Sunday, February 19, 2012

Deer Antlers

The Great Hunter
Barb was quite excited a few years ago after her first successful hunt.  And the good news is that no deer were harmed before the taking of this picture.

Shed hunting is a quiet sport and a good way to spend a winter day.  Bucks start to shed their antlers in December, with the latest falling off by February.  The blood supply to the base of the horns decrease and the weakened junction causes the antlers to fall off.  Immediately the buck starts to grow next year's rack.

Hunting for sheds is a sport for many people.  Antlers are prized also by many rodents because of their calcium content, so it is usually first come, first served.  Finding both undamaged antlers at once is as good as it gets.

Many shed hunters are competitive, putting out game cameras to locate the areas frequented by bucks with trophy racks.  There are hunting lodges that cater to shed hunters and even people to train your dog to find them.  There are lots of tips for hunting at Trophyhuntingobsession.com.

The size and shape of a deer's antlers is very important in the world of hunters.  Most of the articles about antlers have to do with measurement and the number of points.  I recently came across an interesting article from the Missouri Extension that could be titled Everything a Naturalist Needs to Know about Deer Antler Development.  Reading it is the next best thing to walking in the woods and its a lot warmer.

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