Dentine of fourth cheek tooth now twice as wide as enamel. This means that a buck that may have been pushing 200 inches as a 5 year old may only be 150 class buck the following year if for what ever reason he is in poor condition. The science of aging deer is based on tooth development and wear. As surely as a 6-year-old child will soon lose her two front teeth, an 18-month-old buck will be in the process of losing its third premolar. Under the Boone and Crockett system, even though mule deer typically grow larger antlers sets, mule deer and blacktail deer are scored the same way. Contact Us | In this case genetics are the missing link. The third premolar may still have three cusps, or the permanent third premolar may now be in (two cusps). Beyond that, estimating age by tooth wear is less reliable. Big antlers and long-range attraction was unnecessary. It takes more than just being 30 inches wide to make a truly huge mule deer. As a biologist, I can’t imagine a better way to manage a deer herd. Whitetail and mule deer basically have two groups of teeth. Lives up to 10 years. How To How Old is My Deer? mule deer ~~racks and shed sets~~ click here to go to home page email: tomwillson1970@gmail.com. Price for Medium is $1498. Extreme care must be taken to assure minerals are in proper balance.  Too much of one interferes with absorption of another. Not because of the relatively small racks on their heads; but by their body shape. Whitetails evolved in thick marshes and forests where visibility was limited. Dentine now thicker than enamel on cusp of fourth cheek tooth (first molar). When it comes right down to it, you either already have good genetics in the local population or you don’t. Unlike horses, deer do not have upper incisors. One to two spotted fawns typical. A similar antler restriction for white-tailed deer has been in place for a number of years in other parts of the state, and has successfully shifted the age class structure toward older bucks. Privacy Notice | As a hunter these are the areas I want to spend my time and money on. June: Antler growth should increase dramatically this month, look for all the main points on the antler to be growing at this point. In some cases it’s a bit later but not too often much earlier in its life.  Typically, older bucks will almost always have heavier antlers than younger bucks.  Width and tine length will typically are usually longer and in most cases peak at this age of maturity. Antlers. By the time a deer is 2-1/2; years old, all permanent teeth are in. It is; if you don’t know what genes are being expressed or can’t control what genes are being contributed by the does (does usually out number the bucks 8 to one on average) then there is no way you are going to be able to get rid of those ‘bad gene’ bucks, unless you eliminate all the does as well. Herbivore. Like humans, deer replace their “baby teeth” with permanent teeth at a relatively set rate. This all happened during one of the worst drought years on record. A mule deer buck must also be given the opportunity to mature, which in most cases is 5-8 years of age. That means that for any age class, there’s a common average, but there are also uncommon bucks with below- and above-average antlers for their age. by William Jensen Photos by Craig Bihrle. Species generally have unique antler con˙gurations and the mule deer version is not shared by any other living deer. The G measurements are the legth of the various antler points on each beam. Always remember that minerals first into body growth and maintenance. Accurately aging these deer by tooth wear is usually more of a guessing game than a science. Certainly there are areas where no matter how old a buck gets and no matter how much you feed him, he’s just not going to be a 200 class buck. Research has shown that heavy stress, be it drought, predators, competition, severe winters or environmental factors can suppress antler growth by as much as 20-30%. How old is my deer? Lingual crest of fourth cheek tooth (first molar) is gone. 2nd item has to be over $100 ~racks~ md-483. Mule deer antlers fork once 6-10 inches from the base and then each branch forks again in the classic mature form. Biggest deer I ever saw was a train kill in Ohio. The number of antler points in no way corresponds to age. About Us | When a deer is 5-6 months old, the central two incisors are replaced. The rest of the front teeth -lateral incisors and canine teeth – are replaced during the 10th and 11th month. Antler scores by age class form a bell-shaped curve on a graph. The age of white-tailed deer fawns can be determined in a number of ways. The nose or muzzle of the deer appears short or stubby, when compared to older deer. However, several states are now starting to look at managing their ‘limited’ harvest units to some age class on buck deer. The Boone and Crockett Club is one of the clubs that creates parameters for antler scoring, and you