I’ve been capturing trail camera photos and short videos of the two bucks shown here since early July. Interestingly, they’ve been mostly nocturnal up until the past week, when they suddenly adopted a much more accommodating (to me, anyway) feeding schedule. Now, they are early morning and late afternoon regulars.
On Thursday morning, September 5, the larger buck’s velvet began peeling. You can clearly see that here, and the bloody hard antler underneath, in this video. It’s pretty cool.
In my experience, once you see a few older bucks shed their velvet, the process happens fast. I’m betting most bucks in this area will be hard-horned by the end of next weekend. Soon after that, late-summer patterns change and… well, you know the rest.