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Have you ever seen these markings on a tree?

Find an antler rub

In Wyoming, there are four different animals that grow antlers. Do you know what those are? That’s right, whitetail deer, mule deer, elk and moose! 

While antlers are growing, they are covered in velvet, which is a layer of skin filled with blood vessels. These blood vessels provide vitamins and minerals to help the antlers grow. Once the antlers are finished growing, the velvet dries up and the animal rubs it off.

Next time you are out hiking, look for trees that animals have rubbed their antlers on. The trees have the bark rubbed off. Here are some images of different rubs from animals with antlers:

You can sometimes guess which animal created a rub by the height of the rub (deer are much shorter than elk or moose) and the habitat (moose are more fond of wetland areas whereas elk or mule deer might be rubbing their velvet in more forested habitats). 
If you’re looking for a fun activity in the late summer or fall, head out to a nearby natural area and see if you can find any antler rubs on plants or trees and guess the animal that might have left it. Tracks or scat nearby can be great clues!

- WGFD -

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