Located in beautiful Missoula Montana Wildlife Analytical Laboratories™ (www.DeerAge.com) is owned and operated by Heather and Chad Stevens. Heather has an extensive scientific background specializing in animal histology and Chad has over 20 years in the hunting industry as a taxidermist and avid bow hunter. Together they make the perfect pair to run DeerAge bringing together backgrounds that ensure we understand your needs as a customer. Accuracy and Customer Service will always be our top priority!

Meet our Staff


Heather Stevens B.S., HTL(ASCP)

Heather Stevens B.S., HTL(ASCP)

Director of Operations (Owner)

About Heather

My name is Heather Stevens and I have spent my entire career dedicated to scientific pursuit. I attended Washington State University and graduated in 2009 with a bachelors degree in microbiology. After school I began working for the state veterinary diagnostic laboratory, where I learned to become a skilled histologist; I also acquired my international histology certification. In 2011 I quit my job to open Nationwide Histology inc with the goal of providing the highest quality service for research clients across the nation. After partnering with Wildlife Analytical Laboratories it quickly became my favorite line of business. It was (and still is) all I could talk about. When Henry & Mary approached me with the idea taking over it was an easy decision. I love this company! I love what we do! I has been a joy from minute one. I enjoy learning more and more about wildlife stewardship and I look forward to continuing to provide quality service and work hard daily to ensure we become the best in the industry. I take pride in improving every aspect of our service and have a multitude of research projects planned to bring further value to our customers.
Chad Stevens

Chad Stevens

Director of Social Media (owner)

About Chad

Chad became interested in hunting at the age of 12 and at 16 attended the John Rinehart school of taxidermy in Wisconsin. Shortly after graduating Chad opened his own taxidermy studio and has been operating for over 20 years. Currently, Chad has stepped back from taking in any taxidermy that is not a custom project or exotic animal to become the Director of Marketing here at DeerAge. Chad handles all of our social media accounts, handles vendor relations, and handles all of our merchandise/product development. Here is what Chad has to say about how he became interested in conservation, “I’ve always had a strong drive towards hunting and conservation and my dad taught me that time spent in the field wasn’t just about the kill but also about what can be learned from being in nature. What I like about cementum annuli aging is that it helps me learn more about the game I pursue, gives me challenges and goals to achieve and helps wildlife managers make the most accurate judgements based on age to help all game thrive. My role at DeerAge is exciting because I get to share in the experience of all our customers through cementum annuli aging.”
Dr. Vipin Sharma PhD

Dr. Vipin Sharma PhD

Director of Research

About Vipin

Dr. Vipin Sharma joined our team in early 2022 and has been vigorously working on expanding our research efforts. Vipin has an extensive background in Cementum Annuli aging in India and has several publications. With Vipin’s help we are actively pushing our research forward to both improve our current techniques as well as develop new aging techniques. He has already had us working on two new publications in short order. We are excited to have such an esteemed professional as a part of our DeerAge team!
Juli McLain B.S., HT

Juli McLain B.S., HT

Lead Histotechnician

About Juli

Juli joined our team in August of 2019 she has an extensive background in Human pathology. Here are Juli’s responses to our staff questions

  1. What do you find most interesting about what we do here? The variety of animals we age is amazing! From Raccoons to bears we do it all.
  2. Do you have any outdoor hobbies you’d like to mention? Snowshoeing, skiing and hiking the beautiful trails of Montana
  3. Do you feel you are playing an important role in wildlife conservation? Yes. Data and statistics are critical for understanding what issues exist and how to tackle them.
  4. What makes you excited about DeerAge? We try to see the world not only as scientists but as hunters and stewards of the lands. We are constantly trying to improve and innovate.
  5. Is there anything you think our customers should know about you? I bring over 35 years of laboratory experience to the table and I absolutely LOVE my job!
Alison Moderi

Alison Moderi

Customer Service Representative

About Alison

Alison Joined our team in September 2021 and she is a shining star at DeerAge. She picked up the office tasks extremely quick and her ability to provide top notch service is unmatched. Here is what she had to say about DeerAge.

  1. What do you find most interesting about what we do here? I love the whole process-never knew that animals teeth could be aged like this and I really enjoy learning new things everyday about what we do here. I’m excited for the research and growth that is planned too.
  2. Do you have any outdoor hobbies you’d like to mention? Hiking, camping, fishing, landscape and nature photography.
  3. Do you feel you are playing an important role in wildlife conservation? Absolutely. And not just with the aging but also through things like the nutrition program and the data analysis program.
  4. What makes you excited about DeerAge? I love that its such a unique and niche field, that the company is owned by a woman (who is an awesome boss, LOL) and its a great place to work. The customers aren’t so bad either!
  5. Is there anything you think our customers should know about you? I’m a 5th generation Montanan and proud of it!
Nani Hamilton

Nani Hamilton

Laboratory Technician

About Nani

Nani joined our team in 2021 and didn’t know she liked science as much as she does. She is an integral part of our team and makes sure the work keeps on flowing. She will be graduating from the University of Montana this Spring and we are looking forward to having her around full time starting this summer.
Amanda Richie

Amanda Richie

Lab Tech and Social Media Marketer

About Amanda

Amanda came to work for DeerAge in July 2021 and has grown a lot in a short period of time. Here is what she had to say about working for DeerAge.

