to determine if a deer was young, middle aged or old. This observation is fairly easy to accomplish on the hoof by an experienced eye. Young and old deer especially, and everyone else gets thrown into the middle aged catagory.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:06 PM   #78
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TOT, what about corelating body weights. That is really the deciding factor especially in doe harvest. Dang, there's that word again.
Yes, sir! Doe weights are one of the best indicators of overall herd health when examined over a series of years. Buck weights don't work well for that because so much depends on the timing of the kill (harvest ). That is, was the harvest prior to or after the rut, then age of the buck, then if the buck was a "cull" or "trophy". By the time you finish splitting categories, the body weight sample size is so small that it loses meaning. Plus, body weights are indicators of habitat health, so in the case of intensive supplemental feeding operations, body weights don't mean much.

Below, are some doe data charts from just a few, real life, ranching examples (there is a plethora of more). The 3 charts are from 3 different ranches. All 3 ranches are enjoying the benefits of sound management and data collection. The ranchers were trained in proper tooth wear aging and recorded their own data. Sample sizes were large. Locations will never be disclosed so don't bother asking.

The bottom chart is a demonstration of the value of long term, quality, harvest data. That includes tooth wear ages. But far more importantly, it demonstrates the value of habitat management, livestock stocking rates and rotations, brush management, proper use of prescribed fire, and intensive doe harvest. These are all (every chart) free range, native deer, feeding only on what God provided. All data provided by the rancher himself. No, it's not rocket science, but outside the high fence and protein feeders, it definitely involves a multitude of range sciences, population dynamics, wildlife sciences, ecological sciences, and human dimensions.

All readers, PLEASE, don't buy into the concept that tooth wear ages are meaningless! They just have to be used within the limitations of the method.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:33 PM   #79
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What the heck does that bottom grahic even mean? You have a 9 year gap between 97 and 06 on the same slope??? and are comparing harvests that vary by 700% ???
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:50 AM   #80
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What the heck does that bottom grahic even mean? You have a 9 year gap between 97 and 06 on the same slope??? and are comparing harvests that vary by 700% ???
Holy crap! You really don't know, do you?
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:27 AM   #81
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What the heck does that bottom grahic even mean? You have a 9 year gap between 97 and 06 on the same slope??? and are comparing harvests that vary by 700% ???
And not only do you not know, but you turn a blind eye at the other data?!
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:23 AM   #82
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What the heck does that bottom grahic even mean? You have a 9 year gap between 97 and 06 on the same slope??? and are comparing harvests that vary by 700% ???
I have offered multiple data sets. Multiple examples from both public and private sectors. Addressed scientific research. Presented numerous real life examples.

And what have you offered, Encinal? A simple, "Because I said so"? And photos of big bucks?

Come on, my deer mgt brother. Yes - tooth aging is not presice. But does it reveal management implications?

YES! It does! As in Scenario 1 from Post #23, which you still refuse to acknowledge.

That doesn't mean you can't continue to age bucks in trail-cams, nor follow a buck from 3 yrs to 10 yrs behind a high fence. You can! Giddy-up and go! It can exceed the effectiveness of tooth wear for your circumstances.

But it does NOT mean that the rest of TX, which is the TX that can't afford your level of control and uninterrupted food supply, doesn't need to know some determination of what they've been doing. Whether it fits your operation or not, tooth age offers insight to the effectiveness of harvest, as well as habitat manipulations, and livestock stocking rates.

Readers! Please take note of the evidence offered by both arguments. Proceed accordingly.

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Old 02-08-2019, 06:34 AM   #83
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And not only do you not know, but you turn a blind eye at the other data?!
The other data’s pretty standard stuff... though you can see the problem with comparing different data collected by different people.

#2 has a total variation of average body weight after 3 of like 4 pounds. Forgive me for not being blown away when most scales at skinning racks have 2 pound tick marks and half the time are being read in the dark. Looks like after 3 they all weigh pretty much the same.

The variation in #1 is much greater... but you have the worst drought in a generation in the middle of a 3 year data collection...

