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Spring Shed Searching

Posted by Brad Nolen on March 10, 2023

ā€œSpring Shed Searchingā€
By: Brooks Milling

It seems like not too long ago, land recreation in the state of Alabama was centered around whitetail deer. Men, women, and children alike were dedicated to being out in the cold hoping to get a shot opportunity on a mature buck. As we are approaching March, these animals will leave behind the most valued attribute to hunters: their antlers. This can be a great way to round up some friends or venture solo through your property on foot in order to find and collect these captivating items.
My brother and I once discussed why we felt the need to harvest mature bucks. What is with all the excitement attached? Why couldnā€™t we just watch them, let them go, and only harvest old does? The idea behind this thought was that we could see more mature deer, more often. We came to the conclusion that it has something to do with the antlers. Something primal in us is telling us that the deer with the antlers is the ultimate prize and we need to obtain it. As many hunters know, these attempts to kill a deer with two pitchforks on his head usually wind up being unsuccessful. Now is the opportunity to obtain the treasured remnant of the buck you were chasing.
Typically, bucks will begin to drop their antlers in the beginning to middle of March and continue to do so until the middle to end of April. Where and when the shed will drop remains a mystery which is why you have to get out there and go look. I always start searching food plots/sources first and then usually will search as I ease through the woods listening for gobbles. The bedding areas are a great spot to search too because a buck will scratch his body or can shake like a wet dog when he rises off the bed causing loose antlers to break off.
As you begin to collect sheds, you will discover you can do many creative things with them besides just throwing them in a bucket in the barn. You can attempt to identify the deer it came from by matching up antlers to deer on trail cameras. This allows you to track antler growth and development for the next season. You can make lamps and chandeliers with them. I have seen them used as door knobs, latches, handles for utensils, etc. I recently used a pair of sheds to make handles for a cutting board I made for my sister. Also, they are great for dogs to use as chew toys. If you are a landowner planning to pass your property on to the younger generation, it is an opportunity for you and your family to make valuable memories. Furthermore, it allows you to teach them about the property while having fun on the land itself.
How to Make a Deer Antler Lamp:

Antler lamp author/
agentā€™s grandfather
made for him from
sheds found in the

Cutting board author/agent
with handles made from a
couple of sheds

Name: Brooks Milling
Phone: 251-656-2253

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