Sorry to Hi-jack the thread again. The whole aging/genetics thing really grabbed my attention. I 100% agree with Dan and Spy that most people overestimate the age of the deer they shoot. I have talked with more than enough people that are certain their 2-1/2 is a 4-1/2 and their 4-1/2 is a 6-1/2. I just don't think people realize how few actually make it to a mature 4-1/2 and just how rare a 6-1/2 year old deer is.
I hunt land that is mainly agricultural with some thick cover and hardwoods mixed in. I have noticed a pretty consistent pattern with age and weight. 160 lbs dressed generally 2-1/2, 180 lbs dressed generally 3-1/2, 200 lbs dressed generally 4-1/2....... etc. Do you think there is any truth to that? I say "generally" because other factors come into play, Rut participation, available food sources, genetic makeup of the animal... etc.
When you look at Genetics as a whole I think people are pretty quick to assume that Genetics 10 miles down the road from where they hunt are the same where they hunt. In general you might say Wisconsin has good genetics, but I know better. Everywhere is a little different, I have hunted areas with really good genetics and areas with poor genetics. I personally know a guy that hunts in NE Wisconsin that has an area of public that he has found some great non-typical genetics. It's not common for that area, but he found a little area that is a hotbed. The area that Dan hunts has been praised in the past for having very good genetics (the problem is age) so it is no surprise to me that a buck with nice tall tines and mass like that may only be 2-1/2 years old. I am certain there are little genetic hotbeds in NY somewhere, there are also areas that probably have genetics that are not as good. Anyone with me on this one? Or am I mistaken?
There usually 4 1/2+ But I have killed a couple real nice 3 1/2
I find this response particularily interesting.... How do you know? How are you certain that you don't shoot a nice 3-1/2 every year and you have shot the occasional 2-1/2 with a nice rack? How old do you think the buck you got this year was and why? Please don't think I'm attacking you because that isn't the case, just curious because I want to know more...
Hodag Hunter's buck is a great representation of a Northwoods buck, Full body, Fat face, it looks to have some age, but it's hard to tell. I scored on a nice one up by where he hunts 2 years ago, That buck scored 120" as a eight pointer and weighed 185 lbs dressed. Same exact body makeup and look as Hodags, but how old was that deer? It weighed more, had more white on the muzzle, but I personally have no idea.
What do you use to age? Unless you really know the animal enough to put a pretty accurate number on him. I think it has to be a genetic thing. Look at people, we all have different genetics, some are fat, some are skinny, some look older, others look younger, but at the end of the day we all are people. If the tooth aging thing isn't accurate what is? Especially when you're trying to discriminate between a 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 or a 4-1/2 and 5-1/2...... It's just one year difference.