What exactly have you proven again? Something we’ve already acknowledged? Tooth wear is a mediocre aging method?

And no I don’t really know what the last data set means. You can apply a line of best fit to anything, but that doesn’t mean you have a small margin of error.

Since you keep attacking my background, and I don’t know your background, I’m at a disadvantage, please enlighten us.

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Old 02-08-2019, 10:22 AM   #84
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That doesn't mean you can't continue to age bucks in trail-cams, nor follow a buck from 3 yrs to 10 yrs behind a high fence. You can! Giddy-up and go! It can exceed the effectiveness of tooth wear for your circumstances.

But it does NOT mean that the rest of TX, which is the TX that can't afford your level of control and uninterrupted food supply, doesn't need to know some determination of what they've been doing. Whether it fits your operation or not, tooth age offers insight to the effectiveness of harvest, as well as habitat manipulations, and livestock stocking rates.

Readers! Please take note of the evidence offered by both arguments. Proceed accordingly.
No one said it didnít offer insight. We said it was a poor tool to use to age deer.

The state has handled or is handling macro age structure issues with antler restrictions, which were set in place in large part to tooth wear observations. Bravo.

HOWEVER,
Most individuals are hunting small acreage and high hunter/deer densities.

Ageing indiduals on the hoof in those scenarios is paramount to get an edge to the next level, which everyone who isnít a strictly meat hunter is trying to do. Trail cams and deer histories are far superior tools for the little guy than tooth wear on their places... The only thing that someone who hunts less than a deerís home range can control 100% is what he or she pulls the trigger on, So thatís even more important than in a high density high fence place, or a large low density low fence place. We have more deer, more country and more slack if we screw up on a deer or two.

Oh... and weíre way deeper than just age when it comes to managing individuals when we have control of harvest criteria.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:47 AM   #85
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First, I want to encourage everyone to take the concept of tooth aging being an exact science, meaning every deer's teeth wears exactly the same, and flush that down the toilet of your brain. Replace it with this concept: Tooth aging is really really good for determining young, middle aged, and old in nearly all deer, thus it can be used for management purposes.

Let's address an item dear to the heart of most Green Screen users. "Did I kill that buck at a good old age with what could be its best set of antlers?"

Scenario 1: A group lease has killed 5 bucks per year for 5 years. They complain they can't grow big bucks, seem to peak around 130-135 B&C. Tooth wear age shows all 25 bucks to be be 3-5 years old. Staying focused on the topic, what's the management decision to be made?

Important for doe as well.
Scenario 2: A high fence propery has been heavily killing doe for 6 years trying to reduce population size, but doe are becoming hard to find, and hunters can't reach their quota. Their biologist pressures them to try harder. The lease boss, who understands tooth wear, shows the biologist doe ages. The first year of doe harvest showed a wide distribution of doe ages from 1-8 yrs with a peak around 4 yrs. The last year of harvest showed doe age to peak at 2 yrs with only a few 5 yrs. Staying focused on the topic, what's the management decision to be made?
I think this is where we are talking past each other. My assumption and your assumption of what the question most green screeners are asking is very different.

What I believe is a far more important question to an individual hunter that’s trying to make proper management decisions than:

DID I KILL THAT BUCK AT THE RIGHT TIME?

Is:

IS THIS THE RIGHT TIME TO KILL THIS BUCK?

Tooth wear doesn’t help you with the latter.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:00 PM   #86
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I think this is where we are talking past each other. My assumption and your assumption of what the question most green screeners are asking is very different.

What I believe is a far more important question to an individual hunter thatís trying to make proper management decisions than:

DID I KILL THAT BUCK AT THE RIGHT TIME?

Is:

IS THIS THE RIGHT TIME TO KILL THIS BUCK?

Tooth wear doesnít help you with the latter.

Well said! I agree 100%! I have stated in other posts, numerous times, how important it is to let bucks get old before killing. That requires the knowledge and ability to age bucks on the hoof based on body proportions. Trail cameras are a fabulous way of achieving that and building history with your buck herd. That is right! That is truth! And it works! We have common ground!!!

