Welcome to Age Your Deer (ageyourdeer.com) where you can have your deer accurately aged. This site is designed to enhance your deer hunting experience. How you may ask does correctly aging your buck or doe do that?
Well trophies come in all shapes and sizes and yes even ages. Because many of the bucks taken each year are immature (60% - 65% are 1 ½ years of age), finding out that the deer you've harvested is older and perhaps very old can be very cool.
And for those folks managing their land for quality whitetails it's the only way to learn if your efforts are truly working.
There are two main techniques for aging whitetails in todays world. One is called tooth wear aging which attempts to estimate the wear on the molars of a whitetail and compare it to other known age whitetail molars. Tooth wear aging is accurate until a deer reaches 2 ½ years of age, however with older whitetails it's accuracy can fall off quite a bit.
A second method of aging deer is the method we offer here at Whitetail LAB, it's called the cross sectioning (cementum) method. It requires the two middle incisors located in the center of the whitetails lower jaw. After a series of lab procedures the rings of growth are exposed. Each ring represents a year of growth, much like the rings of a tree. The reason the cementum-aging rings develop is unclear to wildlife biologists, perhaps it's the stress of the rut or physical changes in preparation for winter. However the rings are generally easy to count. One ring equals one year of age.
To find out all about cementum-aging click on on the menu bars on the top.
What Do The Experts Say About Cementum-Aging?
Many hunters are just becoming familiar with cementum-aging and its potential as a tool whether for finding out how old that trophy buck really is or for quality deer management. Here are some comments by wildlife biologists, QDMA members, and others who want an accurate age for their deer.
“Tooth wear aging is not a very accurate technique for deer over 2 ½ years of age. I recommend cementum Aging to anyone who has an older deer and genuinely wants to know how old it is! “ - John Ozoga- a widely read outdoor writer and wildlife biologist that was the Research Editor for Deer and Deer Hunting magazine.
“Cementum-Aging doesn't lie. Its much more accurate for deer aging than tooth wear aging, especially for older deer”- Jerry Weinrich- 30 plus year wildlife biologist from the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
Watch Your Buck Age
“Cementum-Aging has been the greatest thing we have found. We were really in the dark (aging bucks) and this has given us a clear picture”- Skipper Bettis- Manager of The Legends Ranch in Michigan.
“Cementum-Aging takes guessing and arguments out of the picture” - Ed Spinazzola- A member of the National Board of Directors for QDMA and Mid-Michigan Branch President.
“Cross-sectioning helps to learn how old your deer are. I don’t want to kill a buck that’s 170 inches and then learn it’s only 31/2 years old” - Mark Schlapkohl- QDMA member who manages his hunting land for maximum potential.
“I couldn’t believe the buck I killed was 11 ½ years old. Finding he was that old really adds to the great memories I have of him” - Jon Timmer- Bow hunter from Washington.