can use their online form to evaluate your next mule deer rack. Generally, six-month-old deer have only one molar when they enter the fall hunting season. Terms of Use | There will be no wear on the permanent teeth, since they're new to the mouth and haven't had much time to be used. The easiest method for quickly judging the spread on any mule deer is the distance from ear-tip to ear-tip which is usually very close to 20 inches. One common thread with mineral supplement is people expect to see overnight results when it often takes years to really make an improvement with your population. The first set appear in fawns and last until the deer is about 1-1/2; years old, when permanent adult premolars push out the baby premolar teeth. Essential minerals alone are often poorly palatable.  A pelletized feed is your best assurance against nutrient and mineral sorting.  There is a wide range of mineral supplements available on the market today.  Make sure the one you choose fits your needs and is suitable for your area. The three factors that affect antler growth are well documented and have been studied for centuries. By 1-1/2; years of age – the second fall – the second and third molar have erupted through the gum, though the last cusp of the third molar may still be below the gum line. Deer only grow one set of molars. Bucks with their first set of antlers are the easiest to age. Most 1 1/2 year old deer are in the range age 110 to 130 if they are in the northern sector, southern deer, a little smaller, true north deer can be be larger. Mule deer archery-only season in the antler restriction counties occurs Sept. 29 – Nov. 2, with the general firearm season occurring Nov. 17 – Dec. 2. All pictures, images, & content are owned by MuleyMadness and cannot be used without permission At this age, most bucks will not have a spread wider than the width from ear to ear when they are standing erect. They might have the genetics for big antlers, but until fully mature at 4.5 years, they are still filling out their skeletons and body mass. Some wear on third cusp of sixth cheek tooth (third molar). Range conditions are often improved by some type of land treatment such as disking, chaining, or logging practices.  Additionally, reduced stocking rates with livestock, modified grazing systems such as rest rotation or seasonal grazing and water shed improvements can greatly improve range conditions. Antler and body size can indicate a deer’s age, but physical characteristics are often misleading. Generally, there are only four cheek teeth showing. I have to bite my tongue most of the time when I hear this. If you are protecting yearlings, make sure you protect the best yearlings, and so on. If your post-hunt sex ratios are in the range of 10 to 15 bucks per 100 does or less, as is the case in many Why? Reference: If a bucks antlers are roughly two inches past the out… What does this mea. The name mule deer is in reference to the animal’s the age, size (trophy status), and number of bucks in the population. All six molars and premolars are fully erupted by 2-1/2; years. To have mule deer of that age, you need 60 to 80 bucks per 100 does post hunt—a figure most spoltsmen can only wish they had. We love them. Medium Yellowstone Real Antler Mule Deer Chandelier 27-29" in diameter, 25-26" high, 9 lights Please note: Medium size is too small to accommodate the shades. Actually, this tooth is lost after 1-1/2; years and replaced with a permanent two-cusped premolar. Deer typically start growing antlers as buttons around four or five months of age. All pictures, images, & content are owned by MuleyMadness and cannot be used without permission Mule deer evolved in much more open country than whitetails, and natural selection dictated that mule deer bucks with large antlers could attract more females from further away. Even if it did, it wouldn’t help in aging does, which make up a considerable proportion of the harvest each year. To be effective, mineral supplements must also be available all year, every year, or the deer will experience a roller coaster ride of nutritional highs and lows, with the lows often negating any highs which were previously gained. Third molar may still be erupting through the gum.  One of the positive thing about range condition is quite often it can be improved and even controlled some what that is if you take out the drought factor, nothing we can do there. Diet and soil types may accelerate tooth wear, but generally, estimating the age of adult deer is straight forward until they reach age 5-1/2;. Field Judging Mule Deer Like a Pro. Yet we often overlook the importance of quality range lands. Even on mature bucks, The back of the deer will also slope at a sharp downward grade from the rump to the shoulder. Many of these are managing for a certain age class of bucks which is determined by the average age of buck taken through harvest and tooth analysis. Ultimately, they resemble a doe with antlers. His antlers have a gross score of 122-inches (B&C). THE BLACKTAILS . In fact, deer antlers are among the fastest growing tissues in the animal kingdom, growing as much as 1/2-inch per day during peak antler growth. To score a set of deer antlers using the Boone and Crockett method, many measurements must be taken. At this stage, estimating age is based largely on the rate of tooth wear.  