One of the most popular features of QDMA’s Quality Whitetails magazine is “Age This!” We select trail-camera photos of bucks supplied by our members and submit them to a panel of five wildlife biologists who are experienced at estimating the ages of deer on the hoof. Magazine readers then get to see the panel’s age estimates and explanations for why they chose a particular age (as in the example on the right).
Keeping the magazine supplied with good images for “Age This!” is not always easy because we’re picky! We only choose images that are ideal for estimating age, because hunters shouldn’t base age estimates on photos that don’t give you all the information you need.
We are looking for photos of bucks that are:
• Standing broadside to the camera.
• Standing still and not walking, running or moving in a way that alters body proportions.
• Holding their heads up.
• Well lighted by the sun or camera flash, and not blurry.
• Pictured with the entire body contained in the image frame.
• Photographed in the pre-rut or rut (not in summer or late winter)
The photo on the right is a good example. If you have buck photos that fit this description, submit them for consideration to be used in “Age This!”
We especially need young bucks, starting from yearlings on up. Hunters are usually proudest of big, mature bucks they have photographed, so we get plenty of those. Your chances of having a photo included in “Age This!” are actually better if you send us yearling or middle-aged bucks that meet the qualifications above, because we like to present a range of different ages in each installment. Of course, if you have mature buck photos that fit our needs, send them too!
Here’s how to submit your photo:
Send us an e-mail with the photo attached (You are welcome to send multiple photos of the same buck if you have them).
Be sure to send the full-size jpeg image from your camera. Don’t allow your e-mail program to compress the image and reduce file size.
Include the following information in your e-mail:
1. First and Last Name
3. State (and county or general region of that state) where buck was photographed.
4. Date of photo (if it’s not indicated on the image).
5. Approximate date of the rut peak at this location.
6. Brief and general description of the buck’s habitat (acreage you manage, years under QDM, land and cover types by approximate percentage, habitat improvements, etc.)
That’s it! We’ll respond and let you know we received your submission, then it will go into the pool for consideration. If your photo meets all of the qualities we listed above, it’s very likely we will use it at some point. Depending on several selection factors, your photo may be used immediately, months later, or not at all. Only the images we select for use in the magazine will be sent to the panelists for review. However we use your image, if it is published, you will be given photo credit by name.
Thanks for sharing your best aging photos and helping us teach more hunters how to estimate buck age on the hoof! And if you don’t already receive Quality Whitetails and would like to start reading every installment of “Age This!”, then join QDMA today!