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Old 01-01-2013, 06:28 PM
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Default Color of antlers on deer?

Just wondering what makes deer antlers dark or light in color? I have killed them with dark antlers and almost white ones and I shot an 8 pt the other day and his were almost a yellowish color.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:17 PM
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I've heard that if a deer rubs a cedars a lot it will make is rack a darker color, but I don't know if that is true.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:28 PM
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I've always herd that it has to do with what type of trees that they rub.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:29 PM
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I think its what they are eating while they grow or what they are eating before they shed there velvet. I think the blood thats in the velvet is what stains the antler as the velvet drys. All the cam pics that I have of bucks velvet peeling off the antlers are aready dark or as light as they are going to be. They will get lighter do to sunlight bleaching them.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:30 PM
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Not sure if this is true but the darker they are means their is blood plentiful in them.. When they are very white it means they are close to shedding..? Just what I have heard
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:32 PM
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I have wondered about antler color myself. I've killed some bucks with dark antlers and some very white antlers, all from the same area so I've never understood what makes the difference.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:37 PM
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1.It has NOTHING to do with rubbing. This is what causes Deer to have colored Antlers. Color is determined by the amount of HEMOGLOBIN supplied to the antlers during growth.

2.Oxidized blood/local plants - antler color depends partly on the amount of oxidized blood left over from velvet shedding and partly on a chemical reaction between the blood and sap from plants on which the antlers are rubbed.
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Last edited by Gadestroyer74; 01-02-2013 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoutdoors55 View Post
Not sure if this is true but the darker they are means their is blood plentiful in them.. When they are very white it means they are close to shedding..? Just what I have heard
There is no blood in the antlers ther is blood in the velvet. Antlers are more like a cartiledge type tissue while they are growing flexible somewhat. When they have a certain amount of Testosterone running thru there bodies the tissue hardens into bone and the velvet drys up and peels off. The blood that surounds the antler while it is hardening is what stains the antler the color. I would say what the buck was eating at the time would make the color. When the bucks Testosterone level drops to a certain level at the end of the season it releases something that eats a away at the burr of the antler then it sheds off the antler.

I watch way to much hunting on TV
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:26 PM
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hahhaa lol looks like the 2 quotes i put up are about right then
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:28 PM
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seems like the older bucks ive killed anyway have a darker colored horns than the younger bucks.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:34 PM
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where is widlifepro when you need him lol
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:40 PM
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I saw a 10 pt in november that had a pinkish/red tint to his antlers
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
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I saw a 10 pt in november that had a pinkish/red tint to his antlers
he may have been a gay buck
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:15 PM
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I know that in Kansas we see ALOT of bucks with light colored antlers. Its just my redneck science but I always wondered if its due to the lack of big woods. The more their in direct sunlight, the more its going to bleach the antlers. I know this is true with sheds I've found in open fields vs. ones I've found in the woods.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:54 PM
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Default re antler staining

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadestroyer74 View Post
where is widlifepro when you need him lol
Folks ,Gadestroyer is correct. Bucks get their first color of staining during the sheding of velvet. There is no blood in antlers??? Dont know what show ketera watches. Blood flows through out the velvet layers of of the antler from pedicile all the way to the tip of each main beam and back through the center or core of the antler. This is called the vein of sinus.Antlers are an extension of the frontal bone at the base of the skull.What flows through out the antler are minerals and proteins. Forming a protein matrix.That first staining that occurs can dry fairly easy. More staining can come from his enviorment. What he rubs or touched while in the woods. Dust in the air.pitch from pine needles etc...yes antlers on bucks in large open areas or plains can get pretty white from direct sunlight.But yea bud you are correct on the staining of a buck antlers after velvet peel.

