FAQ: When Do Pennsylvania Whitetail Deer Shed Their Antlers?

When can you shed hunt in PA?

The best time to scout for sheds is late January and early February, when deer tend to herd up and follow their winter patterns. Scouting at this time of year, when many bucks still are carrying their racks, will increase your success after their antlers start dropping.

What time of year do deer antlers fall off?

In early winter, rutting season ends, and his antlers have done their job. Another change in hormones causes the antlers to drop off one at a time. This can happen as early as December or as late as March, but in our area, it typically occurs around January or February.

When should I look for deer antler sheds?

Looking for antlers in bedding cover is best done late in the day when deer vacate known bedding cover to visit food sources. Follow trails into thick cover and constantly scan for beds and areas deer seek for refuge from winter weather. South-facing slopes and dense cover attract deer equally for winter relief.

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Do you have to pay for shed antlers in PA?

According to the Game Commission, it is illegal for individuals to possess a shed antler to sell, barter or trade.

Is it illegal to cut antlers off a dead deer in PA?

The Pennsylvania Game Commission rules say only Pennsylvania residents are allowed to claim a deer carcass. Antlers from bucks have to be given to the Game Commission or they can be purchased at $10 per point by the person who claims the deer. Removing the antlers from any road-killed buck is illegal.

Where is the best place to find deer sheds?

Creeks, fences, ditches, roads, and thick overhanging branches are all great places to find sheds hanging around. Often that little jolt or bump is all they need to drop.

Does it hurt when deer lose their antlers?

Deer’s antlers are honeycombed bone tissue. When the rut is ending the buck’s testosterone goes way down, which makes the antler tissue break up. It takes a few weeks for the tissue to break up, and then the antlers shed. This does not cause the deer any pain.

How many inches can a buck grow in a year?

Spurred by hormones and excess nutrition, antlers grow from March through late August. Demarais said antlers can grow about 1/8 inch daily for yearlings and about 1/4 inches daily for adult bucks. That’s as much as 1½ inches per week for adults!

Do deer antlers get bigger each year?

Deer grow and shed antlers every year, requiring large amounts of nutrients and energy. Antler growth depends on an individual deer’s access to quality nutrition, age and genetics. However, factors such as date of birth and condition of the mother can affect antler development.

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What eats deer antlers?

Rodents in particular love shed antlers – mice, squirrels, and porcupines will gnaw on antlers for their nutrients and to wear down their ever growing teeth. Even bears, foxes, opossums and otters have been known to eat antlers.

Are deer antlers worth anything?

Due to the abundance of deer in North America, antlers can be had for relatively cheap. Most antlers are worth just a few bucks per pound, and unless you have a trophy-sized rack, don’t expect to rake in the big bucks anytime soon.

How much are deer sheds worth?

Here’s what you can expect to pay for antlers at these locations: Fresh elk drops retail for about $8 to $12 per pound. Moose “paddles” in good shape are approximately $10 to $15 per pound. First-year mule deer sheds go for an average of $8 to $15 per pound. (Large antlers are more per pound than small ones.)

Can you sell deer antlers in PA?

Yes. It is lawful for individuals to find and retain deer and elk antlers on public land, so long as they were shed through natural causes. It is unlawful for individuals to possess a shed antler to sell, barter or trade OR to offer to sell, barter or trade any shed antler.

Is it legal to pick up elk sheds in PA?

Yes, collecting sheds from public lands (except National Parks) or land you own or have permission to be on is legal. However, it is not legal to pick up any parts or bones of an elk you found dead, including skulls and antlers.

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Can I sell my deer antlers?

While it is legal to sell shed antlers in Alberta, selling or giving away antlers that came from a legally harvested animal is a lot more complicated. Executors of estates must also register antlers for sale before selling, but are not subject to the three year waiting period.

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