Shed antler hunting with trailcam pictorial

Man, some guys just have all the luck!

The following Pictorial was sent to me by a friend of Rick’s – a local bowhunter. Those of you who appreciate white-tailed deer and love shed antler hunting (like me) will get a real kick out of it!

The story even prompted me to do a little shed hunting myself; last Friday before the snow arrived. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite as lucky as Rick’s friend!

In Canada, mature whitetail deer generally shed their antlers during December and January. One is fortunate to find a shed antler and even more so to find a pair from the same deer. The whitetail deer shown here is a mature whitetail, possibly 4.5 years old. This picture was taken by a trail camera January 06, 2011 at 3:13 am. The camera time was not set back for daylight savings time, so any pictures shown here will be ahead by an hour.


This is a nice mature whitetail that made it through another hunting season. He’s now taking advantage of some alfalfa I placed in an area where I suspected some buck activity. Another mature buck also was interested in the free meal. Several younger bucks were waiting in line for a mouthful of hay.


These two deer decided to spar; testing their strength as often males do. I’ve included only a couple of pictures of the sparring that took place.



And when they seperated and parted ways, the larger deer left with only one antler intact.(Lefthand side of photo)


A short while later, a newly transformed single-antlered buck appears!



If you look closely, you can actually see the fallen antler on the ground in the middle of each picture.  I went to the feeding area a couple of days later and found the shed.  As I viewed my pictures, I noticed a deer without any antlers but clearly a buck as you can see.


This is a good size buck; just no antlers. Could it be the same one? I suspected as much. Where’s the other shed then? Could be anywhere!

I went back to pick up my camera and recharge the batteries. There, not a yard from where I found the first antler,  the other one was lying! I was elated and yet puzzled by how this deer could have dropped the other antler so close to where he lost the first one.

The two sheds are definitely from the same deer. With a standard 18 inch spread, this deer will score close to 150 inches. I’ll get my friend Rick to score them properly but it’ll be close.


If this guy makes it through the winter, what will he look like next year?

 (A special thanks to Rick’s friend for the great buck Pictorial)




8 thoughts on “Shed antler hunting with trailcam pictorial”

  1. I have a question? what elements determine when a deers antlers fall off? I used to think lack of nutrition but i am questioning that after finding sheds already this year,Dec 6th when the deer have basically had it very easy with the lack of snow to prevent them from getting food.A couple of years ago i remember seeing 2 bucks on Feb 4th walking single file, both having full head gear. I also had a friend shoot a 10pt on Dec 17th and when the deer hit the ground on a farm field off popped one antler. So it seems there are wide time frames for this to happen.

    1. Paul, I was always taught that the mature, more s*xually active bucks will drop their antlers earlier in the winter, and the younger bucks will hold them longer.

      I believe there is some connection to hormone use during the rut..i.e. the more does a given buck breads with, the earlier it will shed…therefore mature bucks end up dropping headgear sooner than later..

      I believe the reason for this is that after an active rutting season..there is really no need for all the extra weight on their head during the winter.

      At least, its been that way in my observations..I too have seen bucks with antlers in late Feb…but it was always yearlings.

      I’m sure Rick could add something to this….


  2. If you look at this youtube clip, you’ll notice during winter some bucks with their antlers on (one of them missing one).

    This seems to have been taken while coyote hunting and unexpectedly the deers came into the field towards the guy.

  3. Antler shedding varies greatly from buck to buck. My same friend has trail camera pictures of a nice 8 point still with antlers in April.

    One cause of shedding is as Jeff mentioned rut stress. Nature seems to have a safety valve where bucks that are run down because of the rut will loose their antlers. This will give them time to shift their attention back to eating so they can rebuild their resources to survive the winter.

    Another factor is genetics. Individual bucks will often loose their racks at the same approximate time each year regardless of their physical condition.

    Whatever the trigger our fascination with antlers continues year round!

  4. yes i am looking foward to looking for some sheds… now that i know there is 4 bucks in the area… just need to go check camera after being out in -20f

    1. Chessy, you should have no problem with your new Bone Collector?!

      Just checked my Trophy XLT yesterday and its still going strong in the cold snap…too bad the only pics I have are of coyotes!


  5. your right jeff. lots of pics over the 24 hours of super cold weather . over 2000 pictures and still on a full battery .

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