The majority of antler growth was completed a week or so ago in early August. Now during mid- and late August, the antlers start to harden. In early to mid-September the velvet dries and is shed, usually in a matter of hours.
The cue for the hardening and velvet shedding is the change in photo-period as caused by increasing darkness and decreasing daylight in late summer, which results in a significant increase in bucks’ testosterone levels. Once a buck sheds velvet, he is ready and willing to breed, though does won’t cycle into estrus for a month or two yet.
Thanks to our friend Dan for sending the latest image of “Long Brow” with his fully grown headgear for the year. It sure was a pleasure watching this beautiful buck grow.
If you are in the market for a new deer rifle for 2018 head to the nearest Cabela’s or Bass Pro until August 26 and grab a Remington Model 783 for a tad over $300 with tax. This is an unbelievable deal for one of the most accurate and dependable deer rifles I have shot in the last 6 years.
I was the first blogger/hunter to shoot and test the Model 783, back in the fall of 2012. Later that November my friend John, who at the time worked for Remington, shot the first buck ever with the 783 on a hunt with me in Saskatchewan. We filmed the hunt for that 160-inch giant for my show Big Deer TV on Sportsman Channel.
When I posted my first review on the Model 783 in January 2013, I had shot the rifle in .30-06 quite a lot, but I had never killed a deer with. I have since shot 10 bucks with the 783, 4 with one chambered in .30-06 and 6 with my favored .270.
I tell you from experience that the no-frills Model 783 is a functional, reliable, accurate and affordable rifle that is designed: 1) to shoot MOA groups all day with Remington or Barnes factory ammo; and 2) put venison on the table. At $300 it’s the best rifle bargain I’ve seen in years.
This is the time of year when, sadly, the road-kills start showing up. This one was was hit by a car about a week ago in Indiana. No details yet, but I’d bet some hunters were scouting this magnificent animal, and probably have trail camera images of him.