2nd Antler off Same Buck?

March 13, 2009

Before I say anything, be sure to read my other post from earlier today about my radio interview tomorrow (see below). It promises to be interesting. Hope I don’t say anything embarrassing! I snuck outside for a couple hours this afternoon. I sort of had to. It was so nice out after being bitterly cold again the last couple days. We ended up with about 3 inches of snow the other day – not the foot that the weatherman was predicting. Still, it was bad enough. Only 5 or 10 minutes out of the truck, I was ready to give up. It was just too snowy (it’s supposed to melt soon anyway) and truthfully my heart wasn’t into it today. But I decided to stick it out for a little bit and at least try a spot that’s been productive in the past. This area gets its share of shed hunting pressure and I always see a lot of deer here. Besides, I needed to see some new ground. I have been in the area looking for Hooks’ shed(s) four times in the last week and I’m getting burned out. I haven’t seen him since Monday, so I don’t know if he has dropped his second antler yet or not. Anyway, not a half hour into today’s hike I reached a spot I like on a hillside. I was amazingly close before I saw these tines poking up! Snow or no snow, I should have seen this from a mile away, but I didn’t. Wonder how many I walked past, being this unobservant. It’s a 4-point left side. Interestingly, I found a 4-point right side within 20 yards of today’s find last year on March 10. I think there’s a strong possibility this is the same buck, although I only come in here to shed hunt and have never seen the buck or bucks carrying antlers. Today’s shed is very curvy, and last year’s smaller one even has a decent amount of curve for a small antler. The bases look awfully similar too. Both have good skin rings. Maybe there’s a way I could peel it off and do a DNA test! Either way, I didn’t deserve this shed. There have been days when I try so hard and come up empty. Today I was ready to quit before I hardly even got started. I guess that’s Friday the 13th for you! Here’s a comparison of last year’s shed with this year’s.



  1. Nice going Joe. That’s a nice shed.

    I keep finding old one’s here in pa. Congratulations on your great find!

    Comment by John Rittle — March 13, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  2. Lucky find. That’s great, Joe! Just the ticket to keep the spirits and energy up. It even encourages me, over 900 miles away. I’ve found a year-old four-point, gnawed and bleached, as I reported to you by e-mail, over about six hours of searching in two days. Not complaining, but it’s sure nice to get a fine-colored, smooth new shed from this year, as you just did. This serves as inspiration. Now maybe you’ll get his other side. You’ve got some new incentive! Good luck with it.

    Comment by Roger — March 13, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

  3. It’s always fun when you find sheds from the same buck a couple years in a row…some are definite no brainer sheds from the same buck, and some you have to speculate a bit. I think that’s part of the fun. Nice find and good luck finding the other half. I’m still hoping to see pics of Hooks!

    Comment by Jeff Hauser — March 13, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

  4. Is there a good way to tell if you have found the other side to the same deer or whether it is a shed that matches a shed you found last year or the year before? My boyfriend & I went shed hunting last year. (My first time & I was hooked) We found 11 sheds in about 6 hours of walking in a high deer traffic area. One right side he found looked to be a match of a set he found the year before. A massive buck we can assume. We went back to the same spot last weekend & had about 10-12 hours over 2 days to hunt. We came up with 31 sheds. Some old but mostly current & there were lots of nice ones. Mostly the right side but a few lefts look like they could have been matches. We don’t know if there is a good way to tell. He again found that same right side of the monster buck. We scoured the area for a long time before we gave up finding the left but is sure looks like the same deer. Its great it has survived so he can go back & hunt it this year as well. If he doesn’t get it during hunting season this fall hopefully his sheds will be there for us next March. I am a bonehead for life now!

    Comment by Karen — March 14, 2009 @ 6:32 am

  5. Hey Karen,
    That’s great that you have become a “bonehead for life!” Sounds like you and your bf have found a great area. It can be tricky determining whether you’ve got a match. In the case of my sheds that I was comparing, there is always a huge jump in antler growth from age 1.5 to age 2.5, making it extra tough. Beyond that, the growth levels off. Look at the bases and see if they are the same shape. Look at the overall antler configuration and see if it looks similar from year to year. Color will likely be similar, although if they are old, they will start to fade. The roughness or smoothness (the beading) on the lower part of the antler near the brow tine will usually be somewhat consistent. These are clues that can help you out, but like I said, there’s always some mystery to it. Nice going on all those sheds!

    Comment by joe — March 14, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  6. After you brought over those 2 sheds for my novice opinion, i would say its the same buck. You definitely cant tell by the pic that you posted, but when you handle them, and look at the base and the pedicle, im 100% sure its the same buck. most do well from 1.5 to 2.5 but in your case, i think he made a very small 1.5 to 2.5 and made a real big jump to 3.5 . He went from a small 2.5 to an average size 3.5. Your on a hot streak. Im burned out from hooks, and i havent looked HALF the hours you have in that spot! Ive got a spot like that too though, i know theres antlers there, but im just so sick of the same ol ground. Ive picked 5 out of that spot already though, so I wont complain. Beautiful day tomorrow, lets hope we both come out with some bone!

    Comment by Aaron White — March 14, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

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