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Shed hunting can be nearly as fun as deer hunting and it gives you an excuse to hit the woods.
Often bucks loose antlers fighting and sparring but this dropped antler was in pursuit of some Rack Stacker Deer Feed.
Listen in while Peter shares his hunting and fishing adventures, tries new gear or travels to awesome outdoor destinations. Hunting for shed antlers should always be more fun than work, although it usually takes logging a few miles to cover some country. Deer trails, drainages, fence lines, natural funnels and water sources are always good places to look for sheds. Deer antlers are quite clean because Mother Nature takes care of most of the washing post-drop. To view this website correctly, please upgrade your browser to Internet Explorer 7 or higher.
When we heard about a non-typical buck that was sportin' some divine headgear that was said to look like a cross, we decided to put our best efforts towards finding this "Holy Shed". Take a pack or rope. A hunting pack is useful for bringing some lunch if need be and definitely some water to stay hydrated. Shed hunters, on the other hand, look forward to very late winter and early spring because that means it’s time to search for dropped antlers! A shed antler lets me know that at some point in the recent past the buck that lost the antler was standing, traveling or bedding right there. My neighbor, who is an avid deer hunter, told me that the best time to look for them here (Kansas City area) is during the first half of February. From my experience, the number of sheds you find will be directly proportional to the amount of country you cover. Just because deer are not hanging out on a field during the day does not mean that they are never there.
Knowing a good buck, or one with potential made it through the season can raise the excitement for next season. Having some binoculars with you can help debunk a bone colored branch or a pine cone reflecting the sun 20 yards away.
In the winter deer love bedding under pine trees even if it’s one lone pine tree or a small group of them. This is the one time that it should be permitted to check in known bedding areas and deer sanctuaries. When glassing for deer your eyes are trained to look for a flickering tail, the glare of the sun off an antler, or the white of an ear. Anytime you allow a child to be involved in outdoor activities, it’s a positive experience.
The point of getting out and doing some shed hunting is to connect with nature and the outdoors. Okay, not everyone is on board with shed hunting, but for those of use that enjoy getting back out into the woods between seasons it can be quite rewarding, as well as informative. It may not seem like much, but years of finding shed antlers can allow a hunter to get some good data about where antlers are lost, or better stated, where bucks are hanging out. Walking and looking a lot means more antlers in your hands, but there are many other factors that affect the odds of finding sheds.
Fields with little cover or short grass can be covered quickly by stopping and scanning with a set of binoculars or covered thoroughly on a four-wheeler. They may hold some shed antlers, but brushy habitat can be difficult to search because they limit both mobility and visibility. I’ve found that some antlers will still have debris on them (around bases) from rubs, so I have rinsed these off in the past.
To improve your odds, wait as long as you can, but before green-up, before going out to look.
We have reproduced this shed antler cross to share with outdoor enthusiasts throughout the land who love the thought of displaying their faith in such a natural way. Whether you’re an experienced shed hunter or a beginner, there are some shed hunting tips that should make your hunt more successful. But I know going too early could screw up an area and push un-shed bucks to another property. Checking the bucks on your trail cameras will let you know whether it’s time to go shed hunting or not.
This makes things a little easier and may even help you find a few deer sheds that you might not have investigated otherwise. You can also bring some lightweight rope to tie onto the sheds so you can toss them over your shoulder.
It’s good for moving briers out of your way, giving you support on steep ridges, and just makes walking easier. If you are not sure, this is where a little snow can help as well as just doing some glassing in the evening. Not only can it help the deer survive a harsh winter, but it makes a great place to find sheds. But assuming you know the property pretty well, the gps unit is handy for marking locations where you find sheds.
From a deer management perspective, it can give hunters and landowners an idea of buck habitat use after the rut and before spring green-up.
I will get into such areas occasionally, but mostly stick to park-like stands of trees and the edges of woods. As hard as it is to wait, it’s best to make sure the bucks have dropped their antlers first. It can be a honey hole and you don’t want to go in prematurely and spook bucks out still sporting their headgear. Taking this data with you can give insight to winter travel patterns and a buck’s core area which can be helpful for hunting season. Most people will not detect much, if any, odor on shed antlers, but dogs can be trained to help find sheds.
Always head out antler hunting before things warm up too much and ground cover gets tall and thick. Is there any special area to look for them, or are they generally just kind of out in the open where they can be easily spotted?
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Published at: Cheapest Sheds