That has nothing to do with tooth wear nor the value of age data. That is where we are talking past each other. I'm arguing that age data (tooth wear), in both buck and doe harvest, is an important piece of the puzzle in deer management. Just like in Scenario 1 of Post #23, where tooth wear data revealed the need for education and training in field judging.

I've offered sufficient evidence.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:02 PM   #87
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Since you keep attacking my background, and I donít know your background, Iím at a disadvantage, please enlighten us.
No, sir. I have not attacked your background. I don't know your background. All I can tell from your posts is that you currently either own, hunt, or work on a high fenced ranch in S TX that offers ad lib protein feed. You've grown and killed some incredible deer, and do so on a consistent basis. And I do mean some incredible deer! Because of that, people look up to you, and they value your opinion and take it to heart. I'm one of them. But when I see influential people like yourself making statements that are inaccurate and that would lead others to making bad decisions, I feel compelled to challenge and debate that statement. In this situation, my intent was not to discredit you, but to make the distinction between high fenced properties with ad lib protein and properties without. Those are 2 vastly different worlds. It's much easier to grow and kill huge bucks when the property is designated for that goal, thus data collection is not as critical nor does it carry the same value in decision making.

You see, I love helping people succeed. I really do. Especially the guys who are doing the best they can with what they got and face so many struggles out of their control. I listed some of those items earlier. So when an influential person from a different level tells them to pay no attention to a matter that could actually be important to them at their level, I have to intercede.

As for myself, I choose anonymity. That way, people can't accuse me of making statements out of pride or ego boosting. After all, people can't be prideful and seek admiration if no one knows them. I'm also fully aware that any motivated individual with access to Google could nail me down in about 2 minutes or less if they so desired. There are a few Green Screen users who have spotted me. I believe my posts are compelling, persuasive, and science based. They should stand up by themselves without the need for flashing resumes.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:24 PM   #88
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That would depend on the goals of the property and financial liberty of the owner to grow antlers. Only a small minority of hunters in TX are gifted with the privilege to hunt properties where letting a good, young buck walk carries little risk, or where deer can be provided unlimited supplemental feed regardless of costs. Those 2 aspects of management, age and feed, are typically the primary, if not the only, focus on such properties, and on those rare properties, you're correct, they dont need a biologist. All they need is a high school kid to keep the protein feeders filled and to run trail cameras. Anyone can grow big deer in the Walmart parking lot with feed and age. If doing so consistently and over numerous years brings on admiration from others, so be it. It doesn't require a biologist.

However, the vast majority of hunters in TX shoot a buck because the neighbors might, or stress out for a year worrying if a buck they let walk will make it to next season, expend family and business dollars trying to attract and hold more deer on their place, or wish the rancher would decrease his stocking rate, or wish TPWD would allow harvest of more doe, or wish their neighbors would help kill doe instead of bucks, and on and on and on.

I shine the lights of truth and contrast on these two different paradigms for one reason. When it comes to these "management" discussions, or "science" debates in deer mgt, it's an easy trap for any hunter/manager to fall into where credence is granted to the guy who can post the most pictures of big deer. After all, if he has big deer, he must know what he's talking about. That makes sense if you don't think about it. Those rare, exclusive properties don't have to worry about management details and intricacies. Just keep the feeders full and let good bucks get old. The rest of TX doesn't have that luxury and management details and intricacies are very important.

With 2600+ posts on this thread I thought I'd review every post to see what I can learn.

Of all the posts this one contained some of the most ridiculous and perhaps misleading comments of them all. But I digress...

The o.p. stated his dad killed a buck believed to be 5 or older based on camera data yet tooth aging indicated 3. Thus he questioned, how accurate is tooth wear for aging?

From there the general consensus based on research presented as well as anecdotal observation is that accuracy is very high in 1 and 2 yr olds but diminished rapidly and dramatically . Errors of two years or more were frequently observed.Research stated the AT BEST deer can be divide into young, middle and older age classes with middle being 3-6. Interesting as the middle age group goes from an undeveloped skeletal system to a buck many consider mature. How valuable is that?

