Ever wondered about the stages of a deer’s antler growth? Wonder no more.
This series of images tracks a single buck’s antler growth from spring until just before he loses his velvet in the fall.
Watch the video to see the dramatic transformation.
Antler growth depends on a number of factors including the deer’s age, genetics, diet, and health. Most bucks reach about 80% of their potential antler growth at four and a half years of age. At five and a half, they typically show 90 percent of their potential.
A wound from the previous year may cause abnormalities in a deer’s antlers and a hard winter or lack of adequate food will inhibit antler growth.
Hunters looking to harvest a trophy should pass up young bucks and let them reach their full potential. Establishing a year round food plot program will give the deer in your area adequate nutrition to reach their potential. Finally, creating a mineral site or two on your hunting property will help the bucks on your property grow larger antlers and assist in the does lactation process.
The added benefit of establishing mineral sites is that you’ll get images like the ones shown in the video and create an inventory of the bucks in your hunting area. Deer season will be here before you know it. A little work now could be the secret to tagging a giant this fall.