Wildlife Photos: How a Buck Sheds Antler Velvet

Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
ÂCharles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer
Charles Alsheimer

It was August, just after dawn in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Wildlife photographer (and whitetail expert) Charles Alsheimer (charlesalsheimer.com) was stalking through a tag alder swamp with his camera when he came across this buck about to begin peeling the velvet from its antlers.

Alsheimer snuck into position and, over the next hour, captured the entire sequence on film. The buck would thrash its head in the bushes until it became exhausted, stop, rest, then start thrashing again. When all the velvet was finally scraped off its antlers the buck sniffed around at the base of the bushes to find and then eat the shed material. Alsheimer calls the sequence "one of the most incredible things I've photographed in my near 40 years as a nature photographer."