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Jan 8, 2022 - Deer Antlers

Welcome to our blog! In this blog Gudrun, Hirundo's Naturalist, will share what we're spying around the refuge, including updates on trail conditions, interesting wildlife signs and sightings.

Hirundo provides a 7-mile trail network accessible at Gate 1, Gate 2, and Gate 3. With Friday’s snowfall it’s a good opportunity to dust of your snowshoes and go exploring!

All trails are currently accessible. You will find deeper snow levels along the non-forested parts of the Field to Forest (F2F) and Thornplum trail at Gate 1.


This past week, I found some shed deer antlers while hiking the Field to Forest trail.

It might seem strange to us that deer & moose shed their antlers every year. Why bother?

These bony displays are signs of virility, dominance, and are used as protection against rival males and predators. Antlers are shed at the end of the breeding season when the buck’s hormone level drops. Think of antler loss as a method of preserving energy, similarly to deciduous trees shedding their leaves. As day-length and hormone levels increase, around April, new antlers will begin to grow.


Be on the lookout to discover a disposed antler between now and early March.

Enjoy the trails and keep your eyes peeled and let us know what you find! Send us an email, or find us on Facebook & Instagram!