Hunting for Shed Deer Antlers


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.

Shed deer antlers

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.

So when?

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!


3 Replies to “Hunting for Shed Deer Antlers”

  1. I was walking along a field where i store my round bails and a stumbled over a antler. I recognized the rack from last season and knew he had survived through the winter. I looked and looked and I can not find the other antler. Anyone have any tips?

  2. Josh, in answer to your question, just keep looking the area over. They usually don’t drop both sides at once. Take the point at which you found the one and start circling away from that point. Each round you make a little larger and so on. With-in reason and some luck you will find the other side. If by chance you don’t find it at least you got some exercise. Good luck.

  3. I was pheasant hunting in Iowa on my uncles farm and he found an antler. He has a large collection form over the years. Sadly, most of the antlers he finds are in the tires of him equipment. But he is extatic when people find them on his land because his tires are very expensive. Just a thought for hunters and collectors wanting to get on the good side of a farm owner for future places to hunt.

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