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Stress shedding

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:57 am
by UofLbowhunter
Here in western ky this year we have had extremely cold temps from a little before Christmas till jan 5, it then warmed up for two days then iced and snowed 4” then snowed 5” more last night and predicted to stay cold for another day or so But thats almost a month of extremely cold bad weather for here, at least for this part of the country. We tend to be more in the 40’s type weather alot of the time! Last year was above normal the winter, no snow at all! And sheds held late! So here is my question, i know that stress of winter can make sheds drop earlier but how much stress does it take for them to wanna come off. Our usual shed drop is late feb or march for the most part but i think due to our extreme cold snap we may have a early drop this year? How many of you experience early drops related to long periods of bad cold weather, or hold longer with mild weather ? what are you thought and predictions for this shed season????

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:32 am
by ghoasthunter
how good were your acorn crops the more you have the longer they hold. on deer you killed or your friends how much fat were the bucks carrying after the rut

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:42 pm
by Dewey
I think the more dominant a buck is the earlier he will shed because generally they are really run down from the rut and head into winter in pretty bad shape. The real cold weather definitely triggers this. I have seen a fairly large number of mature shed bucks over the years late December-early January and it was always in the bitter cold years. Don’t think it was a coincidence. They were obviously stressed and shed early.

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:24 am
by ghoasthunter
Dewey wrote:I think the more dominant a buck is the earlier he will shed because generally they are really run down from the rut and head into winter in pretty bad shape. The real cold weather definitely triggers this. I have seen a fairly large number of mature shed bucks over the years late December-early January and it was always in the bitter cold years. Don’t think it was a coincidence. They were obviously stressed and shed early.
spot on I find the same things

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:38 pm
by moondoondude
There are too many factors / variables / conditions that influence shedding than we can begin to discuss.

Yes, certain stressors can certainly lead to early casting but other conditions which typically promote later casting can also be present as others have mentioned. We had some cold weather here also, some of the coldest ever actually, and I keep a good eye on my deer. Even in some of the places that I almost always see the earliest antler casting traditionally, they are hanging on.

I had a buck with a tumor growing on his face shed in front of a camera around Dec 15 or so and another that shed one side (but it looks like a damaged pedicle) a little over a week ago.

Some people like percentages to gauge how many are packing vs. shed out, but percentages are tough. I know of some places around here - which have the worst habitat and herd characteristics - that I would say 90% have shed. However, I know many, many places that 90% have NOT shed.

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:05 am
by SplitG2
This is strictly a personal experience post....

I am heavy into shed hunting, love it just as much as hunting. Thru the years i have picked up about 350 sheds. I've been fortunate enough to pick up multiple sheds, multiple years from particular bucks and not one of those bucks have I ever seen have their shedding period be affected by anything other than injury.

I'm no shed expert so I am by no means saying any of this is correct but I have been shed hunting for many years and have studied the shedding process pretty intensely thru the years. I believe genetics play the biggest role on when a buck casts his bone. The testosterone levels dropping is what makes the antlers fall and I believe testosterone cycles are genetic.

Every single buck I have multiple sheds off of from multiple years has shed within 10 days either side of the same date every year. And I assure you consecutive winter's of the exact same food, weather and stress did not happen. To me, that screams genetic testostorone cycle. Could stress, food and weather play a role, of course but I have never seen it. Injury is the only thing I have ever seen alter the timeframe in which a buck sheds. Bucks I have had the privilege to hunt and find sheds off of on multiple years, if not successful in killing them I have been able to tell you the timeframe they were going to shed out.

Despite injury, I have yet to see a particular buck shed out in January one year and late February or March the next. Every shed I have off of a particular buck on multiple years, the shed date/dates as to when both antlers hit the ground is very rarely much more than 10 days from the previous years dates no matter what.

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:02 am
by UofLbowhunter
These are the kind of post im like for to “shed”some light on the subject :P. Everybody’s answers make sence to me, i hoping this thread can get some more diffrent people posting to keep a good conversation going, And maybe learn a little more!
Some thing else i want to ask to throw in the mix of these answer, what about the the changing of daylight? I have read information about how bucks start shedding with time of day shorting, and with shorting of days triggers there bodies to produce more testosterone to get them fired up for the rut does anybody think the daylight getting longer has any effect on shedding, to start new antler growth? Or is it stress or genetics as posted before? Keep it coming guys!

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:15 am
by UofLbowhunter
Here is a pic from Dr. Grant Woods question and answer he has on his web sight i thought it was intresting to read that all the things mentioned above are really the factors to the first post. Image

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:30 am
by SplitG2
I can't speak on the changing of daylight and what affects it has, too scientific for me. I wanna believe the shortening or lengthening of daylight hours affecting the rut, shedding and other aspects of deer and other game but I just don't know if I do.

I don't doubt anything scientists come up with, I'm just one that believes that maybe we as humans might look too much into things and try to decipher what's happening when this or that takes place with a deer when in reality maybe it's just the cycle of things and it just happens to coincide with things that are happening with mother nature.

I like to think most things in life are simple. When women have their periods, it tends to happen within days, minutes or seconds the same time every month. I know deer and humans are by no means the same but I've seen the rut happen every year in the same 3-4 week period and I've seen bucks shed at nearly the exact same time over and over. Cycles make sense to me. That's not to doubt scientific data, it's just outta my realm of thought

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:21 pm
by moondoondude
Splitg2 - great posts.

A lot of "knowing" when a deer is going to shed is just figuring it out. Obviously cameras help to really pin down dates. Testosterone, photoperiod, environmentally influenced stress factors, herd dynamics, and whatever else are important things to consider, but getting to know your deer herd is ideal.

Re: Stress shedding

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:56 am
by CMRuikka
moondoondude wrote:Splitg2 - great posts.

A lot of "knowing" when a deer is going to shed is just figuring it out. Obviously cameras help to really pin down dates. Testosterone, photoperiod, environmentally influenced stress factors, herd dynamics, and whatever else are important things to consider, but getting to know your deer herd is ideal.


Well said...I hope you have yourself a good shed season. Couldn't have put it any better myself.