As the days shorten in August, the level of testosterone in a buck’s system starts to increase. Like so much that happens in the cycle of the whitetail’s year, the timing of bucks shedding their antler velvet is closely tied to photoperiod (the number of hours of daylight in a day). Outstanding questions, Derrick! Cryptorchid bucks are different. These same results can sometimes be produced in a buck that is born normal but subsequently suffers a testicular injury. Velvet peeling typically takes a day or two to complete and if you are lucky enough to catch a buck in mid-peel, as photographer Don Jones has done here, it is a pretty dramatic sight. Literally. Bucks are shedding velvet. They grow and shed antlers on their own clock so in one heard there may be a newly shed buck, a hard horn buck and a buck in velvet. These deer weren’t hunted and were provided with ample nutrition year-round (a key factor). *Here is the story of the buck, told by Joey. What causes bucks to shed / peel their velvet? Once the velvet is … Is velvet peel triggered both a stretch of hot or cold weather? A very prolonged recovered from an injury, for example, can affect the antler processes. The shedding of the velvet, though, appears gruesome and bloody, does not seem to bother the bucks, and will continue until all the velvet is off. The velvet is typically totally removed in a day, and some of it may be eaten by the buck. Does the time when a buck’s antlers harden translate when they will peel their velvet, or is it random? Anderson has ruled out the antlered doe theory himself, as he’s seen the buck chase does during the rut and knows Potential has had normal antler cycles every … Because their testosterone levels remain low in early fall, their antler development is not completed, and their velvet is not shed. In 2000, he was awarded the Deer Management Career Achievement Award from The Wildlife Society. This is when blood flow ceases to the velvet-clad antlers and the drying process begins. In most cases, it takes anywhere from eight to 48 hours. With the blood supply cut off, the antler begins to calcify and turn to “bone” (which is what we hunters call it, but antlers are wholly different material). This is what triggers velvet shedding in early September and what causes the bachelor groups of summer to break up soon after. What factors cause bucks to shed their velvet early or later than normal? The antler drying/hardening process takes about 20 to 25 days. They spent the bulk of their careers as freelance photographers documenting whitetail behavior across North America. In fact, I’ve seen an older age class buck with no sign of shedding velvet that was sporting completely clean antlers within 22 hours! To your larger questions of timing … photoperiod (shortening day length) is the single most important factor that controls when a buck not only peels his velvet but also when he drops his antlers in late winter. Turkey Hunting. When the velvet makes a split near the base of an antler or along one of its tines, and you can see blood peeking through, changes are good that the next time you see that buck his velvet will be gone and his hard antlers will be showing. Photoperiod triggers hormone secretions in the whitetail’s pineal gland. It's that time of the year when the Fallow deer shed the velvet from their antlers. It’s when whitetail bucks shed the velvet from their antlers. Reproductively, they are in neutral. Also, the necks of cryptorchid bucks do not swell as the breeding season approaches. Older bucks that have six or more points often require several periods of vigorous rubbing to rid their rack of all the scraps of velvet. In turn, that gland secretes hormones that start and stop both processes. Do older bucks normally peel before younger bucks? When Ryne told his taxidermist about the velvet, the taxidermist explained what a rare buck Ryne really had, and he also guessed the buck didn’t have normal testicles. It was a very rare case that a buck would deviate more than a 3 days from its genetically programmed date. However, it is generally accepted that the shedding of antlers occurs between the months of December and April. This condition in whitetail bucks that results in antlers in velvet beyond the normal velvet-shedding date of late August to early September is usually caused by a birth defect known as cryptorchidism. However, it can range over a week period or more, easily. Do mature bucks peel their velvet first because the antlers are much larger than those of younger bucks? Sometime between September 1 and 15 bucks shed the velvet. "I found this buck I called "The Split 4" the second weekend of August with two other nice bucks. Everything Deer. The antler growing process ceases approximately by Aug. 10. September is normally the month that it happens. Velvet peeling typically takes a day or two to complete and if you are lucky enough to catch a buck in mid-peel, as photographer Don Jones has done here, it is a pretty dramatic sight. Scoring your velvet buck is the same as scoring a buck without velvet. Also, enlarged antler bases are characteristic of older, cryptorchid bucks. If allowed to mature, obviously they have the potential to provide a memorable, quality hunt. Bottom line The bottom line is that there is no universal answer to when do bucks lose their antlers. Rules and Announcements. However, I must slightly preface this answer. If You Pass a Mature Buck, Will He Grow Bigger Antlers? The fact that older bucks are more experienced in this sequence of events.”