When Do Whitetail Deer Antlers Fall Off Illinois?

Is it legal to pick up shed antlers in Illinois?

Regarding lands owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Chapter 520 5/2.33t the Illinois Wildlife Code states: It is unlawful to “take or attempt to take” any wildlife or “parts thereof” including carcasses and shed antlers on the property of another without permission.

When to go shed hunting in Illinois?

Late January through March are the best times to shed hunt in Illinois and the entire Midwest.

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.

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Is April too late for shed hunting?

When to Shed Hunt “GENERALLY” For most of us, that means the time to shed hunt is early February to March. However, outliers are always present… bucks that either drop very early or late even pushing into early April.

Can you sell deer antlers in Illinois?

The inedible portions of game mammals, such as antlers, hides, hooves, skulls and bones, may be bought and sold without any permit or license required. (The inedible parts of vehicle-killed deer or deer killed by other, non-hunting methods, however, may not be sold.)

Where do you find deer antlers?

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.

Do whitetail deer shed antlers?

Deer grow and shed antlers annually. Males typically begin growing a new set of antlers in late spring. Growth starts at the pedicle, which is the antler growing base attached to the skull (see Figure 2).

Why do whitetail deer shed antlers?

All deer species shed their antlers in winter, after a sustained drop in testosterone ends their life cycle. At that stage, antlers are soft to the touch and easily damaged. Antlers harden in late summer and then shed their velvet once they quit growing. The velvet dries and falls away when its blood supply ends.

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Can deer still have antlers in March?

In other words, just as decreasing daylight and increasing testosterone levels cause antlers to grow, mineralize and shed velvet, increasing daylight and decreasing testosterone levels cause antlers to fall off each winter. Some deer shed their antlers as early as December, while some don’t shed until March.

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.

Do deer bleed when they shed antlers?

While growing, antlers are covered with a soft brown-haired skin called “velvet.” Right under this skin are many tiny blood vessels that carry food and minerals to the growing antlers. If an antler is knocked against a tree during the velvet stage, it will bleed. Within four to five months, the antlers are full-sized.

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!

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.

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How do I find more deer sheds?

Start by following all trails that lead away from the fields. Pay particular attention to places where deer have to jump fences, as the sudden jolt when landing can cause antlers to drop on the spot. Most trails that lead from the fields will be easy to follow, and you’ll often find sheds on them.

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.)

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