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Hart Van Denberg/CPR News
Visitors to Estes Park on Saturday, October 23, 2021, were able to see a herd of elk at very close quarters.
Antlers, the fastest-growing bones in existence

In the late summer, male deer, elk and moose are often seen with red shreds and ribbons hanging from their antlers. It’s not necessarily the result of a gory fight. Instead they’re peeling off the velvet that coats spring antlers. Velvet is actually skin, complete with blood vessels to carry nutrients to growing antlers, the fastest-growing bones in existence. On elk they grow an inch a day; moose can gain as much as a pound of antler per day! During the rut, the rattle of antlers echoes in Colorado forests and mountains.

After breeding, bucks and bulls shed the heavy racks they no longer need, to move a little more easily as they turn their attention to grazing enough to make it through the winter. Look for shed antlers on your next hike in the woods. Keep your eyes open even wider for a glimpse of the rarest antlers in all the West, the legendary jackalope.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.