Two or three times I’ve stumbled on to such a high density of shed antlers that there is no doubt if you look 10 more minutes, you’ll find another, and with another 5 minutes of searching, another will materialize out of the leaf litter. One such occasion was a magical weekend in which myself, dad, and 2 friends picked up 42 antlers or deadheads from private ground on the Eastern Shore roughly a decade ago. It’d been a long time since I’ve been in that situation but it happened again last week. A bachelor herd of bucks had evidently called this open ridge home for the past couple months and the deep-cut trails and abundant sign was paired with a scattering of antlers. First one, then two, then a pair lying within 10 feet of one another (albeit from different bucks), and then a fifth and most impressively sized one to conclude. The cold weather ended up killing my cell phone battery in between the second and third pick-up, so my “as it lay” album is a little abbreviated.

I am already looking at my schedule and the weather to time another outing before green-up makes it too difficult to shed hunt (which is already and rapidly progressing with the amount of bush honeysuckle in the area). I am hoping that the big non-typical buck that we had pictures of throughout the season is cohabitating with the bachelor herd and another search yields one or both of his antlers.