Every year after the rut, decreasing testosterone levels cause male deer to shed their antlers. This generally happens during the winter and early spring. While hunting for shed antlers can be an enjoyable outdoor endeavor, some people may not have the time or the patience. If you want the antlers but don't have the time, try an alternative -- a barrel antler trap is an easy way to collect sheds. If the antlers are ready to come off, they should fall off as the buck pushes his head into the trap to feed or as he pulls it out when he's done.
1. Measure the height of a 5-gallon bucket, then mark the center.
2. Use a hand saw to cut the bucket in half at the center mark. Cutting the bucket in half will make it shallower, allowing the deer easier access to the feed.
3. Drill three holes, evenly spaced, around the top of the bottom half of the bucket. The holes should be an inch from the top to prevent the holes from ripping out.
4. Fill the bucket three-quarters of the way full with corn.
5. Hook the bungee cords in the holes and attach the other ends to a tree branch or rail that is positioned vertically above the bucket. Avoid stretching the bungees too tight; the deer should be able to escape with his antlers intact if they are not yet ready to fall off.
6. Check the trap regularly for antlers and refill the bucket with feed as needed.
Items you will need
- 5-gallon plastic bucket
- Tape measure
- Hand saw
- Drill with drill bit
- 3 bungee cords
- Corn or other feed
- Antler traps are illegal in some states, so check with your local department of fish and game before building a trap.
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