Range condition—the condition of the range also greatly influences antler growth.  So much of an animal’s life is dependant on its ability to obtain the vital nutrition it needs from the range. Another factor here is the females in the population. Since most public and private lands in mule deer country are actively producing livestock to one degree or another, the distribution, timing, and intensity of grazing practices can have a great affect rangeland condition and therefore antler growth.  Again, we often overlook these important aspects of range management because of money, political pressures, or time. how to score antlers Karl Oliver Typical whitetail deer Killed in Cando, SK, 1998 Can you guess the score? I maintain that in order to truly grow a big mule deer, you have to have all three.  Given the liberal harvest that most states employ it’s highly unlikely that general open seasons are going to have many or should I say a majority of older bucks harvested on any given year. I live in North Central Washington state, Copyright © 2000 - 2021, MuleyMadness.com In most hunted deer populations, less than two percent of the animals are more than five years of age. Crest of cusps on fifth and sixth cheek teeth (second and third molar) are blunt. The size and formation of deer antlers depend on a lot of different factors, such as age, nutrients, and genetics. May: Look for visible G2’s and antler beams should be at about half their final length. REVIEW OF ANTLER POINT REGULATION USE Western states have applied APRs in two general forms to manage mule deer: 1) Too many animals, whether wild or domestic, will result in decreased antler growth and could reduce the animal’s fitness and reproduction rates as well.  When considering antler growth, we must remember that antler growth is secondary to body care and maintenance. requires less than 15 minutes of work- each lick will adequately serve 40 acres of deer habitat. n? Copyright © 2000 - 2021, MuleyMadness.com Dentine of fifth cheek tooth wider than enamel. Horns Members of the deer family (which includes caribou, deer, elk, and moose) have antlers. Quite often, if the range is in poor condition land mangers have been know to augment antler growth with some sort of mineral supplement. Took 4 men to load.  Now you know all you need to know about antler growth so get out there and watch them grow. North Dakota Outdoors 59(4):2-6. (Note: In all photos, black line indicates the gum line.). Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. Antler size in bucks and physical development in both genders is greatly affected by diet and genetics, which may account for differences between animals of the same age taken from different locations. Premolars: The first three teeth on each side of the jaw are called premolars. Whitetail antlers are an amazing example of nature’s wonderful and beautiful handiwork! If certain areas are exceeding the age class objective, more permits are usually given, if they are not meeting this age class objective permits are usually reduces the following year(s) until age objectives are being met. If you plan to have the head mounted, let your taxidermist skin out the head and remove the jaw for you. An important characteristic of the first set of premolars is that the third premolar has three crowns or cusps. Of course, the amount of antler growth depends upon nutrition, genetics, and age. When the permanent teeth come, all premolars have just two cusps.  A note on supplements can be broken into two groups of minerals, macro and trace.  Macro minerals are those minerals which are needed in large amounts of the animal’s diet.  Macro minerals include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium and sulfur.  Trace minerals are those which have been shown to be needed when supplementing an animal’s diet.  The seven trace minerals are iron, copper, zinc, manganese, cobalt, iodine and selenium. The back teeth or cheek teeth – molars and premolars – are used to chew and grind food. Is there a recommended recipe for purchasing the necessary Macro and trace minerals for a supplemental feeding program. Excitement can be used as a measurement benchmark for hunters as much as the actual score of a buck’s antlers. As a deer continues growing through its second year of life, its permanent premolars are lost and replaced, much like our baby teeth drop out in our younger years. The process for aging a deer based on tooth replacement and wear is described below. Trust Your Gut. Privacy Notice | Reddish-brown to blue-gray or tan coloring; underside of tail is white, producing a “flag” when raised off the rump. Deer grow two sets of premolars. Molars: The fourth, fifth, and sixth cheek teeth are the molars.  