Given the number of absolutely insanely huge bucks at Oak Creek, I assumed the ranch would have a huge collection of sheds somewhere.
In fact, Oak Creek Whitetail Ranch Preserve Manger, Jacob Osborne, assures me employees of the ranch seldom – if ever – go out to intentionally look for sheds.
“We actually don’t shed hunt as much as you would think as we try to leave the deer pretty much alone in their territory,” Jacob explains. “We’ll for sure pick-up sheds in the fields where our food plots are to save our tractor tires and any we might see along the road. Occasionally we will walk paths looking for them but for the most part we try to leave the deer alone.”
Why do we collect sheds?
All of the sheds collected, however, are used for record keeping purposes.
“Sheds show us exactly how big a deer really is – opposed to guessing based on seeing that same deer in the field or on a game camera – where the deer are traveling, and the state of our predator control.”
Sheds that show bite marks or that have been gnawed on have been at the mercy of raccoons, opossums, or some other vermin. Luckily, the majority of all sheds found at Oak Creek are clean. Thus, predator control methods are working!
“Every now and again will find a set that belongs to a deer that we have no record of on camera which just goes to show you how wild some of our property really is,” Jacob continues. “It’s crazy to think that a deer can be hanging out there and we’ve never seen it or caught it on camera.”
When do they drop their antlers
Jacob says the deer at Oak Creek began dropping their antlers in January or February although sometimes as early as late December.
So, what does Oak Creek do with the antlers that they do collect?
“We keep the big sets,” Jacob explains. “We sell some to artists or cut them up as dog treats that we sell in our store.”
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