Thursday, 22 January 2015

Deer sheds, Big Daddy

457 grams
Still watching Big Daddy. Justin has comforting words for me. Big Daddy, two days later, still has one right antler. It's hard to count, but I think 2 or 3 of our 5 bucks have lost their antlers, 'shed' them, as they say. I spotted Big Daddy, again, worrying the bird feeder. I've figured out that if I fill it early in the day the birds (AKA red squirrels) get some black sunflower seeds before the deer lick it to death!

Today, Thursday, we have had a couple of bucks sans antlers. Thing is, without name tags, it's really hard to tell them apart, except for their behaviour. Big Daddy is, of course, in charge. Other than that, I've given up!

the lightest is 180 grams

I've included before and after photos. I weighed the one antler he left me down in the forest, beyond the meadow. It was 457 grams (about a pound)!

Below are  three bucks, the two have lost both antlers.


Shed Hunting with Justin Hoffman
According to one of my books, the older, more mature bucks generally drop first. They often breed earlier and once the testosterone levels drop, the antlers are shed as they are not needed anymore. Saying that, it can definitely go both ways. I have found small sheds for young bucks early, such as last year, and bigger ones later. Not an exact science. Best thing to do is to begin searching early. Once the porcupines, squirrels and mice find them, they can make quick work of them.

11 comments:

Out To Pasture said...

What a neat collection you have there, Jennifer. Your own personal museum of natural history. Those antlers remind me of drift wood. I wonder how long it will be until you notice the bucks' new growth appear. Anyway, you will never want for a back scratcher with those little beauties around. Cheers.

carol l mckenna said...

Lovely photos of the beautiful deer.

Happy weekend coming,
artmusedog and carol

Kay said...

When we were in Alaska, we were able to carry some moose antlers. We couldn't believe how heavy they were. They must have powerful neck muscles. Can you do something with your deer antlers? Aren't there artists that carve them?

Hilary said...

So cool to have found so many. I didn't realize they were of interest to porkies, squirrels and mice.

TexWisGirl said...

they're just lovely feeder raiders!

Crafty Gardener said...

What are you going to do with your antler collection? The deer make fascinating subjects for photos.

William Kendall said...

I imagine they might be glad to have the extra weight off the head.

Red said...

You have a front row set to an interesting event. As you say mice and others make fast work of antlers once they are shed. To just walk through the forest and find an antler is pretty well impossible.

Powell River Books said...

It would be so interesting to find an antler. They must be around our area, but I've never come across one. - Margy

bettyl-NZ said...

That would be so weird to get used to--seeing antlers missing! Your deer look so pretty and docile. I'm sure they appreciate the 'bird' feed!

Crafty Green Poet said...

There's something amusing about a deer with only one antler!