Tuesday, September 21st 2021, 5:08 am - Hints about the seasons to come can be spotted in this animal
There are several different ways to tell the season is about to change. Maybe you realize fall is in the air when you go to grab a sweater or light jacket before leaving your house or maybe it is when you have to get the rake out of storage because the leaves have turned from green to red and then fallen from the trees.
Last year though, on a trip to the Okanagan Valley, The Weather Network found out a new way to tell when the seasons are about to change.
Jenna Bower is an interpreter at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, and while we were touring the grounds, we spotted a deer grazing for food.
“We learn everything from the deer,” Bower proceeded to tell us. “We know when the season is going to change just by how their antlers are doing. At the end of summer they are in velvet, but once it turns to bone antler, that is when you know it is the fall.”
The science behind this is that during the summer, male deer have higher levels of testosterone, which slows antler growth. The veins around the velvet constrict and cut off blood supply to the antlers, but by the time fall rolls around the velvet dries and sheds to reveal the antlers bone structure right in time for mating season.
But that is not all the Osoyoos Indian Band learns from the deer.
“When we hunt the deer, we know by just the bones what kind of winter we are going to have,” says Bower.
How, you might ask? According to Bower, it is all about the thickness of the bone marrow.
“When you look at the marrow, and the marrow is really thin and the bone is really thick, then you know it is going to be a really harsh winter because Mother Nature is preparing the animal for the winter that’s to come. If it is a thinner bone with thicker marrow, then you know the winter is going to be fine.”
Watch the video above to learn more about how First Nations rely on deer to let them know both when the seasons are changing and what kind of winter to prepare for.