Good Shed Hunting Leads to the Trophy Buck
by ZZ Troutski
Even though deer season is behind us, the clock turns fast. Soon the weather will once again cool and the whitetail will be back on everyone’s mind.
There are many ‘to do’ lists out there right now for the hunter. They are sorting through their gear to see what they will need come season opener, and they are purchasing a Game Sled from Hunting’s a Drag, Inc. in order to transport their game easily from the woods.
Shed hunting is also a task that many hunter’s like, a way to stay in the ‘mindset’ of the whitetail while at the same time researching and recording the best locations for next season. Searching the springtime woods for shed deer antlers is extremely popular. Adult male members of the deer family naturally shed their antlers after the breeding season to grow a new, larger set of antlers. Hunters take an interest in actively managing land for deer, and even the craft industry grows larger because the desire to decorate homes and cabins with antlers increases.
Highly successful shed hunters invest a great deal of time, and cover more ground than the amateur. Some call these experts ‘shed-magnets,’ but their tactics are actually quite simple.
The discovery of food comes first. Late-winter bucks keep full, which means the top food crops in the area are drawing in deer. Corn, soybean crops – find them and the deer antlers will be there.
From food to bedtime, the second place to search for antlers will be the spots where deer bed for the winter that offer security and cover. Slopes and valleys facing south are the main locale, seeing as that the deer can bed there and get the small amount of sunshine offered in a cold climate.
Shed hunting is not easy. Being quick about it is a must, seeing as that the longer the antlers lay on the ground the more predators (mice, porcupine, raccoons) will destroy them.
Covering a lot of ground is a must. There are prime areas out there, and creating a walking/search plan makes sense. Start with spots close to the roadways and make a circuit through fields and open areas where antlers will be easily visible. Some of the best antlers are found in thick, dense cover, but be careful when venturing into the woods. Wearing a bright orange hunter’s vest will allow you extra security. In essence – the more ground you cover the more antlers you will retrieve.
It’s also a good thing to search rough terrain or barriers, because the buck will usually rub the loose antlers against something to make them break free. Fence crossings, ditches, creeks – these are places deer will jump and can jar the antlers loose as he leaves them behind for greener pastures.
Having a well-trained dog by your side will also help a great deal. Again, think of safety! But allowing the dog to look for antlers is yet another way to keep your hunting pal happy while turning him/her into a serious shed hound.
Remember, when the season opens you are looking to find those locations with the trophy buck. So begin now. Map the areas that look to be the most beneficial, keeping in mind that whitetails are homebodies. And make sure that Game Sled is part of your gear so when you have to transport that trophy out of the woods, you can do it with absolute ease.
Source: Sportsmans Life / Baret News Wire