“Yikes! That looks painful,” I thought, when QT, our oldest resident buck, came for his regular morning visit one day earlier this month.
We’d seen him the previous afternoon, but since then he’d shed his antlers – revealing ruby-red, raw-looking mounting points (pedicles), each the size of an old-fashioned silver dollar. (I have not added any saturation to the photo, which I took through our window.)
Columbian black-tailed bucks shed their antlers every winter, so I’m used to seeing “our boys” sans headgear for a few months each year. But I’d never seen such freshly exposed pedicles before.
Thankfully, within a couple of days the mounting points lost their redness and seemed to harden up, looking like painless brown scabs rather than open wounds. Now, three weeks later, you can hardly notice them at all.
Once spring arrives, I’ll be watching with interest as QT starts the whole antler-growing process all over again.