Antler drop at Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park deer with missing antler

Every spring, our male fallow deer lose their antlers. It's a painless process, hurting nothing other than their pride but there may be an antler or two lying on the grass.

Every few days throughout April and May, our rangers spot more Bucks and pricketts with missing antlers and occasionally they locate the missing antlers.
 
So don't be surprised to see dropped antlers and lop-sided deer.
 
Shedding antlers
 
Ranger Matt Baker said: "We expect about 40 male deer will all shed their antlers over the next couple of months and we're already starting to see a couple in the park. You usually find them in long grass, by trees. It gets quite itchy and they rub them against the trees.
 
"It doesn't hurt them, it's like a child losing a baby tooth. Once they drop, they start growing new antlers that come out all soft and velvety. In the summer they'll have a full pair again ready for rutting season in the autumn."
 
He added: "You often see them lying in the park looking sorry for themselves, trying to avoid the female deer because they're all embarrassed."
 
Feel the weight of the antlers
 
If you'd like to hold some antlers, just stop in at visitor reception near the car park on your way out and you can handle them and even try out their hard hat with antlers attached.