  1. What do you find most interesting about what we do here? The technique of Cementum annuli aging.
  2. Do you have any outdoor hobbies you’d like to mention? golf, hiking, dog walking, camping, fishing and hopefully next season HUNTING!
  3. Do you feel you are playing an important role in wildlife conservation? Working for DeerAge I do feel like I play an important role in conservation. We do a lot of outreach through social media. We are bringing awareness to hunters in both the US and Canada.
  4. What makes you excited about DeerAge? The people I work with especially the owners. They make me feel like I’m part of a family. I am also excited about how fast the company is growing. I love being a part of the journey. There is so much room for growth and potential.
Briar Cessna

Briar Cessna

Lab assistant

About Briar

Briar started with our team November 2021 and he fits right in around here. Briar is from West Virginia and loves to hunt. We are very proud of him as he has gotten an internship at the Pennsylvania Wildlife Commission over the summer where he will be tagging black bears. We are excited for him and looking forward to having him back in the fall. Briar is a Wildlife Biology major at the University of Montana. Here is what he had to say about working here. 

  1. What do you find most interesting about what we do here? That anybody can play a role in conservation.
  2. Do you have any outdoor hobbies you’d like to mention? Hunting, Fishing and Trapping
  3. Do you feel you are playing an important role in wildlife conservation? I do. I feel like we’re allowing everyone to get a general sense of wildlife conservation. We’re allowing hunters to target older, bigger animals, as well as established wildlife biologists conducting research.
  4. What makes you excited about DeerAge? To see what they will expand to!
  5. Is there anything you think our customers should know about you? I’m a Wildlife Biology Major at the University of Montana.
Michelle Van Dam

Michelle Van Dam

Canadian Receiving Coordinator

About Michelle

Michelle Joined the team in 2022 in an effort to bring our services to the Canadian Market. She has a passion for wildlife and even dabbles in taxidermy. Michelle is a huge asset to our team ensuring that Canadian samples are quickly and seamlessly imported to the US.

Here are her answers to our staff questions.


  • What do you find most interesting about what we do here? The accuracy of cementum aging in comparison to other techniques.
  • Do you have any outdoor hobbies you’d like to mention? I love to hunt! I hunt all year round, and my passion is bowhunting big game. Elk, moose, deer, wolf and bear. I also love to fish year round, and depending on what time of year it is I will tell you that I love that type of fishing the most. I just learnt how to fly fish last summer and look forward to learning more this season. I also started helping a few local taxidermists with European mounts. I would love to one day start my own business and learn all about taxidermy, as well as trapping. I love to teach my kids all about the outdoors and getting them involved in all my outdoor projects.
  • Do you feel you are playing an important role in wildlife conservation? Absolutely. One of the main reasons why I joined the Deer Age team! It is my way of contributing and giving back to the wildlife by helping understand and better manage populations.
  • What makes you excited about DeerAge? Watching Deer Age grow! People are gaining a better understanding of how beneficial it is to age your mammal teeth from the area you actively hunt. From a local or an outfitters perspective I think it will help us all better understand wildlife populations. And that can serve us in many valuable ways. And of course being a contributing member in the hunting community.
  • Is there anything you think our customers should know about you? That I will do my absolute best to give you the best possible customer experience!


Our History


The History Of DeerAge

DeerAge was founded in mid 2004 by Henry and Mary Chidgey with a simple and focused vision. Their vision was to provide accurate and timely forensic cementum annuli aging of whitetail deer and other game mammals with a high degree of customer service. They believed that there are many people, who are passionate about hunting and managing habitat to realize the maximum potential of their deer herd.

In 2014 Wildlife Analytical Laboratories partnered with a larger lab, Nationwide Histology inc (Currently still owned by Heather Stevens) to handle the increasing volume. With a full team of highly qualified histologists, Nationwide Histology was able to produce top quality slides at a much faster turn around which allowed DeerAge to then offer the quick turn around we so proudly offer. At the end of 2017 Henry & Mary Chidgey decided to retire and sold Wildlife Analytical Laboratories to Heather, who is not only a passionate scientist but also enjoys the outdoors and spending time in her husband Chad’s taxidermy studio. As of 2022 DeerAge has a clear vision for improving the access to valuable data for aging as well as developing new research in the field of aging. We have multiple active research projects and are looking forward to making announcements about our emerging data.

A message from Henry and Mary on retirement

My name is Henry Chidgey, a proud American and son of the State of Texas. I have spent much of my life in the pursuit of knowledge and techniques to manage habitat for wildlife, especially the whitetail deer. Our company, Wildlife Analytical Laboratories™ was created out of the belief that with accurate, precise, timely feedback of age to hunters and others interested in managing whitetails for maximum trophy potential—whether buck or doe—the fulfillment of many hunters’ dreams today and in the future will be realized. My wife and life partner Mary and I thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you andyour commitments as wildlife stewards over the last 15 years. It is time now for us to pass the torch to the next generation who we believe will do an even better job at serving you. Heather and her team will be taking over the business at the start of 2018. Heather has become, in addition to a valued part of our service delivery over the last 4 ½ years, a dear friend and trusted colleague. We are confident you will come to trust and value her as we have. Of course, Mary & I will continue to support Heather in any way she desires.

By the way, we will insure that any specimens or correspondence that comes to us here in
Burnet will be immediately forwarded to DeerAge.com in Missoula.


Henry Chidgey


2814 Brooks St. #114
Missoula, MT 59801
(512) 756-1989

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