It's February and for deer hunters that means one thing, shed hunting season. If you are unfamiliar with with shed hunting, simply put, shed hunting is the search for antlers. Deer lose their antlers every winter, leaving them around the woods and countryside for lucky hunters to find. We have put together a quick blog post with a few tips on how you can get going.
The great thing about shed hunting is that it is virtually free to started. You need a good pair of boots, a set of binoculars and obviously, access to property where deer reside.
So why shed hunt? A lot of hunters have a fascination with antlers and simply enjoy the time outdoors searching. Others use the antlers as decoration or building projects around the house. And last but not least, shed hunting can be very educational for hunters. For example, if you find a shed, it usually means that buck made it through the hunting season and gives you a rough idea of what bucks will be available to hunt in the coming fall. Finding sheds can also help give you an idea a bucks pattern of movement which is valuable information for the coming hunting season. There are a millions of tricks out there for being a successful shed hunter, first and foremost, time and practice. But here are a few simple tips to help get your started:
1. Know your area. You can't find sheds if they are not there. Keep a close eye on deer migration during the winter months. Look for tracks and herds on public land and take note so when the time comes you have a good starting point. We recommend starting with bedding and feeding areas and focus your time and energy there. Deer spend most of their time bedding or feeding during the cold months so naturally, that is where most sheds will be found.
2. Get ready to put in the miles. Shed hunting is not easy and requires covering a lot of ground. So be ready to hike, hike, and hike some more. Make sure to take plenty to eat and drink, and bring the right clothing to keep you warm and dry in the constantly changing spring weather.
3. Focus. Naturally when hiking and hunting, we tend to scan back and forth, looking at all angles. However, when shed hunting, make sure to stay focused and keep your eyes on the ground.
4. Safety in numbers. Shed hunting is definitely a numbers game. The more eyes the bette chance you have to spot a shed and the more ground you can cover. With that being said, take a friend or two.
5. Regulations. And last but not least, make sure to check your states shed hunting regulations very closely as each region has different start and stop times for shed hunting.