|A buried shed antler pulled from a firebreak in 2018|
Male white-tailed deer shed their antlers during the start of each year, and the exact time they drop off is unique to each individual buck. After years of experience, this Lowcountry outdoorsman knows to scour the landscape for shed antlers during turkey season, Many shed antlers are simply revealed to the rambling woodsman through dumb luck, but those encounters with fate can serve to educate where to look in the future. Turkey hunting requires a good deal of scouting, and any time during turkey season is prime time to pick up a shed antler.
Where do turkey hunters look for turkey sign when scouting? They look for turkey scratching sign in pine straw around the base of pine trees, or in the leaves of a hardwood bottomland. They look at every inch of agricultural field edges, and they look at the banks along rivers, streams and bays. Depending on if conditions on a given year are dry, then looking at each and every water hole is warranted. Wildlife tends to use the same travel corridors and hot spots, so the keen turkey hunter can sometimes spot shed deer antlers where they are already looking.
Just last year during turkey season I found what I am calling the most impossible shed antler find yet. Using a firebreak as a way to access and scout a property, I was looking for sign like turkey tracks or turkey droppings. On the edge of the recently plowed firebreak, somehow I spied a hint of white sticking up that seemed just a bit out of place. Bending down to check on what could have been a twig from a tree, I found a shed antler that had been buried by the tractor, and it was preserved in the dirt just waiting for a curious naturalist to discover.
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