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#6616025 - 01/04/17 11:20 AM Need some help/advice...
Ryan F. Offline
Tracker

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 750
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Well, this was my first year being able to regularly hunt a property. Next season, I am hoping to put up my own blind. I've been deer hunting for about 6 years but it was always by invite from friends and such. Never have had my own place to hunt till now. It's my wife's family's place. Anyway... I saw a bunch of deer and I wanted some help on aging these deer. I have ideas about the age but I want to make sure I'm not too far off. Also, I'm just curious, I'm sure there are a million different opinions but what is normal management? This is something I have only heard people talk about and it seems like everyone has a different opinion. Shoot spikes? First year? Second year?

4.5?



2.5? This is a spike.


1.5?

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#6616043 - 01/04/17 11:33 AM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
Texas buckeye Offline
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Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3243
Loc: Keller
That first one could be 3.5-4.5, depending on when in the rut the pic was taken. If post rut, I agree probably 4.5, busted up which means he is active and not super old. If pre-rut, he is a 3.5 at most. both bottom pics could be be 1.5 yo, don't think the one you think is 2.5 is that old, probably 1.5.

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#6616046 - 01/04/17 11:35 AM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
fouzman Offline
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Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1163
Loc: Houston, TX
I'm no expert, but first deer looks 3.5, both spikes look like 1.5 year olds to me.

As for "management", there are so many variables involved your question is impossible to answer succinctly.

In a nutshell, find out carrying capacity for your location. This is the number of animals your place can support. Then figure out what your sex ratio is (buck-to-doe) ratio. Then decide what you want and manage toward that goal.

I like buck/doe ratios at 1:1 or higher. Do you want to grow food plots, feed protein, just shoot some nice tasting bucks and does or manage for trophies? And on and on and on. There are tons of data on the subject on the www. Good luck!

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#6616084 - 01/04/17 11:53 AM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
Ryan F. Offline
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Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 750
Loc: Lubbock, TX
1.5 or 2.5?

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#6616087 - 01/04/17 11:54 AM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
Ryan F. Offline
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Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 750
Loc: Lubbock, TX
2.5?


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#6616088 - 01/04/17 11:54 AM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
fouzman Offline
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Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1163
Loc: Houston, TX
Yes roflmao No exact science here.

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#6616090 - 01/04/17 11:57 AM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
fouzman Offline
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Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1163
Loc: Houston, TX
Heck, I dunno. The first buck looks 2.5 as does the second one. The deer with the stained hocks is either 3.5 or 4.5 and needs killin'! Badly.

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#6616096 - 01/04/17 12:01 PM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 26747
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
3yr old and the spikes are 1yr
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#6616106 - 01/04/17 12:12 PM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
Texas buckeye Offline
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Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3243
Loc: Keller
Ryan, don't get too bogged down in the exact age of a deer, look at the class of deer and use young, middle aged, and old/mature as a way to determine the class of deer you want to shoot. This can be done for both doe and bucks. In all the spike and even the 2.5 yo 6 pt pics, those are all too young to shoot. The first buck you posted would be a solid middle aged deer and depending on what you want to do with management could be a taker or could be saved for a year (or two) later. But, think of them in classes rather than specifics and it makes the job a whole lot easier.

Currently on my lease I will be happy to shoot any middle aged deer that tickles my fancy. If I ever own a place, it will likely be mature deer only unless buck:doe ratio is out of whack in which case we will take doe to bring that back in line. Everyone has their scheme, as long as you stick to your's, there can be benefits.

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#6616113 - 01/04/17 12:16 PM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: fouzman]
Ryan F. Offline
Tracker

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 750
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Originally Posted By: fouzman
Heck, I dunno. The first buck looks 2.5 as does the second one. The deer with the stained hocks is either 3.5 or 4.5 and needs killin'! Badly.
I think that deer is this one. I got some pictures of him a few weeks ago. His antlers were both broken off completely.




Edited by Ryan F. (01/04/17 12:19 PM)

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#6616120 - 01/04/17 12:18 PM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 24858
Loc: Texas
you don't have to shoot a buck do you?
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#6616130 - 01/04/17 12:20 PM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: redchevy]
Ryan F. Offline
Tracker

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 750
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Originally Posted By: redchevy
you don't have to shoot a buck do you?
No?? Is that a trick question?

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#6616137 - 01/04/17 12:23 PM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Texas buckeye]
Ryan F. Offline
Tracker

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 750
Loc: Lubbock, TX
Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
Ryan, don't get too bogged down in the exact age of a deer, look at the class of deer and use young, middle aged, and old/mature as a way to determine the class of deer you want to shoot. This can be done for both doe and bucks. In all the spike and even the 2.5 yo 6 pt pics, those are all too young to shoot. The first buck you posted would be a solid middle aged deer and depending on what you want to do with management could be a taker or could be saved for a year (or two) later. But, think of them in classes rather than specifics and it makes the job a whole lot easier.

Currently on my lease I will be happy to shoot any middle aged deer that tickles my fancy. If I ever own a place, it will likely be mature deer only unless buck:doe ratio is out of whack in which case we will take doe to bring that back in line. Everyone has their scheme, as long as you stick to your's, there can be benefits.
Thanks for the advice. I tend to overanalyze things. Guess I have always been that way.

I do want to get better at aging deer though. First doe I shot was a baby. I thought she was older so I don't want to make that mistake again.

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#6616139 - 01/04/17 12:24 PM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 24858
Loc: Texas
No trick question, just seems like your trying to find a way to call one of them a cull. Maybe I'm wrong.

The busted up one looks 3 to me. The spike/fork horns all look about right as 1/5's.
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#6616159 - 01/04/17 12:33 PM Re: Need some help/advice... [Re: Ryan F.]
Texas buckeye Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3243
Loc: Keller
Originally Posted By: Ryan F.
Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
Ryan, don't get too bogged down in the exact age of a deer, look at the class of deer and use young, middle aged, and old/mature as a way to determine the class of deer you want to shoot. This can be done for both doe and bucks. In all the spike and even the 2.5 yo 6 pt pics, those are all too young to shoot. The first buck you posted would be a solid middle aged deer and depending on what you want to do with management could be a taker or could be saved for a year (or two) later. But, think of them in classes rather than specifics and it makes the job a whole lot easier.

Currently on my lease I will be happy to shoot any middle aged deer that tickles my fancy. If I ever own a place, it will likely be mature deer only unless buck:doe ratio is out of whack in which case we will take doe to bring that back in line. Everyone has their scheme, as long as you stick to your's, there can be benefits.
Thanks for the advice. I tend to overanalyze things. Guess I have always been that way.

I do want to get better at aging deer though. First doe I shot was a baby. I thought she was older so I don't want to make that mistake again.


And that's called learning, good for you to recognize the issue and want to deal with it. again, learning a young deer from an middle aged to older deer is the best way, not getting bogged down with 1.5 vs 2.5, but 1.5 vs 4.5 and that's an easy call to make. But one other thing to consider is the jumpy decision to shoot as soon as you see a deer. We have all been there. I enjoy seeing how the deer act now almost as much as shooting (not really, but it sounds good to say right?) and I have learned a lot by being patient on the gun and keeping the binos in my hand more than the rifle.

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