Although much has been written by zoologists on whitetail deer antlers, yet some facts about its antlers and habitat are still hidden. If you stay with us till the end you will easily make out all these hidden facts. It will become easy for you to differentiate between whitetail deer and other species like mule deer. You will also learn the latest researchers carried out in Canada on deer antlers. From shape to diet everything will become crystal clear. Let’s follow the facts sheet.
Almost everyone knows these deer are mammals. They are from kingdom Animalia and white-tailed deer scientific name is Odocoileus Virginianus, family Cervidae and phylum Chordata. Being highly adaptive animals, they can be found in the rain forests of North America to Cold zones of South Canada. Stay with us to know more facts about whitetail deer antlers. Let’s start –
Reason for naming them whitetail deer antlers
Perhaps it is one of the most confusing questions. Whitetail is common in other species of the deer family also. The reason why they are not named after it is not the white color itself. This is because whitetail deer use their tail as a danger signal. While other species don’t tend to move their tail in this way l.Let’s see a clear difference between whitetail deer and other deer.
Differences between whitetail deer and other Deer
Other deer species are mule deer, fallow deer, red deer, sika deer, water deer, Elk and many more. The reasons why whitetail deer are different from other species might be:
- Presence of antlers on males(few exceptions in females also but less than 10 out of 1000)
- Normally ears of whitetail deer are bent, less long and not sharply edged unlike other species
- They move their tail when they feel danger while other species don’t do this.
Facts about deer antlers
There are lots of facts about deer antlers including fun facts about deer antlers. From those, we find some key facts and which are given below –
What are antlers?
Antlers are branched horns outgrowths. They are typically present on the male head of deer. The question is when do whitetail deer antlers fall off and grow?
But male deer rub off its antler after one year. In some areas, they shed off antlers in December and in other areas in April. Let’s see how it grows.
How Do Whitetail Deer Antlers Grow?
At what age do whitetail deer grow antlers? It is growing at the age of one year. It grows step by step and within a few months, it gets the full size.
It is not permanent and gets lost during winter. Plus, it grows again with skinny hair named velvet. Let’s learn something more about velvet –
What is velvet
Velvet grow faster. These are tissues in mammals. They can be classified as the fastest-growing tissues. But their growth decreases with high testosterone levels. In summer, they shed off. Animals rub their heads through trees to lose velvet.
Factors affecting the growth of antlers on Whitetail deer
One important factor is that whitetail deer antler growth by age. It grows fully until 6 years. The curves of antlers are usually forward without dividing. Springtime is more favorable for antler growth. Major factors that contribute to antler growth are –
The function of Antlers in whitetail deer
The Whitetail deer antler growth cycle depends on the mating season. Male deer use its antlers to attract females. They mostly try to become dominant over other males.
Antlers can also save deer from predators.
Growth of antlers in female whitetail deer
Do female whitetail deer grow antlers?
It is rare but possible to find female whitetail deer with antlers. It is just one out of every 65. The main reason for this is abnormal testosterone levels. Low testosterone level stimulates antler growth.
Major threats to whitetail deer Population
Nowadays, this species is facing a few major threats. Although its hunting is not legal yet they are hunted most and sometimes they become victims to prey. So, their population is facing the following major threats –
- Global warming
- Lack of natural habitat
Those are the reason why is the deer population decreasing?
Common Habitat of whitetail deer
Whitetail deer habitat is mainly dependent on the availability of food.
They are mostly found in North America. But its subspecies live in Guatemala and Peru. They prefer to live in fields, forests of crush woods and meadows. They can adapt to any environment. For this reason, nowadays, their population is increasing in many areas.
Food Of Whitetail Deer
They love to eat woody plants, grasses, legumes, fruit and shrubs, trees and vines. For reproduction, they mostly eat a variety of plants. Their favorite plants should be half-inch high from the ground. Protein and minerals are needed for the growth rate of antlers.
So, during the antler growth period, they eat high protein food. You can learn more about whitetail deer food habits here.
If you don’t know what to feed deer in winter or summer then you have to learn because deer have different habits in different seasons.
