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ODFW: Shed Hunt Responsibly To Protect Game
This time of year, many Oregonians head outdoors to look for the antlers that have been shed by male deer and elk. Deer usually shed theirs from late December through March, and elk from late February through early April.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that this time period is also a critical one for big game, when animals are at their most vulnerable because there is less food available. Shed hunters using motor vehicles can put wildlife on the move when these animals need to be conserving energy. Even people on foot or horseback can disturb animals. For this reason, some parts of the state known to serve as winter range for big game are closed or have motor vehicle restrictions in late winter and early spring.
Sgt. Randy Hand, Oregon State Police, Klamath Falls says road closure violations can be a problem this time of year. Antlers are the fastest-growing bone that isn’t cancerous or prenatal. Antlers on deer can grow at a rate up to seven times that of skeletal growth. Elk antlers can weigh 30-40 pounds.