All of you shed hunters out there are going to love this one. One hunter recently got a video of a buck shedding its antlers and posted it online.
We know that a ton of you Outsiders love to hunt. Many outdoorsmen today are crazy about antlers, whether they are attached to the head of a deer or not. As a matter of fact, shed hunting has become almost as popular as deer hunting itself. Although most people know that male deer shed their antlers and grow a new set every year, not many people understand how it happens or why.
Luckily enough, a man by the name of Tom O’Reilly caught the “how” part of that question on video thanks to his trail cam. The footage was actually captured back on January 6 of this year, but it was just posted to O’Reilly’s YouTube channel last month. So, if you have never actually seen how a buck sheds its antlers, we definitely encourage you to watch his video. It’s a great example of how the process happens and simply put it’s pretty dang cool.
Take a look at the awesome footage for yourself down below:
Why Do Bucks Shed Their Antlers?
Now, some of you may be wondering why male deer even shed their antlers in the first place. But to answer that question, let’s first start with why do deer have antlers?
Well, folks, our whitetail bucks have antlers so that they can establish their dominance over other bucks. As many of you know, adult male deer will often battle over does, using their antlers to help win the fight. If you’ve seen footage of two bucks crashing into each other headfirst, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. Antlers are also a great indication of how strong and healthy a buck is. The strongest and most mature bucks will grow the biggest racks and have the most points. Those are the ones sought after by trophy hunters.
Now, let’s move on to the question of why bucks shed their antlers. The spring and summer months are when a buck’s antlers grow the most. However, as fall begins to approach, the shorter days result in an increase in testosterone. This causes the bucks to shed their velvet and get ready for the upcoming rut. The testosterone peaks sometime around mid-fall and then starts to decline after the rut. The decline of testosterone then triggers hormones to reabsorb calcium in the bone around a buck’s pedicle — and this is what allows the antlers to be shed after a few weeks of testosterone decline.
Many of you serious shed hunters out there probably have this down to a science by now. But there’s no denying that you’ll be more effective at finding sheds once you understand the science behind it.