So much of what we do in the care and feeding of deer passes relatively unnoticed in the short term. But antler growth season is when “instant gratification” seekers can practically see results occur right before their eyes.
Growing at a rate of half an inch per day, antlers are some of the fastest growing tissues in the animal kingdom. That’s why it’s essential that deer consume the most nutritious diet of the year during antler growth season. Unfortunately, this is also the time when forage quality is typically low. However, there are things you can do to compensate.
As winter comes to an end, breeding season is officially over, testosterone levels drop and bucks begin shedding their antlers. Usually within a month, they’ll start growing their next set.
If the required nutrients are in short supply during the antler growth period, several things can happen—none of them good:
- Antler growth rate can slow down. There’s only a small window of opportunity for antler growth (about 120 days a year), and an antler growing at the rate of 15 grams per day is obviously going to be smaller than one growing by 25 grams per day
- Less dense antlers are more subject to breakage in rut fights
- Desirable characteristics that affect Boone & Crockett Score, such as antler mass (volume and weight), number of points and beam circumference are negatively impacted by poor nutrition.
Add protein to your deer’s diet. The bucks are growing antlers and the does are having babies. They need the additional nutrition and protein to stay healthy, especially in areas with less forage. Stop by Steinhauser’s for your AntlerMax products. Do you have questions about feeding deer? We can help, our trained staff can point you to the right feed for your deer and land.
A 20%-protein pelleted ration designed to enhance the deer’s natural forage diet. Formulated with patented AntlerMax® Technology.
- Improves antler size and mass and improves body condition.
- Optimum reproductive performance and strong healthy fawns.
- Proprietary AntlerMax® Mineral – optimal antler growth, density and strength.
- Highly palatable – strong proprietary flavor attracts deer and elk.
- To be fed free-choice with adequate forage or quality hay.
- Feed from February through August