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What Is Velvet On Deer Antlers?

Posted by Jennifer Smith on

Deer shed their antlers each year; and in order to rapidly grow, they rely on velvet nutrition to help them. This special tissue is a type of skin, loaded with blood vessels and nerves, that regenerates every year. While it helps grow antlers on deer, it causes discomfort in the late summer season as it becomes dried out and heavy.

To make themselves look more presentable to doe in the fall, bucks will find trees to rub off the dried velvet from their antlers in preparation for mating. This action causes tree damage that can be prevented by orchard managers and tree growers - if precautionary steps are taken before September when the "rut season" begins. 

Precautionary steps for tree protection include:

Fencing out deer and keeping them away from growing sites; or wrapping tree guards around young trees. 

When Is Deer Rut Season?

During the summer months, bucks will develop dried velvet on their antlers that will become quite heavy, unattractive and uncomfortable by the beginning of September. To look desirable by doe, male deer will find trees to rub the velvet off their antlers. This process is known as rutting. The action may make the deer feel better; [...]

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