Matching a Shed

by Carl Strang

On Thursday, as I was walking through the western edge of the forest at St. James Farm Forest Preserve, I looked down and saw this:

A recently shed left antler from a whitetail deer.

A recently shed left antler from a whitetail deer.

I had seen and photographed two different bucks over the course of the winter, and took the above photo in hope of finding a match. I had seen both individuals at different times near where I found the shed. The two bucks were quite different, one smaller and younger than the other.

The smaller buck clearly did not match. His left antler was smaller than the one I found, and had only two major tines in addition to the brow tine.

The smaller buck clearly did not match. His left antler was smaller than the one I found, and had only two major tines in addition to the brow tine.

The left antler of the larger buck had the same number of tines, and their proportions appeared to be the same as those of the shed one.

The left antler of the larger buck had the same number of tines, and their proportions appeared to be the same as those of the shed one.

The different angles provided by these views allow a comparison of the various tines’ contours.

The different angles provided by these views allow a comparison of the various tines’ contours.

I conclude that the larger buck, which I saw only on November 1, still is around and is the one who dropped the antler I found.

 

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. April 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Mr. Strang, I believe you have at least 3 bucks in your area. The shed you found can not be from either of the bucks you have pictured. If you look at the g-2 on your shed(it is the second tine) it is longer than the g-3. The photo of the second buck the g-2 is shorter. Plus the mass of your shed seems to be from a more mature deer.

    • natureinquiries said,

      April 14, 2016 at 6:33 am

      Thanks for your study. I thought the same thing at first, but I had other photos of that buck which I did not include in the post, and that photo angle on the shed antler proved to be misleading. I have tracked all the deer on the preserve through the winter and early spring, and I am satisfied there are three does plus the two bucks, at least in the western 2/3 of the preserve. The does all stick together, the bucks sometimes go singly, sometimes together, and on occasion the 5 are all moving together, which seems a little odd this time of year at least in this county, but there you go.

      • April 14, 2016 at 8:43 am

        Very cool, I hope you get to see them grow throughout the summer. It is always fun for me to try to guess what they will look like in September, with each new point they put on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: