Finding Dead Deer While Shed Hunting “Ep.2”
Episode 2 of the White Gold Series presented by Muddy TV brings you the unfortunate situation of finding a dead deer while shed hunting.
Unfortunately, the grisly scene of finding a dead deer while shed hunting is not uncommon. If not every year, every other year a shed hunter usually encounters finding a dead deer. It may not always be a dead buck or a “deadhead” as shed hunters refer to them as, but finding them is still discouraging. Finding a dead deer is always a stomach souring experience…especially finding a hit-list buck, however, many opportunities do exist that you should take advantage of upon finding a dead buck.
First Things First
The first order of business when finding a dead buck is determining the cause of death. This will include disease (EHD mainly), Brain abscess, predation, or human-caused (hunting/vehicle injury). Depending on the state you live in, or the scene you approach you may want or need to call local DNR or a conservation officer to check out the deer. This is mainly due to determine cause of death from either a disease standpoint or in the unfortunate case of poachers. You also may need to get a permit in order to take the skull and/or antlers home. After this…you can start looking at the scenario from an opportunity point of view.
- Jawbones – One of the most important opportunities to grasp once you find a dead deer while shed hunting is to locate the jawbone. This is especially important if it was a “hit-list” buck as it determines whether or not he should have been on the list! A jawbone tells you how old the deer was, and gives you an opportunity to score a deer that you know the age of…giving you a good index of age to size index on your property.
- Score – Often, especially during the summer bachelor group period, you get bucks standing side by side where you can directly compare their size. Any guesses you had on size from trail camera Intel and observation periods can now be evaluated. This is a huge piece of information, especially when compared with age from the jawbone.
- Area – Depending on the cause of death you can find a lot about the area where you have found the dead buck. In this video’s case the buck was found in some of the most secure cover available on the property. This can be applied to next year’s hunting strategy as you now know where future hit-list bucks are likely to bed down.
- Peace of Mind – Above all, one very important thing to remember in this event is that you can now mark the buck off the hit-list. This, in the end, will now allow you to put more strategy and effort into a buck that is alive.
Finding a dead deer is always a stomach souring experience…especially finding a hit-list buck, however, many opportunities do exist that you should take advantage of upon finding a dead buck!