Depending on the species of deer, antlers grow anywhere from 2 to 4 months. Until they are fully grown, the antlers are covered in a “velvet” that provides nutrients and oxygen to the bone. Once it has reached full size in the time previously stated, the velvet comes off.
Male deer grow and shed their antlers every year, each year increasing the size of the antlers. When the antlers grow back, the bone is covered by a fur like material known as antler velvet, which contains amino acids, minerals, protiens, and growth factor-1. This fur stays on the antlers until late winter or early spring each year when it is shed and the deer rub it off.
The velvet is a skin covering growing soft antlers that’s filled with blood vessels. It feeds the antler bones the entire time they grow, and dies together with them at maturity (at the beginning of the mating season). That means that deer have velvet for most of the every year, except the mating season and shortly thereafter. You can see velvet on this picture:
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