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woolys 2013 shed journal

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Well folks, I wasn't planning on getting such an early start to my journal this year, but it appears the antlers never got that memo. I wrapped up last season with 42 total horns which was my best season by a long shot.

Hunting season is still winding down and runs through Tuesday in my neck of the state. Of course, I wasn't gonna let that slow me down when it came down to finding some early bone!


I spent some time hiking around some thickets close to home that greened up on me too quick last spring. I didn't see any antlers I missed, but I did find my first dead buck of the year. A little spiker.



Some days I guess it's best to say nothing at all and let the pictures do the talking.

If anyone still wants to tell me that these deer here aren't in for a tough few winter months ahead....... I'm all ears! I hiked around for 6hrs today when I stumbled upon this guy right around 3pm.

I don't know if he's still holding the other half or not so I didn't disturb the area too much. Not that it really matters at this point. I've been through here an awefull lot lately while hunting, photographing, and checking cams in this overgrown goldenrod field.

Anyhow, the first antler of the new season is in the books and it aint half bad! Even got a trail cam shot of the ol' boy!


The ATL with the antler laying right in a fresh bed!




No blood on the base. I'm guessing he dropped this one earlier in the week or maybe last week before the rain. You can see the wax ring and there was still a little hair on the base.


Antlers- 1

Dead bucks- 1

Dead doe and fawns- 0

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Thanks guys!


Headed out early this morning to move the cams around and continue the search for "side B"!

I finally got them all where I wanted them to be and got back to horn huntin'! For now, my main goal was to hit this bedding area where I found the first antler. I just had a feeling the mate was somewhere near bye if I could stay focused and not get discouraged looking through this dense cover.

Unfortunately, my first find of the day was another dead buck. I'd been finding fresh leg bones and hair that the yotes had spread out in the area but could never find the carcass. I never did find it, instead I located the skull with part of the spine that must have gotten dragged away.

A burly little 6pt.



I packed him up and headed back down to kill the day trying to complete my first set of the season. It didn't take long before I saw that big bone-white arch laying ahead of me!

I couldn't decide which camera to use for the ATL so here's a few from both to give you an idea of what this area is like!





... and a shot of the base. No blood on this one either but they don't get much fresher than this.


... and here's the days haul with yesterdays mate!


Antlers- 2

Dead bucks- 2

Match sets- 1

Dead doe and fawns- 0

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Time to get caught up.

Went through a little mini-slump at the end of December and beginning of January. Time to get back on track!

No sheds found this hike, just another young dead buck. He's still pretty ripe so I left him lay to get cleaned up by the critters a bit before I toss him in my pac.



Well seems like it's been forever since my last antler so decided to suck it up today and head out to some public ground never mind the snow.

Todays hike was a little different than any other I've been on before. Today I had company of forum member Red!

I met Red on another site, and his enthusiasm about shed hunting got my attention so much that I wanted to be part of him finding his first real antler. I wont bore you all with the meet and greet details, but let me say he's a stand up dude I enjoyed hiking with !

I forgot to get some pics of the GIANT black bear skull he brought for show and tell. Awesome bear he killed in 2010 that went over 20"!

On to todays hike.... our first find was a shed dead head. Nothing crazy. I assume not much more than a spiker or forky. This kill was VERY fresh. I believe winterkill already. We kicked the snow around a bit trying to uncover his headgear but no luck. I'm sure they are there close by, but we didn't waste much time looking with all the snow. I'll be back for them.


Hiked a few more spots for a total of 5hrs or so, but not a shed in sight. Sign was spotty, so we focused on those areas where we at least found some sign.

Didn't take long, and another dead head lied before us. Another VERY fresh 3pt. My biggest fears heading into the season are starting to come true. Winter appears to be taking a toll on the deer in this area.


Antlers- 2

Sets- 1

Dead bucks- 5

Dead doe/fawns- 0

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Had a free day today so what better to do than a little shed hunting!

Finally the snow is slowly melting out and making any hikes in the hills a little easier. I started out the day with a dead doe find. Likely a roadkill.

Next I hit an old orchard and the adjacent hemlocks when I found another dead deer. A little button buck with 1" knobs.


Nothing else untill the last hour of my hike. In another hemlock patch I spotted an antler melting out next to an old bed!

