Alsheimer: Whitetail Antler Growth is Speeding Up

By Charles J. Alsheimer

Now that we’ve reached the longest day of the year antler growth will explode throughout the whitetail’s range.

In my blog entry two weeks ago I showed a photo of a mature buck’s antler growth on June 1st.  The accompanying photo shows that same buck photographed again on June 15th. As you can see, the buck’s inside spread is complete and its G-2s and G-3s are beginning to form, along with sprouting several small stickers.


C. Alsheimer Deer and Deer Hunting

Mature bucks’ antlers are beginning to grow at an accelerated rate – up to an inch per day with optimum nutrition. This buck was photographed on June 15. (photo copyright Charles J. Alsheimer)

Over the next 30 days antler growth will be rapid.  With lush forage readily available, bucks can consume up to 15 pounds of highly nutritious food each day. This will fuel antler growth of as much as an inch per day during the peak period from mid-June to mid-July. Most bucks are now part of a bachelor group that feeds, beds and travels together with very little energy spent on displaying dominance – a stark contrast from their attitudes during the fall months.

Be sure to check back in two weeks to see what this guy looked like on July 1st as we follow the fascinating progression of his antlers.

– Charlie

Learn more about the life and antler cycle of whitetails year round with Whitetails: A Photographic Journey Through the Seasons. This book chronicles the lives of six white-tailed deer, sharing a journey through the seasons from the viewpoint of the deer, vividly illustrating both behavior and the deer’s perspective.

Whitetails- A Photographic Journey

        • More than 200 stunning, full-color photos portray the life of the whitetail in intimate detail
        • Chapters read like “a day in the life of,” providing a rare glimpse at the behaviors of deer
        • Explains reproduction, courtship and mating, including the rut and behaviors leading up to it
        • Covers bucks, does and fawns for an entire year cycle
        • Special chapter on antler growth. Time-lapse images taken between April and October depict a buck as it grows a full rack of antlers