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Hunting Antler Sheds in Ohio is a Way to Start Getting Out

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PICKAWAY – Deer are in the season to start shedding their horns and they can be easily found in the woods and valuable.

The search for shed white-tailed deer antlers is the perfect cure to cabin fever for many outdoors enthusiasts looking for a reason to get outside and enjoy what’s left of winter. This late winter and early spring activity has become quite popular in recent years with new recruits joining the search to find their own treasures. Antlers are interesting for all sorts of people. Some individuals simply like to collect them as showpieces, while hunters might want to find the castaway antlers from the bucks they pursued during the previous hunting season.

A buck deer annually puts a lot of time and energy into growing a set of antlers. The process begins in the spring with most bucks having noticeable velvet-covered nubs by May. The antlers continued to grow through September, when the antlers harden and the velvet outer covering is rubbed off on small trees or shrubs. The bucks use their antlers to spar with other bucks in their home range to establish dominance in preparation for the breeding season that ramps up in October. After the breeding season, hormone levels decrease, which in turn causes their antlers to fall off. Most Ohio bucks lose their antlers beginning in January.  

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Location is everything when trying to find a good place to look for sheds. Deer usually don’t travel far in the late winter months. This coincides with the time when sheds are hitting the ground. The key is to locate the bedding area and the preferred food source. Once you have that figured out and the date is right, you’re ready to get some boots on the ground. Just because you observed bucks frequenting an area in the fall doesn’t necessarily mean they are still in that same area by late winter. Deer typically form herds in the winter months, which makes locating them a little easier. Scout deer at dusk to find them in their core areas.