As hunting season comes to a close and members of the deer family begin redirecting their focus from mating to surviving harsh winter conditions and refueling on food as the spring season nears. Throughout this transition, animals such as whitetail deer, mule deer, moose, caribou, and elk are completely exhausted, and males see their testosterone levels fall. This ultimately results in bulls and bucks shedding their antlers that have become useless with the rut in the rearview mirror, leaving hunters with a new activity to obsess over.
During the shedding process, the pedicle of each antler starts losing its grip, and before long it simply falls right off the animal's head. It's incredibly rare to actually witness the moment a buck sheds an antler, but with the rising popularity of trail cameras and the improved placement strategy among seasoned hunters, we're getting to see more and more incredible moments in wildlife. That's exactly what we get to see here, as the following clip shows us a mule deer dropping one of its antlers after violently shaking its head.
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's hard to believe that extensive antler growth cycle ends with bucks discarding those bones in bedding and feeding areas 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!
For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels.