Dead Heads

Discussion about shed antlers, etc
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buckeye
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby buckeye » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:39 pm

It doesn't bother me, just part of the game.


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Re: Dead Heads

Postby Whitetailaddict » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:09 am

I never "like" to find a dead head. I agree I would much rather shoot it (or find its sheds) and have that memory but at the end of the day if it's dead and you find it you can essentially end the chapter for that deer and it's not just left out there to decompose. I found a dead head a few years back that was by far the biggest I've found (171 gross) that had all kinds of character including a double main beam. Sad to find but the way I look at it is the deer (especially one of that caliber) still deserves to be honored. I'm lucky enough to have family members who do taxidermy so I eventually will get it mounted to display it. Again not to say look at what I found or make up some story about shooting it but because I feel the deer deserves as much. I have plenty of dead heads I display as euro mounts and my wife hasn't complained yet so I'll keep doing it until she does or add on. :lol:
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby sir_tob » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:50 am

It's mixed emotions. It's cool to find anything of size and at the same time you are right.. it's a let down to. You know that animal suffered and you won't get to hunt him the next year either.

Sometimes there are thing you can learn from a dead find though. I started finding much bigger sheds and a dead head this year in much thicker cover. You never know how they died.. could have been gut shot, never found from good shot, or even from a buck fight.. but the area you find them in might teach you something for the next year that you can use and his offspring will be around the following year as well.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby JoeRE » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:04 am

Yea I hate finding dead bucks. Find just as many of those on average as sheds surprisingly.

Bucks go to die where they feel secure. A shed antler can drop off anywhere a buck is. So I don't like finding dead bucks but when I do, the info is valuable.

One of my favorite public land buck bedding locations I found a dead buck in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Looking at where each of those bucks died (all within 100 yards of each other) told me a lot about the bedding that I was having a hard time to understand otherwise.

That is an extreme example and have not found bucks dead on consecutive years like that anywhere else, but it still pays to study where they died. I have pinpointed a couple other primary buck bedding locations from dead bucks I found.

This spring (2017) there was no dead buck in that bedding but guess what....found a shed there of a good up and coming buck in the same spot!! :D :D

Its worth noting that without a dead buck or two prior to that I would still be struggling with how bucks use that area. Its a pretty unique l layout for hill country. But I feel like I am pretty dialed in there now.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby mainebowhunter » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:40 am

JoeRE wrote:Yea I hate finding dead bucks. Find just as many of those on average as sheds surprisingly.

Bucks go to die where they feel secure. A shed antler can drop off anywhere a buck is. So I don't like finding dead bucks but when I do, the info is valuable.

One of my favorite public land buck bedding locations I found a dead buck in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Looking at where each of those bucks died (all within 100 yards of each other) told me a lot about the bedding that I was having a hard time to understand otherwise.

That is an extreme example and have not found bucks dead on consecutive years like that anywhere else, but it still pays to study where they died. I have pinpointed a couple other primary buck bedding locations from dead bucks I found.

This spring (2017) there was no dead buck in that bedding but guess what....found a shed there of a good up and coming buck in the same spot!! :D :D

Its worth noting that without a dead buck or two prior to that I would still be struggling with how bucks use that area. Its a pretty unique l layout for hill country. But I feel like I am pretty dialed in there now.


Same thing happened to me last year. Found a dead buck that I was hoping would have made it. But in finding him, he died in a bed. Revealed how the deer were using that property a bit differently than I originally thought. Totally changed my access route for how I enter that stand on a south wind.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby Hawthorne » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:32 am

I have found 4 deadheads this year which is average . One was in a burnt crp field the dnr did. It stuck out like a sore thumb against the black ground.I almost always find them in thick security cover.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby vtbuck » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:17 am

Oct. 2010 a buddy and I went to Illinois through an outfitter. First morning it's 65 degrees and pouring rain as I walk in to a set. Sun comes up. Rain stops. I can smell death. Look behind me only to see a carcass 20 yds off the stand. Got down at 10am to look.
Image
I'm guessing he'd been there about 2 weeks. Wasn't allowed to take him cause it wasn't a 180" buck so the outfitter didn't want to contact a warden for a salvage tag.
What a waste. Probably 140". Made me sick. Thought he was shot by someone else.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby 9pt » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:00 pm

I found two nice deadheads last weekend while scouting a new area around our hunting camp. No one from our group ever hints this area. One was 2.5 years and the other was prolly 3.5. For our area in Michigan, this are giants. Thy we within 1.5 yards of each other. The bigger one was 70 yards from a primary buck bed and he died facing that direction.

I was sad that these bucks didn't make it big the intelligence has me really excited to hunt that bed this fall. I'm hoping another big buck takes over that bed. :pray:
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby woodswalker » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:17 am

How come no one is bummed about finding a dead doe? To me, deer hunting is about a lot more about the hunting experience, the preparation and learning and bringing home some good meals than about antlers. In my state you may pick up sheds but you may not have antlers found still on a head.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby Bonecrusher101 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:58 am

I wished I would find more antlers or dead heads. I find random bones and a lot of shoulder blade bones. I think it they are called a scapula. Even after finding shoulder blades in presumed bedding areas I slow down and start combing an area throughly and rarely find any deer skulls doe or buck.

I picked up one shed antler last hunting season that was 2-3 seasons old. I found one dead head last spring during my scouting.

The dead head is with many of my other euro mounts in my shop. I would rather find them in decent shape versus finding them chewed up by squirrels. I always think it's a good sign finding deer bones. It means the deer felt safe there and will probably be a good spot to "throw a stand at!"
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby woodswalker » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:29 am

Not necessarily, it could simply be the spot where the deer died as it was moving through or where it could go no further, or the spot is where some predator drug the bones to. Many dead deer are found along water ways, that has nothing to do with the animal feeling safe, just that deer like to go to water when they are injured. I would not put a whole lot of meaning to the spot where you found a dead deer or the bones of a dead deer.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby 9pt » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:46 am

woodswalker wrote:Not necessarily, it could simply be the spot where the deer died as it was moving through or where it could go no further, or the spot is where some predator drug the bones to. Many dead deer are found along water ways, that has nothing to do with the animal feeling safe, just that deer like to go to water when they are injured. I would not put a whole lot of meaning to the spot where you found a dead deer or the bones of a dead deer.


Agree. Dead deer may mean nothing. Big Dead deer with buck beds nearby tell me I'm in a good spot. It comes down to pairing up the clues to paint more of the whole picture.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby Hawthorne » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:48 am

Some of my best bedding areas I've had, i always found dead bucks in them.
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby stash59 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:55 pm

I do do feel upset with any deer bones I find. If it's from a bad shot, car accident or predator kill. The animal suffered more than it deserved to. I do kill things but death ain't pretty!!! But it is a part of life. And part of the hunt!!!
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Re: Dead Heads

Postby hunter_mike » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:09 pm

woodswalker wrote:How come no one is bummed about finding a dead doe?


I wouldnt say that is true at all for most of the forum members. Ive found quite a few dead does this spring scouting and its always kind of a bummer. Most of them i am guessing were results of poor shots by hunters during season, since the ones i find are generally younger deer. When i come across them I always try to hypothesize how they got there why they werent recovered and try to learn from others mistakes.
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