Bullseye – Just Count the Rings
There are two main procedures for ageing whitetails in today’s world!
One is called tooth wear aging which attempts to estimate the wear on the molars of a whitetail and compare it to other know age whitetail molars. It 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 Labs, 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.
Cementum Aging – What Experts Have To Say?
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!”
“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.”