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Big Iowa Bucks and Interesting Antler Facts

by Mark Kenyon 30. June 2011 15:56
Mark Kenyon

It's a great time of year for antler freaks like you and me! Headgear is getting noticeable and heavy racked bucks are finally appearing in fields and on trailcam. My buddy Pete Lynch recently shared with me some great pics from his Iowa properties that made me equally pumped up for hunting and jealous that he's already seeing mature bucks with such good growth. That being said, I had to share them with you guys! But while you're scoping out these future Iowa Giants below, I thought I'd also toss out a few interesting facts I've come across over the years about antlers and how they grow.

- Did you know that antlers are fastest growing tissue known to man?! Even faster growing than cancer cells.

- Antler growth, velvet shedding and eventual casting of antlers is all due to increases and eventual decreases in testosterone. These changes in testosterone are triggered by the lengthening and shortening of the daylight hours, also called the "photoperiod".

- An injury to a deers back legs often will be reflected in the opposite side antler. For example, if a buck severely mangles his left leg during the antler growth cycle, you could expect to see a pretty non-typical right antler.

- Antlers can grow in some cases an average of 1 inch a day!

- There is no truth to the old belief that a yearling spike buck has poor genetics and that it should be culled from the herd. Countless studies have been done in recent years that show that many spike bucks turn in to just as large of racked bucks as a branched antler yearling if given a few years. 

- Eight point racks are the most common in whitetails.

- By the age of 3 1/2 years old, some studies show that a buck has only achieved around 50-60% of it's potential antler growth!

- Antlers grow from the tips out.

So now that your thoroughly excited by the buck porn pictures above and the incredible nature of antlers themselves, make sure you get out your trailcams now if you haven't already and start scouring those bean and alfalfa fields with your binocs for quickly growing bucks! Only 84 days til my first day of bow season and I can't wait!

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