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Best practice to ID bucks year after year #7841569 05/16/20 05:55 PM
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Ladies and gents,
I've been reading for quite some time, hunting for a few years, and bought a small property last year, so I only have a few pictures from this time a year ago. However, I see threads and timeline picture shots showing herds mature, grow, and their overall development and health.

How are you able to determine that buck A in a pic from last year is the same as this year? Are you seeing markings like on a dog, or what?

I'm jealous of the marvelous bucks that I see on here and want to try to let several of the young'ns go a few years (roads and neighbors willing) so that I can eventually post my own monsters!
Thanks!
Phil

Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7841892 05/17/20 12:03 AM
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It's hard Wooz absent particular and unique features such as notched ears, peculiar antler points, colorations, etc. I have to be honest, a lot of pics on here showing 1-6 year or more progression I don't always agree are the same deer but since the posters are usually adamant they are, I say nothing and just accept as fact. Hunting South Texas for nearly 4 decades, the cross genetics were very prevalent so many deer carried similar genetics and would have been virtually impossible to discern.

Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7841926 05/17/20 12:25 AM
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Wooz - fact of the matter is takes a huge amount of effort and time and money. We track our deer carefully by use of trail cameras along with our hunters taking pictures and videos. Most all of our deer can be identified by their horns. They may change some from year to year but by and large you can see characteristics for each buck. Keep all of your pictures year to year and you will get to know them and be able to track them. We are pretty confident of knowing our bucks from year to year


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Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7842206 05/17/20 11:58 AM
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I will know this is the same Buck because he jumped into a pasture where I have some yearling Nubian Ibex. They get fed once in the morning and once in the evening. This Buck and another that was a 6 point usually come to the morning feed and just eat some corn. So if he does get any larger it will just be because of age. I just want to see if he gets any wider. We shall see.

Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: don k] #7842409 05/17/20 03:47 PM
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Wooz, you have asked a very good question. My answer is that you rarely know 100%. However, as tlk said, you can get a very good idea if you really pay attention and monitor closely. Sometimes there will be some type unusual marking on the body like coloration or scar etc but in my experience those are few and far between. I think most guys, like me and guys I run with, go by the horns like tlk said. Once again, you cant tell with certainty but look very closely and you can get a very good idea. A buck will rarely have the same rack from year to year but often times they will be similar but other deer may have those same similarities. Usually it will be just a small odd ball type thing that gives it away like a brow turning a certain unusual way. We have had 5x4s that switched sides and had 4x5s but something else was the same and very unusual so it gave him away. Also a buck will usually hang out in the same general area from year to year(at least prerut and maybe a square mile or two). One of the main guys on my lease has a 6th sense for this kind of stuff and a photographic memory about deer. He claims to always know and I have come to not doubt him(I am not nearly as good). Its more art than science. I will post some age and scores(maybe today) and include some progressions from year to year and let yall decide if same deer, along with age and score.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7842424 05/17/20 03:55 PM
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Guys with deer in pens sometimes have difficulty without consulting the tags.

Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7842460 05/17/20 04:43 PM
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Thanks for the great tips and answers. I'll continue to watch and look for identifying marks.
Phil

Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7843237 05/18/20 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Wooz
Ladies and gents,
I've been reading for quite some time, hunting for a few years, and bought a small property last year, so I only have a few pictures from this time a year ago. However, I see threads and timeline picture shots showing herds mature, grow, and their overall development and health.

How are you able to determine that buck A in a pic from last year is the same as this year? Are you seeing markings like on a dog, or what?

I'm jealous of the marvelous bucks that I see on here and want to try to let several of the young'ns go a few years (roads and neighbors willing) so that I can eventually post my own monsters!
Thanks!
Phil

I think the best answer to this is spending a ton of time in the stands but more importantly getting thousands and thousands of pictures and filing them in folders each year.
It will not work on every buck of course because some do change drastically from one year to the next but I would guess that if you run cameras constantly you probably can ID 70%-80% of your bucks from one year to the next.


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Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7843352 05/18/20 03:11 PM
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Sometimes they have a marking on their hide/ear etc. most of the time general antler characteristics.

We had a buck the last 3 years that had stripes in his hide somewhat like a brindle cow, very easy to pick him out year to year.

Many times I don't pick them out until I look at the current years pictures and then go back and look at the pictures from last year and then all of a sudden you will just be looking and it hits you and you flip flop back and forth and see the subtle differences that lead you to call them the same, facial lines, throat patch coloration on legs etc.


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Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7843389 05/18/20 03:42 PM
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I spend days looking at video, trail cam pics, etc getting to know deer. in reality, I only pay attention to older deer (big/small racks), or young deer that show potential.

from what I've seen deer are going to keep the same basic frame shape once they're 4+ years old. They'll get bigger for sure, but a 14" wide high and tight 10 point isn't going to turn into a 20" 12 point.

general location, frame shape and brow tines tend to be the best distinguishing features out side of anomalies like notched ears, double throat patches, etc. in my opinion, brow tines tend to be the easiest antler characteristic to see year to year on bucks.

Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7843754 05/18/20 08:36 PM
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Game cameras. Browtines can be a good indicator from year to year.


Life is too short, as is. Don't chance it.
Don't text and drive.
Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7852057 05/26/20 10:15 PM
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Hudbone has a thread going like an age and score that shows a buck over 5 years. He changes rack somewhat every year but still seems to be him. Besides antler characteristics and his behavior and body size he has a double throat patch. Ill bet he hung in same area also. These progression threads are good to learn by because bucks usually get killed so fast , or arent documented , that they are rare learning tools.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Best practice to ID bucks year after year [Re: Wooz] #7852087 05/26/20 10:47 PM
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I like everyone else.. there is not a 100% id...First with or without horns i look at his face. Like humans the overall look seems to set apart from others ....then the location...then markings...then just luck to get it right all the time. I had a white eight point...his horns went from 17 inches wide and long tines to 13 inches and skinny. I saw him each year from two years old to almost eight years old. If it was not for his white color he changed a lot. However his face just got older look but mostly stayed the same. He had a wide head that helped. Now I try to id bucks with a general face look and body and horns.
good luck

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