From Cody: I recently put up my trail cam and captured a picture of a deer I have never seen before. I have more than one photo of this deer so I know he is continuously coming back into my area. I can’t seem to age him and was wondering what your thoughts were? I am from the great hunting state of Iowa and also wondering if this is a normal size for a buck this time of the year.
Whitetail bucks can be tricky to judge in late spring and summer when they are happy, lazy, fat and stress-free, especially in high-producing agricultural areas with great nutrition. Many people overestimate the age of a buck now.
I ran this picture by top whitetail biologist Grant Woods and asked him to provide some advice for aging summer bucks (Grant’s 3 tips in bold below).
Cody: It appears this buck’s neck merges with his chest well above his brisket. His chest doesn’t sag below where his legs meet his shoulders and his back and belly appear straight. These are all signs of a younger buck.
I estimate this buck is 2 years old, but wouldn’t be surprised if he was a great yearling! If he is 2, he has normal antler and body development for a buck that lives where there are plenty of quality groceries.– Enjoy Creation, Grant