Signs of Spring

There’s a hint of spring in the air. The mild temperatures tease us in the northland making us second guess if “It’s really here” , just to dump another few inches of the white stuff like nature is saying, “gotcha”… You never know what you’re gonna get this time of year.

The trees are starting to form their new buds and there are hints of new grass shooting up through the remnants of last year. It’s also the time of year the antlers start to hit the ground.

The weather this past weekend was incredible. The sun was shining with temps hitting the 60’s so I headed out to see if I could find some fresh sheds. My neighbor joined me for a trek into some new country that I have wanted to take a look at. I had a general area I wanted to see so we headed that direction. We zig zagged through the forest roads until we found a good looking north facing slope with a handful of finger canyons. Below this ideal bedding area were some open meadows which I figured would be a good place for the elk to filter down to feed at night. Hopefully those antlers would be falling off as they made their way down the hill. We parked the truck and got our stuff put together for the days hike.

Now I have never had much luck shed hunting. I’ve got a pile of bone around the house but seem to only find those when I’m out hunting. I’m convinced that some people just have a knack for this activity, an eye for just the right thing. I’m also convinced I don’t… My neighbor Jim on the other hand does. His pile of antlers around his place can prove it and he has an uncanny knack of finding goodies out in the woods.

Well we didn’t make it but an 1/8th of a mile from the truck and Jim spotted an antler tip shooting out of the grass. As we crossed the meadow approaching the small 4 point I was stoked that we had stumbled onto something so soon. As I walked up to it my attention was on the antler and Jim blurted out, “There’s another!” Sure enough a respectable 6 Point lay in the grass not 10 yards from where we stood. In awe I walked over to the antler in the grass and grabbed my camera to take a picture. Jim started to say “I wonder where the other side…. There it is!” and then saw the other half 15 yards off to the side.

First Brownie of the year

Jim with a decent matched set

After that we found a couple more sheds within 150 yards, a great start!

We worked our way up to the top of the mesa and stopped to rest and take in a beautiful view off the top. I noticed an old Cowboy cabin below us and made note of it to check out later.

After cutting off the mesa and working down a nasty north facing Canyon I heard a yell from Jim farther up. When I got to him He had found an old 6 point bull that had died. The entire bull’s body was in pieces all that was left was the back bone and the head.

One of the neat things about roaming around in the outdoors of Arizona is coming across some of its history. We made our way back down towards the cabin I had seen from the top of the mesa.

These old cabins are scattered across the state and I love checking them out. If only these walls could talk! It would be neat to find out the actual history of these places and learn about the people who used them or even called them home.

Our morning started out good and then slowed down as far as sheds go but we ended up taking a handful home. If anything it was a great excuse to get out, hike around, and check out some new country. Can’t wait to get out there again.

Our finds for the day


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