The stag without antlers looks half the beast

Posted on May 19th, 2018

Every year male deer shed their antlers. Our lead stag changes every few years, yet the week in which his antlers are lost is nearly always the same. It is mid May and just as Rudolph the stag is looking his most magnificent everything changes.

Farmer Nick had gone away up country leaving me in charge of the kids and the farm. It was on my two feed run mornings that each antler was seen missing. The first day poor Rudolf was looking a bit lopsided where one had fallen and one remained. By the second day both had fallen and he was looking half the man he was at the start of the week. That said it must be like the Queen removing her heavy crown as they really are quite weighty.   

As I was leading the feed run I only had my phone at hand to grab a few photos. However the children were so thrilled to go on a deer hunt and track down the missing antlers with me that I still thought the photos were worth sharing, despite the sub optimal quality.

Hunting for antlers in a large Jurassic field is a little like searching for a needle in a haystack. As we walked every fallen and chewed branch looked like a possible antler. I’m not sure who was more excited, me or the kids, when on both mornings, after trekking high into the field, we found the antlers. The little ones referred to the antlers as their “trophies” as they held onto them tightly. I was somewhat worried about them poking each other in the eye in their excitement but didn’t want to take their trophies away. Thankfully everyone managed a good turn at carrying them before placing them in the tractor and trailer without any mischief coming to the children or the antlers!  

Rudolf the stag at the start of the week with a full set of antlers.

Rudolph the stag with antlers

The children find their first missing antler.

1st fallen antler from stag found on the farm May 2018

Another day and another antler found to make the set.

2nd stag antler found at Coombe Mill

A quick snap of everyone crowding round to see

irls with 2nd Stag antler found

Rudolf looking less than majestic and no doubt feeling light headed without his antlers.   

Rudolph the stag with no antlers and doe

Did you know deer have antlers but sheep and goats have horns? Antlers are shed and re-grow annually. Horns grow just once and if they break they are missing for life.  

Country Kids