I’m far from a shed hunting fiend, but I pick up my share of antlers every spring. That is, until this year. I’ve put in a few miles looking for sheds, and have yet to find my first. And this is perfectly understandable when I see a group of deer or look at a trail cam photo and realize that, until just recently, most bucks were still packing both sides!
I’ve heard many whitetail experts say that weather conditions don’t have a large effect on when bucks lose their antlers–some even claiming that certain bucks will drop their antlers within days of each other from year to year–something I’ve been willing to accept until now. But if the winter of 2011-12 is any indicator, mild temps and lack of snowfall do have an impact on the annual shed drop; the easier the winter, the later the antler fall.
Sheds have also been more difficult to find this year because lack of snow cover has whitetails spread all over the landscape. In a tough winter deer concentrate, usually near food sources or quality thermal cover. Obviously, this makes antlers easier to find. The disadvantage is that you often have to wait for snowmelt for the best success.
So that’s the shed report from the Upper Midwest. Though I’ve yet to score my first, the hardcore guys I know say now is the time to start, so I will. What’s the shed count in your neck of the woods? Have weather conditions affected the timing of the antler drop?