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Late season surprise

Old 01-04-2014, 07:54 PM
Fork Horn
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kenified06's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 114
Default Late season surprise

I have given the deer where I hunt a good 3 week to calm down from the rut and decided to hunt yesterday and today, the last 2 days of the season. I figured I could hunt the food sources and maybe bag that big buck I've been chasing all season. When I went around and checked all my cameras yesterday I found some good and bad news. the good news, several bucks are back in the area and feeding up in the daylight. Bad news, they have already shed there antlers. I have never hunted late season but figured by reading and photos from other people they would at least keep there antlers until around February. I live in the next county over from where I hunt and seen a small 6 pointer in the yard just 3 evenings ago but also seen what I swore was a big boy out there with no rack. Where I hunt though, even the smallest bucks are now without antlers. Is this normal here in VA, I wonder, or does it have something to do with the warm fall, 5 feet of rain we got, or a terrible year for acorns with none at all on the ground?
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:03 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South East Pa.
Posts: 526

Who can tell? I shot a large bodied doe the first day of rifle once in PA. It turned out to be a shed buck. There was snow down and it had been really cold. Other years I saw deer with antlers into March. I don't know what causes it. I do believe that some will "Freeze off" if it gets too cold. I shot a large doe in the extended special regs season (Sometime between Christmas and New Years) and it was also a shed buck. This deer had a bullet wound and massive infection going on. The first buck mentioned was really rutted out and thin. Could be it has to do with the health of the deer?
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:47 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: VA
Posts: 1,921

We found a few sheds while rabbit hunting in Central VA a couple weeks ago. I think a lot of bucks will shed early this year b/c mast production/nutrition was low. JMO
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:13 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Northern Tennessee
Posts: 128

I follow along with the idea that the shedding "time" can & will be influenced by the food sources available (not?) and how quickly severe weather moves in. I feel your pain tho, trying to be smart about when to make your last hunts work and finding it may not have worked as you hoped.
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