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Old 12-28-2018, 09:39 PM   #1
sharpshooter1
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Default Aging deer by the lower jaw.

Just how accurate is the lower jaw tooth aging?
My dad killed a nice 8 point this year and we aged him by his lower jaw at 3.5. But weíre pretty sure from trail camera pics over the years that he was at least 5.5. We usually donít worry about exact ages because where we hunt is all family land and pretty much just family hunts it. We manage the deer but we donít get crazy with it. We focuse on shooting mature bucks and donít worry about exact ages. But if this deer was really 3.5, his body size and demeanor were definitely not showing it.
So what day the green screen, how accurate is tooth wear aging??
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:52 PM   #2
JLivi1224
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There are many variables. It’s definitely not exact. Some say it’s about 40% accurate. Not sure how true that is though.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:06 PM   #3
Bayouboy
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About as accurate as winning the lottery.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:10 PM   #4
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There are many variables. Itís definitely not exact. Some say itís about 40% accurate. Not sure how true that is though.
The percentage I've read is around this, but the cementum annuli method is only a little better according to the same article, somewhere in the mid to upper 50% range if I remember correctly. This was a test on bucks whose ages were known.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:13 PM   #5
WS_AG
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Some what accurate, but not precise! Depending on diet and range conditions it can be off by years. I have seen know age deer that were 8 1/2 years old and the tooth wear (jaw) shows 3 1/2. The only precise way to know the age is to tag them when they are born. Aging by tooth wear is mostly SWAG.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:38 PM   #6
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Some what accurate, but not precise! Depending on diet and range conditions it can be off by years. I have seen know age deer that were 8 1/2 years old and the tooth wear (jaw) shows 3 1/2. The only precise way to know the age is to tag them when they are born. Aging by tooth wear is mostly SWAG.
This!
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Old 12-29-2018, 12:34 AM   #7
Top Of Texas
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Hot topic recently. It's been my observation that possibly more than half of the GS crowd that respond to tooth wear posts dont have a clear grasp on the methodology or have created their own sideline guidelines.

Tooth wear has been proven to be variable when used to estimate an exact age. Yes, 50-60% accuracy from tested experts in 2 studies. Cementum Anuli is actually a little better, especially on really old deer. There are the occasional extreme outliers, but lumping ages, as you describe, is pretty functional for management purposes. When lumped, the same experts increased their accuracy to 80-90%.

If all the bucks you kill end up having at least one dished out molar, you're doing awesome!

Also, I would like to encourage everyone to remember that hunting is supposed to be FUN. Stressing out about ages, or penalties for killing a buck too young, or kicking people off properties seriously sucks the fun out of it.

Strive for old, but don't let your heart be cold.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:03 AM   #8
sharpshooter1
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Thanks guys! This is about what I expected. And yea Top of Texas, I agree. That’s why we don’t get crazy with management and aging. If the grand kids want to shoot a buck their free to, if the grand dads (my dad) want to shoot any deer, it’s not a big deal! We have fun on our place.
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
Hot topic recently. It's been my observation that possibly more than half of the GS crowd that respond to tooth wear posts dont have a clear grasp on the methodology or have created their own sideline guidelines.

Tooth wear has been proven to be variable when used to estimate an exact age. Yes, 50-60% accuracy from tested experts in 2 studies. Cementum Anuli is actually a little better, especially on really old deer. There are the occasional extreme outliers, but lumping ages, as you describe, is pretty functional for management purposes. When lumped, the same experts increased their accuracy to 80-90%.

If all the bucks you kill end up having at least one dished out molar, you're doing awesome!

Also, I would like to encourage everyone to remember that hunting is supposed to be FUN. Stressing out about ages, or penalties for killing a buck too young, or kicking people off properties seriously sucks the fun out of it.

Strive for old, but don't let your heart be cold.
Yep, yep and yep!

If tooth aging is as high as 60%, I would be surprised. You gotta start somewhere but, it aint concrete.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:45 AM   #10
bcj jones
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I've read articles saying its around 40% accurate
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:29 AM   #11
dustoffer
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Lots of variation---I just age them as young (.5 to 2.5), middle-aged (3.5-5.5) and old (6.5 +) Do the same thing with bucks on the hoof.
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:46 AM   #12
ttaxidermy
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It's so inaccurate that it is almost not worth doing..
I'm mean why? Its almost useless. Best guess type situation.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:53 AM   #13
captardvark
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You can send there bottom front teeth to Texas a&m they can tell exact age and it’s cheap and yes jawbone teeth can be misleading I have seen deer be 2 or 3 yrs older and deer younger than we thought
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:42 PM   #14
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It's so inaccurate that it is almost not worth doing..
I'm mean why? Its almost useless. Best guess type situation.
I could not agree more. We have a couple of dumb suns a bistquits on our place I swear they think they have the magic tooth finger. Run their finger up a deers mouth and poof they know the age. Idiots. Two examples from this season so far. I had two bucks I have been watching for 4 years and this year they are 6 to seven years old minimum. Ol magic finger not knowing what I know claimed them to be 4 year olds. Even with presented photographic evidence they still were not convinced they could be wrong. Irritates the crap outta me. Even when I pull out the jaws I keep of the deer I have had cementum aged that are 4, 5, 6 and 7 years old. Nope the magic finger never lies.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:50 PM   #15
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I could not agree more. We have a couple of dumb suns a bistquits on our place I swear they think they have the magic tooth finger. Run their finger up a deers mouth and poof they know the age. Idiots. Two examples from this season so far. I had two bucks I have been watching for 4 years and this year they are 6 to seven years old minimum. Ol magic finger not knowing what I know claimed them to be 4 year olds. Even with presented photographic evidence they still were not convinced they could be wrong. Irritates the crap outta me. Even when I pull out the jaws I keep of the deer I have had cementum aged that are 4, 5, 6 and 7 years old. Nope the magic finger never lies.
LMBO..... I know the type all to well!! I got on a lease south of Brackketville some years back and the "lease boss" was actually trying to convince me that you age a deer by the wear on his bottom front teeth.... I'm sure the look on my face baffled him.. He was one of those "know it alls too"... But hey he subscribed to Buckmasters magazine.... LMAO!!!!
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sotx View Post
I could not agree more. We have a couple of dumb suns a bistquits on our place I swear they think they have the magic tooth finger. Run their finger up a deers mouth and poof they know the age. Idiots. Two examples from this season so far. I had two bucks I have been watching for 4 years and this year they are 6 to seven years old minimum. Ol magic finger not knowing what I know claimed them to be 4 year olds. Even with presented photographic evidence they still were not convinced they could be wrong. Irritates the crap outta me. Even when I pull out the jaws I keep of the deer I have had cementum aged that are 4, 5, 6 and 7 years old. Nope the magic finger never lies.
Sounds familiar except this guy claims to be able to judge absolute age while on the hoof and is "never" wrong.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:18 PM   #17
Top Of Texas
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Originally Posted by ttaxidermy View Post
It's so inaccurate that it is almost not worth doing..
I'm mean why? Its almost useless. Best guess type situation.
That's not true.

