How to age white-tailed deer: Part V

The older age classes, 7 ½ 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. […]


How to age white-tailed deer: Part III

Last month I wrote about the 1 ½-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. […]

The stages of eruption of the third molar in yearling deer is clearly visible in this photo: Jawbone No. 5 shows the replacement of the temporary premolars with the new permanent molars.

How to age white-tailed deer: Part II

The key to aging yearling deer — deer that are 1 year old—  is the third premolar. The third premolar is a temporary tooth that has three cusps (or crests.) Both fawns and yearling deer have this temporary three-cusped premolar. […]