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#3218530 - 04/10/13 11:52 AM Life of a Shed
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3341
Loc: Franklin County

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I had always heard that various rodents eat shed antlers within a few months of dropping or in some cases a few weeks. I thought this was because of a craving for the minerals in antler. Because of this, I had never spent much time at all looking for antlers. To support this scenario, I've found skulls where one antler was buried intact while the exposed antler was completely eaten way. Yet, this shed contest and the recent trend all over of hunters actively looking for sheds contradicts what I thought to be true. Apparently an old antler could lay in the woods for a couple of years or more in more or less good condition? Would this vary by region depending on mineral content of the soil in each area - meaning high soil mineral content provides rodents with their basic needs so they don't gnaw up antlers nearly so fast as in mineral depleted areas?
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#3218561 - 04/10/13 12:21 PM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: Hunter 257W]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17121
Loc: Franklin TN

confused Online
rodents like to chew on things because their teeth never stop growing and they have to keep gnawing them down. I don't know if they are going for minerals or not, maybe they are. I have found fresh sheds with multiple chew marks and I have found 1 or 2 year old sheds in good condition. Depends on the rodent population in the area to some extent, but I'm not really sure why some antlers in a seemingly squirrely area will remain untouched for over a year. In overgrown CRP type fields, there are no squirrels but sometimes field mice, however I see very little chewing on old bones found in CRP because of lack of squirrels. But I have also found last year's sheds in good condition in hardwoods. Really don't know the explanation
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#3218657 - 04/10/13 02:20 PM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: catman529]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3341
Loc: Franklin County

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Yeah, Catman, all the sheds you and a few others are finding have opened my eyes to the fact that they must last way longer than I always thought. Knowing my luck, the 1st really good one I'll find will be in a tractor tire.
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#3218768 - 04/10/13 05:31 PM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: Hunter 257W]
plinker22
16 Point


Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 12562
Loc: Mountians of East Tennessee

content Online
Sheds are just like morel mushrooms... I never find any of either! \:\)
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#3218773 - 04/10/13 05:39 PM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: plinker22]
nate17
8 Point


Registered: 08/06/09
Posts: 1236
Loc: Missouri

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I recenetly read a story where a guy found the previous yrs shed off of a deer that he killed 12 years ago or something like that. completely untouched by rodents and still intact
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#3218793 - 04/10/13 06:18 PM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: nate17]
pass-thru
10 Point


Registered: 10/10/04
Posts: 3611
Loc: va beach

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I don't think rodents are the once chewing on sheds.....mostly other deer.
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#3219086 - 04/11/13 05:29 AM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: pass-thru]
BlountArrow
10 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2690
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

content Online
 Originally Posted By: pass-thru
I don't think rodents are the once chewing on sheds.....mostly other deer.


Interesting....I have never heard that before, never.
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#3219176 - 04/11/13 08:22 AM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: BlountArrow]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1312
Loc: south TN

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I never really looked for sheds until I joined this forum and saw that everybody else was doing it. The reason why I didn't look is because I never found any when I would look. Now I have purposefly looked for them. Haven't found one yet. haha.
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#3219184 - 04/11/13 08:31 AM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: pass-thru]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17121
Loc: Franklin TN

confused Online
 Originally Posted By: pass-thru
I don't think rodents are the once chewing on sheds.....mostly other deer.
the teeth marks I have seen all look like rodent teeth, no way they could be made by a deer's incisors
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#3219240 - 04/11/13 09:56 AM Re: Life of a Shed [Re: catman529]
ferg
Cancer Free
16 Point


Registered: 07/29/04
Posts: 16011
Loc: At the TNDeer shirt factory %^...

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Up north the Porcupines will eat the heck out of some sheds -

ferg....
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