How Much Are Shed Antlers Worth?

shed truckloadHow much cash can you get for your shed antlers?

For starters, depends on condition and grade of the sheds:

Grade A: Antler in perfect condition, brown and beautiful, with no fading…no broken tines or chew marks…this year’s drop, antler picked up within a few weeks or months.

Grade B: Antler in good condition, still natural brown color, may be dull or faded on one side and slightly weathered, probably last year’s drop. May have slight broken tine or chip.

Grade C: Antler faded and weathered to white and chalky, on the ground for 2 or 3 years.

Here are February 2019 estimates from Antlerbuyers.com:

Elk Grade A: $13.50 a pound*
Elk Grade B: $11 a pound*
Elk Grade C: $3 a pound*

Whitetail Grade A: $10 a pound*
Whitetail Grade B: $6 a pound*
Whitetail Grade C: $2 a pound*

Mule Deer Grade A: $11.50 a pound*
Mule Grade B: $6 a pound*
Mule Grade C: $2 a pound*

Moose Grade A: $11 a pound*
Moose Grade B: $7 a pound*
Moose Grade C: $2 a pound*

*Prices estimated. Antler Buyers gets current prices every 3 months by calling, texting, or messaging 4 random antler buyers, and then averaging their prices together.

If interested in selling your antlers, click here.

 

How To Cut Mineral Stumps For Deer

msu stump 2

Ever noticed how whitetail deer love to browse the sprouts from recently cut tree stumps? 

Marcus Lashley, assistant professor at Mississippi State’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, has figured out why—and developed a simple, cost-effective way to create more good feed for the deer on your land.

Marcus had long noticed that even when forbs and other foods were in abundance, deer still preferred to browse the sprouts from cut hardwoods when available.

“As a kid sitting on a tree stand, I noticed that deer were eating from the stump of a hardwood I’d cut down. I was curious about why, because hardwood trees are nutritionally poor for deer,” he said.

With research funding through MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Marcus and grad student Don Chance cut a range of red maples (a species known for being nutritionally poor), and measured the nutrient quality of the leaves. They also monitored the stumps’ attractiveness to deer with game cameras.

They found that the sprout growth from cut stumps had much higher nutrient levels and was highly attractive to deer.

“Trees maintain an even distribution of nutrients throughout the roots and above ground foliage,” Chance said. “When the tree gets cut, the nutrients get redistributed, and the tree up-regulates the nutrients in its roots into the sprouts on the stump, which leads to nutritious forage for (deer).”

They found that tree cutting is especially beneficial during the summer, when plants begin to dry and lose their nutrients.

Cutting stumps during the summer months stimulates new growth that is 2 times higher in protein and 3 times higher in most minerals than before being cut. This makes the woody regrowth as nutritious as most food plots.

Marcus and colleagues plan to expand their research by select cutting other species of hardwood trees that produce no mast and have little food value for deer, and examining the nutrient loads of the sprouts that might benefit deer.

This new understanding of what they call “mineral stumps” will enable hunters and land managers to create more food for deer, especially during times of lean forage in the woods.

“All it takes is a chainsaw,” Marcus said.

By cutting/clearing some maples and other tree species that have no value to deer, you’ll not only create mineral stumps where animals will browse, but you’ll also open up the forest canopy to let in sunlight, which will generate more weeds and forbs on the ground.

Imagine the deer forage you’d create if you went bigger and select cut/thinned 20 to 30 acres or more, leaving the oaks and soft mast trees. In short order, you’d have a nice mix of highly nutritious mineral stumps and ground forbs, plus high-carb mast for deer.

For more info on MSU’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture in the College of Forest Resources, visit http://www.cfr.msstate.edu/wildlife/.

What Is The Lifespan of Whitetail Deer?

dom doeTwo of the most amazing facts from the 2018 deer season:

A young hunter in Vermont shot a wild doe that, according to a tooth-wear analysis, was 20 years old!

And another hunter in Vermont killed a 12-year-old buck!

Which begs the question: How long do deer live?

In captivity, whitetail does have been documented to live 18 to 25 years, and bucks 14 years.

In the wild, where hunters consider a 5-year-old buck to be an old one, deer have the capability to live longer than you think.

A doe in Louisiana was aged at 21 1/2 years.

Recent data from Pennsylvania confirms 3 wild does to be at least 13.5 years old.

Interestingly, other does from Vermont in past seasons have been documented at 16 to 20 years. (My theory is that deer up there live so long because there are relatively few deer in the state, 130,000 according to recent estimates; there are relatively few deer hunters; and not as many deer are killed by cars in Vermont as in other states.)  

