When do our Texas coastal deer begin to develop antlers? My inquiring mind wanted to know – especially after I got game camera pictures of what I thought might be early growth, possibly due to the very wet winter and spring in our area?
The buck in this picture seemed to be showing antlers early to me, even realizing they were only “just begun”. The TPWD website has some good info on antler development that told me April and May might be the normal time for “horns” to start to show (I know, antlers are not “horns”, strictly speaking).
This picture of what could well be a different buck, although taken in the same specific area, shows a lot more growth, and marks him to me as a good “prospect” for the coming season, as his head gear should get even larger. TPWD says during the period of peak growth, antlers may increase by up to 2 1/2″ PER DAY! All the rain we have had so far in 2015 has probably helped create more forbs and other deer food, and also added to the general health of all wildlife in our area – as they have not had to hunt for a drink of water!
By the way, the TWPD website has very good time progression photography of a penned buck as his antlers are developing, but I like mine so far of a wild, native deer. I will try to get and post more shots of him as he becomes, “the best that he can be”.
Also, while not really proof of anything, the second picture shows the buck around a supplemental “mineral feeder”.