How Long are Whitetail Deer in Velvet?

You will see Whitetail Deer in velvet every year. This is because unlike horns, antlers are shed on a yearly basis, and new ones are grown.

In order to grow, a deer antler uses this velvet covering to help develop and extend its blood supply. It is a hairy, living tissue that resembles velvet material, hence its name. whitetail deer in velvet, velvet on deer antler

A buck's antlers start growing in early spring and will continue to grow until late summer or early fall.

Younger Whitetail bucks keep this covering longer than older bucks.

While in velvet, the deer antler is very sensitive and delicate, and this is when it is most susceptible to injury or breakage.

During this time, a Whitetail buck's testosterone level is low and they do not fight. You can watch them feeding together in groups.

In the fall, when their testosterone levels start to rise, the blood supply shuts down, the antlers harden completely into bone, and it starts to die and peel off.

whitetail deer in velvet, velvet coming off of antlers

Whitetail bucks will begin rubbing their racks against shrubs and trees to not only remove the velvet, but also to help reduce their growing aggression that is brought on by rising testosterone levels.

Their rubbing also helps to strengthen their necks in preparation for the upcoming rut and the fights that will ensue.

They will have it completely rubbed off and gone in just a couple of days.


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