08 Apr Deer antlers are among the fastest growing tissues known to man
Deer Antler growth usually begins during the month of March or April, by August or early September, antlers are fully-grown. In most cases the typical deer antlers begins growth out of the head in a backward motion, then quickly changes direction and sweeps forward.
Deer antlers are among the fastest growing tissues known to man.
Growing as much as a ½ inch per day during peak development. The development process can vary greatly depending upon the genes and nutrition of each deer. Growing antlers are covered with a living tissue called velvet. During development, the deer’s antlers are very delicate and extremely sensitive to the touch. This is also the time when most antler damage or breakage occurs.
Velvet is shed or rubbed off by the buck as he rubs saplings with his antlers. Older bucks will shed their velvet before younger bucks. A buck’s first set of antlers begins to grow when it’s about 10 months old. Spikes are more common in yearling deer than older ones because antler growth starts at a time when the young buck’s body is still growing rapidly. Antler development is tied in closely with the animal’s nutritional status. Older bucks might also carry spikes if they come from an area with poor food conditions.
In Pennsylvania, antlers are usually shed in February. Antler shedding usually occurs earlier in northern states than southern ones. Spike bucks shed their antlers sooner than bucks with branched antlers.