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Broken Velvet Antlers by Grant Woods

Antlers can grow very fast this time of year. They grow rapidly due to massive amounts of blood flowing through the developing antlers. This blood flow carries the material, primarily protein, necessary to build the antlers.

Later during the summer the protein will be replaced with hard minerals that give the antlers their rigid form. Once this occurs, the antlers will go from a living and pliable tissue to a non living bone like structure and the velvet will shed. While the antlers are growing they are relatively soft and pliable compared to hard antlers. It seems bucks tend to avoid touching anything with their antlers until they are hard.

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However, it’s easy to imagine how accidents would happen while living in the wild.

The buck in this video has already broken his right antler. Given the aggressive behavior he’s showing, it’s easy to imagine how he might have hooked a tree, etc., with his right antler that resulted in this injury.

It will be fun to watch the buck develop this summer and see where he travels. He’ll be easy to identify until he sheds these antlers and grows a new set next spring!

Growing Deer together,


Dr. Grant Woods
Dr. Grant Woods
Raised in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Dr. Grant Woods has consulted on wildlife research and management from Canada to New Zealand. A hunter since childhood, he not only knows how to grow big deer, but how to effectively hunt them as well. His work serves to improve deer herd quality and educate hunters about advanced management techniques.