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Post mature? #7942236 08/19/20 05:22 PM
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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942240 08/19/20 05:24 PM
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I want to make this buck younger than I believe he is, opinions?


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942256 08/19/20 05:38 PM
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I'll gladly help you on your management program. Not real sure on age though. Mature, no doubt.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942257 08/19/20 05:39 PM
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I don't see a post mature animal 2cents



Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942258 08/19/20 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
I want to make this buck younger than I believe he is, opinions?


I can’t see him older then younger via those set of pictures. All the normal post mature indicators I don’t see, especially in the knees via those pictures, it will be a dead giveaway in a month or so


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Re: Post mature? [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7942281 08/19/20 05:54 PM
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Too hard to say this early but im not sure I see post mature. Wouldnt rule it out just not leaning that way right now. Hope you post later on. Nice buck.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942307 08/19/20 06:10 PM
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Looks nice but I don't see post mature.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942308 08/19/20 06:11 PM
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What's throwing me off is his face looks kinda old and no staining on his hocks.......other than those 2 things he looks about 4 to me......

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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942331 08/19/20 06:27 PM
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He looks 5 to me

I'm not seeing anything in these pictures that makes me think he is post mature.

Post mature to me means a deer over 7....not sure what the correct age really is considered to be.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942350 08/19/20 06:41 PM
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I don't see post mature but early to tell in these photos. likely 4 maybe 5 but I don't see usual flat face, knobbed worn knees, stained hocks, short legs, sway back, flabby brisket and loose skin.
Nice deer

Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942391 08/19/20 07:09 PM
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Things I see make him mature...how mature is hard to say. He has the body size and shape of a mature deer. He has the width and depth in the brisket that you seen in mature deer. He is setting down on hooves a bit which is normally a sign of a mature deer. He is showing large white circle rings around his eyes and those eyes are squinted ..not round. The belly he has may be from his being down when eating or it may be a sign of his age. The shape and size of head and the large round tarsal gland is that of a mature deer just not stained like most, but not all show these things in the summer. Unless he is really post mature+ like in 9-10+...then indicators I look at to show them to be a mature to early post mature tend to make them look more of a 4-5 yr old IME. Lot of bucks look way younger at really ages than they turn out to be once on the ground. There is not a really good upright facing the camera or to the front of the buck to see everything I look at on aging a buck. My 2cents
What history do you have with him? History generally trumps anyone WAG I found. grin


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Re: Post mature? [Re: stxranchman] #7942450 08/19/20 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
Things I see make him mature...how mature is hard to say. He has the body size and shape of a mature deer. He has the width and depth in the brisket that you seen in mature deer. He is setting down on hooves a bit which is normally a sign of a mature deer. He is showing large white circle rings around his eyes and those eyes are squinted ..not round. The belly he has may be from his being down when eating or it may be a sign of his age. The shape and size of head and the large round tarsal gland is that of a mature deer just not stained like most, but not all show these things in the summer. Unless he is really post mature+ like in 9-10+...then indicators I look at to show them to be a mature to early post mature tend to make them look more of a 4-5 yr old IME. Lot of bucks look way younger at really ages than they turn out to be once on the ground. There is not a really good upright facing the camera or to the front of the buck to see everything I look at on aging a buck. My 2cents
What history do you have with him? History generally trumps anyone WAG I found. grin

That's the problem......this is only my 3rd season is this pasture. Not sure if he is just now deciding to visit the corn sets.......I don't recall his characteristics and haven't found any pics from the first 2 seasons that I could say he matches up with.....


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942454 08/19/20 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
What's throwing me off is his face looks kinda old and no staining on his hocks.......other than those 2 things he looks about 4 to me......

