Shed antler hunting is growing in popularity nationwide. The key thing to remember is that elk typically shed their antlers much later in the Spring than deer, so it is important to pay attention to snow accumulation. Many places in the west have migratory herds, so finding a great pair of shed antlers doesn’t necessarily mean that bull will be within 50 miles the following fall. Many whitetail hunters use shed hunting to scout for next year’s potential harvest. There comes a time in the off-season when whitetail deer hunters all over the country become obsessed with collecting deer antlers. Let’s say there are 215,000 mule deer in the state. By April, they begin regrowing their antlers, and by late August the antlers will be fully formed. The low testosterone levels causes the bone connected to the base of the antler to deteriorate and eventually fall off. Also rodents are said to gnaw them to get the salt content and have found a gnawed moose antler in Wyoming only one. Mark Kayser shares a unique tip on how to determine when elk in your region are beginning to shed their antlers. Male deer lose their antlers once a year to grow new, larger antlers. In Brian’s experience, he says, he expects the elk to drop their antlers anywhere from the first of April to the middle of the month. At times, bucks shed their antlers earlier depending on three factors: age, health, and location of the deer. Hello Elk Lovers! Last April of 2018, two men decided to ignore the shed hunting parameters and collected about 70 pounds of elk antlers near the Hoback Rim north of Pinedale, Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). There is a commercial market for elk antlers as most end up in Asia where it's believed they have medicinal value and are ground into various nutritional supplements. Since 2009, Wyoming has prohibited the collection of shed antlers and horns on public land, such as U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission owned or administered lands west of the Continental Divide, excluding the Great Divide Basin, from Jan. 1 through April 30 of each year. Several rules of thumb can be applied to when deer shed their antlers. Typically, mule deer and moose shed in late No special place to look they shed them on the move and not both at the same time I have seen bucks with ten point racks in Bucks county as late as February. Flickr / Diana Robinson The National Elk Refuge hosts a day each spring for local Boy Scout troops to hike through the refuge, gathering up the antlers that lie on the ground and to get them ready for the ElkFest Antler Auction. About 1,000 to 2000 pounds of the antlers in each arch came from the Jackson Hole Boy Scouts, who pick them up on the National Elk Refuge each year. Some of them are screwed down to add extra support and prevent vandalism. Therefore, after the rut moose, elk, and deer shed antlers and then are ready for winter. A few years ago, I had a discussion with a Michigan naturalist, who claimed that most whitetail bucks lose their antlers by mid- January. Antlers are dominant in male elks, but there are unique cases where the female elks will grow antlers. This past season, four or five years after I got my start, I found over 25 antlers As March snow melts away, an off-season activity that many deer hunters pursue is looking for shed antlers. This past Winter, snowfall was heavy in December, January, and February but March and April were mild with very little accumulation. Todd Duke - IDFG Shed antlers from deer, elk and moose are commonly found in areas where they spend the winter months. Once the antlers are shed, they will start growing a soft velvet before developing another full antler rack. Every spring, when the snow begins to melt, bull elk shed their antlers and begin to grow new horns. I began reading up on shed-hunting and added a few antlers to my collection. If possible, go to your shed hunting spots earlier in the year before the animals drop their antlers to glass from afar for bull elk. Both whitetail and mule deer bucks, and moose and elk, lose their antlers during winter, typically in January and into February, though occasionally these big game animals are seen with antlers still intact in late March or even early April. Every spring, thousands of elk wintering on the National Elk Refuge lose their antlers before they migrate to their summer range. A deer that lives in the Arctic is highly likely to grow their antler quicker since the length of daylight is shorter. Antlers go up one at a time. Elk, mule deer, whitetails, and even moose all shed their antlers when testosterone levels drop after the final female heat cycle. 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