Many hunters define a trophy whitetail based on the deer's age. Most hunters aren't able to age a deer because they don't have enough experience. Oak Creek Whitetail Ranch provides guided trophy whitetail deer hunts, and we know how to age a deer on sight. Before your next hunt, you may want to improve your eye for trophy whitetail. You may not realize it, but you have tools at your disposal that can help you develop your skill in determining the age of a live deer, such as videos, magazines, websites, and other experienced hunters.
There are a lot of different theories on how to determine the age of a whitetail once it's dead, but after it's dead, it's too late to decide whether it's a trophy whitetail. Fortunately, with a skilled eye, you can accurately judge the age of a live deer.
Can the Antlers Tell You the Age?
What's the first thing you look at when determining the age of a buck? If you're looking at the antlers, you're going to make a mistake every time. Forget looking at the antlers to determine the age. Instead, you should always look at the body. A serious whitetail trophy hunter looks at the body to determine the age of the animal first, not the score.
Age Brackets for Deer
Though it is not possible to determine the exact age of a deer down to the day and month, we can break down a deer's age into three brackets; young deer, middle-aged deer, and mature deer. When you look at a mature deer, you'll know it! Whether you've ever seen one or not, there's a big difference between a young deer and a middle-aged deer and a mature deer.
Young deer have a youthful look. Young deer are smaller, thin, and sleek. When they walk out, they almost look like a doe with antlers. Typically, their necks are very thin, their stomachs are up high, and they're lean. A young deer can be anywhere up to 2.5-years old. After 2.5 years, a deer begins to put on weight.
2.5-4.5-years old is the age bracket for middle-aged deer. This is the time of a deer's life when they bulk up. The added weight makes it easy to determine the difference between a young deer and a middle-aged deer. Just look at the body! With the middle-aged deer, the neck will be more full, the face will be more round, the belly and chest will be bigger, and the back will be straight.
A mature deer is going to appear to have short legs. He's going to have a big, deep chest. Often, they'll have some loose skin on the bottom of their throats or down on their briskets. They have deep bellies. During our trophy whitetail deer hunts, we want to make sure we are shooting the right deer, and this starts by being able to age a deer. At Oak Creek Whitetail Ranch, our trophy whitetail deer hunts can land you the trophy whitetail you've been dreaming of.
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