A: The fact that this young buck is apparently in good health does seem to indicate that some hormonal imbalance, rather than disease or injury, has prevented the normal drying and fraying process.

Unless this corrects itself soon, the growth of a perruque head is likely.

How rapidly a perruque can grow has only been documented, surprisingly, on an elderly doe.

This tame animal grew short antlers in velvet, as some old does do, and only after a couple of years did this suddenly enlarge into a real perruque.

In the case of a male, I guess the process might be much quicker, but the change from remaining in velvet to producing exaggerated growth might involve something of a threshold.

The natural surge of antler growth which occurs in late winter could be kept up and your buck’s progress monitored.

If he has developed into a perruque by next summer, it would be kindness to shoot him because in hot weather the antler tissue becomes infected and possibly fly-blown, leading to a painful death.