Field age estimation accuracy

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by mobowdoebuck, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. mobowdoebuck

    mobowdoebuck Weekend Warrior

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    So many people base the shoot/do not shoot on aging the deer on the hoof. I think this can be folly, and inaccurate. I decided to look into it. One study showed the best estimator to be correct 58% of the time. Of 3.5 year olds they were only correct 25% of the time. Keep in mind random guessing would be correct 16% of the time.

    https://www.noble.org/news/publicat...ugust/how-accurate-is-aging-deer-on-the-hoof/

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/stor...hi&s=20b996c8b5668f4ecab76a7230bc1f5dca18db8c


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  2. head2toe camo

    head2toe camo Weekend Warrior

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    Anyone with experience can tell the difference between a button buck and a yearling. Most of us can tell the difference between yearling and 2.5 or more years. Generally, it's pretty obvious. It's difficult to tell the difference between 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5, but I have no doubt many here can do it accurately and reliably. No idea where you came up with random guessing being 16%.
     
  3. MSBK1

    MSBK1 Weekend Warrior

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    I'm sure some people are better than others but for sure it isn't an exact science. I feel like I am pretty good at it in general and would have a pretty high level of confidence that I will usually be correct within +/- 1 yr on bucks up to age 5. After age 4 though it starts to become pretty impossible but who cares because once a buck gets to 5 it is pretty much a consensus that he is fully mature. Very few people care whether a buck is 5, 6, 7 etc when considering whether they want to shoot him. I have confirmed that I am at least pretty fair at judging them by having close relationships with several taxis over the years that jaw age a lot of deer and will let me guess based upon pictures and even just antlers sometimes. Of course jaw aging isn't 100% accurate so that only confirms so much.

    To me however people miss a key point in the whole argument over whether people can accurately judge buck age and whether they should even use age as a criteria for whether to shoot or not. If a person has decided that what they want to do is hunt what they consider to be mature whitetail bucks then the fact that they are TRYING to judge the age of the bucks is what matters. If I am trying to only shoot deer 4.5 and older and I shoot a 3.5 yr old because I misjudged him or I pass a 4.5 yr old because I misjudged him then so what. I'm trying to do my best to shoot deer that I think are mature enough to meet the standard I have set and if I don't do a perfect job of it then so be it. At least I'm trying to hunt the way that I want to hunt. Other people can approach it however they like but I don't expect them to tell me that I'm silly to try to use age to decide what to shoot because I might not be 100% accurate with my judgments.

    BTW - I've got money on a lot of the guys on this forum being able to tell the difference between a 2.5 yr old deer and a 4.5 yr old deer the vast majority of the time.
     
  4. mobowdoebuck

    mobowdoebuck Weekend Warrior

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    Did you read the study? The study used experts and the best one was incorrect 4 out of ten times.
    The 16% is on a 3.5 year on a 2.5-7.5 random guessing 1/6 is about 16.7%. On 2.5 - 3.5 experts were correct 25 - 30% of the time. Just slightly better than random guessing.

    Why do you think people are accurate? Do they confirm there estimation with testing?


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  5. MSBK1

    MSBK1 Weekend Warrior

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    I'm sorry but if you are saying that "experts" were only correct 25-30% of the time in simply judging between 2.5 and 3.5 then I really question this study. Were these experts given a fighting chance? Was their perspective and frame of reference adjusted to deer and areas that they have experience with? Did they even know where the deer being judged was from? I mean I'd feel a lot better about my chance of correctly judging a KY deer vs a Texas deer or SC deer or a New Hampshire deer. That should be taken into account. A 4 yr old Florida panhandle buck might look like a 1.5 old Minnesota buck.
     
  6. mobowdoebuck

    mobowdoebuck Weekend Warrior

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    I had a typo it should have been 3.5-4.5.
    [​IMG]



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  7. Westfinger

    Westfinger Weekend Warrior

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    I agree that after 2.5 years its a crap shoot.
     

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