ANTLER GROWTH AHEAD OF SCHEDULE?

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?

This buck is probably showing a "normal" start of antlers for late spring?

This buck is probably showing a “normal” start of antlers for late spring?

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).

While this is not likely the same buck, the picture was taken only about a week after the first shot - definitely in early May.

While this is not likely the same buck, the picture was taken only about a week after the first shot – definitely in early May.

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”.

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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One Response to ANTLER GROWTH AHEAD OF SCHEDULE?

  1. MikeH says:

    Thank YOU! Glad you liked it – although I’m not sure my data will apply to deer in Barcelona?

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