This young looking whitetail buck was captured (on camera) May 21st in Lenexa, Kansas. It looked on as we rolled down the windows (with six not-so-quiet kiddos in the van, no less), took the picture and stared rudely for a couple minutes. Then it decided it’d had enough and took off.
It looks like it’s already got a healthy start on some nice antlers. They’re still covered with velvet, and they’ll remain this way until the antlers stop growing. Then the blood supply to the antlers will dry up, stopping further growth. The velvet will then become dry and itchy, causing the buck to scrape them against trees to remove the covering.
This act of scraping antlers on trees (known as rubbing) serves two important functions. First, it strengthens the buck’s neck muscles in preparation for clashing with fellow deer in competition for the ladies. Second, it leaves very noticeable bald patches on trees where the bark has worn away, telling us hunters that a buck has been in the area 🙂