They’re growing…

It is getting easier to discern who’s down at the pond munching on cracked corn these days — the doe or buck.

Slow but sure, the velvety antlers are making their way skyward.

May 23rd – just stubs, no velvet

June 4th – gaining substance on top; velvet covering

So here’s my question: Does a buck’s rack grow more quickly if they are older, and more slowly if they are younger? Can I predict age by the antler’s growth habit?

Answer: Antler growth is largely dependent on the age of the deer, genetics, and diet. As a buck matures it will typically grow more tines and eventually max out. Then the antlers become smaller year after year as the buck ages. In a whitetail buck the antlers typically reach optimal development around 5 to 6 years of age. So, “yes” if you watch a buck continue to grow its rack to a large size.

Fun facts:

  • Antler is the fastest growing bone material known to man.
  • It takes 120 days from late March to early August to grow antlers to full size.
  • A mature buck can grow in excess of 200 aches of bone in his head.

#deerimn #nature #whitetaildeer #antlergrowth

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