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KANSAN

Shed hunting tips .....

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Lots of time folks come on here wanting some advice on how to find shed antlers. I thought I'd make this a sticky post so that anyone with questions would have a nice, easy way to look at some advice ....

FIND WINTERING AREAS

One of the best ways to get started is to find wintering areas that the deer are spending their time in. Look for where they're yarding up, and key in on the best wintertime food source available. Keep note of this spot. Be sure to have your binoculars with you, and glass for half-racked bucks. Once they start showing up, you know that shedding has started to take place.

TIMING IS KEY

After you've witnessed enough wintering areas and half-racked/bald bucks, you should have a feel for when the majority of deer drop their antlers. If you're still unsure, check with a local wildlife official or your closest DNR office. I like to stay out of prime areas until I know most are dropped - the problem with this, however, is that some folks may beat you to some antlers if you choose to wait and other shed hunters are present in the area.

PLACES TO CONCENTRATE YOUR EFFORTS

I find fewer sheds in the food source itself, but many folks find a lot there. I find mine on trails that lead from the bedding areas to the food sources. I like to look for south-facing slopes and areas with larger beds.

WALK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG ........

.....sense of confidence. You'll spend more time walking than finding shed antlers. You HAVE GOT to keep confident and don't start doubting your success. The more frustrated you get, the shorter attention span you'll have as you walk. Speaking of walking: Walk slow, and be sure to check your backtrail. Check everything that looks like a shed, even if you're sure it's not. You may just be surprised! I use what I call the "Three Inch Rule", where you don't look for any more than three inches of antler at any given time. Too many times folks expect to see the entire shed laying there but that's just not going to happen as often as you'd like. Look for any unusual curls, things that just "look out of place".

STAY HYDRATED AND BE SAFE

This may sound like a no-brainer, but carry enough water that you won't get dehydrated. Carry some snacks for energy. I like to carry miniature Snickers candy bars with me, they seem to work great. Carry a whistle with you when you go, and preferably a cell phone. Let your loved ones know where you're going.

If you follow these tips, I think you'll be more successful finding shed antlers come springtime. Each shed you find will give you memories to last an entire lifetime. Good luck and have fun!!

-Jody Hadachek

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

I seem to find sheds in areas where trees are low. Fences line are good. Find a place along the fence that deer cross. Cause jumping they jar them self and makes them fall, also jumping and hitting tree branches helps them come off also. Trails from the bedding area are good. Thanks for all the tips. I will put them to use next time!!!!

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

I've never actually used a dog to find sheds. I guess it's like anything else, getting the dog used to what it's supposed to find. I don't know a lot about training dogs, but I did see a website that offers trained shed hunting dogs for sale. I don't remember the website address, but they were expensive!!!

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

Great tips! The guys and Jody especially has given me the tips and hopes I was after. This past winter/spring I got out there and even wrote an article where I quoted Jody on his 3 inch rule! http://www.northstaroutdoors.com/articles/article.html?aid=11266

He is not kidding! You have to focus on small areas! I have learned so much here that it amazes me. You just have to get out there and walk, and walk, and walk.

I have become frustrated many times, but all it takes is one and you'll be hooked!

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Guest KSNimrod

Re: Shed hunting tips .....

It may sound funny, but from time to time I take a shed and throw it out in front of me. It helps me to start picking them out better. Kind of like when you're hunting for morel mushrooms. Once your eyes start identifying them it's easier to pick them out.

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

Thanks Kansan! I was just coming back in here to ask for some more tips! I was out a few times last year and had no luck! Hopefully I will find at least one this year!

It would also be a good idea to have my GPS Then I could mark them bedding areas! wink.gif

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

Thank you for the great tips, i have found also areas were they have jumped a big log, fences and areas where they have to duck under neith of something they seem to bump there antlers and it jars them lose, good luck in finding them everybody!

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Guest LDB

Re: Shed hunting tips .....

I've got a couple of quick tips:

1) Try to walk with the sun at your back. . It's way easier to spot antlers with the sun behind you than looking into the sun. I've got some old antlers spread out on my acreage, and it's amazing how they can be visible 100 yards away when the sun is behind you but completely disappear when you approach them into the sun from the other direction.

2. Carry a roll of duct tape in your pack. Sometimes it's wishful thinking, but on those occasions when you pick up a bunch of antlers, wrapping them up with duct tape makes them easy to carry. They won't shift around when wrapped up. I usually make the first couple wraps with the sticky side of the tape away from the antlers so no residue gets on the antlers. Duct tape can also be a quick fix for old boots, raingear, etc. I've also found Duct tape works better than band-aids on blisters.

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

Great tips LDB...believe me he is someone that does not miss many at all...I use duct tape for my heels when I golf and know that it is awesome for diffusing any friction on the feet...same idea as casting into the sun for fish...harder to look into the light for anything...one tip I do not use enough is to stop and look around once in a while...as well, once you find buck sign...rubs, buck dung, big beds....really slow down and do a lot of seeing, not looking...good luck to all...cannot wait for the new year

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

winter,spring 2005 was the most shed hunting I've done, found a half dozen sheds, four while actually looking for them and two while I was harvesting grain, suprised they did not get all busted up rom machinery. they can drop off anywhere, but fence line travel routes from bedding to feeding are the best that i've seen

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Guest bad2dabone2

Re: Shed hunting tips .....

i have always found mine about 3/4 the way up a hill on heavely travels trails.

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

I seem to find mine while turkey hunting. Found two this April while slowly hiking and locator calling for gobblers.

Of course the key might be that turkey hunting keeps me in the woods for long hours and over many days right after antlers are shed and just before green-up. If I hiked as many slow-paced miles before turkey season I might have similar luck(?).

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Re: Shed hunting tips .....

My father-in-law isn't a hunter. His favorite time during the hunting season is when I don't see deer for a while, then he sees one while feeding cows. He razzes me about it all the time. I have been shed hunting several times and always come up empty handed. Then I'll feed cows for my fil and he'll have three or four antlers in the back of the truck... I'm just not sure how he can find all of them, when he's not even looking, and I can't find one for anything.

I guess God's got a big sense of humor... :-)

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Guest bowhuntinboy308

Re: Shed hunting tips .....

check old grain sheds with holes in them. bucks knock their horns off in the shed while trying to get feed.

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Guest jason88

Re: Shed hunting tips .....

thanks for the tips, when i find some they are always half eaten by squirrels or mice.

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