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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#6114840 - 01/02/16 01:10 PM How old to deer get, really?
John Humbert Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1631
Well, after taking some flack from a post I made a few weeks ago on deer age - I've am posting this link for your reading pleasure. While most of the article gives examples of deer in HF operations, several examples from LF properties are also given - particularly the King ranch.

The facts are that a 5-yo WT buck can really be considered middle-aged, mature but with a LOT more years in him. And a doe may just be getting started at 5yo. There are many factors, of course - not the least of which is good nutrition. But I still contend that shooting a 6 or 7yo just because "he won't live another year naturally" is simply an excuse not backed up by facts.

Note this article does not address peak antler size - but I know more than a few folks with nice ranches that manage/breed their WT with deer that reach their peak at well past 5.5 years - deer that are harvested in the 8,9, and 10yo range with impressive racks not in decline.

#6114856 - 01/02/16 01:22 PM Re: How old to deer get, really? [Re: John Humbert]
GimmeABuck Online   content

Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 619
That was an interesting read, thanks for sharing.

#6114858 - 01/02/16 01:24 PM Re: How old to deer get, really? [Re: John Humbert]
jshouse Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 6240
Loc: Rockwall
I saw one on my lease this year with a real good possibility of being 9+, low fence NE Texas. We just got another one on cam a week or so ago that we had at "mature" in 2012 and will make another year unless hes killed tomorrow. my neighbor killed one 2 days ago that we thought was 5 in 2012. All of these 3 had smaller antlers this year than last.

On my family place I have seen at least 2 make 7yo and one is probably 8. Both will most likely not be killed by hunters this year.

#6115661 - 01/02/16 10:17 PM Re: How old to deer get, really? [Re: jshouse]
therancher Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 5355
Loc: Mountain Home, Uvalde, and Big...
We have an 11 year old deer that still is in the 220 range. Best antlers were at 9 yo 266.
"I cant wait to see if he plays this week, and if he does if he can actually break 50 percent completion ratio. Haha or maybe even throw for 200 yards. Possibly break a QB rating of 75." - Texas Tatonka

#6115829 - 01/03/16 05:42 AM Re: How old to deer get, really? [Re: John Humbert]
Sneaky Offline
The "Grouch"

Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 15874
Loc: Winters
I killed a doe that was at least 10, this year, on a low fence lease. She wasn't real thick, but seemed to be in pretty good health. Her teeth weren't wore down as much as I thought they would be.

#6115883 - 01/03/16 07:30 AM Re: How old to deer get, really? [Re: John Humbert]
tlk Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1986
I will have to look for it but I read an article/study early last year where they radio collared a number of bucks and tracked them. Seems like they study showed that up to 25% of bucks died off per year - mostly due to predators and the effects of the rut. The other issue I have read about for years is that the other primary cause of death is deer losing their ability to chew due to tooth erosion. If supplemental feed is available then the teeth supposedly don't wear as fast and therefore they live longer.

I will try to find that article and post it. I have never doubted that their are some deer capable of living in the wild (LF) to older ages over 10 but I am still skeptical that a majority of them can live to those ages. Interesting topic
You can't fix stupid

#6115923 - 01/03/16 07:59 AM Re: How old to deer get, really? [Re: John Humbert]
tlk Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1986
This is not the study I was looking for but still some interesting info.
You can't fix stupid

#6116054 - 01/03/16 09:33 AM Re: How old to deer get, really? [Re: John Humbert]
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11272
Many believe that once a buck reaches five or six, the chances of harvesting him drop significantly since they usually go totally nocturnal.

Here's a photo of a buck that was taken by a friend's game camera he had on the fence line edge of the Davey Crockett National Forest. We both agreed the buck likely died of old age somewhere in the Forest.


Spring, Texas

#6116101 - 01/03/16 10:18 AM Re: How old to deer get, really? [Re: John Humbert]
majekman Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 1926
Loc: Tha Rock, Tex"
If deer had dentists....who knows how long they could live....


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