There is some evidence that older bucks drop their antlers earlier than younger bucks. Even dedicated rabbit hunters who hunted all winter long had to put away their shooting irons and beagles at the end of February. It is referred to as shed hunting, so take a hunt-like approach to searching for them. I’ve found antlers in January and also found them in April, so if the snow cover is minimal and the temperature is bearable (like now) the antlers can be had. On private ground, wait until March when most bucks have shed. Typically, mule deer shed in late December through March, and elk shed from mid-March through April. Bucks often hasten the process by rubbing their antlers against trees or brush, possibly because the dying velvet causes an itching sensation. Calls For Trump's Removal As 'Unfit' Ramp Up After Capitol Seige, 'Catastrophic Failure' At US Capitol Must Be Investigated: Mayor, Blake Family Plans To Take Struggle Beyond Charging Decision, Hudson Weather Forecast For The Week Ahead. For most of us, that means the time to shed hunt is early February to March. Buck whitetail deer, as you undoubtedly know, grow a new set of antlers every year, typically beginning in May. Contrastingly, deer in areas with poor nutrition tend to shed their antlers earlier in mid-December. It's the hunt that matters. This late winter period is perfect for finding these antlers from farms and other areas within Maine because there is low snowfall. This post was contributed by a community member. By the calendar, hunting season is long over. If you don't have an area to search close by, allows the collecting of shed antlers. I divide the bedding areas into two categories, the first is thermal cover and it’s usually the snarliest, nasty thicket within a quarter mile of the food source. The views expressed here are the author's own. I consider them all trophies. The deer antler shed will take two to three week before full completion. The peak of shed drop here is probably in early to mid-February, but it varies considerably by year, property, and deer. The why and when are simple, the timing is based on photoperiod. This means antlers may begin developing late, depending on when summer sets in. When they shed them is a matter of how much stress the winter has put them under, among other things. It's a good place to search since we have a sizeable deer population.". 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. 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. When and Where to Search for Whitetail Antler Sheds? It's an excuse to get outside and take a walk in the woods. But in a typical year, round about March, another hunting season opens here in Wisconsin, and this one doesn't require licenses, tree stands, orange coats, camouflage, decoys or hunting dogs. 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. In the past 4 years I have found 45 shed antlers. As the deep winter snows begin to recede, as they have done in dramatic fashion here in Hudson this week, a whole world of buried treasure comes to light. In these environmental conditions the deer shed their antlers at the same time every year. Elk, on the other hand, start losing their antlers in March and into April. The dominant bucks involved most in breeding start shedding their antlers earlier than the rest of the bucks. The views expressed in this post are the author's own. In fact, those little teeny spikes are tougher to find than the larger ones, so I enjoy discovering them just as much. It is referred to as shed hunting, so take a hunt-like approach to searching for them. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called on Congress to investigate the assault on the U.S. Capitol by rioters and hold President Trump accountable. Sometimes, a jubilant bow hunter in December is … Many shed hunters start their search around February. Your chance to bag that whitetail buck or down that red-legged mallard came and went months ago. The velvet dries and falls away when its blood supply ends. Rose-the-Nose hasn't helped much yet, mostly just fetching antlers I've already found, but I'm hoping with enough practice she'll get the hang of it. I'm not sure if anyone has tried to train an antler retriever before, and I'm not sure if it will work.  But I can tell you this; if I leave her at home while I go for a walk in the woods, she'll bury all my hunting gear and sell my truck. Shed hunting is in peak season this time of year. Some people shed hunt because there is actual monetary value to the antlers, particularly if you can find a large, matched pair. The new antlers are usually complete by early September, well before the rut, the deer family’s breeding season. The antlers begin to grow in April or May. Deer in the wild will live in conditions that will vary from year to year. My yellow lab Rosie will retrieve just about anything she can carry, and some things she can't. Between January and April, you are more likely to find deer antlers that have shed. Searching for shed antlers is the perfect cure for what ails me. That makes them tougher to find come the big melt off because of the accumulation of forest detritus on top of the sheds, along with their general discoloring and fading. However, determining when deer shed their trophy antlers is an inexact science and will definitely be different year to year. Deer can shed their antlers anytime from November, just … This winter most of the bucks I'm familiar with shed their antlers early—in December and early January. I seek them out instead because it's a cure for cabin fever. The good news is that the largest bucks are often the first to drop their antlers. Deer can shed their antlers anytime from November, just after the rut, until late March. American Whitetail Deer Hunting Resources - For the very best in whitetail deer products, including one of the most thorough books ever written on whitetail deer hunting. Do white-tailed deer have more than one stomach? 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