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Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

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Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

Old 09-19-2002, 08:49 PM
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Default Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

In our area (central Minnesota) I've observed bucks with horns that look very differant. Some have real white racks and some tan or darker. Why is this? Genetics? How long and hard the deer rubs off velvet? Maybe the white rack bucks bed in open fields, and the sun bleaches out the rack?

Anyone have any ideas or experience with this?

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Old 09-19-2002, 08:54 PM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

Isn't the "rubbing the velvet off" more myth and misconception. The antlers begin to harden, the velvet drys and flakes off and the buck is simply polishing his antlers by rubbing, in turn creating scent posts, visuals, and strengthening his neck muscles.

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Old 09-19-2002, 10:03 PM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

The color of the horns in determined by what kind of tree the buck rubs, pine will turn them dark and hardwood will turn them white Tarheel Hunter
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:05 PM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

No, they definately rub it off. Look into pictures of magazines or books of bucks shedding velvet. Not only deer, but caribou and elk and other species as well.


As far as the different colors of the antlers....I've heard it has to do with that the deer polish them on. That deer that spend more time in balsam and cedar ares, that rub their antlers on trees that contain sap often end up more dark colored. Why? I really don't know. If someone else can finish what I'm trying to say I'd appreciate it.



Edited by - James Vee on 09/19/2002 23:06:47
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Old 09-20-2002, 04:04 AM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

Remember, velvet is very itchy for the bucks as it dries. The bucks rub the trees initially to sooth their antlers, and to polish up their horns. The color is according to the type of tree they rub. The color can be thought of as bone, the whiter the antlers, the more they have rubbed, and they have used harder trees. The softer the tree, the more residue from the velvet that is left on.
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Old 09-20-2002, 06:56 AM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

Pine trees sap is very sticky and tends to collect the dirt when they make scrapes. If you look at a set that hasn't been cleaned then you should see a lot of dirt and such in the nooks and cranies of the antler.



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Old 09-20-2002, 11:02 AM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote<font size=1 face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Remember, velvet is very itchy for the bucks as it dries. The bucks rub the trees initially to sooth their antlers, and to polish up their horns. The color is according to the type of tree they rub. The color can be thought of as bone, the whiter the antlers, the more they have rubbed, and they have used harder trees. The softer the tree, the more residue from the velvet that is left on.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2 id=quote>

How can antlers be itchy? There are no nerves in them. Deer &quot;rubbing&quot; off velvet is a misconception. They don't intentionally rub off the velvet, it just happens as they prepare for the rut. The reason they rub is to practice for the fighting to come. It just so happens that their anticipation of breeding season fights occurs around the same time as the velvet begins to come off. And this would be completely natural, since practicing for fights with soft velvet horns, would cause them to lose their only weapon and means of earning a shot at a hot doe. I know people have been sayin gfor years they rub to get the velvet off, my dad told me the same thing, but it just isn't so.
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Old 09-20-2002, 11:34 AM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

First off, Antlers in velvet do have nerves. Velvet is a soft living tissue that is sensative to the touch for deer. When velvet starts to come off it actually bleeds and I do think it can irritate the buck as the living tissue dies and hardens- (similar to a scab).

I have watched bucks, while loosing velvet rub antlers into thick brush - It sure seemed to me like they were trying to get off the velvet.

Second - Antler color has nothing to do with what trees they rub. 90% of the rubbing is done at the bases and brow tines above the forehead glands. They rarely rub with the sides of the antler, or the back, or even the forks between g1,g2 and g3 tines. Yet antler color is pretty even throughout the antler. The bases will appear darker if dark bark gets stuck in the bumbs. If anything the highpoints of the base will become very light as they get polished - no matter what color tree he rubs on.

I have seen pen raised bucks with perfect colored antlers - that never rubed a tree in there life. Some where dark and some where light.
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Old 09-20-2002, 01:07 PM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

So what is the correct answer. Is it from rubbing on the different types of trees (hardwoods-softwoods)? Is it because of the sun? What distinguishes whether they are dark or light. I ve always thought it was the trees that they rub, and also due to the exposure of the sun.
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Old 09-20-2002, 04:15 PM
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Default RE: Bucks with White horns or Dark horns?

So which is it????? Does anyone know for SURE???
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