A Mule Deer Buck In Velvet

I almost didn’t see this Mule Deer because it was hidden so well. If it hadn’t made a noise I would have missed it. I spotted this Mule Deer while hiking an area of the Carson National Forest in north central New Mexico.

A Mule Deer In Velvet Photo

A Mule Deer Buck In Velvet In The Carson National Forest In New Mexico

While an antler is growing, it is covered with highly vascular skin called velvet, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone. Antlers are considered one of the most exaggerated cases of male secondary sexual traits in the animal kingdom, and grow faster than any other mammal bone. Growth occurs at the tip, and is initially cartilage, which is later replaced by bone tissue. Once the antler has achieved its full size, the velvet is lost and the antler’s bone dies. This dead bone structure is the mature antler. (Wikipedia)

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3 Comments

  1. Mia McPherson July 19, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Love how the deer is looking at you!

  2. Jeff July 22, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    He doesn’t seem too concerned that you are close enough to him to snap that shot.

  3. Steve Creek July 22, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    I think he was trying to figure out what I was. I was across a stream next to some bolders.

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