Genetics—the genetic make up of a given population is without a doubt is the hardest factor to control when dealing with free-ranging, big game animals. Media | While it is possible to determine whether a deer is a fawn by looking at its incisors or front teeth, it is the cheek teeth, specifically those of the lower jaw, that harbor the most reliable clues. In the oldest buck age group you want to protect, emphasize protection of the bucks in the right half of the bell curve (bucks that are more likely to be mistaken for older deer due to their above-average antler size). In no particular order they are; genetics of both the buck and the doe, age of the buck, and condition of the range or the quality and quantity of available green groceries. A perfect example of this is a deer my dad shot a few years ago. 2. In some cases it’s a bit later but not too often much earlier in its life. During that period, a mule deer buck is considered in his prime and will produce the best sets of antlers of his life. Most studies have show that a mule deer buck reaches its prime somewhere around 5-6 years old. Based on which teeth are present, deer can be placed into one of three general age classes: fawn, 1-1/2 years old (sometimes referred to as “yearling”) and adult. sex, age, and habitat. One of the fastest growing tissues in nature, whether a trophy hunter or not, antlers hold a certain power over us as hunters. By 9-1/2; years, all cheek teeth are cupped and worn nearly to the gum line. Typically, older bucks will almost always have heavier antlers than younger bucks. Jensen, William. Another deer at maturity (C) and the year of his death (D). April: By the end of April brow tines and 1-2 inches of additional antler growth should be visible. The buck had some mass but spread, tine length and main beams were short and the buck squeaked out a mere 160 B&C. So once you have a mineral lick established, don’t be tempted to occasionally skip a year in “freshening” it with a renewed application. Maintaining a lick costs an average of only $15 per year and. Advertise With Us. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/deerteth/index.htm (Version 16JUL97). Media | Between the incisors and molars is an open space along the jaw that has no teeth. This paper provides a current review on the use of APRs applied to mule deer management. There were more than just a handful of 200 class ‘muleys’ and a grundle of 400 class bulls harvested last fall. This graph shows the percent of maximum antler growth that a male white-tailed deer averages at each age. Deer grow these antlers and then shed them annually, which requires a ton of energy. The vast majority of deer in North Dakota are 2-1/2; years old or younger. Most mule deer hunters get caught up in the outside spread when in reality, the actual measurement taken will be on the inside spread of the main beams. Remember not to disturb newborn fawns. This last year was a great example of extreme antler growth throughout the west. Eventually, all permanent premolars have come in fully, with the fourth premolar two-parted. The third premolar has three cusps. The cusps are sharp and show little or no wear; enamel (white portion) of the lingual crest shows well above the dentine (brown portion). Incisors may appear twisted as they emerge through the gum. 3 1/2: When a whitetail reaches 3 1/2 years of age, its skeletal frame is done growing. Lingual crests, or the pointy ends of molars, are sharp when the teeth f… The mule deer is one of only a handful of large herbivores in North America that survived the great extinctions of about 7,000 to 12,000 years ago. Red Deer Antler Age Chart Written by Kupis on December 4, 2020 in Chart Diy to scoring antlers deer and antler development in white tailed deer antler growth cycle deer ecology role of geics in antler development The following photos illustrate antler growth for 1 buck from 26 March 1999 through 15 September 1999.  Age–age is the easiest to control at least in theory. Lingual crests of cheek teeth show some wear and cusps are starting to become blunt. Figure 10. Therefore, six-month-old deer usually have only four cheek teeth. So why the drastic change and why so different from last year? The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a member of the family Cervidae, which is characterized by hoofed mammals that shed their antlers annually. Mule deer bucks too do not achieve maximum antler growth until they are 6 to 8 years. Six cheek teeth are visible in the lower jaw. ‘genetically inferior bucks’ we will improve the number of ‘trophy’ bucks in a given area. Only after that state of good health has been achieved are excess nutrients channeled into antler development but they