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hunting in january



what time of year do the deer start dropping their antlers up there? i am coming up there to make a late season since i didn't fill my tag at the begining of movember. it looks like i will be there for the 1st of the new year, unless it is unlikely to see bucks that haven't yet shed their antlers. please let me know something
It depends on nutrition, usually sometime after the middle of febuary they start dropping.
I have seen deer drop their antlers as early as Christmas, but that was a deer that had been stressed by being wounded. Antlers drop off due to a change in the levels of hormones produced by the pituitary gland. This is triggered by photoperiodism (shorter daylight hours). When the pedicel demineralizes, the antlers fall off. It's rare for them to fall in January but a few do every year. They start dropping in bigger numbers in February, but in March most of them shed. If I had to guess, I'd say that 60-80% fall from the last of February to the middle of March here in Northern Iowa.

From just before Christmas to January 10th is some of my favorite time of the year to hunt here. We usually have a lot of snow, and the deer are all bunched up around the available food sources. It's easy to look over the herds and pick out the one you wnat. Not quite so easy to get him, but it is an enjoyable time to hunt because they are more predictable than at any other time of the year.
I don't believe my first post made it so I'll try again. Saturday afternoon I checked a hunter who shot a buck that had already dropped both antlers. Both pedicels were hard and going by their diameter the deer wasn't a young one. In over 20 years I've never encountered a deer that had shed both antlers so early. Also, there was no apparent injure to deer that may have caused the dropping.

Doug Clayton
State Conservation Officer
i am going to be hunting in the southeast part of the state. how much will their weight vary from early november. both the other guys that i was hunting with earlier killed deer over 200 lbs. one deer was about 2 1/2 and weighed 207 lbs. the other deer was about 3 1/2 years old and it weighed 253 lbs. i was just wondering if the deer will still have some good bodies?
i also want to tell you that my trip to iowa was the best trip i have ever taken. i am from south Louisiana,a nd everything is so different. the land is beautiful and the hunting is unbelievable. i can not belive the caliber of bucks i was seeing. it was like i just dove head first into a magazine. we have really good hunting in the south, but the size of the deer i saw up there is no comparison. i am just so pumped up about going back. hopefully i will be putting a picture on a page. there is one deer in particular that i will be hunting. he is an awesome animal. he is a main frame 12 pointer with a kicker on his right G-2. i was almost trampled by him, and his rack is etched into my head. thanx for all the information.
Had a friend hunting down in Washington county 1st shotgun season who saw two different hunters with bucks that had been harvested and had already dropped one antler. His hunting partner also found one shed with a hint of blood on it?

Patrick Sullivan

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 12-10-2000).]
Last year early in the morning 1st weekend of April, I won't forget the date because we were moving I looked over and saw a buck on the way to get the moving van. This buck was anice 10 pointer, still supporting his antlers.
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