April 24, 2009
When Do Bucks Shed Their Antlers?
By Scott Bestul
We’ve received two letters from readers this week. The first was from Steve Newcomb from Ohio, who reported seeing a buck with antlers in late March. These were hard-horn antlers from last year, and Steve wondered how unusual it was for a buck to still be packing that late in the year.
The answer is an emphatic “kinda”. Though most bucks have shed by late March across whitetail range, there are plenty of exceptions. Easy winters and plentiful food result in unstressed bucks that tend to hold antlers longer. But even when the winter is tough, some bucks are just late shedders. I’ve known several guys who’ve kept captive deer over the years, and they all note that when bucks shed can be a highly individual deal. One buck shed his antlers within 2 days of February 25 every year, regardless of conditions!
Another reader from New York wrote to ask if we knew about a giant whitetail shot last fall in Westchester County. I had not heard of such a buck, but thought I would ask Buck Tracker readers if they had any information. With a long five months until deer season, I am in need of another big deer story fix! Anyone have the scoop on this deer? And of course feel free to share antler-shedding tales and antler growth progress in your area. On a Kansas turkey hunt two weeks ago, I saw a buck sprouting nubs already!