02
Feb
10

White-tailed Deer: Buck With Antlers

Some time during winter male white-tailed deer (bucks) will lose their antlers.  Last weekend I asked some local experts (relatives) when exactly bucks lose their antlers.  One point of view stated that “Bucks keep their antlers all winter and don’t lose them until the spring.”  Another point of view stated, “Bucks lose their antlers in late December.”

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I’ve been seeing many deer in a local state park lately, but I haven’t seen any with antlers, which seemingly backs the theory that they lose their antlers in December.  While hiking yesterday, I spotted a pair of deer watching me from inside the forest as I hiked through a stand of trees where I’ve seen them feeding.  The very big deer above appeared, from this distance, to be larger than the deer to the right, so I focused my attention on it hoping to see antlers.  It doesn’t have any.

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I took a few shots of both deer, but as soon as they realized I had noticed them, they ran off. 

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Here’s a cropped version of the same picture showing this white-tailed deer still has antlers.  According to various websites I checked, the bucks drop their antlers anytime from December through February.  I’ve seen and taken pictures of this buck before and this rack has been worn down.  They constantly scrape those antlers on trees as a way of marking their territory and letting the females know where they can be found.

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