Field Judging Deer age from the stand

Field judging deer aging-general-2

Field judging deer is a skill that every hunter should poses and practice to maintain efficiencies. judging a deer age can mean the difference between keeping a healthy heard by calling the older bucks or having land that is mismanaged. Sometimes when looking at a deer from a distance it is hard to tell their rack size and age, but with these tips you'll be a pro in no time.

Telling a deer age from the stand

To age a deer you can use some main indicators such as the Head, Back, Rump, and Belly. The rack should never be used as an age indicator! Even though antlers gain mass over the years, due to nutritional defects they are an unreliable source of age.


Field judging deer aging-fawn

Mistaking a fawn for a doe

Take for example mistaking a buck fawn for a doe, it is a very easy mistake to make.  Take the image to the right, if you notice the body of an aging fawn is always smaller than an adult doe. The legs are long and skinny, developing muscles as he grows! 



Field judging deer  aging-1year-1

Field judging deer age 1 1/2 years old

Bucks a 1 1/2 years old look like does with horns and usually have a slight dip in their back. Still having the skinny legs and short face and a extended belly. These young bucks are easy to identify when using the field judging deer method.


Field judging deer 2 1/2 years old

Deer 2 1/2 years old

A Buck 2 1/2 years old will be a little bigger than a doe, and have long legs and face! The deer back is starting to form and become a strait, the belly is becoming more defined and the head is erect with a distinct chest starting to form. Although the rack is not an identifier of age, deer at 2 1/2 years old will start to developed nicely. 



Deer 3 1/2 years old

Bucks 3 and 1/2 years old are very lean and fit and the belly line should be flat! His flat back Flat belly big rack and lean body makes him a prime target for every hunter. This is the age when most deer are taken on public lands. 


Field judging deer aging 4 years old

Deer 4 1/2 years old

Finally at 4 1/2 years old a buck starts looking like a trophy! bucks at 4 1/2 years old will have a pronounced belly and a very little dip in their back. The brisket although not fully pronounced is shaping out and building muscle. This fit deer is coming into his prime. You will spot this buck in a crowd and most likely he will be a wall hanger!



field judging deer aging-5yearDeer 5 1/2 years old

The brisket is obvious where it joins the neck. The belly hangs even with the chest or starts to hang below it a bit. These are the proud trophy bucks. Distinctive defined face and neck along with a well defined rump make make him a sought after trophy buck. 


Field judging deer aging 6 years and olderDeer 6 years and old

Bucks 6 years and older are the boss, If he is the biggest then you best take him! With a massive well defined body and the age and wisdom to survive this long he will be no easy kill. Deer 6 years and older are what you see in your dreams! A big boy of this size may only come around once in a lifetime in some areas! Make a well placed shot and you will be telling this story the rest of your life! 


Practice makes perfect

Like everything in Hunting practice makes perfect! Without getting in the field and practicing field judging deer you will have problems seeing the slight changes in the body. So get out with a pair of binoculars and your pad of paper to age the deer in your area. The training and the sights and sounds of the woods will be worth it. You can make this a game to help your children learn how to properly age deer. 

Please follow and like us:
Gregory Beckman

About the Author:

Hi, I am Gregory Beckman, as the main owner of Military Hunting and Fishing let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am currently an active duty member in the United States Coast Guard. I have been privileged to traveling the world. My experiences have shaped the way that I see the world and my memories will stick with me for a lifetime. Although I may not live in the country, the country lives in me. Traveling the world I have had the chance to experience the wonders of nature in many different places, meeting many different people and tasting wild game that the normal person would not get to experience. Although these experiences have kept me away from home, it has instilled a deep passion of hunting and fishing in my blood. Thank you for joining our site, and I look forward to interacting and sharing stories of our hunting adventures. Gregory A. Beckman
Follow by Email