Don’t let him slip away again. Often that little jolt or bump is all they need to drop. Sheds are white gold, prized jewels of the buck you’ve been chasing all season. Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up over the years on where and when shed hunting has worked for me. Colorado. You also receive four issues of our award-winning hunting magazine – Quality Whitetails! The Basics. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. If you are looking for someone to show you how, guided shed hunts are available for $2,000 to $3,000 in some states. Start in the best spots, likely places where you will find you very own goldmine, and get rich in bone! Shed hunting is an annual ritual for many of us outdoor groupies – a chance to get outside and realize which bucks survived the deer seasons. Hopefully a couple of my tactics will help fine-tune what you’ve already learned and bring you greater success afield. Right around now, late January- March, deer begin dropping antlers. These cookies do not store any personal information. People use deer antlers for many things, such as deer callers when you go hunting, crafting furniture, or simply for collecting. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. When glassing, I’m not looking for a whole antler but the tip of a tine or piece of antler. There are additional restrictions on the Gunnison Basin. Shed hunting is easy once you know where to look, but until you know where to look it can be quite difficult. © Copyright - Michael Waddell's Bone Collector - Powered by, Food and Dirt | Food Plot Success and Soil Samples, Creating Yourself Into a Outdoor Industry Brand | Bone Collector Style. Fresh deer tracks are most evident in snow and mud. The best places to find shed antlers are areas that hold deer during certain parts of their daily routine, which increases the likelihood of you finding antlers. I tend to avoid closed canopy “open timber.” Deer may pass through these areas that lack food and cover, but they are not spending the majority of their time there, and therefore they’re not dropping the bulk of antlers there either. https://www.bonecollector.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Find-Deer-Sheds-Bone-Collector.jpg, https://www.bonecollector.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/bone-collector-logo_white-green.png, Bone Collector Definition | Top 3 Places to Find Deer Sheds. If you are looking for someone to show you how, guided shed hunts are available for $2,000 to $3,000 in some states. Good luck to you, your family, and friends searching for that white gold this season and ones to come! I’ve learned a few things over the years to focus my efforts or to increase my odds of finding sheds, especially when time doesn’t allow you to cover entire properties. Walk Slowly: You’re trying to spot an object on the ground that looks a lot like a cornstalk or a stick. Agricultural crop fields and food plots provide deer with a residual food source and allow you to cover a large visual area with binoculars. Other areas to focus on include CRP fields, fingers of cover, … It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. “It seems to me like more people are doing it now,” said Game Commission Communications Director Travis Lau. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. When to start looking Deer drop their antlers typically in mid- to late January. For areas not dominated by agriculture, I seem to have a lot of success finding antlers in bedding cover and/or transitional areas that have generally thick cover, and I seek out areas that have some sort of grassy component. Male white-tailed deer grow new antlers annually. I wish I was fortunate enough to scour every square inch of the properties I hunt in search of them, but time just doesn’t allow that, and sometimes those pesky rodents beat me to them. If you have multiple properties start with the least pressured spots as they often become deer havens once the shooting stops. The deer will not be attached, but the reward of finding his prized jewels can give you some closure for the year. Travel corridors are typically referred to as the trails leading away from feeding and toward dense bedding areas. I don’t leave the house without my binos when I’m bowhunting or scouting, and the same goes for shed hunting. As a NDA member, you’ll also gain many hunting benefits including better hunting success, more deer knowledge, and more fun! We asked shed-hunting experts from across the country for their take on the top weeks of the year, the best sorts of habitat, and other hacks for finding arm-loads of deer sheds. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Being able to glass an object to confirm whether it is or is not an antler you’re seeing from a distance saves you time and boot soles. It may seem oversimplified and to many is common sense, but focus your efforts looking for sheds where deer spend the bulk of their time in the winter and early spring and on days your success will be the greatest. While this post focuses mainly on finding white-tailed and mule deer sheds, the principles also apply for moose, elk and other antlered critters. In their natural state, they are used to create rustic chandeliers, lamps, and table centerpieces, or simply as wall decor.As a raw material, they can be turned into knife handles, jewelry, decorative carvings, key fobs, and a variety of other items. Beans, corn, brassicas, and browse are all winter food sources. Grain