Shed Hunting
Travis Smola

8 of the Best States Ever for Shed Hunting

Get ready to search for some white gold, because these states offer the best chances.

When it comes to shed hunting, some states are simply better than others. Most of it has to do with deer/elk/moose density, herd health, and hunting pressure. Some of it has to do with terrain and how deer respond to the winter months. Some of it also has to do with how fast your state greens up. In most instances, Northern states are going to be superior for shed hunting simply because there is more time to look.

Bonus points go to states with overlapping species populations that allow you to seek out sheds from multiple types of animals at once. These places can make shed hunters feel like a kid in a candy store.

Today, we are going to look at some of the best states for you to burn some boot leather grab some sheds this spring.


This one is obvious for anyone who likes big whitetail sheds. Every spring, reports of big shed antlers come out of the Hawkeye State. Because Iowa is largely an agricultural state, it also makes narrowing down the search areas pretty easy. If you're looking for big whitetail antlers, it's the place to be.


There was no way we could leave a big-buck state like Kansas off this list. There's a big reason so many hunters travel there during hunting season every year, which is why you should consider this state if you're looking to find some mondo-sized whitetail sheds in the off-season.


This state has gotten a little more attention in recent years as a popular destination for shed hunters largely thanks to the internet. The hobby has gotten so popular there that the Division of Wildlife Resources now requires seekers to take an antler gathering course if you're searching from Feb. 1-April 15. Still, if you're looking for big mule deer antlers in particular, it's a state worth checking out.


The Equality State is the place to go if you're looking for variety. There aren't many locations you can go and look for whitetail, mule deer, elk and moose sheds all in one place. But parts of Wyoming definitely offer this.

Just be aware of Wyoming's regulations. They prohibit shed hunting from Jan. 1-April 30 on public lands west of the Continental Divide.


Another whitetail mecca, Nebraska is another destination spot if you're looking to pick up some true giants. If you need further proof of that, just check out Josh and Sarah Bowmar's trip there that produced a stunning 89 sheds in just four days!


This is another state that's starting to gain more attention as a shed hunting destination. In addition to a variety of sheds to search for, there's no shortage of public lands to check out. Just be sure you check local regulations because searching is prohibited before May 1 in six different counties.


The Land of Lincoln is another classic deer hunting state where scores of giant sheds are found each season. Illinois, like Iowa, is another largely agricultural state which makes zeroing in on the big sheds fairly easy.


Here's another western state in which opportunities for whitetail, mule deer and elk sheds are abundant. As a bonus, shed hunting the Centennial State comes with some incredibly beautiful scenery to enjoy at the same time. The only bummer about shed hunting in Colorado is the fact they're one of the first states to require the purchase of a shed hunting permit for some public lands.

If you're looking for the shed hunting trip of a lifetime this spring, any one of these states should fit the bill perfectly!

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels