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Sharing Sheds for the Right Reasons

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January 21, 2011

Sharing Sheds for the Right Reasons

By Scott Bestul

My friend Josh shot a very nice buck during this year’s late muzzleloader season. It was a buck he knew well, from numerous trail camera photos and several encounters over the last couple of seasons. Josh’s buck was a fine, mature animal and one that any hunter would be proud to tag.

Not long ago Josh mentioned that he knew a neighboring landowner had the matched set of shed antlers from the same buck, one year previous to Josh’s harvest. “I was thinking of asking him if I could have the sheds, or at least letting him know I was interested in them if he ever wanted to get rid of them,” Josh told me. “I’m just not sure how to approach him with that.” My first thought was “Well, that’s simple, just go over and ask him!” But that is based on the knowledge that, had Josh asked me the same favor, I'd give him the horns in a heartbeat. I love finding sheds, but if it would mean a lot for a hunter to have one (or two) as a further totem to the deer he killed, I’d be honored to give them to him.

Yet when I posed the situation to some of my buddies, their responses weren’t nearly so immediate. Well, scratch that; one bonafide shed-nut simply said, “He could ask all he wants, I wouldn’t give them up. I worked hard to find those sheds, and I’m keeping every one I find.” Others hee-hawed around; musing over whether the hunter was a truly good guy, it would depend on the size of the sheds, or hinting that they might part with the antlers for a little cash. I realized in a hurry that what seemed simple to me was anything but…

Comments (23)

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from Whackdaddy wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Two years ago, I forked over a set of sheds to a guy who ended up killing the buck on our property. He kind of looked at me like I was weird and never said thanks. These things mean more to some than others I guess.

Anyway, yes. Knowing how much that would mean to me, I'd give the hunter the sheds. Generosity is a good seed that reaps all kinds of rewards in the deer woods.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

As hard as the darn things are to find, I can understand the other side, but in the situation mentioned i'd like to think i'd give'm to him. If it was a kid, i'd definetly give'm to him.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I would think I'd give them up. I don't put sheds quite on the same pride level as from a deer I hunted.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'd like to say that I would give him the sheds. That just adds to the animal's story, and you're not refered to as the "insert four letter word"-ing neighbor when the story is told.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'll cite two shed hunters that I know: A good friend of mine used to shed hunt in IL and always bartered them to a taxidermist for discounts. My cousin shed hunts in ON all the time and his house is littered with them. Now if the neighbor is like my buddy he would give them over without even thinking about it. On the other hand if the neighbor is like my cousin, you'd have to pry them out of his cold dead hands.
So I guess what I'm saying is what you already know, it really depends on the persons attitude toward the subject.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

In Josh's situation if I was the neighbor and you were nice enough, I believe I would give them to you. If nothing else if the guy likes sheds, maybe a trade would be in order for one's Josh has found.
But like my Dad always told me, "the answer's no if you don't ask!"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER247365 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Seems kinda presumptuous to assume one would just "give over" something that they might value as highly as the buck itself. Would the friend give the buck over to one who has collected the sheds of that particular buck for the last few years? Many time both spend long hours in the woods searching for their "prize". In many places sheds have been known to bring a pretty penny.
You could probably talk to the neighbor and ask what he would want in return for the sheds, If he was willing to split with them. If not those are his to enjoy. Too many times ones assume that when they get the deer they've been hunting, they automatically are entitled to whatever is related to it.
Even if my 8 yr old was the one that shot the buck I wouldn't think any less of the person if they didn't want to part with the sheds. A nice photo with both of the successful hunters would be just as good.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

i think in this situation he would give them up.

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from Phil1227 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I would give them up in a heart beat, if the person asked nice, I enjoy shed hunting but I have enough sheds that giving away a set or to would not hurt the collection, it just makes room for new ones.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nitrojoe wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

No one has ever offered me the previous years shed antlers from a buck I shot, but it's really hard to find those buttons. lol

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I would expect (demand?)a case of beer in return.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I would simply tell the neighbor the story about shooting the buck and tell him that I'd like to match the previous shed set to it and ask what he would like for them.

