Deer possess antlers that are made of bone, covered in a hard keratin-like material. Deer have four primary purposes for their antlers: defense, display, fighting and eating.

Deer antlers are used in medicine for several reasons. They provide 4 benefits to deer, which include:
1) a sense of smell that is 10 times stronger than a human’s; 2) a defense against predators; 3) an emergency tool during winter storms; and 4) the ability to break through ice.

It’s possible that some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link, I may get a commission. In addition, I receive money on qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate. —

In many places of North America, deer are quite common. Depending on where you live, you could see them in your backyard at different times of the year.

Deer hunting is a popular activity for many people. The main reward for hunters will be enormous bucks with the most stunning sets of antlers.

But why do deer have antlers? What are the antlers’ functions?

Continue reading to discover more about deer antlers and why they have them. It should make you more appreciative of deer in general.

Antlers are often only seen on male deer.

The first thing you should know is that antlers are generally only seen on male deer. Although many people are aware of this, it is nevertheless vital to mention for others who are unfamiliar with deer.

At first glance, young male fawns do not seem to have antlers. You’ll be able to see they’re sprouting antlers when they’re four or five months old.

These aren’t antlers yet, but they have a button-like look where the antlers will eventually be. The baby deer will eventually develop genuine antlers.

This normally happens after the deer reaches the age of one year, however some deer might take up to one and a half years. It’s also worth noting that male deer develop and lose their antlers on a yearly basis.

Males will begin to develop a fresh pair of antlers every spring. Between March and August, the antlers will develop.

You may have noted that the term “usually” was used before when discussing male deer being the only ones that develop antlers. Female deer have been known to acquire antlers in the past.

This isn’t normal, but it might be caused by a hormonal issue. Female deer may have problems managing testosterone and develop antlers as a consequence in rare situations.

1 – To Attract Females, Males Grow Antlers

Males produce antlers for a variety of reasons, the most significant of which is to aid in mating. Antlers are grown by males in order to attract females.

When a buck has a massive and spectacular set of antlers, it will attract the attention of nearby female deer. Males show off their antlers in order to attract females.

Every male deer in the region will try to be viewed as the dominant male. The dominating guy has the best chance of attracting more females.

Male deer utilize their antlers in a variety of ways to show their authority. To attract the attention of the female deer in the region, they battle each other by locking antlers.

While their antlers are locked, deer will wrestle each other. It might be tough for two deer to disentangle themselves at times.

This may be really troublesome. There have even been cases where both deer died of starvation as a result of being trapped together.

When one deer kills the other, the head of the deceased deer is torn off. This is all really terrible, but it only goes to show how vicious bucks can be when they fight.

It’s also usual for males to rub their antlers against trees, leaving markings. Males with huge, powerful antlers have the greatest chance of attracting females.

2 – Antlers Can Also Be Used as a Weapon

Antlers may also be used defensively to keep a deer safe from danger. Antlers aren’t often used for defense, but when the time comes, deer will use them to defend themselves.

If a deer is threatened by a predator, it will most likely attempt to flee if it is able. When a deer has to defend itself, it will attempt to ram the predator with its antlers.

Deer may also assault humans by slamming their antlers against them. When deer are threatened, they will perform something like this.

It’s also worth mentioning that during mating season, males are extremely hostile. “The rut” is a term used to describe a period of time.

It would be perilous to come across a male deer during this time. They will not hesitate to assault a person who comes too near to them.

3 – Antlers Assist Deer in Obtaining Food

Did you know that deer use their antlers to obtain food on occasion? They may attempt to knock down berries and fruit by ramming trees.

This is sometimes the most practical method for deer to get food. A well-timed ram into a tree may knock down acorns or other food sources for the deer.

One of the most crucial components of existence for deer is the ability to locate food. It’s possible that there won’t always be plants around to keep them nourished.

Fruits and berries will fall naturally from time to time, but deer may use their antlers to speed up the process. Deer have a lot of creativity when it comes to how they utilize their antlers.

4 – Antlers Assist Deer in Remaining Comfortable

Another unique technique for deer to utilize their antlers is to keep them warm. A deer’s antlers may be seen burrowing into the earth on occasion.

A deer has the ability to dig depressions in the earth or mud. The deer will be able to lay down or roll around to remain cool after this is completed.

This is particularly important during the summer’s hottest months. To keep mosquitoes at away, deer may sometimes attempt to cover themselves in dirt and mud.

The deer will benefit from your ability to keep calm and relaxed. Although this isn’t the main function of antlers, it is an intriguing technique for deer to keep warm.

What’s the Difference Between Antlers and Horns?

Antlers are not the same as horns. Goats and bison, for example, have horns, but they don’t develop in the same way as antlers do.

Keratin is the material used to make horns. Bone is used to make antlers.

Another distinction is that antlers are shed once a year. Each year, deer lose their antlers and develop new ones.

Animals that develop horns keep them for the remainder of their lives. Each year, deer lose their antlers and develop new ones, and the antlers may vary in appearance based on a variety of circumstances.

Antlers and horns are often mistaken for one another. Many people are unaware that deer antlers are shed every year.

You’ll be able to admire antlers even more now that you understand how they differ from horns. Hunters reward bucks with large antlers for obvious reasons.

What Factors Affect Antler Development?

Some deer develop bigger and more magnificent antlers than others, as you may well know. The appearance of a deer’s antlers is influenced by a variety of variables.

A considerable effect is assumed to be played by genetics. A deer with huge antlers is more likely to have offspring with large antlers as well.

However, the deer’s health and the amount of food it has play a larger influence than many people assume. If the deer has a lot of food, its antlers will be bigger, stronger, and have more points.

This is particularly true if the deer is in good physical condition. If a deer has a hard time finding food one year, its antlers may not be as stunning as normal.

As you can see, the state of affairs during a given year has an influence on antler growth. A deer grows antlers every year, and the new antlers may be considerably different from the ones it had the year before.

Last Thoughts

It should be simpler to admire antlers after knowing all you can about why deer develop them. Antlers are very valuable to deer, and they utilize them for a variety of purposes.

The main function of antlers is to attract mates. To attract the attention of female deer in the region, male deer develop huge and magnificent antlers.

To demonstrate their authority, they will grapple with other males. Deer often use their antlers to form tree marks.

Bucks will use their antlers to defend themselves in a variety of scenarios. Bucks’ antlers may sometimes assist them in fending off predators.

They’ll also utilize the antlers to assist in the removal of food from trees. Ramming a tree may cause fruit, berries, and nuts to fall to the ground, which the deer can consume.

Deer even burrow into the dirt with their antlers. It aids them in creating a depression in which they may lie or roll about.

Antlers may be used in a variety of ways to help deer prosper. Each year, males lose their antlers and begin regrowing them in the spring.

From March through late August, antlers will be growing. The size of the antlers will be determined by a number of things.

Genetics will play a part, but the deer’s health and the amount of food available will also play a role. If the deer has food to eat, the antlers will grow larger and more spectacular.

Deer antlers are made of bone and tissue. They are covered in a layer of keratin, which is the same material that your fingernails are made of. The main purpose of deer antlers is to protect their skull from predators. Deer antlers also help with balance and navigation during migration. Reference: what are deer antlers made of.

Related Tags

  • do female deer have antlers
  • deer antlers meaning
  • do female reindeer have antlers
  • deer with antlers name
  • female deer antlers