All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

As my friend Amber, from Tremont, and I drove through Cades Cove, we saw this buck just a few feet from the car. It is easy to see the velvet on this 8-pointer's antlers. His antlers are still growing at this stage, the velvet is a layer of blood vesse...
As my friend Amber, from Tremont, and I drove through Cades Cove, we saw this buck just a few feet from the car. It is easy to see the velvet on this 8-pointer's antlers. His antlers are still growing at this stage, the velvet is a layer of blood vessel-rich skin that feeds the underlying bone. Later in the fall the velvet dries up and sloughs off. Bucks rub their antlers on low branches to rub off the dead skin (this also gets them aroused to begin the rut).

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