Eyeball find! Pair of deer antlers! First I've ever found!

FreeBirdTim

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I've spent hundreds of hours detecting in the woods every year, but have never found even one shed deer antler. But after ten years, I finally found not one, but a matching pair! They're a little beat up and chewed, so I'm thinking they were shed last winter. Can't believe they would survive that long, since the critters like to chew on them. Give me your thoughts on this one. Seems too early for deer to be shedding antlers, but I'm no expert on the subject.
 

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DizzyDigger

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It's about a month early for them to be this years sheds, but damn...it's a matching set. Well done!
moose.gif
 

ToddsPoint

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Early for this yrs sheds but I think they are fresh. When I find sheds that have laid out all summer or longer the brown stain toward the base is always bleached white. The dark stain is from tree bark plus some dirt and will disappear eventually from weathering.
 

releventchair

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Varied factors determine when antlers drop.
Health is but one.

Last years antlers should be quite chalky at tine ends, often so brittle they won't tolerate getting bumped.
Discolored where they touched/layed on ground, if not soft. It takes dry site to tolerate ground damp. One year old off pine needles had good integrity still but wasn't solid as a fresh one either.
And I'm sure the picture is not as found or last years would have been just peeking out of the leaf litter.

Congrats though.

Look around. Why were they dropped where you recovered them?
A bedding area? A spot deer jump a ditch or fence?
Finding both isn't a given. The more you want a mate to one , sometimes it becomes more elusive. Hey deer can and do travel at times.

Next spring around St. Patricks day take a swing through the area again.
Or before . Some bucks carry antlers quite late. But earlier visits will have evidence in the snow as to what deer do for trends. Just don't run them out... Thus the suggestion of mid March.
 

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FreeBirdTim

FreeBirdTim

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That's unusual! Were they close together? Sometimes they're miles apart. They'll make a good display!

They were only about five feet apart. I kneeled down to grab the first one and then spotted the second antler. They sure are tough to spot with all the leaves and branches on the ground right now!
 

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FreeBirdTim

FreeBirdTim

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Last years antlers should be quite chalky at tine ends, often so brittle they won't tolerate getting bumped.
Nope, they've hard as a rock everywhere. They seem very heavy for their size.


And I'm sure the picture is not as found or last years would have been just peeking out of the leaf litter.
That's a great point. They were not buried in the leaves, just lying on top, so maybe they are this year's shed.
 

pa plateau hiker

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Still off-white, but one has a little green on it. Could be moss? Maybe from all the rain we've had around here.
I'm thinking they might be last years sheds. Another way to tell is from how they were laying on the ground. The side facing the sun would be bleached more then the side laying on the ground which might still have brown color on it.
 

Digger RJ

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I've spent hundreds of hours detecting in the woods every year, but have never found even one shed deer antler. But after ten years, I finally found not one, but a matching pair! They're a little beat up and chewed, so I'm thinking they were shed last winter. Can't believe they would survive that long, since the critters like to chew on them. Give me your thoughts on this one. Seems too early for deer to be shedding antlers, but I'm no expert on the subject.
Cool!!! Congrats!!!
 

foundationfinds

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Nice rack! Sorry couldn't resist 😂.

I'd say last year seeing the rut is still on.
Agreed. Last year's sheds. A little chewing on them is common. They wouldn't necessarily be chewed up completely. I've found some OLD sheds that had only a little bit chewed.
 

Trezurehunter

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I deer hunted for 40 years, and have found plenty of sheds, although I have never found a matched set like you did. I'm going with last years sheds. It's just a little early for them to be shedding them yet this year. But then again, Doe's are not supposed to have antlers either, yet I have seen a few harvested so I guess anything is possible.
 

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