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Get ready for shed season

Article and photos by Jason Haley
Shed horns will be hitting the ground pretty soon. Maybe they already are where you live? Hunting for sheds has become quite the rage in recent years. What started out as a springtime hobby for antler lovers, and has probably always been around in some form, has become a craze that now requires state regulation in some places.

If you’re a hunter like me, you understand the strange attraction to horns that many of us have. They’re fun to hold, feel, examine, compare, wonder about and, most of all, talk about. Some folks like high horns, some wide, some heavy, some non-typical and many like the ones that score high. Besides the horn admiration/fascination factor and the pre-season scouting benefits, looking for sheds can be good springtime outdoor exercise. Your mind is busy so it doesn’t realize your body is tired while you pull hills and cross creeks. The entire family can get involved too.

I’ve never actively looked for them, but I used to stumble upon deer horns in the spring turkey woods or quail hunting in the oaks. I’d often wonder. Did it drop right here or did a coyote carry it here only to drop it for something better? Is this buck still alive or did he get taken by a hunter or a cougar or was he hit by a car? Maybe he’s in the shade watching me right now. Where is the other horn? It seems like the sun-bleached antlers often end up in pack rat nests.

My own shed horn interest peaked a few years ago after finding a beautiful matched set only four feet apart while deer hunting. I also saw a display at last year’s outdoor show in Medford that was remarkable. One collector had trophy blacktail sheds from Southern Oregon and he had over five season’s worth of matched sets from a single buck. It was a great study in age-class.

Now people have a new reason to collect sheds; they’re valuable. There are antler buyers, distributors, wholesalers, importers, and exporters. Deer and elk sheds are normally sold by the pound, but unique or trophy antlers can garner much more at auction. People are training and breeding dogs, usually Labradors, to find and retrieve sheds. Over-exuberant shed hunters have harassed big game herds on their winter ranges, sometimes following them for days waiting for the second horn to drop or chasing them on quads causing antlers to drop prematurely. Some are selling horns to supplement their incomes. This has led states like Utah and Wyoming to regulate the activity. For example, in some cases collectors can’t enter the winter ranges until late spring and ethics courses are mandatory prior to searching. Shed hunting is unregulated in California and Oregon, so enjoy it for what it is and be sure to educate yourself on the legalities and ethical considerations before entering the field.

I found my prize set of sheds in Siskiyou County, but the buck undoubtedly summered in Jackson County, which is known for trophy blacktails. The horns now belong to a friend.  He already had a nice shed collection and enjoys the hobby. He had also put me onto a great archery elk spot a few years earlier. This made the decision to part with them a bit easier.

More Hunting News

New way to clean firearms

By Pam Den Hartog
09/29/14 -- Super Brush LLC is changing the way people have cleaned their firearms for the past 200 years. For 60 plus years, the company has been developing and manufacturing products in the USA for the high tech... Full Story

Laguna WA reg. changes in effect

09/29/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds hunters at the Laguna Wildlife Area near Sebastopol in Sonoma County that waterfowl hunting regulation revisions for this area are now... Full Story

Duck count doubles at Sacramento NWR

Duck hunting, USFWS Photo
By Frank Galusha
09/26/14 -- Mike Carpenter, Wildlife Biologist with the Sacramento NWR Complex in Willows released the Mid-September Waterfowl Survey Summary on September 24 showing the duck and goose count has doubled... Full Story

Follow these four rules for hunting safely

09/26/14 -- Oregon’s most popular hunting season, rifle deer, begins statewide Saturday, Oct. 4. The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife is reminding hunters to follow the four primary rules of hunter safety to protect themselves... Full Story

Need a Fed Duck Stamp? CWA has 'em

09/20/14 -- Duck season is right around the corner and if you haven't purchased a 2014-15 Federal Duck Stamp yet, you're not alone! Post offices are likely out of their small supply so don't drive all over town looking for... Full Story

Yellowstone plundered by market hunters

Yellowstone elk poached by Fredrick and Philip Bottler near Mammoth Hot Spring during the spring of 1875, photo courtesy of Boone and Crockett Club
09/20/14 -- [100 Years Ago Today] -- Yellowstone National Park Sept. 19, 1876 - Soon on newsstands in all 38 states, an upcoming edition of "Forest and Stream" will feature a report by editor George Bird Grinnell on a poaching... Full Story

Hunters can prevent Wasting Disease

09/19/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking hunters to help prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into California. CWD is a neurologic disease that is fatal to deer... Full Story

Numerous SHARE hunts available this fall

09/19/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program is offering wild pig, waterfowl, dove and pheasant hunting opportunities...  Full Story

Don’t forget waterfowl hunt regs!

