Deer season is over; the shed hunt begins: Backwoods Extreme by David Orlowski | Columns

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A winter walk in the woods and fields of Pennsylvania in January can be rewarding. Not only will the outdoors clear the mind and renew the spirit, but, if you’re lucky, you might be able to come home with treasured memories of nature, like a set of antlers lost by a deer. of Virginia.

If finding lost woods intrigues you, now is a great time to be in the field. In Pennsylvania, most bucks will begin shedding their antlers around mid-January and will continue through March. Of course, there are no set rules or dates, but the physical condition of a male that has gone through the rut roughly determines when the animal will shed its antlers.

Knowing this, the largest males will undoubtedly be the first to drop their antlers because the rigors of the rut have worn them down. It’s more of an incentive to leave early.

There has been a lot of interest in antler hunting in recent years. The big penny may have escaped you so you couldn’t hang it on the wall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab its sheds in your hands to brag about. This hobby has created a way for white deer enthusiasts to reap the rewards either through hunting or through shedding antlers.

But you can also find out more about the buck that wore those antlers and where he was for the next hunting season. But first, wipe the big grin off your face, examine the wood from tip to burr, then ask yourself if he’s close now and what he’ll be wearing for the new headgear next season .

Now that you think about it, go ahead and focus your efforts in areas with good southern exposure. Deer look for these places to lie down and feed because the temperature can be several degrees higher than the surrounding places. It makes sense that these areas would be good places to find sheds. Forget to check the deer trails as the deer won’t move far now as they save energy.

But you will burn some trying to satisfy your need for wood. Whether you collect them, use them for crafts, or sell them for profit to other antler fanatics, your reason may be hard to explain, because for centuries man has been fascinated by deer antlers.

For me, it’s just the excitement of discovering a shed, especially ones that are completely intact that I pick up before squirrels and rodents have a chance to chew them up.

David Orlowski is a writer, hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast from Potter County. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

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