Contributors to this thread:
Found matching sheds - then the carcass
Got a question for you guys. Last evening while hunting I found a real nice set of shed antlers - a 10 point probably 130’s. Found one antler - then about 50 yards away in the cedars I found a carcass of a buck. No meat left on it - skeleton completely intact, just the red hue on the ribs and other bones. Only hide was on the lower back leg bones. Then as my son walked further he found the other shed antler so we got the matching set.
Just trying to piece together what may have happened to this buck. Seems odd. Most bucks in MO haven’t shed antlers by now and if he did, it’s even more odd that he died right there.
Perhaps wounded in rifle season and the wound was a lingering yet mortal wound that caused stress and he dropped his antlers (yet not together) then proceeded to die? Skeleton is not scattered all over like it usually looks if a pack of coyotes gets one - I’m puzzled.
We will obviously never know, I was just curious if anyone has seen something similar or has any ideas.
Yes. At least as close as we could tell - they fit.
I can post some pics of the sheds, but didn’t take any of the carcass. It was totally intact other than the lower jaw had been removed and was probably 20 yards away from the carcass. Other than that it was completely intact and no ribs were broken.
MO youth season about 10 years ago (1st weekend in Jan), helped a kid shoot a nice BIG doe. Walked up on it only to find it was a buck with 1 pedicle bleeding the other scabbed over. Found the one shed about 30 yds away. He weighed after field dressing 200 lbs. Hard to say about yours.
I’d guess your wounded theory is correct. Years ago, my dad shot a one antlered buck during shotgun season, (to put it out of it’s misery) that was extremely gaunt and had an infected wound of some sort on his neck. At the shot, the buck ran off a short ways before dying on the run. My dad walked over to the buck and found that the other antler had popped off when it hit the ground. The pedicle from the already shed side was still somewhat bloody as well. I looked in the general area where he killed this buck, for the other antler, but never found it. My guess was that this buck was probably shot either during bow season or the first shotgun season, and was not mortally wounded initially. He would have, most certainly, died from the wound. It was a very nice buck, and, if both sides matched, would have scored roughly in the low 170s as a 10 pointer.
I've found the skeletons of shed bucks in late winter while shed hunting. Usually the molars are worn down. The rut stresses them and when they don't have the teeth to process browse after the greenery and acorns are gone, they go down fast. Not sure that's what happened in your case but check the teeth.
Sounds like a missle strike to me.
Coyotes pick up sheds and move them to new spots, usually chew on the tips some but give up before they get far. Does it look like there are some small nicks in any of the sheds tips from their carnacials? Hormone levels probably dropped enough to weaken the bonds at the pedicles around the time the buck died, and then came off. It is abojt time some of the biggest ones start dropping, and it only tames a day or two of coyote carnage to strip a deer completely. I bet it did not stink of rot yet, and redness spells freshness. Recently died is my hypothesis.
No stink at all - everything was eaten except the skeleton and it wasn’t broken up at all. Looked like it laid down and died and then something came and neatly ate all the meat off it. I did look at the lower jaw bone and the teeth all looked real good.
Did he have something on Hillary?
Wild. Sort of similar story that a friend up here (MA) shared recently, he put a good description on our state page - that's the link. I got to hold the tripple brow antler, massive! https://forums.bowsite.com/tf/regional/thread.cfm?threadid=248991&messages=26&state=Ma
Any coyote bite marks on the sheds?
Calvin - not sure. Here’s a pic. The only bite marks are on the brow tine and they are very small marks, not sure if it’s coyote or not.
One more pic of them. Maybe shows the bite marks a little better.
Pics are a lot clearer on my iPhone than when I upload them. I’m trying one more Calvin. Close up of the brow tine.
Yes, thore are coyote chew marks by the looks. They probably moved them from their original drop spot.
Thanks for your input Calvin. Seems odd that the skeleton is intact and really looks like it just laid down. Not twisted up or broken at all. On the backside of one of the sheds there is a light blood stain and some hair - which may indicate it was on the carcass and then peeled off. But the carcass doesn’t give any indication of that - looks like the antlers just dropped - no fractures around the pedistles or anything.
Interesting that the coyotes did not scatter the carcass. In my experience they do just that.
That’s one of the things that puzzles me as well. Wish I would’ve taken a pic of the carcass. Perfectly intact.
I found this from a nice ten point on our place makes you sick but 44 yotes have died since that picture was taken good luck Lewis
That's alot of yotes but they will just breed back into existence. That is what they do. Two dogs can produce alot of pups. In fact often more will eventually make up the loss. No problem in taking them out though.
