Thursday, July 24, 2008

Velvet Racks

I've run across a few bucks lately, and boy are they beautiful. Not only is the whitetail deer in a beautiful coat in general, and looking quite healthy, but the racks for the matured bucks are close to being full size before shedding the velvet, which happens sometime in August-ish.

While in the growth phase, the antlers are covered in "velvet", a layer of skin that supplies the budding antlers with the nutrients needed to build the bone mass. The antlers will grow rapidly for 2-4 months. When the velvet is no longer needed, a ring at the bottom of the antler shaft forms and cuts off the supply of blood and nutrients. The velvet withers and begins to fall off. As a rule this process is facilitated by the deer by rubbing his antlers against trees. The whole process is repeated every year for the rest of his life. (Source:

While the antlers grow, the bachelors hang out together until the competition for does begins.

This interesting rack has double brow tines, which is unusual. Most bucks have a single brow tine on each side or none at all.

Both of these bachelors have interesting racks, and are both non-typical, I believe. I still cannot count the points with the angles I got, but the tines are not balanced on both sides for hunters scoring purposes.

It looks to me that there are at least 7 on the left and possibly 4 or more on the right. I would love to get a closer look at either of these guys, so I will definately be on the lookout when I am in the area again.


Bird Girl said...

Oh my gosh! They must be eating well - those racks are huge!!! Trophy type ! You better watch out or the hunters will start following you around ;-)
I just love bucks in velvet - I got a small spike the other night - looks like a baby compared to your guys! - wow!!!

The Birdlady said...

Magnificent creatures! Amazing photos! Just beautiful.

Ecobirder said...

Cool pics. Have you ever seen a moose shedding its velvet? It works much the same way, but with the huge size of the mooses antlers it is even more impressive.

Todd Dixon said...

Nice pix, especially the ones in the fields of flowers.

jalynn01 said...

First I just love your banner and how you combined the names! And after looking at some of your posts I'm hooked. Bluebirds are a fav of mine, and deer run a close second. Your bucks are magnificent. I love the velvety racks with all the 'tines and points' Just Gorgeous. I'll be back.
Just Great Photography. Your BIFs are also awesome.

Shellmo said...

Just beautiful - loved the shot of the bachelors from across the field. The racks are huge!

McGone said...

Wow! those are great shots. Especially the "looking over the shoulder" deer.

M said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos. Speechless. :)