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Discussion Starter #1
Let's start this one with just the jaw bone:

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think the jaw looks any older than 2YO. The very last cusp on M3 is rounded more than pointed (a "cee" shape instead of a "vee" shape) when viewed from above. It's flatter than it is peaked when viewed in profile. M2 and M3 don't show much wear at all. P1, P2, P3 seem to have some wear, probably falls in between the reference pictures below for 2YO and 3YO.

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

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I don't think the jaw looks any older than 2YO. The very last cusp on M3 is rounded more than pointed (a "cee" shape instead of a "vee" shape) when viewed from above. It's flatter than it is peaked when viewed in profile. M2 and M3 don't show much wear at all. P1, P2, P3 seem to have some wear, probably falls in between the reference pictures below for 2YO and 3YO.

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

View attachment 490883
100 % exactly my thoughts as well
 

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Discussion Starter #8
100 % exactly my thoughts as well
Thanks for sharing your opinion. Does it change once you see the buck on the hoof? We had quite a few pictures of this one (in the woods, in the chicory, at the arborvitae). It was one of our target bucks for last year:

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Of course it changes ! The tooth wear was a classic toss up between 2&3 to me, part of why I'm not a believer in going by just jawbone aging. Although it's great for getting you in the ballpark too many factors involved.... browse/forage etc. My guess on age after seeing trail cam pics will be 3.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Of course it changes ! The tooth wear was a classic toss up between 2&3 to me, part of why I'm not a believer in going by just jawbone aging. Although it's great for getting you in the ballpark too many factors involved.... browse/forage etc. My guess on age after seeing trail cam pics will be 3.
I totally agree with you, again. This buck weighed 145# dressed on November 16. It had zero fat on it. Probably the leanest deer we've ever butchered. It had a calcified wound on it's femur and a mechanical broadhead blade in the top round. Perhaps this lead to the low body weight, however it had no noticeable limp.

Scored 128 gross.

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Very interested to see the CA results on this one.
 

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I guess I do see some similarities to a 2 year old - particularly the lack of wear on the last cusp of M3, and maybe the dentine width as well, but to me it leans more towards 3 1/2 by just looking at the wear on the premolars - especially P3 which is its newest tooth. Not a great deal of wear but somewhat more than the average 2 year old I think.

The 145# dressed weight is also more indicative of a younger, 2 year old deer. However, the injuries you noted and the lack of fat could be responsible for the smaller size.

The antlers (while not always a good indicator) certainly seem to be well above average for a 2 year old.... So, even though I can certainly see why some would age him at 2 1/2, my gut tells me this deer was 3 1/2.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was finally prepared to send a couple in for aging, then I saw how much it cost and how long it took....

"Old enough for me" is cheap, effective and good enough for me.
No kidding. As much as I like to wear my "thrifty" badge of honor, my devotion to this is a head-scratcher. But, hey, now I know how common 3YOs are. So that's worth something. Maybe I'll hold off from now on, until I get one that screams 4YO.:yikes:

That should slow my roll...
 

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I was finally prepared to send a couple in for aging, then I saw how much it cost and how long it took....

"Old enough for me" is cheap, effective and good enough for me.
No kidding. As much as I like to wear my "thrifty" badge of honor, my devotion to this is a head-scratcher. But, hey, now I know how common 3YOs are. So that's worth something. Maybe I'll hold off from now on, until I get one that screams 4YO.:yikes:

That should slow my roll...
Agree with both of you. It usually isn't all that important one way or the other. The only one I ever sent in for C/A was one that was very much questionable like the one above. The tooth wear looked very much like a 2 year old but the deer was a very nice 9 point, and he was big enough that I wanted to get his live weight before I field dressed him. He fell conveniently near a 2-track trail so I scooped him up and took him back to the barn to weigh him.

His live weight was 198#, which I knew was bigger than any of the 2 year olds we had killed here before. Even though our taxidermist, my veterinarian friend and our local DNR biologist all aged him at 2 1/2, I still thought he was 3 1/2 so I popped for the $25 and sent in the incisors. Many months later they confirmed that he was 3 1/2.

In the vast majority of cases, my local "experts" and I will compare notes and estimates and we are usually in unanimous agreement on age so there is no need to pay for a C/A analysis. In those cases where we aren't in unanimous agreement, we have never differed in opinion more than one year....and as you guys say - that is probably close enough.
 

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No kidding. As much as I like to wear my "thrifty" badge of honor, my devotion to this is a head-scratcher. But, hey, now I know how common 3YOs are. So that's worth something. Maybe I'll hold off from now on, until I get one that screams 4YO.:yikes:

That should slow my roll...
Yeah, one's not bad but I wanted to send in 3-4 to see how accurate my guestimates might be for future reference. Tooth aging is like Chinese to me, I can't grasp it, at all. I can hardly count the teeth let alone age em.
 

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Agree with both of you. It usually isn't all that important one way or the other. The only one I ever sent in for C/A was one that was very much questionable like the one above. The tooth wear looked very much like a 2 year old but the deer was a very nice 9 point, and he was big enough that I wanted to get his live weight before I field dressed him. He fell conveniently near a 2-track trail so I scooped him up and took him back to the barn to weigh him.

His live weight was 198#, which I knew was bigger than any of the 2 year olds we had killed here before. Even though our taxidermist, my veterinarian friend and our local DNR biologist all aged him at 2 1/2, I still thought he was 3 1/2 so I popped for the $25 and sent in the incisors. Many months later they confirmed that he was 3 1/2.

In the vast majority of cases, my local "experts" and I will compare notes and estimates and we are usually in unanimous agreement on age so there is no need to pay for a C/A analysis. In those cases where we aren't in unanimous agreement, we have never differed in opinion more than one year....and as you guys say - that is probably close enough.
I thought the cost was like $60-65?
 

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I guess the prices have gone up....darned inflation! Most of these options were not available in 2016. We just sent in the 2 incisors and didn't request a certificate. It was $25 then but looks like it is $33 now...

Basic Service 90 Days – Two front teeth $33.00

Services
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Tooth aging is like Chinese to me, I can't grasp it, at all. I can hardly count the teeth let alone age em.
This character caught my eye when I saw it in a museum last summer:

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I could pretend it has some cool meaning, but memory says it means "west".

Here's my full collection. Looks like the earliest is dated 2011. Repetition helps one notice the nuanced indicators described by the tutorials and technicians. Of course, I think we all agree it's as much art as science, once you get past the tricuspid. Still a useful activity. Only way to practice is to collect more samples = win/win! Wish I would have been instructed as a new hunter.

Come on out next time we have a deer club meeting and teach us how to kill some older deer. My collection only goes up to 4YO (and those two are from Huron Co. -- not my kills).

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