I didn't see anyone using jaw aging as a mgt. tool or seeing much validity in jaw bone aging except T.O.T . Part of the argument is that" most don't grasp the methodology " presumably necessary to garner accurate results. TOT is then quick to qualify the tool's limitations noting that no-one should be kicked off a lease from jaw aging...on that I completely agree. It was also proposed that any property with a biologist who claims tooth wear has no place in mgt. needs a new biologist.

What I have found working with numerous biologists is that tooth wear aging as a mgt. tool never comes up. A novelty to look at from time to time but never a part of an overall strategy. I find that an interesting disconnect from TOT's position.

Two scenarios are presented using jaw bone data to make a mgt. decision. Is that appropriate? Are we being asked to make decisions based on known flawed data. Aging showed tooth wear of from 3-5 presuming the bucks were too young when in actuality , based on the truth about jaw aging they could have been 3-8 hiding the fact that the real problem was something else....low nutritional plane ??? Overpopulation? A list to long to consider without more detail that any good manager would be expected to produce.

From there charts were presented showing I.S., circumference, points, & weights all correlated to an exact age proposition.....supplied by tooth wear aging that at best is 40-60% accurate with essentially no chance of being accurate after 5 or 6. This again verified by the Noble Foundation, CKWR etc. SO how accurate are those charts and what is the real value regarding using jaws as a management tool? Seems to me that the links from Noble and CKWR as well as other studies mentioned have a scientific basis to them vs. charts that starts with false inputs.

SO my takeaway after going thru all this is that if someone wants to pull a jaw to see what it says thats fine. I find it interesting. Maybe something useful can be garnered from it but don't expect it to be very accurate for aging. And as a management tool I would put it at the bottom of the list behind cameras for specific deer to harvest and camera census, learning to field age bucks, field observation , habitat observation....etc, etc.

AS a last note I decided a long time ago that to get to be the best at something look at what the current best are doing and mentor them. Been a good shortcut.

Last edited by elgato; 02-08-2019 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:09 PM   #89
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One of the bad things about jaw aging, other than the obvious, is the deer has to be dead, where as photo historical age calculations the deer gets to live.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:06 PM   #90
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Just for the record. No teeth as the deer is still alive, but I know his age. Give it a shot.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:06 PM   #91
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From there charts were presented
If the charts are totally meaningless, then why do they follow a trend that we know to be true? That trend being - deer get bigger as they get older. Bucks and does. Those charts are from multiple, independent sources that have all been trained in tooth aging. They serve as evidence that tooth wear has merit in management. It doesn't mean it has to nail every deer's age perfectly. Knowing that, doesn't negate its value. The charts clearly demonstrate that teeth wear down as the deer get older.

If tooth aging is totally bogus, then those charts would not follow that trend, but instead they would be random across all the ages.

Would you please specifically address how its possible that those multiple, independent charts follow that trend if tooth wear aging is universally flawed.

Also, just because I focused on the charts, please don't think I ignored the rest of your post. Very well thought out and presented without the personal jabs. I tip of my hat to you.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:39 PM   #92
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If the charts are totally meaningless, then why do they follow a trend that we know to be true? That trend being - deer get bigger as they get older. Bucks and does. Those charts are from multiple, independent sources that have all been trained in tooth aging. They serve as evidence that tooth wear has merit in management. It doesn't mean it has to nail every deer's age perfectly. Knowing that, doesn't negate its value. The charts clearly demonstrate that teeth wear down as the deer get older.

If tooth aging is totally bogus, then those charts would not follow that trend, but instead they would be random across all the ages.

Would you please specifically address how its possible that those multiple, independent charts follow that trend if tooth wear aging is universally flawed.

