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Antler Growth, Part II

May 15 antlers

1 of 4

Antlers on June 9

2 of 4

Antler growth June 13

3 of 4

Antler growth as of July 10

4 of 4

Published on: Jul. 28, 2010

A few weeks ago, I posted an item about how rapidly white-tailed deer antlers can grow during the month of June. (As much as 2 inches a DAY!) I got interested in the subject when the trail camera my son gave me for Christmas recorded one buck’s astonishing antler growth over a four-day period. This is documented in the first two photos with this post.

On July 10, the camera got another photo of the same deer. As you can see from the last photo, its antlers have continued to grow. I couldn’t tell from the earlier photos whether he had eight or 10 points. The last photo shows he is an eight-pointer.

Typical of whitetail bucks in my area, and of what appears to be a 2-year-old animal, his rack apparently will be narrow, with slender beams. However, if it has continued to grow in the three weeks since the photo was taken, the tines could have respectable length.

I was hoping he would be a 10-pointer. If I really wanted antlers, I could pass up shots at this buck – assuming he shows himself during the hunting season. My passing up that shot is VERY unlikely, however. Antlers are cool, but I LOVE venison, and at 2 years of age, this fella is still young enough to make great eating. On the other hand, if he shows up in the company of a big, fat doe, he might live to grow another, even bigger set of antlers next year.

I will let you know how that turns out, and I will share any additional photos of this guy as his antlers finish growing and he rubs off the velvet. The process should be complete by late September.

 

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Comments

On August 23rd, 2010 at 1:23pm smitht2 said:

  Drew: Antlers begin to harden and the velvet dries out in late August or early Sept. When that happens, antler growth ceases. As to whether or not it's itching that causes the deer to rub off the velvet, I expect that only a deer could answer that and they're not talking. It seems reasonable to me that the drying velvet might itch, but if the antlers have hardened there might be no nerves connected to that tissue.  

On August 23rd, 2010 at 7:48am drew said:

My conservation calender reads that the bucks will start rubbing in a week. Are the antlers done growing when they start to rub? I had heard somewhere that when they started rubbing the antlers itched and thats what caused the rubbing.

On August 20th, 2010 at 12:55pm Curtis said:

Antlers are the fastest growing tissue in the animal kingdom.

On August 10th, 2010 at 9:20am lowj said:

That's a good question, Drew. The honest answer is that I don't know it's the same buck. I believe it is, based on the apparent consistency of antler development from one photo to the next. This, along with the fact -- from several sources -- that antlers grow as fast as the series of photos shows, leads me to believe it's the same deer Also, the trail camera has captured two bucks together several times. One has smaller antlers -- looks like he will be a 4- or 6-pointer. Because these two keep showing up in photos together, I assume it's the same pair. I hope to get more photos and post them later this month. Jim

On August 9th, 2010 at 6:35am drew said:

How can you be certain its the same deer? I dont doubt you I'm just wondering.

On August 4th, 2010 at 3:28am Rob said:

Wow, two inches a day?? That is crazy! I never knew their antlers grew that fast.

On August 1st, 2010 at 2:28pm Starcraft Phil said:

The meat is what this is all about. I do agree that 10 and 12 pointers make for great hunter trophies but good meat make for great meals! I definitely would appreciate eating such fresh meat!

On July 31st, 2010 at 6:14am trkygnclr webmaster said:

@Ellen Marks you're absolutely right!

On July 29th, 2010 at 12:22pm Nate said:

This is an impressive deer. I am interested in learning more about your observations on antler growth during June and July. I wonder how long it takes injested nutrients (corn, beans, clover)to turn into antlers?

On July 29th, 2010 at 10:08am Jerry said:

Found it.

On July 29th, 2010 at 10:06am Jerry said:

Where is the pic of the latest growth?

On July 29th, 2010 at 9:12am Anonymous said:

Shoot the doe. Deer are starting to over populate in even some rural areas and conditions are becoming perfect for disease to sweep through the herd.

On July 29th, 2010 at 6:59am Ellen Marks said:

Why not let the buck live a little longer. He may produce beautiful babies.

On July 29th, 2010 at 6:30am Anonymous said:

The photos don't show - tells me Im not authorized to view the page. The 1st picture shows within the article but when I click to view the 4 it will not allow me to view.

On July 29th, 2010 at 6:14am Anonymous said:

When I click the photos, it says "you are not authorized to view this page". Please fix! I need to see the antler growth!
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