#3 is a cute little miniature 3pt,lol





Antlers- 3

Sets- 1

Dead bucks- 5

Dead doe/fawns- 2

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Hiked up in the hills today but didn't have much luck. I found a lot of great sign, so hopefully there's still some bucks in the area that haven't dropped for me yet. I did take home one old skull for the day.




Today I hit the dredded corn field since things were melting out nicely. I love this spring like weather. I just wish I had more time today.

Two hours into my hike I spotted an antler ahead. #4 is a no-brow 3pt side!

I didn't find anything in the corn, he dropped this one in the hedgerow beside the field. This may be a tough one to match up. I wont be back in this area anytime soon.



Antlers- 4

Sets- 1

Dead bucks- 5

Dead doe/fawns- 2

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Thanks Ruth! I think you're gonna get a kick outta this next hike! ;)


I headed out this morning and got to my spot early. The weather today had me fired up and I hit the ground running!

45 minutes into my hike, I spotted my first antler! Nice little 2pt!

No luck with the mate, but I didn't spend a lot of time in the area looking too hard. I wanted to hit some other spots while I was here.



My fast pace eventually slowed a step or two after that find. Probably around hour six, all the hiking the last couple days caught up to me.

I did find another dead doe on my way home.

Heading home I needed to cross a crick that was roaring with the recent meltdown. I got to the edge of the bank and tested the depth with a stick. It was just about over my knees, which was ok because I was already soaked from crossing it earlier further upstream.


I gingerly stepped in while holding onto a branch on the shore. Although only knee deep, the swift current took my foot downstream before it ever hit bottom. I had already commited and let go of the branch. Next thing I know, I'm laying on my back shooting down the crick like the log ride at Six Flags,lol!

Now I'm soaked head to toe, cameras water-logged, ciggys and lighter dripping wet, and still have a 2 mile hike before I get home! I hopped outta the woods at that point and took the road home, but I swear as soon as I hit the road, the temps dropped and the wind picked up to about 30mph!

Fortunately, my antler was stuffed safely in my pack and got away with only a bath! I love this shed hunting stuff!!!

Antlers- 5

Sets- 1

Dead bucks- 5

Dead doe/fawns- 3

Edited by woolybear

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Hey, even that chilly ride down the rapids wasn't enough to cool off my hot streak! I had a little time at the end of the day to do a quick hike and discovered antler #6 today!

As I was hiking along, I decided to stop and pour myself a cup of java from my thermos. I saw a nice big tree ahead that looked like a great place to take a break and watch over the woods around me!

Apparently at some point in time a buck had the same idea and left this little 2pt antler for me! It's an oldie but a goodie!

I think my camera may have gotten a little too wet yesterday. Pics look a little cloudy.



From above..




Antlers- 6

Sets- 1

Dead bucks- 5

Dead doe/fawns- 3

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Well folks, today I had a great day of shed hunting! I hit the woods at first light and got home just before dark. Got stuck in another rain storm but it actually felt pretty good! I needed to get cooled off the way I was running around with how warm it was.

My most productive day in the shed woods! I'll get right to it!

What a great day hiking! :)

My first find of the day was this submarine 3pt two hrs into my hike with it's parascope up from the depths!



My second antler of the day came shortly after, around 10:30am. A nice fatty 4 pt!


Now I was rolling, but the rain was coming down in buckets. I took shelter under a big fir tree for a bit untill it let up some. Once I got moving again, it only took about 15 minutes to find my 3'rd antler of the day. Another oldie 3pt!


I was happy with 3 horns for the day, but I had a lot of time left, so away I go once again!

As I cut across a goldenrod field from one woodlot to another, I spotted my 4'th antler of the day! A sunbleached 3pt!


Shortly after that horn, I heard the fire department whistle blow. I had 4 horns by noon!

I hiked around the goldenrod some more but only found this dead shed head.


I did a quick search for his horns but didn't find them.

A little further through the field I spotted another dead buck who had shed already. I started looking for his antlers when I spotted one.

My 5'th antler was his spike he dropped close by! That's him in the background.


I didn't see the other side so I did a big circle around the field before returning back to him from the other direction.

