Sunday, June 7, 2009

Camera Critters: The Antlers Develop


While I have seen one fawn so far, most of the local whitetail does have either not given birth yet, or are hiding in the woodlands and tall grass. Rainy weather has also made it more difficult to see deer of any type.

June-5th: Still Pregnant

While the does are preparing to give birth, the larger bucks' antlers are growing quite rapidly. The following photographs depict how much one particular buck has increased in size in two weeks.

May 24th


June 7th

This buck is a two year old and should be quite impressive by the first of July. Antler size is determined by genetics, quality of feed, and the age of the deer. Our area of Pennsylvania is not known for exceptionally large bucks so do not expect to see photographs of huge, exceptional whitetails on this blog. These animals are more typical of what Pennsylvania actually produces, than of those that grace the pages of national hunting magazines. In many cases these deer are pen-raised deer that are bred for maximum genetic potential, and fed with food formulated to produce maximum body and rack mass.

Pennsylvania traditionally managed its' whitetail herds so that maximum hunting pressure was focused on the males resulting in very few living to maturity. The state currently has antler restrictions, which enables many bucks to survive somewhat longer, but few survive the season that they reach the legal threshold. In some areas of the state an animal must have three points on one antler to be legal game, while in other areas, four is the magic number.

Click Here, for more Camera Critters photographs.

16 comments:

sandyshares said...

such clarity and lush greenery .loved them..sandy

Carletta said...

I was out deer 'hunting' on Saturday and found just what you said to be true. It's been so wet the fields haven't been mowed so it was hard to sight anything.
I saw single does but by their actions was pretty sure at least two were hiding fawns.
Great shots as always Willard!

Abe Lincoln said...

These are beautiful animals Willard. I am so glad they have a safe place to grow up. Nice post.

Old Wom Tigley said...

As always I'm thrilled with the post and pictures... I find the differance in hunting restrictions interesting.

jabblog said...

Beautiful photographs of beautiful animals. We often see roe deer when we're walking and it never ceases to amaze me how such large animals can disappear so quickly into cover.

Joy said...

Just beautiful!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I haven't seen our pregnant doe for a couple weeks now, so I'm wondering if she's given birth. Do you know what happens to the yearlings? She had two last time and they were still with her when I last saw her. I saw one of them in our creek this weekend.

Bradley Myers said...

Willard, sorry for not commenting lately. I have been by everyday I just have not had time to comment. I have been enjoying your post as always, I learn allot from them and I can't really say anything about the photos that I have not already. They are just fantastic.

Enjoy the fawns and the summer. Take care, Brad.

Willard said...

Adrienne,

There is a good possibility that she has given birth.

I saw a doe on June 1st that had a swollen abdomen one day. Her flanks were shrunken next day and I have not seen her since. Her fawns from last year are visiting the meadow each day. I would expect that she will start visiting again soon and within 2-3 weeks if not before she will bring her new fawn or fawns to the meadow.

The fawns from last year should still spend most of the summer traveling with her, except that bucks should disperse this autumn.

Usually when one sees a large herd of deer, one is looking at an extended family group.Although sometimes unrelated groups of deer may combine, in many if not most cases, they are blood relation. The large herds are most often seen during winter and spring.

DeeMom said...

wonderful information as always...we have seen only one fawn here so far...
I was not aware how quickly the antlers grow

Great pictures

Faye Pekas said...

Wow, I didn't realize their antlers grew that fast. Great shots.

Leedra said...

Love the last photo!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Thanks, Willard. I posted about the deer today. I love your blog and your photos!

The Birdlady said...

Always wonderful photos here - BTW, what chance would we have for seeing young elk if we drove up - and where would the chances be greatest?

T and S said...

WOW, the images do explain the drastic growth stunningly. Beautifully documented Willard.

Marvin said...

Superb photos, Willard. Despite the overwhelming research showing it is a terrible herd management "system", the trophy buck mentality is hard to change.