antler growth

What We Learned From a Buck With No Eyes

Oct 12, 2022 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

Deer scientists have known for decades about the powerful influence of light on deer behavior and physical characteristics like antler growth. Early theories about latitude affecting things like rut timing were close – but incorrect….

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Why Are These 3 Whitetail Bucks So Different in Size?

Jun 8, 2022 Moriah Boggess

“He’s a good buck for the area.” My guess is you have heard this phrase many times and may have even said it yourself. It’s a well-intentioned congratulatory statement to someone who has taken an…

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An Unusual Buck Skull Shows Us the Starting Line for Antler Growth

Mar 10, 2021 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

Even as we are hunting for and collecting them this winter and spring, new ones are already growing for us to hunt next year – although we’re all hoping to collect some of those new…

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If You Pass a Mature Buck, Will He Grow Bigger Antlers?

Nov 4, 2020 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

You’ve got a 5½-year-old buck standing broadside in your sights, and he’s yours to take home with you if you want him. He’s heavy-bodied, fully mature and carries a large rack of antlers. But as…

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How to Read Shed Antlers for Health and Habitat Clues

Mar 25, 2020 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

There’s a quick way to look at a shed antler and tell whether the buck that dropped it was in good health back in the fall during the rut. No, it’s not mass. It’s not…

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QDM Works. Culling Doesn’t.

Oct 16, 2019 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

Donnie Draeger used to believe in culling deer to improve antler genetics. Over his career as the wildlife biologist at the Comanche Ranch in southwest Texas, he’d spent a lot of time and the ranch’s…

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What Determines a Buck’s Antler Color?

Jan 2, 2019 Kip Adams

As fall winds down, I’m sure you’ve seen many pics of happy hunters with their trophies. I am continually impressed with the size, growth patterns and color of antlers. Age and nutrition are mostly responsible…

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Pumba: Yet Another “Inferior” Buck That Wasn’t

Dec 20, 2017 Lindsay Thomas Jr.

Can you name a fellow hunter who says that bucks with weird antlers should be “culled” for the benefit of the herd because they’re somehow “inferior”? Way too many of us can, so we should…

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Do Mild Winters Mean Smaller Antlers?

Oct 16, 2017 Kip Adams

Whitetail antler growth is driven by photoperiod and regulated by hormones. In general, antlers begin growing in spring, grow through late summer, shed velvet around early September, fall off in winter, and start growing again…

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3 Boomerang Bucks That Went Non-Typical and Back Again

May 8, 2017 Matt Ross

Follow Matt on Instagram. White-tailed deer antlers are amazing appendages, aren’t they? Through the centuries, they’ve adorned walls of caves, huts, barns, camps and literally millions of homes across North America. Their mystique fills the…

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