Antlers in the deer family (White-Tailed Deer, Moose, Elk, etc.) are like cars: new models are issued annually. This White-Tail yearlingis proudly showing off his first real “rack,” a 2018 sports model that is small and still covered with “velvet.” Deer antlers are made of bone that is fed by blood within that hairy velvet; the bone starts to grow in the early spring and is among the fastest-growing tissue in the animal kingdom.
Most bucks, young and old, are reclusive when their antlers are growing and full of sensitive nerves. By September, however, their racks usually have turned to hard bone and we see more bucks in the open; we also see scars on the trees where they have rubbed their velvet off. Most antlers here will be shed by February. They are the only mammal bone structure that regenerates itself annually.