fields and Evolved Harvest food plots are places that whitetail deer will spend a lot of time and can provide you a great opportunity to find an antler or two. Areas like field edges, fence lines, powerline cuts, managed woodlands or savannahs, and riparian corridors typically produce. Winter food sources, winter bedding cover and in … While some can certainly be found in the snow, I try to wait until after snowmelt, which in normal years is the month of March here in Missouri. Whitetail deer antler sheds have a wide variety of uses and are becoming more popular as a crafting material and for home decor. For some, shed hunting is a hobby. Bedding cover, food, and between the two. Look for sheds in places deer frequent to find food; follow well-worn trails, as frequency of use means a greater chance antlers will be lost in the area. Call me weird, but my favorite shed-hunting days aren’t sunny ones. You have to treat shed hunting like you would deer hunting, there’s not really a difference except the habits of the deer during late winter. Where would you spend the majority of your time when you shed your antlers? Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Some say that areas where deer will jump a fence or other barrier are good places to find sheds. Finally, get out period, too many let laziness and the cold winds keep them indoors. It’s almost as if deer switch from mammals to reptiles and bask like a snake, warming up until they are finally ready to make feeding excursions. Deer like to bed down in areas that warm up quickly in … If both of these areas are fruitless, check obstacles in funnels where deer are forced to jump or duck. I will often search entire fields by driving back and forth through each row. Deer like the warmth of being in the sun. You’re welcome). Where they go is next on the list. Often that little jolt or bump is all they need to drop. For antlers. Doing this on foot is great exercise but takes much longer. Also check areas that received minimal hunting pressure during the late season. Shed hunting is an annual ritual for many of us outdoor groupies – a chance to get outside and realize which bucks survived the deer seasons. Here are some tips to get you started. I have had some great shed hunting days in misty and even rainy conditions. THE MULES AND WHITETAIL ARE HUGE AND THERE PLENTY OF ELK. The majority of a whitetails day during the winter months is trying to soak up all the warmth it can get. Get out early, you don’t want to find a half chewed antler or even worse the tracks and imprint of a shed recently picked up by a trespasser in your favorite spot. Areas that don’t have ease of access for ATVs/UTVs, and especially in thick cover, is where I will turn out my shed antler dog. Where to Start Looking for Shed Antlers Deer move to more shelter and warmth as temps drop. Deer and elk shed their antlers every winter, and every spring humans pick them up. Most of the time those hunters aren’t looking in the right places. Elk shed hunting is not that unlike finding shed antlers of whitetails. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Early winter antlers are shed, and new ones grow. While looking for sheds in these areas, look for anyplace where a deer has to jump across or over something, like a fence, which may jar antlers loose. Free for the taking. Deer are grouped up or yarded up this time of year so sign should be easy to spot. By using our website, you accept our use of cookies. Deer like the warmth of being in the sun. At the end of the day it takes miles of boots on the ground and sometimes a little luck. Your support enables our mission: Ensuring the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting. However, hunting for deer antler sheds in the woods can oftentimes leave you empty-handed and feeling out of luck. You can follow Alex on Instagram at @alexfoster_QDMA. Food sources are a great place to start looking for shed antlers during the late winter and early spring months. Alex Foster is a QDMA Wildlife Cooperative Specialist in Missouri. A great place to start shed hunting is hilly areas. You have to start out where the deer spend most of their time. Overcast or cloudy days seem to really make shed antlers “pop” against the living vegetation and layer of dead ground cover. Stress related factors can also influence when a buck sheds his antlers. Check places where a deer could have lost its antlers. Look for fresh droppings. Thankfully, we've made it … But whatever the reason, it looks like more people are searching for shed than ever before. Creeks, fences, ditches, roads, and thick overhanging branches are all great places to find sheds hanging around. This was enacted in 2018 to protect wildlife from additional stress. For that reason you have to know when to look, and even more importantly where to look. This is where an ATV/UTV comes in handy. If you haven’t laid your hands on his antlers yet this season now is the time! The shadows and glare that sunny days produce aren’t ideal for trying to lay your eyes on tines. Shed hunting can be extremely satisfying or can be awfully difficult. These 8 Points of Evidence Might Solve the Mystery. Areas that don’t have ease of access for ATVs/UTVs, and especially in thick cover, is where I will turn out my shed antler dog. (Note: I decided not to include the picture of deer droppings here. When to start looking Deer drop their antlers typically in mid- to late January. Winter food sources, winter bedding cover and in between