There are … Starting too late means antlers will either be partially or entirely eaten by small mammals and other rodents or vegetation will be well-grown making antlers even more difficult to find. Copyright © 2021 Field & Stream. However, the antler regeneration can take around two to four months before it is completed. Although you can find sheds year-round, this is the best time, the bucks have usually dropped both antlers by now. As the connective tissue dissolves, the bucks' antlers become loose and fall off. White-tailed deer may grow deformed antlers as a result of an injury. Use a game camera to ensure most bucks have shed. Though most bucks have shed by late March across whitetail range, there are plenty of exceptions. But all is not lost. Deer shed their antlers anywhere between January and April, sometimes earlier or later depending on the age of the deer, the … On a Kansas turkey hunt two weeks ago, I saw a buck sprouting nubs already! The first book dedicated entirely to shed hunting. The dropping of the antlers may take place within 24 to 48 hours, but the entire shedding process may take as long as two to three weeks before the antlers actually fall off. A Bonnier Corporation Company. All Rights Reserved, and recieve our upcoming newsletters and other site info., Get $2 Off by using the promo code NYANT at checkout, Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional), A GUIDE TO FINDING WHITE-TAILED DEER ANTLERS. Whitetail Deer Shed Antler Hunting. That said, the key is to leave your property alone, as much as possible, until you know there is a good probability that most deer have lost their antlers. Another reader from New York wrote to ask if we knew about a giant whitetail shot last fall in Westchester County. Members of the deer family generally shed their antlers from mid-January to mid-March. The antlers primarily serve to allow bucks to spar over females during the breeding season and serve little purpose once their task is over. (You can preview and edit on the next page), Click below to see Antler Sheds found by other hunters, Big Onondaga Co. Sheds I picked up a beauty of a shed on "April Fools Day" a couple weeks ago. Antler shedding is the process in which the bucks shed off their antlers completely to grow a new set of antlers. It can take as little as 24-48 hours for the antlers to actually fall off, but the shedding process takes between two to three weeks and then new antlers will regenerate throughout the summer. Just like velvet development, the rut, fawn drop, and most things in a deer’s life, photoperiod tells a buck when they should drop their antlers. Keep an eye out for new hunting locations. The Ultimate Guide to Hunting Snowshoe Hares, 5 Western Muzzleloader Hunts To Put On Your Calendar, How to Disassemble and Clean a Semi-Auto Shotgun. The good nutrition helps maintain a deer’s testosterone levels for longer. In the Northeast United States, deer may begin losing antlers in late December or January, while they may not start shedding until March or April in Southern states. This is a process that happens primarily in the late winter, making March and April a prime time for shed hunters. For deer, some drop in December and January, most drop in February, and some hold their antlers until March or April in much of the country. Send us a photo of the shed antlers you have found. For most of us, that means the time to shed hunt is early February to March. Written by Joe Shead, a former managing editor of Deer & Deer Hunting magazine and a passionate shed … One buck shed his antlers within 2 days of February 25 every year, regardless of conditions! Written by Joe Shead, a former managing editor of Deer & Deer Hunting magazine and a passionate shed hunter. Some want to find shed deer antlers to make various items …lamps, knives, etc. The first was from Steve Newcomb from Ohio, who reported seeing a buck with antlers in late March. The northern regions of the whitetails range experience shedding earlier than the Midwest, so around January. Find the food, find the sheds. In the past 4 years I have found 45 shed antlers. Many of the Southern states like parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and especially Florida are exceptions to the normal shedding dates. 2. The animal is called an eight-point buck for its eight antlers, according to the Noble Research Institute, an agriculture research organization. It’s not a universal given that all bucks will drop around the same time. Instead, backtrack the animals from their core yards towards adjacent hardwood feeding areas, and look for shed antlers … The Midwest bucks tend to keep their antlers on until February, while the southern deer might still be rutting depending on the region, dropping their antlers anywhere from February to late march. Rodent chewing: Now as important as it is to not shed hunt too much before antlers drop, it’s equally important not to shed hunt too long AFTER they drop. The antlers dropped by male deer are called "shed" antlers… Also, finding numerous shed antlers over years on a particular piece of property allows you to gain knowledge regarding the areas that bucks are frequenting. It is referred to as shed hunting, so take a hunt-like approach to searching for them. Click the button and find the photo on your computer. Most deer will shed their antlers pretty soon after the rutting season is over. Therefore, when you head out for an early strike in the woods