MARTINO: It’s time for another hunting opportunity | Sports

In these regions, the end of February and the beginning of March can be capricious in terms of weather and conditions, such as mud. I call it decreasing time.

Thankfully, before too long, the outdoor opportunities will be unleashed. The fishing will be at its peak, the morels will begin to burst and the door to this year’s turkey season will be thrown open.

But for some, the end of winter offers a special opportunity. Hunting cabin. In addition to being fun, it gets us out instead of staying between the four walls that have almost held us hostage. Now is the perfect opportunity to start scouting while searching for unique treasures.

Once the antlers fall, they are called “shelters”. Finding them not only shows where deer spend the majority of their time, they also have value.

Every year around this time, deer, like other ungulates, lose their antlers. They do this to make room for new growth; a bit like a child who loses his milk teeth to make way for his adult version. Only deer do it every year. It’s truly impressive how these animals can lose their ornate crowns only to grow back again in seven months.

Discarded antlers can be used in all types of decorations and crafts. Ornate knife handles can be created as well as buttons for coats. Some like them for dog chews.

Remarkably, the majority of sheds do not stay long. Woodland dwellers like mice, squirrels, and rabbits chew them for their mineral content.

When searching for sheds, limit your search to areas where you see the most visible deer sign. Places like oak groves, second-stage areas, and edges of fields are good places to start.

One of the greatest things about shed hunting is that anyone can get involved. It can also be a great winter activity for the whole family. Size, age or experience don’t really matter either. Even the family dog ​​can help. After all, antlers are made of a dog’s best friend: bone! And, our canine companions don’t care whether it’s a bone from the dinner table or a bone that fell off the top of a buck’s head. Some avid shed hunters have even trained dogs to help locate abandoned woods.

As with any hunting attempt, always make sure you have permission before entering private property. Most landowners have no problem letting you into their property, once they find out that all you’re looking for are discarded antlers.


An IDNR Certified Hunter Education Course is scheduled for March 19 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Kirkendall Outdoor Education Center, located in Jackson Morrow Park. Except for an apprentice license, the class is mandatory for anyone born after December 31, 1986 before purchasing a valid Indiana hunting license. In fact, the course can benefit everyone, whether you are interested in hunting or not. It should also be noted that several western states and Canadian provinces require proof of completion of a hunter’s ed. program before hunting in their states regardless of their age.

To become certified, students must complete the 10-hour course and pass a 100-question multiple-choice final exam. The DNR recommends that the program be best suited for people aged 10 and over.

To enroll, simply do a web search for Hunter Ed classroom instruction from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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