What do ya know... there layed the mate and my 6'th antler for the day! This is the first match set spikers I've ever found, and the first sheds I've ever found next to the fresh dead buck!


By now it was close to 3pm, and I was pretty sure I'd found all I was gonna find for the day.

I was wrong again.

My next find was a very sad one. A very fresh dead buck dead in his bed with his antlers tangled in the brush. My guess is he got caught up in here and couldn't get free. He died from exposure most likely. I like this rack so much I will cap it and mount the antlers for inside display! He's the first split brow buck I've found. It probably took me 10-15 minutes to get him out of this mess. He was ted up tight in there.




I chopped his head of with my hatchet and bagged him up. Now I would start heading towards home.

BUT WAIT... what's that ahead! A fatty club horn, and antler #7 for the day!


My pack was officialy FULL of antlers, a skull, and all my other crap. At this point I hoped I didn't find anything that couldn't fit in my pocket! I shouldn't have thought that! Up ahead I spotted the infamous goldenrod buck skull teepee!


I couldn't wait to see what it was. It sure looked to be a nice one!

GOLLLLLY... it sure was a nice one!


So that's what I packed into a 10hr hike today,lol.

Also found 2 dead doe along the way.

Here's the haul for the day!


Antlers- 13

Sets- 2

Dead bucks- 8

Dead doe/fawns- 5

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I decided to do a hike down in the park today to try to get me a good snow ATL! I got there around noon so I had about 3 hours to look around before I had to start heading home so I could make it before dark.

Well, I got my snow ATL, but it turned out to be another oldie. It's still a pretty nice horn so I decided to take it home to show it where I live! ;)

The g2 is broke off right where it joins the g3. It has a striking resemblence to the big fresh palmated 4pt I fouund last season. I think this horn may be the year prior but I can't say for sure.

Anyhow, here's #14!





Antlers- 14

Sets- 2

Dead bucks- 8

Dead doe/fawns- 5

Edited by woolybear

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Nate- most of the dead ones I find are usually unrecovered deer from hunting season, but this year winterkill seems to be another reason. When we get a winter like we've been having and some of them don't make it to the deer yards, they die in these hills. No wolves here yet, thank God, or our herd would really be in trouble.

Been kinda quiet for me lately so I did a hike down in the valley today where I was hoping all the deer went. I wasn't dissapointed, there was tons of sign, tons of antlerless, and I saw 5 bucks still packing both sides. Here's a couple that I managed to get some long range pics of in the open timber. I was really starting to worry I wasn't gonna find where all the bucks had gone.

I'll be hitting this area when I have more time!





... also got another old skull yesterday from a different area. Got home and loaded the pics when I noticed the BB in his left sinus cavity,lol.


...and another set of horns I'm waiting for to drop...... or not! ;)


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Time to get caught up. I'm running a few months behind.


I ran out today for a bit and found #15.

It's one of those antlers that shouldn't have been found. Only reason I spotted it was because I was expecting to see a horn laying there where it was melted out! I knew if I looked hard enough one would magicly appear, and by golly, there one was!




I saw a couple herds of all antlerless as well. Almost got run over by a few of them when something spooked them from the field above me. These two stopped for a quick shot. :)


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We still got a ton of snow but a nice warm up today had me anxious to get out. I wasn't expecting to find much but I had to try.

Well, I found one more homeless oldie that melted out by the end of the day.

#16 is a nice plump 4pt!



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The plan for the day was to rise early and hike untill I ran outta light. Unfortunately, just before it was time to leave, I got a call to go snake a sewer.....ahhh crap,lol!

Well, I got back around noon and headed out where I had my 7 horn day. As soon as I arrived it started snowing and blowing like the North Pole.


I thought about turning around and heading home but shortly after a quick 3 inches it finally stopped. I covered a lot of ground but only found one antler, BUT it was a good one!

Ladies and gentleman, meet antler #17! :)

I tried like heck to match it up but no luck today.






Edited by woolybear

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March wasn't very good to me this year, but I did manage to find an Easter horn today. :)

Just a little guy that had melted out and layed there glowing!

I thought he was an oldie as chalky as he was, but it still had some skin around the base.



