Can you find the shed antlers hiding in these photos?
The late winter and early spring are one of my favorite times of year. It's almost time for shed hunting season.
This off-season activity can teach you a lot about the animals in your area in advance of the next deer hunting season.
However, first you've got to spot that white gold on the ground.
Finding deer sheds is deceptively difficult and it took me years to start finding deer antlers on a regular basis.
One of the best shed hunting tips I can give is to train your eyes to spot them. Fortunately, through the internet, it's easier to do that than ever before.
Today I'm going to present some photos I've taken while shed hunting over the years, plus a few from social media. Some of these will be easy, others will be harder. Can you spot them all?
I only found a few antlers the shed season I took this photo. This was the best one and is the kind of find that gets a shed hunter's blood pumping!
Whenever you spot an antler, don't just rush to pick it up. Stop for a second and scan the nearby area. There could be others close by. There's three in this photo. Talk about luck!
Check your feet
Bucks spend a ton of time on food plots in the winter months. However, many hunters miss finding sheds simply because they're looking for huge tines sticking up. Sometimes, those smaller antlers are laying flat on the ground and aren't always obvious until you're standing over them.
Lighting is everything
This public land dink should be obvious here. This one was right along the trail to a bedding area.
Note the lighting coming from the back and right in this photo. It helped this shed stand out for me. It's worth noting that on my first pass, standing on the other side of it, I missed it completely because the sun was glaring off it just enough to hide it.
Old and Buried
Contrary to popular belief, not all antlers get eaten up by the squirrels each year. Some lay on the ground and slowly get covered with grass. This makes spotting them even more difficult.
Finding a shed in any sort of food source stubble is always going to be harder than woods or open country. There are just so many whitetail antler look-alikes in a spot like this.
It doesn't matter if it's corn, beans or sunflowers, spotting antlers from a big buck, let alone smaller deer, can be difficult here. I very carefully grid-searched this feeding area for over and hour and still barely spotted this one.
Eagle eyes in grass
Another one I stumbled upon on Instagram. I must admit this one got me. The second image shows where it was hiding. It makes one wonder how many antlers people walk past every year without ever knowing it.
Stubble Find Two
I didn't mention it with the first stubble find, but if you look very closely at the first photo, you can just barely see the G2 of the antler in this photo sticking up. This was an antler I did not spot until I was standing four feet from it.
Shed antler hunting is the snow is always a tough prospect. Any antlers dropped at your favorite hotspots before it started are likely covered, but antlers dropped on top of packed snow are much more obvious. This one is about half and half. Not a hard one, but not a super easy one either.
Middle of the Trail
We'll leave you with an easier one. Every year, there are some heavily used trails I walk slowly and deliberately from beginning to end. The reason for doing that is obvious here.
Did you spot them all? If so, you're well on your way to having a successful shed hunting season this year!