Editors Blog

Velvet Bucks are True Trophies

Deer & Deer Hunting Editor Dan Schmidt with velvet buck

It is a rare event when a hunter can encounter a buck still wearing its velvet crown. Notice how I say rare … not impossible. Although we’ve popularized a lot of scientific research on the whitetail’s shedding process over the years, there’s still a lot that researchers don’t know about whitetail antlers.

One thing that is known is that every deer is different. In many places, the biggest deer will peel their velvet first. This happens because testosterone levels start to rise in July and August; triggering the calcification process. Peeling will begin when blood flow to the spongy, growing antlers ceases. You can tell if there are a number of mature deer on your property if you are finding fresh rubs in September and early October. These are usually the telltale signs of a mature buck’s core home range.

Can’t get enough of huge deer? Check out this antler addiction special.