Deer & Deer Hunting

MINERAL MANAGEMENT

To understand the relationship between nutrition and antler breakage — or more accurately, nutrition and antler strength — it’s important to understand the role that nutrition plays in the antler growing process.

After breeding season, decreasing hormone levels, specifically testosterone, cause a layer of skin tissue to grow between the pedicle and hardened antler, which eventually leads to antler shedding. That tissue layer contains regenerative cells unique to the pedicle, which let deer shed and regenerate antlers every year.

Antler growth begins immediately after shedding, even though new antler buds might not be visible for a few days or weeks after hardened antlers are cast. Velvet, a skin tissue, envelopes the growing antler and feeds it via an extensive network of blood vessels that supply nutrient-enriched blood to the growing

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