I'm sure a lot of folks are probably thinking, "What's a shed trap?". So I'll explain that part first. Every year deer shed their antlers in the late winter. These are called shed antlers. I've spent way to much time over the last few years scouring my property for shed antlers and found some, but not as many as I would have hoped and spent a lot of time on it that I could spend on other things so this year I'm trying a shed trap. The idea is to get something to knock the antlers off the deers head when they are ready to fall off instead of letting them fall off where ever they happen to be. The other key is to set things up so that there isn't a risk of trapping the deer along with the antler or injuring the deer by using too much force so the antler is knocked off even if it isn't ready to come off. There are actually a couple commercial versions of shed traps out there, but I wasn't really wanting to spend several hundred bucks for something that may or may not work so I decided to make one on my own.
This time of year is probably the most popular time for my protein feeder so I thought the best thing would be work something up that involved it. I read a few posts on different discussion forums and came up with my idea. Placing t-posts on each side of the spout that the deer feed out of and then streching bungee cords slightly higher than the spout and back 6 inches or so from the spout. The deer could still feed, but they would have to push against the bungee cords with their antlers a little to get to the spout. If the antlers were still firmly attached it shouldn't bother them too much, but if the antlers were starting to get loose, it might just knock them off. For $30 or so in materials I figured it would be worth a shot.
Here's an example picture of the deer feeding.
Here's a trail camera picture when I was just about finished with the shed catcher.
Here's a picture of the finished project.
Here's a farther off view where you can see the hog panels around the entire setup to keep the pigs out.
A few of the bucks have already shed this year so I'm for sure not too early in getting it setup. Looking over the pictures I think I may have gotten the bungees a little too high and I'm not sure if I put them far enough away from the spouts or not. I may move a few of the bungees down a little bit next time I'm out there. For $30 or so and about 15 minutes to set it up it isn't going to hurt to try it out though. I don't think there is any way that a deer could get tangled up and injured in this setup.
We'll see if it worked or not in a few weeks.
I did get to spend a little over an hour in my hunting blind Saturday evening after I got everything setup, and I saw 7 different deer, but didn't see any pigs or coyotes so nothing hit the dirt.
That's it for now. Nathan