Back in 1996 my life did an unexpected flip-flop. For years I’d thought about getting a place where I could watch and bowhunt deer. I decided to look around. The obvious place to look was in the area where my deer lease of 16 years was. It had a lot of deer. And I loved the place.
I drove there and quickly learned that the small farm next door had just become available, I took it for a good sign and promptly moved in.
In 1994 I had gotten myself on the Internet and after searching for ‘bowhunting’, and finding absolutely nothing, I started the first website about bowhunting, which became Bowhunting.net.
Because I now lived right smack in the middle of good deer country I was able to follow what was going on ‘deer wise’ nearly every day. Then I reported on deer that I saw and what was happening, on my website Bowhunting.net.
These daily deer reports and comments were all text (no Digital Cameras yet). So I was surprised when my ISP told me that hundreds of bowhunters daily were reading what was going on.
I wanted to add the obvious to my reports, deer pictures. I had a professional Nikon camera I used when I wrote magazine articles. It took great pictures; but one problem, it was on film and it was a few days to get the pictures back. The bucks were in velvet and their antlers were changing fast. I wanted pictures the same day I took them, not a week ago.
One second after I saw a Digital Camera I ordered it next day air.
I also used game cameras; back then they were film only, and all to often they failed to take pictures and the picture quality was not consistent. When digital ones showed up I switched to them and endured their problems until the newer technology arrived.
Onward: About New Antler Growth
One of the things I didn’t know back then was when bucks started growing their new antlers. I was surprised at the answer to that question. Bucks begin growing their new antlers less than a month after shedding their previous year’s antlers.
The shed antler leaves a bone Pedicle on the buck’s head. If you see it early enough you might see blood on the pedicles. Next a Scab forms on the pedicle. After the scab heals completely the pedicle will be covered with a smooth looking, gray-brown skin.
When that gray-brown skin begins to look swollen or bulbous the antler is starting to grow.
Onward: Starting To Grow New Antlers 2017
In early April the buck below is in the very first stage of growing his new antlers. The new antlers grow from a bulbous tissue growing on the pedicle. You can see it above the eye and in front of the ears.
Below is the same buck in a different but nearby area.
A couple of weeks later I see a buck with more prominent pedicles and I get a picture that shows the antler’s initial bulbous growth pretty well.
And I get a good close-up that shows it even better.