vBCms Comments

Welcome To Hunting Country

    Site News & Announcements (34)
    New Member Introductions (142)

General Hunting Forums

    After the Hunt - Recipes / Cooking (59)
    Waterfowl, and Small Birds (15)
    Big Game General (47)
    Turkey Hunting (60)
    Small Game (11)
    Whitetail / Mule Deer Forum (149)
    Pigs & Exotics (11)
    General Gear and Hunting Accessories (59)

Archery & Bowhunting

    Archery Gear Talk - Compounds (80)
    Archery Gear Talk - Accessories (28)
    Bowhunting (153)
    Archery Gear Talk - Crossbows (7)

Shooting Sports

    Gun / Rifle Target Shooting (17)
    Archery Target/Tournament Shooting (5)

Manufacturers' Corner

    Product Announcements (2)
    Promotions and News (6)


    Black Powder (1)
    AR Talk (15)
    Guns & Rifles (88)
    Reloading (12)


    Fishing Gear (1)
    General & Misc (3)
    Archery Equipment (17)
    Guns & Firearms (11)
    Camping & Hiking (0)

Not Hunting / General Chit Chat

    Podunk Corner (1588)
    Photography (118)
    Fishing Chat (46)
1.) Swamp Fox - 10/15/2014
Anybody ever get the solid feeling that a lot/most of the bucks were out of velvet earlier than they should have been at any point (by more than one or two weeks, say)? Not talking about this year in particular, necessarily.

Any explanations?

Any idea how it affected your hunting season?
2.) billy b - 10/15/2014
Not here, we get mature bucks:wink
3.) Swamp Fox - 10/15/2014

Do you really think it's a matter of maturity? I'm one of those people that thinks older/more dominant bucks rub first. Not sure that really translates to shedding velvet earlier, but it makes a kind of sense.

From all reports, many more bucks than I think should have been were hard-horned earlier than they should have been around here this year. If you were trying to kill a velvet buck, you were unexpectedly SOL from what I saw.
4.) billy b - 10/15/2014
They don't start rubbing till the velvet cracks and starts itching, I've seen a few deer with velvet still on or partially on into bow season, but normally they loose it starting about now, also I don't think it has anything with maturity.
5.) Swamp Fox - 10/15/2014
[QUOTE=billy b;26619]They don't start rubbing till the velvet cracks and starts itching.[/QUOTE]

Right. I wouldn't think it has anything to do with maturity either.

I would expect 99% of bucks here to be hard-horned and clean (without any velvet shreds) by the end of the first week in September. I'd say 90% of them will be out of velvet by Sept. 1.

This year I had reports and saw bucks in hard horn a week into the season, which began August 15. Usually, most if not all would be in velvet that early.

You'll find "tickles" early, but real rubs don't seem to appear until October.
6.) Swamp Fox - 10/15/2014
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;26620]Right. I wouldn't think it has anything to do with maturity either...


Well, let me clarify that. If you think mature bucks might have their hormones kick in a little earlier (as evidenced, perhaps, by their earlier rubbing activity) then it might make sense that mature bucks get "juiced" to lose their velvet and go hard-horned earlier than immature deer. I don't know that there's any evidence of that, though.

Maybe mature bucks rub earlier simply because they are more dominant. Or maybe it's a myth that they rub earlier to begin with.

I mean, like, who really nos all this stuff anyway?
7.) Swamp Fox - 10/15/2014
Just found this over at the QDMA site, from Kip Adams, deer biologist:

[I]Like so much that happens in the cycle of the whitetail’s year, the timing of bucks shedding their antler velvet is closely tied to photoperiod (the number of hours of daylight in a day). Decreasing photoperiod in late summer triggers increasing testosterone levels, which leads to antler hardening and then velvet shedding.

Interestingly, bucks began shedding a full week earlier this year where I hunt in north-central Pennsylvania....

The chart below shows my survey start date, the first date a velvet-shed buck was photographed, and whether the first shed buck was young (1.5 to 2.5 years old) or older (3.5 years or older) based on body characteristics, for the past five years. This analysis does not suggest other bucks that I did not photograph did not shed sooner. However, given that I conducted the trail-camera surveys using the same method at the same five bait sites at the same relative time for each of the years listed, and photographed an average of 20 unique bucks each year, I’m pretty confident the bucks using my family’s property shed earlier than usual this year.


Some have suggested that early velvet shedding is drought related. I disagree, as we are dry, but we’re much luckier than most of the country, and we’ve had more rain this summer than we did during summer 2011. Whatever the reason, it is fun to monitor this cycle, and we’re blessed to watch hard-antlered bucks a little sooner than normal this year!



Check out the chart at the link. Deer ages are listed.
8.) Forkie McRut - 10/16/2014
I noticed quite a few on a couple of farms I hunt in WV that had shed early in the 3rd and 4th week of August. On the flip side, caught a 6pt on camera last week that was still in full velvet. No noticeable injury to his jewels.
9.) luv2bowhunt - 10/16/2014
I've been photographing deer with trail cams for at least 15 years now. Have always noticed individuals that shed earlier than others but never a pattern where ALL the bucks in an area shed earlier than normal.

The older bucks lose their velvet first for whatever reason. That has been a pattern I've noticed. Shedding here is normally taking place the first 2 weeks of Sept., occasionally I see a couple lose their velvet the last week of Aug.
10.) Pa bowhunter - 10/16/2014
In my area in central Pa they were on time this year but last year they seemed to be about two weeks ahead of schedule and the rut never really seemed to take off.