Age help, shooter or let him grow?


Well-Known Member
I'm having trouble with this deer. Some pics he looks older, some he looks very young. My goal is 4+. Central, IL.

What do you think?


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That is a tough one. It is also difficult for me to judge age of deer outside my area - but I would tend towards 3.5. The quartering away shot does maybe look more like 4.5 - but overall, based on body alone - I would say 3.5. In my area, those antlers would put him at 6.5.:)
His buddy is a shooter. With that dude around, it'll be easier to let your questionable buck go.

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His body says 4.5 and face says 3.5. I think it is really impossible to tell the age of deer after age 3. The only way to know for sure is if you have history with the individual deer. Anyone that says they know the age of the deer 100% accurate without history is full of well you know. I know guys that do this for a living and they will tell you it is just an educated guess. Deer are no different than people some are tall, short, skinny and fat. It is all a guessing game after 3.5 yrs old IMO. I am guessing if you run several camera's every year and haven't got his picture before then he is a 3.5 and you probably have his picture at 2.5 but never grabbed your attention.
Aging summer time deer is always difficult for me. The deer seem "trimmer" and then the velvet on the rack adds mass that actually isn't there. He is a pretty deer and will make a real nice deer next year - give him a year to add some mass and tine length. However not everyone has the ability to pass deer with the hope of seeing them next year and I get that. If he makes you happy go for it....regardless of how old he is. Legs still look a little long and I don't see any significant sag in the back or belly so I would guess 3 if I had too - ignore the rack (cover it up and see just the deer). He also doesn't seem to have that heavy shoulder of an older deer or that "block" of a head. All just my 2 cents worth......