mini beast

trail cam mini beast

This is a picture of the Mini-Beast Buck last night, which means he stripped the velvet clean off his rack one day last week in late August. The bottom picture is of Mini-Beast with growing velvet antlers in July.

The best description of the velvet-shedding ritual I have ever read comes from the research book Way of the Whitetail by Leonard Lee Rue III:

Usually in the last week of August and the first week of September, the bucks begin to peel the velvet from their antlers. Mature bucks often peel four to five days earlier than the younger bucks, but I have seen younger bucks peel first on many occasions. Whereas up to this point the bucks have done everything possible to avoid hitting their antlers against anything, now they rub saplings vigorously…

The shortest time I have seen it take a buck to remove the velvet was just a little over one hour; most of the time it takes at least 24 hours. Frequently the velvet is removed from the main antler beam but hangs in shreds at the base. These sheds infuriate the deer because they flap back and forth in front of his eyes every time he moves and interfere with his vision. The buck will vigorously rock his head back and forth, trying to shake the strips of velvet off. He will try to catch the strips with his mouth and pull them off. I have videotaped bucks using their hind feet to try to scratch the velvet loose.