Gamekeeping is not just for hunters, but for those who enjoy wildlife conservation and land management. A growing population of people, predators and the often harsh elements took huge numbers of the animals. Most have a posted opening date that attracts local and visiting shed hunters alike. In parts of the West, antler hunting occurs on a daily basis beginning in November with photographers or people scouting big bucks and their antlers and ending in June with shed antler collection. When rumors began to emerge this past Fall that shed hunting in Colorado was going to be pushed back to May, I didn’t really know what to think. Twin births often occur after the first pregnancy. Mule deer also can be taken by coyotes and bobcats. It should also have ample areas to lash antlers. Antlers. Elk and mule deer spend more time on south-facing slopes, but they have to traverse north-facing slopes to get to any new, windswept, south-facing food stash. They are named for their oversized ears that resemble a mule's ears. Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Fawns begin accompanying their mother within a few weeks. Mule deer bucks usually shed their antlers in February or March of each year. Bucks run off prospective suitors through threatening body postures or engaging in violent jousting contests using their impressive racks as weapons. They live in a multi-generation family of related females and their offspring. Electric fences also can be used. Some may use the antlers to make home furnishings, for artwork or to create knife handles. They browse shrubs, trees and occasional grasses and forbs and retreat to tree cover to bed down during the day. Check it out. 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. Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Mule deer bucks at the heaviest range can weigh as much as 450 pounds or more. It’s no secret that most of us who hunt love antlers, and the ability to collect them without expending a single round or tag is an alluring prospect and quite easy if you get out at the right time. Like whitetail deer, elk and mule deer shed their antlers via a combination of factors. Gathering these trophies from the ground is known as "shed hunting." Their antlers are shed, and the bucks become much less aggressive, and bachelor groups form again. One noted biologist believes that the shedding time for antlers is directly tied into the individual buck’s antler cycle. Finding antlers can pay off. These trails undoubtedly lead to open areas for feed, but don’t overlook where the trail disappears into timber. At this time of year deer are relying solely on their body reserves and what little they can get from surrounding vegetation; they are patiently waiting for spring temperatures and green-up. To speed up your antler discoveries begin by following big game trails. In 1895, according to one report, very few mule deer were seen in the Estes Park region and continued into the beginning of the twentieth century. The gestation period for does lasts six to seven months with one or two fawns born in the early summer. They are the primary prey of mountain lions. Their new set of antlers grows with a cover of skin, called velvet. The spotted nursing fawns spend the day hidden in the underbrush while the mother is away. As March snow melts away, an off-season activity that many deer hunters pursue is looking for shed antlers. Wyoming prohibits shed hunting from Jan. 1 to April 30 on public lands west of the continental divide. Pheasant smokes quickly, and it generates a flavorful, moist product when done. The dedication of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915 and subsequent removal of wolves resulted in a dramatic increase in the mule deer population. Sturdy, leather hiking boots and a hiking staff is a must. Food Levels Can Influence Antler Shedding When growth is complete the velvet is rubbed off and the antler is described as clean. The more testosterone a male uses during the rut, the more likely it is to drop earlier. Mature Whitetail Bucks: Why Don’t I See More? The antlers start as nubs in April and reach their full potential by August. Learn tips and strategies for scouting and finding shed antlers. Arkansas always has been known as the go-to state for most duck hunters in the East and South U.S. Arkansas is so close to me. State game and fish agencies even manage these areas realizing that the ungulates visit them annually. This has been in place since 2009. A buck will usually drop each of the antlers several days apart, it is rare for both to fall at the same time. Start your planning by scheduling for the right time of year. The dropping of the antlers may take place within 24 to 48 hours, but the entire shedding process may take as long as two to three weeks before the antlers actually fall … Barely peeking out of a fresh crust of snow, two tiny tines were reaching out toward the sky. Lastly, you may need to put your binoculars aside and snoop like on whitetail properties for shed antlers thick vegetation. They don’t participate in the seasonal rituals of normal bucks. According to Dr. Valerius Geist, the first black-tailed deer came into existence around 2 million years ago. New antlers, covered by a soft velvety skin begin growing in late spring. A dark brew can have roasted grains, where an IPA will focus on hops. Saturday, February 25, 2006. Genetics drives antler shedding to a specific date, but a male’s use of testosterone also factors into the equation. Hunting for whitetail shed antlers dominates the antler scene, but like dreaming about a western elk hunt, shed antler fanatics consider hunting for elk and mule deer shed antlers a bucket-list adventure. The antler market fluctuates like the Dow Jones Industrials, but artisans, dog-chew companies, collectors and others purchase antlers on a regular basis. Between January and April, you are more likely to find deer antlers that have shed. Females are called does and do not have antlers. Colorado. Many possibilities exist, including using them to decorate a home or yard. Mule deer shed their antlers from January into March. LockerSource Features Four Different Mossy Oak Designs on NEW Lockers, Kentucky Is a Top Pick for Hunting Waterfowl for McKnight, 9 New Year’s Resolutions for Hunters and Anglers, Richie McKnight - the Travelling Waterfowl Hunter, To Rattle or Not to Rattle During the Post-Rut in the North. Mule deer are very common throughout the western United States. Yet Another Colorado Climber A blog about weekend mountain climbs, trail hikes, mountain bikes, and hunting trips by your average dude. If you do find a single, large elk or mule deer antler, spend a few extra minutes gridding the area. The first Estes Valley settlers in the early 1860's found a moderately abundant mule deer numbers. Elk, on the other hand, begin shedding their antlers in March through April, although it can occur as early as mid-February. This outfitting company out of Redding, California, hunts on 35,000 acres in northern California and guides on thousands more acres of public land. Antler prices have risen in recent years. Lace up, slide down and cover more ground for a look if you deem it safe. Both elk and deer use trails to navigate to winter forage. During mid-summer, after normal growth of the antlers is complete, the velvety skin gradually dries and is shed from the antlers. When many novices to deer hunting find out about hunting for discarded antlers in the offseason, the first question they ask themselves is when do deer shed their antlers? Hunting for elk and mule deer sheds is a surefire way to enjoy western scenery in a personal manner, and possibly pick up more bone than you ever imagined. LockerSource and Mossy Oak are proud to introduce a new locker line that features four different Mossy Oak patterns for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy. Half is straight up and most is side-slope navigation. Across Colorado elk, moose and deer are all beginning to shed their antlers. 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