Dentine of fifth cheek tooth wider than enamel. Dentine now thicker than enamel on cusp of fourth cheek tooth (first molar). The buck had some mass but spread, tine length and main beams were short and the buck squeaked out a mere 160 B&C. 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. Even on mature bucks, Deer typically start growing antlers as buttons around four or five months of age. Why? 2. Coat color, size, foraging behavior, play, antler formation and teeth eruption are all clues to the age of a fawn. 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. 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. 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. Overlap is when above-average bucks in a younger age class have the same antler size as below-average bucks in older age classes. Antlers. At 3 1/2 this buck was again an 8-pointer, but now he is beginning to show antler potential. By the time a deer is 2-1/2; years old, all permanent teeth are in. Another factor here is the females in the population. The number of antler points in no way corresponds to age.  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. Remember not to disturb newborn fawns. Molars: The fourth, fifth, and sixth cheek teeth are the molars. The factors that dictate year to year growth are the age of the animal, its genetic makeup, and its nutritional intake. The cusps are sharp and show little or no wear; enamel (white portion) of the lingual crest shows well above the dentine (brown portion). His antlers have a gross score of 122-inches (B&C). Bucks with their first set of antlers are the easiest to age. Media | This paper provides a current review on the use of APRs applied to mule deer management. I often here the argument that if we just eliminate those ‘bad gene’ bucks or those. 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. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. The G measurements are the legth of the various antler points on each beam. Another deer at maturity (C) and the year of his death (D). Terms of Use | How old is my deer? A mule deer buck must also be given the opportunity to mature, which in most cases is 5-8 years of age. Excitement can be used as a measurement benchmark for hunters as much as the actual score of a buck’s antlers. To get a good look at the cheek teeth (premolars and molars), you need to cut back the lip and cheek skin. 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. Therefore, six-month-old deer usually have only four cheek teeth. Took 4 men to load. gorgeous montana muley with 21" … 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. 1996. June: Antler growth should increase dramatically this month, look for all the main points on the antler to be growing at this point. 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.  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. Between the incisors and molars is an open space along the jaw that has no teeth. sex, age, and habitat. Media | Horns Members of the deer family (which includes caribou, deer, elk, and moose) have antlers. Deer grow two sets of premolars. The name mule deer is in reference to the animal’s All permanent front teeth are in. Yet we often overlook the importance of quality range lands. 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. Jensen, William. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/deerteth/index.htm (Version 16JUL97). Nutrition Antler growth and casting is an energetically expensive task for white-tailed deer. Most anyone who has a basic understanding of genetics knows the major flaw with this argument. Lives up to 10 years. Typically, older bucks will almost always have heavier antlers than younger bucks. Male is polygamous with most whitetails in North America rutting in November. 2nd item has to be over $100 ~racks~ md-483. Ultimately, they resemble a doe with antlers. 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. Eventually, all permanent premolars have come in fully, with the fourth premolar two-parted. 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. Maintaining a lick costs an average of only $15 per year and. Below we will examine these factors further as well as look at t… A perfect example of this is a deer my dad shot a few years ago. Reference: Lingual crest of fourth cheek tooth (first molar) is gone. THE BLACKTAILS . When the permanent teeth come, all premolars have just two cusps. 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. Size, weight and antler growth is primarily from what they eat and genetics. Accurately aging these deer by tooth wear is usually more of a guessing game than a science. The central two incisors may still be erupting. Six cheek teeth are visible in the lower jaw. Of course, the amount of antler growth depends upon nutrition, genetics, and age. Copyright © 2000 - 2021, MuleyMadness.com Beyond that, estimating age by tooth wear is less reliable. The third premolar may still have three cusps, or the permanent third premolar may now be in (two cusps). Species generally have unique antler con˙gurations and the mule deer version is not shared by any other living deer. Contact Us |  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. Mule deer antlers fork once 6-10 inches from the base and then each branch forks again in the classic mature form. free shipping if you buy 2 or more whitetail racks or shed sets that total $400 or more!! This all happened during one of the worst drought years on record. from a deer management standpoint. Dentine of fourth cheek tooth now twice as wide as enamel. An important characteristic of the first set of premolars is that the third premolar has three crowns or cusps. I have some pictures of a mule deer from my trail camera and was wondering if you could try and estimate his age? May: Look for visible G2’s and antler beams should be at about half their final length. 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;. Most studies have show that a mule deer buck reaches its prime somewhere around 5-6 years old. When it comes right down to it, you either already have good genetics in the local population or you don’t. Posted March 6, 2012 by manager. The enamel portion of the cusp is wider than the dentine. 1. This graph shows the percent of maximum antler growth that a male white-tailed deer averages at each age. The same deer at 10 years (A) and at 14 years of age, just prior to his death (B). How to Age Your Deer. So why the drastic change and why so different from last year? 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). 