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#3201098 - Tue Dec 03 2013 07:09 PM Antlers falling off already??
bassnleo Offline
old hand

Registered: Sun Nov 28 2010
Posts: 701
Loc: NW PA
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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#3201106 - Tue Dec 03 2013 07:13 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
TN45 Offline
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Registered: Thu Apr 21 2011
Posts: 238
Loc: Susquehanna,Wyoming,Bradford,L...
Reports of antler lost in NY as well.
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#3201114 - Tue Dec 03 2013 07:15 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
4c_game_chaser Offline
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Registered: Wed Dec 13 2006
Posts: 10326
Loc: Halifax PA
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 frown
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#3201115 - Tue Dec 03 2013 07:15 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
good ole boy Offline
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Registered: Wed Jan 20 2010
Posts: 5489
Loc: Washington Co. Pa.
That happened to a fella I know a couple years ago as well.

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#3201116 - Tue Dec 03 2013 07:15 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: TN45]
pchunter1231 Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 24 2007
Posts: 489
Loc: pa
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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#3201132 - Tue Dec 03 2013 07:24 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
blitzinstripes Offline
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Registered: Fri Jun 04 2010
Posts: 2910
Loc: SC PA
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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#3201234 - Tue Dec 03 2013 08:13 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
manofsteel Offline
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Registered: Sun Sep 24 2006
Posts: 262
Loc: Benton PA
the weather and sunlight have nothing to do with it

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#3201245 - Tue Dec 03 2013 08:19 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
Killin'time Offline
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Registered: Fri Oct 23 2009
Posts: 3225
Loc: SC Pennsylvania
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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#3201251 - Tue Dec 03 2013 08:22 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
Deer archer Online   content
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Registered: Mon Aug 09 2004
Posts: 4278
Loc: Washington PA
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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#3201259 - Tue Dec 03 2013 08:26 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
strawnhillduke Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 11 2010
Posts: 397
Loc: SW pa
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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#3201290 - Tue Dec 03 2013 08:33 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
8ptspike Offline
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Registered: Sun Sep 30 2012
Posts: 264
Loc: NW PA
Funny. My brother reported seeing 3 half racked bucks yesterday. Haven't seen one all year until yesterday.

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#3201321 - Tue Dec 03 2013 08:50 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
glock3540 Offline
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Registered: Tue Jan 30 2001
Posts: 1857
Loc: Westmoreland County, PA, USA
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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#3201452 - Tue Dec 03 2013 09:52 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
hunt4life23 Offline
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Registered: Mon Nov 30 2009
Posts: 1103
Loc: Reynoldsville, PA
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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#3201459 - Tue Dec 03 2013 09:55 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
downwind1 Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 17 2010
Posts: 197
Loc: Central Pa, 4D
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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#3201472 - Tue Dec 03 2013 09:59 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: manofsteel]
downwind1 Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 17 2010
Posts: 197
Loc: Central Pa, 4D
Photoperiodism does play a roll in antler shedding along with several other variables.
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#3201669 - Wed Dec 04 2013 07:04 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: glock3540]
bassnleo Offline
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Registered: Sun Nov 28 2010
Posts: 701
Loc: NW PA
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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#3201693 - Wed Dec 04 2013 07:33 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
nomad_archer Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 02 2010
Posts: 245
Loc: Lititz, PA
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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#3201713 - Wed Dec 04 2013 08:18 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: nomad_archer]
JasonN Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 24 2003
Posts: 10481
Loc: Warren, Pa
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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#3201726 - Wed Dec 04 2013 08:34 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
casey Offline

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Registered: Wed Aug 21 2002
Posts: 8469
Loc: milford pa-pike county
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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#3201745 - Wed Dec 04 2013 08:46 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
BIGT Offline
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Registered: Mon Oct 31 2005
Posts: 387
Loc: SW, PA
I have 3 on trail camera that have lost antlers; one lost both sides the other 2 lost one side.

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#3201747 - Wed Dec 04 2013 08:47 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: casey]
steelfish Offline
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Registered: Fri Feb 25 2005
Posts: 71
Loc: clarion pa
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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#3201808 - Wed Dec 04 2013 09:40 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
CJG Offline
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Registered: Mon Nov 03 2003
Posts: 693
Loc: Washington/Allegheny County
Normally a sign of an early rut....

