Feb 22, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT
By Bill Miller
Being a “hunter” of shed deer antlers has cachet to it. It’s sounds cool … “Shed Hunter.”
I remember one of the neatest shed hunts I was ever on. It was with Mark Kayser on a ranch not far from the Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota. Like so much of the country out there, this was a big place, so Mark employed a “glass and stalk” technique.
We’d ride horses on to a hill overlooking the ranch’s alfalfa fields, dismount, break out the binoculars and spotting scopes, then glass for shed antlers laying in the eaten-down alfalfa. With a little practice they became pretty darn easy to spot, and Mark was so skilled at it that he could remember exactly where 8 or 10 sheds were positioned. We’d ride out to them and he’d lean w-a-a-a-a-a-a-y over his horse and pick up the sheds, the biggest ones anyway, without even dismounting.
For those of us hunting shed antlers in typical Eastern, Southern and Midwestern whitetail cover it’s seldom that easy. Normally, we’ve got to lace up the boots and put on the miles in hopes of collecting some springtime bone. But at SHOT Show, I saw a device that can change some of that. In fact, it might change you from being a shed “hunter” into a shed “collector” – at least some of the time. That’s shed collecting as in walking up to one spot in the woods and picking up a sack full while you’re standing in one spot!
Mossy Oak Biologic is now offering a device called the “Rack Trap.” It’s basically a deer feeding station that encourages bucks to leave their antlers behind without endangering the deer.
The Biologic boys know collecting shed antlers is one of the best ways to identify how many and which bucks on your property survived hunting season, but done in the usual way it’s time-consuming and truly hit-or-miss. When used correctly the Rack Trap is a easy way to attract deer and collect their antlers when they shed.
Unlike other shed traps that entangle the deer’s antlers causing potential harm or even death to bucks whose antlers aren’t ready to fall off, the Rack Trap Antler Trap is designed to simply and effectively apply pressure to the antlers, encouraging the natural shedding process as the deer is feeding. Because the heavy duty camo snubber straps easily “break away,” there’s no way for a deer to become entangled or trapped. Even if the deer “tear it up” the straps just fall to the ground and are laying right there for you to pick up and replace when you reset the Rack Trap.
The Rack Trap is easy to install. It comes with heavy-duty camo ratchet straps and can be attached to most trees very quickly. Rack Traps will be available for shipping from Biologic on March 1 and pre-orders include free shipping – which is good, because this thing is built heavy duty and it weighs it!
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