• Teagen Galindo

When Do Whitetail Deer (and other ungilates) Shed Their Antlers?

Shedding takes place from mid-January to mid-April. This is due to the decline in testosterone that causes hormones to reabsorb the calcium in the bone surrounding pedicle. This process directly results in the antlers shedding from the deer's head. Some deer shed their antlers earlier or later than normal depending on different factors. Wounded or injured deer usually cast their antlers earlier than normal because injuries activate the osteoclasts cells early. The same situation goes for deer with declining physical conditions.

Deer that are in good condition, live in a mild climate, and have a higher quality habitat will keep their antlers well into the spring months. Deer with poorer conditions, live through harsh winters, and have limited nutrition based on their habitat will shed their antlers earlier.

As for springtime, head out in the woods and start shed hunting to see if you can find shed antlers deer have dropped! These can be a great tool for the next rut season for you to use to imitate deer fighting over mating rights. It is often a good idea to remember where you found your sheds and set up a trail camera or the next deer hunting season.


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