Use a game camera to ensure most bucks have shed. WHEN do deer shed their antlers? There are a number of rules and regulations that all Hog Deer hunters must be aware of before they go hunting. When Do Elk and Mule Deer Drop Their Antlers? The males will spar with each other using their antlers to establish dominance and claim females. During fall and early winter after velvet is shed, male white-tailed deer will have hardened antlers. When growth is complete the velvet is rubbed off and the antler is described as clean. Antlers are dropped, or cast, and grow back over a period of months while covered in a furry skin called velvet. The quicker it gets cold, the sooner they’ll be getting rid of their antlers. Antlers grow rapidly from their pedicle (base) while in velvet during the spring and summer, as fast as 3/4 inch/week for yearlings and 1 1/2 inches per week for adults during peak growth (Jacobson and Griffin 1983). Just like velvet development, the rut, fawn drop, and most things in a deer’s life, photoperiod tells a buck when they should drop their antlers. Figure 6. They prefer to graze at dawn and dusk. Male white-tailed deer with antlers in the velvet stage. I have seen bucks that have shed their antlers in early December, and at the other extreme, I once observed a large 9-point still holding his antlers in early April. Genetics drives antler shedding to a specific date, but a male’s use of testosterone also factors into the equation. Average 9-1-1 response time = 4 minutes Deer, elk, and moose, actually all drop their antlers at different times starting in those shortest days. For most of us, that means the time to shed hunt is early February to March. Older animals tend to cast and clean their antlers first. A very low percentage had dropped, but some drop in November. The annual casting and growth of new antlers is an important part of the whitetail's mystique. During mating season, when the antlers are growing, the male deer displays his antlers to a female deer and uses them to become the dominant male. Just as rising testosterone levels triggered antler growth at the pedicle, a drop in testosterone levels will cause the pedicle to weaken and eventually, the antlers will fall off.. Figure 7. However, outliers are always present…bucks that either drop very early or late even pushing into early April. Growth Cycle. The pedicle, or mounting point, where these antlers are attached and grow from, is also the location where the antlers break off. Leg, pedicle and velvet injuries can all lead to antler deformations. Antler shedding typically begins with the older bucks. Reasons for deformed antlers. White-tailed deer may grow deformed antlers as a result of an injury. Deer that are malnourished or injured, for instance, will tend to drop their antlers quite a bit earlier than those who are healthy and jacked full of testosterone. It’s pretty dependent on your area, actually. Like whitetail deer, elk and mule deer shed their antlers via a combination of factors. The main purpose of antlers is to attract female deer for mating. I am pretty sure that the hunters reading this know all about antler drop, but then again, some hunters insist on incorrectly calling antlers “horns,” so I’m not sure. Hog Deer do not cast their antlers in a regular fashion, however, around August to October is most common. I have seen some with antlers up to St. Paddy's Day and my hunting buddy had seen some hold them longer. So, you might think that all members of the deer family would drop their antlers at the same time. The more testosterone a male uses during the rut, the more likely it is to drop earlier. Examine travel corridors and water sources. While moose start dropping their antlers the earliest (in December). Look in areas where deer spend most of their time ; Look in and around late-season food plots. 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