What you say IS true, if being performed by someone who doesn't have a clear understanding of the terminology and methodology (i.e. "Magic Finger Guy"), and its limitations.

Is it perfect? No.
Is it good for management purposes? Yes.

By the way, I love your Avatar photo.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:26 PM   #18
ttaxidermy
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
That's not true.

What you say IS true, if being performed by someone who doesn't have a clear understanding of the terminology and methodology (i.e. "Magic Finger Guy"), and its limitations.

Is it perfect? No.
Is it good for management purposes? Yes.

By the way, I love your Avatar photo.
Why are you trolling me today.. It's been PROVEN to be all but useless.. You cannot accurately age a deer by looking at its teeth and that's a fact..
It can and does vary greatly.. How is that useful?? Besides that who shoots a deer based off of what his teeth look like? No one. Your looking at them after the damage has been done..

Last edited by ttaxidermy; 01-14-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:09 PM   #19
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Other than getting one to tell you how old he is itís about the best way. Field judging is far from an exact science either. You can tell if they are under 3 1/2 pretty easy or over 6 1/2 pretty easy. Same as with the teeth.


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Old 01-14-2019, 10:19 PM   #20
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Why are you trolling me today.. It's been PROVEN to be all but useless.. You cannot accurately age a deer by looking at its teeth and that's a fact..
It can and does vary greatly.. How is that useful?? Besides that who shoots a deer based off of what his teeth look like? No one. Your looking at them after the damage has been done..
HA! "Trolling" - Haven't heard that before but needs no definition. Definitely not intentional or targeting you. Over the last 2 years, I've noticed many new/novice/beginner management minded hunters using the GS looking for information and not having the background for discernment. When I see inaccuracies being presented, I like to correct them so people get good info.

If you're open to it, and there's a possibility you can be swayed, I'm willing to describe the management oriented uses of deer ages based on tooth wear. But sounds like you've got your mind made up. However, if our banter continues then I might do it anyway, just because readers are reading.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:28 PM   #21
ttaxidermy
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HA! "Trolling" - Haven't heard that before but needs no definition. Definitely not intentional or targeting you. Over the last 2 years, I've noticed many new/novice/beginner management minded hunters using the GS looking for information and not having the background for discernment. When I see inaccuracies being presented, I like to correct them so people get good info.

If you're open to it, and there's a possibility you can be swayed, I'm willing to describe the management oriented uses of deer ages based on tooth wear. But sounds like you've got your mind made up. However, if our banter continues then I might do it anyway, just because readers are reading.
LOL.. In accuracies?? This is a knee slapper..

So how exactly does one gain this "background for discernment"?? Books??

I'm not easily swayed but not closed minded either.. Fire away..
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:45 AM   #22
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Serious questions,

If the method is so unreliable why is it used so commonly?

Lack of anything better? easier?

Just curious why TPWD or biologists pull jaw bones if it is a crap shoot?

I can understand how tooth wear can vary by region and environment
i.e. a deer eating out of a trough vs one picking up corn out of sand

BTW, I think it would help on threads like this if you posted your qualifications
For example mine might be "typical uneducated hunter trying to learn".
That way when someone comes along and reads my opinion followed by a reply from a "25yr wildlife biologist" and they are opposite folks would have a better idea of who should be relied on more
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:54 AM   #23
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I'm not easily swayed but not closed minded either.. Fire away..
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?
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:23 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by BTLowry View Post
BTW, I think it would help on threads like this if you posted your qualifications
For example mine might be "typical uneducated hunter trying to learn".
That way when someone comes along and reads my opinion followed by a reply from a "25yr wildlife biologist" and they are opposite folks would have a better idea of who should be relied on more
It's not a crap-shoot. The problem occurs when people apply it to situations outside the limits of the method. For example: kicking people off.

I strive to make discussions that are compelling, persuasive, practical, as well as science and experience based. I would hope that readers can discern for themselves what side of the fence to land without the need for flashing resumes. It's often the counter argument that spurs the disclosure of additional evidence as a debate develops. If a reader has a differing opinion, belief, or experience, how might their post change based on the resume of the responder? Would they hold back if they were under the impression they were debating with an "Expert"? Finally, some level of anonymity allows freedom from accusations of pride or ego. How high and mighty can someone feel if no one knows who they are. I make these posts, not to be percieved as the expert, rather, solely for the hope of improving the experiences and successes of my fellow Texas hunters.
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