This perfectly placed camera captured one of the rarest sights in the woods.
Every hunter knows how members of the deer family experience a cycle of antler growth year in and year out. Whether they are whitetails, mule deer, moose, elk or caribou, the animals start to grow new antlers every spring. The process of growing antlers is a fast one, with them developing over the course of a summer.
After the breeding season, male deer shed their antlers after testosterone levels drop and it is clear they are no longer needed. This usually happens after the rut, in early to late winter. 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 re-grown 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 headshake 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.