He's your neighbor, and obviously appreciates deer too. So whether I made the deal or not, I'd hand him a venison steak and a copy of a picture of the deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowhunter73 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

When I find sheds and somebody shoots the buck I don't ask for the rack and they shouldnt ask for the sheds without money, or SHED HUNTING RIGHTS as a collateral.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from neuman23 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I have a friend thats a die hard shed hunter. When one of his neighbors harvest bucks that he has had sheds for the last couple of seasons, he'll trade them for a bottle of whiskey or something similar. I think thats a fair trade.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from casestevenson wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

i think i's really give and take, but i believe offering money for the shed is pretty fair. it kind of shows that you respect the time and effort put in to finding the shed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Christopher Spangler wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I guess I'm a differnt kind of person then most. There are very few things I own that I'm that attached to. If he came up to me of course I would give them up. I know this guy we'll call him J. J shot a awesome buck they he never found. I'm talking he looked for days and days that progressed into years. A couple of years ago his buddy came across the skull intack, this buddy called him and him to come look at it. J was within 25 yards and knew it was the deer he's lost. Know where that skull is now? With J's buddy, knowing that J had shot it he never gave it up, just kept it. Needless to say there is some tention there. I guess what I'm getting at is the days of old are gone, neighbors are neighborly anymore. Shame too, the neighboring property to me has some great deer......

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JOHN ANDERSON wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

YOU reap what you sew...I admitt Im a shed addict but I'd fork em over.Just good policy.its the finding thats fun.Spreading the wealth around never hurt me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I asked a friend if he could get me antler and he said it was 4 bucks a pound from the deer farm. I like to make stuff out of deer antler, so any rack that falls into my hands is likely to get chopped up for raw materials. To me it is like "Woods Ivory" and antler often inspires my creativity, I have made everything from short starters (for muzzleloading) to knife handles, buttons and netsuke. I realize actually making things out of one's prized sheds is heresy to some, but to each their own...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim Berardi wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I've been deer hunting for 35 years & shed hunting for over 20. I have never been fortunate enough to harvested a buck I had both sides from but have given 3 complete sets of sheds(no strings attached)to hunters that harvested the bucks later. 2 of those hunters I had never even met before. There is getting to be way too much greed/jealousy in the deer hunting circle particularly when it comes to trophy size antlers. The antis just love it when they see us being divided among ourselves. Due to a low back injury I used a crossbow in place I my longbow this Fall & harvested my largest buck to date-boy did I get a lot of negative responses from certain bow hunters some of which I thought were my friends. They were just probably jealous anyway. Remember what goes around........ It's better to give than receive anyway!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hobob wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'd just give the guy a picture of the deer to go with his sheds and leave it at that. I wouldn't care as much for the sheds, they would have more meaning to the guy that found them. It would be nice to know where he found them though and would make a cool conversation.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sinkingrocket wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

If the neighbor offered to give them up then that would be great. But, if I shot the deer and have it mounted on my wall, I don't feel any need to have the sheds. I have the latest and greatest and my neighbor would have a nice set of sheds of his own.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter365 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Me and my son have shed hunted hard all over for years and have just a handful to show for it. I hunt 6 properties but only found 1 small shed on any of them. I had a place in KS to shedhunt and we found some but now its worthless. So many people sell them anymore that shed poaching is worse than deer poaching. Most of the sheds I have I had to buy or beg for which is not many. Needless to say after what it has taken me to obtain a few it would be very difficult to part with any of them, even the chewed up weathered ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Newt wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'm not much of a shed hunter, and never have been. That said, I'd give the guy any shed I had found if he did nothing more than ask nicely and knowing that what I had was previously on his deer. In the woods, I'd much rather see the living than the shed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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from nitrojoe wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

No one has ever offered me the previous years shed antlers from a buck I shot, but it's really hard to find those buttons. lol

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Whackdaddy wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Two years ago, I forked over a set of sheds to a guy who ended up killing the buck on our property. He kind of looked at me like I was weird and never said thanks. These things mean more to some than others I guess.

Anyway, yes. Knowing how much that would mean to me, I'd give the hunter the sheds. Generosity is a good seed that reaps all kinds of rewards in the deer woods.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JOHN ANDERSON wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

YOU reap what you sew...I admitt Im a shed addict but I'd fork em over.Just good policy.its the finding thats fun.Spreading the wealth around never hurt me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim Berardi wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I've been deer hunting for 35 years & shed hunting for over 20. I have never been fortunate enough to harvested a buck I had both sides from but have given 3 complete sets of sheds(no strings attached)to hunters that harvested the bucks later. 2 of those hunters I had never even met before. There is getting to be way too much greed/jealousy in the deer hunting circle particularly when it comes to trophy size antlers. The antis just love it when they see us being divided among ourselves. Due to a low back injury I used a crossbow in place I my longbow this Fall & harvested my largest buck to date-boy did I get a lot of negative responses from certain bow hunters some of which I thought were my friends. They were just probably jealous anyway. Remember what goes around........ It's better to give than receive anyway!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hobob wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'd just give the guy a picture of the deer to go with his sheds and leave it at that. I wouldn't care as much for the sheds, they would have more meaning to the guy that found them. It would be nice to know where he found them though and would make a cool conversation.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