from mid-February into March and extending in April, you might as well get your antler. I've known several guys who've kept captive deer over the years, and they all note that when bucks shed can be a highly individual deal. Do you have some pictures or graphics to add? Contrastingly, deer in areas with poor nutrition tend to shed their antlers earlier in mid-December. The first book dedicated entirely to shed hunting. Male white-tailed deer with antlers in the velvet stage. Once you have found your land, you must know the best time of the year to search. Anyone have the scoop on this deer? We've received two letters from readers this week. Do you have some pictures or graphics to add? Another deer season passed, and you didn’t get that big, 12-point buck you’ve seen in your dreams. I had not heard of such a buck, but thought I would ask Buck Tracker readers if they had any information. Shed hunting is in peak season this time of year. The answer is an emphatic "kinda". The Ohio Wildlife Council received regulation proposals for fishing and white-tailed deer processing at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, July 8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of finding deer sheds. Great! A few years ago, I had a discussion with a Michigan naturalist, who claimed that most whitetail bucks lose their antlers by mid- January. Understanding where to look and what you are looking for will result in more found sheds. All rights reserved. Figure 6. To receive credit as the author, enter your information below. Every year, whitetail deer, mule deer, elk and various other hoofed mammals shed their antlers. Click here to see the rest of the form and complete your submission. Leg, pedicle and velvet injuries can all lead to antler … After that age the antlers start to get smaller. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. They grow bigger antlers every year until they are about 6 years old. This velvet is full of blood vessels and nutrients that helps stimulate the antler regrowth process. By Nathan Stohosky - Idaho Department of Fish and Game Antler hunting, more commonly known as shed hunting, is a favorite pastime for those of us suffering from cabin fever. Click here to upload more images (optional). I recommend keeping an eye on the deer herd or using your game camera to document when bucks are losing their head-gear in your area. Great! It's one thing to to find shed antlers in the open fields of Iowa and Kansas, but quit another challenge to to find sheds in the hills and mountains of Virginia. Start too early in the season and you’ll find nothing. Look in and around late-season food plots. The reality of anyone looking to find sheds is that the antlers are most likely to hit the ground between now and the end of the February. Easy winters and plentiful food result in unstressed bucks that tend to hold antlers longer. Understanding where to look and what you are looking for will result in more found sheds. Start looking for sheds at preferred food sources early in the year. At times, bucks shed their antlers earlier depending on three factors: age, health, and location of the deer. Finding shed antlers (especially both sides) allows the you to rough-score the bucks to get a good idea of current and future quality. SHED HUNTING - By Joe SheadA GUIDE TO FINDING WHITE-TAILED DEER ANTLERS. When you start searching in these high-priority locations first, you can eliminate huge areas that have very little potential. Early Spring is the prime time to hunt for shed antlers. Others are serious about finding shed antlers for management purposes. As the winter months pass and spring looms upon us, many people head for the hills in search of the antlers deer and elk have dropped in preparation for … Deer in the wild will live in conditions that will vary from year to year. In the past 4 years I have found 45 shed antlers. The deer population continues to increase, as deer benefit from man’s land use activities, evidenced by their adaptation to manicured suburban environments and the clearing of forests for timber harvest and cordwood cutting. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Nice deer antlers can be found just laying on the forest floor or in the middle of a field, especially February through March. Be meticulous and systematic in order to increase your shed hunting success. SHED HUNTING - By Joe Shead A GUIDE TO FINDING WHITE-TAILED DEER ANTLERS. The best places to find shed antlers are areas that hold deer during certain parts of their daily routine, which increases the likelihood of you finding antlers. Figure 7. If you bump a big deer from his bed, even at this time of year, he may vacate the area if he feels threatened. I have seen bucks that have shed their antlers in early December, and at the other extreme, I once observed a large 9-point still holding his antlers in early April. The deer antler shed will take two to three week before full completion. Do be conscious, though, of animal stress, and avoid disturbing deeryards: the dense, evergreen forest stands in which they congregate. The antlers begin to grow … So what do … This means antlers may begin developing late, depending on when summer sets in. If approved, these regulations will take effect Jan. 1, 2021. And of course feel free to share antler-shedding tales and antler growth progress in your area. If you don't have family or friends that have land you can use, it usually isn't