The number one rule before beginning your antler hunting adventure is to be sure of the state regulations about gathering or keeping them.
Just like with hunting, where you never look for an entire animal, while antler hunting, don’t look for an entire antler. If you are into horseback riding, hunting antlers can be a great way to spend the spring days; however springtime riding in the mountains can be very dangerous. Finally, always carry a camera with you and keep it in your pocket or another easy place to access. When we needed to swing the line to make a bend or if one side got slowed down by difficult terrain (remember those kudzu washes) the wingman would tell the point man by radio to slow down until the line was straight again. For most of us here on Wired To Hunt, shed hunting is a regular part of our year round deer hunting season. Many of us whitetail hunters have a strange fascination with antlers, to put it simply, they’re just cool! There are a million different tips and tricks out there for finding sheds, but if I had to drill down to the three most crucial concepts – they would be the three below. Once you have proper expectations though, it’s time to start making the most of whatever shed hunting property you have access to. If I had to drill down to two core areas to search, it would be bedding areas and feeding areas. The above three tips are core to shed hunting success, but there are a lot more good ideas and tips out there to help you find more sheds. The Ultimate Shed Hunting Resource – Expert Shed Hunting Tips, Strategies and Suggestions : Expert tips from top whitetail hunters and shed hunters, as well as links to all of our previous shed hunting articles! Shed Hunting Tips from Expert Shed Hunter and Author Joe Shead : Joe Shead is an expert shed hunter and the author of the authoritative shed hunting book.
According to the record books kept by the North American Shed Hunters Club, the antlers listed below are the world record single sheds in the Typical and Non-Typical categories. Antlers are fascinating, and the science of how they eventually fall off every year is a topic that is pretty interesting on top of that. Shed hunting is a blast, but having a trained dog to help you makes it even more fun, and you’ll find more bone to boot! I went with my buddy Isaac, and we found over 20 elk sheds, 14 of which were worth keeping.
Since shed antler hunting has become extremely popular and competitive over the past few years, a few people have taken it to the extreme. Smaller day packs might be easier to maneuver with and be more comfortable, but try strapping 50 pounds of antlers to a daypack and hiking around. Personally I wear clothes by Sitka Gear during fall hunts, all spring while antler hunting and basically any other time of the year I am out hiking. They like the high, wind blown ridges and unless pressured by wolves or people, will scratch out a living there all winter long. When you are tired, it’s difficult to make yourself dig out a camera for pictures so keep it accessible. I hunt in West TN and am always wanting to learn about this area more and what type of deer others are growing!
For most folks, February kicks off the annual shed season and we here at Wired To Hunt want to make sure that you are armed with all the information you need to find a boatload of bone this spring.
But for those that maybe haven’t quite jumped off the deep end yet, I wanted to provide a short introduction.
Deer lose their antlers every winter, and antler obsessed hunters hit the woods every spring to find those sheds before squirrels and other critters them up.
I’d argue there are two basic reasons, those being to collect antlers for personal reasons, and then to collect antlers for educational reasons.