You're right in my opinion


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942485 08/19/20 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
Originally Posted by stxranchman
Things I see make him mature...how mature is hard to say. He has the body size and shape of a mature deer. He has the width and depth in the brisket that you seen in mature deer. He is setting down on hooves a bit which is normally a sign of a mature deer. He is showing large white circle rings around his eyes and those eyes are squinted ..not round. The belly he has may be from his being down when eating or it may be a sign of his age. The shape and size of head and the large round tarsal gland is that of a mature deer just not stained like most, but not all show these things in the summer. Unless he is really post mature+ like in 9-10+...then indicators I look at to show them to be a mature to early post mature tend to make them look more of a 4-5 yr old IME. Lot of bucks look way younger at really ages than they turn out to be once on the ground. There is not a really good upright facing the camera or to the front of the buck to see everything I look at on aging a buck. My 2cents
What history do you have with him? History generally trumps anyone WAG I found. grin

That's the problem......this is only my 3rd season is this pasture. Not sure if he is just now deciding to visit the corn sets.......I don't recall his characteristics and haven't found any pics from the first 2 seasons that I could say he matches up with.....

Many deer tank for a year for no reason at all...sick, rut injury, drought, teeth are worn more, etc. Then show back up on cams and are larger than before. If he was a good buck years ago then he may not look anything like that today...shorter G2s than his 3s now when it was the opposite for example. The brows may be shorter but IME will always start in the same location and have a similar shape or curve to them year in and year out. It may have taken a drought or age/toothwear to get him to feel comfortable at a feeder also. I had a buck show up last year in late archery season that I have not seen previously in season or on cams. He was still here after the season but only walking around a feed pen in a few pics...may have a pic or two of him the pens. I think I have seen him 3 times now but not on any of my TC pics this summer. His shape is the same as last years 4x4 frame except his brows looked a bit shorter in early July and if it is him he added a G4 and kicker on one side. I have seen him twice in late June where I found a shed of his this spring. Till I see him person I won't be sure if it is him. In my experience some of the really really old deer do not keep the same shape or looking rack and look way younger than they actually are. I watched a very mature buck for 3 yrs on a ranch I managed....he was a 6x6 the first year, even better 6x6 the next year but showing the signs of a post mature buck and then finally the next year a 5x5 that looked nothing like the 6x6. The only reason I knew it was him was from the TC pics, some facial and ear features and the protein feeder he had been on for 3 yrs. He ate from the same spot at the feeder for 4 yrs...always away from the camera but facing it behind the feeder. I think this buck will show a bit more of his age in about 30 days though. I hope he is only 4 though he looks to have a some upside if he jumped enough to where you can't ID him this year.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942548 08/19/20 08:40 PM
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I don't think he's racy enough to be 4, I'd put him at 5 but probably not any older than that.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942553 08/19/20 08:42 PM
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I see a 4.5-5yo in those pics

Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942569 08/19/20 08:50 PM
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great deer

Re: Post mature? [Re: DQ Kid] #7942590 08/19/20 09:00 PM
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STx, you mentioned him maybe having an upside to come since he may of made a big jump in size this year. Maybe its off topic but related. Im aware of a well known Stx ranch thats known for huge deer and is well managed. They say when a deer makes a big jump in size its usually going from 4 to 5. They believe it so strongly that they use that jump to age them at 5 and then follow them till their target age of 7. I find it hard to believe that with all the factors attributed to individual deer that could be a reliable way to age. Thoughts?


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Re: Post mature? [Re: freerange] #7942648 08/19/20 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
STx, you mentioned him maybe having an upside to come since he may of made a big jump in size this year. Maybe its off topic but related. Im aware of a well known Stx ranch thats known for huge deer and is well managed. They say when a deer makes a big jump in size its usually going from 4 to 5. They believe it so strongly that they use that jump to age them at 5 and then follow them till their target age of 7. I find it hard to believe that with all the factors attributed to individual deer that could be a reliable way to age. Thoughts?

