You might have seen moose while hiking, but have you ever seen one shed its antlers?

A massive moose running through the snow
(Image credit: Chase Dekker Wild-Life Images)

You might have been lucky enough to spot a moose while out hiking, and at this time of year you might also come across an antler on the ground, but we're willing to bet you've never actually seen one of the animals shedding them. However, that's exactly what one homeowner in Alaska managed to catch on her video doorbell.

The process of shedding antlers, known as 'antler casting' usually happens in early December, once mating season is done and they have served their purpose. Losing the antlers allows the moose to lose up to 60lb of weight, meaning it needs less energy to move around in the colder months when food may be scarce.

As National Geographic explains, the antlers are lost when cells called osteoclasts break down the bone that attaches them to the moose's skull. When that happens, the antlers can be shed remarkably easily, as the video below, shared by Tyra Bogert, shows.

@tyrabogert (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - Tyra Bogert (opens in new tab)

In the clip. the moose pauses in front of Bogert's home and looks around for a moment, then shakes himself like a dog, causing his antlers to go clattering to the snowy ground. The noise seems to startle the animal, who runs away from them.

According to the New York Post (opens in new tab), Bogert's husband later retrieved the antlers, which measure around 50in across, and the couple intend to mount them on the wall.

In the spring, cells called osteoblasts will begin building the moose's antlers back up again. They will initially be covered in furry skin called velvet, which is shed in early fall as the antlers harden ready for the rut,

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).