By Frank Galusha
09/19/19 -- As usual, our waterfowl hunting regulations are complex and the dates are hard to remember. Be safe and carry a regulation booklet with you at all times. Or print out the regulations directly from the CA... Full Story

Many ducks expected; need farmers help

 09/19/14 -- California Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited have released a joint statement encouraging rice farmers to think of wintering waterfowl during this historic drought. The breeding duck survey this past spring... Full Story

Deer hunters: Check for fire closures!

09/09/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) advises deer hunters to check for fire closures before heading into the field for upcoming deer hunts. Drought and extremely dangerous fire conditions... Full Story

Fall general hunting seasons open soon

09/17/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) would like to remind hunters that California’s fall general big game hunting seasons are right around the corner. The upcoming California... Full Story

Boasting Blue Grouse

Lorissa Soriano, with blue grouse limits for her and her hunting partner, photo by Alex Ross
By Lorissa Soriano 
09/17/14 -- Not to brag or anything but it’s not every day you get two limits of Blue Grouse just like that! Shotgun season for Blue Grouse opened last weekend in the Warner Mountain area of Modoc County. Blue Grouse are...  Full Story

Vintage Waterfowler

old black and white photo of a skiff loaded with ducks and a man with his shotgun, courtesy of Don Webster
By Don E. Webster
09/16/14 -- Having been pursuing waterfowl for over 60 years, I was exposed to its history as a mere child by my grandfather, Wilbur S. Pechin. He hunted ducks and geese along the Platte River in Nebraska in the late 19th... Full Story

Poacher takes elk head, leaves carcass

09/15/14 -- Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division asks for the public's help for information to identify the person(s) responsible for killing a large bull elk about five miles southeast of Eagle Point in Jackson... Full Story

Chukar forecast

09/12/14 -- Forget all of the fluff, let’s just cut to the good news…This year’s Nevada Chukar Hunting Forecast, an annual report put out by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) that takes habitat conditions... Full Story

Water shortage hurts pheasant outlook

09/10/14 -- [Updated 09/11/14] -- Pheasant season is less than two months away and this morning Pheasants Forever confirmed what most California hunters have suspected. The severe drought plaguing our state is crippling our pheasant... Full Story

EHD disease found in OR deer population

09/09/14 -- Tests have confirmed that deer in the Roseburg area are dying from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a disease that has not been seen in deer in this area of Oregon before. Lab results from Oregon... Full Story

Sacramento NWR duck counts jump up

Pintails are early birds at Sacramento Wildlife Refuges. Photo courtesy of USFWS
By Frank Galusha
09/09/14 -- [Updated 09/10/14] Duck counts at the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge are up about 1000 percent, an estimated total of 106,300, birds, thanks in large part to the not unusual arrival of about 64,000 pintail in the past four... Full Story

Record pronghorn certified by B&C

Boone and Crocket photo of world record for Pronghorn
09/07/14 -- The largest pronghorn ever recorded has been certified by Boone and Crockett Club as a new World's Record. The huge buck, hunted in Socorro County, N.M., in 2013, scores 96-4/8 B&C points... Full Story

Anti-hunting/shooting bill dies in Senate

By Bill Gaines
08/30/14 – Hunters and shooters received a major victory today when SB 53 (De Leon) died on the Assembly Floor early this morning -- falling six votes short of the 41 votes needed to pass. The bill was first brought up... Full Story

Mule deer head found in jeep, 5 charged

Mule Deer head in back of jeep, OSP
08/2714 -- Five people are facing wildlife-related charges following an investigation that led to the discovery of the head of a freshly killed mule deer in a vehicle about 9 miles southwest of Pendleton near the Umatilla... Full Story

Boone & Crockett welcomes new leaders

08/25/14 -- Thirty-six conservation pros from across the U.S. are about to embark on a training odyssey described as "one of the most far-reaching professional development initiatives ever undertaken" in natural resource... Full Story

