How to Identify the Antlers
When antlers are growing on a buck, they stay covered in velvet until they have finished growing. This is typically a period of six months. Then velvet on the antlers dies and they rub it off. They rub the velvet off around August to September in Levy County. It is different for every region. Shortly after that is breeding season and they go into rut.
When a buck goes to rub off the velvet, he will find a tree big enough to fit in-between their antlers and rub until the velvet is gone and their antlers become smooth and like you see them during hunting season. The bigger the tree base with sign, the bigger the set of antlers that are being rubbed. The picture above is an example of a smaller buck rub.
Even after the Buck rubs off the velvet, they will continue to rub on trees as another territorial marker. You will see this type of sign throughout Fall. Near the end of winter, a buck will loose his horns, and rubbing on a tree is a way for him to get his antlers off easier then waiting for them to fall off. Antlers begin to grow back immediately, however it takes a while for them to get noticeable again. A buck will only loose his horns once a year.
This picture below is what it looks like when they rub their antlers on a tree.
The picture below is how to identify the antlers.