Deer antler casting takes place once a year. We all know getting out in the fresh air is good for us. Countryside living can garner additional benefits in springtime when deer antler casting takes place. Living in a remote location, on a sporting estate, has many bonuses, especially during the spring months. The vast open spaces of an estate are inhabited by many species of wildlife. From the smallest bird to the UK’s largest mammal, the red deer, they all dwell in the remote wilderness. In April, the red stags cast their antlers to make way for growth of a new set. The antlers drop off in the heather. There is a challenge to find antlers, but when discovered, it promotes a sense of achievement.
Where to look when deer antler casting takes place
Deer antler casting happens over a short period of time for the stags. Interestingly, the deer do not all shed their antlers at the same time. Weeks may have passed from the first cast to the last antler dropping off. Looking for cast antlers requires lots of walking, and a keen eye or a trained dog. It would be easy to make the assumption that finding antlers is easy, after all we see deer regularly. In reality though, finding antlers requires a good deal of walking around scanning the heather and spotting with binoculars. A first place to look is where the deer have been spotted feeding. Roaming herds of stags cover many miles of open countryside. In preparation for a deer antler casting long walk, take plenty water.
A race of find cast antlers
Seriously. It is a race to find cast antlers before the deer. It is a bizarre natural concept because the deer shed their antlers to make way for new growth. In an effort to find additional nutrients, they will chew on any antlers they find. When red stags are in the process of growing new antlers it puts a heavy nutritional demand on their bodies. The chewing of antlers provides the stags, and hinds, with calcium and promotes the growth of the new set of antlers. In Scotland Red squirrels also chew antlers.
Interesting fact about deer antler
The word antler comes from the Latin anteocularis, ante (before) + oculus (eye).