VIDEO: Antler dropping time

Video, photos and text Tiit Hunt,
Translation Liis
Red deer     Punahirv       Cervus elaphus
About 25 red deer bulls, or stags, visit the feeding ground, and each animal has unique antlers. One of the few ways to distinguish the members of the deer flocks is by their antlers. One stag has broken off half an antler, another has one antler prong that is three times shorter than the other, a third has as yet only scanty antlers but they seem almost ideally symmetrical …
Huubert anyway has the mightiest antlers of this group and probably also is the oldest stag although the size of the antlers and the number of prongs do not unequivocally show the age of the animals.
Huubert could still be seen on February 15th with his splendid 16-pronged antlers, munching at the edge of the carrot heap. In the video it can be seen that on February 19th he was eating carrots exactly in the same place but now already bareheaded. In the days in between he left his antlers somewhere, weighing some 12 kilos but now turned useless. Last year Huubert’s antlers dropped off in the last days of February and one year earlier in the beginning of March.
The young stags get rid of their old antlers in the first half of May at the latest. The stags who have dropped their antlers within a few days already have new hairy antler bulges on their heads that grow a couple of centimetres longer every day.
It would be hoping too much that the antlers again would lay about in the small forest stand some twenty steps away from the feeding ground as already happened once. Maybe Uno will find the antlers this time too – as a token of gratitude for the food.
The other stags treat the bare-headed Huubert with respect, and it appears that powerful antlers alone are not the only measuring stick of authority.
We will se who will lose the antlers next. Probably Ruudolf or the individual wearing the most powerful antlers at the moment.
The approaching spring sounds in the video too. Already since some time the calls of the tawny owl, quite numerous in Saaremaa, are heard.




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