Do you remember the Tule Elk I photographed a while back? Well I'm pretty sure this is part of that same herd. The first time I photographed them, their antlers were short, fat and fuzzy. Now, after being blessed with a second sighting, it's easy to see that their antler fuzz is gone and they're left with these beautiful, full, and sharp antlers. Initially I assumed that their racks would continue to grow as the elk aged, but after doing a little research, it appears that male elk actually shed and regrow their antlers each year. Something I did not know until now.
"In early spring, as the days start to get longer and male elk have low levels of testosterone, they drop their antlers and almost immediately begin to grow a new set. Over the next few months, increasing day length and testosterone levels cause many changes in male elk—thickening of the neck, aggressive tendencies, an increase in sperm production, and the hardening of the new antlers."
-Bay Nature Magazine
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