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How to age white-tailed deer: Part V

The older age classes, 7 on up, represent the end of the trail for a deer population. The average lifespan for a white-tailed deer is around 5 years; in captivity deer may live up to 14 years. Much depends on the degree of hunting that takes place on the landscape. Areas with high hunting pressure generally have a population with the younger age classes; areas that have heavy-buck-hunting-only hunting will have older age classes of does, and young age classes of bucks. In herds where both bucks and does receive equal hunting pressure, all age classes will be present. Some hunters do not shoot the young age classes, (6 months and 1 year age class) and target the adult deer. I have always thought it best to target deer from all age classes, and I recommend this to clubs and landowners. This will provide valuable information for age and growth determinations.

September 12 at 9:00 am

How to age white-tailed deer: Part IV

The bucks that most hunters mount are generally 4 to 6 years old and are considered to be mature bucks, exhibiting their best antler growth. Does in these age classes should be producing fawns annually, and may even be smarter than bucks that are the same age. These deer have been around for many years and are familiar with the game of hunting.

August 12 at 9:00 am

How to age white-tailed deer: Part III

Last month I wrote about the 1 -year-old age class, or yearling deer. The key that separates the yearling age class from the 2-year-old age class is the third premolar. Yearling deer have three temporary premolars that begin to break up and are shed when the deer is 17 to 18 months old. These temporary premolars are replaced with permanent premolars, with the third premolar now having only two crests. The yearling deer’s temporary third premolar has three crests (refer to How to age white-tailed deer: Part II and the picture of this tooth.) Generally by the time the deer is 2 years old, these new permanent teeth are fully erupted and in place. The third molar is also now fully erupted (see photograph of the typical 2 year old jawbone.)

July 12 at 9:00 am

How to age white-tailed deer: Part II

The year-and-a-half age class

June 12 at 9:00 am

How to age white-tailed deer: Part I

Most of the aging work by deer biologists is done by utilizing the tooth replacement and wear techniques that were developed years ago by C.W. Severinghaus in 1949.

May 12 at 9:00 am

Its (finally) time to talk turkey

The delay of the 2018 turkey season until April 7 has no doubt been an agonizing wait for members of the Tenth Legion, but now this elite group of hunters are in action. I suspect many got things started on March 30 with the opening of the youth weekend. My 7-year-old grandson worked the squirrels over in February, and is ready to be in the turkey blind on that day.

April 12 at 9:00 am

No turkey hunting in March

Yes, that’s right — for the first time in the lifetime of this author there is no turkey hunting in Louisiana in March. Of course, I grew up hunting in North Louisiana in the 60s and there were no turkeys to hunt in those days. LDWF was trying to restock birds in that area but for various reasons, the restocking effort was not working.

March 12 at 9:00 am

The season may be over but memories remain

For the most part, the 2017 deer season is over, although some DMAP cooperators in the Tier 1 classification can still hunt a couple of weeks in February. For Area 1 and 6 hunters, this could still give you time to connect with a deer, and perhaps even that elusive trophy. February is the month for rabbit hunters, and no doubt the hounds are out and about chasing bunnies. Years ago we did a rabbit study with LSU, and we already knew rabbits pretty much breed year-round. But February, March and April were the months that all the female rabbits we collected (we collected about 15 rabbits every month) were either pregnant or lactating. The management areas are open for small game hunting, so public land hunters still have good opportunity to be out in the woods and fields.

February 12 at 9:00 am