Removing these problem antlers makes the deer more comfortable.
No one can deny the practice of deer farming is big business. There is a lot of money to be made for deer breeders, especially the ones who produce the biggest antlers possible. Regardless of your feelings on this practice, deer breeders owe it to the animals to do what is best for the health of the animal.
And when bucks are growing giant antlers due to some crazy genetics, all sorts of issues can arise as the fall approaches. Most of these issues stem from injuries, but there are also concerns about the animals injuring themselves once the rut arrives.
Keith Warren gives a rare inside look at how deer farmers deal with these issues by removing the antlers from a few bucks that risk further image either due to damage to the antlers or simply because they are too aggressive. A word to the squeamish that there is some blood involved in this process, but it is fascinating to watch.
Antlers are the fastest-growing bones in the animal kingdom. Developing over the course of a single summer is an amazing feat. Many hunters simply do not realize how much blood flow contributes to the development of antlers until you see a video like this. For much of the summer, the antlers are completely vulnerable to major injury. As you saw here, sometimes this is the cause for large drop tines or other abnormalities the deer may not have had otherwise.
The fascinating thing is, as we wrap up the summer, blood flow to the antlers stops and they quickly harden in only a matter of weeks. It was fascinating to see them cut the antlers off the last buck because you could see how close the deer's antlers were to finishing their growth, yet they still had blood flowing in them.
And now we know that you can put a tourniquet on an antler. At least while it is in velvet anyway. The amazing thing is none of the bucks seemed to care their headgear was missing after the fact. For those larger ones, there was probably a lot of relief. We may not entirely agree with deer farms, but this was a fascinating up-close look at just how delicate antlers are while they are still growing.
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