Antlers are used as weapons during the fall mating season, when bucks clash with other animals to establish dominance. Some bucks lose their antlers as soon as early December, while others retain them into March or early April.
Over the years it seems that most bucks in the herd of deer that often grace these pages, shed their antlers during the last few days of December or early in the first week of January.
The eight-point which we have featuring frequently during the past year, (he was shot by poachers in early October, but recovered) was seen with both antlers still present on December 29th.
Coy Hill of Country Captures and I were watching him and discussing that he would soon shed his antlers and we were musing how interesting it would be to actually see one fall off. At one point he left in pursuit of a doe and then returned within a few minutes with his right antler missing. That was just how close we were to actually seeing the event.
Sometimes the animals cast both antlers simultaneously, and they often lose the other within a day of losing the first, but that was not the case in this instance. He still had the left antler on the following morning, but now the pedicel was dark in coloration and a scab was forming.
This buck did not shed the other antler until the night of December 31st, but that is a subject for another day.
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