As whitetail hunters wind down while simultaneously nursing the hangover that follows a long season, there's one thing that keeps all of us filled with hope and optimism: shed antlers. As the winter comes to a close, members of the deer family experience the end of their antler growth cycle, which sees them drop the antlers they carried around all fall and winter. This is an incredible act of nature, but for those of us who suffer from cabin fever on a weekly basis, it also means we have a reason to get back into the woods to strategize and scan every inch of natural soil. Whether you're in an area that hosts whitetails, mule deer, moose, elk, or caribou, spring time is almost as fun as hunting season, as you never know when luck may strike.
After the breeding season, male deer shed their antlers after testosterone levels drop and it is clear they are no longer needed. While many hunters have found shed antlers in the woods, few have ever witnessed them falling from a deer's head.
However, the advent of trail camera technology has started to shine a light on how these animals lose and regrow their headgear every year. This video, from a trail camera in Vermont, captures the exact moment an antlered buck's pedicles finally give way, releasing the white gold to the forest floor. Fortunately, this camera is shooting both video and audio, giving a seldom-seen look at the process.
As much as we love hunting season, we also look forward to shed hunting at the start of every new year. It's hard not to get excited after watching that nice set of antlers go flying from this buck's head. Just one little head shake was all it took to loosen both sides. We heard some tines clash there, so it's likely one side popped the other free. It seems the antlers popping off took the buck by surprise, as he spooked out of the area.
I have personally been setting my trail cameras from pics to video this time of year in the Midwest the last few seasons. I've been hoping to capture this exact scene, but simply have had no luck yet. This process usually happens in one of two locations, either food plots and other food sources, or bedding areas where whitetail bucks are looking to conserve energy this time of year. Most shed hunters looking for whitetail deer antlers will find the most success in spots like this.
As we get into January and February of the new year, it will soon be time to hit the woods to try and find the antlers off the bucks that got away. Keep it here at Wide Open Spaces as we bring you all the latest tips and tricks for having your best shed hunting season ever.
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