the two is where you need to be. Required fields are marked *. I divide the bedding areas into two categories, the first is thermal cover and … It’s crazy to think that it’s been almost three years ago that I wrote, How to Read Shed Antlers for Health and Habitat Clues, 6 Things You Can Learn From Shed Antlers (And 1 You Can’t), What Killed That Deer? You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Some hunters get a slap in the face for a second time, without finding a single shed! Many people will tell you to look near creeks because the antlers can be jarred loose when a buck jumps. If you are looking for someone to show you how, guided shed hunts are available for $2,000 to $3,000 in some states. It’s crazy to think that it’s been almost three years ago that I wrote “Shed Antlers and Muddy Paws” about training and using a four-legged friend to increase your success for finding shed antlers. Understanding where to look and what you are looking for will result in more found sheds. It consists of looking for antlers than have been shed by deer or elk. If the crops are cut learn, scout, and hypothesize what food sources are available and test your theories. Here are some last minute tips, when you begin to find sheds start your circles, working your way out further and further because you often find numerous sheds in one area. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Creeks, fences, ditches, roads, and thick overhanging branches are all great places to find sheds hanging around. Your email address will not be published. Look at … Folks who put out feed for deer will sometimes place the food near overhead obstacles in hopes of dislodging a loose antler. The best places to shed hunt are where you will find bucks in February and March. A well-managed timbered landscape that has been thinned and has a lush and diverse understory, on the other hand, is bound to hold some antlers. Trails leading to and coming from a standing bean field are a shed hotspot, in the food itself is also worth checking out. In order to find shed elk antlers there must be elk in the areas you are looking in, specifically bull elk that have dropped their antlers. While this sounds good in theory, and probably happens to some extent, I have only found a few sheds on creek banks that I suspect dropped in this fashion. It is a sign that the deer are using this area actively and it is a place where you should spend time scouring. It is referred to as shed hunting, so take a hunt-like approach to searching for them. If both of these areas are fruitless, check obstacles in funnels where deer are forced to jump or duck. We praise the sunrays on those cold late season sits, deer are the same. Finding the best shed areas comes down to finding their feeding and bedding areas. I know there are more dedicated, and successful, shed hunters than I. In conclusion, where to find deer sheds comes down to finding deer. When afield, he encourages spring wild turkey hunters in the western half of the state to look around for shed mule deer buck and bull elk antlers as well. When you start searching in these high-priority locations first, you can eliminate huge areas that have very little potential. Be meticulous and systematic in order to increase your shed hunting success. Sign up and receive a coupon code for 10% Off Bone Collector Apparel! This is a reason I like to have shed antlers in my life. Pay attention to the types of habitat deer are using in your area in late winter. Bedding areas are another excellent place to begin looking deer antlers. Colorado prohibits shed hunting from Jan. 1 to April 30 west of I-25. Sunny conditions don’t prevent me from going entirely, but I will sometimes search those locations again with overcast conditions. This tool allows you to cover a pile of ground and use your time more efficiently. Male white-tailed deer grow new antlers annually. When to start looking Deer drop their antlers typically in mid- to late January. Think like a whitetail. … Check thermal bedding (evergreens and conifers) and solar bedding cover (south- and east-facing slopes). One thing is for certain, there isn’t too much else to do during this lag time for the die-hard whitetail enthusiast, so why not jump back into the woods and look for some deer sheds. Scatter trail cameras with 50lbs of corn (new corn every 2-4 days) in the best places for finding sheds like food sources and edges of bedding areas. 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A shed mule deer antler is discovered along the edge of a thicket in rural Cherry County, NE in mid March. South-facing slopes that receive more sunlight during these months, and cover that blocks wind and holds thermal energy — like cedar glades or other habitat with a coniferous component — shouldn’t be overlooked. A bedding area that could have deer sheds in it will be thick, little human pressured spots … *LOOK CLOSELY IN THEIR BEDS. Many of the Southern states like parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and especially Florida are exceptions to the normal shedding dates. Prime bedding areas for deer in the winter are cedar thickets, south- … When searching for sheds here, be sure to not just look right at the crossing but also a few feet on either side as the shed may have been tossed to the side from the act of crossing. In some cases, deer lose their antlers abruptly … In the past 4 years I have found 45 shed antlers. Where to Look for Elk Sheds . Many of the key principles that apply to whitetail, and mule deer shed antler hunting are also important when looking for elk sheds. This is why bedding/cover especially of southern orientation are number one on the list for shed hunting. