When is Prime Time?

Discussion about shed antlers, etc
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Octang
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When is Prime Time?

Postby Octang » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:47 pm

One of my big goals this year is to find at least one deer shed. I've never found any (or looked for them), so I'm fairly excited about the prospect.

So far I've hiked about 12 miles around bottomland forests and marshes in 2017 and haven't found any sheds while scouting. I'm keeping my eyes open for them, but I really don't know when most of them drop. From what I understand some have already started dropping, but when is prime time for finding sheds? (I live in NE Wisconsin)


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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby Stanley » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:58 pm

Not sure about your area but I don't start really looking until March 15th. Too many sheds are mobile right now.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby whitetailassasin » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:44 am

I'd like to know this as well. If a guy in each state could give his success times that would be great. Examples for Wisc, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, Indiana, Kentucky, South Dakota, just to name a few :mrgreen:
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby Bucky » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:17 am

A buddy of mine in WI has 30 already.... so there are plenty on the ground. Most years I'd say Valentines Day on is prime time in WI. I prefer cloudy days after rain event.... antlers seem to glow and the grass and such late Feb and early March is knocked down yet
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby Hawthorne » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:30 am

Since late January into last week I've seen 10 bucks still carrying in southern mi and northern Ohio. I've had my best luck in march finding them.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby WV Bowhunter » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:08 pm

I haven't seen one carrying around here in a month. Not sure why but I have seen them years past still have their headgear in late march.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby JoeRE » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:46 am

I am certain it varies every year most places. Around here 90% of bucks have dropped this year. 50% dropped by mid-January. I have seen 1000s of deer while driving and not a single antler for 2 weeks. The winter has been mild overall but the brutal cold snap we had in December shook loose a lot of antlers.

On managed land where there is lots of food, maybe even supplemental feeding, they hold on to them longer. I heard Mark Drury say in a podcast a couple weeks ago that most of his bucks in southern Iowa were still holding (mid - Feb). That's not surprising he also talked about how much supplemental feeding he was doing. I am seeing the opposite in "normal" farm country deer.

The only piece of public land where I saw a lot of antlered bucks yet in late January is bordered by a big chunk of managed land with a lot of food. They might supplemental feed too. Everywhere else the deer have been bald.

So I would get out there if I lived in northern WI as soon as you have decent conditions, not all covered in recent snow. No need to wait this year. If that cold snap hadn't happened a lot more deer would be holding I think.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby Bonecollecter » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:34 am

First week of January in Maine .I wouldn't think it would be much later where you are
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby rfickes87 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:53 am

I've seen them still on in late March in western PA standing along the road. Deer farm not far from my house. I still see antlered deer there as of this past week.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby ghoasthunter » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:33 pm

WV Bowhunter wrote:I haven't seen one carrying around here in a month. Not sure why but I have seen them years past still have their headgear in late march.
same hear in northern NJ for my area I'm thinking lack of does and acorn crops for last two years the year before we had a bumper crop and the bucks were holding till turkey season.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby headgear » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:55 am

Not sure there is a prime time, I've seen them fall in December and still attached in March. If I had to pick later the better but I guess you still need to beat any other shed hunters in the area.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby mainebowhunter » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:01 am

Its primetime for me :D At least one target deer has shed and I know the area he shed in and know the day he shed.

Issue is, it snowed 8" the day he shed. Supposed to warm this week which should melt some of the snow off. Also possibility of rain. (which is crazy seeing how we are coming out of - temps where some days it never got above 0.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby SplitG2 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:23 pm

Just speaking for ohio and from my own personal experience.

In ohio, our bowseason doesn't end til the first Sunday in february so no looking til it's over. I'll go right now but I'm only going in low impact areas, such as, walking fields. I won't look anywhere else because I don't want to risk running off my sheds. I'll do that for the next 2 weeks then I'll hit the fields still but start to venture onto trails leading from the fields towards their bedding but only going so far into the woods. Typically starting the first weekend in march its go time til green up. Lay down some serious miles til you can't walk no more.

Around here they really start dropping last week of February and 1st week of March. Historically the first and 2nd week of March is when I find the most sheds every year.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby brancher147 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:15 am

Prime time is...When most bucks around you have recently shed!

There is no easy answer obviously. I haven't found any sheds and am still seeing bucks with antlers, saw 130" 8 pt on my way home Tuesday. The other response from WV says he hasn't seen a buck with antlers in a month, and I have not seen one that has shed yet, so who knows...We have had very heavy mast crops the last 2 years where I hunt and last year they held until almost March.

But on any given year, I would say Valentines day is a good bet that a lot have dropped.
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Re: When is Prime Time?

Postby Jonny » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:32 am

I would make sure you are looking in areas with fresher deer sign. No point in shed hunting in areas deer haven't been to in a month
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