FAQ: When Do Whitetail Deer Drop Antlers?

What time of year do deer shed antlers?

In early winter, rutting season ends, and his antlers have done their job. Another change in hormones causes the antlers to drop off one at a time. This can happen as early as December or as late as March, but in our area, it typically occurs around January or February.

Where do deer shed their antlers?

Creeks, fences, ditches, roads, and thick overhanging branches are all great places to find sheds hanging around. Often that little jolt or bump is all they need to drop.

What happens to deer antlers when they fall off?

Antlers usually drop in winter, sometimes in early spring in warmer climates. Once the antlers fall to the ground, they are fair game for wild animals, from squirrels and opossums to coyotes and bears, who will chew on discarded antlers as a source of calcium, phosphorus, protein, and other nutrients.

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Do deer have antlers in February?

The northern regions of the whitetails range experience shedding earlier than the Midwest, so around January. The Midwest bucks tend to keep their antlers on until February, while the southern deer might still be rutting depending on the region, dropping their antlers anywhere from February to late march.

Does shedding antlers hurt the deer?

Deer’s antlers are honeycombed bone tissue. When the rut is ending the buck’s testosterone goes way down, which makes the antler tissue break up. It takes a few weeks for the tissue to break up, and then the antlers shed. This does not cause the deer any pain.

How many inches can a buck grow in a year?

Spurred by hormones and excess nutrition, antlers grow from March through late August. Demarais said antlers can grow about 1/8 inch daily for yearlings and about 1/4 inches daily for adult bucks. That’s as much as 1½ inches per week for adults!

Can you tell a deer’s age by the antlers?

There is really no precise way to accurately do deer aging while hunting, other than looking at the teeth. Despite the many stories hunters tell each other, the size of the antlers and the number of points on the antlers is not a reliable age guide. Antler size is more a function of diet and heredity than it is of age.

What eats deer antlers?

Rodents in particular love shed antlers – mice, squirrels, and porcupines will gnaw on antlers for their nutrients and to wear down their ever growing teeth. Even bears, foxes, opossums and otters have been known to eat antlers.

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Do deer antlers get bigger each year?

Deer grow and shed antlers every year, requiring large amounts of nutrients and energy. Antler growth depends on an individual deer’s access to quality nutrition, age and genetics. However, factors such as date of birth and condition of the mother can affect antler development.

Can you find deer antlers in the woods?

Just walking around in the woods trying to find shed deer antlers is a low-percentage deal. Concentrate your efforts in these five areas to up your odds of owning more bone. The link between where you are likely to find a buck’s shed antlers and where you are likely to shoot that buck in the fall is way overrated.

How long do antlers last in the woods?

Mule deer, whitetail deer and other ungulates shed their antlers once a year. It can take as little as 24-48 hours for the antlers to actually fall off, but the shedding process takes between two to three weeks and then new antlers will regenerate throughout the summer.

Do deer bleed when they shed their antlers?

Around the break there may be a little blood, but the main exposed wound is where the cells between the antler material and skill weakened, letting the heavy antler fall.

How much are deer sheds worth?

Here’s what you can expect to pay for antlers at these locations: Fresh elk drops retail for about $8 to $12 per pound. Moose “paddles” in good shape are approximately $10 to $15 per pound. First-year mule deer sheds go for an average of $8 to $15 per pound. (Large antlers are more per pound than small ones.)

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Do female deer lose their antlers?

Both sexes finish growing their antlers at the same time but shed them at different times of the year. Males drop their antlers in November, leaving them without antlers until the following spring, while females keep their antlers through the winter until their calves are born in May.

Why do deer drop their antlers?

All deer species shed their antlers in winter, after a sustained drop in testosterone ends their life cycle. At that stage, antlers are soft to the touch and easily damaged. Antlers harden in late summer and then shed their velvet once they quit growing. The velvet dries and falls away when its blood supply ends.

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