May 04, 2009
How Big Can They Get?
By Scott Bestul
We’ve discussed it before in this space, but whitetail antler is some amazing stuff. Among the fastest-growing tissue known to man, deer antlers have been known to grow at a rate of at least two inches per day. Until now...
The buck in the posted video—appropriately named “Sudden Impact”—is from a captive facility in Wisconsin. Last year, this freakish-big buck’s antlers scored 406”, and in the month of August were growing at the rate of six inches per day! To make things even more interesting, Sudden Impact grew this monstrous rack in only his second year!
As the narrator notes, this incredible growth is the result of “a perfect storm of genetics, nutrition and a stress-free lifestyle.” Noticeably absent from the antler-growth equation formula is age. Most wild bucks need at least five antler growth cycles before they realize their full potential, and some may not “max out” unless they reach 7-1/2 years of age. For any buck—even a domestic critter—to pour on this much horn in only two years is nothing short of amazing to me. Of course Sudden Impact is fed well, has no worries, and represents a rare kismet of breeding strategy. But come on…406” as a two-year old? Sometimes we get a glimpse into the potential of a species, and I find it fascinating, whether it’s a child prodigy, a lightning-fast race horse, or a whitetail with ginormous antlers.