Buck's antler goes flying and he seems off-balance immediately.
Every year, as the dead of winter begins to set in and the rut winds down, big game from the deer family like whitetail, mule deer, elk, caribou, and moose begin to shift their focus from breeding to survival through the harsh late winter months until spring.
Many bucks and bulls are completely worn down and spent at this point of the year. Testosterone levels drop and both mule and whitetail bucks begin focusing on just two areas, feeding and bedding areas that help them conserve energy and survive.
It's also around this time that the headgear male deer spent all summer growing suddenly become completely worthless. The pedicle begins to lose its grip and shed antlers eventually pop free of the animal's head. To witness a deer shed falling is a rare sight, but it is captured on video by humans or trail cameras sometimes. This video shows a mule deer's antler coming free with a mighty headshake.
Shed hunting doesn't get much easier than that. Why can't we have that kind of luck when out looking for tines every spring? It truly is that extensive and long antler growth cycle ends with these pieces of bones discarded in bedding areas and food sources like common trash. However, nature's perfect design means the antlers then provide calcium and other nutrients to a plethora of other animals. Unless of course, a shed hunter finds it picks it up first.
As sad as it is to see hunting season coming to an end, we do enjoy getting outside and hiking to look for deer antlers every spring. It's a good way to scout public land and to see what animals will survive to grow new antlers next season. Also, matching up a set of sheds is a tremendous challenge that can be extremely rewarding.
We found this video fascinating because the buck clearly knew an antler was gone. We're not sure if he was thrown off balance or if it becomes irritating for the remaining antler to still be there after the other falls. Either way, it's fascinating to see the animal's reaction and it helps give us a better idea of how to search for the matches of any antlers we find this spring!