One of the many things I have learned about The Wild Outdoors since marrying a hunter is that whitetail deer shed their antlers every winter. During the spring and summer those antlers grow back a little bigger and then the deer are ready for targeting during the fall hunting season. Finding a great set of antler “sheds” in the woods is a bit of a consolation prize for a hunter. It’s a way of saying: you didn’t get the big buck, but since you found his antlers you know that he’s still around. Maybe you’ll get him next year when he’s even bigger!
This unusually temperate winter provided us a gorgeous weekend full of bright afternoons and temperatures near 50’F. Aaron was going “shed hunting” on Sunday and I decided to accompany him. The weather was warm, the sun was shining, and I was excited that we would be outside together for a few hours. I knew we would walk and laugh… and maybe we’d even get to talk about our feelings! My hopes were (unrealistically) high as I bundled myself up in warm layers and drove out to a special hunting spot.
After parking the truck on dry ground, we had to cross a river before reaching the deer’s usual habitat where we hoped to find the elusive antler sheds. I wore special boots that came up to my knees since the ice was cracking and we expected to fall in and wade across part of the shallow water. The plan would have worked, but our crossing point in the river just wasn’t that shallow.
Yes, I fell through the ice into the waist-deep river. Aaron helped drag me out, and after replacing the wading boots with regular shoes, we took a few pictures.
This accident only strengthened my resolve to find a great set of “sheds,” so I stuck it out for several hours of walking. Unfortunately our search was in vain and my icy plunge was the most exciting part of the story. Maybe we’ll have better luck (and stay drier!) next time!