Noted whitetail researcher Leonard Lee Rue III documented ages in both wild and captive deer dating back to the 1930s. Rue’s oldest documented wild deer ranged from 16-1/2 years to 19-1/2 years.

“Females of almost all species of mammals, including humans, just live longer,” he said. “The males of most species are usually 20 percent larger than the females. Perhaps males are worn out sooner by this extra weight and the extra food that has to be eaten and processed to achieve and maintain this weight.”

 

Virginia: CWD Confirmed In Buck Shot In Culpeper County

cwd deer

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) in my home state of Virginia has confirmed Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a buck legally harvested in Culpeper County during the November 2018 rut.

CWD has been documented in northwest Virginia (Frederick and Shenandoah counties) for some 9 years, and we hunters in the Northern Piedmont have been holding our collective breath that it would not spread.

But it has. The latest infected buck was killed in Culpeper County, 40 miles south of the original CWD zone.

Officials discovered this CWD from a sample submitted by a local taxidermist in January 2019. At the time this deer was harvested, the hunter did not notice any outward signs of disease, and the buck appeared to be in good condition.

In a press release, DGIF said it is too early to characterize the geographic spread of the disease in Culpeper or to determine how many deer in the area are infected. Because CWD was not confirmed in Culpeper until after the 2018 deer season closed, DGIF did not have the opportunity to work with local hunters to test large numbers of deer from the area.

DGIF will conduct preliminary disease surveillance in Culpeper and surrounding counties this spring and summer to make preliminary assessments about the occurrence of the disease. Methods of sample collection include working with road-kill collection contractors, responding to calls from the public about sick deer, and working with farmers and other landowners who have experienced damage from deer.

Experience in Virginia and other states has shown that it can take several years before the true extent of a CWD “outbreak” becomes clear. That is one of the most troubling aspects of CWD.

The Virginia DGIF is in the process of determining appropriate measures moving forward for Culpeper and surrounding counties, including neighboring Fauquier where I do most of my local deer hunting. These measures may include the delineation of a Disease Management Area, carcass transport restrictions, feeding restrictions, and the like.

I predict there will be changes coming to hunting in our region. The days of loading a deer in a pickup and driving over the county line are likely over (hunters will have to quarter and de-bone the meat).

Currently in summer, we can use mineral sites and bait in front of trail cameras OUTSIDE of hunting season to scout for bucks and monitor herds, but that could change. Virginia already mandates the use of synthetic deer scents, so no change there.

Most certainly hunters will be encouraged to have their deer meat tested for CWD before eating it.

DGIF officials will notify hunters of any changes to the regulations in the area this summer and a public meeting will be scheduled in Culpeper County to address questions and concerns about the Department’s planned management approach to CWD in this area.

I would like to give a big shout-out to the Virginia DGIF for their efforts to monitor this disease. Last season, the DGIF worked with 50 taxidermists statewide to enhance Virginia’s CWD surveillance. Participating taxidermists submitted more than 1,600 samples from harvested deer, including the one from Culpeper that tested positive.

ABOUT CWD: This incurable disease has been detected in 26 states and 3 Canadian provinces. It is a slow and progressive neurological disease that ultimately results in death of the deer. The disease-causing agent is spread through the urine, feces, and saliva of infected animals. Noticeable symptoms include staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss.

There is no conclusive evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans, livestock, or pets, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instructs hunters to test all deer harvested from known CWD-positive areas and to not consume any animals that test positive for the disease.

For more information about CWD: www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/disease/cwd.

Earth Day 2019: Let’s Celebrate America’s Hunters

earth day

On this Earth Day, I refer you to a passage written by two of America’s top deer biologists, Drs. Larry Marchinton and Karl Miller:

In the United States roughly 3 million white-tailed deer are harvested each year… This translates to about 150 million pounds of meat. Add to this the amount of elk, turkey, squirrel, rabbit and other game as well as wild fruits, nuts, and vegetables that is consumed. To produce this amount of beef, chicken, or vegetable crops in addition to that which is already produced would be ecologically devastating. Acres and acres of wild places would have to be destroyed to accommodate this increased agricultural production. More wildlife habitat would have to be plowed under. More pesticides would be applied. More soil erosion would occur. More waterways would become lifeless drainage ditches. Isn’t it better that some of us reap a sustained harvest from natural systems, rather than destroy these systems?

Today we celebrate that we hunters and fishers are America’s #1 conservationists and environmentalists.