Years ago with management back then that was very common I think. That was before MLD and more extreme management criteria on harvest numbers. Nowadays you can see really big deer at 2 or 3 or even 4 that make a big jump. Some seem to hit 4 and stop with the huge jumps. Some seem to make good jumps every year till 5...then again at 7 after 2 yrs of serious rutting. Some bucks peak at 4, while some still peak at 7 down south it seems. IMO I think ranches that shoot the bottom end of each age class tend to manage for deer that peak 4 or 5 then do not show much growth. While some managed by letting bucks get to 4 or 5 before making a shoot or keep decision. I think those are the ranches that see bucks jump from 4 to 5 then again at 7. IMO I think which practice you use is what shapes the look of the deer on that ranch. Both can be very successful. I think if you manage for deer that are big at younger ages and are successful you will see that on the deer on the ranch. You manage for bucks that show more at mature to older ages then you will be successful at having deer on the ranch that look like that. But if you just let deer age to maturity and keep the numbers under control then it all works out. I know of ranches that the bucks have their biggest antlers at 8-10 yrs age. They do not even consider shooting a trophy till then. I have seen other ranches leave bucks at 7 that damaged their antlers and drop down that year rebound at 8 into a really big deer. IMO as some bucks get to 7+(in a well managed herd with a lot of mature bucks) they will start to eat more and rut less. They are done growing a body, done with post rut recoop and now feeding a fully mature body. Takes less to grow more sometimes. That is where those bucks/ranches see them get bigger at older ages IMO. They almost always have to be on supplemental feed and/or food plots those. I just don't think that trying to concentrate the biggest jump year in antler growth to one specific age year is going to be very reliable for most though.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: stxranchman] #7942666 08/19/20 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
I know of ranches that the bucks have their biggest antlers at 8-10 yrs age.


I read a really thorough article 6-8 years ago on one such buck. They had tons of pictures as well. They were going to cull the deer at 5.5 as a 140" 10. He managed to disappear, and I think at 7.5 was 170+, and at 9.5 was in the 190s. They took him either at 9.5 or 10.5.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: stxranchman] #7942673 08/19/20 09:58 PM
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STx good info as always. I agree with you it just seems like too many variables to pin point a big jump in growth to a particular age. You are familiar with way more ranches than me and Ive only heard of that on that one ranch but they seem to have faith in their system....

Last edited by freerange; 08/19/20 09:58 PM.

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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942764 08/19/20 10:54 PM
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I have a friend who has owned/managed the same ranch and native deer herd since the 80's. He has for the last 25+ yrs let his better and biggest bucks walk till they die post rut or from natural mortality. He finds one he likes he gets a lifetime pass. His thinking was if he gets one more fawn it was worth it. He has pictures to document bucks till 14 yrs of age. Some of them had their best antlers at 9-10-11 yrs of age. Some were still very impressive at 12 or 13 yrs of age. One thing they did not show was the older post mature look you would think they would show. Many people would think they were half the age he told them they were. This is very arid and fringe West Texas habitat also. He is just very anal about his management plan and wanting his deer to improve thru the generations. I know over the 27 yrs I have know him, I have seen his deer go from a max of one in the low 190's gross back in the mid 90's to one into that was in the 240's gross about 5-6 yrs ago. His overall herd is pretty impressive.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942786 08/19/20 11:05 PM
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Deer in the wild in poor habitat can finds ways to live way longer than we think they can. If they learn to avoid hunters then they can get old in a lot of places you would not think they can. You get them in large ranches and large ranch areas with light to little hunting and you might find one with no way to tell just how old he is. The oldest buck I have personally heard of was a pretty large ranch in South Texas. The owner had one pasture around the house that was off limits to hunters. He would make a feed run in his truck twice per everyday to feed those deer in that pasture. Many of them never left that pasture. One buck in particular lived and died in that pasture. He was document by the owner with photos and IIRC was over 20 or 21 yrs of age when he died. He was a wild deer till around 10 or so his teeth were worn down and his body condition dropped off. Then one day suddenly let the LO had him walk up to him and let him hand feed him one day. From that day on he hand fed him just about every day till he died. I think his front teeth were gone at that point. I saw one picture of him when he was hand feeding him and the deer had a decent rack and did not look that old in the photo. IIRC in November the deer died one week and then later that week the LO passed away.


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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942806 08/19/20 11:21 PM
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Re: Post mature? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7942822 08/19/20 11:26 PM
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Mature yes, post mature no.

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