2014 Modoc Big Buck Contest

Modoc Big Buck Contest flyer
Article by Lorissa Soriano
08/23/14 -- Attention all Buck Hunters!! The 2014 Modoc Big Buck Contest is currently underway. It’s not too late to register for the event as long as you have an unused California deer tag and have not harvested... Full Story

Feral pig hunting to start on the SRNWR

08/19/14 -- Beginning September 1, 2014, the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge (SRNWR) will allow feral pig hunting in authorized areas. This decision will improve consistency of the refuge hunt plan... Full Story

The buck we didn’t get and two we did

Tyler Low with his 3x4 buck shot at 100 yards with a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Winchester Magnum. Photo by Kyler Olson
By Tyler Low
08/10/14 -- “Can you see him? He is just below the sky line to the left of the big live oak.” The respectable three-point stood only 500 yards away, but my hunting partner, Kyler Olson, couldn’t quite get an eye on him... Full Story

CA waterfowl/dove hunting regs approved

08/07/14 -- California Waterfowl reports the waterfowl and dove hunting regulations for the 2014-15 hunting season have been approved by the California Fish and Game Commission – and overall the situation looks good... Full Story

Enter Big R Big Buck Contest now

Numerous Big Game Mounts. Photo taken at Daniken’s Taxidermy in Gold Hills, Oregon, by Jason Haley
07/30/14 -- Pre-Registration is open now for the Top of Form43rd Annual “Big Buck,” “Lucky Buck,” or “No Buck” Contest at the Big R stores in White City, Klamath Falls and Redmond. Bow hunters’ last day to register is August... Full Story

Oregon program takes disabled youths afield

Ashley Jensen in wheel chair in front of blind used when she hunts.
By Jason Haley
07/06/14 -- It began decades ago with a prayer and a broken-winged raven, struggling to move across the beach in the Cook Inlet of Alaska. As former pastor, Ken Coreson watched this scene play out: seagulls... Full Story

John M. Browning

By Don E. Webster
02/05/14 -- One has to wonder how differently the history of not only America, but the entire world would have been if John Moses Browning (January 23, 1855 – November 26, 1926) had not been born... Full Story

Ham on the Hoof

Article and photos by Gary Lewis
12/17/13 -- We were climbing a steep gravel ranch road in Charlie’s Toyota when we saw it, as big as a full-grown bear and on a dead run. Charlie hit the brakes and switched off the engine. There was no time to load the rifle. The shaggy, gray... Full Story

Back to the Start

heritage, history of hunting, hunting as a family, Jason Haley, Mt. Shasta, Mount Shasta
Article and photos by Jason Haley
10/18/13 -- I got tipped-off about a bachelor group of bucks from an archer I trust. That never hurts. And after spending opening day in the area, glimpsing two good bucks and seeing how the terrain lays out, I knew exactly... Full Story

Never say never

Never say never, rifle buk, Francisco Garcia, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Francisco Garcia
Most of you have heard the saying, patience is a virtue, and I would say persistence is a virtue. If you want to fill your deer tag each season you have to put your time in. If you don’t give in and hunt hard you should be... Full Story

Me and my shadow

Twin melanistic fawns with doe, Me and my shadow, Jean Bilodeaux, MyOutdoorBuddy.com Article and photos by Jean Bilodeaux
10/06/12 -- It’s always amazing to see the huge bucks reappear in the fields in Surprise Valley right after deer season. Many times locals breathe a sigh of relief as the big bucks that disappeared a month earlier now reappear... Full Story

Hunting trip gone bad

Deer holding tight in cover during times of heavy hunting pressure as I was about to find out. Francisco Garcia hunting story. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Francisco Garcia
If you asked me what I’d rather be doing, most of the time I would emphatically say, deer hunting. For me nothing gets the juices flowing and the imagination spinning like the arrival of bow or rifle season for deer. When... Full Story

The Mudhen King

Mid-Eighties. I’m writing screenplays. They invite me down to Hollywood, and things look promising, but they want the horse in my story to be green. By that, I mean they actually want a green horse. Green in color. Don’t laugh... Full Story

 

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Website Design Photo Credits: MyOutdoorBuddy.com thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of Tule-Lake.com, Amber Galusha of Nature-Drunk.com, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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