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Zen and the Art of Shed Hunting

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April 29, 2009

Zen and the Art of Shed Hunting

By Scott Bestul

Lots of deer hunters—myself included—complain that they aren’t good at finding sheds. After two of my buddies contacted me this week with more shed-hunting success stories, I have come to a simple, yet profound, conclusion; we are just trying too hard. Want to really start knocking down sheds? Start searching for something else.

As proof, a local buddy found his best shed of the season while doing field work on his farm. And the photo above was sent to me by an Illinois amigo, who found some dandy antlers while he and his wife were out seeking morel mushrooms. I don’t know about other areas of the country, but here in the Midwest the morel season is highly anticipated. Morels are not only delicious, but hunting them is fun. Even better, motivation is easy to come by: Even if you detest eating fungi, you can sell your ‘shrooms for great money (about $10 per pound last spring) to restaurants, grocery stores, or wholesalers.

And of course you will find antlers. Why wouldn’t you? You are in the woods, with your eyes on the ground. You’re taking your time. And most importantly…you’re not looking for the very thing you want to find the most! If we get two more warm days, I am heading for the timber on a morel mission. And I will certainly post any photos of the antlers I don’t intend to find…

Comments (11)

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from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I love to tie Morel hunting in with sheds, and the activities go together quite well. I find the most sheds when I just wander aimlessly through the woods, following deer and elk trails, looking for areas were the brush was browsed, and thinking to myself, if I was a buck where would I wander????? I used to not find any sheds, my buddies would find them but not me, my luck changed 2 years ago, and the last 2 years I have found a pile of sheds. I think a lot of it is due to training my eyes to see them, learning more likely spots to look, getting in better shape (due to being addicted to shed hunting) and therefore covering more ground.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

That picture is making me hungry. I haven't found my first shed or morel this season. I sometimes think morels sprout legs and run as I approach them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from usmcturkey wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I have never morel hunted, though in New York this year while trout fishing I found a shed. I was walking up the hill and I found a shed laying in the spring. When I went to grab it, it was bittersweet. The whole body was there, though it was at least a year old it was sad to know that the deer was no longer alive.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I look for morals and sheds while turkey hunting. Went out yesterday and didn't get a bird or horn but did find a sack of 'rooms. Guess what's for dinner tonight?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckshot89 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

we have found quite a few shrooms this year, but no sheds. mixed some of the morels in with my scrambled eggs this morning and had a tasty meal.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

One time I found a cat while I was after morels too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ranger2 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Morel hunting has been a staple of spring in the outdoors since I was about 10. Every year I crawl through the brush and up and down hillsides, and I can't wait to get out this year and get all scratched up~ my girls are both old enough to pick with us- at 6 and 4. Maybe we will find some sheds too... I never find any while that is all I am looking for, but I stumble across one or two every now and again when I am out and about. The last shed my wife found was a smaller but nice moose paddle while turkey hunting. The last shed I found was in the parking lot of Home Depot... a do-it yourself kit! Maybe my luck will change?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm not finding either, unfortunately

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Just goes back to the saying of "Water won't boil when you are looking at it". I mean if you set out looking for sheds, it is funny, because for most, the success rate is very low. Yet, you go out doing regulare chores, and you find sheds. Funny how things work out. As for the mushrooms, do those kind of morel mushrooms grow in the south? Never 'shroom hunted, but for $10 a pound, and the economy being the way it is, I would not mind getting out in the woods and also making some money while doing it...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ranger2 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

To FloridaHunter1226:
I have lived in the Pacific NW since I was 5...I am not sure where/if Morels grow in the south... here is a link to a morel webpage with all kinds of info. My pops grew up in the Sarasota area, and he used ot pick all kinds of mushrooms...there may be some alternative species that are good too, check with an area university extension office? Oh, and be careful of the shrooms that inspired Fantasia... I hear they grow really well down your way.
Here is the link:
http://thegreatmorel.com/index.shtml

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I've found a good mess of morels so far, and have covered alot of ground. No sheds though, did see a small buck 3 days ago w/both sides of his rack. Maybe I'll find some of both soon!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from idahooutdoors wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I love to tie Morel hunting in with sheds, and the activities go together quite well. I find the most sheds when I just wander aimlessly through the woods, following deer and elk trails, looking for areas were the brush was browsed, and thinking to myself, if I was a buck where would I wander????? I used to not find any sheds, my buddies would find them but not me, my luck changed 2 years ago, and the last 2 years I have found a pile of sheds. I think a lot of it is due to training my eyes to see them, learning more likely spots to look, getting in better shape (due to being addicted to shed hunting) and therefore covering more ground.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

That picture is making me hungry. I haven't found my first shed or morel this season. I sometimes think morels sprout legs and run as I approach them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from usmcturkey wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I have never morel hunted, though in New York this year while trout fishing I found a shed. I was walking up the hill and I found a shed laying in the spring. When I went to grab it, it was bittersweet. The whole body was there, though it was at least a year old it was sad to know that the deer was no longer alive.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

I look for morals and sheds while turkey hunting. Went out yesterday and didn't get a bird or horn but did find a sack of 'rooms. Guess what's for dinner tonight?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckshot89 wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

we have found quite a few shrooms this year, but no sheds. mixed some of the morels in with my scrambled eggs this morning and had a tasty meal.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 51 weeks ago

One time I found a cat while I was after morels too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ranger2 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Morel hunting has been a staple of spring in the outdoors since I was about 10. Every year I crawl through the brush and up and down hillsides, and I can't wait to get out this year and get all scratched up~ my girls are both old enough to pick with us- at 6 and 4. Maybe we will find some sheds too... I never find any while that is all I am looking for, but I stumble across one or two every now and again when I am out and about. The last shed my wife found was a smaller but nice moose paddle while turkey hunting. The last shed I found was in the parking lot of Home Depot... a do-it yourself kit! Maybe my luck will change?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm not finding either, unfortunately

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Just goes back to the saying of "Water won't boil when you are looking at it". I mean if you set out looking for sheds, it is funny, because for most, the success rate is very low. Yet, you go out doing regulare chores, and you find sheds. Funny how things work out. As for the mushrooms, do those kind of morel mushrooms grow in the south? Never 'shroom hunted, but for $10 a pound, and the economy being the way it is, I would not mind getting out in the woods and also making some money while doing it...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ranger2 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

To FloridaHunter1226:
I have lived in the Pacific NW since I was 5...I am not sure where/if Morels grow in the south... here is a link to a morel webpage with all kinds of info. My pops grew up in the Sarasota area, and he used ot pick all kinds of mushrooms...there may be some alternative species that are good too, check with an area university extension office? Oh, and be careful of the shrooms that inspired Fantasia... I hear they grow really well down your way.
Here is the link:
http://thegreatmorel.com/index.shtml

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I've found a good mess of morels so far, and have covered alot of ground. No sheds though, did see a small buck 3 days ago w/both sides of his rack. Maybe I'll find some of both soon!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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