20-Year-Old Whitetail Doe Shot in Vermont During 2018 Gun Season

Whitetails rarely live a long life, but one Vermont doe tagged in 2018 was older than the hunter who shot it.

20-Year-Old Whitetail Doe Shot in Vermont During 2018 Gun Season

Most whitetail bucks live only 1.5 years before they are killed by hunters, cars, coyotes or wolves, and while a doe often lives another few years on average, it’s not common for one to make it 10 years. And 20 years? Well, that is incredibly rare, but it happened last year in Vermont. 

According to a story from the Rutland Herald in Vermont, a youth hunter shot a doe that was aged at 20 years. Vermont is one of the few states that still allows hunters to submit a tooth from their harvest to determine the deer’s age. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says approximately 3,000 deer hunters took advantage of the Whitetail Tooth Collection Project during the state’s 2018 November rifle season.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife staff can determine a whitetail’s age by examining one of the deer’s middle incisors. The video at the bottom of the page demonstrates the process.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife staff can determine a whitetail’s age by examining one of the deer’s middle incisors. The video at the bottom of the page demonstrates the process.

Interestingly, another 20-year-old doe was killed in Vermont during a 2016 car/deer collision. These two ancient deer are the oldest whitetails on record in the state. As for Vermont bucks, the oldest one tagged during the 2018 season was 12. During the last few years, three other 12-year-old bucks have also been shot in Vermont.

To learn how to remove a deer tooth to submit it for testing, watch the Vermont Fish & Wildlife video below.

(Images courtesy of Vermont Fish & Wildlife Facebook)

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