Also, just because I focused on the charts, please don't think I ignored the rest of your post. Very well thought out and presented without the personal jabs. I tip of my hat to you.
Before I respond I like B.T.Lowry's suggestion in post 22 requesting credentials for any opinions. I have no credentials validating any opinion I have.I'm certainly not a trained scientist or biologist! Like many I just have some OJT so accept my input as such.

I think we agree deer generally get bigger as they age ...with qualifications. However there are countless variables that can effect all the parameters in all the graphs above...weather and climate conditions, time of year, sickness, post rut condition, annual nutritional plane, stress, location......

Regarding age [ and perhaps this is where we never agree ] numerous studies as well as my on experience show accuracy high at 1&2, ok at 3, then becoming highly inaccurate from 4 on with variations becoming so high as to be worthless after about 5. Like many I saved and reviewed countless jaws on bucks that had been followed for years via video. Having harvested many 6 -13 yr old bucks and seeing jaws reflecting many yrs younger I fail to see value.

So, regarding the graphs what I see is both the vertical and horizontal axes flawed. Ages range tidily thru 7 yet the variation at 4 could be off a year or two with at 7 could be off numerous years. Every one of the vertical axis inputs requires more data to be useful. So on net all that is shown is a very macro crude graph showing tendencies that everyone knows happen generally with age. Looks like the kind of graph state agencies need to produce to justify their salary. Age data is flawed, vertical axis data is flawed. Essentially no value to the private mgr. in my opinion.

Now lets revisit your scenario #!.
The old lease mgr/biologist has retired to spend time with his grandson. The new lease mgr/biologist takes over and hears the same complaint. Dissatisfaction with 130-135" bucks with jaws reflecting 3-5. Understanding the weakness of the genesis of how aging by jaws came in the first place along with all the more current research into the methodology the understanding that jaws reflecting 4 or 5 yr olds could be off 1,2, maybe even 3 yrs +.thus the real range of ages is from 3 to perhaps as old as 8 or more. He understands that the bucks harvested may be expressing their genetic capabilities within the constraints of the nutritional plane.

He decides to dig deeper. Being familiar with Dr. Jacobsons work with camera census he does a thorough evaluation of the herd. As you know this technique of census has proven to be the most accurate census tool available . This tells him with great accuracy how many bucks he has with the opportunity to guess age based on body characteristic, buck/doe ratio, overall population,& post winter fawn survival.

Next he does a browse survey looking at all the various things eaten by deer to determine pressure or availability of tier 1 plants and how far down the food chain browsing pressure goes.

All historical data is reviewed; beam length, weights, gross score, best guess age data etc. Assuming few 1&2 yr olds are harvested then trends in all that data have value in the big macro picture.{ though a data set of only 5 bucks year doesn't necessarily provide a big enough sample for much value}

Now lets make some hypothetical assumptions:Population is found to be 1 deer per 2 acres in a pinewoods east Tx. forest . All tier one foods are gone and the deer are resorting to lessor preferred less nutritious sources proving only maintenance support . B/D ratio is ok but fawn survival is very low compromising recruitment.


All this information paints a much clearer picture that the nutritional plane is compromised thus compromising not only buck antler size but fawn recruitment as well . The choices to correct the problem become much clearer as well

With this information what decision should made? If from your scenario we decided that jaw aging showed bucks being harvested too young then the decision made to let them age would have accomplished nothing. What value would the graphs presented offer in making decisions here? For almost every conclusion the graphs would offer variables could be imposed to compromise the specific value.

I've droned on long enough

Last edited by elgato; 02-09-2019 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:11 PM   #93
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Elgato, I just can't overstate how refreshing and encouraging it is to read such a well thought out and presented view point. The actions of the new lease boss are all excellent approaches to gathering more pieces of the puzzle. The sample size is a total of 25 bucks.

What does OJT mean?

Look, I know this horse is just a pile of bloody goo at this point. But the charts are not influenced by any of the environmental factors you listed. Those are large sample sizes over a multitude of years from multiple areas. They represent dry years, wet years, sandy soils, clay soils, ranches that feed and ranches that don't, etc. You can see the same trend in ranches all across TX. The reason we see that trend is because tooth aging is accurate enough, not perfect by any means, but it's accurate enough to be used for identifying management needs. If it was really a crap-shoot we wouldn't see that trend but instead it would be a bunch of random lines all over the chart.