Most obviously, if you find a shed off a buck, you have strong proof that said buck made it through the hunting season.
If you know where the top late winter bedding and feeding areas are, dedicate the majority of your time searching these zones.
Below are two articles I’ve written detailing the training of my own shed dog, as well as several other articles from outside sources sharing best practices. About five miles into our hike, we stashed 6 of them for horse packing or another backpacking trip at a later date. When time is getting close for elk to be dropping antlers, I like to find a vantage point early in the morning where I can put my optics to work. After my fall hunting seasons end, I keep myself in shape, looking forward to the middle of March when I begin to look for antlers.
Very rarely will you find bulls with cows after November and if you do, they will usually be smaller type bulls.
A few years ago we lost a local young man when his horse went down and rolled over him on an icy slope. Text, photos, and video may not be used without written permission of the copyright holder(s). To get started, all you need is a good pair of boots, a set of binoculars and a few properties to walk.
If you’re shed hunting a property you also deer hunt, this gives you an opportunity to determine what bucks will be available to hunt in the coming fall. You’ll soon find the rush of spotting that shiny white antler to be pretty addicting!
Deer spend the majority of their time bedding or feeding during the artic winter months, so it only makes sense that this is where the most sheds are found. Even in the best states and the best farms, it’s still going to require a lot of work and effort to come across what sheds there are.
Below you’ll find links to several of our most comprehensive shed hunting articles, filled to the brim with information that will help you find more sheds.
Good luck out there this spring, and if you find some nice antlers be sure to post pictures and details of where you found them on the Wired To Hunt Facebook Page! Many places in the west have migratory herds, so finding a great pair of shed antlers doesn’t necessarily mean that bull will be within 50 miles the following fall. Some states now have actual antler hunting seasons, some have certain opening dates and some may restrict it altogether. It’s better to spot bulls from a distance using binoculars or a spotting scope to see where they’ve been feeding and if any are missing antlers.
Staying in shape for me consists of hiking and snowshoeing, looking for mountain lion tracks, all the while searching out wind-blown ridges where bulls may spend the winter. Do not wear cotton clothing unless you are out in late spring or early summer and aren’t worried about the weather! Downed timber and deep powder snow make climbing those slopes dangerous and almost impossible. In deep snow conditions, bulls will often hang out near the bases of trees where the canopy has lessened the snow depth. Be extremely careful where you ride and look into the special horseshoes specifically for that type of riding.
We’re covering the basics, the advanced tips, the science and the tools for shed hunting. Other folks enjoy antlers for other reasons, such as using them in building projects or decorations. Finding sheds can also help you learn about a certain bucks whereabouts and patterns of  movement.

If you’re shed hunting on public land in Michigan, you need to have different expectations than if you were shed hunting on a private farm in Iowa. Specifically, in The Ultimate Shed Hunting Resource, we have compiled shed hunting tips from some of the top whitetail experts such as Bill Winke, The Drury’s, Kandy Kisky, Whitetail Properties and many more!
Regardless, it is great exercise and can be a good way gain further knowledge about your elk unit or other ones. Also remember to do your research and use your GPS and maps to make sure you don’t trespass on any private lands or parks. If you are patient and wait for the bulls to timber-up and bed for the day, you can then go search the clearings where they’ve fed for the night, pick up whatever antlers are there without disturbing the bulls. Bungees are easier and faster to strap a load on and quicker to rearrange when you have to add more antlers.
If Isaac and I had been wearing cotton on our trip, we would have become hypothermic very quickly and been in a dangerous situation.
Typically, mid-March is when they begin shedding, and it usually peaks around the first week of April.
Windblown ridges and south facing slopes are key places, especially if there is adjoining timber.
The day started with beautiful weather, but by eleven in the morning it was snowing sideways, typical spring weather in Wyoming. Bottom line is, just like your fall hunting season, you should be physically prepared as well as have some areas scouted out. If there are cliffs on a south facing slope, pay close attention right at the base of the cliffs. Below we’ve got an incredibly comprehensive set of resources devoted to all things shed hunting. Thats valuable information that can translate to putting together the puzzle that can lead to hunting success.
Don’t take your eyes off the ground, and constantly scan back and forth, forward and backward. Lord knows in many areas, wolves harass the elk enough; they don’t need us adding to their pressure at this critical time of year. Larger, more mature bulls tend to shed first, with some smaller rag horn bulls carrying their antlers well into April. It’s worth packing snowshoes for 10 miles even if you only have to use them for a few hundred yards.
Snow conditions change and fresh wind blown snow can make it look like no animal has been there all winter.
In any case, enjoy your time in the field and again, please remember to not put undo stress on the elk. March and April, the key months for shed hunting can be brutal and unforgivable, especially at an elevation of 8000-9000 feet. This past weekend, snow conditions were so soft that even with snowshoes, we were waist deep in snow. I think the sun against the rock backdrop creates more warmth for the bulls, and fresh green grass sprouts early there as well. If you want to learn everythng there is to know about shed hunting, this is the place to start. We ended up crawling with snowshoes on our hands several times to make it across really deep places.

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