new england sportsman's network new england sportsmen network new england sportsmen's network new england sportsmans network new england sportsmens network


   All Boards
   Register
   View/Submit
   Archive
   View
   Archive
   View
   Archive
   All Events
   Fishing Tournies
   Bow Shoots
   Cowboy Action
   Meetings
   Shows & Other
   Add an Event
   Sponsors
   Books & Videos
   Magazines
   Classified Ads
   NES Apparel
   Fishing
   Hunting
   Sign Up
   Lake Maps
   Resource Links
   Organization Links
   Quizzes
   Fish Species
   Knots
   Freshwater Fishing
   Saltwater Fishing
   Ice Fishing
   Hunting
   Search Articles
   All Videos
   Connecticut
   Maine
   Massachusetts
   New Hampshire
   Rhode Island
   Vermont
   Advertise
   Submit an Article
   Comments
  Home
curve.gif (492 bytes) sportsman's sportsmen sportsmen's sportsmans sportsmens network

How Old is My Deer?

How to Age Your Deer

snowbuck.jpg (10933 bytes)

Deer in New England are primarily born in late May and early June. Therefore, when most deer are harvested in November they are either six months, 1-1/2; years, 2-1/2; years, 3-1/2; years, etc., in age. This guide is designed to block deer into these age categories.

The overall age structure of a hunted deer population is younger than most people think. During the fall of 1998, the Fish and Game Department gathered information during the shotgun season and it was determined that 52% of the harvested deer were adults averaging 2-1/2 years of age and 21% yearlings.

Antler and body size can indicate a deer's age, but physical characteristics are often misleading. The number of antler points in no way corresponds to age. Even if it did, it wouldn't help in aging does, which make up a considerable proportion of the harvest each year.

Antler size in bucks and physical development in both genders is greatly affected by diet and genetics, which may account for differences between animals of the same age taken from different locations.

Deer in eastern portions of the state, where food crops are more common, are often heavier bodied. Six-month-old deer (fawns) may at first appear older, and yearlings (1-1/2; years old) may approach 140 pounds field dressed.

It's All in the Teeth

The science of aging deer is based on tooth development and wear. Like humans, deer replace their "baby teeth" with permanent teeth at a relatively set rate. As surely as a 6-year-old child will soon lose her two front teeth, an 18-month-old buck will be in the process of losing its third premolar.

By the time a deer is 2-1/2; years old, all permanent teeth are in. At this stage, estimating age is based largely on the rate of tooth wear. Diet and soil types may accelerate tooth wear, but generally, estimating the age of adult deer is straight forward until they reach age 5-1/2;. Beyond that, estimating age by tooth wear is less reliable.

Return to Contents
Next Section--Tooth Identification Basics 

State Home Pages


Select a State to Visit
dot.gif (810 bytes)

dot.gif (810 bytes)

Buy Official
NES Gear

NES Search
Engine
(find articles)

Keyword (optional)
TitlesSummaries




dot.gif (810 bytes)


dot.gif (810 bytes)

 

Can't see our
menus on
the left and
right-hand
sides of
our homepage?
Click Here

dot.gif (403 bytes)

Copyright 1999 through 2004 New England Sportsman All Rights Reserved.