Antlers falling off already?? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community

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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Antlers falling off already??

One of our group shot an 8 yesterday. We he got up to the downed buck, one of it's antlers had fallen off and was lying beside the deer. He tagged the buck, gutted it, and grabbed the other antler to drag it......that antler then came off!

Late this afternoon, another guy of our group shot a knarly 10 pt, dropped it in it's tracks. He got to the downed deer and found one of it's antlers had also came off and was lying there beside the deer.

Coincidence or possibly lack of nutrition or mast crop this year causing antlers to weaken already?
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 11:13 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Reports of antler lost in NY as well.

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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 11:15 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

a friend shot a "10" pointed potter bruiser today, walked up and realized it had shed one side.....grabbed the thick remaining antler and it popped off in his hand

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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 11:15 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

That happened to a fella I know a couple years ago as well.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 11:15 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I talked to a Game warden about that today in potter and he said there are many factors into that. Not enough nutrition, lack of sunlight in which potter has seen a lot of fog lately, and the weather.

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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 11:24 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I remember one bitter cold year when we hunted doe after buck and I swear it was below zero with windchill . We found several sheds that year during doe season and even killed a buck that had already dropped. We assumed it was the bitter cold temps but who knows. We had a big eight carry his rack till first of April this year on the farm.
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:13 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

the weather and sunlight have nothing to do with it
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:19 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I would imagine it has more to do with dropping levels of testosterone in the bucks. my guess, there haven't been many does in the past couple weeks coming into any kind of 2nd estrus, so bucks levels of testosterone are dropping causing antlers to drop....

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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:22 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Blitz, I also remember a similar year. We walked throughout the woods during three day doe season and the trees were making popping noises cause they were splitting due to being frozen.
Dropped the last deer of five and it was a buck that lost antlers already. Looking back it was negative double digits.

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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:26 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I found a complete set of sheds one year on the second day of rifle season. Not that uncommon from my experiences and others I've talked to.

I'm with killin'time on this one. I'd imagine with the rut ending, testosterone levels dropping, and the fact that they are completely worn out from trying to mate for the last few weeks creates a lot of stress. Add in rifle season right when the bucks are trying to get themselves rested up and its no wonder things start falling off.
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:33 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Funny. My brother reported seeing 3 half racked bucks yesterday. Haven't seen one all year until yesterday.
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:50 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Both sides of my 8 I shot on Monday fell off. The first one when I grabbed the antler to turn it to gut it. Sounded like velco ripping. The other side fell off right at the truck. My buck was shot near where bassnleo's buddy shot his. My cousin said that is not unheard of in that area. He has hunted that area for a long time and said it seems more common in years with little acorns and heavy early snows.
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:52 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

My dad shot the biggest buck of his life, a 145" 9 pt on public land first morning. He sent me a pic when he got to it and we texted for a little while. He then went to gut it and one side fell off, i told him the other side would fall off and sure enough he grabbed it to drag and that side fell off too. The buck still had majorly stained tarsals and fresh shavings from rubbing which surprised me. But the buck had a recent shattered back leg, I'd say about a week old, which I am sure caused a lot of stress on him and made him drop early, luckily after my dad got him though.
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:55 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Shot a nice 8 two years ago on the second Friday of the season and had the same thing happen. Possibly lack of good feed?? who knows.

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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:59 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Photoperiodism does play a roll in antler shedding along with several other variables.

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post #16 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Quote:
Originally Posted by glock3540
Both sides of my 8 I shot on Monday fell off. The first one when I grabbed the antler to turn it to gut it. Sounded like velco ripping. The other side fell off right at the truck. My buck was shot near where bassnleo's buddy shot his. My cousin said that is not unheard of in that area. He has hunted that area for a long time and said it seems more common in years with little acorns and heavy early snows.
E, no way it's coincidence then. It must have to do with lack of hearty foods (mast, crops etc), cold temps, and the amount of snow we've had. At first I thought maybe our first one was sick, but the second yesterday and yours very close by, has to be going on naturally.

LOL, if I were a buck now, I'd be banging my antlers off every tree I came to!
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post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 11:33 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

5 years ago I shot a buck that had shed its antlers in Allegheny county on the third day of firearms season. So it does happen this early.
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post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:18 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I can't imagine it's a nutrition issue. My neighbor had one side of his bucks rack drop while dragging it out. The other stayed intact. A buddy shot a nice 8 that dropped one side when it hit the ground and the other side popped off when he flipped it over to gut it. Both of those deer were in farm country with plenty of quality feed.
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post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:34 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Last night at the bear check station a hunter turned in a 4pt.I pulled it out of the truck and pop the antler came off.
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post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:46 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I have 3 on trail camera that have lost antlers; one lost both sides the other 2 lost one side.
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post #21 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:47 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

My son shot a 4pt yesterday and when we walked up both horns were laying there.Stinks because it was his first buck but I told him it was better than not getting a buck at all
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post #22 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:40 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Normally a sign of an early rut....
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post #23 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:45 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I saw a buck last year on the first day that had lost both sides already. It was a huge deer. Over 200 pounds for sure. I just don't get it. This is 2 years in a row now. Something is happening here. Buck used to carry antlers into February for sure around here years ago.
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post #24 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 11:21 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

A lot of those Bucks will be takin in Doe season.
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post #25 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 11:25 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelfish
My son shot a 4pt yesterday and when we walked up both horns were laying there.Stinks because it was his first buck but I told him it was better than not getting a buck at all
Steelfish,
Same thing happened to me when I was 12 (1973). What I did was cut the skull plate off the deer, then drill a couple of holes thru the skull plate where the horns were. Next drill a pilot hole in the base of each antler and attach them to the skull with a sheet metal screw. Now your son can hang his trophy on the wall.
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post #26 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 12:31 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I wouldn't say that there is anything abnormal about bucks dropping antlers this early. I hear about and see many bucks with dropped antlers but they are usually around the 2nd week of rifle season. This year is a little abnormal because rifle season in PA started a week later than normal. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a lot of bucks get harvested as antlerless deer where I hunt this year.

