The spotted nursing fawns spend the day hidden in the underbrush while the mother is away. They shed their antlers every year, unlike animals that sport “horns,” which include antelope, sheep, cattle, buffalo and rhinoceros. The five British deer species which carry antlers replace them every year. Their antlers are shed, and the bucks become much less aggressive, and bachelor groups form again. I don’t believe hunting and wildlife land management are opposite of each other. Since deer would typically drop their antlers in a feeding area during the night, you’d have a great chance at finding a fresh deer antler before anyone else if you’re up against other public land shed hunters. Bucks 3 1/2 years or older will shed their antlers faster than bucks who are 2 1/2 years old or younger. Both whitetail and mule deer bucks, and moose and elk, lose their antlers during winter, typically in January and into February, though occasionally these big game animals are seen with antlers still intact in late March or even early April. I divide the bedding areas into two categories, the first is thermal cover and it’s usually the snarliest, nasty thicket within a quarter mile of the food source. Next, make sure you’re in shape. It happens during the first quarter of the year. Depending on the region, mule deer shed their antlers between late winter and early spring. A mild Spring caused the elk to move back up to higher areas of the mountains during the time that the majority of shedding … It should also have ample areas to lash antlers. It’s possibly due to the heavier weight of an elk antler and the lopsided feeling that comes from carrying just one antler. The gestation period for does lasts six to seven months with one or two fawns born in the early summer. Every winter, deer bucks and elk bulls shed their antlers. Most shed hunters use the antlers in craft or home décor projects or sell them to craftsmen for similar projects. If you think about the chasing, the fighting and the staying on their feet during both daylight and nighttime hours that bucks do, by the time a buck reaches the post-rut, he’s tired, beat-up and doesn’t want to fight. Antlers are covered with velvety skin until fully formed, when the buck scrapes this layer off. Beer and beef broth add great flavors to any stew. They browse shrubs, trees and occasional grasses and forbs and retreat to tree cover to bed down during the day. Deer antler prices have been fluctuating between $8 and $12 per pound in recent years. By Keith Allen. In 2018, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to prohibit shed antler and horn collection on all public lands west of I-25 from Jan.​​ 1 through April 30, annually. In late summer and fall, mixed family groups form larger groups that stay together for protection throughout the winter. Even with the possibility of a paycheck at the end of a shed antler hunt, the reward for a western adventure far outweighs cash. Antlers are covered with velvety skin until fully formed, when the buck scrapes this layer off. Montana Picking up a shiny, six-point elk antler while you overlook a scene from the opening of a John Wayne movie is the true reward. This was enacted in 2018 to protect wildlife from additional stress. Antlers are pure bone, and grow larger year after year after the animal has shed Antler Velvet – After deer shed their antlers, they quickly begin to grow them back. A growing population of people, predators and the often harsh elements took huge numbers of the animals. In much of the Midwest, corn and soybean fields are king when it comes to deer nutrition. The more testosterone a male uses during the rut, the more likely it is to drop earlier. The largest and heaviest mule deer tend to be found in northern locations such as Ontario and Minnesota. Males, called bucks, have forked antlers. When do mule deer shed? My favorite optic to carry is the Nikon Monarch HG10x42 with enough power to pick apart the landscape when looking for antlers. New antlers, covered by a soft velvety skin begin growing in late spring. The two species shed their antlers in a different time frame. When growth is complete the velvet is rubbed off and the antler is described as clean. Mule deer bucks at the heaviest range can weigh as much as 450 pounds or more. The key thing to remember is that elk typically shed their antlers much later in the Spring than deer, so it is important to pay attention to snow accumulation. You may still pick up shed antlers that have a rounded base aren't attached. Genetics drives antler shedding to a specific date, but a male’s use of testosterone also factors into the equation. 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