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#3201810 - Wed Dec 04 2013 09:45 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
HoytUSA Offline
veteran

Registered: Wed Dec 22 2004
Posts: 1336
Loc: SE PA
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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#3202400 - Wed Dec 04 2013 07:21 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
good ole boy Offline
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Registered: Wed Jan 20 2010
Posts: 5489
Loc: Washington Co. Pa.
A lot of those Bucks will be takin in Doe season.

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#3202407 - Wed Dec 04 2013 07:25 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: steelfish]
JerrySS Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 05 2009
Posts: 751
Loc: Grove City PA
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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#3202520 - Wed Dec 04 2013 08:31 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
Wiz Offline
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Registered: Sun Sep 16 2007
Posts: 1377
Loc: Georgia
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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#3202544 - Wed Dec 04 2013 08:46 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
RyanR Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 23 2011
Posts: 1300
Loc: Carbon County, PA
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.


Edited by RyanR (Wed Dec 04 2013 08:53 PM)
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#3202554 - Wed Dec 04 2013 08:48 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
TedC54 Offline
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Registered: Mon Jan 24 2005
Posts: 2095
Loc: 4C
Two guys I know shot half racks Monday. Both were dropped, not broken.

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#3202591 - Wed Dec 04 2013 09:16 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
LuckOverSkill Offline
journeyman

Registered: Tue Dec 27 2011
Posts: 88
Loc: PA
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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#3202662 - Wed Dec 04 2013 10:17 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
hankster Online   content
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Registered: Wed Apr 25 2007
Posts: 987
Loc: Washington PA
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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#3202787 - Thu Dec 05 2013 05:40 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: RyanR]
manofsteel Offline
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Registered: Sun Sep 24 2006
Posts: 262
Loc: Benton PA
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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#3203024 - Thu Dec 05 2013 10:14 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: Killin'time]
Everyday Hunter Offline
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Registered: Sun Mar 17 2002
Posts: 4877
Loc: Russell, PA
Originally Posted By: Killin'time
I would imagine it has more to do with dropping levels of testosterone in the bucks.

^^^This.^^^

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.

Steve.
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#3209456 - Tue Dec 10 2013 04:25 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
280 Remington Offline
apprentice

Registered: Sun Dec 13 2009
Posts: 31
Loc: Windber, PA
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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#3209932 - Tue Dec 10 2013 10:56 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
YZEATER Offline
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Registered: Thu Mar 25 2010
Posts: 1145
Loc: ALLEGH. CO.
My buddy found a fresh shed yesterday.
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#3209935 - Tue Dec 10 2013 10:58 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
wyomingcounty Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 2010
Posts: 1826
Loc: wyoming county - 3C
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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#3210054 - Wed Dec 11 2013 06:17 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
btm137 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 612
Loc: Huntingdon, PA-4D,4A
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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#3210195 - Wed Dec 11 2013 09:48 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
etowns54 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: Thu Apr 26 2007
Posts: 572
Loc: PA, US
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.


Edited by etowns54 (Wed Dec 11 2013 09:52 AM)

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#3210208 - Wed Dec 11 2013 10:07 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
jwsambo Offline
apprentice

Registered: Mon Feb 08 2010
Posts: 26
Loc: Warren, Pa.
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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#3210675 - Wed Dec 11 2013 04:55 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
rbergum95 Online   content
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Registered: Sun Nov 16 2008
Posts: 110
Loc: Womelsdorf, PA
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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#3211386 - Thu Dec 12 2013 09:15 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
snaplockman Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 11 2009
Posts: 206
Loc: newville pa&shinglehouse pa
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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#3211388 - Thu Dec 12 2013 09:16 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
snaplockman Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 11 2009
Posts: 206
Loc: newville pa&shinglehouse pa
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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#3211447 - Thu Dec 12 2013 10:10 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
runningdeer Offline
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Registered: Tue Jan 16 2007
Posts: 5310
Loc: That depends
Does anyone feel that the last few years of early antler sheding could be an evolutionary thing?
Deer that shed their antlers early possibly stay alive longer and therefore pass those "early shedding" genes to their offspring?
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#3211488 - Thu Dec 12 2013 10:46 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
TraskOutdoors Offline
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Registered: Wed Nov 26 2008
Posts: 10847
Loc: 1B/Corry,Pa
While individual bucks tend to shed their antlers around the same time every, early shedding like this is an indication of poor habitat conditions and extreme stress from the rut.