Last edited by wildlifepro; 01-01-2013 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowHard View Post
I saw a 10 pt in november that had a pinkish/red tint to his antlers
He musta been feedin on shrimps!
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katera73 View Post
I think its what they are eating while they grow or what they are eating before they shed there velvet. I think the blood thats in the velvet is what stains the antler as the velvet drys. All the cam pics that I have of bucks velvet peeling off the antlers are aready dark or as light as they are going to be. They will get lighter do to sunlight bleaching them.
I agree with you 100 percent I do not beleive its what kind of tree there rubbin we had a deer up here who for some reason loved to rub on a chain link fence post and his horns sure didnt turn out silver
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:28 AM
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Let me throw a kink in the works. Explain how Sitka Blacktails get red antlers.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:33 AM
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Whats odd is the variation in color in bucks on the same property, some are near white, others dark, others yellow.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:39 AM
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Genetics
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadestroyer74 View Post
1.It has NOTHING to do with rubbing. This is what causes Deer to have colored Antlers. Color is determined by the amount of HEMOGLOBIN supplied to the antlers during growth.

2.Oxidized blood/local plants - antler color depends partly on the amount of oxidized blood left over from velvet shedding and partly on a chemical reaction between the blood and sap from plants on which the antlers are rubbed.
this one
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildlifepro View Post
Folks ,Gadestroyer is correct. Bucks get their first color of staining during the sheding of velvet. There is no blood in antlers??? Dont know what show ketera watches. Blood flows through out the velvet layers of of the antler from pedicile all the way to the tip of each main beam and back through the center or core of the antler. This is called the vein of sinus.Antlers are an extension of the frontal bone at the base of the skull.What flows through out the antler are minerals and proteins. Forming a protein matrix.That first staining that occurs can dry fairly easy. More staining can come from his enviorment. What he rubs or touched while in the woods. Dust in the air.pitch from pine needles etc...yes antlers on bucks in large open areas or plains can get pretty white from direct sunlight.But yea bud you are correct on the staining of a buck antlers after velvet peel.
and this
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadestroyer74 View Post
1.It has NOTHING to do with rubbing. This is what causes Deer to have colored Antlers. Color is determined by the amount of HEMOGLOBIN supplied to the antlers during growth.

2.Oxidized blood/local plants - antler color depends partly on the amount of oxidized blood left over from velvet shedding and partly on a chemical reaction between the blood and sap from plants on which the antlers are rubbed.
If this is true would you tell me why if you get a LITTLE BLOOD on the antlers while field dressing them and then it dries and you try to wash the blood off with plain water the antlers turn white. I have done this many times and have to rub wood stain on them to get them dark again.

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Old 01-02-2013, 11:11 AM
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Think naturally guys, it's simple weathering and texture. The factors that determine antler color are numerous. Heredity, location of tines and low surface areas, texture and porosity of the antler surface, blood from the shed velvet, trees and plant stains, diet, rain, and amount of time spent in sunlight. What if you wore and never changed a buff colored T shirt around for 6 months. What color would it be? I've repaired dozens if not a hundred antlers with broken tines, missing beams, missing tines and chips. They all stain up a little differently. Reproduction antlers even stain up differently depending on how porous the tines are. You can see the various pores in the RTV rubber mold.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tree cutter 08 View Post
seems like the older bucks ive killed anyway have a darker colored horns than the younger bucks.
I got to looking at my deer antlers and that seems to be about right. Most of the bigger racks are darker.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:24 PM
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Correct answer:

Though antler coloration is not always noticable between deer, there are definite differences that can be seen between various locations. In the Mid-West, for example, most bucks have very white or light-colored antlers. In the plains of South Texas, on the other hand, bucks have very dark and often chocolately colored antlers. And many hunters can see differences in bucks they’ve harvested over the years from the very same deer stand. So what determines antler color in whitetail bucks?

This variation is usually the result of the amount of oxidized blood left over from velvet shedding and the type of plant the buck uses to help shed the velvet. The chemical reaction between the blood and sap present in the tree or bush used to rub the antlers can sometimes lead to interesting color variations. In short, this explains much of the color difference between bucks from different regions of the United States, but also from deer harvested on the same ranch. If bucks use different tree or brush species for rubbing off their velvet in late summer or early fall follwing antler growth, then antlers will look different.
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