A small portion of Lexx's antler showing how the blood vessels rupture and start "weeping" blood as the time for velvet shedding approaches.
Yesterday morning Lexx was dozing in the shade and allowed me to get this really close macro shot of his antler. The velvet is beginning to break down, blood vessels are rupturing, and soon he'll be rubbing and scraping all sorts of things to rid himself of the remnants, and get his antlers in prime condition for use during the rut. The process of antler growth is interesting to see, and the shedding of the velvet (part of that process) can be a bit startling. It's a very messy, bloody operation that all antlered animals go through, and is really amazing to see up close..... really close. Lexx approached me for a treat and shook his head, spattering my shirt with a dozen or so blood droplets. Today, he tried to swipe at my arm to dislodge a particularly annoying dangling strip of velvet. The spike bucks were the first to shed velvet, followed by the brown bucks, now Lexx, and it looks like the white one (Dutch) will be the last to go into hard rack.