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Mar 25th, 2012
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Aging Deer on the hoof question #5385405 10/28/14 11:50 PM
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I am sure this has been asked before on here, but hoping to save the trouble in trying to find it... What do some of yall more experienced hunters look for when aging deer on the hoof? Belly? Breast collar? The curvature in the spine? I am usually off a year or so when looking at pictures of bucks on here from yall are. Any help is much appreciated. Just trying to become a better hunter by knowing what to look for.

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385451 10/29/14 12:05 AM
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A lot of aging depends on the body size for the deer in your area. Best way to learn is to video or take pictures of the bucks you see. When you get several in the same frame it helps. Then take the video or pics to a larger screen TV and review them when you are done hunting. Perspective change when you sit down and analyze the bucks. Sitting and watching bucks interact during the pre-rut, the rut and post rut shows you a lot also. For me there are a lot things I look at- face, forehead(and hair color), does the nose look long or short, ears(and hair color in some areas of the state), jaw, shape of head, shape and size of throat patch on the neck, neck, neckline into brisket, width of brisket, shoulder muscle mass, belly line (time of year effects this one a lot), hindquarter shape, back to tail, color and shape of hocks, how much staining on hocks, do the legs look long and lanky or short for the body, the way the buck sets down on his hooves, color of hairline around hooves(for deer in some areas of the state), callouses on knees, are the knees joints larger(older bucks will tend to be larger than the younger bucks knee joints), during the rut if there is a patch of hair missing between shoulders(very common in 3 and 4 yr old bucks only when the fight they rub their shoulder blades together and hair is rubbed off) and how the buck interacts with other bucks his size are some of the things I look or have used on various ranches to age deer by.
There are some good books on aging as well as some other materials that really help. It is not an exact science either since all the deer in any herd will not be 100% uniform for body weight. 2cents



Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385492 10/29/14 12:21 AM
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Thanks stx. Lots of good info there. Been hunting all my walking life, pops wouldn't carry me around the woods when I was a baby, and have just now got within a year or so of ya'll. Still have a lot of years left but with years cones knowledge!

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385718 10/29/14 01:41 AM
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certainly not an overnight thing - lots of years of watching deer live plus reading books, videos, etc. I agree with STX that interaction with other deer tells you much. It is very similar to looking at a man who is in his 20's or 30's and a man who is 50 or 60. Belly, jowls, walks stiffly, droopy face, back sways. Roman nose is a dead giveaway. Even though most will say the deers rack does not determine age, I disagree somewhat. Not in every case, but in general an older deer will have heavier horns and more mass, longer brows.

It is a long term deal that nobody ever gets correct one hundred percent of the time. But it is fun stuff trying to judge them


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Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385734 10/29/14 01:47 AM
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Testing myself here. I wanna say this buck is around 4.5? What do yall think?

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385750 10/29/14 01:51 AM
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From those 2 pics I would say mature. But not the best pics to age from. Very hard to age deer in the summer when they are fat. The look a lot different in Oct and will look a world of different going into the rut.



Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385772 10/29/14 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: outdoorsmen54



Testing myself here. I wanna say this buck is around 4.5? What do yall think?


Do you have a history on that deer?
I personally think you just posted a very odd ball situation(pun intended).

I'm curious if that deer has ever been hard horned? I don't think he has. Think he my have a testy issue. Even though it's summer in those pics his hocks are bright, bright white. On top of that he has massive bases.

If he a stag then that deer maybe a whole lot older then we all think(they don't rut or ever muscle up). Very cool deer!!! Grant it I probably just messed up your aging thread.. Sorry but that's a really odd deer for up north

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385784 10/29/14 02:03 AM
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I personally think he hasn't lost his horns this summer. I have heard from previous leases that they didn't think he had either. We haven't found sheds and we believe he is staying on the property. I have a few more picks of this deer that ill post in a couple seconds.

