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Old May 7th 2018, 01:53 AM   #1
  May 2018
Why Do Deer Shed Their Antlers?


People are crazy about antlers, whether they’re attached to a deer’s head or not. While most people know that bucks shed and grow antlers every year, many don’t know the biology behind this amazing phenomenon. Antler growth, mineralization and casting (dropping antlers) are largely controlled by hormones and regulated by photoperiod, or the amount of light per day. Briefly, antlers generally grow during spring and summer and mineralize in August and September in response to a buck’s increasing testosterone levels. Testosterone levels begin increasing in July, peak in late October to early November, drop through late December, and remain at reduced levels through the following July. The testosterone cycle is largely governed by photoperiod, so just as decreasing daylight and increasing testosterone causes antlers to mineralize and shed their velvet, increasing daylight and decreasing testosterone causes antlers to fall off.

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