Methods of controlling its population
Overpopulation of any animal can destroy the ecosystem and results in diseases. The same is the case with the whitetail deer population. So, zoologists use various techniques to combat its overpopulation like –
- Prescribed burning of crops.
- Removing a few trees
- Food plantings
Researchers Conducting on Whitetail deer
Kip Adams from Q research has conducted studies on ANTLERS. His videos are very informative with the deer skull sample. He explains the gradual whitetail deer antler’s growth with the actual skull. In Kip Adams’s videos, it is very easy to understand the whole growth process of antlers.
Cabelas Research project on Antlers
In Cabelas Canada lot of research projects are ongoing. Biologists here are working on scoring the deer antlers. In America, they are scoring antlers by following characteristics –
- Beam measurements.
- Circumference measurement.
- Bent measurement.
Researches on Increasing Whitetail antlers growth
Steve Scott, Vice president of the whitetail Institute examined antler composition. Antlers need 60 to 80 %protein every day to grow well. Deer get this protein from spring or summer farming. Minerals’ consumption, this is what makes deer antlers grow big.
The greater population of whitetail deer in Texas
In Texas, a lot of rainfall promotes white deer growth. They don’t have to travel far for food. For this reason, the deer population is growing day by day. It’s probably the largest deer herd in the nation.
Different ways to get shed off antlers
Zoologists often collect and keep a record of antlers in their record books. This record is further used in different types of research. They often use the following techniques to get shed off antlers. You just need to know in what month do deer shed their antlers. And then-
- It’s easy to get one around available food.
- You can find them along with bushes.
- From one antler you can trace others.
- By tracking the deer trail, antlers can be found.
MSU Deer Lab
In Mississippi State University, there is a deer lab. Different projects are carried out there including deer tagging for their antler’s growth, scoring deer for their antlers, controlling overpopulation and much more.
Canadian Whitetail Deer Antlers
We can find whitetail deer in the Southern part of Canada. South part of British Columbia to Cape Brenton antlers can be found. It shows how easy they can live in cold areas. Here in Canada, their body has white spots. Canadian whitetail deer antlers usually have white rings around the eye. Colour ranges from tan to reddish-brown.
Whitetail deer carry disease
Overpopulation of these deer results in diseases. They can spread tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease. They can also transfer these diseases to other pets. As a carrier, they can also transfer diseases to humans.
Complex sight qualities
They have complex sight sense. They can’t see well vertically. But they have a perfect horizontal vision. They are more sensitive to some colors and hunters often take advantage of this.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do male deer grow antlers?
Male deer first got a small bony structure on their heads. Step by step this bony structure got skinny hair called velvet. Within a few months, it turned into heavily branched horns and finally termed as antlers when velvet rubs off.
Why do deer move their whitetail?
They mostly use their tail to give danger signals and to attract females during the mating season. When they saw predator they move it constantly to show others that it is not safe around. Also, deer attacks to protect thyself in different situations.
What are these deer worth?
Antlers are graded in Grade A, Grade B and Grade C for its worth according to its quality and weight. Grade A antlers may worth from 11$ to 13 $ a pound while Grade B antlers range from 7 to 11 $ a pound and grade C rate are 2 to 4 $ a pound
Do whitetail deer antlers fall off every year?
Yes, in mule and Whitetail deer antler fall off every year. It takes a lot of energy to grow. So deer rub them in December or in April.
What are the antlers made of?
Antlers are made up of bony structures and fastest-growing tissues. Blood reaches in this bone through skinny hair called velvet.
How do you score deer antlers?
The perfect way to score buck antlers is to measure the main beam length, circumference measurement, bent length and inside G shaped spread measurement.
In this article, I have discussed key facts about whitetail deer antlers. If you are with us then you can easily identify whitetail antlers in the zoo and even in the forest. You can even try to attract them by offering their favorite legumes and shrubs.
If your hobby is collecting shed antlers then you should know how to collect antlers. Then grab the spot and try the methods given in the article to find fresh shed antlers.
Thanks for being with me till the end. If you have further queries, please contact us in the comments box. Let’s see what you think about whitetail deer antlers.