Now while I know this will ignite yet another HPA firestorm, the reason for this is still too many does, resulting in poor habitat conditions and more bucks getting run ragged by the rut. Add tough weather conditions and when we reach this time of year a lot of bucks are in rough shape and they shed their antlers early.
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#3211909 - Thu Dec 12 2013 03:44 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: runningdeer]
bigbear Offline
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Registered: Thu May 06 2004
Posts: 2444
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: runningdeer
Does anyone feel that the last few years of early antler sheding could be an evolutionary thing?
Deer that shed their antlers early possibly stay alive longer and therefore pass those "early shedding" genes to their offspring?


No. I think it has more to do with the health of the buck and his testosterone levels than evoloution. I've heard of so many of these shed bucks getting shot for does this week its about enough to make me sick.
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#3212010 - Thu Dec 12 2013 05:15 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: BIGT]
run Offline
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Registered: Wed Dec 11 2013
Posts: 14
Loc: 2D PA
Yep not that uncommon.

Had that happen to me on the last day of buck (back in the days of yore when doe was a few days only after 2 weeks of buck only)

Deer had 2 antlers when I shot it, none when I got it to the truck. I was afraid a WCO would bust me even tho I had the sheds in hand!

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#3212034 - Thu Dec 12 2013 05:48 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: 4c_game_chaser]
RB-HPA Offline

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Stopped counting

Registered: Tue Jan 13 2004
Posts: 27907
Loc: Home 2F, Camp 2G & 2F
Originally Posted By: 4c_game_chaser
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 frown


My wife's first buck in 12 years, and the biggest buck any of us in this house ever shot...and....






She don't care...but maaaaannnn!!! I guess it is better than her shooting it as doe this weekend. wink I was worried about the other side popping off in the draggin, hangin, skinning, but it didn't. Wife just wants to save the horn, but maaaannnnnn....
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#3212141 - Thu Dec 12 2013 07:44 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
Old Gray Offline
member

Registered: Fri Jun 29 2007
Posts: 189
Loc: Central PA
I was part of a group driving deer yesterday. A guy Shot a nice 9pt and when he shot it both antlers flew off before it hit the ground. This was in 4D
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#3212154 - Thu Dec 12 2013 07:54 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
HNTRDAVE Online   content
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Registered: Sat Sep 22 2007
Posts: 2115
Loc: CHESTER COUNTY
RB, did ya check his bed for the other side??

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#3212163 - Thu Dec 12 2013 08:00 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
Ol Longbeard Offline
member

Registered: Sat Jan 29 2011
Posts: 104
Loc: pa 2E
All these deer shedding so early really isn't helping with antler restrictions.. Everyone shoots the big doe around my hunting area.. Hoping the tons of young bucks we were seeing still are holding.. If not I'm sure they will get harvested legally as does.. Feeling a bit sad seeing that all the effort we put into letting young bucks walk is diminished by mother nature..

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#3212179 - Thu Dec 12 2013 08:12 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
bushmaster Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 05 2009
Posts: 2488
Loc: Aliquippa, PA
When they are done breeding, the racks fall off, happens every year! I did see a buck chasing a doe yesterday. He was a little 4pt., but he was on um!
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#3212375 - Thu Dec 12 2013 10:09 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: HNTRDAVE]
RB-HPA Offline

HPA NW Rep/Site Owner
Stopped counting

Registered: Tue Jan 13 2004
Posts: 27907
Loc: Home 2F, Camp 2G & 2F
Originally Posted By: HNTRDAVE
RB, did ya check his bed for the other side??


