It’s always fun to see big bucks fighting and getting after it, but when it happens in summer while their antlers are still in velvet it can be a bit confusing.
This buck fight captured by Whitetail Properties shows how bucks spar in summer while still in velvet. This seems a bit more than sparring because they’re really going after it. The soft velvet can be damaged and if the antlers are still growing, it could create something unique like a dent, hole or broken tine. Maybe this buck fight happened just before they started to slough off the velvet, though.
Deer & Deer Hunting Editor-in-Chief Dan Schmidt lends some insight in this Whitetail Wisdom post provided by researcher John Ozoga about why bucks spar while they’re still in velvet.
If a male is to achieve a social rank before the breeding season, he must interact with other males of any size. A sparring match often begins when one buck approaches another, lowers its head and presents its antlers. During early autumn, soon after velvet shedding, the second buck usually accepts the invitation to spar. In skill sparring, a buck gains knowledge of his antlers’ size and configuration relative to that of other bucks.
Check out the video and then read the rest of the Whitetail Wisdom post for the rest of Ozoga’s insight.
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