View Full Version : When do deer antlers start growing?

June 25, 2006, 03:31 PM
Have they already started here in June? I'm wondering because my game camera film is at CVS getting developed - wondering if antlerless are necessarily does. If they've started growing, would they be 1/4 of their ultimate size right now, 1/2, or what? Thanks.

June 25, 2006, 04:44 PM
Out here in WA, we generally start seeing antler buds in May, June they should be about 50% grown, July 100 %, august start rubbing velvet.

June 25, 2006, 07:41 PM
ok, thanks.

June 25, 2006, 11:18 PM
In the deep south I've seen them look like clubs in May and with lumpy tines in June.

June 26, 2006, 06:46 AM
Just saw one the other day, starting to grow antlers. No idea how much you can relate growth now to relative size later. Have read/been told that antler size is function of adequate diet and health, not necessarily of overall size and age. This seems to be born out, as I've seen some pretty big deer with smaller racks, as well as some that weren't so big, but had nice big racks.

June 26, 2006, 08:04 AM
They shed in December here and start growing in June. A deer is considered mature at 4 years old .Until then nutrients especially minerals are used to grow bones more than antlers. After 4 years when the bones are completely grown the nutrient s start to make larger antlers. The number of points is more a genetic function but the size a function of nutrition.They do not get more points as they get older.

Wild Bill Bucks
June 26, 2006, 11:40 AM
Had two bucks at the feeders, down on McGee Creek, this week-end that had visible velvet, but neither of them looked to be very far along, ( 6 or 7 inches high). My does are just starting to bring the fawns with them to the feeders, (little bitty suckers). My wife sure likes this time of year, because she likes to watch the little ones play, while their mama's feed.

Don't know about the, not making points after they get older thing though.

Been feeding High protein feed all winter, so I will be interested in seeing how much difference that's going to make, from my yearlings last year.

June 30, 2006, 06:35 PM
Update: The answer to my question doesn't matter. Got the film developed; no deer on it. Results are as follows:

-1 Squirrel x 3
-2 Squirrels x 1
-1 Crow x 2
-1 Raccoon, x 10-15
-3 Raccoons (mama and 2 babies), x 2
-ME setting it off, x 1


Now I see why you get a digicam game cam, instead of analog. I foresee raccoon soup in my culinary future. :)

Wild Bill, nice! I'm jealous. Do you mean that your wife likes to watch live, or look at the game cam pics? Oops, dumb question - you meant live - so they come up to the yard?

July 3, 2006, 12:04 PM
I started seeing nubs down in S. Tx the first week in may. I have a BIG BOY that comes up right behind my house. Last year I estimate 24" + spread. I've been as close as 35 yds. I've seen him lately, and already I can see 10 pts as of yesterday. My guess is they are at 50-75% at this point.

Wild Bill Bucks
July 4, 2006, 09:41 AM

Last year the wife and I watched a 10 point and an 8 point, from our pic nic table, in the front of the cabin for about 30 minutes as they fed.

Sometimes they will come over to us, out of curiosity, to about 30 feet.

When the grand kids go with us, the bucks will let them walk up on them to around 20 feet, before they run.

Seems like they know that the little guys won't bother them. When they DO run, they don't go far (maybe 50 ft) then when the kids come back to the pic nic table, they will come back out of the woods and return to feeding.

Wife won't let me Bow hunt these deer however, they are just for looking at, she says.:D

July 18, 2006, 03:05 PM
Hey WWB & guys, today is July 18th. Are they rubbing their antlers yet? IOW, any good to look for rub lines yet, this weekend?

Man, that sounds like a cool place you got there Bill.

July 18, 2006, 04:58 PM
I've seen nubs on young bucks(previous years fawns) in February.
Around here we won't see rubbing until it starts cooling off, so September-October.
I saw my buck for this year.
He appeared to be 8 pts minimum with antlers wider than his ears.
He was within range of my stand from last year but who knows if he'll be there in 3 months.

July 18, 2006, 06:28 PM
any good to look for rub lines yet, this weekend?

Chafing at the bit, ain't you? :D Sounds like me.

I saw one last weekend. Big buck, still in velvet, still growing. I usually start finding fresh rubs around the end of August, first of September, around here. Rubs from last year are still visible, though, and time in the woods is always well spent. In the areas I hunt, deer use the same areas, year after year. Where I found a scrap last year, I can about bet there will be one close by this year. The same with rubs.
I usually wear rubber boots when scouting. Helps keep your scent off the trails.

Our bow seasons starts Sept. 15.

Have fun and watch out for snakes and ticks.

Wild Bill Bucks
July 20, 2006, 12:58 PM
Only been a couple of weeks since I saw my bucks, and they look like their horns have grown about 10 or 12 inches. Probably won't see any sign of scrapes until September or so.

It's been over 100 degrees at the lake for the last week or so, and they sure aren't moving much.

Funny thing, I saw an 8 point, that did not have any velvet, and looked like had the same rack from last year. I wonder if, some deer keep their antlers from one year to the next every now and then?

Any one else noticed this?

July 20, 2006, 01:44 PM
I dunno. Maybe. I don't see any other explanation if the velvet is off.

I'm wondering if deer's racks grow into essentially the same shape & size (typical vs. nontypical, etc.), from year to year, once the buck is mature.

Chafing at the bit, ain't you?

Yes. I am. :)

Wild Bill Bucks
July 20, 2006, 02:06 PM

I think they keep somewhat the same configuration, as I can tell from one year to the next that they are the same deer. They just get bigger and have more points.

I to, am chomping at the bits. I'll bet I have shot 2000 rounds of ammuntion since last month. Mrs.WWB keeps handing me a fishing pole and telling me to calm down, as I am not allowed to talk about deer hunting around her until September.

With two sons and a son in law that likes to deer hunt, she established this rule so she doesn't have to hear all the stories ALL year.:D

July 24, 2006, 08:21 AM
as I am not allowed to talk about deer hunting around her until September.

With two sons and a son in law that likes to deer hunt, she established this rule so she doesn't have to hear all the stories ALL year.

Hee, hee; smart woman. :) :)