Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Whitetail Bucks Shed The Velvet

Many of the whitetail bucks shed their velvet during the last week of August and the first part of September, but I had not seen any signs of this until September 1st, when a four-point came running into the meadow with the velvet completely shed.

Velvet Completely Shed

That evening a small three point showed up that aptly portrayed how the process usually proceeds.  The velvet on his right antler had small cracks, and was speckled with bloody spots and streaks of blood, while velvet hung in long bloody strips from the left one.

Velvet With Small Cracks And Bleeding
Velvet Hanging In Strips
Soon all of the bucks will have bare antlers and the first stirrings of the pre-rut and rut will sweep through the herd, as the cooler weather of autumn arrives.

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Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill

17 comments:

ladyfi said...

Amazing shots! Shedding the velvet looks painful, but probably isn't.

Nikki-ann said...

Fantastic photos! The process looks very painful!

Willard said...

No, the process doesn't seem to be painful, but it would seem that it should be.

Misty Dawn said...

Your posts and images are so special as they are educational by capturing these moments in nature and sharing them with us.

Carletta said...

Our buck friends don't show up very often. I've seen two this summer and apparently after the shedding process.
As always Willard these are awesome images.

Carletta @ Round The Bend

Indrani said...

These are great captures... so educative.

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

Great post. My kids were also wondering if it hurt them. I agree- probably not.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Oh, that looks so sore but these shots are so intricately detailed and just stunning!

Denise said...

Had I seen this deer in this condition a couple of years' back, I would not have realized that this was a natural process. Thanks for educating us out here Willard. Your photos are always amazing. Thanks also for stopping by.
An English Girl Rambles

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Oh I feel so sorry for him. Does it hurt?

JimB said...

Good documentation and good pictures to illustrate.

Thinking about SNP on 17-18-19

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I am always amazed by the clarity of your photos, Willard.
This velvet-shedding process looks ouch-y to me.

Greyscale Territory said...

These photos are amazing! I have heard of this shedding the velvet process but I have never seen evidence like this! Wonderful photos!

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Amazing photographs, as always!

Philip said...

HI Willard I wonder if this is Painful for them ??

Brad Myers said...

Great photos Willard, it has me looking at a day trip south in the next week or two in hopes of seeing some.

Did you see the article on the visitors center in the Harrisburg Patriot sports page over the weekend? That guy says it will not open until mid October.

HANNIBAL said...

I'm always amazed at the stuff you capture! Love the shed strip!