Deer Aging: Slice The Tooth?



Aging Deer: Cementum annuliReader Submitted: With deer hunting and deer management becoming more popular every year, aging bucks property is becoming more important. I was browsing the net and found a company that claims to tell the deer age by looking at a slice of the tooth root. Have you heard of or every used them?

Deer Hunting Pros: I am familiar with all the methods of deer aging and know exactly what you are referring to. The technique you are referring is the cementum annuli method. I have used this type of company 3 times in the past and been satisfied with the results of their services. They delivered results in the stated time frame each time.

In the past, I shot two bucks and a doe and after aging by tooth wear I did not agree with what I was seeing from their body. On the bucks, each time I had estimated the bucks to be 5.5 years old and then when I pulled the teeth they showed no wear. They looked like the teeth of a 3.5 year old deer based on wear.


So long story short, I sent the teeth to these guys and both time they said 5.5 years old. This confirmed my suspicions. Deer are just like people and some have good teeth and some have bad teeth. If the body characteristics match what the tooth wear shows then I think the you can get the age of the buck very accurately. However, if they are in conflict with each other, then it becomes a guessing game.

Aging deer by the cementum annuli method is probably the best, but it is not perfect. It still involves a person to count the growth rings — and any time a human is involved there will be errors. It’s kind of like deer hunting. Hunting mistakes do get made, but all you can do is try your best with what you see in front of you.


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