What caused the “blackened, dead looking” antlers on this buck?

By Grant Woods,

  Filed under:

← Grant's AnswersDeer Biology
Grant and Team,

Great work you guys do and very much appreciate all the education you provide!!

Submitted this question before but didn’t get a response (not that I could find anyway!)

We have pictures of what looks like an otherwise healthy deer with blackened dead looking antlers. Do you know what causes this? Hoping this isn’t an initial sign of a disease we’re unaware of. We’re located in Green County GA north of Greensboro.



I went to school at the University of Georgia.

It appears this buck still has button buck pedicles.  If the date is correct on the images the “blackened” look may be dried velvet.  I’m not aware of any disease that results in this antler structure.

These observations plus his overall appearance indicates to this deer was very late born fawn and his antler growth cycle is slightly out of rhythm.  I suspect he will grow out of it next year as his body matures.

I apologize missing your question earlier.  

Enjoy creation,


November 24, 2015