10 years old. In most hunted deer populations, less than two percent of the animals are more than five years of age. The deer appeared to be in poor condition (ribs, hips, and backbone were showing) and upon field dressing showed little or no body fat. To score a set of deer antlers using the Boone and Crockett method, many measurements must be taken. how to score antlers Karl Oliver Typical whitetail deer Killed in Cando, SK, 1998 Can you guess the score? The rest of the front teeth -lateral incisors and canine teeth – are replaced during the 10th and 11th month. About Us | 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.  Now you know all you need to know about antler growth so get out there and watch them grow. 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.  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. 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. This last year was a great example of extreme antler growth throughout the west. One to two spotted fawns typical. When a deer is 5-6 months old, the central two incisors are replaced. Lingual crests of cheek teeth show some wear and cusps are starting to become blunt. Last cusp of sixth cheek tooth is flattened. 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. Terms of Use | One of the fastest growing tissues in nature, whether a trophy hunter or not, antlers hold a certain power over us as hunters. Biggest deer I ever saw was a train kill in Ohio. 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. Mule deer bucks too do not achieve maximum antler growth until they are 6 to 8 years. Because no whitetail, mule deer or blacktail can grow its biggest antlers until at least 4.5 years old. We are speaking of whitetails of course. Quite often, if the range is in poor condition land mangers have been know to augment antler growth with some sort of mineral supplement. 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. Whitetail antlers are an amazing example of nature’s wonderful and beautiful handiwork! All pictures, images, & content are owned by MuleyMadness and cannot be used without permission 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 Antler and body size can indicate a deer’s age, but physical characteristics are often misleading.  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. Click on image to enlarge. At this stage, estimating age is based largely on the rate of tooth wear. These are the front teeth on a deer jaw. 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. The vast majority of deer in North Dakota are 2-1/2; years old or younger. Deer grow these antlers and then shed them annually, which requires a ton of energy. Maximum antler size occurs between 5–7 years of age. 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. 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. The antler scoring process is used for keeping personal hunting records and submitting trophy deer antlers to the record books. Unlike horses, deer do not have upper incisors. Lingual crest of molars have sharp points.Inset: Extremely worn third premolar may fool people into thinking deer is older. How To How Old is My Deer? ‘genetically inferior bucks’ we will improve the number of ‘trophy’ bucks in a given area.  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. 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. Privacy Notice | North Dakota Outdoors 59(4):2-6. About Us | I would guess that most general season areas on average harvest bucks between 2-3 years old. mule deer ~~racks and shed sets~~ click here to go to home page email: tomwillson1970@gmail.com. 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). 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. Deer only grow one set of molars. Generally, six-month-old deer have only one molar when they enter the fall hunting season. 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. Privacy Notice | The age of white-tailed deer fawns can be determined in a number of ways. On sale for $1298 Crating $25, shipping by UPS is $139 . 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. Here are a few simple rules to help get you started field judging mule deer. Look closely at the fourth cheek tooth (first molar). 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. 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. Whitetail and mule deer basically have two groups of teeth. The back teeth or cheek teeth – molars and premolars – are used to chew and grind food. What does this mea. the age, size (trophy status), and number of bucks in the population. By 9-1/2; years, all cheek teeth are cupped and worn nearly to the gum line. REVIEW OF ANTLER POINT REGULATION USE Western states have applied APRs in two general forms to manage mule deer: 1) Antler scores by age class form a bell-shaped curve on a graph. They fascinate us. In some cases it’s a bit later but not too often much earlier in its life. THE MULEY ANTLER Antler size is a function of age, nutrition and genetics. 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. If you plan to have the head mounted, let your taxidermist skin out the head and remove the jaw for you. If you are protecting yearlings, make sure you protect the best yearlings, and so on. 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. All permanent premolars and molars are in place. Figure 10. The size and formation of deer antlers depend on a lot of different factors, such as age, nutrients, and genetics. In this case genetics are the missing link. 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. Advertise With Us. Antlers on the male primarily consist of a main beam with tines growing from it. (Note: In all photos, black line indicates the gum line.). Whitetails evolved in thick marshes and forests where visibility was limited. During that period, a mule deer buck is considered in his prime and will produce the best sets of antlers of his life. Even if it did, it wouldn’t help in aging does, which make up a considerable proportion of the harvest each year. There were more than just a handful of 200 class ‘muleys’ and a grundle of 400 class bulls harvested last fall. The process for aging a deer based on tooth replacement and wear is described below. 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%. 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.”. All six molars and premolars are fully erupted by 2-1/2; years. As a biologist, I can’t imagine a better way to manage a deer herd. 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. Dentine of fifth cheek tooth (second molar) usually not as wide as enamel. 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. 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