Shed hunting has quickly become a favorite pastime for hunters and outdoors fans alike.
Are you ready for shed hunting season? The time is upon us when the whitetails you chased all season long will shed their antlers providing you with the motivation to continue the chase.
For some, finding the shed antler of a trophy whitetail is almost as good as actually tagging it. That may sound silly, but if you have had a successful season of shed hunting the adrenaline rush and excitement of finding the shed belonging to the buck you have a relationship with...well, it is just awesome.
In order for you to have an outstanding shed hunting season we've compiled a few tips from land experts in the Midwest who spend countless hours scouring farms in search of these hidden gems.
So what are the best ways to go about finding sheds from mature bucks? It pretty much comes down to finding the bedding areas, the feeding areas and the public land with the least human foot traffic.
Have a Plan
You never want to have a shotgun approach. In order to cover every inch of your targeted area you need a grid-like pattern to walk. You will find it is easier to focus on a small area before moving on to the next. - Brady Cowden, Illinois
When deer are not feeding they are laying in bedding areas to stay out of the harsh winter elements. Given the amount of time they spend in these areas you are bound to find few sheds. - Brandon Moon, Iowa
South Facing Hillside
Bedding areas can be found in a variety of locations depending on the setup of your farm. However, if you have a south-facing slope you can bet you will find a buck or two soaking up the sun, thus a prime spot to find a shed. - Jim Reber, Iowa
Shed hunting is not a sprint. The slower you cruise the terrain the more successful you will be. Stand still, lean against a tree and scope the area for a tine sticking out from the leaves. A slow steady approach will certainly produce more sheds. - Justin Talley, Kansas
Major fence crossings are a great place to find sheds. The impact from jumping the fence will often jar the antlers loose. Locate your major fence and creek crossings on your farm and check them periodically through the late winter and early spring. - Jody Graff, Missouri
Obviously deer will flock to food sources during February and March, but the key is to shed hunt much like you would checking cameras during the deer hunting season: during the midday hours. This will help ensure you are not disrupting the natural patterns of the deer. - Jason Cleveland, Missouri
Use trail cameras to monitor your deer herd to make sure they are dropping antlers before you intrude upon their turf. Remember, you don't want to run the deer off your property before they start to shed. - Brady Cowden, Illinois
These tips will without question make you a more successful shed hunter.
One final piece of advice is to make shed hunting a family event. A few hours in the woods with your family is a perfect way to spend a Saturday! Have fun and happy hunting.