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385802 10/29/14 02:10 AM
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We get a bunch in castell and I've heard genetics to eating lichens when they are fawns. Your area its a doe with horns or an accident probably. Bet that deer is closer to 7. I typically don't even attempt to age deer in velvet unless I have a history of a year or two on them.

Really biggest to aging is like stx and tKk said spending time in the field and taking pics and gaining that progressive history on deer

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385819 10/29/14 02:20 AM
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This is the last time I checked cams, and all of the bucks were hard horned except this guy.

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385833 10/29/14 02:24 AM
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I watched him at 70 yards two weekends ago through binoculars and he is really cool in person. He splits at the end of his main beam on the left side. He still looks exactly like this. We haven't found his sheds in the last three years and are almost positive he is staying on the property like I previously said. We have a younger buck with a matching right side with no brows but cant be certain if he is kin or not.

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385837 10/29/14 02:25 AM
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Yelp stag, the cluster on the end and all the bumps combined with the mass. See how his neck is still doe like? Even in summer for that body size he would have looser skin. I know a taxi that specializes in freeze drying velvet horns if you get him.

I personally think they are the best eating. Since they don't rut, chase, breed, or do anything they are very tender and will have a thick layer of fat around carcass.

Really cool deer. I've if he turns out not to be but retry sure he is he still a unquie trophy

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385859 10/29/14 02:34 AM
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Gonna try to take him this weekend. I personally like taking unique over an ordinary 8. Unique bucks offer a unique story. Thanks guys.

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385861 10/29/14 02:35 AM
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Good luck!!!

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5385866 10/29/14 02:37 AM
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Gonna have to get him before the rut. They tend to go into hiding during the rut if you have a lot of mature bucks.



Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5386102 10/29/14 08:02 AM
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Good luck on getting him!!!


I support Cap and Trade - Cap our spending and Trade Obama

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the Government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson
Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5386225 10/29/14 12:23 PM
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Thanks guys. He's not the best buck on this place by far but I like a free range freaky looking buck.

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: stxranchman] #5386246 10/29/14 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Gonna have to get him before the rut. They tend to go into hiding during the rut if you have a lot of mature bucks.


Yelp and will be last into the feeder etc. once rut kicks off they are the least dominate deer on the place. Those antlers are sensitive

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: BOBO the Clown] #5386275 10/29/14 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Gonna have to get him before the rut. They tend to go into hiding during the rut if you have a lot of mature bucks.


Yelp and will be last into the feeder etc. once rut kicks off they are the least dominate deer on the place. Those antlers are sensitive

In my 30+ years of hunting i have never heard anyone say that duing the rut they go into hidding thats just crazy talk , i have killed and saw so many bucks duing the rut because thats when they come out and after the rut they are looking for food..... so guys dont go by this statement!!!! I have over 6500 acr. and plenty of bucks someitme times it just amazeing how many there are in one section of hunting area at one time during the rut.

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: Threelranch] #5386398 10/29/14 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: Threelranch
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Gonna have to get him before the rut. They tend to go into hiding during the rut if you have a lot of mature bucks.


Yelp and will be last into the feeder etc. once rut kicks off they are the least dominate deer on the place. Those antlers are sensitive

In my 30+ years of hunting i have never heard anyone say that duing the rut they go into hidding thats just crazy talk , i have killed and saw so many bucks duing the rut because thats when they come out and after the rut they are looking for food..... so guys dont go by this statement!!!! I have over 6500 acr. and plenty of bucks someitme times it just amazeing how many there are in one section of hunting area at one time during the rut.


Crazy talk???? That's not a normal buck. That deer doesn't rut!! He is the least dominate deer on the whole place, a nasty mean doe will run him off.

