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Hi Tiffany, welcome to the forum. It would be interesting to know what triggers a buck to start rubbing the velvet off. It's likely related to the number of daylight hours at the time of the season. One thing I always wondered about was whether that time differed further south (say Texas) similar to the way that the rut is later in the year further south.
 

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snomad said:
Hi Tiffany, welcome to the forum. It would be interesting to know what triggers a buck to start rubbing the velvet off. It's likely related to the number of daylight hours at the time of the season. One thing I always wondered about was whether that time differed further south (say Texas) similar to the way that the rut is later in the year further south.

You are correct in the number of daylight hours, up here earliest I've seen them out of velvet is about the 20th of august and the latest I've seen one still in was about september 15th or so... Near the equator with equal amounts of sunlight year round, a bucks birthday is a major factor in antler growth, The rut is a year round ordeal with no real peak, and while some bucks may be just starting to grow their headgear others may be getting ready to shed theirs... Antler in the velvet stage is one of the fastest growing tissues known to man, faster than most cancers, A moose for instance can grow over 2" of rack in a single day... Yeah I've done some reading bout deer antlers over the years and have been lucky to take 2 beautiful velvet bucks during archery...
 

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Early to mid August.

In late July or early August, the buck's testosterone level begins to rise a bit, and this triggers a slowing process of the blood flow to the velvet. Eventually, after about a month, the velvet is completely "dead" with no further blood flow to any part of the antler. It takes about a month for a buck's antlers to completely harden and at that point, the buck then sheds his velvet.

Since most bucks shed in early September, what you see on early August for most bucks is pretty much what you should expect to see at the start of bow season.
 
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