Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 02:47 PM.

Deer antlers are not “horns” like sheep, goats and cows have.  Horns are typically not shed, antlers are.

The annual antler cycle is controlled by the length of a day.  The deer’s brain tells it how many periods of light and dark it has seen and the bucks produce testosterone and you have the “antler cycle.”  Tests have shown with the light/day periods are altered, bucks are unable to shed their antlers.

One of the most interesting things I found about was the impact that an injury to the back leg of a buck has to subsequent antler development on the opposite site. In other words, the next time you see a deer with a normal antler/rack on the right and a twisted or stunted antler/rack on the left, check its back right leg for injury.

For some reason, after a buck has a serious injury to a hind limb, it will cause the opposite antler to be abnormal and stunted. The cause for this is unknown, perhaps I will ask Phyllis.  It was noted that this “stunting effect” will persist even after the hind leg heals.

I will continue to study Phyllis or “Phyllisology” while I can; I learn a lot of interesting things.

You can find more stories on Phyllis and other things that crank my tractor at www.CranksMyTractor.com.

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