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Dark Horned Theory #7220150 07/10/18 02:27 AM
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One of my stands sits in the middle of an open field with sparse cover nearby. Have noticed the deer that frequent this feeder generally have lighter colored horns as a rule of thumb. Then have another stand which overlooks a small right away surrounded by dense forest. Deer at this spot sometimes have darker horns (not always though). My theory is that the deer at the 1st stand spend more time in direct sun exposure which slowly but surely bleaches their horns. Am l on to something or is it really just all genetics?

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7220160 07/10/18 02:32 AM
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Iím convinced itís sun exposure.

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HuntnFly67] #7220191 07/10/18 02:55 AM
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Antler color is a combination of genetics, sun exposure, and what they rub on. My experience is genetics is the most influential.


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Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: therancher] #7220330 07/10/18 11:42 AM
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don k Offline
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Originally Posted By: therancher
Antler color is a combination of genetics, sun exposure, and what they rub on. My experience is genetics is the most influential.
Very true rancher. I have a dark antlered Buck that has had dark antlers probably for at least 4 years now. Even the hair on his body is a little darker than the others. He is getting old now and his antlers are not what they used to be. But you can tell by the color of the velvet he will still have dark antlers.

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7220381 07/10/18 01:02 PM
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Bucks rub on cedars around here and it tends to darken the antlers.


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Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7220496 07/10/18 02:47 PM
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I've always heard it's what they rub off on......

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7220500 07/10/18 02:53 PM
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This is a dark antlered Deer

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: don k] #7220501 07/10/18 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: don k
Originally Posted By: therancher
Antler color is a combination of genetics, sun exposure, and what they rub on. My experience is genetics is the most influential.
Very true rancher. I have a dark antlered Buck that has had dark antlers probably for at least 4 years now. Even the hair on his body is a little darker than the others. He is getting old now and his antlers are not what they used to be. But you can tell by the color of the velvet he will still have dark antlers.


Iíll post some pics from this year to prove it later. Your pic is definitely a darker antlered deer.


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Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7220504 07/10/18 02:57 PM
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This what most Deer look like. See the difference in the color of the velvet. The dark one had 13 points a couple of years ago. Last year had 11.

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7220525 07/10/18 03:15 PM
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Very interesting, I never noticed different colors of velvet. Thanks for sharing.


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Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7220533 07/10/18 03:25 PM
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What they rub on will darken the bases a little, but chocolate horned vs white horned is mostly genetics.

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221379 07/11/18 10:41 AM
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Genetics primarily what they rub on secondary.


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Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221437 07/11/18 12:41 PM
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Is this buck going to be light or medium or dark color horn?



Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221467 07/11/18 01:17 PM
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I"m no biologist, but every buck I see looks the same while in velvet. I believe it's what they rub their antlers on that determines coloration.

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221624 07/11/18 03:45 PM
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Curious how diet might affect it. We have many ďchocolateĒ antlered deer around here..


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Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221728 07/11/18 05:21 PM
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minerals in the food, what they rub on, and exposure to sun. Later in the season a lot of deer will tend to have lighter colored horns, especially in low brush areas. most deer's antlers are WHITE under the velvet. It's some of the blood staining and sap from rubbing out that gives them the color.

I think genetics plays a little part. I've seen deer raised in pens that have nothing to rub out on turn out with very light colored horns. Deer from those same pens that finish out in the pasture will typically be much darker.

Last edited by kyle1974; 07/11/18 05:23 PM.
Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: stxranchman] #7221746 07/11/18 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Is this buck going to be light or medium or dark color horn?

I don't know. I can't see the antlers very well. What do you think?

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221747 07/11/18 05:49 PM
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Definitely not light colored, but not gonna be chocolate either.


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Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221798 07/11/18 06:33 PM
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Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221805 07/11/18 06:41 PM
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roflmao I knew the hard horned version was just waiting for a reply.

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221808 07/11/18 06:44 PM
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stx, what's your theory on dark versus light antlers?

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221825 07/11/18 07:13 PM
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I don't know the scientific answer, but from personal experience I see a lot more chocolate horned bucks in south Texas and northwest Texas... only thing in common with that is red dirt. Which biologists tell me have a lot more nutrients.

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221829 07/11/18 07:15 PM
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What color velvet would you call these bucks? Light or medium or dark?
1st buck

Both images are of the same buck.




Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #7221843 07/11/18 07:28 PM
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Here is the dark antlered Buck July 2016. Nobody has killed him so I can't give that picture.

Re: Dark Horned Theory [Re: hunting_guy] #7221844 07/11/18 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: hunting_guy
I don't know the scientific answer, but from personal experience I see a lot more chocolate horned bucks in south Texas and northwest Texas... only thing in common with that is red dirt. Which biologists tell me have a lot more nutrients.

Thses 2 bucks were east of SA and closer to Houston. The does were TTT in from 3 different ranches in McMullen, Dimmitt and Zavala Counties 13 yrs earlier. So these bucks were born 8 yrs after the does were moved in.







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