Should I be hacking horns off winter kills I find?

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Another successful weekend of shed hunting has come and gone. Here in Eastern Idaho we are in the prime of the season with the snow melting off and the treasures it has kept hidden for the past couple of months are becoming exposed. Don't get me wrong, the elk are just begging to drop their headgear and there is still a lot of snow past the tree lines, but it isn't too early to explore and hook up with an antler.

Since the snow has receded significantly in the past week, and since it hasn't enough to drive to some higher areas, I decided to revisit an area that yielded a few decent horns about 3 weeks ago. - check them out here - Sure enough, it was another wham, bam kind of day. I found a really decent 3 point winter-kill within 30 minutes of starting, followed by a number of smaller 3 point sheds.

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As you can see, I took a hacksaw to the winterkill because I really didn't want to pack around a half decayed, leakin' liquid brain, stinkin' skull around for 6 hours on a hot day. It made me wonder if I am making a mistake or not by hacking off this poor suckers headgear. Is it more valuable to a taxidermist as a complete skull or is there a certain point in size where they qualify as worth keeping on the skull. I have seen a horn buyer hack off some older, weathered horns, but these were average sized and fresh. Let me know what you would have done in the comments section. Good luck out there!

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