How Old is My Buck?

Most hunters have asked that question at some time. Hunters often try to guess the age of their trophy based on body size, antler configuration, or other inexact methods. Yet if you could ask a wildlife biologist to age your animal, you’d find that he would send the lower jawbone to a lab for accurate tooth aging. Biologists know that this is the only way to accurately age big game.

Until now, biologists were the only ones with access to a lab with aging capabilities. Anyone else wanting to know the age of an animal had to spend a lot of money or just guess.

Wescout4u.com changed that by making accurate lab aging (known as cementum age analysis in the scientific community) available to any hunter at a more affordable cost. Thanks to our ability to collect large numbers of jawbone samples from around the country, we can get volume discounting from one of the best labs in the country, Matson’s, passing a 50% discount on to hunters wanting to know the true age of their mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, antelope, and moose. At this time, these are the only species for which we offer accurate lab aging.

Think about it. Instead of telling your buddies you killed an “old bull” you can tell them that your 6×6 bull was aged at 9 years in a lab, removing any doubt that you outsmarted a true veteran. On the other hand, you may find that the 28″ mule deer that you took last year was only 3 years old- which isn’t “old” by any standard. This information helps you in understanding what your hunting area is capable of producing, the degree of your personal hunting skills, and how different management strategies are affecting a given wildlife population.

What you can expect from accurate lab aging:

Although we expect age analysis accuracy to be generally high for deer, elk, antelope, and moose hunted in North America, errors are also expected. The best application of cementum age analysis is for wildlife management because analysis errors for a larger sample of teeth tend to cancel, resulting in a highly accurate picture of the overall age distribution for the population of interest. Individual hunters, on the other hand, are more interested in the single result for their harvested animal. Our cementum age with an “A” reliability can be expected to have the highest accuracy, although this result can also be in error. Errors are unavoidable when the annual layers are so structured that even the most careful count will be incorrect.

In a group of teeth from animals harvested by 20 hunters, for example, it should be expected that perhaps 2 or 3 will be incorrect with the most frequent error size being 1 year. -from Matson’s Laboratory LLC

Click here to see many of the bucks Robby has had aged over the years.

Wescout4u.com’s guarantee:

If your lab report doesn’t give you the highest “A” accuracy rating, we will issue you a full credit that you can use for your next sample. There is no time limit on when you can send in your next jawbone from a deer, elk , antelope, or moose. Because of the unrecoverable costs associated with accurate lab testing, we cannot offer a money back guarantee if you don’t receive an “A” rating for your sample. As stated by Matson’s above, you can expect that you’ll receive an “A”rating for your sample. For example, since 2003 when we started utilizing accurate lab aging, we’ve had a 95% return of “A” ratings. The high degree of accuracy and our guarantee will ensure that you’ll get more than your money’s worth with our accurate lab aging.

Costs:

Our simple pricing structure passes on a 50% cost savings on accurate lab aging for deer, elk, antelope, and moose to the hunter.

1 jawbone: $30

call or email us for special pricing on larger volumes.

All costs include return shipping and your detailed lab report showing the animals age, expected accuracy, and additional information on cementum age analysis. Jawbones will not be returned, as the cementum aging analysis destroys the sample.

Preparing the Jawbone Sample and Shipping:

Once the cape is removed from your animal, remove the lower jawbone from the skull and cut away excess tissue from the outside edges. Leave all the gum tissue surrounding the front teeth, as these are the teeth the lab will use to age your animal and you don’t want them to fall out!

You can either ship the lower jawbone, (cut off behind the front row of teeth as pictured below), or remove the front two teeth (see picture below).  Removing the front two teeth is only recommended if the jawbone is fresh or you’re very patient.  Just don’t break them–better to send the jawbone intact.

If sending the lower jawbone, allow it to air dry for up to two weeks (above 45 degrees F) in a safe place where a dog or other animal won’t steal it Don’t store the jawbone in a plastic bag as it will decompose rather than dry out. You can even send in jawbones that you’ve had for years, as long as the front row of teeth are intact. Once the jawbone is dry, wrap it in newspaper, box it up, and ship it postage paid to the address below. Include a description letter with your name, return address, check or money order with the correct amount payable to Wescout4u.com, the species (mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, antelope, or moose only) and the day, month, and year of harvest.

If you’re sending multiple jawbones, clearly mark each one so we can match it up with species and date information provided in your description letter. Email or call us if you have questions.

Send all jawbones following the above preparation instructions postage paid to the following address:

WeScout4u.com
4901 E. Iona Road
Idaho Falls, Id
83401

Expected Lab Report Return Time:

If we receive your jawbone sample by December 31st, you can expect your lab report back by the following April 30th. Lab reports for samples received after December 31st may not be returned until the following December- email or call for details on these late samples.

email us at robby@wescout4u.com or call at 208 525 8458 if any questions or sending a sample so we can watch for it.

Thank you.