As hard as the darn things are to find, I can understand the other side, but in the situation mentioned i'd like to think i'd give'm to him. If it was a kid, i'd definetly give'm to him.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'll cite two shed hunters that I know: A good friend of mine used to shed hunt in IL and always bartered them to a taxidermist for discounts. My cousin shed hunts in ON all the time and his house is littered with them. Now if the neighbor is like my buddy he would give them over without even thinking about it. On the other hand if the neighbor is like my cousin, you'd have to pry them out of his cold dead hands.
So I guess what I'm saying is what you already know, it really depends on the persons attitude toward the subject.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

In Josh's situation if I was the neighbor and you were nice enough, I believe I would give them to you. If nothing else if the guy likes sheds, maybe a trade would be in order for one's Josh has found.
But like my Dad always told me, "the answer's no if you don't ask!"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WATCHINDEER247365 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Seems kinda presumptuous to assume one would just "give over" something that they might value as highly as the buck itself. Would the friend give the buck over to one who has collected the sheds of that particular buck for the last few years? Many time both spend long hours in the woods searching for their "prize". In many places sheds have been known to bring a pretty penny.
You could probably talk to the neighbor and ask what he would want in return for the sheds, If he was willing to split with them. If not those are his to enjoy. Too many times ones assume that when they get the deer they've been hunting, they automatically are entitled to whatever is related to it.
Even if my 8 yr old was the one that shot the buck I wouldn't think any less of the person if they didn't want to part with the sheds. A nice photo with both of the successful hunters would be just as good.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Phil1227 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I would give them up in a heart beat, if the person asked nice, I enjoy shed hunting but I have enough sheds that giving away a set or to would not hurt the collection, it just makes room for new ones.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowhunter73 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

When I find sheds and somebody shoots the buck I don't ask for the rack and they shouldnt ask for the sheds without money, or SHED HUNTING RIGHTS as a collateral.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Newt wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'm not much of a shed hunter, and never have been. That said, I'd give the guy any shed I had found if he did nothing more than ask nicely and knowing that what I had was previously on his deer. In the woods, I'd much rather see the living than the shed.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I would think I'd give them up. I don't put sheds quite on the same pride level as from a deer I hunted.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I'd like to say that I would give him the sheds. That just adds to the animal's story, and you're not refered to as the "insert four letter word"-ing neighbor when the story is told.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

i think in this situation he would give them up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I would simply tell the neighbor the story about shooting the buck and tell him that I'd like to match the previous shed set to it and ask what he would like for them.

He's your neighbor, and obviously appreciates deer too. So whether I made the deal or not, I'd hand him a venison steak and a copy of a picture of the deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from neuman23 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I have a friend thats a die hard shed hunter. When one of his neighbors harvest bucks that he has had sheds for the last couple of seasons, he'll trade them for a bottle of whiskey or something similar. I think thats a fair trade.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from casestevenson wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

i think i's really give and take, but i believe offering money for the shed is pretty fair. it kind of shows that you respect the time and effort put in to finding the shed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Christopher Spangler wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I guess I'm a differnt kind of person then most. There are very few things I own that I'm that attached to. If he came up to me of course I would give them up. I know this guy we'll call him J. J shot a awesome buck they he never found. I'm talking he looked for days and days that progressed into years. A couple of years ago his buddy came across the skull intack, this buddy called him and him to come look at it. J was within 25 yards and knew it was the deer he's lost. Know where that skull is now? With J's buddy, knowing that J had shot it he never gave it up, just kept it. Needless to say there is some tention there. I guess what I'm getting at is the days of old are gone, neighbors are neighborly anymore. Shame too, the neighboring property to me has some great deer......

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I asked a friend if he could get me antler and he said it was 4 bucks a pound from the deer farm. I like to make stuff out of deer antler, so any rack that falls into my hands is likely to get chopped up for raw materials. To me it is like "Woods Ivory" and antler often inspires my creativity, I have made everything from short starters (for muzzleloading) to knife handles, buttons and netsuke. I realize actually making things out of one's prized sheds is heresy to some, but to each their own...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sinkingrocket wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

If the neighbor offered to give them up then that would be great. But, if I shot the deer and have it mounted on my wall, I don't feel any need to have the sheds. I have the latest and greatest and my neighbor would have a nice set of sheds of his own.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter365 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Me and my son have shed hunted hard all over for years and have just a handful to show for it. I hunt 6 properties but only found 1 small shed on any of them. I had a place in KS to shedhunt and we found some but now its worthless. So many people sell them anymore that shed poaching is worse than deer poaching. Most of the sheds I have I had to buy or beg for which is not many. Needless to say after what it has taken me to obtain a few it would be very difficult to part with any of them, even the chewed up weathered ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

I would expect (demand?)a case of beer in return.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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