01
Jun
09

White-tailed Deer: Buck (Big Boy) in Velvet

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Sometimes to put the deer at ease I’ll pretend to forage like they do.  I saw Big Boy and Braveheart foraging in a field near one of the places they hide.  Hiking right on the gravel hiking path there wasn’t a nearby bush, so I had reached into the tree that I was leaning on and grabbed a branch.  That got Braveheart’s attention and he sauntered in for a closer look.  Thinking that it had worked once, I tried grabbing the same branch.  As soon as I reached up to grab the branch, Braveheart lit out for the nearest trees.  Big Boy watched him run.

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When the bucks go into velvet they don’t like to move around.  You’ll also see them in fields now because those velvet antlers are mostly blood and a skin like membrane with very little bone.  They can be easily damaged.  Something the impetuous Braveheart doesn’t know yet.  He leaps and bounds through the brush just like he did before his antlers began to grow.

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Not Big Boy.  He knows the importance of his antlers and how easily they can be damaged at this point.  He ran right up to the edge of the woods and then…

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seemed to tip toe into the woods.  Why would he be so protective of his antlers, when just seconds before he ran, tail up, for his life?  White-tailed Deer only flag when scared.  So, why would he tip toe so gingerly into the woods now?  To protect the antlers.  Why are antlers so important to a grown adult buck?  Simple.  The chicks (does) dig the antlers!

Have a good day.

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