White-tailed Deer

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White-tailed deer in Cromwell Valley Park, Maryland on March 12, 2015

White-tailed deer are numerous in Maryland, and present in high numbers around Loch Raven Reservoir and Cromwell Valley Park.

The buck in these photos still has an antler from last year. While white-tailed deer usually lose their antlers in January, sometimes they keep them until March.

This buck will lose his remaining antler soon and grow a new set over the summer. Contrary to popular belief, the size of a buck’s antlers isn’t a good indicator to his age.

While age is a factor in antler growth, it is far more dependent on the health of the deer in the spring.

If a deer found plenty of food during the winter, it will grow a larger rack than one in poor health.

To learn more about antler development in white-tailed deer, read this paper from the University of Missouri.

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White-tailed deer in Cromwell Valley Park, Maryland on March 12, 2015
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White-tailed deer in Cromwell Valley Park, Maryland on March 12, 2015
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White-tailed deer in Cromwell Valley Park, Maryland on March 12, 2015

 

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