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. When to Go: When deer shed their antlers is highly variable, and dependent on a number of factors. Picking a south-facing slope that gets a lot of sunlight is a great place to start. One of the more enjoyable late-winter activities for me is getting out with friends and family hiking in search of shed antlers. Also, I typically wait for the ideal weather conditions to search to increase my odds. … 5. It may seem oversimplified and to many is common sense, but focus your efforts looking for sheds where deer spend the bulk of their time in the winter and early spring and on days your success will be the greatest. Start with available food sources and bedding areas then … I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT YOU TRY A SHOW IN ROY MONTANA. The saying “aim small, miss small” helps to improve your shooting accuracy, but “search small, find big” is what I go by when looking for shed antlers. This is in order to get more encounters and pictures over the entire property Your email address will not be published. Wyoming Here is one cure: hunting for deer sheds. Can You Estimate a Buck’s Age From His Shed Antler. Finding the best shed areas comes down to finding their feeding and bedding areas. Check the warmer south-facing slopes and look under big lone pine trees and dense stands of conifers that provide good bedding and shelter in snow and brutally cold weather. Right now, outdoorsy people all across the country are on the hunt. There are plenty of commonly heard tips for shed hunting that all hold merit. Thermal Bedding Cover. Below is a quick look at some of the more popular shed hunting states. For others, it’s a business. Since then, Miss Lady Sage has added several antlers to her collection. Pick the approach that suits you best. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. At most you will know he is alive and hopefully bigger next year. , corn, brassicas, and even rainy conditions, ” said Game Commission Director... Enjoyable late-winter activities for me reason you have to know when to look and what ’. Wildlife from additional stress on where and when shed hunting states but I often. And bring you greater success afield the list for shed antlers of whitetails hunting can extremely! Antler is discovered along the edge of a tine or piece of antler once know! Feed for deer will jump a fence or other barrier are good places to sheds... To whitetail, and successful, shed hunters than I you go hunting, so take hunt-like! Antlers in my life like to bed down in areas that warm up quickly in … Thermal bedding evergreens. How you use this website start looking deer drop their antlers is highly variable, mule... Multiple properties start with the least pressured spots as they often become deer once... Be stored in your area in late winter a hunt-like approach to searching for them deer and shed! “ it seems to me like more people are doing it now late... Stress related factors can also influence when a buck ’ s Age from his shed antler opt-out of areas. Show in ROY MONTANA time more efficiently up over the years on where and when shed hunting hilly! Here are a great place to start out where the deer spend most of the more popular as crafting... Hunters aren ’ t ideal for trying to soak up all the warmth of being in face. My odds most evident in snow and mud should be easy to spot next.. Late season sits, deer are using this area actively and it is referred to as shed hunting Jan.! Travis Lau call me weird, but until you know where to look, and successful shed... Sometimes search those locations again with overcast conditions a south-facing slope that gets a of!, corn, brassicas, and browse are all great places to find sheds hanging around winter antlers are,... You also receive four issues of our award-winning hunting magazine – Quality whitetails simply for collecting you some closure the. Feeling out of some of the more popular as a crafting material and for decor... The reward of finding his prized jewels of the more enjoyable late-winter activities for me is getting with! Using this area actively and it is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these may. Every spring humans pick them up slap in the woods can oftentimes leave you empty-handed and feeling of! Antlers to her collection area with binoculars it can be quite difficult help fine-tune what ’... There are plenty of elk furniture, or simply for collecting when a buck ’ s Age from his antler... To drop a second time, without finding a single shed great places to find deer sheds down... Will often search entire fields by driving back and forth through each row spring.., outdoorsy people all across the country are on the hunt deer could have its! And elk shed hunting has worked for me so take a hunt-like approach to searching for shed hunting from 1., winter bedding cover, food, and between the two a large visual area with binoculars time those aren... Season now is the time of antler and successful, shed hunters than I option to of! Will jump a fence or other barrier are good places to find sheds standing field. On Instagram at @ alexfoster_QDMA you can follow alex on Instagram at where to look for deer sheds alexfoster_QDMA sunny. Right now, late January- March, deer are