Shed Hunting Tips

Shed Hunting gives hunters a good excuse to hit the woods during the off season. For some, it is nearly as fun as deer hunting. And discovering that a good buck made it through the season gets the adrenaline pumping for the upcoming season.

For those of reading that may not know what shed hunting is, it is simply gathering shed antlers of deer. This is a safe and enjoyable recreations for the whole family. Your little ones just might surprise you. They may spot a shed you look over.

We want to share with you what we have learned in our experiences.

Location Tips

  • Choose different areas from year to year.
  • Check south facing hills and south edge of forests. The south receives the most direct sunlight in the winter and deer like to bed there.
  • If you are on private property or protected land, check to make sure you are allowed to shed hunt.
  • Check under scattered cedar and pine trees. Deer are attracted to evergreens.
  • Always be on the lookout for new shedding grounds.
  • You will find sheds in the places where the deer spend the most time during the winter.
  • Use game cameras to establish when the deer have shed.

Timing Tips

  • February through June is a great time to hit the woods looking for shed antlers.
  • Wait until you know that bucks have dropped their antlers. Going too early could bother the area and push bucks to another location.
  • Whitetail bucks can lose their antlers beginning as early as mid to late December. However, most bucks won’t start to shed their antlers until late January or early February depending on where you are in the country. Some bucks will still have their antlers as late March.
  • Hunt on a rainy day. Sheds shine and catch your eye.

Hunting Tips

  • Walk slow. Many things look like sheds and many things cover up sheds and you could miss them by walking too fast.
  • Thoroughly scan the ground. Sticks and brush look like sheds. Your eyes need time to separate the sheds from the ground cover.
  • Look for pieces. Sheds can be buried under snow or grass. They can even be behind sticks or logs. Look for pieces of tine, a round base, an M-shape of antlers with tines down and the W-shape of antlers with tines up.
  • Keep your eyes to the ground. It’s easy to watch deer, birds or the landscape and not even realize you aren’t watching the ground.
  • Look for fresh deer droppings on the trails. Droppings mean the deer are using the area right then and that is where you should spend your time.
  • Get a group of people to go with you. The more eyes you have,  the better chance you have.
  • Kneel down and scan from a different angle.
  • Before you start, throw a few sheds on the ground and stare at them, get your eyes accustomed to looking for them.
  • When you find one antler the other side is probably close.  Begin walking in a circle around the location you found the shed.

We want to hear from you. Tell us your shed hunting tips and experiences!