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Just curious. I was in BC last week and saw a nice buck standing next to the highway and already had a nice rack (8 points). I was just curious if anyone knew when they start to get their antlers? Also, do they get them earlier out west than here.

PS: Good to have the site back!


vbprogramma
 

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Just curious. I was in BC last week and saw a nice buck standing next to the highway and already had a nice rack (8 points). I was just curious if anyone knew when they start to get their antlers? Also, do they get them earlier out west than here.

PS: Good to have the site back!


vbprogramma
Have seen them budding in april before if the weather is good, but generally around first of may or end of april they start growing.
 

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Seen one here the other day and it already had 4 points on each side and still growing...... I think it all depends on how mineral rich his food source is.
 

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Antler growth is triggered by changes in daylength. Once the days start to get longer in the spring, antler growth initiates. In NB, it is typically sometime in May. Antler velvet is the fastest growing tissue in the animal kingdom, and many "mature" bucks will have a relatively impressive rack by the end of June, mid July. Yearling bucks also grow antlers, but they can be difficult to see until later in the summer as their ears can hide much of the growth they put on until into July, and cause a lot of people to mis-sex deer in june. Most antler mass has been accumulated by August. As daylength decreases rapidly in September, antlers harden and the velvet sloughs off.

Researchers at Mississippi State U. caused a buck to grow and cast 3 sets of antlers within one year simply by changing the amount of light the deer's eyes were subject to.
The foremost researcher of deer antlers is a Canadian - Dr. George Bubenik. He did a lot of antler research while a prof at Guelph University. He has since retired, but fortunately, he sent me a pile of his papers on antler growth and development several years back. He also surgically removed the pedicel cells (where the antler growth originates between the ears of a buck) and transplanted this onto other animals, as well as onto other parts of a deer - and had a buck grow an antler out of his leg, and also had a mouse produce a bony "antler" between his ears. Ever hear of the "Jackalope?"......apparently it's surgically possible. LOL!
 

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This is a buck from last year with pictures over the summer. I believe he is 2.5 yrs old and seems to have poor genetics because he never grew a brow tine on one side and not much of one on the other. Still it is an example of antler growth.









 

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Hey Crunchy;
Don't give up hope yet. 2.5 year olds very regularly don't seem to get brow tine growth in their second rack for some weird reason. Many of them - maybe because they are now "throwing antler" much wider and higher, fail to get the brow tine in the 2.5 year-old racks. However, the following year they are right there just as they should be. I'm not yet convinced this little blip on the antler radar is genetic yet or not. I'd think not seeing as the following year the tines are there. Let us know how this boy develops next year - be interesting to see if he grows them next year like most others.
 

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If I get him on camera this year I will post the pic. These are a couple of pics of him at 1.5. At 1.5 he has 4 points/nubs on the right and 1 tine on the left. At 2.5 he has 4 points on the right again and 2 on the left.



 

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Hey Crunchy;

Yearling bucks "disperse" or get a new home range when they are yearlings. 25% of them leave when the female is dropping her next litter (may-June) and the other 75% leave in the fall. Therefore, it's usually tough to tell whether one yearling one year is the same 2.5 year old the next - because he may have dispersed away from your site...or perhaps - another yearling buck may take up residence there!
 

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It will be interesting to see how this boy develops. At present, he looks like he'll have a bit bigger rack than what you'd expect for a 2.5 year old. Could be you have more than one buck there!
 

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Hey Crunchy;

Yearling bucks "disperse" or get a new home range when they are yearlings. 25% of them leave when the female is dropping her next litter (may-June) and the other 75% leave in the fall. Therefore, it's usually tough to tell whether one yearling one year is the same 2.5 year old the next - because he may have dispersed away from your site...or perhaps - another yearling buck may take up residence there!
Good point on the dispersion, but possibly he had already dispersed when I started getting him on camera at 1.5. The other couple of reasons I suspect it is the same buck is that he traveled with the same 10 point at 1.5yrs and 2.5yrs. Also he grew 4 points on the right and no brow tine on the left at both 1.5 and 2.5. No 100% way of knowing if it is him or not both years.
 

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It will still be interesting to see how he develops regardless. I read a bit more about antler growth in Bubenik's papers the other day. Although antlers are still in velvet in August, the majority of antler growth is over by then. August is the time of year that the antlers under this velvet go through what he called a "mineralization" process. Essentially, they arre hardening and becoming bone. Once the process is done, this is when antler velvet detaches, and they begin to rub it off.
 
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