The Freshest Shed I've Ever Seen

Last weekend, I visited my father in SE Minnesota to see what bucks were coming into his backyard to feed.  I knew it was going to be a fun night of deer watching when we arrived at 2:30 PM and there were already 3 bucks in his yard.  We have been feeding Supplement 365 to keep the local herd healthy during the winter, and to get an idea of what bucks made it through the hunting seasons.

After watching 3 young bucks feed for about 30 minutes, I noticed one of the yearling bucks walk into the edge cover.  When he came back into the open, he was shaking his head back and forth almost like he was bothered by something, that’s when I noticed he had just shed his left antler.  I know how rare it is to witness a buck shedding and although I didn’t actually see it hit the ground, I knew when and where it dropped.

blog118-1 I could have easily ran out and picked it up but I thought what a great opportunity to give my wife a chance to find her first shed antler.  She had no problem finding it!  When she handed me the shed, I couldn’t help but notice the base of the antler below the burr was soft and sticky to the touch.  Many times I’ve found sheds that had blood on them, but this one was so fresh that the tissue connecting the antler to the pedicle bone had not even dried.

blog-118-2 This picture was taken moments after the buck shed his antler.  Noticeably absent from this shed is a complete wax ring that some people use as an indicator of how long a shed has been on the ground.  Every deer is different and because this deer was only a yearling the wax ring is much less visible, but I thought it would have been more prominent on such a fresh shed.

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This buck is showing signs of being a brute even as a yearling.  He is palmated all the way up his beam and it will be exciting to see him grow in the years to come.  Although the majority of bucks are still holding their antlers, there will be more sheds hitting the ground over the next several weeks.

There is always a trade-off between hitting spots early and busting out a few bucks or waiting until more bucks have shed to enter a bedding area.  I like to hit feeding locations early and work along the edges of thick bedding areas.  If I know there is a big buck still holding his antlers I will wait until they hit the ground before I begin searching that area.  It’s always a good practice to walk segments of woods rather than walking the whole thing because deer will move around within the same woods and you don’t run them out of the area completely.

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