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Most hunters in the southern states desire to master the deer’s Georgia Antler-shedding pattern, leading to the question; when do deer shed their antlers in Georgia? In Georgia, bucks start shedding their antlers between January and February and sometimes extending into April. The mild climate witnessed there plays a significant role in antler shedding, with most shedding experienced in the winter season.
Antlers grow from two base points on the head of a deer. They are made of bone tissue and are covered by a soft tissue that contains veins and arteries. The tissue is known as velvet, and it helps in feeding nutrients to the growing antlers. Bucks are the only type of deer that grow antlers. However, female deer that have high testosterone levels also develop antlers. However, they are limited in number.
Deer Population and its Impact on Shed Hunting in Georgia.
The deer population in Georgia has been thriving since the state ramped up measures to help save their population. The Wildlife division in Georgia began to expand the population by first creating protected areas for the animals. More restocking programs were initiated, and today Georgia boasts of having one of the largest deer populations in the country.
Before then, human activities such as land-clearing and overhunting caused a decline in the deer population. The huge herds of deer in different places such as Hancock and Clayton have made deer hunting a hobby to many households. This has translated into bringing much enthusiasm in shed hunting, as the considerable deer populations mean there are many antlers to take home.
Hunting Antlered Bucks in Georgia
Georgia has set strict restrictions that govern deer hunting. Unlike other states where you can walk in the woods and take on any buck, Georgia has regulations on where you can hunt deer and the weapons to use while on the hunt. In some regions such as Clayton, Cobb, and Dekalb, you’re not allowed to hunt deer with a firearm.
The question of hunting antlered deer is also of importance in Georgia. There are places where one is only allowed to hunt antlered bucks. If you’re a resident of Hancock county, Harris, Meriwether, Montgomery, and Troup, you’re allowed to take down deer with 4 point antlers. However, this affects shed hunting as many antlered deer are taken down before their first shed.
Is Shed Hunting legal in Georgia?
For some time now, shed hunting in Georgia has been gaining popularity. This is due to the rising deer population in the vast forest cover in the state. However, shed hunting in Georgia is practiced in quite a similar fashion as deer hunting. For a hunter who wants a mature buck with huge towering antlers, the state of Georgia should be your next stop.
Shed hunting is legal in Georgia and is considered as any other type of hunting. You need to have a hunting license before you go out to hunt. The Georgia department of natural resources licenses every hunter going in the woods to hunt big game. Residents of Georgia who are disabled are eligible for honorary licenses, enabling them to go for shed hunting.
Where to Go for Shed Hunting in Georgia
Shed hunting follows the same pattern as deer hunting. Most hunters in Georgia follow their deer hunting routine and secrets to get the deer antlers. Places that have high populations of deer are the ones ideal for shed hunting. Often, the hunters wait until the shedding season commences, with others preferring to hunt the large antlered bucks in the regions they are permitted to.
The famous places known for mature bucks with good antlers include the Warwoman Wildlife Management Area, a remote and rugged terrain. The bucks here tend to grow older and have larger antlers. Any shed hunter should consider this as an ideal place for serious shed hunting. The Ocmulgee Wildlife Management Area is also a good location for shed hunting. It is a dense pine forest with huge populations of deer, among other wildlife.
When is the Shedding Season in Georgia
Georgia is among the southern states hence experiences relatively mild weather. This means the shedding season in Georgia begins early in the onset of winter seasons. Georgia’s mild climate provides a good time for shedding, which may occur even from as late as April. Nonetheless, the variations as to when the shedding happens are still dependent on the deer’s genetics and age.
The deeply forested state of Georgia offers good forage and food sources that may keep away the rut for quite some time. This means antlers may begin developing late, depending on when summer sets in. Therefore, when you head out for an early strike in the woods from mid-February into March and extending in April, you might as well get your antler. The dominant bucks involved most in breeding start shedding their antlers earlier than the rest of the bucks.
Where to Find Antler Sheds
For shed hunters, a fresh shed antler is a priceless possession that brings a lot of prestige, making Shed hunting enjoyable and rewarding. The antlers can also be sold to collectors, furniture artisans, and artists who transform them into new commodities. The best places to look for antlers are usually areas most related to deer’s habitat. They include;
The Deer Trails
These are usually deer travel corridors from the feeding spots to their bedding areas. These areas provide perfect shedding spots, as they are the commonly used routes by deer on the lookout. Start from places with obstructions like a ditch or fence, as the jumping involved when deer seeks to cross over may cause antlers to fall off.
Shedding begins a few months after the rut; hence deer will be out seeking food sources. Areas that have deer’s favorite food should provide you an ideal starting point.
These are the areas where deer spend their day resting after a long period of feeding. They are usually wooded places with a thick forest that offers a good cover from the predators. Deer are most likely to shed their antlers in such areas.
The shedding process is an essential phase in a male deer’s life. It helps in replenishing the deer’s life, keeping it healthy. The shedding process may delay or come early, depending on several factors. However, the winter season is always the projected shedding time either in Georgia or any other part of the country.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.