Shed hunters across America are starting to roam the woods. In addition to finding antlers, a few of you will find deer that died within the last several months from natural causes or were shot and lost by hunters last season.

Ken found this first one in VA the other day.

carcass 1

Kelly found this one in South Dakota last month.

carcass 2

This last carcass, found by one of the Drury team members, somewhere in the Midwest, is mysterious. They had spotted this buck alive and well on January 9, 2015, but found his remains just weeks later. How had the deer died—natural causes, coyotes, or maybe poached?

carcass 3

Deer skulls/racks are sad finds, but they make good shed-hunting trophies if you know the rules.

In some states, like Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois, possession of a skull with antlers attached requires a salvage tag from the state. With a skull and antlers that are obviously months-old and dried out or even bleached, this does not make sense to me, but if it’s the law you need to know it. The last thing you want is to come back home with a skull with big antlers, post a picture of your great find on Facebook or Twitter, and promptly get a call or visit from a state CO asking if you have the proper salvage permit.

Be sure to check your state’s regulations.