When Velvet Antlers Stop Growing

md danny lb 2018 augustWhat you see on a buck’s head right now, is what you’ll get for this year.

The majority of antler growth was completed a week or so ago in early August. Now during mid- and late August, the antlers start to harden. In early to mid-September the velvet dries and is shed, usually in a matter of hours.

The cue for the hardening and velvet shedding is the change in photo-period as caused by increasing darkness and decreasing daylight in late summer, which results in a significant increase in bucks’ testosterone levels. Once a buck sheds velvet, he is ready and willing to breed, though does won’t cycle into estrus for a month or two yet.

Thanks to our friend Dan for sending the latest image of “Long Brow” with his fully grown headgear for the year. It sure was a pleasure watching this beautiful buck grow.

8 thoughts on “When Velvet Antlers Stop Growing

  1. I do not have a single picture of a buck over 145″ but where I hunt that is well above the average mature buck. My whitetail hunting will be cut short this year as I drew a cow elk tag as well have a few family members an we are going on elk meat hunt old west style….tents , horses, etc.

    • My bucks that are shooters are still growing her in Central KY. With at least three over 150”

  2. Long Brow is the biggest buck i have on camera this year, and I think he’s only around 120″. (i’m hoping i’m way low) From some angles he looks huge, and other angles he’s not that impressive. Although he is about as pretty as they come. I’ll have to see him in person before i decide whether to pass or shoot. The rest of my family is not going to pass. We only have 3 weeks until the opener.

  3. I only have one shooter on camera so far. Will see what shows up yet in the next few weeks. Soon as they shed their velvet some bucks disappears and some new ones show up. Leaving summer areas and moving to fall areas. Hope to get a couple more nice ones on camera yet. Lots of corn surrounding us right now

  4. I agree with all of you, way fewer bucks on our Spartan cameras this summer as compared to last year, and no real giants (150+) have shown up yet on our VA places. Weird, it’s been SO rainy here, maybe has something to do with it. Bucks WILL show up on all our cameras as we get to September, keep at it! I just changed to fresh Lithium batteries and cards yesterday.

  5. I agree not as many big bucks showing up as of yet. But I’m with you Mike on rain having something to do with that. In my area the rain has produced an enormous amount of ground cover “Thick as can be”… With this much growth the bucks can stay put and don’t really need to go to so called summer grounds… The true test for me will be come last few days in August till the Bow opener Sept 15th. Once the bucks shed velvet they’ll hit my mock scrapes, which I’ve had running last few weeks… If I don’t get pics then I’ll get worried…

  6. I feel like here in Ohio there are now way more bean fields than corn fields. I’m thinking this is leading to way less buck travel.

  7. It is going to be a good year here in Kentucky I believe. I’ll be hunting public land this year but there are some studs on the local public land. Good luck this year guys and gals!

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