Yes then back tracked him from there to the posted signs...no luck.
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#3213454 - Fri Dec 13 2013 11:06 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bigbear]
gooseguy Offline
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Registered: Fri Feb 24 2006
Posts: 1666
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: bigbear
Originally Posted By: runningdeer
Does anyone feel that the last few years of early antler sheding could be an evolutionary thing?
Deer that shed their antlers early possibly stay alive longer and therefore pass those "early shedding" genes to their offspring?


No. I think it has more to do with the health of the buck and his testosterone levels than evoloution. I've heard of so many of these shed bucks getting shot for does this week its about enough to make me sick.


It's called an antlerless tag for a reason. Would it change anything if that buck was shot and tagged with a buck tag?

Maybe the early drop isn't really an early drop, just a result of the timing of the season this year. Maybe it has to do with nutrition, probably testosterone as well as stress. But, maybe, it also has to do with less doe being out there, and available doe to breed. Maybe most doe got bred the first go round this year, less of a second rut, which should be close to over by now, a subsequent drop in T as a result. Then, and I haven't seen it yet, doe fawns could also be reaching that magic weight and coming into estrous for the first time now, extending things a bit. Maybe it's one of those reason, or a combination of all.

I don't think it's natural selection at work, but maybe it is!!!! smile
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#3213483 - Fri Dec 13 2013 11:58 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: runningdeer]
Wiz Offline
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Registered: Sun Sep 16 2007
Posts: 1377
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: runningdeer
Does anyone feel that the last few years of early antler sheding could be an evolutionary thing?
Deer that shed their antlers early possibly stay alive longer and therefore pass those "early shedding" genes to their offspring?


I would highly doubt an evolutionary basis on early antler dropping over the past few years mainly because evolutionary processes generally take very many generations to occur. Maybe over a 10,000+ year period it could happen but not in the past 100 years. Also, by the time these bucks drop their antlers, they have already had the opportunity to pass on their genes. This would have actually meant that potential early shedding bucks would have even had a small probability of surviving a season when doe season used to be the 3 days following buck season prior to the the concurrent season.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this year's rifle deer season in PA is a week late (week 48) compared to the past several years (week 47). As said in multiple posts, testosterone levels are strongly linked to photoperiod. After next Saturday, the photoperiod will start increasing again so the late start to deer season this year really puts the season right up to the shortest day of the year. Nutrition, B:D ration, and climate may play a minor role, but probably affects antler shedding by a few days at most. Couple all of this together and you get what seems to be an abnormally high number of bucks with shed antlers. I won't be surprised if we see the same trend for the next 2 years and then don't see it happen again until 2019 and 2020.

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#3213536 - Sat Dec 14 2013 06:00 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
BOOTOXEN Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: Sun Jun 03 2007
Posts: 4232
Loc: 19526
The area I hunt regularly has bucks in March April still holding Antlers. Alot of them have broken points by this time of yr though. There are 2 8's Im still getting on cam that now are 7's. Each has a broken brow
Yrs ago at a lease in the NE, we'd shoot antlerless in ML that were bucks. Hated that
_________________________
Take me to a spot I NEVER go back
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#3213539 - Sat Dec 14 2013 06:13 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
mus42tang Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: Wed Jul 25 2001
Posts: 4792
Loc: Georgia
It must be the global warming some politicians promised.

"Snow closes roads in Israel, is a source of wonder in Egypt"

It couldn't be the winter, could it ?

Chill Temp
http://vortex.plymouth.edu/uschill.gif


Maybe those deer knew something is coming !
I have some more wood to cut for the fireplace.



Edited by mus42tang (Sat Dec 14 2013 06:30 AM)

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#3213694 - Sat Dec 14 2013 10:21 AM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
pjm Offline
apprentice

Registered: Wed Dec 22 2004
Posts: 17
Loc: Luzerne
Shot what I thought was a big doe yesterday.While field dressing I discovered it was a buck which had recently shed-there were red areas at the base.

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#3213778 - Sat Dec 14 2013 12:27 PM Re: Antlers falling off already?? [Re: bassnleo]
NeinPoint Offline
old hand

Registered: Fri Jun 06 2008
Posts: 802
Loc: Pottsville/Bethlehem, Pa
Hearing that a lot from others

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