I'm pretty sure I've seen a buck that has shed it's antlers on Saturday and Monday. I watched a big antlerless deer feeding and bed down on Saturday and then saw another antlerless on Monday in the same spot. It didn't have any fawns with it and at its size, it should have had 2 unless they were both shot or hit by cars. I couldn't get a good enough look at it to tell on Monday but won't be surprised if I get it on Saturday.
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post #27 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 12:46 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Testosterone levels begin to increase in bucks in late summer (thus hardening the antlers and preparing the buck for the rut.) Antlers drop when testosterone levels decrease post-rut. Any buck that has expended itself greatly during the rut and/or is in poor physical condition will lose its antlers sooner bucks in better physical condition.

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post #28 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 12:48 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Two guys I know shot half racks Monday. Both were dropped, not broken.
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post #29 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 01:16 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Recovered a deer today that had its antlers dropped already.. From the looks of it, they were off within the last week.
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post #30 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 02:17 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Yup guy in our group killed an 8 point Monday. When pullng on the rack to get it out of downed tree top the right antler came off in my hand. Then when arriving at processers and dragging up the driveway. POP!! Left side came off. Processer said another one did the same thing earlier in the day.

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post #31 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 09:40 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanR
Testosterone levels begin to increase in bucks in late summer (thus hardening the antlers and preparing the buck for the rut.) Antlers drop when testosterone levels decrease post-rut. Any buck that has expended itself greatly during the rut and/or is in poor physical condition will lose its antlers sooner bucks in better physical condition.
Ryan has it
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post #32 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 02:14 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killin'time
I would imagine it has more to do with dropping levels of testosterone in the bucks.
^^^This.^^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanR
Testosterone levels begin to increase in bucks in late summer (thus hardening the antlers and preparing the buck for the rut.) Antlers drop when testosterone levels decrease post-rut. Any buck that has expended itself greatly during the rut and/or is in poor physical condition will lose its antlers sooner bucks in better physical condition.
^^^And this.^^^

Other factors including stress and nutrition can come into play, but high stress and poor nutrition can cause lower testosterone levels.

I hear of this happening every year, and we probably have a thread on it every year. Way back in 19xx, the first buck I shot dropped an antler when he dropped, and the other came off in my hand -- just like someone above described. It is not an every day occurrence, but it is a common occurrence, and I've seen it several times. We tend to forget that deer are individuals, like humans, and the condition of one is not necessarily related to the condition of another.

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post #33 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 08:25 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

My brother has been getting a big 9 point on his trail camera over the past month behind his house. He checked the camera 2 nights ago and the buck had either broken off his left side or shed his left side.

My brother couldn't tell from the picture. He just texted me this afternoon and the same buck came by his blind at 20 yards and had shed the right side already. He got a good look at the deer through the binoculars and both antlers were recently shed and scabbed over.

Sunday afternoon he also saw two bucks dogging a doe so hard, that the does and bucks tongues were hanging out. He said those two bucks chased that doe for over 20 minutes behind the house running her in circles. Strange rut this year for sure.
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post #34 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 02:56 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

My buddy found a fresh shed yesterday.

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post #35 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 02:58 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Been a strange year. Buddy sent me a pic mounting a doe on a trail cam with no antlers (dec 5). Open your door. It's winter!

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post #36 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 10:17 AM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I have checked more shed bucks harvested as does this season than any in the past. Yet, I saw bucks chasing does last week..... Makes no sense to me

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post #37 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 01:48 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I had my 8 points left antler fall off after I shot him this year, he actuall fell down the mountain onto his head which helped knock it off. See if these picture work...








IF I would have to guess I would say the lack of good nutrition without a good acorn crop has a lot to due with this buck loosing his antler on the fall. Also I would say stress from the rut put a toll on him also due to the lack of nutrition.
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post #38 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 02:07 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

Just shot a doe (so I thought) last night walking up saw it had a package, made me nervous since I knew I checked the head and saw no antlers then as I got closer I realized he had already shed his antlers and upon skinning him out found that he was very lean with almost no fat.
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post #39 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 08:55 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

My wife shot a shed antler buck yesterday morning in Tioga County. Looked like it had popped them sometime the night before as the pedicles were still had some wet blood.

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post #40 of 57 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 01:15 PM
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Re: Antlers falling off already??

I shot at a 8 point yesterday afternoon took a long shot but did it with my wife watching to play it safe I shot and it vanished then 2 doe took off well we went up to the top to check and found 2 spots of blood splatter and both antlers wow no deer I never in 31 yrs have seen this and this is in potter co
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