The First of the Whitetail Deer Facts - How Old is Your Deer?

Whitetail Deer facts; determining a deer’s age is usually done by counting the teeth and/or noting the amount of wear on its teeth. Whitetail and Mule Deer will have twenty eight teeth. Like humans, deer replace their "baby teeth" with permanent teeth at a relatively set rate. I.e. if all baby teeth have been replaced the deer is at least 2 1/2yr old. After that the only way to determine age is by gauging teeth wear and after about five and one half years even this might become unreliable. A few mule and whitetail deer fact age identifiers are:

  • The fawn is born with eight incisors and canine teeth.
  • After about a week four premolars come in.
  • By a month of age the last pair of premolars are already in place these baby premolars have three cusps (crowns).
  • At three months first set of molars come in.
  • The second set at six months.
  • The third and last of the three cusped molars come in at nine months.
  • By eighteen months the rear premolar is replaced by a permanent two cusped premolar.
  • By 21/2yr the deer has all its permanent teeth.

From 21/2yr to 51/2yr can be estimated fairly accurately by an expert from wear on the teeth.  A more accurate method, counting annual rings inside a deer's tooth, requires splitting and polishing the tooth cross section.

Deer are usually born in late May to early June. Therefore, during hunting season in November they are either about six months, 1-1/2; years, 2-1/2; years, 3-1/2; years, etc., in age. Couple this with the fact that most deer harvested are less than 21/2 years old this information will get you into the ball park of your deer’s age.

Deer are usually born in late May to early June. Therefore, during hunting season in November they are either about six months, 1-1/2; years, 2-1/2; years, 3-1/2; years, etc., in age. Couple this with the fact that most deer harvested are less than 21/2 years old this information will get you into the ball park of your deer’s age.

Whitetail Deer truths

One of the most common misconception facts about the whitetail deer is its size.  Almost everyone, including experienced hunters when asked the size of a whitetail deer recently seen, will usually gesture with his hand to a level of nearly shoulder height.  He would more accurately be right if he held his hand a little above his belt, as the average whitetail stands between 36 and 40 inches high at the top of the shoulder.  Unusually big whitetail bucks may be 42 inches high.  They are between 60 to 75 inches long with an average weight of about 80-150 pounds depending on the area in which he lives. Llano County Texas whitetail deer may have huge antlers with 20+ points not uncommon but may not be any larger than a large dog yet three or four counties south you will find 150 pound bucks common.  The grazing density varies from 5 deer per acre in portions of Llano to one per acre or less elsewhere. Oddly scarcity of protein causes small bodies and large antlers.

Deer facts - Deer vary in color shadings from area to area.  This also varies with the current season after coat change twice a year. New spring coats are bright reddish-brown solid, thin hair. As winter approaches the hair is replaced  with a bulky winter fur with shades from bluish to a dull gray-brown.  The winter fur is long and wavy, and filled with air that provides excellent insulation.  I northern climates it is not unusual to see deer walking around with loose snow on their backs due to the good insulating properties of  the winter coat.

Despite regional differences, a deer fact is, basically all look alike. They have black noses encircled with two white rings behind it.The eyes are also encircled with white. The insides of the ears, bottom of the chin, stomach and bottom of its tail and a large throat patch are pure white. With a brown nose and body it typically has darker shading along the back which lightens toward the stomach and tail insides.

The body is darkest down the middle of the back, shading lighter till it abruptly reaches the white stomach. The upper portion of the legs on the outside are brown and the insides are white.The top side of the tail is brown with some having various amounts of black at the tip.Startled deer raise their pure white tail as a flag to alert and guide others when startled.

Scent Glands

Fact - whitetail deer have a gland halfway between the toes and the heel of the foot and on the outside of the hind leg which has been named the metatarsal. The metatarsal gives off a musk that must contribute to the individuals’ identification or act as a doe attractant. On the inside of the whitetail deer’s leg just below the knee lies the tarsal gland.  This gland plays a very important sexual role. It produces a strong musk, which is attractive to other whitetail deer, In order to distribute the musk deer bend their legs together and curve their bodies so that they urinate on the hair tufts covering the tarsal and metatarsal glands.

Some advise cutting off the tarsal glands before starting to skin the deer to prevent tainting the meat. Deer facts, if it does not taint the meat while it is alive how could it taint the meat after it is dead? A little care and avoid this. The best reason for removal of these glands is for later using them as whitetail deer facts and attractants. later on.


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