This is one of the harshest winters on record in West Central Indiana, as it has been in other parts of the country.  I can't recall since my early childhood a winter with so much snow and cold.  Even with March 20th only a few days away, it was in the high 20's - low 30's today and required the kids and I to wear full gear battling the cold and wind while out at the property.  Needless to say, I'll be glad when this winter finally lets go.

Something else not letting go are the bucks on the property this year.  Only a hand full of bucks have lost their antlers.  I've always been told to wait until Feb. 14th to begin shed hunting.  That way you reduce the risk of pushing bucks off of the property causing them to drop sheds across the fence line.  Here it is the middle of March and I've got multiple pictures of bucks with both sides in tact.  So the question is, do I wait until St. Patrick's Day to begin my shed hunting?  Stands to reason since today is March 16th.

What causes this variance with bucks from different herds or regions?  I hear all of the time that guys are getting pictures that bucks have dropped both sides. These guys are not that far from me, so why do my bucks hold onto their sheds longer?  I've heard before that herd health and available browse plays a factor into this phenomenon.  I don't recall seeing any studies that support or disprove this theory, but there could be some out there. Send me a link to them if you have any for me to read.

I'd like to think there is truth to the above theory and that our property improvements are a significant contributing factor.  Habitat improvements such as hinge cutting, knocking the briars down to ground level, staging areas with annuals planted, and a few food plots equals healthy deer enabling bucks to keep racks well into March?  I believe this stuff works and I'm not letting go of that!  My dreams of finding more sheds on the property is still alive and well.  I just hope they drop them soon.
 


Comments

Mark
03/17/2014 7:43am

These are just my ever evolving theories... currently I believe the bigger the head gear the earlier they fall especially during very harsh winters.
I also believe every deer is different and typically drops his antlers near the same time every year. It would be neat to be able to chronicle a few specific bucks through their lives to see if in fact each one drops at a specific time of the year.

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