The antlers on your buck old-school are a really nice set. It may be that they came off after the buck dhe'd and the dogs carried them off. I would say that once all the meat is gone, the bones from the deer will get scattered. That happens sometimes, not often, that they dont get strewn about until not much is left on them. Usually it gets scattered though. Puzzling
I found this several years ago. Apparently close to shedding when he got tangled. One antler came off, but the other didn't release even with his struggles. Looked like he eventually hung himself with the wire around his neck.
I think I remember that one lewis, that is the nice deer you had on camera with coyote attacking the hind end?
So I am making up a scenario here, it is my educated guess and nobody else seems to have said it this way.
Your deer was killed by predators of some sort, it is close enough to shed time that during the battle to survive some force was applied to the antlers to have dislodge them from the pedicles. (and therefore they were in close by locations). I also agree that certain predators will move/play with the antlers.
Basis of my idea, I have seen bucks hit by cars this time of year and the force knocks the antler off the pedicle with very little deviation from where it would have come off in a normal shed situation.
Therefore your deer was killed by predators and lost it's antlers in the battle.
A friend of mine just told me about helping his neighbor track a buck.
The neighbor shot it, then found both antlers shed about 10yds down the trail. Deer kept running, and they ran out of blood after a few hundred yards. I kept asking if it lost the antlers after it ran into a tree, or some thick brush, but according to my friend, it was pretty open.
heard a story one time of a guy who found a sick bull in his bed while antler hunting. He was on horseback and rode right up to the bull.
The bull had shed one antler in his bed and it was laying next to him. So said friend decided to rope the other antler and pull it off the animal.
Didn't work too well, never saw the bull, the rope, or the other antler again. Apparently the bull wasn't too sick, it came out of it's bed on the run, and said friend was lucky to get rid of the rope before being drug off his horse and stomped.
An old boss of mine roped a rag horn 5 when we were bringing the cattle down off the forest lands got it anchored off to his saddle horn before the bull really freaked bout drug that poor horse to death.
Ozzie, I was up Eagle Creek one late March day and came across a string of 7 6x6s. All but one were carrying both sides. The last one was the biggest, and a half horn. It dropped back and bedded down by a small hill. I had my lab with me. We hiked up above him on the hill near the bull and it stayed put. I waited for two hours to see if the other side would fall off. It didn't so finally I picked up a limb and tossed it at the antler and off it came with a click, and laid next to the bull. I went to get it and the bull put his ears back and started grinding his jaws and teeth menacingly. So I told my dog to 'Go get the bone' He trotted over, grabbed the big 6 in his mouth and brought it to me. We left with me thinking the bull would die that night. Next day we went back and it was gone. They must get weak or something when they are going to shed, sometimes anyway. Heckuva way to get a shed, freshest drop I ever found!
An injured or sick Buck will shed his antlers early. Many years ago I shot what I thought was a doe in January in Ohio. Turns out it was a medium sized buck that had been shot in the leg during gun season. It had gangrene bad. I doubt it would have lived more than a few days. The next day while hiking around I found his shed antlers side by side next to a bed. This is extremely early for a buck in Ohio. I know they were his because one piece had a big chunk of skull to the point it seemed really weird. I was able to take it back and fit it like a puzzle piece to the skull of the buck I killed.
I would think most bucks would be shedding by now. I know here in NY they have been shedding for a few weeks. Actually some before Christmas. Shawn
Toby you’re correct but now it’s been 45 dead yotes because of what I found a big male yesterday Lewis
Lewis - I shoot one every time the opportunity presents itself. My dads place we hunt is overrun with them. Late season we see more coyotes than deer on the cameras. And a couple big bobcats as well. All deer killers.
You think of them taking down sick and young deer this was a 5 1/2 200lb 10 point.One trapper had a camera on a den the mother brought in parts of 22 fawns over a 3 month period (if I remember correctly).We have seen a big difference in the amount of fawns and deer since war was declared.Plus the turkeys. Good luck all Lewis
Shawn is right, we had couple shed bucks in mid December out this way. Usually I start getting pictures in about this time of jan. I have not pulled cards in awhile so I am sure there are more pictures on them. A neighbor of a piece of property own but hardly ever hunt anymore found matching 5 point sheds on news years weekend, should a great NY buck next year. Definitely a nice change for the area
Ive found the same scenario twice. I think its much the same as my encounters. A wound from weapon or another buck took its toll. He probly lingered in the area he died a while as I have witnessed this. The emaciated condition of the buck caused the shedding and it eventually died either from septicemia or the coyotes finished him off.