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Today I shot down into the valley for a change of scenery. When I got to the fields, it didn't take long to figure out I was in the right spot! I saw a couple deer out and about soaking up the sun! ;)



This little fella stopped to check me out. :)


When I saw that, I thought about turning around and running back home for a trailer for all the antlers I was gonna find today!

Once I got settled down and made my way to the opposite side of the field, I finally saw some tines..... YAHOOOOO another set in the thicket!!!! Obviously I think I may have missed a few today, so I'll be back in this area next hike!




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Today didn't start off so hot. As I hiked about half ways into the valley, the front of the sole on my boot opened up. Every step it gobbled up a bunch of sticks, leaves and mud like a pac-man game..... wocka, wocka, wocka,lol!

Anyhow, I would deal with it and finally arrived in the valley. Not much to see at first so I headed into another thicket when I was greeted by this heavenly site.... beautiful long tines stretched skyward!


It doesn't get any better than this folks!



Determined to find the mate, I pushed through the prickly thicket but could not locate it. It's probably in the corn I can't hike.

As I was looking for the mate, I spotted my second antler of the day instead!



The days antlers together.


I checked that thicket for the rest of the day, but that was all I could come up with. Heading back I decided to cut through a series of gulleys that lead into the valley. Normally I cross along the bottom field edge because it's an easy hike. My extra effort taking the long hard way payed off when I spotted a rib cage.... no a stump... dry grass around a stump.... I dunno, so I better go look.



.... and just as I was about to exit the woods another old buck skull "greening up".


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Guys, just a quick crash course in history dating back to the 2011 deer season. Some of you probably remember the most impressive buck I had make an appearance one time in front of my cam that year, never to be seen again. I searched high and low(litteraly by the landscape) but could never find those antlers.

That year he got the nickname "G-spot buck" due to his ellusive nature.


Fast forward to the 2012-13 hunting season, and he shows up again on my hunting grounds. I got several trail cam pics over summer of him and had a few in person encounters, so I decided to change his name to Frankentines! He'd become a regular throughout the fall but has since dissapeared once again. He has grown into one of the biggest 10pt's I've seen on this property.

While I don't know yet if he made it through this past hunting season, he still had a set of antlers out there from the previous year I hadn't thought about much lately..... untill today that is!

I must have walked past this spot 100x's without exageration over the last couple seasons. Today I spotted this and couldn't believe my eyes! As soon as I got up to it, I knew who the previous owner was!



I did a quick scan of the area, and when I looked back towards the road, I spotted the mate 20yds away, and not 50yds from the road! You can see the road in the background of the second pic.



Finally the set together after 2 years on the lamb! I was so excited after I found these, I turned right around and ran home ending my hike right then and there,lol!



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So I shoot down to the park today thinking of wet, shiney, glowing antlers. It didn't take long and I spotted tines and it looked like a good one in the flooding timber!


Soon as I got to see the entire horn, I knew I already had one at home just like it from last year. I found last years freshie almost a mile away. I wasn't even warm to matching him up last year, but alas, they are together again!


Not far from there I found another fresh dead 6pt. Just a lil guy but I mention them all.


This is where things get goofy!

A little while further, I decided to take a break under an old apple tree and pour myself a cup of java from my thermos. As I'm pouring I look in the mud and see this silly mushroom next to a deer track. I was confused because it really looked like an antler burr so I reached over and picked it up. IT WAS AN ANTLER, but I already picked it up so I didn't get an ATL.

The thing couldn't have been more than an inch tall and it was a shed! I laughed out loud at that point and sat there snickering for a while when I saw another mushroom not 2ft away.

This time I was ready for it! A match set of button nubs!!! I couldn't believe what had just freakin' happened!

Here's the 2'nd one.



Here's my record set together!



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Good news.... today I found an antler bigger than the last two combined! I wasn't feeling very motivated so I just hopped across the creek for half a day. I've been through here quite a few times so I knew there wasn't anything big laying around.

My first find of the day was this weird little skull..... I think maybe a possum... or mink.... maybe a koala... I dunno!


Then I got into some briars and found an old buck skeleton missing an antler. I figured this would be my best oppertunity to find a horn today so I sat there sifting through the bone pile looking for the missing piece. I couldn't find it though.


On my way home now, I took my time through some spotty cover and just on the edge of a tangle of vines I saw a horn! :) A little busted guy.



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