Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Bucks still have their antlers!

They are due to lose them soon. My cyberfriend, in Ottawa, tells me the bucks he watches in the region have begun to lose theirs. We shall see what happens. In the meantime, my Tigger looks magnificent.

He is the king of the forest. When he enters the yard, they watch him. He just glares at them and they move off. The yearlings have fun with him. They edge nearer, and he turns his head with his big rack. They bounce off, happy to play the game, push the envelope and do the dance.

I was curious as to what prompts them to lose their antlers. They need them for rutting season, to fight over their females. I was reading my book, Whitetail Savvy, by Dr. Leonard Rue III (age 90), to find out more. The books had a section on this topic.

The Casting of Antlers

  • Testosterone levels drop, cells at the antler base (osteoclasts) reabsorb the calcium from the antlers.
  • The mass of the antler becomes grainy.
  • One day the antlers are solid, the next they can drop off.
  • Timing depends upon the end of breeding season. 
  • Stress of rutting produces stress, which drops testosterone levels.
  • Lack of food causes stress, at which time the pituitary gland produces corticoids. 
  • Severe cold causes stress, as well.

The year I found mine, I found them with some blood around the area. After they fall off there is some blood flow. The cold and their natural clotting stops it pretty soon.

To figure out where to look for deer sheds, check out my friend, Justin Hoffman's video!


eileeninmd said...

Hello, they are beautiful! Great photos. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

Out To Pasture said...

Absolutely beautiful animals, Jennifer. Those antlers provided tools for our ancestors.

Nancy J said...

A full rack, symmetrical, with many points, equal tines, and width and depth as well, is much sought after, and could be entered into a competition, and scored according to the system used by that country. Down here, the "Douglas Score " is used, I prefer to see them left in your yard, where we can enjoy, and you reap the rewards when the antlers fall. Very handy to have on the garage wall for hats, hoses, and coats to be hung on, even a scarf or two!!!

William Kendall said...

Hopefully they can be found quickly, because it doesn't take long before tiny critters really break down antlers.

Anvilcloud said...

Antlers to impress the ladies,,, and fight off the other laddies, i guess.

Cat Lover said...

Tigger is magnificent! Your posts are always so interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful post and love your photos of Tigger ~ Beautiful! ~ thanks.

Wishing you a Happy Week ahead ~ ^_^

Jean R. said...

Interesting! I have antlers as a centerpiece. Never thought much about what causes them to drop off.

Red said...

The old bucks seem to have such a load of antlers that their heads are near the ground.

WendyFromNY said...

So informative! I am going to get that book on whitetails. I, too, have trail cameras out and get to know our local deer. Sorry to say, most of the bucks were taken by the hunters our neighbor allows on their property. I also saw unknown hunters on there via my cams. I did have a ten pointer survive the season, and would dearly love to find his sheds! Thanks for the amazing pictures!