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New to shed hunting and just wondering if anyone knew about when bucks started dropping their antlers in Ohio. I saw a pair of nice bucks today with their headgear still intact.
Can you run trail cameras, that might help let you know when to go out. I'm in another state so no help for your area. I typically don't go out much before March. I try to wait until most or all have lost them. I figure it a lot like bowseason in that I don't want to pressure them by stomping around their bedding areas too much.
I've heard rumors that they are already dropping, but I checked cameras today and all bucks are still sporting both sides.
There’s a wide variance of when they shed in the Midwest. I seen them shed anywhere from mid-December clear up to April (which is pretty rare, IMO). On average, my guess would be that the vast majority of them shed from late January to late February into early March.
Up in Wisconsin I secretly renamed Valentines Day to Shed Hunting Opening Day. Typically I don’t find any before that, and my wife likes the “romantic” hike she thinks we are on every year!
Most in the midwest drop from the end of Dec thru early April .. the majority Feb-march ... depending on stress levels, as soon as the testosterone stops flowing and levels drop
Where I had my lease in Ohio(Union County) most if not all dropped by late January. Some as early as Christmas. It varies year by year due to a bunch of variables. Here in NY quite a few have dropped already. Shawn
I am in Vermont so my observations may be different in your area. Most of the bigger bucks had shed by late December. I have some on trail cam in our muzzle loader season without antlers. I was surprised as there are a couple spikes and a sub legal fork retaining their antlers. I learn something new each year.
I'm in southwest PA and snuck to within 15 yards of a bedded 6 point on Saturday. I've seen them without their antlers this time of year and actually saw 3 buck together about 5 years ago on April 15th all still carrying their head gear.
I start looking for sheds in February as that is when our hunting season is over.
Mid MN, I used to begin hunting about end of February - beginning of March, depending on the snow conditions. Over the past 10 years or so, the timber wolves and a few coyotes mixed in, are so thick that as soon as the bone hits the ground they get eaten up. Haven't even gone out for about 5 years.
I agree with Valentine's is the shed opener for deer and saint patricks opener for elk. They drop before that in many cases but getting into the woods too early stresses deer at a rough time of the year.
Public land in Montana isn't open to shed hunting until Mid May.
Thanks for the info, super helpful!
I wait until the end of February to shed hunt. Most have lost their antlers and it is a lot easier to get through the woods and spot sheds before leaves come out. I also use binoculars and you would be surprised how you can sometimes spot an antler that you could miss without the binoculars.
I wouldn't start til Mid March... our lease didn't start losing sides til then..
Any of you guys bring a shed with you while looking? I bring one and throw it out in front without looking for where it lands. It slows me down and helps train my eyes for what I'm looking for. I find the majority of my sheds while looking for the one I threw.
I bring one and throw it for the dog a couple of times as we get going, just to get her fired up about working the woods.