Whitetails shed their coats twice a year. In the spring, they get a new coat that is a bright reddish-brown, like this one, and the hair solid and thin. As cold weather approaches in the fall this hair is replaced by the winter coat, which shades from bluish to a grayish-brown. The winter hair is long, kinky, and filled with air pockets providing excellent insulation.
Buck deer have antlers for the main purpose of fighting other bucks during the breeding season. Most bucks lose their antlers during the months of December or January. They have nothing but the antler bases, called pedicels, on their heads until April. During this month these bases start to swell with the growth of new cells. Antlers of the deer are nourished externally by a network of blood vessels called "velvet."
Antlers grow at a rapid rate, and the buck is very careful of them. During this growth period the antlers are soft, tender and easily damaged, and the bucks live a retiring life.
By September the antlers reach full size and the blood vessels dry up, split and start to peel off. To hasten the process the buck rubs his antlers against small, resilient saplings and brush.