LINCOLN – Mid-February is a good time to get outdoors with the family for some fresh air and exercise and go hunting for shed deer antlers.
Deer have begun to shed their antlers for re-growth purposes. Nebraska law allows a person to pick up, possess, buy, sell, or barter antlers or horns that have been dropped or shed by antelope, deer or elk.
Greg Wagner, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission public information officer, says there are several reasons to hunt for shed antlers. “Shed antler hunting is a wonderful way to get an idea of what bucks most likely survived the hunting seasons and are frequenting your hunting area,” he said. “Shed antlers can be used to make many crafts, such as knife handles, lamps or picture frames, and some people just like to collect them.”
Wagner said found deer antlers also can be officially scored by the North American Shed Hunters Club.
Any place where the antlers of a deer can fall off, be jolted off or intentionally knocked off can be a location to search for shed antlers in Nebraska. Wagner has the following suggestions:
— Look for main deer trails in woods leading from feeding to bedding areas, especially where there are lower-hanging branches.
— Do not overlook deer bedding areas, especially bedding areas along south-facing slopes with conifer trees or plum thickets nearby.
— Fence crossings for deer are also excellent spots to look for antlers as are creek crossings.
“Remember to obtain permission from landowners before hunting sheds,” Wagner said. “Go with a partner, walk slowly so as not to miss them and take a plastic bucket along to carry the antlers.”