I might have messed up. Was hunting last weekend on a friends high game fence ranch with the intention of shooting a couple does. My buddies dad was there & he said it was ok to shoot a buck as long as it was mature. Well, Saturday morning I saw the deer in the right corner of the picture. BEAUTIFUL BUCK. Mainframe 10 point with lots mass & stickers. He was chasing a doe in & out of the brush but I could have killed him at 125 yards but I guessed him at 3 1/2 years old so I didn't shoot. Did I screw up? Having sleepless nights as I keep thinking about this deer & don't know if or when I will be invited back out there to hunt. Would love your thoughts on age.
I think you did good. My estimate is 3.5 but he could be 4.5. Take that with a grain of salt though. I hunt east texas and regional differences in deer can make a difference. Nice buck. Most of the time it’s best to trust your gut. When you start talking yourself into an age older than your initial impression, it can lead to disappointment. In the scenario you describe, I would recommend asking the landowner about the deer in question. It is likely he is familiar with that animal.