hard to ask permission from a landowner (since you won't be hunting for animals and won't be carrying any weapons). As the new year begins the whitetail bucks in Virginia start dropping their headgear in order to make room for hopefully something bigger and better. The dominant bucks involved most in breeding start shedding their antlers earlier than the rest of the … January 8, 2020- Shed Hunting Illinois Update- “Shed season is here in Illinois and the deer antlers are starting to drop! Click here find out more or to purchase the book. Heavy snow will concentrate deer and the antlers they shed. The 160-page book is an in-depth guide that teaches you how to find naturally shed white-tailed deer antlers. Worn down from the rigors of the November rut, mature bucks sometimes shed their antlers as early as mid-December. When bucks drop their antlers can vary by region and even parts of the state. Reasons for deformed antlers. Moose and other deer relatives shed their antlers every year, and the process is thought to be painless, says Samuel. The 2020 shed hunting season is here in Illinois and thousands of antlers have hit the ground! But even when the winter is tough, some bucks are just late shedders. In these environmental conditions the deer shed their antlers at the same time every year. Hunting for deer antler sheds has become a big event in recent years. Once the antlers are shed, they will start growing a soft velvet before developing another full antler rack. One interesting thing about antlers is that if a antler is injured during the developing stage or velvet stage the antlers will show a deformity for years after … The why and when are simple, the timing is based on photoperiod. Click the button and find the photo on your computer. It is referred to as shed hunting, so take a hunt-like approach to searching for them. Select it and click on the button to choose it.Then click on the link if you want to upload up to 3 more images. —Weather, snow depth, altitude and particularly food availability and nutritional value can influence when antler loss takes place. and recieve our upcoming newsletters and other site info. Look for woods or fields that you know bucks frequent. Shedding happens every year in between the months of January and April. With a long five months until deer season, I am in need of another big deer story fix! Then it’s just a matter of getting out there and putting in some time. One buck shed his antlers within 2 days of February 25 every year, regardless of conditions! During fall and early winter after velvet is shed, male white-tailed deer will have hardened antlers. Several hours of searching for the match were fruitless. The 160-page book is an in-depth guide that teaches you how to find naturally shed white-tailed deer antlers. Be meticulous and systematic in order to increase your shed hunting success. Look in areas where deer spend most of their time. Male deer lose their antlers once a year to grow new, larger antlers. Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. Although we have had a half-hearted winter so far here in West-Central Illinois, it seems we have experienced an earlier shedding than typical in our area. Examine travel corridors and water sources. Antler shedding typically begins with the older bucks. So far this winter has been very mild, however we are seeing several bucks on trail camera and glassing that only have one side. These were hard-horn antlers from last year, and Steve wondered how unusual it was for a buck to still be packing that late in the year. Deer usually shed their antlers in January or February. It happens during the first quarter of the year. Between January and April, you are more likely to find deer antlers that have shed. —Bucks drop their racks from late December in the North through March and April in the South. Because food is limited in winter, deer tend to feed aggressively and bucks often jar their antlers loose in the process. All the same, if there’s the threat of someone else shed hunting the same area, you’ll want to be in there first. Some of the nicest antlers are those found by hunters when a buck sheds them after the deer hunting season. It’s important to know exactly when the deer in your area are shedding to have the best chance of finding and collecting antler sheds at their peak numbers and quality. Not being ready to give …, Heavy Antler Shed Not rated yetAnother view of the heavy antler, Copyright © 2010-2020 New York Antler Outdoors. Timing is of the greatest importance. Your submission will appear on a Web page exactly the way you enter it here. Interesting Facts: Male white-tailed deer grow and shed antlers annually. Select it and click on the button to choose it. The first thing you will need to do is find land for shed antler hunting. Good luck! People hunt for shed antlers for various reasons and some are not even hunters. We need to remember these were controlled conditions and these findings won’t predict when deer will shed their antlers in wild conditions. The good news is that the largest bucks are often the first to drop their antlers. The majority of bucks in our area have shed both sides of their antlers. In addition, finding a particular buck’s antlers can let you know if he’s made it through the winter or if he’s still in the area. Speaking of nutrition, deer that roam the Midwestern farm counties, where nutrition is good to tend to shed antlers later on in mid-January.