Not an old beast. They can be quite accurately aged by the teeth on the bottom jaw, up to about 80 weeks. After that is it similar to Roe, ie. young, mature or old.
Most old bucks have at least one tear in the ears from battle scars. Older beasts often have one of their canines broken too. Also the carcass weight (whole) can be an indication but varies according to the quality of feed available. Not an exact science.
A pessimist is an optimist with experience.
i second what uncle norm says the face looks very fresh and shows none of the war wounds that the older bucks pick up along there way
There are several ways of looking at this:
1) Munties go into adult denture at 19 months. IE, they lose their 3 cusp 3rd premolars at 19 months so a munty older than 19 months will have a 2 cusp 3rd pre molar.
2) How worn are the teeth?
3) Most (but not 100% all) mature munty bucks will be in hard antler by now which would be a good indicator when trying to age a munty buck on the hoof. If that buck was shot very recently, it is almost certainly a young buck as it's only just growing it's antlers as it's playing catch up with trying to get it's antlers into sink, having been born last summer and therefore, having cast it's first antlers later than adult bucks.
4) What did it weigh? Was it lightweight or a mature heavy weight?
5) As the other two posters have alluded to, it looks like a fresh faced and scar free youngster. Again, that is not a certain way of aging as it may be from low density area where fighting doesn't occur that much? (An old munty buck from a high density area would have a very scared face, possibly ripped ears and possibly broken fangs)
Hope that helps?
Last edited by baguio; 25-06-2016 at 18:17.
Impossible to tell exactly from a photo, but there are a couple of indicators here. This buck is in synch with the antler cycle which would make him probably at least 2 years old as they cast their antlers in May which he has just done. That said, they can carry their first set for less than a year or more than a year depending upon when they were born in relation to May. He also looks to be growing a decent length tine. His tusk looks to be almost fully developed, but it is very white and not broken which would indicate that he is not that old. No scarring to the face or ears which they gain fairly quickly. If I had to put an age on him, I'd have an educated guess at 2-3 years old.
If you can post a photo of the lower jaw teeth we'd be able to tell you more.