Antler Manipulation Procedures for Use in Social and Behavioral Studies of Deer

20 July 2018

Morina, Daniel; Demarais, Steve; Chesser, G. ; Lowe, J. ; Strickland, Bronson

Theories describing the role of antlers in reproductive biology have lacked substantive evaluation due to the inability to differentiate the effects of antler size from other allometrically related morphological traits. We developed an antler manipulation technique to facilitate comparisons of antler size while controlling for body size and age using white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We describe the process by which antlers can be manipulated to further investigate the functions of antlers. We believe this process is a viable option for manipulating antler size across Cervidae with appropriate modification to scale.