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Muddy Run park down here in Lancaster County has a ton of deer within the park. A buddy of mine was photographing last week and noticed several bucks that had already dropped antlers. Does anyone know if bucks will drop quicker when they are in areas with a greater density of deer because of nutritional factors? The reason I'm being so specific about the location is because it is a southern county and so if you're really ambitious you can see for yourself.
 

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I beleive it's related to a drop in testosterone levels, which may be Independent of population densities. But that's just a guess!
 

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Doylestown area neighborhood bachelors - 10 pt, 6 point and a "3 point" who had shed one side here, are roaming around today.
 

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At least for central PA I doubt that nutrition would be a factor as the deer have a virtual banquet all summer and a bumper crop of acorns this fall.
 

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TYpically in that area I shed hunt around Apr 15 so I would say that is way early. Dropping of antlers is strongly influenced by health of the deer. THose park deer are way overpopulated but also seem well fed typically due to the nearby croplands and Joe Homeowner putting feeders in their backyard.
 

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"Hard antlers remain on the deer through the peak of breeding (mid November in Virginia) until late fall or early winter. In response to continuing shortening of daylight and decreasing testosterone levels after the rut, an abscission zone forms at the junction of the pedicel and antler. An erosion of the bone takes place at this seam and eventually the antler falls off, leaving a bloody depression which quickly scabs over. Both antlers may fall off at exactly the same time, or one antler may be held for weeks or months after the first antler is shed. Each year in Virginia, the Department receives calls in late December about deer hunters shooting shed-antlered bucks. Most bucks in Virginia shed their antlers in January and/or February, but the Departments frequently receives reports of deer in hard antler in March up to April. Several rules of thumb can be applied to when deer shed their antlers. Large antlered older bucks typically shed their antlers earlier than young small antlered bucks. This may be due to the large amount of energy they expend during the rut. Similarly, deer in good condition typically hold their antlers longer than deer in poor condition."

Taken from this: http://www.iwla-rh.org/html/DGIF_articles/deer_antlers.html
 

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TV Show Land of Whitetails just finished up a show on this.
Charle Alshiemer and the rest of the so called experts claim all has to do with the does.The smell of estros in the air from the rut into the 2 nd rut .If all does bred 1 st rut then lower the testasterone and antler drop if 28 days later and still smell of estros then no antler drop.
So it all has to do with the does!!!
 
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