Hunters hunting for shed deer antlers has become a big event in recent years. People search for antler sheds for various reasons and some of those folks are not even hunters. Some want to find shed deer antlers to make various items out of… lamps, knives, etc. And then there are those that are serious about finding shed antlers for buck tracking and management purposes.
Hunting for Sheds
Finding shed antlers (especially both sides) allows the finder to rough-score the bucks to get a good idea of current and future quality. In addition, finding a particular buck’s antlers can let you know if he’s made it through the winter or if he’s still in the area. Also, finding numerous shed antlers over years on a particular piece of property allows you to gain knowledge regarding the areas that bucks are frequenting.
Finding a Buck’s Shed Antlers
So, where are the best places to look? The basics are simple. Look for shed antlers in winter food sources, in bedding areas and along trails in between these two areas. These are the best locations to run across a shed, but timing is of the greatest importance. Start too early in the season and you’ll find nothing. Starting too late means antlers will either be partially or entirely eaten by small mammals and other rodents or vegetation will be well-grown, making antlers even more difficult to find.
Of course, antler drop varies by region and even likely even within parts of your state. I recommend keeping an eye on the deer herd or using a game camera to document when bucks are losing their head-gear in your area. Then it’s just a matter of getting out there and putting in some time. Good luck!