Trail Camera Trophies: Velvet deer, turkeys photographed on Topekan’s property

For quite some time, I had been posting submitted photographs of deer, turkeys and other animals captured on trail cameras to my Rouse Outdoors blog on CJOnline.

I’ve come to the realization that they are more likely to be seen by outdoors enthusiasts if they are listed in the actual Outdoors section of our website, so I’m going to be running them as regular columns from now on with the header ”Trail Camera Trophies.” I’ll likely post some of the photographs in the print section, as well, so keep your eyes peeled for some great, candid shots of nature’s delights.

I received several great photographs recently from Dale Hossfeld, a longtime reader who frequently sends me trail camera photos and video he captures on his property in Topeka. This time, he sent a few photos of a velvet buck he snapped on his digital camera, instead.

The deer is seen wandering around near a piece of lawn art that you may have seen in some of his other photographs, and in one of the photos you can see the heads of two turkeys that appear to be photobombing the buck.

The “velvet” seen on this buck’s antlers is actually a hairy skin that covers antlers as they grow in each spring and summer. The antlers are full of nerves and blood vessels, so this helps protect the spongy antlers before the deer’s testosterone begins to increase toward the end of the summer, causing the antlers to harden. The bucks will begin to shed their velvet by scraping their antlers against trees, which they do year-round regardless of whether they’re in velvet or not. The hard antlers will remain through the end of the breeding season before falling off, or being shed, in the winter or early spring. The cycle then starts all over again, with deer beginning to grow their velvety antlers again toward the middle or end of spring.

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