Whitetail bucks shed their antlers each year after the rut. The buck featured in Wednesday's post still had both antlers as of Thursday morning. I was unable to check on the deer that evening, but when I arrived on Friday morning, I found that he had shed the largest antler.
It seems that the smaller bucks in this area usually shed during Christmas week or somewhat later, with the largest often being among the last to shed. I have seen bucks with antlers in early to mid-February and have heard of them still having antlers in early April, but it seems that most have lost them by mid-February.
I arrived shortly before dawn this morning and is it began to break day, the buck arrived and I could plainly see that he still had one antler. Within ten minutes it became light enough that I decided to set the cameras up and as I was doing so, I was astonished to notice that he now had no antlers at all.
An even closer inspection revealed the raw pedicel where the antler is attached to the skull. Had I been paying closer attention it is possible that I could have seen the antler fall off.
Stay tuned for the next post when we search for the shed antler.
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