Like whitetail deer, elk and mule deer shed their antlers via a combination of factors. They prefer to graze at dawn and dusk. So, you might think that all members of the deer family would drop their antlers at the same time. Hog Deer do not cast their antlers in a regular fashion, however, around August to October is most common. Use a game camera to ensure most bucks have shed. Leg, pedicle and velvet injuries can all lead to antler deformations. I have seen bucks that have shed their antlers in early December, and at the other extreme, I once observed a large 9-point still holding his antlers in early April. Genetics drives antler shedding to a specific date, but a male’s use of testosterone also factors into the equation. Older animals tend to cast and clean their antlers first. I have seen some with antlers up to St. Paddy's Day and my hunting buddy had seen some hold them longer. The five British deer species which carry antlers replace them every year. Figure 6. The annual casting and growth of new antlers is an important part of the whitetail's mystique. Examine travel corridors and water sources. The quicker it gets cold, the sooner they’ll be getting rid of their antlers. Male white-tailed deer with antlers in the velvet stage. Deer, elk, and moose, actually all drop their antlers at different times starting in those shortest days. While moose start dropping their antlers the earliest (in December). The males will spar with each other using their antlers to establish dominance and claim females. When bucks drop their antlers can vary by region and even parts of the state. Average 9-1-1 response time = 4 minutes Reasons for deformed antlers. I am pretty sure that the hunters reading this know all about antler drop, but then again, some hunters insist on incorrectly calling antlers “horns,” so I’m not sure. The process is complete when the antlers drop in winter. White-tailed deer may grow deformed antlers as a result of an injury. The pedicle, or mounting point, where these antlers are attached and grow from, is also the location where the antlers break off. There are a number of rules and regulations that all Hog Deer hunters must be aware of before they go hunting. For most of us, that means the time to shed hunt is early February to March. Keep an eye out for new hunting locations. Growth Cycle. During fall and early winter after velvet is shed, male white-tailed deer will have hardened antlers. The more testosterone a male uses during the rut, the more likely it is to drop earlier. Look in areas where deer spend most of their time ; Look in and around late-season food plots. When Do Elk and Mule Deer Drop Their Antlers? A very low percentage had dropped, but some drop in November. WHEN do deer shed their antlers? Antlers are dropped, or cast, and grow back over a period of months while covered in a furry skin called velvet. However, outliers are always present…bucks that either drop very early or late even pushing into early April. Antler shedding typically begins with the older bucks. Deer that are malnourished or injured, for instance, will tend to drop their antlers quite a bit earlier than those who are healthy and jacked full of testosterone. It’s pretty dependent on your area, actually. Figure 7. The Hog Deer is a herding animal and is found in the coastal tea-tree swamp areas. During mating season, when the antlers are growing, the male deer displays his antlers to a female deer and uses them to become the dominant male. The main purpose of antlers is to attract female deer for mating. Just like velvet development, the rut, fawn drop, and most things in a deer’s life, photoperiod tells a buck when they should drop their antlers. 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