You always see articles on "how to" and "where to" shed hunt. Here is why you shouldn't shed hunt.
It seems every die hard whitetail hunter hits the woods and puts in miles for piles this time of the year, for many different reasons of course. In many ways, it is a redneck's Easter egg hunt. Finding shed antlers is a challenging sport, but oh so rewarding.
If you don't like shed hunting, or don't like the idea of becoming a better hunter and outdoorsman, then I'd like to address you. I am going to tell you exactly why you should NOT take part in an activity that seems to be growing and growing by the year. See if you can sense a little sarcasm...
1. You don't need to scout to be successful.
Do you like killing big deer or deer in general? Sure you can get lucky some times, but consistently being successful in the deer words usually requires some scouting, effort, and time in the woods during the off season. Shed hunting is a great way to get out and see areas of your property that you didn't during deer season.
Find those buck beds, find those heavily used areas that you didn't want to pressure during season, find those pinch points and funnels that you haven't been hunting.
Gain insightful information on your property that could help you land that buck next year while also finding some antlers? You can knock out two birds with one stone!
Yeah, good call, scouting and understanding your property isn't a good idea, you definitely should NOT shed hunt.
And antlers...that brings me to my next point.
2. No hunter likes antlers.
If you are anything like me, whitetail antlers are fascinating. Whether still on a buck or dropped, they are just cool to look at. The curves of the main beam, number of tines, size, and character. There is something just really neat and special about each one you stumble across.
You can learn a lot about a deer just from its antlers. Sometimes judging a ballpark range for age, it's genetic history to other deer on your property, and even its temperament sometimes. You could learn about its movement between bedding areas and food sources. Battle scars and broken tines could show that a deer is aggressive and likes the challenge of a fight.
In return, if you see him next year from the stand, rattle at him and be aggressive with your tactics and calls, and it just might pay off.
But, if you aren't like that, then of course shed hunting would be a waste of time.
Chances are if you hunt, you have a "hunting room" or "man cave" as well. Having sheds laying around to decorate would be absurd. Who would want those awesome pieces of white gold sitting there for your buddies to pick up and gawk at?
With enough miles and years, your few sheds will turn into piles that can form a lot of stories and memories.
Why not just leave them out there to lay and get eaten by squirrels? Don't you want the squirrels to just get nice and full so they sound larger when running through the leaves come November?
You are probably one of those hunters who just hates deer antlers though, so you'd better NOT shed hunt.
3. You don't care about your deer herd.
Knowing what deer survived or if any deer died on your property is useless information, you say? After running trail cams, waiting long hours in stand, and strategizing on ways to kill those target bucks, why would you want to see if he survived the long and tough winter?!
Really though, finding his sheds means there's a good chance he will be around to hunt next season, and if you've found his shed, you just gained some insight to where he was late season.
There is something very unique about finding an antler. A sense of connection, knowing that you were standing right where that buck had been. And he just dropped a piece of himself, but carried on in attempt to survive another day.
Why would a deer hunter want to know if the deer on his property survived? Just another reason you should NOT shed hunt.
4. You don't like having history with the deer you hunt.
Killing a buck you have years of history with is a big accomplishment, but you might not care about that sort of thing. Having the match set of a bucks antlers from the year or years before to sit next to that pedestal mount of your giant bow kill would be silly, right?
Deer hunting is about the journey and all the failures that lead to the success. Why on earth would you you want to bring something cool like that into your own story and history with a deer?
Many things have to come together along the way for a successful hunt to take place. The stories are awesome, and we love sharing them with others at deer camp. Having the sheds off of a buck adds an incredibly cool piece to the that story and one you will love to think back on.
I know many people don't run trail cameras, because they like the element of surprise of what might walk by while in the stand. While I can see the point, I am not one of those. Having pictures of a deer along with the sheds come together to make something really unique.
Do I have to say it again? You should NOT shed hunt.
5. Fresh air and exercise are bad for you.
Short, cold winter days are finally winding down, and you have been stuck inside waiting on spring and warmer weather. Get out and shed hunt!
"Shed hunting is a colossal waste of time." Okay, maybe you're right. Getting outside and soaking up fresh air, all while getting a lot of exercise, is waaaay overrated and would be stupid to do...
While I am sure many of these people who think it's a waste of time have more productive things to do, like watching TV and eating chips for hours, and spending tons of time scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed from the couch.
Many times, my buddies and I have put in more than 10 miles a day while shed hunting. Of course you don't have to walk that far, but it is a great way to get some exercise in some good old fashion fresh air.
If that's not the sort of thing you're in to, you should NOT shed hunt.
If you didn't catch my drift....there is no reason you should not be a shed hunter if you are a deer hunter. It is a great way to pass the time, shorten the off season, and all in all make you a better deer hunter.
The exercise you get and the antlers you find are just added bonuses in my book.
But, if you feel as if you should NOT shed hunt, that's fine. More antlers for me and the thousands of others who love it!