If you look closely at this image submitted by reader Tim Radford, you can see the bull elk losing the velvet from his antlers. The image was caught on camera at around 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, Oct. 5, in the backyard of Radford's home in Wilson.
The velvet loss looks painful, but the experts say it doesn't hurt – it's just part of the process. Bulls shed and grow a news set of antlers every year. The new antlers are covered in a fuzzy skin called velvet. The antlers harden by late summer, and the velvet peels way or is scratched off by the elk rubbing it. By fall, the antlers are solid bone, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.