The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

February 11, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Nearly 219,000 white-tailed deer bagged

(Continued)

Wandering eyes

After walking a trail in one direction, never walk along it again during your search. Walk off to one side, and always scan to the sides of the area you are passing through. One reason that some hunters miss spotting antlers on the ground is because they are too narrow focused on the trail ahead and fail to let their eyes wander.

And should a trail that you are following head into dense brush, go in as far as possible and search all around the area and on the sides where other trails exit the brush. Overhead limbs and dense brush have pulled many an antler loose from its pedicle.

Sudden impact

If you plan to take up the hunt and follow well used deer trails, when any trail comes to fences, creeks, ditches or across thick logs, slow down and begin looking carefully. Any jump and the following impact when a deer lands on the ground seems to jar loose aging antlers. Obviously sites where deer bound over farm fences are good places to search, and feel free to follow the fences along long spans while you scan along both sides.

You will rarely find antlers stuck in fences, but some antler hunters do. It’s the sudden landing after a hop that seems to spring an antler loose from its base. And the antler might tumble shortly after the jump, so look at least 20 yards away from fences.

Fences are not the only sites where antlers fall free. Other sites are along creeks and riverbanks, and along roadsides where a deer must jump up or down a bank.

If you also have a narrow ditch running through your hunting area, that’s a top place to search. Again, when a deer goes up and comes down with a thud, an antler could come off. And be certain to look in a wide area around these obstacles.

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