Shed Hunting.

AJ Rotkis, Staff Writer

Everyone knows that male deer have antlers but do you know that they don’t keep them year round? Well from December to March, the bucks shed their antlers, meaning that they fall off. They fall off because they are no longer needed as the rut is over. They start growing them back in April, and finish by August usually with a new point, or they just get bigger. These shed antlers are very coveted by people, as it can show you where a big deer is at.

Now the hard part is finding them, as they could be anywhere a buck was at. A lot of people use dogs to help sniff them out, as they are able to smell the distinct scent among all the other scents. If you do not have a dog it is a little harder to find them, but there are some tips to help you. First find an area where you suspect a buck had been previously. Next look for any decline or step in which you think a buck would step, or slightly trip because the littlest movement can cause the antlers to fall off when they’re in shed. And then just look around until you find them, they can be around for awhile so you just need to look, as the more ground you cover the more likely you are to find a shed.

Now, the time of year when you are most likely to find these sheds is right when they fall off, as they are less likely to be found by other people. Other people finding them aren’t the only thing you need to look out for, as some animals such as squirrels and coyotes will find them and eat them. If they do not find the sheds, then you have a chance to find one any time of the year, but this is unlikely. Shed hunting can be a fun way to get someone into hunting, as it doesn’t require you to spend any money, and if someone doesn’t want to kill a deer, they can find their antlers without doing anything to them.