Help solve a debate, age this buck please

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Hoytvectrix, Sep 9, 2020.

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How old is this buck?

  1. 2.5

    4 vote(s)
    26.7%
  2. 3.5

    9 vote(s)
    60.0%
  3. 4.5

    2 vote(s)
    13.3%
  4. 5.5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Hoytvectrix

    Hoytvectrix Weekend Warrior

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    If the photos don't help, I actually managed to get some decent footage of him tonight in an observation sit. The Missouri bow season opens up in five days. For some reason, he and the doe were constantly chasing each other across the fields. This deer has almost literally lived in this bean field the last three days.

     

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  2. bowhunt4abuck

    bowhunt4abuck Die Hard Bowhunter

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    My first thought was 3.5, but the more I look the older he looks. My guess is old deer. I’m gona say 5.5+.


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  3. DanyeckAdventures

    DanyeckAdventures Weekend Warrior

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    I'm gonna say 3.5 at most 4.5
    His body doesn't have the sagging like an older buck yet it doesn't look skinny so I'm going with 3-4

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  4. Fix

    Fix Grizzled Veteran

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    3.5
     
  5. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Grizzled Veteran

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    3.5 I tend to look at their heads, not rack but the wedge shape and the width of skull snout. Both are too narrow IMO to say older deer.
     
  6. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    He doesn't have the sagging belly, but does have a pretty long snout.
    I'm torn between 3.5 and 4.5. I cast my vote as 4.5.
     
  7. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    3.5
    Brisket/neck development. Legs will appear lower on older animals, also belly will be distended on older.
     
  8. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

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    That is a very young deer. He is lean and has tiny shoulders, narrow back and thin neck with tight skin. He could easily be 2.5, but 3.5 at very most. The light rack is also a dead giveaway to being a young midwest deer.
     
  9. Garrett Godlewski

    Garrett Godlewski Weekend Warrior

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    I also say 3.5
     
  10. slickbilly-d

    slickbilly-d Die Hard Bowhunter

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    So, is the debate solved?
     
  11. bowhunt4abuck

    bowhunt4abuck Die Hard Bowhunter

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  12. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    I'm going to agree with the 3.5, he's too small and crisp to be old IMO. My guess is if you'd see him next to a mature buck, there'd be no question about his maturity.
     
  13. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    To me he looks to be a giant 2.5 year old. That neck is just so small. It's deceiving with that rack tho.

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  14. bowhunt4abuck

    bowhunt4abuck Die Hard Bowhunter

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    The neck looking so long and the head looking so large is what got me leaning old. Looks like young deer is the consensus


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  15. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

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    The neck looks long because it is thin and he has no shoulder mass. As buck's age and the shoulders get blocky and the chest fills out, it makes the neck look shorter. The pencil neck is what makes his head look larger also. The older bucks walk like I do when I first get up in the morning also.....all stoved up. This young deer is still limber and smooth.
     
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  16. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    I agree with this. A mature buck body is built like a German Shepherd. All big shoulders, wide chest, thick neck and a block head. It makes the rear end look small and lower. This buck is opposite. It's rear legs look like the biggest part of his body and neck and shoulders look small. Plus his belly has a sharp up turn at the rear leg, no sag. This is just a fine specimen of a young buck in my opinion.

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  17. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

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    This is a buck that would be on a DO NOT SHOOT list for at least 2 more years on properties that are able to be managed for trophy production. He has the potential to be something really special at 5.5 or 6.5 years old. That being said, most of those deer get shot and I am fine with that too. To each their own. He would get a hard pass on my places, even if I was afraid one of the neighbors might shoot him.
     
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  18. Hoytvectrix

    Hoytvectrix Weekend Warrior

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    The debate between my brother's and I about this buck's age was really debating between 2.5 and 3.5. I think it's still a coin toss on which age is correct. I agree with many people's comments about the smaller shoulders, longer appearing neck. I think that if you cover the antlers up and just go by body size, you could pass this buck off for a large doe. I was personally leaning towards 2.5 with freak-like genetics. This is in Northeast MO, and we have some above average genetics, but most of our 2.5 year olds are basket 6 or 8-pointers with slightly smaller mass than this deer carries. He would be on a whole other level and truly special if he was just a 2.5 year old. Another little anecdote that might be related to this deer's age is his behavior. I forgot to turn my external mic on, which is why there was no audio, but he was literally growling and playing with that doe that is running with him. A group of does and fawns were annoyed by him and started blowing at him before leaving the fields.

    Regardless, we are going to try and give this deer a pass with the hope we can meet up with him next year or the year after. We have neighbors that shoot just about anything that has antlers, so I would lean towards him having a lower chance than most of making it another year. Fingers are crossed!
     
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  19. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    Good luck with him. If your looking for a trophy buck, this would be one let go. But anywhere you in this country, I bet 99 percent of hunters would shoot him. Also the down side of him being so aggressive, probably going to get him shot.

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  20. opossumhunterNC

    opossumhunterNC Die Hard Bowhunter

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    If you shoot him and really want to know for sure then post jawbone photos. I got a buddy who can age him with proper photos... this NC WRC form has info on how to take the photos. The form is for NC only so don’t actually fill it out and submit it (unless the deer happens to be in North Carolina). Just has really good instructions on how to take the photos.
    https://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/...r/Jawbone_PhotoSubmission_05-17-2018_Form.pdf

    An even better option would be to see if your state has a similar program and do it through them. In my state they will send you back a whole report with the deers age and how it’s antler size compares to other deer of the same age from your county as well as statewide and they give you a pretty cool “wildlife cooperator” bumper sticker.

    It also provides extremely valuable information to your state’s wildlife biologists that they use for all sorts of stuff like that estimating the herd’s health, the areas carrying capacity, and making decisions on how to best manage the resource. And if you are in a state that you report your harvest online or by calling it in instead of taking it to a check station then often the only way they can get that data is people who voluntarily collect it and send it to them.
     
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