3 Main Reasons Why Deer Shed Their Antlers

Deer
Photo by Andrea Chioldin on Unsplash

Antlers are one of the most notable parts of the male deer anatomy, but members of this species tend to shed them each year. If you’re interested in learning more about when and why deer shed their antlers, we’re here with all the answers you’re looking for.

End of Breeding Season

Deer usually shed their antlers once the breeding season is over, and that’s not a coincidence. Antlers play a crucial role in helping male deer attract mates and it’s more practical to shed them to conserve energy and resources once the rutting season is over.

Testosterone Drop

Male deer usually experience a drop in testosterone once the rut is over, and these hormonal changes are connected to antler shedding. As the calcium connecting their antlers to their skull weakens, they eventually fall off, and this typically occurs in the late winter.

Growing New Antlers

The shedding process normally doesn’t cause male deer any harm, and it’s good for them in the long run. The shedding of the old antlers makes room for the new ones to grow back once spring arrives. New antlers tend to grow larger and more robust than the previous year’s set, making it easier for deer to attract mates during breeding season.