My cousin found an old deer dead today, and as I watched him pick the skull up above the rose thicket I recognized it immediately. We have a long history with the buck we called Strapless Joe, starting with pictures and a shed antler when he was a yearling in 2004. We were able follow on camera and in the field all the way to 2010. I honestly didn't even think he was alive in the 2011 season, so you can imagine how thrilled we are to finally have him at home.
2004: His first set of antlers, and luckily a very easy deer to identify because he was missing the black chinstrap. The all-white muzzle really stood out over the years.
2005: Strapless had turned into a pretty nice 2 year old. He actually had short G-4s and sharp little nubs starting G-5s.
2006: This was the start of a hot streak for me...I was able to walk right to one of his antlers on the 3rd of January for the next three years.
2007: More of the same. A few trail cam pics, and a late season pattern right before he dropped his horns, but never any sightings from the tree.
2008: Same old thing from our old buddy. Some pics and some sheds, but still nothing while out hunting.
2009: Everything kind of busted loose in '09. Everyone in the family saw Strapless at least one time from the tree stand. He spooked in late October when he walked by a turkey dad had just arrowed (about ten seconds after the picture below), mom shot high at thirty yards in early November (then smoked a doe on the same trail 3 minutes later), and he stepped out 25 yards in front of me 2 minutes after legal light (don't think I wasn't tempted). If I remember right little brother saw him once, too.
2010: No sightings, and only a couple pictures. He had gone way down hill and I kind of assumed it would be his last winter...
...and then I watched my cousin hoist him out of the multi-flora rose. I was glad to see that the old boy had bounced back a little before he went out. He even matched up the G-4s, which hadn't happened since he was 2.
All in all we've got sheds from 1, 3, 4, and 5 years old. I know who has a few more of them, too, might have to do some trading in the near future.
Hope everyone enjoys!