I've looked at a lot of dead deer and their teeth. By far, probably up in the 90 percentile, most tooth ages have matched my impressions of the deer's carcass. Very seldom will a buck's teeth be a clear contradiction to his body appearance. But when recording data, I always go with the teeth because the teeth are less subjective.

I killed a big bodied, thick necked buck in Nebraska a few years ago. The biggest bodied buck I've ever killed. Even the locals made comment on its size and proportions. My teenage son at the time commented on the size of the hindquarter on our kitchen counter. The buck's teeth showed he was a 2 year old. So, yeah, those extreme cases do occur, but they are not the norm and they do not negate the value of tooth age data.

The problem is that people have tried to take the tooth age and apply it outside its functional limits. That's why Scenario 1 involved 25 bucks over 5 years, not just 1 or 2 bucks in 1 year.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:22 PM   #94
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Some great discussion here. Thanks to TOT and Elgato for the great input as well as others. It is a proven fact that deer teeth wear as they age. The graphs show that. the kicker is that there is great variation in how fast that wear occurs based on many factors. I have looked at the jaws of a bunch of known age wild deer in East Tx over the past few years ranging from 6-10 years old. ALL had teeth that represented deer several years younger.

Back to the deer in the original post. He was a nice middle aged deer. No one here knows how old that deer is and if someone tells you with great confidence that he is a certain age from those teeth, they are likely in the same shape I was in ten years ago... mistaken.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:25 PM   #95
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Attachment 945326

Just for the record. No teeth as the deer is still alive, but I know his age. Give it a shot.
I know he is mature. He is still pretty thick for the time off year with brahma bull shoulders. Ill guess him 7 but I maintain no one including myself knows without history. One pic from one angle is sketchy too.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:04 PM   #96
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I know he is mature. He is still pretty thick for the time off year with brahma bull shoulders. Ill guess him 7 but I maintain no one including myself knows without history. One pic from one angle is sketchy too.
Man you are good, he is 6. If you notice he isnt broke up, beat up, few if any scars. What does that tell you?

Yessir, we give them lots of food.

I can give a couple more angles, but you will come up with the same judgement.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:25 PM   #97
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Man you are good, he is 6. If you notice he isnt broke up, beat up, few if any scars. What does that tell you?

Yessir, we give them lots of food.

I can give a couple more angles, but you will come up with the same judgement.
Well, I would ne more comfortable guessing his age from that one pic than i would from his jaw bone.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:46 PM   #98
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Same deer
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:41 AM   #99
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I see I'm a little late to the party, but I'll play. Years ago I took teeth aging as gospel. Until we killed a KNOWN 6 year old and his teeth showed 3. My faith in aging by teeth rapidly dimished after this. And not just because of this one incident. I've seen it MANY times. Oh, it's accurate for aging up until age 3, but that's it. We all know what teeth are supposed to look like for a given age, because we all learned from basically the same sources over the years. But that will only tell you what the teeth show "by the book". Nothing beats history and field experience.

I flipped through the graphs in this thread and while interesting enough, they are flawed. They show you what age the teeth are supposed to show, again...by the "book". They do not (and can't) show the ACTUAL age of those deer. I firmly believe each deer is different and as a result its teeth may wear differently than its cohorts. The ONLY reliable indication to be gathered from teeth is that the deer is young (up to 3), or is not young. Every single study I have ever seen using tooth wear for aging simply shows the same data over and over---here is what a 4 year old jaw looks like, here is what a 6 year old jaw looks like, ECT. But that is what the books tell us they are SUPPOSED to look like.

I gotta wonder in all those studies, how many of those that were determined 5,6,7 years old by the teeth were actually 9 or 10 years old...or even a 4 year old.

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Old 02-12-2019, 12:22 PM   #100
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If that was the only pic i saw, I would have guessed him 5.
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