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blake blake is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Toledo, IA
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Thread Rating: 11 votes, 4.64 average.
Default Shed Hunting Tips
by blake 02-08-2012, 08:18 PM

Shed Hunting Tips

Shed hunting can be as much fun as hunting the deer themselves for many of us. It is an activity for the whole family to partake in, and great exercise after being cooped up through the late winter months. The beneficial aspect of shed hunting for deer hunters is discovering which bucks on your hit list may have made it through the winter. It also reveals which deer may be new, up and coming members to the hit list. Shed hunting is a great way to keep a personal tab on your bucks and here are a few ways that you can improve your shed hunting success.

1). Not Too Early
Although the shed hunting bug may be biting, refrain from going out too early. Going out too early may force un-shed bucks from your property onto another property where they run the chance of shedding their antlers there.

2). Trail Cameras
Trail cameras can be a great tool late season for those that have the time to use them. Trail cameras should be placed in areas of high deer activity and they may reveal when bucks have shed their antlers or if they are still holding on to them.

3). Train Your Eyes
A great tool for training your eyes to pick out antlers is to take a couple into the woods with you, close your eyes and toss them randomly. Open your eyes and see how quickly you can pick them out.

4). Pack and Rope
Bringing a backpack and a short piece of rope along is a great idea. Not only can you pack in a lunch, binoculars and refreshments, but the pack and rope will aid in carrying out a bounty of horn if you manage to find a bunch.

5). Check Southern Exposures
Often southern exposures are the first to warm up and are a favorite place for deer to bed and hang out. Southern exposures and hillsides are the first place I look when shed hunting.

6). Evergreens
Stands of evergreens and cedars are classic bedding and loafing areas for deer throughout the winter months. This can be a treasure trove of antlers in some instances.

7). Foodplots and Feeding Areas
We all know that foodplots and feeding areas attract and hold deer constantly through the winter months. Keep a sharp eye on these areas as they may hold a few sheds.

8). Bedding Areas and Sactuaries
Shed hunting is the only time of year where a bedding area or sanctuary should be entered. Often times these areas may be associated with thick cover and stands of cedar or evergreens and make for a great location for finding sheds.

9). Look Where Deer Jump
This is pretty self explanatory but check areas where deer may cross a fence or small creek. Sometimes the impact from a buck landing after a jump is enough to break free an antler.

10). More Eye Training
Sometimes a shed may be partially covered by snow or debris on the ground. Keep a keen eye out for anything that may look like even the slightest piece of an antler. You never know, that small bald looking twig may be the tip of a monsters shed.

11). Slower Thank You Think
If you think you are walking slow enough, walk slower. I always try to designate a good chunk of the day for shed hunting and taking your time will only prove your success. If you have friends and family along, have everyone take their time. The more eyes slowly combing the forest floor, the more sheds will be found.

12). Found a Shed? Grid Out The Immediate Area
If you find a shed, there is a good chance that the matching side might not be far away. Iíve often heard that a buck will lose his antlers within 100 yards of each other. If a shed is found, make a grid of the area and thoroughly check the surrounding ground. If there are tracks next to the shed you should follow these tracks as long as possible in order to find the matching set.

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Old 02-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: northeast ia
Posts: 109
put in the miles, more miles more sheds- they're not behind every tree!
boneman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ankeny
Posts: 960
#12 Is misleading. I always look around for other side, but I have a half rack on trail camera that has had 1 antler for over 3 weeks!
jesserichard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:11 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NE, Iowa
Posts: 197
Yea We have found 10 sides and not a single match yet combed the areas pretty good. Also have seen half a dozen decent bucks still holding both sides might be a long month of searching same areas over and over.
maher2215 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids
Posts: 22
sheds over meat

I prefer shed hunting more than shooting a buck. I tend to shoot a doe early and then get a late muzzleloader tag. I've been hunting deer with the muzzy now for 10 yrs and have only bagged 2 bucks. Why, because I enjoy the scenery of deer walking within feet of me and I like to see how big the antlers get. I spend hours and more hrs of shed hunting come spring and now I have a helpful hand. I got a yellow lab pup this past february and have now trained him for the scent of sheds. We practice constantly and he has a gr8 nose. Most of my success does lie within pine trees, fence lines and open picked corn fields.
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