. Yearling bucks might be the exception simply due to the fact they are going from infants to adults in a rapid succession. Sometime around Labor Day. San Francisco Bay Area, California. A true hermaphrodite is a buck that has both male and female sex organs with antlers, but these deer typically stay in velvet and shed their antlers early. They lack the chemical stimulation to express their dominance and individualism. Field Gear and Gadgets . Severe droughts and winter weather (I’m talking really severe, not just a few weeks here or there) can also affect things. A buck responding to late summer’s photoperiod (exposure to daylight) experiences a change in behavior due to the sudden elevation in testosterone in his system. These bucks do not breed or participate in the rut and are basically social outcasts. Velvet peeling typically takes a day or two to complete and if you are lucky enough to catch a buck in mid-peel, as photographer Don Jones … All things being equal, individual white-tailed bucks will peel their velvet and shed their antlers on remarkably consistent schedules each year. They literally rot, and the odor will hit a 10 out of 10 on the gag meter. Bucks will usually seek a secluded location that’s loaded with brushy vegetation. For starters, the white-tailed buck’s antler-growing process begins and ends each year from about April 1 to July 15. As the end of summer approaches, the day’s length decreases, making the testosterone of male deer increase. Alsheimer documented peel and shed dates for all of these bucks, and discovered that each individual deer would peel velvet and shed their antlers on a remarkably consistent schedule. Sometime around Labor Day. In 2011, he was named Conservationist of the Year by Budweiser Outdoors. Their antlers are shed, and the bucks become much less aggressive, and bachelor groups form again. Their antlers never lose their velvet and the antlers themselves never are shed. Whitetail bucks have velvet covered antlers from late spring until late summer. New antlers will grow in the spring to prepare for a new mating season. During his nearly 20 years with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Joe helped implement QDM practices on more than 2 million acres. As days begin to get shorter, a buck’s testosterone level declines. SONY ILCE-9. “But then I went and looked at the buck. When do Most Deer Shed Their Antlers? Bucks will usually seek a secluded location that’s loaded with brushy vegetation. “Of course he has testicles, he’s a buck!” Ryne told the taxidermist. / ISO 1600 Nearest Area. Velvet shedding is the official start of the fall dispersal. If you’re estimating antler score from a velvet buck, it’s smart to be more conservative on circumference scores if you are hoping to get an idea of what a buck will score once he’s shed his velvet. You must realize though, that many bucks (not all) will shift their home ranges once they shed their velvet. New Members . This is a network of blood vessels and tissue, which delivers the nutrients needed for growth to the growing antlers. Apart from shedding antlers, deer can be also seen struggling to free themselves after getting stuck with their antlers. Buck Shedding Velvet. For example, one buck might shed its antlers each year within a 3-day period in February, while another buck would have a similar schedule but maybe three weeks later. At 4 years old he scored 257" SCi Gross and 227" SCI Net. And there is always a first sighting of a buck with its brand new, non-velvet antlers of the year. Antlers are not shed, and they remain in velvet year round. Me and my buddy Mike had our eyes set on the other two bucks, knowing both were … When they first form, antlers are covered with a layer of skin called velvet, which nourishes the bone as it grows. It is a rare event when a buck will peel his velvet in less than three hours. Usual antlers are 22 to 27 inches, with trophies ranging from 30 to 36 inches. The exact time will depend on a number of factors including the ones I have highlighted above. In extreme cases both testicles remain in the abdominal cavity and never descend into the scrotum… “I’ve thought mature bucks would be the first to peel their velvet because of three things: “One last observation: my friend found that his mature bucks shed their antlers in late winter about a week or two before the younger bucks began to drop their antlers (he found about 80 sheds. Sponsors . Only available on the new PursuitUp app. It looked like he was born that way.”. 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