February 17, 2010
Bestul: First Shed of the Season!
By Scott Bestul
Any hardcore shed-head will know by reading this title that I am not a member of their clan. I know some diehard shed guys, and many of them are already well into double-digit finds for the year. I marked my first antler this weekend, and it will probably be among the relative handful from this year’s collection.
Still, the horn (and yes I call sheds “horns” even though I know they’re actually “antlers”) was a special one. For starters, I’ve been battling some sickness the last few weeks, which has basically kept me out of the woods. We’re also having a serious winter in Minnesota, and the weather has forced me indoors even when I’ve felt perky. So it just felt good to stretch my legs for a short walk on one of the farms I hunt on Saturday. Shed hunting was my excuse to go; mainly I just wanted some cold air in my nostrils on a sunny winter day.
I had my golden pup, Lucky, along. I’ve been tossing him sheds since he moved into our house five months ago, in hopes that I can add “shed dog” to his resume some day. Lucky got a kick out of retrieving this horn for me, but when I planted it for him to find later, he was clueless. Well, the season is young—for me at least—and we both clearly need more practice. It’s not bad for the first shed of the season, and the more I look at it, I think I have this buck on trail cam last fall. While I’m hunting up that pic, I’ll see if I can find another way to get Lucky excited about antlers before our next jaunt. Any advice?