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Thread: ageing shot deer accurately?

  1. #1

    ageing shot deer accurately?

    I'm sure I have heard from somewhere that deer can be aged from the growth rings on their teeth, like a tree.
    1. Is this true?
    2. Do the teeth need to be filed down or cut?
    3. Which teeth?
    4. Does anyone have any pics of this?

    With sheep, the lower front teeth grow in pairs according to my mate the sheep farmer - two the first year, four the second and sixth in the third year. Does this work for deer also? I just shot a re buck with 8 lower front teeth, so maybe 4+ years old???


  2. #2
    Yes you can do it by cutting the teeth. I would pick a premolar, you then cut it through from top to bottom. The teeth are then polished on the cut surface and the rings can be counted under a microscope.

    I have to say though, when I was shown this, the two experienced stalkers then argued over the age, so it is still slightly subjective.


  3. #3
    Unless you tag a deer soon after its born to identify age etc all attempts to age deer [when dead] have varying degree's of reliability from poor to down right crap.

    They are all guesstimates.

    But; why is it necessary to be precise when ageing deer? Is not to the nearest year ok?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rangefinder
    But; why is it necessary to be precise when ageing deer? Is not to the nearest year ok?
    Yes, I would have thought so. Certainly fine for me - to the nearest year is what I was looking for.

    Stand Buck has sent me some useful info on this now. Thanks guys.

  5. #5
    The guy that took me for my level 2 in Hampshire who has shot a lot of Roe told me to put young, middle aged and adult on my cull sheets as it is difficult to age them. I don,t have a problem with that.

  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    I've always thought the DCS Best Practice guide was pretty good at giving a suitable approximation:


  7. #7
    Thanks Willie - useful stuff that I hadn't seen before.

  8. #8
    Here is section of Roe Buck tooth shot this year. Estimated age 4-5 y Interestingly he had 2 canines which had open roots and very wide sockets. The head was kindly dropped off to me when the owner was on his way up to Scotland. As you can see the cementum layers are poorly defined indicating the animal lived in the soft south , I am trying to obtain stains to improve definition which are proving difficult


  9. #9

    Now that would be really interesting to see when do you think you'll have them done?

  10. #10
    Can i ask a simple question here
    what is wrong with trying to identify the age of the deer while it is still standing??
    surely ageing it after it has hit the deck is like shutting the stable door after the horse is bolted???????
    and slightly pointless unless you are just knockin stuff over for the game dealer

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