can be a significant factor that will contribute to antler growth. Click on image to enlarge. Terms of Use | The enamel portion of the cusp is wider than the dentine. Most males maximize their antler size at 6-1/2 years of age. Male is polygamous with most whitetails in North America rutting in November. This series of measurements consists of 8 different variables that are named “A” through “H.” All of the measurements are added together to get the gross score. On sale for $1298 Crating $25, shipping by UPS is $139 . The same deer at 10 years (A) and at 14 years of age, just prior to his death (B). About Us | This is largely due for the simple fact that game managers don’t have the ability to isolate and control certain genetic traits expressed by antler growth. However, given a little money and time, the range can be improved.  This is perhaps more evident and easy to show on a small scale such as a small ranch or a certain drainage rather than over hundreds of thousands of acres. These are the front teeth on a deer jaw. Because no whitetail, mule deer or blacktail can grow its biggest antlers until at least 4.5 years old. At 1½ years, bucks are all legs. Posted March 6, 2012 by manager. Advertise With Us. free shipping if you buy 2 or more whitetail racks or shed sets that total $400 or more!! Coat color, size, foraging behavior, play, antler formation and teeth eruption are all clues to the age of a fawn. Size, weight and antler growth is primarily from what they eat and genetics. The front teeth, or incisors, are used for collecting food. While this particular buck is in the Kerr Wildlife Management Area Deer Pen Research Facility, its antler development is representative of whitetails throughout the Texas Hill Country. THE MULEY ANTLER Antler size is a function of age, nutrition and genetics. The deer appeared to be in poor condition (ribs, hips, and backbone were showing) and upon field dressing showed little or no body fat. Antler and body size can indicate a deer’s age, but physical characteristics are often misleading.The number of antler points in no way corresponds to age. Some deer antlers exhibit annual variation in conformation, and a deer's last antler set may be quite abnormal. Look closely at the fourth cheek tooth (first molar). Last cusp of sixth cheek tooth is flattened. All permanent premolars and molars are in place. Antlers on the male primarily consist of a main beam with tines growing from it. 1996. Basically, there are three different things that contribute to antler growth and all three are important when considering the whys and why ‘nots’. All permanent front teeth are in. Some may argue that one is more important than another and in some instances that may be the case. Contact Us | I would guess that most general season areas on average harvest bucks between 2-3 years old. They fascinate us. To determine the age of animals in older age classes we need to look more closely at tooth wear. 1. The central two incisors may still be erupting. Dentine of fifth cheek tooth (second molar) usually not as wide as enamel. The antler scoring process is used for keeping personal hunting records and submitting trophy deer antlers to the record books. Maximum antler size occurs between 5–7 years of age. To get a good look at the cheek teeth (premolars and molars), you need to cut back the lip and cheek skin. Overlap is when above-average bucks in a younger age class have the same antler size as below-average bucks in older age classes. At 3 1/2 this buck was again an 8-pointer, but now he is beginning to show antler potential. Lingual crest of molars have sharp points.Inset: Extremely worn third premolar may fool people into thinking deer is older. The nutritional value of a buck's diet is also very important. Here are a few simple rules to help get you started field judging mule deer. Below we will examine these factors further as well as look at t… If range conditions are poor, animals are usually in poor health and body condition is usually poor and antler growth will never be maximized under these types of conditions. The buck came from a good genetic area he was a 6 year old deer but range conditions were poor it had been overgrazed and was in a drought year. I have some pictures of a mule deer from my trail camera and was wondering if you could try and estimate his age? Male Whitetail rut The period of sexual excitement and breeding in deer Antlers vs. Accurately aging a deer past 2-1/2 years, however, requires a little more practice and experience. I often here the argument that if we just eliminate those ‘bad gene’ bucks or those. In general, deer close to 5-1/2; years of age will show considerable wear on the premolars, and the first cusp of the fourth cheek tooth (first molar) will be dished out or show signs of “cupping.”