I kill 1-3 stags a year. I know them well, once rut comes in they are the hardest to hunt a) their lack of dominance b) their age class c) they don't crave the carbs like other deer, because again they don't rut or breed. They don't run around like a chicken with their head cut off, their fat supply never shrinks like a normal deer. I've killed stags in ultra drought years where buck and does where 20-30% lighter then normal years with zero fat, yet the stags still have full layer of fat on the carcass

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: Threelranch] #5386404 10/29/14 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: Threelranch
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Gonna have to get him before the rut. They tend to go into hiding during the rut if you have a lot of mature bucks.


Yelp and will be last into the feeder etc. once rut kicks off they are the least dominate deer on the place. Those antlers are sensitive

In my 30+ years of hunting i have never heard anyone say that duing the rut they go into hidding thats just crazy talk , i have killed and saw so many bucks duing the rut because thats when they come out and after the rut they are looking for food..... so guys dont go by this statement!!!! I have over 6500 acr. and plenty of bucks someitme times it just amazeing how many there are in one section of hunting area at one time during the rut.

You need to read the whole thread before you post. That buck is a stag and won't come out of velvet. He won't try to defend himself or interact with other bucks with soft antlers in velvet. Neither one of would have made a statement about a hard horned buck doing that. Also I have been hunting deer for over 45 yrs now and managing them for over almost 30 yrs.



Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: stxranchman] #5386475 10/29/14 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: Threelranch
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Gonna have to get him before the rut. They tend to go into hiding during the rut if you have a lot of mature bucks.


Yelp and will be last into the feeder etc. once rut kicks off they are the least dominate deer on the place. Those antlers are sensitive

In my 30+ years of hunting i have never heard anyone say that duing the rut they go into hidding thats just crazy talk , i have killed and saw so many bucks duing the rut because thats when they come out and after the rut they are looking for food..... so guys dont go by this statement!!!! I have over 6500 acr. and plenty of bucks someitme times it just amazeing how many there are in one section of hunting area at one time during the rut.

You need to read the whole thread before you post. That buck is a stag and won't come out of velvet. He won't try to defend himself or interact with other bucks with soft antlers in velvet. Neither one of would have made a statement about a hard horned buck doing that. Also I have been hunting deer for over 45 yrs now and managing them for over almost 30 yrs.

Stag ??? not what i would call it but i guess to each thier own and i am not trying to start an heated dessicion but just trying to say what i know and what others need to know !
If in fact he has no testicals then he will not loose his velvet like stated but he may just have low-testosterone condition Older deer with this condition become cactus bucks because they donít shed their antlers and a new set tries to grow on top of the old one. It makes them look really weird around the base. But given that he has a relatively symmetrical frame, Iíd say this is its first rack after some kind of testicular injury that caused it to be this way!

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5386488 10/29/14 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: outdoorsmen54
I personally think he hasn't lost his horns this summer. I have heard from previous leases that they didn't think he had either. We haven't found sheds and we believe he is staying on the property. I have a few more picks of this deer that ill post in a couple seconds.



Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5386730 10/29/14 04:18 PM
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Quote:

Stag ??? not what i would call it but i guess to each thier own and i am not trying to start an heated dessicion but just trying to say what i know and what others need to know !
If in fact he has no testicals then he will not loose his velvet like stated but he may just have low-testosterone condition Older deer with this condition become cactus bucks because they donít shed their antlers and a new set tries to grow on top of the old one. It makes them look really weird around the base. But given that he has a relatively symmetrical frame, Iíd say this is its first rack after some kind of testicular injury that caused it to be this way!


They have symmetrical frames also, I measured a 136 in 8pt two years ago(6 7/8 first mass measurement) watched him a couple years.
They can have testicals and still be none hard horned in fact I've seen some that have hard tips but bases are soft(young and old deer) I've actually never killed one with out testicles, they are all just abnormally small.

I've killed well over 20 of them.

Re: Aging Deer on the hoof question [Re: outdoorsmen54] #5386888 10/29/14 05:20 PM
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Little to no experience with stags. My brother shot one 2-3 years ago on our place. Good size body no balls. He it was just one of the girls around the feeder.


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