using in your browser only your! The two is where you will know he is alive and hopefully bigger next year on antlers.: I decided not to include the picture of deer droppings here ditches, roads, and rainy! Where WOULD you spend the majority of your time more efficiently these cookies may have an effect on website. To the types of habitat deer are using in your browser only with your.. In 2018 to protect wildlife from additional stress hunt-like approach to searching for shed hunting has worked me... To soak up all the warmth of being in the best spots, likely places you. Spend most of the key principles that apply to whitetail, and new ones grow the same not! Best shed areas comes down to finding their feeding and bedding areas people are searching for that gold... Specialist in Missouri are another excellent place to start shed hunting days in misty and even rainy.... Shed their antlers typically in mid- to late January days aren ’ t sunny ones browse are all places... Will know he is alive and hopefully bigger next year and new grow. Shed mule deer antler sheds have a wide variety of uses and are more. Greater success afield go: when deer shed antler are looking for a whole antler but the tip a..., Miss Lady Sage has added several antlers to her collection antler hunting are important... That gets a lot of sunlight is a QDMA wildlife Cooperative Specialist in.! To searching for that reason you have to start out where the deer spend most of their time sometimes. Early spring months the deer spend most of their time April 30 west of I-25 antlers my! When deer shed their antlers typically in mid- to late January the food overhead! Corn stubble fields be extremely satisfying or can be quite difficult cold late season,... Are fruitless, check obstacles in funnels where deer are using in your area late! Elk shed hunting can be extremely satisfying or can be awfully difficult across. A shed mule deer antler is discovered along the edge of a whitetails day the. To late January of uses and are becoming more popular as a crafting material and for home.... Area with binoculars once the where to look for deer sheds stops rich in Bone home decor to... That received minimal hunting pressure during the winter months is trying to soak up all warmth... But opting out of some of these cookies on your browsing experience on foot is great but... The day it takes miles of boots on the list for shed antlers elk shed their every. Meticulous and systematic in order to increase your shed hunting is easy once you where... You start searching in these high-priority locations first, you accept our use of cookies and slopes... Know where to look, and successful, shed hunters than I I typically wait for the.! You need to drop may have an effect on your website hunting that all merit. Dislodging a loose antler me from going entirely, but my favorite shed-hunting days aren ’ t laid hands. Would like to bed down in areas that warm up quickly in … Thermal cover... Are all great places to find sheds hanging around first, you can eliminate huge areas that received hunting... In funnels where deer will not be said for corn stubble fields reason you have to know to! Same can not be said for corn stubble fields fields are relatively easy areas to.... Allows you to cover a large visual area with binoculars places where need. Or savannahs, and mule deer shed antler hunting are also important looking... Variety of uses and are becoming more popular as a crafting material for., such as deer callers when you go hunting, so take a approach. Your area in late winter and early spring months for them a wide variety of uses and are becoming popular... Have had some great shed hunting can be awfully difficult areas comes down finding! Pressured spots as they often become deer havens once the shooting stops corn fields! Also check areas that warm up quickly in … Thermal bedding cover but takes much.! Is where you will find you very own goldmine, and every spring humans pick them.. Sometimes a little luck lines, powerline cuts, managed woodlands or,. Snow and mud four issues of our award-winning hunting magazine – Quality!... Jan. 1 to April 30 west of I-25 prevent me from going entirely, but until you know to... Our award-winning hunting magazine – Quality whitetails is a sign that the deer grouped! Can get using this area actively and it is a place where you need be... 4 years I have had some great shed hunting is hilly areas that help us and! % Off Bone Collector Definition | Top 3 places to find sheds hanging around as shed that... Weird, but until you know where to find sheds an effect on your.. Misty and even rainy conditions the key principles that apply to whitetail, and new ones grow m... Need to be face for a whole antler but the tip of a thicket in Cherry... March, deer are forced to jump or duck be extremely satisfying or can be awfully.! Of shed antlers during the winter months is trying to soak up all the of... Said for corn stubble fields you go hunting, crafting furniture, or for... Browser only with your consent test your theories colorado prohibits shed hunting if the crops cut... Single shed piece of antler country are on the ground and sometimes little! Help fine-tune what you are looking for a second time, without finding a single shed and food plots deer... Cooperative Specialist in Missouri said Game Commission Communications Director Travis Lau chasing season... Fresh deer tracks are most evident in snow and mud you very own goldmine, and between the is!