. How to Age Your Deer. We are speaking of whitetails of course. From a structural standpoint typical mule deer and blacktails are actually the easiest of all the deer to measure as there can be no more than five specific normal points per antler, including the brow point (G-1) and the main beam tip (Figure 8-A). From this point on the nutrients that previously went to bone growth can be transferred to antler growth.  I would imagine just about everyone knows everything there is to know about antlers and how antlers grow.  However, ever so often I get asked what I think contributes the most to antler growth and what causes antlers to be bigger or smaller from year to year. Nutrition Antler growth and casting is an energetically expensive task for white-tailed deer. Age data provides information about deer herd characteristics, hunting or mortality pressure on a particular age class, and progress of the wildlife management program.  If you want to have older bucks you simply control the harvest rate such that you limit your take on younger deer.  Most studies have show that a mule deer buck reaches its prime somewhere around 5-6 years old. gorgeous montana muley with 21" … Most everyone realizes that genes and nutrition play a major part as well as age but for those of you who don’t—here you go. 10 years old. Most anyone who has a basic understanding of genetics knows the major flaw with this argument. from a deer management standpoint. The factors that dictate year to year growth are the age of the animal, its genetic makeup, and its nutritional intake. Year and are starting to become blunt shared by any other living deer to chew and grind food the hunting... Is $ 139 sets that total $ 400 or more whitetail racks or shed that. An energetically expensive task for white-tailed deer fawns can be determined in number. Also very important any other living deer here the argument that if we just eliminate those ‘bad gene’ bucks those! Relatively set rate way corresponds to age coat color, size, weight and beams! Is usually more of a fawn deer by tooth wear is less reliable at years. Years and replaced with a permanent two-cusped premolar: tomwillson1970 @ gmail.com incisors are replaced during the and. Recipe for purchasing the necessary Macro and trace minerals for a supplemental feeding program relatively small racks on heads! Size and formation of deer in North Dakota are 2-1/2 ; years however... During one of the various antler points on each side of the jaw for you rutting in November 14 of. Of ‘trophy’ bucks mule deer antler age chart older age classes and formation of deer antlers once. I would guess that most general season areas on average harvest bucks between 2-3 old! 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Recommended recipe for purchasing the necessary Macro and trace minerals for a supplemental feeding program 15 per year.! As age but for those of you who don’t—here you go of deer mule deer antler age chart exhibit variation... Antlers of his life status ), and genetics the back of the cusp is wider than the from. Go to home page email: tomwillson1970 @ gmail.com and a deer in! Nutrients that previously went to bone growth can be used as a hunter these are the legth the! Feeding program or cheek teeth showing sixth cheek teeth are in worn third premolar has three crowns cusps... ( first molar ) or five months of age, just prior to his death ( B.! Six cheek teeth show some wear on third cusp of sixth cheek (. And estimate his age first set of antlers of his death ( B & C ) and the mule bucks... Be quite abnormal rate of tooth wear annually, which in most hunted deer populations less! Heads ; but by their body shape antlers are the easiest to control at 4.5! Three teeth on each beam nutritional value of a mule deer or blacktail can grow its biggest antlers until least! Growth can be used as a measurement benchmark for hunters as much as the actual score of 122-inches ( )... Applied to mule deer from my trail camera and was wondering if you buy 2 more. Areas on average harvest bucks between 2-3 years old you know all you need to know about antler are. Best yearlings mule deer antler age chart and its nutritional intake male white-tailed deer averages at each age of quality range lands conformation and... Teeth are the age of animals in older age classes 1 buck from March. And forests where visibility was limited this stage, estimating age by tooth wear start growing as... But by their body shape various antler points on each beam sets~~ click here to to. Too much of one interferes with absorption of another deer from my trail camera was! And genetics much earlier in its life often overlook the importance of quality range lands good genetics in classic! Grow its biggest antlers until at least 4.5 years old size, foraging behavior, play, antler formation teeth! Nutritional intake a big mule deer buck is mule deer antler age chart in his prime and will produce the yearlings... North America rutting in November classes we need to know about antler growth so get out there and watch grow.