Burnet, TX (PRWEB) April 4, 2006
Are you finally ready to take the guessing out of aging your trophy? Is your trophy whitetail a real greybeard, an old mossback, or that dominant matriarchal doe that eluded hunters for many seasons? How old was that 16” wide, 8-point you shot? Was he 2½….harvested four years before his prime? Or was he a 7½ year old “management buck” (a buck which should have been culled from the herd 3 years earlier)? Identifying the age of the deer you harvest is vital to any wildlife or land management program. Hunters now have available to them a fast, easy and accurate method by which to age their deer – cementum-annuli aging. Wildlife Analytical Laboratories, also known as DeerAge.com, founded by Henry and Mary Chidgey, operates its own state of the art laboratory in the Texas Hill Country and employs highly trained lab technicians.
The primary reason for aging deer is to manage for mature trophy bucks. In order to produce trophy deer, three (3) things are needed: Age, Nutrition and Genetics. It is impossible to manage a deer herd without knowing the age structure of the herd! Whitetail bucks reach maximum antler size at 6½ to 7½ years of age. Bucks will not reach their full genetic potential if they are harvested before reaching maturity.
There is a physiological mechanism that occurs in almost all mammals; every year a layer of cementum is deposited around the portion of the teeth located beneath the gum. There exists a forensic laboratory method that allows histologists to prepare these teeth so that the rings of cementum can be counted under a high powered microscope as easily and accurately as counting the growth rings of a tree.
There have been formal studies done by two different organizations/ researchers to verify the accuracy (or lack thereof) of aging deer by looking at the molars and their wear. One study was done by Ken Gee and others at the 2,947 acre Noble Wildlife Unit near Allan, Oklahoma. A telling quote from this study is “The results indicate that this widely used technique (sic teeth wear and eruption patterns) is very inaccurate for classifying deer into specific age-classes on the NFWU.” Another study done comparing eruption-wear aging vs cementum annuli aging by biologists of the State of Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks showed only 42.9% of whitetails were judged accurately with eruption-wear vs 85.1% by cementum annuli. So much for the “I can tell by the wear on his teeth” story we all grew up with.
According to Henry Chidgey “Forensic cementum annuli deer aging provides a fast and accurate deer age. No other method provides even close to as accurate deer aging. If you are a gardener, you don’t pick your tomatoes until they are ripe. Why take your whitetails before they achieve their full potential? And equally as important, before they have the opportunity to pass the genetics along to future generations. It really is just a question if you are ready to quit guessing at how old your deer was.”
If you are an outfitter, wildlife/ ranch manager, or land owner, when you add the accurate age of your deer with its weight, condition, antler size, and mass you begin to learn over time the key information to maximize the potential of your deer herd. DeerAge.com also provides specialized forensic deer aging services designed for the needs of outfitters, wildlife/ranch managers, taxidermists and other commercial clients. They say “Customer Service and Quality of Analysis are our Priority and Passion.”
Call or write for more information.