The male deer use their antlers to impress females and fight competitors during the Autumn mating season. Following this, antlers are shed annually between January and April. The regrowth phase takes place over the summer months when the mating season is over.
A young deer will first develop a straight shaft-like antler and after one year the first branch will appear. As the deer matures the antler increases in length followed by a branch every year. The age of the deer can easily be determined by the number of branches.