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I am a truck driver from nebraska. Monday evening near Avoca IA and seen give or take a 14" fork buck with a shiny set of antlers. Heck bucks dont even start getting racks, let alone without velvet. any thoughts ?
 

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I would say he hasn't dropped last years yet, so many factors play in role when they drop there old racks. nutrition, minerals, pressure, stress, and probably the main one testosterone. I have read that buck start loosing there racks from Feb. to as late as the end of April or first of May and that one buck will probably run a 6 year cycle of around the same time each year with loosing each within an 48 hour period. Who knows for sure.
 

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all of the bucks i have seen lately were mulies, and most of them had both or at least one antler.
 

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Some deer dont shed antlers but just keep growing and growing. Some of the mule deer i have seen have had velvet all year long. Infact if you go to muliecrazy.com it talks a little about it. Hope this helps a little. Talk to yall later.:cool2:
 

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I would say he hasn't dropped last years yet, so many factors play in role when they drop there old racks. nutrition, minerals, pressure, stress, and probably the main one testosterone. I have read that buck start loosing there racks from Feb. to as late as the end of April or first of May and that one buck will probably run a 6 year cycle of around the same time each year with loosing each within an 48 hour period. Who knows for sure.
I know a woman who has a buck in captivity. A dawg ran it off a bluff and broke it's leg. When the vet came and splinted it's leg, they also had it cut (castrated) and according to her, it no longer sheds it's horns. I'm no wildlife biologist and can't confirm this, but i know in the wild testosterone plays an important role.
 

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There are many factors that play into the shedding of the antlers, and the production of velvet, a living tissue. I had to hunt this up because I had read this study a while back but the shedding of antlers is associated with not only protein intake, ( which influences the production of the velvet as well) but also with other environmental and biological factors. One of the most surprising to me was day length...then I thought WHY NOT??? Here is what I found..., it took me a while to hunt it back up... A kid in my class did a report on it in Ecology and I was taken back at the complexity of the event.

Why Are There Annual Cycles In Antler Growth?
Believe it or not, the 23 degree tilt of the Earth's axis is the ultimate
cause for the annual cycles in deer antlers. This tilt is what causes
Earth's annually recurring seasons. Deer have adapted their physiology and behavior to these seasonal changes, including antler growth. The
environmental cue that regulates antler growth is the amount of day
length, or photoperiod.

The physiological cue is the male hormone testosterone. The way this works is complicated, but changing day lengths are sensed by the eyes, which send this message, via the optic nerve, to the pineal gland. The pineal gland - a pea-sized organ at the base of the brain - produces many different hormones. One hormone produced is luteinizing hormone, which controls the amount of testosterone produced in the testes.


The antler cycle lags behind the changes in day length because the
hormonal changes take time. During fall, decreasing day lengths cause
melatonin production to increase, resulting in decreased production of
both luteinizing hormone and testosterone. Decreasing testosterone levels then cause the antlers to shed.
that is not my own research and take no credit for it, just informational and of interest to deer hunters and biologists alike....
 
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