March 20, 2009
BuckTracker: Bittersweet Finds
By Scott Bestul
Shed hunting is enjoying a huge jolt of popularity lately for two primary reasons. First, finding antlers is just plain fun, with the added lure that shed hunting is primo when a lot of other pursuits are, well, not so primo. And second, finding a shed verifies that a certain buck has made it through the toughest part of the year and will—barring accident—be around to hunt next fall.
Of course, sometimes the horns we find have not been shed at all, and are attached to the skull of a very dead whitetail. Usually, it’s impossible to determine the cause of a “found” buck’s death…and whether it was a wounding loss from hunting season or just met some other natural fate, I guess it doesn’t much matter.
I always feel a little torn when I find a dead one. Sure, it’s a bummer that he’s out of the picture, and it’s a shame a lucky hunter didn’t get to enjoy him. Still, finding him is always better than the alternative, and a bittersweet trophy is far superior to no trophy at all. Above is a “found buck” photo from the Midwest taken in the last month. To see some more photos, check out the "Racks From The Dead" gallery.
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