Aging Bucks On The Hoof – A Late Season Example by Grant Woods
Last week I shared a video of a 2.5-year-old whitetail buck and the characteristics I used to estimate his age. This week I’ll share another example.
How old do you estimate the buck to be in the following video? I’ll post the characteristics I notice, and at the end my estimate of his age at the bottom. Don’t look down and peak before you guess!
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- His back and belly are very straight – this shows best as he walks past the camera at the end of the footage.
- His shoulders appear muscular, but not fully developed.
- His chest doesn’t sag below where his shoulders meet his legs.
- His neck merges with his chest about near the top of his brisket. It is clearly not fully developed – especially considering he just worked a scrape and appears to be trailing a doe.
- If I cover his antlers and simply view his body, he looks like a buck, but not a super buck.
- He doesn’t have the large buffalo shape – extremely large shoulders and neck.
- He appears very physically fit and healthy – not trim (like a 2.5 year old and not massive like a 4 year old or older buck.
I estimate this buck to be 3.5 years old. In fact I believe he’s a great example of the typical body shape of 3.5 year old bucks.
Did we agree?
Growing and Hunting Deer together,
Dr. Grant Woods
Raised in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Dr. Grant Woods has consulted on wildlife research and management from Canada to New Zealand. A hunter since childhood, he not only knows how to grow big deer, but how to effectively hunt them as well. His work serves to improve deer herd quality and educate hunters about advanced management techniques.