How to Age a Deer and Why It’s Important

How to Age a Deer and Why It’s Important

Author: DeerLab
Published: September 29, 2022

Want to know how old your buck is you just shot down? This article explains the age of deer in correlation with their size. This is also important information to keep in mind before you kill so you pass up younger bucks to allow them to grow for future harvests.

“Understanding how to age deer is one of the most essential deer hunting skills for those who choose to manage hunting land for older deer. It can seem challenging to determine how old a deer is while still alive, especially when it’s running wild in the field and adrenaline is pumping. It takes time to master, but this is a skill deer hunters must learn.

While there is plenty of available data, charts, and information on aging deer, we hope the info below, as well as our whitetail deer aging chart, can help you learn how to age a deer on the hoof before your next hunt. And if you successfully harvested a deer, we provide three additional aging techniques to determine deer ages.

Reasons to Learn the Age Class of Deer (Before You Shoot)

Aging whitetail deer isn’t necessary for general deer hunting goals. It won’t make you more successful at putting meat in the freezer during or after hunting season. But for those who choose to target older, more mature bucks, estimating age is a skill you must master.

Those who aren’t confident with their ability to age deer in the field on the fly should start by aging deer within trail camera photos. Then, if they see the deer while hunting, they’ll already know if they plan to shoot or not.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons to age a deer and ensure it’s an older member of the herd before shooting it:”

To see the reasons and the rest of the article, click here.

Graphic curtesy of DeerLab.

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