SD shed 1

Mike: I found this big old shed hanging in a pine tree. A fellow shed hunter south of me found the match 2 years ago and we thought that shed was one year old then.

I have walked passed this tree 20 times in the last few years and never spotted it. Amazing how you just miss the simple ones!—Kelly K. from South Dakota

Thanks Kelly, I find several things fascinating about your find.

Apparently the buck was rubbing on the tree one winter day when this antler popped off. Maybe the abscission layer that hold the antler on like cement was dissolving and getting brittle, causing the deer’s head to itch?

SD shed 2

Also, that  rub on the pine has been there awhile, likely made one day in October or November years ago. Did this buck make that rub, or did he just stop and rub it from time to time (multiple bucks smell and rub the same trees from year to year).

Finally, since the antler had been stuck in that tree for 3 years, I wonder how many different bucks had come by and seen it and maybe rubbed the tree above it anyway? It is quite possible that the buck that lost this antler came by the following fall and maybe the next and rubbed the pine again.