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#6621490 - 01/07/17 05:03 PM Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear?
tlk Offline
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Registered: 07/25/13
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Edited by tlk (01/07/17 05:41 PM)
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#6621729 - 01/07/17 07:31 PM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
jt402 Offline
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Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 60
Biologists say yes.

Jack

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#6621739 - 01/07/17 07:35 PM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: jt402]
tlk Offline
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Originally Posted By: jt402
Biologists say yes.

Jack


did you read the study?
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#6621773 - 01/07/17 08:03 PM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
Pitchfork Predator Offline
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Registered: 01/25/13
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Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
Very interesting. Evidently it gets very iffy past 2 years old.
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#6621796 - 01/07/17 08:23 PM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
Simple Searcher Offline
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It would seem with all of the deer from the same area that aging would be more accurate.
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#6621858 - 01/07/17 09:00 PM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
Leonardo Offline
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Registered: 01/03/08
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Loc: Wise County
If i recall correctly the submit age results back +/- 1 yr. So either way lots of wiggle room.

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#6621886 - 01/07/17 09:23 PM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
Adchunts Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/03/16
Posts: 114
Loc: New Braunfels, TX
After discussing this with several wildlife biologists...aging by tooth wear is an educated guess. Diet plays a big role, as some foods accelerate tooth wear more than others.

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#6621914 - 01/07/17 09:44 PM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: Simple Searcher]
txshntr Offline
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Registered: 09/24/10
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IMO, tooth wear is a tool to be used with other information and is a studied guess more than an exact science. Location, available food sources, individual animals, and a multitude of other factors make it impossible to guess with precise accuracy.

When used as a tool combined with other localized information, it can be used to confirm thoughts on a specific deer or even provide generalizations about deer taken.

It would be more interesting to me to see the accuracy within one Year rather than exact. Also, be interesting to see the data as to where the jaw bones in the study actually came from.

Interesting topic, but I have never believed tooth wear to be an end all-be all system for aging.
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#6622057 - 01/08/17 05:36 AM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: txshntr]
tlk Offline
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Originally Posted By: txshntr
IMO, tooth wear is a tool to be used with other information and is a studied guess more than an exact science. Location, available food sources, individual animals, and a multitude of other factors make it impossible to guess with precise accuracy.

When used as a tool combined with other localized information, it can be used to confirm thoughts on a specific deer or even provide generalizations about deer taken.

It would be more interesting to me to see the accuracy within one Year rather than exact. Also, be interesting to see the data as to where the jaw bones in the study actually came from.

Interesting topic, but I have never believed tooth wear to be an end all-be all system for aging.


I agree - we track most of our deer over the years so we usually have an idea on age before they are harvested. We check teeth for estimated age but then send to the lab to confirm. The lab is not 100% but sure seems close. Most of the time the age we think the deer is and the lab results line up. I thought this study was interesting because it used very experienced folks to do the jaw aging and the accuracy was off -
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#6622119 - 01/08/17 08:22 AM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
therancher Offline
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Registered: 07/09/13
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Loc: Mountain Home, Uvalde, and Big...
Virtually anyone can tell a yearling or 2 yr olds age by teeth. As the study shows, virtually no one is worth a d__m after 2 yo.

Just confirms what I've believed for several years. That's why I really only concern myself with "mature" or "immature" classifications.
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#6622244 - 01/08/17 10:09 AM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
tlk Offline
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This is a response from another forum member concerning the study I posted here - interesting stuff

"The Noble was a good study that showed some of the potential inaccuracies of the Severinghaus aging technique. The original research was conducted in 1949 and was a little misleading in that the vast majority of the know-age deer in the data set were fawns and yearlings. The sample size for each subsequent age class dropped considerably, even the point of having only 1 deer in some age classes (if I remember correctly). The Noble study has a much better representation of age classes, but for this study they used plaster casts of known-age jaws. The study design was good, but, accurate aging was reported to be difficult using plaster casts (imperfections in the casting and inability to accurately gauge dentine). The Noble study was then followed by research by Hellickson. Don't remember if he was still at Georgia at the time or in Kingsville by then. But, that was another study that showed some of the inconsistencies.

The take-home from all of the research appears to be that although there are problems with aging by tooth wear and replacement, it is still a useful technique for data collection, especially in larger data sets. "Most" deer can be aged "fairly accurately", although individual deer can sometimes be off by 2 or 3 years, especially at older age classes (the tendency is to overage using the teeth). For research purposes, it is probably not good enough. For management purposes, it seems to work pretty well.

Cementum anuli from the incisors is a typically more-accurate way to age IF done by a qualified technician and IF there is a reference set of teeth for the specific region, which isn't always the case."
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#6622913 - 01/08/17 06:34 PM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: therancher]
Creekrunner Offline
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Registered: 10/19/12
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Originally Posted By: therancher
That's why I really only concern myself with "mature" or "immature" classifications.


Patiently waiting for our lease "manager" to "mature" into the "don't give a $#^&" status and adopt the above. It takes patience, which I seem to be a tad short of lately.
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#6625519 - 01/10/17 08:22 AM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
redchevy Offline
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Registered: 10/25/04
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Loc: Texas
I like to lump the teeth age estimate in with the rest of the info we have and then make a final call. We record all live/dressed weights, run cameras all year, try to age deer on the hoof and shoot and then look at teeth too. We have a couple known age bucks we have killed because we have had them on camera year after year and their teeth look a bit younger than what they are. We do feed protein almost year round and corn all the time.
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#6625564 - 01/10/17 08:47 AM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: redchevy]
therancher Offline
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" "Most" deer can be aged "fairly accurately", although individual deer can sometimes be off by 2 or 3 years, especially at older age classes (the tendency is to overage using the teeth). "

According to the data set in the noble study the only deer that can be aged "fairly accurately" by teeth are 1 and 2 yr olds. In a young population that "most deer" statement could be true.

But who really cares about aging yearlings and twos? The critical aging is done after 2 yrs., when there is virtually no accuracy in dental aging.
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#6625652 - 01/10/17 09:33 AM Re: Can deer really be aged by their tooth wear? [Re: tlk]
Wytex Offline
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Registered: 12/07/16
Posts: 191
Loc: Wyoming
We have been using tooth wear to age class mule deer for years on a ranch we manage, backed by lab anuli analysis. You can get very close, for us especially at the middle aged deer. You need to know their forage, we have very rocky soil here.We have been consistently close, within ,middle aged deer, with 1 year or so. Older aged class deer, 7 1/2- 9 1/2 are more difficult to pin down within a year.Their teeth wear down to almost nothing. My professor at SFA came up with a deer aging tooth plaque that is used by families' home ranch in Texas and they are very accurate with their aging.It will work for certain areas and herds where the animal population is known.Noble Foundation writes the management plan for the Texas Ranch and has agreed with most of their ages on teeth wear. University of Wyoming ages our deer now through anuli analysis.

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