In fact, I’ve seen an older age class buck with no sign of shedding velvet that was sporting completely clean antlers within 22 hours! It can take as little as 24-48 hours for the antlers to actually fall off, but the shedding process takes between two to three weeks and then new antlers will regenerate throughout the summer.. Now the tree rubbing and antler-polishing begin. It did seem that the bucks shed velvet a bit sooner this year than most. Later, the deer will shed the velvet by rubbing its antlers against trees and shrubs. Throughout this growing period, the buck’s rack is fairly soft and flexible, but it hardens to bone by late summer as the bucks’ testosterone levels start climbing. The annual casting and growth of new antlers is an important part of the whitetail's mystique. Deer lose their antlers every single year, but do you know why? But they found as they approached their dead deer the antlers were still fully cloaked in velvet, the delicate hairy membranes that help antlers grow. However, it can range over a week period or more, easily. One last thing you might not know: Bucks have been known to turn their heads and peel or even eat the dry velvet off their new racks. Reproductively, they are stuck in neutral. They lack the chemical stimulation to express dominance or individualism. Growth Cycle. Then — in late winter after the rut is over — bucks shed their antlers. More September photos and comments coming. Antlers harden, the velvet is shed, and bucks continue to rub their antlers (and forehead glands) on bushes and small trees as a means of scent communication known as signpost behavior. Growth peaks in late August throughout most of the whitetail range. It’s one of the coolest times in the deer woods. As days begin to get shorter, a buck’s testosterone level declines. That’s typically when bucks lose their antler velvet, a soft, blood-rich tissue that covers growing antlers from late spring through summer. Increasing levels of testosterone cause their velvet to peel off. Cryptorchids don’t rub or scrape as the rut approaches. Antlers grow rapidly from their pedicle (base) while in velvet during the spring and summer, as fast as 3/4 inch/week for yearlings and 1 1/2 inches per week for adults during peak growth (Jacobson and Griffin 1983). Most bucks shed their velvet between mid-August and mid-September. A stag doesn’t shed his antlers; they remain in velvet year-round. Velvet can be completely shed from a whitetail buck’s antlers within a day or two. Whitetails shed their antlers like many species in the deer family. Hang with me the upcoming weeks, they will bring big changes. CONTINUED… GO TO Deer Scouting 2016. I am definitely excited. Mule deer, whitetail deer and other ungulates shed their antlers once a year. 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