This pictorial was made with a product from G&R Products, called the “Deer Aging Tool”. You order them here:
Most hunters agree that one of the easiest and more reliable ways to age a whitetail deer is by examining its teeth.Deer wear out their permanent teeth on a fairly regular schedule. The ability to estimate a deer’s age based on the wear of its teeth is something most hunters can learn with a little study and practice.
Below are some terms you will be using when ageing deer by their teeth:
Enamel:This is the hard, white outer coating on the teeth.
Dentine:This is the dark brown, inner core, of the teeth.
Cusps:Cusps are simply the points on the top of the teeth.
Lingual Crest:This is the ridge of the tooth, on the side of the tooth near the tounge.
Posterior Tooth:Back molars
At birth, white-tailed fawns have four teeth. Adult deer have 32 teeth: 12 premolars, 12 molars, six incisors and two canines.Ageing is simply based by the wear of the molars.
First lets look at a fawns jaw. If the jaw has less than 6 teeth, its a fawn
1.5 Year Old Deer.
The jaw will have all three permanent premolars. The new teeth are whiter in color compared to the other molars. The third molar will be partially erupted.Notice the third premolar (milk tooth) has three “cusps”.This is also the age where deer start loosing their milk teeth. Sometimes, the heavy wear on the “milk tooth” tricks people into believing that they have a mature deer.
2.5 Year Old Deer.
The lingual crests of all molars are sharp and pointed.Tooth three has been replaced by a permanent two-cusped molar.
On tooth Four, the enamel is as wide or wider than the dentine.On tooth Five and Six, the enamel is wider than the dentine.On tooth Six, the back cusp is sharp and pointed.
3.5 Year Old Deer.
The lingual crests (inside, next to tongue) of the first molar (tooth Four) are blunted, and the dentine of the crests on this tooth is as wide or wider than the enamel.
The back cusp of the third molar is flattened by wear, forming a definite concavity on the biting surface of the teeth.
4.5 Year Old Deer
On the tooth Four, (first molar), the lingual crests are almost worn away.The dentine is twice as wide as the enamel.On tooth Five,the lingual crests are blunt and the dentine is wider than the enamel.On tooth Six, the back cusps slope downward towards the cheek
5.5 Year Old Deer
By age 5 1/2, wear has usually spread to all six teeth, making the dentine wider than the enamel on all teeth. Because the first molar is the oldest, it wears out first. Also, by 5 1/2. there might be no lingual crests on the first and second molars, although rounded edges might appear like crests.Dentine in tooth six is now wider than the enamel.
6.5 Year Old Deer
By age 6 ½,the crown on tooth Four is worn smooth.It may have a “dished out” appearance.On teeth Five and Six, there will be what looks to be a small enamel ridge in the center of the tooth.The lingual crest on tooth 5 is almost worn away, and the crest is rounded in tooth six.
7.5 Year Old Deer
On teeth Four and Five, the crown is worn smooth, and no enamel ridge is present on these teeth.The lingual crest is gone in tooth six
8.5 Year Old Deer
The crowns on teeth Four, Five, and Six are all worn smooth and dished out.No enamel ridges are present.
9.5 and older deer.
Wear is more extreme than in previous photo. Pulp cavity might be exposed in some teeth. Some teeth worn to the gum line.