Monday, March 7, 2011

Shed Antler Time

Look what I found on today's walk.
 Whitetail bucks shed their antlers as the days grow longer.
In our area, most are shed in February & March.
A closer look shows this is a 3 point antler, probably off a young buck.

Age is a critical factor in growing large racks.
During the buck's first 3 years, his rapidly growing body is utilizing most of his nutrtional intake.
Once he reaches maturity at 3 years, the nutritional surplus goes to antler development.

The  base

The point of attachment

This is a recently shed antler, due to the pristine condition.
Once antlers are shed, mice & other critters gnaw on them for the calcium.

Unfortunately, the lure of antlers means few Whitetail bucks
live long enough to reach their full antler growth potential.

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