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The World of Whitetail: Why Antlers? Part 1

After a buck casts an antler, he is left with a pronounced scar, but the skin around the pedicel rapidly closes the wound, sometimes in as little as one week. (Darren Deckard photo)
After a buck casts an antler, he is left with a pronounced scar, but the skin around the pedicel rapidly closes the wound, sometimes in as little as one week. (Darren Deckard photo)

Antlers! They are the stuff dreams are made of, and they seem to have a strange effect on hunters. I have seen grown men reduced to tears over missing a big-racked buck, and unfortunately, I also have seen folks behave in unethical and illegal ways from what I call “antler disease.”

Yet, in spite of the millions of words written about them, what do we really know about antlers? In this two-part series, I will discuss what I have learned about antler growth in my four decades of whitetail research. This installment begins with one basic question: Why antlers? Then, I will proceed to the anatomical basics and antler terminology. As Will Primos is prone to say, “Speak the language.”

READ THE FULL STORY ON NORTH AMERICAN WHITETAIL

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STARTING SEP 17, 2018
STARTING SEP 17, 2018